My Top Five Love Death + Robots Episodes

Athena ScalziLove Death + Robots came out eighteen months ago on Netflix, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. If you don’t know, it’s an eighteen episode anthology of science fiction and fantasy animated shorts. I was so excited for it that I watched it the night it came out, and have seen it several times since. Right away, I developed favorites, and those were the ones I rewatched the most. After it came out, I saw a bunch of people make lists ranking all eighteen of them in order of best to worst, but I figure I’d just tell you guys my top five for now. Slight spoilers ahead!

First up is Sonnie’s Edge. Not only is it the first episode on the list on Netflix, but it’s first in my ranking. In my opinion, they started off the anthology right with this one. It knocks your socks off right from the beginning, from the amazing visuals and insanely realistic art style, to the truly intriguing soundtrack, you’ll be entranced right from the get-go. I adore this one for so many reasons, interesting characters, pleasant on the eyes, and of course, the super cool monster fight scene. And that ending! Killer. I also like that it’s British for some reason.

Love, Death & Robots Episode 1: Sonnie's Edge

Next on my list is The Secret War. Unlike Sonnie’s Edge, this one is actually the last one on the list of the eighteen. Though it is last, it is certainly not least. This one is horrifying, gory, full of cool fight scenes, and tells a super interesting story. The animation is superb too! That’s something that many of the episodes have in common, though.

Secret War | Love, Death & Robots

Third on my list is Sucker of Souls. This one is spooky, fun, hilarious, and I love the drawing style! It has an interesting lore and I enjoy the characters. And I like the ending because it shows not everything has a happy ending, which I appreciate. This one feels like it takes itself less seriously than the others.

Sucker of Souls art

Next up is Beyond the Aquila Rift. I like this one a lot because of the mystery aspect of it, where something is off the whole time but you’re not sure what, and then you get that big shock at the end. It’s pretty quality. And why does everyone think that Greta (or whatever that alien thing pretending to be Greta is) is a bad guy?! Obviously it’s a kind creature trying to give the people that ended up there peace of mind in their final days before death. Why does everyone think it’s a monster?

Love Death and Robots: Beyond The Aquila Rift

Finally, one that’s a bit different from the rest and one I have never seen widely liked that much, Blindspot. I love this one for the wild bunch of characters, the fun style of animation, and the adorable main character newbie that you can’t help but root for. A cyborg heist gang? Who doesn’t love that? This one doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion!

Blindspot art

Honorable mentions! Though these two aren’t in my top five, I thoroughly enjoy Good Hunting and Shape Shifters. In fact, there’s really only a couple of them that I don’t like, otherwise mostly of them are really great!

Oh, additionally, I decided not to put any of my father’s on this list, just because I don’t want to seem biased, not because I don’t like his.

Tell me about your favorites in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I hope you have a great day!

-AMS

22 Comments on “My Top Five Love Death + Robots Episodes”

  1. I think Shape Shifters and Lucky 13 might be my favorites – it does depend on my mood. ;) I got to Marko Kloos from those two, and I don’t always like military scifi. (I was already a fan of When the Yogurt Took Over; Maurice LaMarche narrating was just icing on the cake for that one, for me.)

  2. The one I keep coming back to is Fish Night. What a majestic sense of awe in that one. Also, The Witness, so fun.

  3. I also liked Sonnie’s Edge
    Having read the story its based on I was excited to see it and they definitely got it right

  4. I started reading the incredible catalog of Marko Kloos because of “Lucky Thirteen” and “Shapeshifters”. I already had “Miniatures” and have been slowly chasing down some of the other authors. Some fine new work to peruse. Read about L,D & R “HERE” so tell your dad thanks for that.
    Dave

  5. > And why does everyone think that Greta (or whatever that alien thing pretending to be Greta is) is a bad guy?!

    Thank you! How does anyone mistake this for a horror story?

  6. I’ve only watched a few of the Love Death + Robots episodes. Pre-pandemic I did a lot of my Netflix and Amazon Prime watching on planes flying to work-related meetings. I realized rather quickly that a large portion of the series is a little too explicit for me to be comfortable watching in public. Or at home while my 5-year-old son is awake. (There are other things my wife and I are trying to catch up on in the evenings.)

    That being said, of the things I did watch my favorites are “Three Robots”, “When the Yogurt Took Over”, and “Ice Age”.

  7. Agreed–to me the horror of “Beyond the Aquila Rift” is the realization that everything you knew is gone (Greta being a weird alien just adds to the disorientation).

    I’m sad that Reynolds’s other story, “Zima Blue” wasn’t mentioned. The adaptation left out a few things, but it’s my all-time favorite short story from him, and I’d encourage anyone to read it.

  8. Love Death and Robots is the 2020 version of “Heavy Metal”.

    Zima Blue was probably my favorite. The ending caught me unexpected. .

