Ranking Robots: Sonnie’s Edge

Ranking Robots is the newest tri-weekly series that will be making its appearance on the site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as I make my way through Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots. For those that are unaware of the Netflix Original, the show is a series of short stories that have to do with, you guessed it, Love, Death, and Robots. If anyone reading this ever saw the incredible collection of short films called the Animatrix (if you haven’t go check that out now) then you won’t have any trouble jumping into this new series.

Sonnie’s Edge is a technical marvel set in a dystopian future where boxing has evolved into humans synching their minds with monsters that have been ripped straight from our nightmares all in the hopes of winning the next fight. Aside from the technical feat that the episode manages to achieve in which I actually wondered for the first minute or two if the characters I was looking at were created in a computer or played by actors, the most impressive achievement of Sonnie’s Edge is the world that it manages to create in just 17 short minutes. It’s during the episode’s brief run time that audiences get to see the inner-workings of a futuristic city, where we learn about its gang-life, organized crime, and the savage sport referred to as “beastie” fights. The impressiveness doesn’t stop there because, on top of the world building, there’s also a lot of character development. Whether it’s learning of Sonnie’s sexual orientation, her horrible past, or the honor that she and her two friends have when it comes to competing, in such a short amount of time, the writers of this story managed to accomplish what some shows take hours to do.

Overall, Sonnie’s Edge is a brutally beautiful introduction to the series and I’m excited to see if the show has already put its best foot forward or if there are even greater things to come. Sonnie’s Edge not only sets a high bar for the rest of the season but as someone who has loved short-form storytelling for a long time, sets a high bar for this style of storytelling.

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