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Rimba Racer – Season Two, Episode One Review: “Back In The Game”

by on May 12, 2018
 

The first season of Glue Studios’ Rimba Racer stunned me by how well written it was.  I went into it expecting a fairly straight-forward racing cartoon but quickly found it to be so much more.  Its narrative weaved through many twists and turns, taking the show in unexpected directions and leading up to a season finale that left me floored.  I grew to care about the characters.  I became invested in their struggles and wanted them to succeed.  It left a mark on me, but it wasn’t just the writing that made the show so special.  Rimba Racer is, after all, a cartoon about racing.  I greatly enjoyed the amount of work that went into that aspect of the show.  Each racer has a very distinct vehicle, each with its own special ability, and the tracks are varied with different obstacles that must be overcome.  It allowed for some very frenetic races and it was always interesting to see how they would play out and impact the larger narrative.  I’m pleased to say then that season two, which will premiere on May 19th on the official Rimba Racer YouTube channel, matches that level of quality and may very well surpass it.

If you’re wanting to watch season two, I would strongly advise that you watch season one first if you haven’t already.  I won’t speak of spoilers, but the events of season one cast a long shadow and the characters are still dealing with the ramifications of what happened.  The dynamics of the show have been shaken up – characters are dealing with new revelations or are coping with the new positions they find themselves in.  I was very pleased with how the season premiere handled things, and while we will have to wait a bit to see where it all goes, this was a very promising indicator that all of the twists and turns I mentioned will pay off.

For those new to Rimba Racer, the show is about an up-and-coming street racer named Tag who gets invited to participate in The Rimba Grand Prix, which is the largest and most popular racing league in the world.  Each year, ten elite racers are invited to participate in the six month long event.  Tag was one of three rookies selected in season one, and while rookies usually struggle, Tag had a very accomplished season and is one of the league’s most popular stars entering his sophomore season.  Many of the show’s prominent characters have a page on the Rimba Racer website with more information about them, but season two introduces three new racers: Pike, Vyxx and Xeno.

I have high hopes for all three of these new racers.  In season one, while there were ten racers, only eight were usually doing anything.  Cuckoo and Ooaa were something akin to comic relief, only occasionally doing something on the racetrack that had an impact on its eventual outcome.  By having all ten racers be active players in the plot, I feel that the stories can only get stronger.  Pike is a cunning wolf who has a few tricks up his sleeves.  Vyxx is a domineering hyena lady who towers over the other racers and isn’t afraid to bully them on the track.  Xeno is the hardest one to figure out, as he doesn’t talk, but the first episode makes it clear that actions speak louder than words and that he should be taken very seriously.  I was really impressed with the voice actors chosen for Pike and Vyxx, as they fit the characters very well and I believe fans will be very happy with them.

What I loved most about the season premiere was the race.  It was definitely different than anything that was done in season one and it was a lot of fun.  It was an homage to video games, with speed boosts and power ups sprinkled around the map, and all sorts of different mechanics getting thrown at the racers.  It was probably my favorite race that the show has done.  The visuals were top-notch and the pacing of the race was perfect.  I can’t wait to see what else the team at Glue Studios has to show us going forward.

I have always given Rimba Racer my highest recommendation and I am glad that season two is off to such a great start.  There were a lot of expectations after the first season and I think many studios would have crumpled under the pressure; the people who work on the show deserve to be commended as they did a fantastic job  I consider it to be the best animated program to ever come out of Malaysia and I strongly encourage you all to give it a chance and watch it.  All of season one can be watched on their YouTube channel, and season two will premiere there on May 19th.

 
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