Sunday, June 5, 2016

redvsblue Season 13

At long last I am now caught up with the latest redvsblue seasons on video. Today I am covering season 13 (trailer) of the popular web series using in-game animation from the best-selling game series, Halo. Season 13 marks the third and final part of the story arc taking place on the planet Chorrus where the reds and blues crash landed on their journey back home only to discover they landed in the midst of a civil war.

Season 13 picks up with the two warring factions of Chorrus, the Federal Army headed up by General Doyle (Gray Haddock) and the New Republic lead by Kimball (Lindsay Jones) forming an uneasy alliance. Together, they take on a new threat that is a band of space pirate mercs lead by special agents Felix (Miles Luna) and Locus (Gray Haddock).

While season 12 ended with both the feds/NR realizing they have been duped and unite in hopes of defeating this enemy, the well told story of season 13 is both sides overcoming their past differences to work together. There is a well produced season-spanning arc with Kimball and Doyle constantly having doubts and barely holding their alliance together, which climaxes with Doyle making an imperative decision and Kimball giving a vital rallying cry to the troops in two standout moments this season. The storytelling has come a long way from the early seasons of RvB, and yes the trademark humor and wisecracks are still here, but props to season 13 writer and director, Miles Luna on this story arc for crafting a legitimately good plot to get invested in.

Once again Rooster Teeth delivers several standout custom CG animated scenes this season. Season 13 opens with a very exquisitely detailed CG scene of the space pirates raiding a prisoner transport vessel. As the season progresses the fights get more intense and inventive, paying off in a climatic tag team encounter between Agents Washington (Shannon McCormick) and Carolina (Jen Brown) against Felix and Locus.

Speaking of the space pirates, they have a new heavy on their side this season in the form of Sharkface (David Jennison) who has his own unique backstory with Kimball. The pirates also gain the services of former Freelancer higher up, Counselor Price (Asaf Ronen) who naturally has his own agenda up his sleeve. Back with the core reds and blues Tucker (Jason SaldaƱa) is still coming to terms with his new responsibilities heading up his own squad of misfits we are introduced to last season while also trying to comprehend that his plasma sword has a few ancient secrets that play an important role this season. Tucker’s new squad did not really win me over last season as they all seemed too hokey to root for and I was relieved that they play a much minor role this season, where they are sprinkled in just enough throughout to remind you that they exist. Caboose (Joel Heyman) has plenty of comic relief moments which he has no problem in getting me to crack up thanks to his new AI-enhanced gun which had a few well-timed moments this season.

On the red side of things newly promoted Colonel Sarge (Matt Hullum) has a few fun moments this season dragging along Grif(Geoff Ramsey) and Simmons (Gus Sorola) into the frontlines of the battlefield to kick ass. One of my favorite running gags throughout the series has been the reds’ Warthog polka music having a surprise cameo in nearly every season, and rest assured it returns in all its glory in season 13. Donut (Dan Godwin) & Lopez (Burnie Burns) are the reds’ comic relief, as both prove they are reliable armory specialists this season. I dug the expected cameos this season as well, as some characters have very brief blink-and-you’ll miss them cameos, while another one returns in a more featured role halfway into the season.

Minus a few scenes this season, the core reds and blues are not the major characters this season as the core focus is on the Feds/NR alliance against the space pirates and a few other dangling plot threads this season. It was a bold move to make this season, but I felt it paid off with a gratifying conclusion to the three-part Chorrus arc. The big qualifier I had with this season is you probably want to watch it in a few sittings as it clocks in at just under three hours as one of the longest RvB seasons yet. I watched it in two sittings and that seemed to do the trick for me.

As usual, this disc has a good chunk of extra features to consume. I will give props once again to Rooster Teeth for including subtitles for a second straight season. Writer & Director Miles Luna is joined by rotating members of the cast and crew for the commentary track again this season and Luna knows how to keep a good commentary track flowing with constant chatter on topics relating to behind-the-scenes antics and excitement over their tech tricks and being able to work with a new program called Faceshift that is responsible for their excellent lip syncing this season.

There are four PSAs included totaling 21 minutes with “Rehashed” and “#1 Film in Galaxy 2” being the standouts that are all about remakes of previous PSAs and a epic trailer for a Sarge-Tucker buddy film, respectively. There are six mini-features totaling roughly 35 minutes covering topics like motion capture, the constantly evolving score of the series, the relationship of Locus and Felix and pre-to-post production of an episode. The standout feature is Leaving Chorrus where the cast and crew reflect on the completed trilogy and how they made some bold storytelling decisions against fan backlash and decided to stick to their guns and see their vision to the end.

The three-part Chorrus arc features some of the best storytelling of the entire series. It took me awhile to get fully on board, but once the primary new players were fleshed out and I realized what was at stake I was fully on board. If you thought you were done with RvB after the Bloodgulch Chronicles or Project Freelancer, than you may want to think twice and give the Chorrus War a watch because it is definitely worth your time. As for me, after 13 seasons and getting caught up over the course of a year and a half I am once again going to take a well-earned hiatus from redvsblue. Thanks for joining me throughout these blogs if you have made it throughout this entire journey of RvB with me.

Past redvsblue Blogs

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4 and Grifball Bonus Discs
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
Season 11
Season 12
RvBX Bonus Discs

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