Ninjago: Hunted, episode 93 – semi-review

Episode 93, ‘Lessons for a Master’, is the penultimate episode for Ninjago’s hunted season. In it, many plot lines are played out to their end and it truly leaves the viewers with a sense that things are finally getting to a climax. As far as episodes go, it was quite good – find out why after the usual break. Beware of spoilers though.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 93

In the First Realm the ninja and Faith are still all tied up at Dragon Hunter’s base camp. The Dragon Hunters discuss the fact that Iron Baron might not be all that he claims to be. In the end they decide to side with the ninja. Wu’s still guiding Iron Baron to the Golden armor. En route he saves his life, but it does nothing for Iron Baron and his ego. When they reach the Firstbourne’s lair they immediately spot the armor. Firstbourne awakens and Iron Baron puts on the armor in an attempt to control her. This fails, because, apparently, it was never the armor but the goodness in First Spinjitzu Master’s heart. Not because he was her child. Iron Baron does a Han Solo and gets frozen in molten lava.

Wu puts on the armor and rides the Firstbourne back to the ninja. Once he arrives he shares the news of Iron Baron’s faith and nobody sheds a tear. Firstbourne summons more dragons for the ninja to ride and they leave for Ninjago City. Faith decides to remain behind, since she needed more in the First Realm. She finally learns to pronounce Ninjago.

Back in Ninjago City we see an enraged Garmadon, unleashing his Colossus upon the city. The resistance, or what’s left of it, flee the scene and discuss whether to escape the city entirely. Lloyd refuses and chooses to fight instead. They’re soon confronted by Ultra Violet. During the fight Mask of Hatred is destroyed. Quite easily I might add. They are ultimately surrounded by Sons of Garmadon thugs and their situation does not look good. Luckily, the rest of the ninja just escaped the First Realm. How exactly they’ll save them we’ll have to see in the next episode.

This episode concludes the story of the First Realm, but I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we hear about it.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 1 comment

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 92 – semi-review

‘Saving Faith’, or episode 92, gets Ninjago: Hunted back on track with unnerving reveals and events unfolding beautifully – penmanship-wise. It’s a really good episode that, I think, hits home really hard – bringing a lot of Ninjago fans smiles to their faces. Read why below. Just be vary of spoilers.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 92

In the First Realm things are picked up where we left them in the last episode. Faith is captured and, just like the title suggest, the ninja will try to save her. True, mostly due to Wu’s insistence that it’s important to “have faith”. Only, he takes it way too literally. Not that I mind, mind you, I really like her character. Naturally, in the process they themselves get captured. They’re, however, quite relaxed about the situation and even kind-of-sort-of manage to plant the seed of disdain within the ranks of the Dragon Hunters. The almost rebellion is crushed by the Iron Baron, however, and the ninja get electrocuted. This jogs Wu’s memory and he recalls his past. Getting his mojo back he quickly remembers that no chains can bind him, gets out of them and proposes to Iron Baron that they go get the Dragon Armor together. Provided that Iron Baron takes them back to Ninjago once he has it.

If you thought that was bad – wait until you learn about what transpires in Ninjago City. As you recall, in the last episode, the resistance tried to take Garmadon’s power by having Skylor, who was brought in front of him by Mistaké (who has transformed to Harumi) touch him. This plan is foiled by the actual Harumi which left them in a bad situation. Mistaké is challenged by Garmadon and she takes him on in her true form, which looks a lot like Garmadon’s evil form. In the battle’s confusion Harumi manages to get his power and run away. However, Mistaké is captured, and then killed (off-screen), or, at least, it was strongly implied that she was.

Skylor gets back to the resistance, informs them of Mistaké’s fate and then tries to control Garmadon’s colossus. In the end, she is successful – she destroys the Oni Mask of Deception and almost gets Garmadon. However, Garmadon’s power proves too much for her to handle and she falls into a catatonic state. The colossus falls onto a building in which Harumi rescues a kid whose fate could’ve been like hers. Having no escape, she accepts her fate and dies in the building’s collapse. Her and Lloyd “exchange” (she was very far away, it was more psychological) final looks. I’m happy that the writers decided to not let her miss her last chance at (a small) redemption. The episode ends with Lloyd, Nya and Dareth taking care of Skylor.

