Centaurworld Got So Much Better As It Progressed
I watched the entirety of Centaurworld after the review. The madness I spoke many words about wouldn’t leave my mind, and the inherent darkness of the series intrigued me.
Now, after finishing the last episode of the last season, crying and almost dropping my jaw, I have to come back around and add an addendum. I have to talk about how the series got a heck of a lot better—and there’s going to be spoilers (and also for Gravity Falls by comparison).
The true pivotal moment was the Nowhere King. He may be one of my favorite cartoon villains, coming close to the likes of Bill Cipher. The Nowhere King oozes threat. His introduction is like something out of a nightmare, and his backstory—and even his name—only become more and more devastating and terrifying as we learn more.
The Nowhere King Has Such A Tragic Origin Story
And as soon as he shows up, he does something to the plot. He gives it a lot more focus. Now, yes, the show never stops having poop, fart, and cringe humor, but it calms significantly and becomes what I would call its true self. Centaurworld is an absurdist, high-fantasy, dark musical. That’s something I’ve never seen before. Characters will belt out songs full of emotion—and with incredible vocals—as they kill other characters, deal with adult trauma, and overcome challenges. Rarely does a piece of media transport me into its story anymore, but I sat enraptured in the last moments of this candy-colored fever dream.
And I’m just as surprised as you might be if you only gave the first few episodes a chance. Centaurworld buries the lede deep. Some very talented writers were not only setting up stellar and upsetting plot machinations but obscuring them. I must imagine most of the show was planned, just by how efficiently and cleanly they wrap up storylines. They made me care about an evil snake that turns into a baby, about uncomfortably soggy mole people, and even a massive nerdy bear that punched a little too close at nerd culture. Nearly every wonky magic system spell, random character, and even the weird pancakes make semi-justified appearances in the final moments, and it just blew me away.
Every Plot Thread In Centaurworld Feels Resolved
I only have one major complaint about the ending—besides too much juvenile humor—and it’s not something I could expect from a cartoon for kids. Like I complained about in a Star Wars review of all things, death needs to matter more in stories. It’s a problem across the board, but this one is egregious. Fake-outs instantly suck away narrative weight—and I wish more shows had the gumption to make deaths permanent. Oddly, this was the same issue I had with Gravity Falls and how they beat Bill Cipher (I’d argue losing all your memories is a kind of death). Having a beloved character die to defeat the villain is a strong choice. It makes the battle have consequences. If Rider had just stayed dead, this review would’ve been even more glowing.
But it is still glowing. Everything else, the songs, the animation, the insane plot-twist reveals, even the battle scenes, come together to make something unique. Something demented and creative and infuriating and special. I don’t usually say this about shows, but the wait for the good parts is worth it. Watch Centaurworld.
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