The Idhun Chronicles

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The Idhun Chronicles
Idhun.jpg
A necromancer sucked all the magic out of both Idhun and this show.
Genre: Animated
Fantasy
Running Time: 25-27 minutes
Country: Spain
Release Date: September 10, 2020 – January 8, 2021
Created by: Laura Gallego
Andrés Carrión
Distributed by: Netflix
Starring: Itzan Escamilla
Michelle Jenner
Sergio Mur
Nico Romero
Carlos Cuevas
David Jenner
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 10


The Idhun Chronicles (original title: Memorias de Idhún) was a Spanish anime-style fantasy animated series produced by Zeppelin TV for Netflix. It was based on the Idhún's Memories book trilogy by Laura Gallego, who also was on board as co-developer and co-writer with Andrés Carrión, although the produced episodes only covered the first volume, The Resistance. The series was cancelled in 2021 due to poor reception and a deal to adapt the remaining two books not being reached.

Plot

Necromancer Ashran has seized power in the world of Idhun through an astral conjunction, wiping out its dragons and unicorns, the source of its magic. He has sent an assassin, Kirtash, to hunt down every user of magic in Idhun, even those exiled to Earth. Impulsive orphan Jack joins the Resistance against Ashran after the murder of his parents at the hands of Kirtash.

Bad Qualities

  1. Short and noisy opening card that wasn't pleasant to watch.
  2. Lack of dramatic feeling in the opening scenes with the murder of Jack's parents, which should be a pivotal moment but feels like a formality.
  3. The short runtime and the complex worldbuilding meant that, during the first season, exposition usually took the lion's share of the episodes, preventing the story proper from advancing at the right pace.
  4. Netflix relied too much on names from other of their Spanish originals to bring eyes to the show when casting the leads. With the exception of Michelle Jenner, they had little if any experience in voice acting, and it shows most of the time. Itzan Escamilla in particular stands out for all the wrong reasons; at some points, he sounds like he got drunk, stoned or just wants to get it over with and leave.
    • Possible case of executive meddling, as Laura Gallego stated that she had intervened in casting the leads before Netflix recast them all.
  5. The animation and character designs are pretty unconvincing even for animesque cartoon standards, feeling like a rip-off of The Rising of the Shield Hero art style; in fact, Jack literally looks like Naofumi Iwatani but with blonde hair.
    • By the way, Jack & Victoria are supposed to be 13-year-olds at the beginning of the series, but sound and look more like college students.
  6. In spite of the characters being likable, the main character Jack is just uninteresting. As this is noticeable in the first episodes, where he is always whining in which results in making him a very annoying character to watch.
  7. The original book was published in 2004, and some aspects suffer with the setting update to the late 2010's and early 2020's. With the rise of social media, the arc of Chris Tara, an anonymous singer who catches worldwide attention purely for his music while otherwise remaining entirely off the grid, feels unrealistic.
  8. The Kirtash-Victoria-Jack love triangle comes out of nowhere on season 2, as there hadn't been enough time to show or even hint that either of them had fallen for Victoria, or her for them.

Good Qualities

  1. In season 2, although Itzan Escamilla as Jack is still bad, the overall level of the acting rises with Nico Romero only appearing briefly in the finale and David Jenner (Michelle's brother, who is also a professional voice actor) replacing Carlos Cuevas. Michelle Jenner and the secondary cast also do an excellent job. On that note, these issues with the leads are thankfully absent from the international dubs.
    • In particular, the English dub, which features the likes of Griffin Burns, Erika Harlacher, Griffin Puatu and Johnny Yong Bosch, turns out better than the original Spanish dub.
  2. Some well-recreated real locations, such as the subway station in Madrid from episode 2.
  3. Besides the opening, the soundtrack is enjoyable specially "Beyond", Chris Tara's hit single.
  4. The non-human creatures are mostly well designed, the Sheks in particular.
  5. There some likable characters like Victoria and Alsan, as Kirtash has a good role as an antagonist.

Reception

The series was met with mixed to negative reviews upon debuting, and was mostly panned for its voice acting, with some Spanish reviewers encouraging viewers to switch to the English dub. Other flaws in script or animation were also pointed out. It has a average 5.4/10 rating on IMDb.

Videos

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