• Television 

    Five Thoughts on Big Hero 6: The Series‘ “City of Monsters,” Parts 1 and 2

    By | September 6th, 2019
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    The first half of Big Hero 6 season 2 has concluded with a two-part battle against the gang’s mutated rogues gallery, and the truth about Liv Amara and her assistant Chris revealed. Let’s crack on:

    1. Mystery Woman

    So these episodes reveal that Amara’s doppelgänger in cryo is the real deal, and that the one we’ve followed is her clone, Diane (or Di), who was tasked with finding a cure for her progenitor’s condition. Liv, we learn, developed a genetically engineered antibody system called parasynths, which were designed to kill diseases in an effort to improve longevity. However, with no one backing her idea, she tested them on herself, and they turned on her, attacking her healthy cells as well. Karmi hits upon the idea of using tech to cure Liv, even though it’s not her specialty. At first, Hiro rejects the idea of helping Karmi, because of their love-hate relationship, but then Baymax reveals Tadashi had someone to help him program all his medical knowledge, and that it’s not a big deal, science is a collaborative effort.

    Oooh, newly revealed backstory we somehow weren't privy to before.

    Meanwhile, Amara, who doesn’t think Karmi’s working fast enough, has her goons kidnap Wendy Wower – the robotics genius-turned-children’s educator from “Small Hiro One.” I wondered if they would reveal she was the woman who helped Tadashi, but after all this, her identity remains a mystery: either a line got cut for time, or we have a new plot thread for the second half of the season. It’s funny that this show introduced one mysterious woman before even resolving the identity of another.

    2. Keeping Your Cards Close to Your Chest

    After the team rescues Wendy, Amara gets frustrated, to which Momakase responds by revealing she learned the identity of Big Hero 6’s leader while working for Obake: Diane then takes the opportunity to blackmail Hiro into curing Liv by turning Karmi into another monster. While necessary to move the plot along, it did feel rather contrived Momakase sat on this information for all this time, given Hiro has been a thorn in Amara’s efforts and it might’ve been useful to know beforehand. Still, it did provide a chuckle as a piece of characterization, as it shows how independent and calculating Momakase is: she’s probably collecting intel she can use as the right time from us as we speak.

    3. Fantastic Voyage

    It seems every cartoon used to do a homage to Fantastic Voyage, where characters are shrunk down to explore the human body. Here, Hiro and Baymax pilot microscopic version of his microbots from the movie (another great callback), which conveniently display their faces on the modules acting as cameras, meaning they are basically battling the parasynths themselves in Liv’s blood. I gotta wonder how the parasynths are still active when Liv’s in cryo, but hey, it was fun, and in any case, Hiro and Baymax had more to worry about Di tried to clear up this loose end by turning him into a monster. (How’s that for gratitude?)

    Separate these two, and they'll still find a way to fist bump.

    4. Fred is Officially the Deuteragonist

    Hiro introduces all kinds of new toys for the gang in this story, like Wasabi’s plasma shields, Go Go’s hover disc, Honey Lemon’s chemboots, and Baymax’s new detachable, oversized jetpack. Fred gets headlights and the ability to listen in on people, which reinforces my realization with this story that Fred is truly the deuteragonist of the series (after counting Hiro and Baymax as one unit). He does the recap at the start of the second chapter, and then in that half he starts to have a nervous breakdown when he realizes, with Hiro missing, they have no plan to take down Diane’s monsters. However, he does come up with one, and gets Mini-Max to find Ned Ludd, who comes in striding in on an elk because, who else would? Ludd convinces the Bessie monster to return home with him, and so she turns on the others, firing on them with her EMP blast, deactivating the chips causing their transformations. Well done Fred – you’ll make your old man proud!

    Continued below

    5. Art Therapy

    Having become closer to Karmi after working to save Liv (who in turn saved them from her clone), Hiro’s excited to check in on her in her room, but to his surprise she’s left SFIT. Granville explains that being turned into a monster made her parents realize San Fransokyo wasn’t a safe place, and so they packed up and left. However, in a sweet denouement, we see Karmi processing her traumatic transformation by writing more fan fiction, which Hiro reads and clicks the Like button on. I suppose it’s a good message for any kid, as quick as it is, that they too can process freaky things they’ve experienced – like a character they like undergoing a painful metamorphosis, for instance – by writing about it.

    Bonus thoughts:
    – Good Amara is called Liv, bad Amara is called Di – get it?
    – It’s also revealed Chris is a hybrid of human, canine, gorilla and “foodie” DNA, and boy does he look like a tanned Professor Hulk when activated.
    – It’s silly how while demanding Hiro’s location, Wasabi and Fred still accept Chris’s offers for cakes – what if they were poisoned guys?
    – It’s hilarious seeing everyone wear the fake moustaches from “The Bot-Fighter” again.
    – I aspire to be as casual as Patton Oswalt’s Mr. Sparkles, who constantly lounges around on his Mayoi in these episodes.

    Well that’s the first half of season 2 over with: perhaps we’ll see Karmi and the real Liv Amara again, perhaps not. We’ll be back next week with more looks at the next four new episodes airing this month.


    //TAGS | Big Hero 6

    Christopher Chiu-Tabet

    Chris is a writer from London on the autistic spectrum, who enjoys tweeting and blogging on Medium about his favourite films, TV shows, books, music, games as well as history and religion. He is Lebanese/Chinese, although he can't speak Cantonese or Arabic. He also writes for Nerdy POC.

    EMAIL | ARTICLES


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