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Glitch Techs is a brilliantly fun, aesthetically pleasing animation that combines its glitzy hand-drawn visuals with some genuinely well written individuals stories and some good morals throughout. With the mainstream media dead-set on painting video games in a negative light, Glitch Techs takes a refreshingly positive slant on the topic (something that Hi-Score Girl did too several years back) and shows the benefits of gaming and the importance of friendship. It’s a really fuzzy, warm animation and one that continues this great partnership between Nickelodeon and Netflix, producing another animated hit.
Split across 9 episodes, the series opens with a 45 minute story that essentially builds the foundation for the remaining episodic segments to follow suit. This episode introduces us to Miko and High Five, two gamers who find their worlds turned upside down when a gaming tournament goes awry. Thanks to a series of coincidental events, Miko and High Five are introduced to BITT, an AI that proceeds to teach them the ways of the Glitch Tech – a group that tackle video game monsters that glitch out of games and go on the rampage.
It’s a simple enough set-up and one that combines the simplistic approach of the gang tracking down and tackling monsters with some of the more reflective and important themes that run through this one. Themes around friendship, teamwork, loyalty and leadership all come to the foreground here, but ultimately all of this is entombed by that overarching message about how video games can bring us together and bring the best out of us. There’s a particular moment in the last episode between two siblings that perfectly conveys this, along with another midway through involving Five’s friend Casino and it’s these moments in particular that perfectly convey this.
Aesthetically, the show looks fantastic. There’s a Gorrilaz-esque quality to a lot of the character designs and the hand-drawn animation works really well against this to add some expressive motions for almost every player. The monsters are imaginatively designed, and the neon-awash colours that bleed through all of this really give the feel of an augmented reality being filtered over the top of our world. Alongside that, some of the cut-away scenes and split-screen shots feel very Anime-like in their execution. It all combines to give this animated title a charismatic charm, something that’s also emulated in fellow 2020 animation Kipo & The Age Of The Wonderbeasts.
The jokes fall predominantly on the slapstick side, which makes sense given this is clearly geared toward children, and some of the larger-than-life segments work really well against the electronica soundtrack that bleeds into the whole video-game style Glitch Techs works so well to convey.
Glitch Techs is a lot of fun. It’s a show that kids will be instantly drawn to and one that adults can enjoy too. In a way, this is a show that’s actually best watched as family entertainment and a reminder that video games aren’t just the bloody, violent, destructive forces they appear to be portrayed as. Glitch Techs blends this in with a colourful host of characters, a well written story and some really nice themes and messages throughout. With 9 episodes and plenty of scope for a second season, Glitch Techs fires on all cylinders and even better – has some bonus levels in store for us later this year!