Love, Death + Robots is among Netflix’s most creative and refreshing series, bringing together talented artists to work on an anthology of short, often immaculately animated stories revolving around various science fiction and horrifying subject matters. With such a deep well of great episodes to choose from when considering what’s the best, we came up with a list that celebrates some of the highlights of the series.
Before we begin, the list is mainly assembled from a mix of our personal opinions and what is generally considered the best across forums and message boards. Everyone will have different opinions on their favourite episodes, so we did our best to take into account the consensus. As a result, we couldn’t include everything, so here are a few honourable mentions: Shape-Shifters, The Witness, Jibaro.
READ MORE House of The Dragon Gets Official Trailer
8. Night of the Mini Dead
Night of the Mini Dead from season 3 presents a wholly original take on the age-old zombie apocalypse. The short, barely scratching 5 minutes, hastily assembles a story about a zombie outbreak that devastates the world. However, it’s uniquely told through the use of miniatures, adding biting satire and hilarious sound design to the tired concept. It easily ranks among the series’ funniest episodes.
7. Zima Blue
A fan-favourite episode, Zima Blue tells the story of the titular famous artist who recounts his history before unveiling his final work. Up until this point in the first season, the animation ranged from hand-drawn to CG, but this episode delivers a strikingly bold art style that almost seamlessly blends both, all while telling a simple story with a bizarre – yet relevant – twist ending.
6. Good Hunting
Good Hunting originates from a familiar Chinese myth, telling the tale of a huli jing, a shape-shifting spirit creature, that befriends the son of a spirit hunter. The animation is subdued yet dazzling, resembling Japanese animation. It’s a gripping short with a profound message that ranks among the series’ best and most impactful episodes.
5. The Secret War
The animation in Love, Death + Robots has always been of high-quality, but the first season’s final episode, The Secret War, features some of the most mind-blowing CG of the series. The story focuses on a group of Russian soldiers who encounter an army of horrifying monsters lurking deep in the Siberian forests. The story is an all-out battle for survival and it’s honestly astonishing that it managed to fit so much nail-biting action into 16 minutes.
4. Sonnie’s Edge
The pilot episode that started it all, Sonnie’s Edge made an incredible first impression for the series. Set in an underground society that hosts “beastie” fights, Sonnie is a trainer who telepathically connects with her beast to take part in the monstrous brawls. However, there’s a lot more going on that leads to a surprising and dark ending. Depending on who you ask, the series’ first episode still has yet to be topped.
3. Beyond the Aquila Rift
Beyond the Aquila Rift is one of the many episodes of Love, Death + Robots that catches you off-guard and makes you ponder what you just saw. After wandering around in space, a ship’s crew struggles to determine their location and unfortunate situation they find themselves in. That’s about as much story as you need because it constantly throws you for a loop, culminating in an unforgettable twist ending.
2. Pop Squad
Pop Squad is what you get when you cross Blade Runner with Children of Men. Despite being only 18 minutes long, it somehow packs enough content to feel like an entire movie. This is thanks to a strong emotional premise anchoring it, set in a future where police officers mercilessly enforce population control while the few rich thrive. It has all the ingredients for what makes Love, Death + Robots great: beautiful animation, terrific social commentary and solid world-building.
1. Bad Travelling
When you take a Hollywood director as big as David Fincher and let him run wild with animation ideas, you get the best episode of Love, Death + Robots. Bad Travelling follows a ship crew that encounters a sea monster capable of communication. The monster quickly seizes the ship with an ulterior motive. As narratively compelling as it is expertly animated and directed, the episode embodies everything amazing about the series in an exciting 23 minute package.
Love, Death + Robots is currently available to watch on Netflix.