It was a very tense episode, with a touch of silly on the First Realm side of things. I really liked it.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 4 comments

Sanctum of Inner Piece

That’s right, there’s a pun in the title! *puts his bad joke hat down* Ninjago, in my opinion, does not get enough buildings as official sets. Luckily for us, there are people like Rollon Smith, who help ease the pain. This particular creation of his even includes a detailed terrain – something you don’t often see in official sets.

Snake Samouraï Temple

This build is just so full of small details! And so many printed/sticker-ified pieces and, interestingly enough, some parts you don’t come across that often anymore. Like the pieces used to build the windows of the temple. The surrounding walls have a really nice motifs, made out of old snake parts. But beyond all that, the main reason I like this build so much is that it tells a story. The characters look alive and are included superbly. I especially like the guy harvesting rice? cutting reeds? I guess it’s up to the viewer’s interpretation. Like all art should be.

Posted by Robert in MOCs, Ninjago, 4 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 91 – semi-review

We’re getting back into the rhythm of giving semi-regular semi-reviews with episode 91, ‘The Weakest Link’. And just like the title suggests, this episode was one of the weaker ones this season, but with good reason – it sets up many of the plot lines for their grand finale(s). Read what happens in it, together with our thoughts, at your own peril, for there are spoilers abound.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 91

In the First Realm, the Dragon Hunters who are chasing the ninja go into Oni territory. Faith learns what cake is, the ninja how to use chain-guns. Zane, naturally, does it correctly on his first try. The rest have a hard time, especially Wu. Applying their newfound skills they catch a Stormbringer Dragon and Wu learns how to ride it – for a while. The Dragon Hunters catch up to them and Iron Baron promises to whoever catches the ninja that he (or she) will be his number two. This, however, wasn’t the ninja’s first tango and they manage to outsmart them and take over the Dieselnaut. In the end, however, it was Faith’s sacrifice that let them escape.

On the Ninjago side of the episode, we start of with Harumi being tied and Lloyd deciding not to use her Oni Mask of Hatred, even though everybody else recommends he does. Instead, he comes up with a more devilish plan – he’ll send Mistaké (disguised as Harumi) and Skylor to steal Garmadon’s power to control the Colossus. Harumi manages to trick Dareth – just how is not shown, ties him up and interrupts the plan at the last second – just as Skylor was about to take Garmadon’s power.

As I’ve mentioned in the first paragraph – the episode does not offer a lot of progression, but does set up nicely for the things to come and, for that reason alone, it’s describe it as “good”. What are your thoughts?

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 3 comments
Ninjago in Turkish Airlines’ Safety Video

Ninjago in Turkish Airlines’ Safety Video

Turkish Airlines has published a new safety video on it’s YouTube channel, featuring many characters from LEGO Movies. All of the past movies – The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie are all featured. However, the main “instructors” are Emmet and Wyldstyle, the main characters of the first LEGO Movie.

The video is much more fun that the usual safety videos. I wouldn’t mind seeing something similar being used by other airlines.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 0 comments

Seafood Always Tastes Best When It’s Floating

Who says people of Ninjago near water – they live in the sky too! Ninjago City is, first and foremost, a technological wonder so, naturally, it also has a floating part. And, it seems that de-marco, a skilled builder who prefers minifigure scale, agrees with me. Here’s his vision of a small part of such a floating city.

AirCity - Seafood shop

Man, I love that fish! Easily, my favorite part of the build. It’s build brilliantly and, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how. Naturally, the rest of the build is magnificent as well. As a whole, it’s packed with many details and interesting techniques. They really tie up the whole piece together. The various approaches to the roofs, which I always like to see, give the build’s style a somewhat alien, yet familiar feeling of the lower layers of Ninjago City. If I had to sum it all up in one word – I’d definitely use ‘superb’.

