Wakfu Season 1 Review


 

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Episode Guide

The Child from the Mist
Yugo the Eliatrope
The Black Crow
The Ugly Pageant
The Magnificent Five
Vampyro
Poisonous Beauty
Xav the Baker
Ruel’s Bag
The Gobbowl Inferno – Part 1
The Gobbowl Inferno – Part 2
The Gobbowl Inferno – Part 3
Calm Blue Sea
Moon Island
Adamai
The Eliacube
Grougaloragran the Eternal
The Brotherhood of the Tofu
The Sadida Kingdom
The Tree of Life
Igol
Rubilax
The Quest for the Dofus
Reunion
I Am A Legend
Mount Zinit

 

French animation Wakfu is a highly imaginative fantasy that manages to combine memorable characters into a lighthearted, story-driven adventure. The combination of episodic and serialised episodes works well here too although the show suffers a little from a slightly overlong run time and a few too many episodes. Having said that, Wakfu’s creative ensemble of characters makes the show a real spectacle and combined with some of the best artwork seen in an animated title in quite some time, make this one highly underrated show.

After an epic showdown between two mighty powerhouses, twisted, Wakfu-obsessed Nox (Arthur Bostrom) and Yugo’s mysterious guardian Grougaloragran (Benoit Allemane), the story settles into a consistent rhythm with Yugo (Jules de Jongh), a baby who’s adopted by the Mayor of a small village and raised as his own. As Yugo grows into a young boy, he discovers the power to create portals through the use of a mystical energy called Wakfu. As he sets out to discover who his parents are under the ever-watchful eyes of Nox and his minions from afar, he teams up with a merry band of misfits who all follow Yugo with their own reasons for joining. Sir Percedal (Ross Grant) and his demon sword Rubilax front as the clumsy muscle of the group, greedy, coin-hungry Ruel (Hugo Chandor) is the comic relief and Evangelyne (Jules de Jongh) and Princess Amalia (Jessica Bell) add a touch of feminine class to the team with their royal quest to get back to their Kingdom. Despite the stark differences between them all, the five characters work surprisingly well together and their harmony helps to create a tight bond that makes it easy to root for them during their perilous journey.

After a couple of serialised episodes, Wakfu slots into a more formulaic structure with each episode advancing the story a little but mostly holding a stand alone plot. This episodic structure during the first half of the show does slow the pace considerably but also helps to learn more about the Magnificent Five and grow their relationships with one another out in a believably paced way. Around the midway point of this 26 episode, 9 hour+ animation, there’s an injection of slightly urgency as the focus shifts to advancing the overarching plot whilst providing each character with their own journey through to the climactic end.

Wakfu is certainly an acquired taste and in many ways the first few episodes are a little deceptive in gauging what the show is actually like. The darker tone radiating from Nox, the self-proclaimed Time Wizard gives the impression Wakfu is a serious animated title with sprinkles of humour akin to that of Dragon Ball Z when the reality is that Wakfu is far more lighthearted in tone than it would lead you to believe. There will of course be those who instantly fall in love with this show and although it does suffer a little from an overlong run time and a few too many episodes, there’s enough variety and content in the episodes to keep this one fresh and exciting through to the final episode.

From bread golems and vampires to dragons and giant sea creatures, there’s no denying that Wakfu is bursting with creativity. The art style is so gorgeously rendered, so exquisitely drawn that it makes some of the slower moments worth persevering with as you admire the sheer beauty radiating from every scene. There’s a slight minimalist style with the way each character is drawn too which juxtaposes nicely with the detailed backdrops but each character has enough personality in their facial expressions and mannerisms to keep each unique and recognisable.

Wakfu’s tone, long run time and mixture of episodic and serialised episodes won’t be for everyone. This is certainly an animation with an acquired taste and perhaps that’s some of the reason this one has flown so low under the radar. It’s certainly a surprise too as Wakfu is an impressive animation with some truly gorgeous art work. The characters are well written and the transition from an episodic  to serialised structure late on is well paced and masterfully crafted. The story itself is endearing, albeit a little predictable, but the satisfying ending helps to alleviate some initial concerns this breeds. Discovering Yugo’s origins as well as seeing the other characters discovering their potential and completing their own quests make this a satisfying season to watch. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with a second season but if you’re even the slightest bit curious, Wakfu is a solid entry into the animated world but also likely to be like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it but if you fall on the former, there’s nothing quite like Wakfu out right now.

  • 8.5/10
    Verdict - 8.5/10
8.5/10