“Parrot of Doom”
A ghost parrot has been haunting the old mansion of the dreaded pirate, Black Bart. Now the phantom bird has led the pirate’s next of kin to a treasure map. And Benjamin and Zarbi have come to help. However, the lost treasure has more secrets in store. It is either lose the booty or have the long sleep in Davey Jones’ locker.
“The Invisible Thief”
A phantom has been desecrating and stealing from the local bank. But Zarbi believes that the source of the thievery is less-than your average paranormal activity. However, deciphering who the true villain is in this bank heist may prove more problematic than catching the thief.
The Bizarre Stories of Professor Zarbi takes on the theme of treasure in both segments of this episode.
Kicking things off is a classic swashbuckling adventure featuring pirate booty. Complete with ghosts, eye patches, and a parrot with an affection for swear words. Thankfully, this series is adept at playing around with the tropes. The fast-paced plot delivers a fascinating twist that sticks within the genre. But, thankfully, avoids being predictable.
The next treasure hunt goes for the more modern take of a bank heist. Although, it would have been great to see Zarbi and Benjamin on the thieving end, in this story they play the part of solving the mystery. But the heist is just the base of this episode of layered references.
In place of discovering another ghost roaming the halls of the bank, Zarbi is quick to discover that they are after an invisible man. And not the type to be played by Kevin Bacon. Instead, this plot goes into the realm of Middle Earth. Delivering some head-on references to Lord of the Rings. And the all-powerful one-ring, utilized for petty revenge.
The conclusion to the second segment has some questionable motives. Opting not to arrest an obvious bank thief, Zarbi and Benjamin help him to return the money. And instead of being punished, the thief gets a promotion. Which is all well and good. Until the thief becomes the very thing that he was seeking revenge for in the first place.
Of course, this series would not be able to pull off these elaborate stories without the impressive animation. Accomplishing putting an invisible person on screen and have it look good and make sense is a major task. A task that many other shows have used loopholes and tricks to get around. However, the high-quality style of Professor Zarbi makes these little things look easy.
Only a few more episodes remain for the English dub of the first season of Professor Zarbi. Though in Quebec, they are currently enjoying a second collection – which will hopefully be dubbed sooner than later to English. And it is easy to see why it has had success in the primarily French-speaking province. The series delivers classic tropes with new twists and adult themes. These final episodes will hopefully take it to the top.