Posted by Robert in MOCs, Ninjago, 0 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 90 – semi-review

Getting back on track of giving, truly late, reviews of Ninjago episodes – it’s time we reviewed episode 90, called ‘Two Lies, One Truth’. The title seems to reference the popular, at least during team-buildings, game ‘Two Truths and a Lie’. Perhaps this is also a reference to Tommy Andreasen’s tweet for April Fools’? The episode is quite good, with one scene that almost ruined the whole season for me. More about that after the usual break. Naturally, there will be spoilers abound.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 90

In the first realm Iron Baron finds his subordinates in the desert and is informed of Heavy Metal/Faith’s betrayal. Jet Jack volunteers herself to hunt her and the ninja down while they continue going “towards” the golden dragon armor. Or at least towards wherever Master Wu’s gut is leading them to. One of the best, at least cinematics wise, chase scenes in Ninjago ensues and it even involves a dragon.

After they escape they come upon an (abandoned) Oni City! But there is no armor to be found! Faith rages, but Wu manages to escape her wrath by finding a map to the armor. The map shown in the episode is not complete, but the armor is clearly marked. What’s more interesting to me is that there is a hint of some kind of a large city, with asian-styled buildings, on it. I hope we will get to see it some time in the future.

The Ninjago Realm part starts with a huge reveal that kind of was done in the previous episode – Mistaké is an Oni. And she is quite old. Apparently, she came to Ninjago in the “Time of Legend” (that’s how Lloyd referred time of Ninjago’s creation as), chasing the First Spinjitzu Master. Her, and her teammate’s, goal was to either convert him or kill him. However, Mistaké feel in love with Ninjago and sabotaged the operation. She’s been helping the First Spinjitzu master ever since.

The next scene in Ninjago City is the one I was talking about in the beginning of the post. Harumi, somehow, manages to convince Garmadon to adopt her. What. The guy who cold-heartedly killed Mr. E for failing to track down Lloyd. Almost killed Harumi for the same reason. And wants to kill Lloyd, his true flesh and blood, for apparently no reason, since he has place for love in his heart. Oh, and, he’s destroying Ninjago so he can protect it against an unknown darkness. Right. If you love something, destroy it. If it rebuilds, it was always yours. I guess that was the sentiment.

Towards the end of the episode the resistance manages to outwit the Sons of Garmadon once more and capture Harumi in a true ninja style. This sequence and the one before (Oni City), definitely, requested the episode. What were your thoughts on the episode?

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 9 comments

Ninjago at SDCC

Just like last year, Ninjago had a strong presence at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con, on the off chance you don’t know). Similarly, we didn’t go this year either, but, thanks to BrickFan, who was kind enough to tweet-out the entire experience, it’s as though we were there ourselves. Fortunately, there were no Ninjago exclusives this year either, so there is very little that we missed, regarding Ninjago info/memorabilia.

Ninjago at the SDCC - logo

The theme for this year’s panel was “Love” – in all of it’s shapes and forms. The panel lasted about an hour, and here’s a rough timeline of the discussions, together with some commentary:

  • Trailer for Ninjago: Hunted was shown. It’s been available online for a while and you can see it here.
  • Voice actors talked about their experiences and the fact that they can be given their lines without a context.
  • Tommy Andreasen’s all-time favorite clip was shown. It’s Nya telling Lloyd to believe in himself.
  • Concept art was shown, mostly for Ninjago: Hunted.
    • Various versions of Dragon Hunters were shown. Personal favorites for Dragon Hunter versions are: Magic Knights, Knightpunks and Samurai.
    • Concept art of Dragons was truly epic. Most of then were more “Asian” in style.
  • Snake Jaguar was referenced, so maybe he’ll return in the future? Apparently it’s the middle name of Kelly Metzger’s (voice of Nya) son.
  • Karaoke time – panel participants sang The Fold – The Weekend Whip.
  • Q&A session. For me, only two questions/answers were interesting:
    • Golden Ninja may return.
    • Ninjago might get an anime version. This is something they’re already playing with.
  • Future reveals:
    • In 2019 Ninjago will get additional 6+ hours of content. This includes a four-part special and, most likely, an entire season.
    • There will be four special episodes, for a total of 100 episodes. This count includes the two pilots, but, for some reason, excludes Day of the Departed.
  • Sneak peek of 100th episode was shown. In the clip Kai is giving advice to Jay how to ask Nya to make their relationship more “official”. Towards the end Dareth joins them. You can see the clip here.

