tek's rating:

Skyland, (CGI), France 3 (France) / Teletoon (Canada) / Nicktoons (USA)
IMDb; official website; TV.com; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia

Caution: potential spoilers.

Well, hmmm. I think I first saw this advertised on Nickelodeon. Or maybe I first read about it in TV Guide. Whatever, it aired on Nicktoons Network, which I didn't get at the time. Still, I was interested in the show, so I looked at some stuff about it online, and it seemed pretty cool. I mean, the story's decent, and the visuals are good... I should say, the backgrounds are amazing, and the ships and such are nice. The people... kind of odd. I think their posture and movements generally seem rather awkward, and their design is... they just sort of look like they're made of light and shadow. Sort of. Not sure how else to describe it, though I do feel that description could be a bit misleading (the pictures on the official site are not how the characters are animated on the show). Still, it's a fairly unique animation style, and it kind of makes sense, considering how important light is to the story...

Anyway, eventually I got Nicktoons, but the show was already in reruns, and episodes were being shown out of order. But I guess they were actually shown out of order, to begin with. I found out the proper order online, and waited to catch each ep on the DVR, and piled them up waiting to be able to watch them in order... which took a long time, and so there might be long gaps between my viewing. In fact the so-called "second season" on Nicktoons started some time after I started watching reruns, and that too was probably out of order. And it's really part of the first season. And I thought that ultimately it would wrap up the series, but now that I've finally seen every episode, there's plenty left unresolved, and it seems there may be an actual second season at some point. I dunno. Or maybe movies. Whatever. I'd like to see the story definitively wrapped up at some point, anyway.

Well, so here's what it's about: It's set in 2251, and at some point in the past, the Earth was shattered into millions of chunks of land called Blocks, orbiting the planet's core. Most Blocks have come to be controlled by an evil dictatorship known as the Sphere, who control Skyland's water supply. The Sphere's military are called Guardians, who are controlled by a man named Oslo, who is a Seijin. Seijin are people who have supernatural powers which are activated by light, though Oslo can apparently use his powers even in the dark. Still, absence of light remains a major problem for most seijin. Anyway, there's this prophecy about Earth being reunited by an unnamed man and "the Lady of Light." He believed the prophecy to refer to himself and a seijin named Mila, though she didn't believe this.

Mila eventually fell in love with a man named Marcus Farrell, who piloted a small but fast, agile, powerful fighter called the Hyperion. He was also the leader of the rebellion against the Sphere. But at some point, Marcus disappeared (presumed dead), and Mila went into hiding on a Block called Babylonia, with their two children, Mahad and Lena. The series starts when Mahad is 17 and Lena 12. She is a powerful seijin like her mother, though Mila has insisted she and Lena not use their powers, lest they draw the attention of the Guardians. But of course, that's exactly what happens in the first episode. Mila gets taken prisoner by Oslo, who learns that she has children. He begins to believe Lena is the Lady of Light, though he still considers himself the other person in the prophecy, and wants to rule Skyland with her.

However, Lena and Mahad escape, and join a group of pirates (who are also rebels against the Sphere) led by a man named Cortes. He's the captain of a ship called the Saint Nazaire, which is based out of Puerto Angel, a free Block on the outskirts of Skyland, not currently controlled by the Sphere. His crew includes his lieutenant, Wayan, a girl named Dahlia (on whom Mahad has a crush), and a young genius hacker named Cheng. There's also a wise old scientist called the Vector, who advises everyone. Those are the major characters of the rebellion (though the Saint Nazaire carries a bunch of one-man fighters called Mosquitos). Much of what Cortes and his crew do is try to find and obtain water, often stealing it from the Sphere. But there are plenty of battles and various other missions, as well. And of course, Lena and Mahad are always thinking about finding and rescuing their mother. Oh, and they find the Hyperion, which Mahad now pilots. Also, he's very skilled using a boomerang as a weapon.

Um, I also need to mention that there's a seijin named Diwan who is Oslo's top operative, carrying out various missions, often involving the attempt to catpure Lena and Mahad. She and Oslo are pretty much the only human Guardians we get to see; most troops are robots called Brigadiers, or "Brigs" for short.

Well, that's pretty much the plot. To be honest, most of the episodes don't really seem to matter that they're out of order, it's all fairly random adventures which are not particularly serial in nature. But there are a few that are important to see in order. Obviously, the two-part series premiere should be seen first, and the two-part season (or series?) finale should be seen last. In between... *shrug* I dunno. It's hard to remember anything specific that was all that important to see in order. Anyway, as I said before, the story is decent, and the animation is interesting. But about the English dub (I've never seen the original French), the writing seems a bit weak and the acting is also kinda lame. Overall... I don't like the series as much as I'd hoped I would, but I liked it enough to watch the whole thing, and I'd still like to see the story completed.

The season ends with Mila being rescued and more Blocks joining the rebellion. So it's definitely a bright note, but... Oslo is still at large, the Sphere is far from defeated, Diwan's fate is uncertain, and the possibility is suggested that Marcus is still out there somewhere. And... I'm probably forgetting to say things about the series and everything. I dunno.

Oh, and I wanted to mention that the official website (see link above) includes downloads of several music tracks, which are quite good. And yet I can't seem to actually download them directly from the site. It uses Flash, which obviously doesn't allow right-clicking, so you can only open the files to play them. Trying to right-click the files as you listen to them prompts you to buy QuickTime Pro, which I don't wanna do. So here are some links to the files (on the official site), but these you can right-click to download:

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8
Track 9


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