Cartoons

She-ra and the Princesses of Power Season 5 Review [Spoiler Free]

She-ra is over guys.
Such a great final season, such a wonderful ride.  While I wasn’t on board entirely for the first 2 seasons, I was hooked by season 3 and the finale of this show was fantastic.  I’ll warn you now: this is pretty much going to be me gushing about how much I liked season 5.  There were a few nitpicks I’d have here and there, but nothing can sour my overall love and emotions I have for this show.  So with that out of the way, let’s get into it!

 

The first thing I really enjoyed and noticed, was how well plotted the season was from the start.  We were bouncing between 2 plots throughout the entire season, and neither felt neglected or out of place.  Every character that has been established as important in the show had their time to shine, and bouncing between both plots paved the way for a very cohesive final climax that made perfect sense and hit so many emotional beats, I can’t even get started on breaking them all down.  I was a bit nervous about what they were going to do with Catra, but  they handled her story arc perfectly and while I wasn’t on board for what most of the fandom wanted  with her character, it turned out well and I was so happy to see it happen.
There’s so much tension in this season from the get-go.  The atmosphere, and animation and character beats just were so well done in that regard.  There’s a certain thing that happens mid-season, and it truly amped up the horror factor of the show.  Truly not knowing who to trust, trying to fight against all odds, and that tension just hanging over the main cast of the show was an amazing ride and kept me watching, without fail.  That isn’t to say there isn’t humor in this season:  There’s tons of it, and all of the jokes land perfectly.  But there’s never a sense of too many jokes taking away from the severity of the situation they are in, but the light of their bonds and friendships just shine through so prevalently that it was so natural to see them joking around from time to time.

 

This show has always been about the characters, and this season was no exception.  In fact, I think it does the best job of developing the characters, and fully fleshing out their story arcs that have been running throughout the series.  You’d think with such a huge ensemble cast, someone would fall through the cracks.  But no, every Princess and side character who has been in the show, has a clear identity, and isn’t relegated to one-dimensional side characters.  My favorite has always been Mermista, with Perfuma as a close second and both of them shined so much in this season that I ate it up.

 

And that climax!  With the themes of love, bonds, and different relationships in the series, the ending was so perfect.  I feel like Dreamworks learned from the mistakes of Voltron, and decided to not try anything flashy, stick to a generic enough ending but at the end of the day, it was always going to be the natural conclusion of the show.  That however, doesn’t take away from the building tension of this series, as you feel every sacrifice and decision the characters have to make as if you’re right there with them.  It’s powerful, it’s poignant, and made the ending so dang beautiful.  I was cheering at certain points, I was crying at certain points, everything was just so dang perfect.  Bravo to the show runners, bravo!

 

One thing I will say, is the audio description was a bit wonky with this season.  There were some times where it wouldn’t describe something rather important, and I was left a bit confused until another scene.  And for the weirdest reason, in a few scenes when Frosta was in them, the describer said it was Glimmer.  Of course, you’re using your common sense, and know Glimmer isn’t in the scene so it meant Frosta, but just going over the script again and making sure minor mistakes weren’t in there would have been nice.  Overall though, the experience with the description was good – I especially loved how it captured all of the animation beats of Catras cat-isms, that was a really fun touch to the show   and all of the Catra as cat jokes cracked me up.

 

Ugh, I can’t express how much I enjoyed this final season.  The pacing was great, the character beats given to us throughout the series were ended well, and the open ended nature of the ending was so nice to see.  We can imagine all sorts of adventures for our characters now that they’ve secured their future, and that’s so great to see in animation.  I hope we get an epilogue series, I really do.  But if this is all we’re going to get out of the She-ra series, I’m completely happy we got it.  I’d totally rewatch this entire series again, just to see the plot beats play out in all of their glory.

 

Wonderful job with the show as a whole.  I wasn’t quite on board with seasons 1 and 2, but after all of the ground work for the lore and story were laid, it turned out to be a fantastic series.  I highly recommend watching this if you enjoy great characters, beautiful relationships of the romantic and platonic sort, and a well-crafted world and lore based fantasy world.  You won’t regret it!