To me, the panel was quite interesting. Hopefully it will be made available on Youtube at some point. Perhaps the slides as well.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 19 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 89 – semi-review

As I’ve mentioned in the last semi-review, episodes are getting progressively better with time, making me, once more, excited to see each new one. Episode 89, ‘The Gilded Path’, is my favorite episode of the season, at least from the ones I’ve seen so far. Why it is so, read below. Just be vary of spoilers.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 89

The episode starts off with Sons of Garmadon invading the headquarters of the resistance. Dareth tries to stop them with his newfound powers, but he still has to go to the bathroom every time he uses them. Nya, Skylor and Dareth escape with Lloyd in the scrap-tank. During the escape Garmadon almost crushes them with his colossus, however in a moment of weakness his control slips and they manage to escape. I feel like the tank should’ve been included with 70658 – Oni Titan. After they escape, the four of them go into hiding and meet up with Mistaké who’s comes to them in form of a rat. Think who has the power to transform *hint*hint*.

The First Realm part of the episode starts innocently enough, with Wu dreaming of a fishing trip he went on with his father and Garmadon. It makes me wonder whether we’ll see this version of the First Spinjitzu Master in one of the Bricktober minifigure packs in the future. In any case, when Wu wakes up he is no longer a preschooler but a teenager. The ninja chat with him, but are quickly interrupted by Heavy Metal. Who turns out to be a girl named Faith. Apparently, she’s been working for Iron Baron under false pretenses. She wants to get rid of the Oni, and she needs to get the Dragon Armor to do that. Wu’s instincts kick in and he starts leading Faith and the ninja towards it. Faith explains the legend of the First Spinjitzu Master who, apparently, with the help of the Firstbourne, forged the Dragon Armor. At the end of the episode they’re approached by Dragon Hunters who they overpower and take their land-airplanes.

Overall, the episode was almost non-stop action, but very tasteful action, so I liked it a lot. A few shocking reveals, a couple of deus ex machinas, one great episode.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 2 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 88 – semi-review

I’m getting a little behind on these, hopefully, just like the TV show, I’ll be able to pick up the pace. In any case, episode 88, called ‘How to Build a Dragon’ (a obvious pun on ‘How to Train Your Dragon’), was quite good, but not as good as the rest of the episodes in this season so far. The episode, in my eyes, serves as a good setup for the next few. Thankfully, the episodes that follow are much better – managed to watch them all on my train ride! Don’t let that stop you from reading our, spoiler-full, review below.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 88

The episode starts off with a flashback to Jay’s childhood and the time he meet Wu. The flashback is revealed to be a part of Jay’s dream that gets interrupted by Lloyd’s broadcast (which he did in the previous episode), or at least a part of it. His words were apparently strong enough to shatter the barrier between realms. This lifts his spirit and he gets back to his old self. He comes up with a plan how to free all of them – by making a mechanical version of the Firstbourne. They do just that, but don’t manage to overpower the Dragon Hunters, until the real Firstbourne appears! Under the cover of her attack they manage to escape and free all of the captured dragons. Highlight of the “First Realm part” of the episode where definitely Wu’s wisecracks, which I typically dislike but were quite good this time around. There was also one disturbing reveal – the Dragon Hunters eat dragons. Take that as you will.

The resistance celebrates their victory in Ninjago. Dareth tries to join in on the fun but is ignored by the rest of the members. It’s not all bad though, since that pushes him into getting his own powers, finally! However, they come with a heavy price – he has to pee every time he uses them. Thanks to the fact that the resistance managed to hijack the TV station Garmadon lashes out at Harumi and almost kills her. She however buys herself another chance by revealing the location of the resistance to him. They start their ambush of the resistance just as the episode ends.

As you can see, there isn’t to much going on in this episode, but, trust me, it works as an excellent interlude into what’s to follow.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 4 comments
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