Review: Tigtone “Tigtone and His Fellowship Of; Tigtone and the Beautiful War”

He fights with his name, we write with it: Tigtone is finally here!

Overview

After adventuring and completing a quest for the King Queen, our hero Tigtone is treated to a lovely chicken dinner. However, it is spoiled when they all realize the chicken tastes terrible because it has no “soul.” After some exposition from a very convenient book, they realize Wodsor the Conquerator the Necromancer has commanded living skeletons to harness the souls of chickens in order to power his rock army. Tigtone — notorious for working alone — is about to venture off to stab his brain, but the King Queen insists that he take their fellowship with him; Poach-or, Axeanne, and Red√ľndart. Dismissing them entirely, the three of them die horrible, Tigtone related deaths before he meets Helpy: a regenerative creature who seemingly cannot die (a perfect companion for Tigtone.) He rescues Helpy from his bonds in Wadsore’s lair (whom Wodsor was sucking his sweet, sweet life juices from) and they aid each other in stabbing Wadsore’s brain (at the right, most dramatic moment of course.) Tigtone then reflects upon his odd, new companion as he writes in his journal, and the pair goes off on their next adventure.

Following the end of “Tigtone and His Fellowship Of” comes “Tigtone and the Beautiful War.” Lord Festus — Tigtone’s self-proclaimed arch nemesis — is torturing people in his terrible land when a mysterious rain starts to turn everything beautiful. He hates this unabashedly, so he summons Tigtone and Helpy to stop it (under a half-hearted threat that he’ll destroy the world otherwise.) As the stakes are now high, Tigtone and Helpy discover that the rain is actually Pegasus blood from the heavens above. When the pair ascends, they find a beauty war taking place between two sides of Pegasi that they must bring to an end. In a cloud cave they discover a common, ugly horse — Zlotovf — who shares a tale of the “ugly” realm above their current one. Tigtone and Helpy realize that the blood of those creatures could be used to make the Pegasi ugly — thus ending the war and bringing ugliness to the lands below once more. However, once Tigtone and Helpy get there, they discover that all they had to do was call the creatures ugly: resulting in their tears doing the same job. Normalcy returns; Tigtone and Festus are enemies once more.

Our Take

Right off the bat, anyone who had previously seen the 2014 pilot for Tigtone (“The Begun of Tigtone”) had quite a lot to be excited for. After years of lying in wait, Tigtone has finally come back with a vengeance. Under the wonderful animation direction of Titmouse, Inc. — the same studio that brought us Metalocalypse, The Venture Bros., and Superjail! — things looked extremely promising for Tigtone as a series; and its online premiere did not disappoint.

This is a series for the Dungeons & Dragons player — for the Fantasy RPG lover, and for anyone who loves when character dialogue and archetypes are turned upside-down. Diving straight into the show, the viewer is thrown into animation that always seems as though the entire world is just living, breathing, D&D box art. Granted, even though the stylistic choices when it comes to its visuals can be limiting to the show, Tigtone doesn’t waste much time in making sure its audience doesn’t get too hung up on it’s After Effects-ish, drag-and-puppet style.

Tigtone baits its viewers by posing itself as a typical, adult-rated adventurer show, but immediately takes the watcher into a world where the characters speak almost exclusively in trope-y lines — even ones wherein the situation doesn’t call for it. The humor can be beautifully summarized as caricature based — over-blowing the image of what the average adventurer is, accompanied by other characters (King Queen as a stereotypical noble, Helpy as the stereotypical wacky — yet helpful — companion creature, etc.) Many classic video game mechanics are delightfully used as storytelling devices to tell viewers that they themselves are immersed in a game-like world. Often times throughout, both stories played aesthetically as if they were tales from someone’s basement campaign gone wrong (read: gone right) — wherein the all the players’ characters were chaotically aligned.

The voice acting adds to the show’s faux-immersion, with all-star names tackling a few roles and making things even more hilarious than they already are. With Cree Summer as Axeanne, John DiMaggio as Lord Festus, and even Tom Kenny taking on several minor roles, the star power in Tigtone is already shining bright enough to power an entire solar plant. Nils Frykdahl and Debi Derryberry do an outstanding job as Tigtone and Helpy. Their voices truly add something unique and recognizable to the series that separates them from any other (rule of thumb: if you can guess who a character is just by the sound of their voice, it’s probably good voice acting.)

The mechanics of Tigtone’s world of the story are joyfully topsy-turvy, yet still, retain narrative shape — which is something not many shows containing alternative comedy as its base for the plot can do well. Creators Andrew Koehler and Benjamin Martian have definitely made an impression with this new series. With all the good, it leaves plenty of room for experimentation when it comes to how they can improve the animation — which seems to be the only real pitfall at the moment. Shows such as Bojack Horseman tend to fix this problem by relying heavily on the art direction and experimenting with modes of storytelling, so perhaps Tigtone could follow a similar lead. It’s a wonder if each new episode will bring new characters every time, or if old ones will be reoccurring, but it’s hysterical to think about how character establishment may not matter in a show that can just as easily throw out the “arch nemesis” character in alliance with the humor.

There were too many gags to detail favorites — both episodes give the series a strong start. All things depending, Adult Swim may just wind up with its newest hit. Adventure awaits!

Score
8/10

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

Kayla Gleeson has 41 posts and counting. See all posts by Kayla Gleeson