Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Red vs Blue (Season 11)


After discovering the truth of Project Freelancer and the man who created it, the Reds and Blues are eager to go home and get some much needed rest and relaxation. Only for their ship to crash on a forgotten planet with little to no chance of rescue. But is the planet really uninhabited? Who are the strange soldiers spying on them and what are their intentions? And more importantly how did Caboose get a giant walking tank named Freckles?


Red vs Blue is a web action/comedy Machinima series that is loosely based on the Halo franchise. The series was created by Burnie Burns and produced by Rooster Teeth Productions, becoming the company's most popular machinima project and has been running since it's creation in 2003. Aside from the initial 5 seasons, several sequel season have been released periodically with new plot lines and mixing the comedy with action sequences (the most recent seasons also began to include original animation). Season 11 initially aired on May June 14th 2013 and finished it's 19 episode run by November 11th of that same year. It was directed by Miles Luna and is the first instalment of the Chorus Trilogy.


Hard to believe it has already been over a decade since we first saw a bunch of Halo soldiers wondering why there were stuck in a box canyon. In that time, it has evolved from a simple comedy series to one of the most successful machinima projects made to date. From the creator's efforts to continue filming with the latest Halo games (adapting their filming techniques as a result), to including a more action packed, science fiction plot and seamlessly incorporating original animation to add to both the action and comedy. In my personal opinion, it has been mind-blowing watching the Red vs Blue transition to what it is today and my hat is off to the folks at Rooster Teeth for taking the risk of trying something new. Yet despite, all the changes, Season 11 is a bit of a return to basics for the series. No original animations, little to no action sequences, and there is only a whisper of a over arching plot that does decide to show itself until the very end. For most of the episodes it is just the Reds and the Blue's stuck in a canyon, getting into shenanigans and trying not to kill each other in the process. With all the seriousness of the Project Freelancer flashbacks in the previous seasons, returning to a comedy focus is a welcome change.

Aside from the slowly building mystery surrounding the planet's inhabitants, the strongest aspect of this season aside from the comedy is the characterisation. Over the past eleven season we have seen a few members of the cast begin to change during their adventures but never to the extent that they are unrecognisable. Sarge still is mistrustful of the Blues but he is now more willing to work with them when push comes to shove. Agent Washington, after having to put up with the group's antics for several seasons, is now content to work with them and look out for them. Even Caboose, while still Caboose, has a few genuine touching moments with the rest of his team. Yet arguably, the character that seems to be getting the most focus is Tucker who, thanks to Washington's training, is starting what looks to be a long journey to becoming a real soldier.

Season 11 is a great starting point for seasons to come. Partially a return to what made the series popular in the first place, but at the same time acknowledging how much the story and characters have changed over the course of the show's run. I wouldn't say it is the best season of the show overall but it is still extremely enjoyable and will have fans and newcomers laughing out loud.






Red vs Blue Season 11 is available for streaming on Rooster Teeth main site, and available on DVD and BLU-RAY from FLAT IRON in the US, and from ANIMATSU in the UK (from JUNE 29th 2015).






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