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Home > The Legend Of Vox Machina S2: A Review

The Legend Of Vox Machina S2: A Review

The Legend of Vox Machina

Our Favorite Band of Misfits is Back!

In 2021, the first animated venture of Critical Role’s Dungeons & Dragons based adventure was released on Amazon Prime. The Legend of Vox Machina is an adaptation of the first campaign done for the world of Critical Role taking place on the continent of Tal’dorei. The web series D&D sessions can be viewed on Critical Role’s Youtube channel. Along with the original sessions there are comic books and novels that flesh out the characters of Critical Role.

Vox Machina is their first major campaign and storyline, with their second most well known group being the Mighty Nein. Many talented voice actors were brought together on these campaigns to bring life to their tabletop characters, many of them return to voice their respective characters in the animated series.

Season 2 continues the escapades of Vox Machina just when a group of dragons known as the Chroma Conclave attack the kingdom of Emon following the events of Whitestone. Their present threat to the world compels the team to travel to fantastical locations to collect powerful weapons and armor known as vestiges to combat the  dragons. Along the way they face deadly traps, mysterious beings, and develop to be the heroes they’re destined to be.

The Fate Of The World Between Humor & Suspense

Within the first ten minutes of episode one, season 2 of The Legend of Vox Machina establishes the conflict, new villains, and what’s at risk if our heroes don’t succeed. The Chroma Conclave shows how utterly cataclysmic a group of ancient dragons can be. Their ruthless siege of the kingdom sets the immediate mood of tension and dread throughout the season whenever the dragons are on the move. Even after the destruction is settled, their impact more or less defines the atmosphere of season 2.

As a show derived from Dungeons & Dragons, it follows the high fantasy tropes of adventures and fantastical places with mythical themes. Tone and atmosphere wise, Legend of Vox Machina shares many similarities with other animated fantasy shows brought on streaming such as Netflix’s Castlevania and Dragon Age: Absolution. Both shows follow a ragtag group of characters, have humor peppered in the dialogue and situations, and are very mature in the display of violence and representing characters. Even the aesthetic which is very medieval fantasy has the animesque designs and expressions for the characters and environments that’ve been popularized by series like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teen Titans.

One unique element that remains fairly consistent throughout Legend of Vox Machina is the idea of rolling the dice. Luck and chance can alter the outcomes of the story and there are cases when our heroes are barely surviving unscathed. This differentiates the animated series from the other fantasy stories that give their heroes plot relevant invulnerability. In this show, accidents and carelessness are struck with consequences.

As an adult comedy animation, there are many moments of humor that alleviate the new dangers the characters face. Season 1 felt like observing the misadventures of eccentric characters, only getting serious once the Whitestone arc was set into motion. For Season 2, the looming danger of the Chroma Conclave has been what drives the focus of the tone. There’s still a lot of snarking humor and moments of levity, with Scanlan’s raunchy moments and Grog’s goofy demeanor. But due to transpiring events, the characters have lost some of their carefreeness they were introduced with.

The Legend of Vox Machina

Bringing the Legends of Tal ‘Dorei to life

The characters are the anchors that hold this show and setting together. The main characters, the party members of Vox Machina, are very fleshed out and each member has their moment of development. Due to the show’s origins in the tabletop game, every player from Critical Role are talented voice actors that return in the animated series as the voices of their respective characters. While the web show did an incredible job of showing us these actors having a blast with their created characters, the series allowed them to truly embody their character in a way the tabletop experience slightly lacked. 

These established voice actors include Liam O’ Brien (Vax), Laura Bailey (Vex), Taliesin Jaffe (Percival), Sam Reigel (Scanlon), Travis Willingham (Grog), and Marisha Ray (Keyleth). Mathew Mercer is the Dungeon Master of Critical Role and voice acts as multiple side characters in the animated series. 

The embodiment of these characters makes Legend of Vox Machina feel like an incredible passion project between very creative and imaginative folks. That energy and feel translates to the show itself where despite their many brushes with danger, drama, and tragedy, the characters have moments to relax, joke, and overall be fun loving heroes that are just trying their best to save the world the only ways they know.

The Dread of Uncertainty

Legend of Vox Machina is by no means a horror centric series. What it does bring to the table is the suspense and intense nail biting moments for the characters to face. The Chroma Conclave are the driving force and their presence looms grimly over the land of Tal ‘Dorei. In multiple points in the story our heroes lose strength, have doubts, and commit to unwinnable odds against forces they’ve never faced before.

When they’re standing against these trials, whether it’s Scanlon’s lack of confidence or Grog’s fear of weakness and Vax’s fear of fate and death, they ultimately go through character developments that set them up for the vestiges that they need to fight off the dragons. Compared to season 1 when the show was establishing the team and ended with Percival’s development in Whitestone as a focus point, every character in this season had their time to develop their arcs.

The dread of uncertainty continues through the villains. While the conclave are the main threat, the dragon that got the most focus and menaced the party throughout the season was Umbrasyl, a sadistic black dragon that’s hunting for the vestiges, wiping a sleuth of destruction in his path as well. He’s also driving several minor villains to serve him, including Grog’s former herd, a clan of marauding half-goliaths led by his uncle. 

A Fun Introduction To A Creative World Of Fantasy

Critical Role: Legend of Vox Machina is one of the chief examples of Dungeons & Dragons as a property that inspires world building and the creation of unique stories. These well made adventures along with likable characters were built and developed by passionate people who had a great story to tell. 

The show is more of an adult comedy than anything else, but the violence, horror, and overall fear factor caused by the battles elevates the investment viewers will have for the characters. Even with the end of the season, more twists and turns abound and new more fearsome threats will present themselves against the team. Legend of Vox Machina season 2 is an absolute must watch and makes season 1 even more enjoyable to go back to. Season 3 promises to bring more action and suspense as Thordak, the Cinder King, grows more insane with power.

This show does an incredible job at adapting the D&D experience for TV in a way very few D&D films have done. A cool group of likable characters, a beautiful and interesting world, and intense action. The upcoming D&D film, Honor Among Thieves, will adapt several elements of the atmosphere and fun-loving adventure style seen in Critical Role: Legends of Vox Machina.

The Legend of Vox Machina

The Legend of Vox Machina (2023) Official Prime Video Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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An enthusiast of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I loved reading about the stories and worlds of video games and movies and writing on a multitude of subjects, from lists to reviews.