Books

Bite-Sized Book Reviews #2

Time for another round of Bite-Sized book reviews, this time for a few series I’ve read recently.  I have full reviews for the individual books on my Goodreads page, so if you’d like to see more detail for them, head on over there.  This is basically my excuse to gush about these series’, because I really enjoyed all of them and waiting for the installments in them reminds me why I don’t like to read books unless the series is finished, because waiting for all of these is going to drive me nuts!

 

The Forgotten Kingdoms Series by Lichelle Slater

 

This is a fairy tale retelling series that at first, feels rather bland.  I didn’t find The Dragon Princess to be particularly attention grabbing, but I finished it because I’m all about The Little Mermaid (my favorite fairy tale) and The Siren Princess was next in the series.  It was worth getting through book 1, because book 2 was really action packed, the Princess who was the main character was a lot more fun, her romantic interest was waaaay better, and all in all the polish of book 2 and book 3 made me super hyped for books 4 and 5.  There’s a consistent character throughout all of the series that I really enjoy his character arc, and he was the reason why I continued the series in the first place.  I think this series overall does a really good job of keeping the stories self-contained, while still furthering the over-arching plot of the series.  The Beast Princess was amazing start to finish, and hands down my favorite one in the series.  I find narratively, this is one of the better fairy tale retellings, and while it pays homage to the fairy tales they are inspired by, it doesn’t focus solely on fairy tale tropes like other retellings I’ve read.  The cast is well fleshed out, plot and world are great, and overall this series is an enjoyable fantasy romp that I can’t wait to read to its conclusion.

 

Fairy Tale Adventures by A.G. Marshal

 

Do you notice a trend here? I majorly got into reading fairy tale retellings in the early months of the year.  Fairy Tale Adventures however takes a very mature angle with the fairy tale retelling genre, and deals with heavy topics like not feeling like you’re good enough for your family, finding your own self-worth, and overcoming obstacles.  The romances in the series are really well rounded, and none of the couples feel like they are out of place.  I read Princess of Mermaids first in the series, and in this series it actually does affect your knowledge of the rest of the narrative because A.G. Marshal does have plot points from previous books interlink.  It wasn’t a huge hindrance, I just went back and read the first two books in the series, but it did make way more sense after doing so.

 

I think Princess of Shadows is the weakest book in the series.  I liked Leena fine, but her love interest I really didn’t care for and while it said it was a Princess and the Pea retelling, it really wasn’t.  It was an interesting story, don’t get me wrong, but fairy tale retelling as far as I know the story The Princess and the Pea was a stretch.  A better job was done for both Princess of Secrets and Princess of Mermaids, so I feel like Princess of Shadows just was a case of rocky book 1 writing.  But, if you want an awesome series, with powerful Princess that live up to having both feminine and masculine traits well balanced, pick up this book series.

 

The Elvan Alliance Series by Tara Grayce

 

I saved the best for last, as I adore this series!  The premise is a human marries an elf so an alliance between the two peoples is formed, but the books are so much more than that.  Essie and Farrendal’s relationship is just so sweet, and the themes of working towards growing your relationship, choosing your partner, making the best of a situation, and creating a family bigger than yourself out of two is just so wonderful.  I just finished book 2, and the cliffhanger at the end is so ugh!  I can’t wait to read book 3, I really need to revisit this world and see how it ends for the characters!
The world building is really interesting in the series too.  Sort of a steampunky industrial evolution vibe, but also with magic interwoven into the Elvan world masterfully.  I can picture all of the landscapes and structures described in the book, and while romance is definitely the focal point of the series, the politics and court intrigue aren’t just shrugged off for lovey-dovey bits.  There’s tons of lovey-dovey bits, don’t get me wrong, but both politics and romance take center stage when they need to.  It’s just overall a really enjoyable series, I can’t wait until September when the third book comes out!

 

And that does it for Bite-Sized Book reviews #2.  If you decide to read any of these series’, let me know!  I’d love to be able to talk about these with other people!

 

Once again, for more detailed reviews of these books, head on over to my Goodreads Page.  Thanks for reading this post, and happy reading any books you’re reading right now!