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Niko and the Sword of Light, on Amazon
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So, this animated series is based on a digital comic book, which I haven't read. (But you can buy it here, I guess.) Also, there was a pilot that was released in 2015, but I never saw that. (The first season was released in 2017, and I guess the first few episodes are a reimagined version of the pilot. But I can't compare the new version to the old.)

Chapter One: The Cursed Volcano
Hundreds of years ago, a sorcerer named Nar Est (Steve Blum) called upon the Darkness to give him power. He trapped the city of Carondolet and all its people within a small orb. The main three people we see in Carondolet are Princess Lyra (Kari Wahlgren), and two of the kingdom's elders: Lyra's uncle, a sorcerer named Sargous (Tom Kenny), and a woman named Belatha (Wahlgren). And um, I kind of forget bits of the backstory, but there's this crystal that I guess was Carondolet's power source, or whatever, and now Nar Est has control of most of it. But there's also this crystalline chrysalis which is somewhere outside the orb. And I guess periodically a Champion is born from the chrysalis, and gets a shard of the crystal which can manifest as a weapon of light, to try to fight the Darkness, and defeat Nar Est. Unfortunately, over the centuries several champions have tried and failed. Each one has been guided by Lyra, who only leaves her city in a ghostly form. When this series begins, a small creature named Mandok (Tom Kenny) unwittingly releases the latest champion from the chrysalis prematurely, so he hasn't had time to grow into an adult. However, this young boy, Niko, is very brave and good, and determined to defeat Nar Est. Which he'd better succeed at, because he will be the last champion. (His shard manifests as a sword, but we eventually learn that each champion has had their own type of weapon.)

So... Lyra does her best to guide the eager young champion. After a couple of episodes, she ends up joining Niko in her actual, physical body, instead of just in spirit. The two of them are also accompanied by Mandok, who isn't entirely trustworthy. And they meet a sort of bug named Flicker (Dee Bradley Baker), who doesn't speak, but is quite friendly. Over the course of the series, Flicker will metamorphose several times, each time growing larger. And um... Nar Est has a crow named Rasper (also voiced by Blum), who is his main minion. But also, Nar Est can send shadow things out into the world to possess various creatures, making them grow large and fearsome, to attack Niko and his friends. But Niko's sword has various energy attacks, one of which dispels the darkness from such creatures, and returns them to their original form. And... throughout the series, the heroes make their way across the land, towards Nar Est's volcano lair. Along the way, they meet all sorts of other creatures who become friends. (Apparently the people of Carondolet are the only humans left in the world, but there are plenty of other sentient species.) So, every episode is an adventure, but of course it's all leading up to the final battle with Nar Est... which turns out to be pretty epic.

Well, I don't suppose I need to say any more about the plot. So I'll just say that I found the show a lot of fun. I like the animation, and the characters, and the humor, and the battles, and all the stories. It gets pretty weird, in a lot of interesting ways. I'd say the show is kind of like if you put Samurai Jack, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Inuyasha, and Adventure Time in a blender. They make a surprisingly good smoothie.

Oh yeah, and I also wanted to say I always love it when Lyra says "Havoc!"

Chapter Two: The Amulet of Power
In December 2018, this second season began. (I guess the seasons are each called "chapters" now, and each has its own subtitle, though I don't think the first season had a subtitle until the second season started.) Anyway... at the end of season one, Niko and his friends defeated Nar Est and the Darkness (Jim Cummings). Carondolet was freed, and Lyra is now its queen. She's also learning magic from Sargous. Niko is now Carondolet's captain of the guard, and Mandok is "Master of Coin." Nar Est and Rasper are imprisoned in an orb like the one Carondolet was in, last season. But the Darkness sends a small wisp, aka "Wispy" (Hynden Walch) to free Nar Est and Rasper, and task them with finding the Amulet of Power. When they realize Nar Est has escaped, Niko, Lyra, and Mandok go in search of the Amulet, themselves. They're accompanied by Flicker (who had reached his largest size, but now metamorphoses back to his smallest size). And they all travel aboard a flying ship built and piloted by Commodore Chompsky (Dee Bradley Baker), a turtle creature whom they had befriended in one of the first season's adventures. Now they have more adventures, trying to find pieces of a map that will lead them to the Amulet. And I'll say more at some point. But for now, only the first five episodes of season two have been released.


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