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Hipster Hotline: Wakfu

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Ever played a MMORPG called Dofus? It’s sister game, Wakfu? No? Okay, you like shounen anime? Yeah, now we’re on the same page. While Wakfu the show isn’t technically anime, like Avatar: The Last Airbender, it’s pretty much the same with the only difference being it was made outside Japan. Sidenote: Funding Wakfu’s English dub was my very first Kickstarter. I love this series, but strangely I forgot about it until recently. Not entirely strange. I know why, but lets save it for later.

Wakfu is the story of Yugo, an orphan boy living a quiet life until he’s thrust into an adventure that has him traveling the world with a new group of friends trying to save a kingdom from a…science wizard? Yeah, sounds basic but what sets Wakfu apart is style.

First things first, Wakfu is a good looking show. The world is vibrant and the characters look unique. No time is wasted pulling you into the World of Twelve from a visual standpoint. You can tell the show is based on a MMORPG and, yes, that’s a big compliment.

The characters themselves are charming. Yugo is eager for adventure. Ruel is the greedy old treasure hunter. Amalia is a spoiled princess who slowly softens over time. Evangelyne is Amalia’s bodyguard, the snarky straight-woman of the group. And, Percedal is the gang’s, to quote Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, butt-monkey.

It’s all about growth and character development. How the main cast interacts, their growing friendships and romantic interests, seeing them work together as a team solving problems or just whoop ass, it’s all great. Yugo is the main protagonist, but the relationship between all five main characters is what helps elevate the series to another level.

And, as I said, all five main characters have growth, some more than others, but it’s there. Each member of the Brotherhood of the Tofu are clearly not the same as when they first meet, the adventure changed them, and they changed each other. It’s a gradual process just as fun to see through repeat viewings. The support characters are good too. Some recurring, some not, most are interesting in some way and add to the fun.

The action.
Make no mistake, while Wakfu isn’t afraid to have slower paced, low-threat episodes, when it’s running on all gears watch out! The animation helps give Wakfu’s action scenes more bang for the buck. If you like the first episode’s fights, strap in, but its only gonna get better. Without spoiling anything I can say I was pleased with the final boss battles in both season one and two. And, while I have problems with the three special episodes, their action scenes aren’t one of them.

A special shout-out to the season one and two final villains. Both great bad guys, but Nox, the first season Big Bad is my favorite. The guy is powerful, crazy but brilliant. And the reason he’s doing what he’s doing…oh man, just the icing on the cake. Nox is a fun villain to hate, a fantastic antagonist.

Downsides?
Some episodes are better than others. Each season is structured with an overall arc slowly building to the final battle. Some episodes focus on the main plot, some don’t, and the ones that don’t vary from gut busting funny and/or exciting to meh. I’m not a fan of season one and two’s three-parters about gobbowl, a popular fictional sport in the series. They have their moments (Including, one of the funniest moments in the entire series happening in the second season three-parter.), but overall I just wanted those arcs to end.

Also, I think the reason I forgot about Wakfu is because of the three special episodes that take place after season two. Not a fan of them. Worth a watch but it wasn’t as fun as the first two seasons and some main characters take a back seat for the plot. Plus, throughout the entire series I felt like the show didn’t explain certain events or characters, instead assuming you were already familiar with the Wakfu universe via the games. It was especially worse in the special episodes, I barely had any idea what was going on by the end and I at played Dofus for a couple years!

My last nitpick, not loving the English dub. The original French is better, in my opinion, but I could be bias because I watched the subtitled French version first.

All in all, the good easily outweighs the bad. I feel good watching Wakfu, even thinking about it makes me warm and fuzzy. An animated RPG not afraid to be fun one minute, thrilling the next. Check it out on Netflix and get ready for season three in…APRIL? But season three already wrapped up in France. Hmm, I wonder if someone subtitled them…

By Redgeek

A geek talking about stuff he likes.

2 replies on “Hipster Hotline: Wakfu”

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