Love, Death & Robots: Season 1 recap and review

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Good Hunting

A Chinese boy, Liang, and his father, a spirit hunter, await the coming of a creature who supposedly bewitches men. She has cast her spell on a local man and they have been hired to defend him.

A beautiful woman arrives and must defend herself against the attack of the spirit hunter. Liang is called on to throw a pot of piss on her to keep her from transforming into her true form but is entranced by her gaze. The spirit hunter throws the piss and she is trapped halfway between human and animal.

They pursue her to her den, where Liang meets one of the creature’s cubs, her daughter Yan. She explains to him that it is she who must answer the call of the man who has fallen in love with her, that it was the man who wouldn’t leave her mother alone.

The spirit hunter sneaks up behind the mother as she is calling to Yan and beheads her. Liang saves Yan, telling his father that he has seen no sign of cubs.

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As Liang grows up, he remains friends with Yan. The coming of the railways leads Liang to explore the world and become an expert in mechanics as technology advances into the traditional world. As for Yan, the growing technology means the death of magic in the world and she can no longer change into her true form.

One night in Hong Kong, Liang runs into Yan who is being harassed by a group of British men. She is a prostitute, but she tells them she’s done for the night and they won’t take no for an answer. Liang intervenes and takes her away.

She dreams of transforming and hunting in this concrete jungle, growling in the faces of all the men who think they can own her.

Technology in the city is of the stream punk variety and Liang gets interested in robotics, something akin to magic for him. One night, Yan comes to find him and she’s been transformed into a machine. A client of hers drugged her and forced procedures on her, then forced himself on her.

She killed him eventually and now wants Liang to help change her. He agrees and performs a series of complicated and painful procedures on her, eventually giving her a body that can transform from human to her natural animal form. It’s not quite magic, but now she’s free to hunt and to protect other women from men who would hurt them.

I love this unusual story of the subtleties of sexual harassment, how the blame is often placed on the woman for supposedly encouraging advances when they haven’t done any such thing. The world it takes place in is magical, even with the coming of technology, and utilizes the overused and gimmicky steampunk style to great effect.