  9. Hey, this one looks clever:

    WHEN THE YOGURT TOOK OVER
    After scientists accidentally breed super-intelligent yogurt, it soon hungers for world domination.

  10. My hubs and I use a line from “Three Robots” on the regular: “Gentlemen, I’m a cat.”

    That cracks us up. Every. Fucking. Time.

    So, I guess that has to be our fave episode. Can’t wait for more!

  11. Not counting your dad’s stuff, I’d say that your list is almost identical to my own. Especially “Sonnie’s Edge”. I read the story quite a while ago, and the adaption was excellent.

    However, in all honesty, I have probably watched all three of the Scalzi contributions more than anything else. Mostly because they are more upbeat — something sorely needed in 2020. Actually, that is probably the main reason your dad is one of my favorite authors. I love SF because it explores interesting concepts and just generally makes me “think”, but the older I get, the more I just want to be entertained. Especially during this shitshow of a year.

    I used to re-read a lot of Heinlein, especially the juveniles when I needed comfort food for the mind, but in the last few months, Redshirts, Fuzzy Nation, and Android’s Dream have all been very much appreciated for my mental well being.

  12. Blindspot, the cyber heist, annoyed me. The newbie was clearly meant to be the audience surrogate, not knowing anything of what is going on. But wasnt it a “banging shutter” story? The entire episode, the newbie is terrified of all thr things that could go wrong, up to and including getting killed. And in the end, when all his friends are killed, then and only then we learn that the world allows people to do a backup of their consciousness so they cant really die?

    How could “newbie” live in a world where daily consciousness backups are possible, but he didnt know? And if you start the story by establishing that backups are possible, then all the tension of the story goes away.

    The Matrix had to establish early on that dying in the Matrix kills you in real life, otherwise there is no tension for any scene while the characters are plugged in.

    So, Newbie spent the entire episode terrified of all sorts of dangers, only to find out, he lives in a world where people can backup their consciousness, and the fear of death is just a banging shutter, cause you cant actually die.

  13. My favorite to watch is “Suits”. I think my next favorite is “Lucky 13”. I also enjoy all the ones written by your father. My other favorite is “Zima Blue” and “Fish Night”. I did like “Beyond the Aquila Rift”, but it’s so sad. I just feel awful for poor Greta. (Who thinks she’s the bad guy? Silly.) That stupid routing error keeps sending her ships she can’t save, and she can’t make it stop. All she can do is make them comfortable as they die. Heartbreaking. The true bad guy is Archangel Station. It keeps sending ships to their doom.

  14. Totally agree on Sonnie’s Edge. But when they put that at the front, I expected all of them to be as amazing. Kind of set expectations too high. That’s a marketing decision, I guess.

  15. Well, thank you for that first place. Glad you liked it. Sadly they passed on Sonnie’s Union for season two.

  16. Re: picking ones your dad is involved with: you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. People can heckle you for excluding them, people would chide you for including them. I say the best option is to like what you like and write it down, ignoring the haters. You can’t please everybody, and you shouldn’t try.

    Completely agree on Aquila Rift. I read that humans instinctively are afraid of spiders because so many are poisonous to us, so maybe that’s why people lump it into the “monster” category.

  17. Interestingly (to me,) there was a random choice of which episode was first. I watched it on two different Netflix accounts, and I got both Sonnie’s Edge and Beyond the Aquila Rift. Both good, tho!

  18. While I was watching, I think Three Robots was the one I enjoyed the most. But long afterward, the ones that really stuck in my brain were Secret War and Sonnie’s Edge

  19. Is there anywhere that lists which episodes are not gory? I loved three robots, but Sonnie’s Edge was too gory for me and turned me off the rest of the series.

  20. Sonnie’s edge: gore fest

    3 robots: post apocalpse robots in a human-devoid world. All the things that used to have blood in them is dead, so gore is not possible during this episode.

    The Witness: episode starts with a woman witnessing a murder. Then spends an inordinate amount of time in a latex fetish porn movie. So death/gore, then ‘love’, but no robots.

    Suits: straight up bug hunt. On a ridiculous level. Sorry, but if the bugs are that predominate, you’d nuke the place from orbit, not take them on manno-ta-manno.

    Sucker of Souls: demon fights mecenaries. I mean, pretty much tells you its an indulgence in porn violence.

    When the yogurt took over: no gore. Though we do see the sticky gooey insides of a lactase based organism. Narrated by Brain from pinky and the brain, which makes me smile.

    Beyond the Aquila Rift: its the soap opera amnesia episode, that morphs into the evil twin episode, that ends with straight up body horror.

    Spirit Hunter: not gory. Kind of. Guy hunts a magic spirit shapeshifter. Sad though.

    The Dump: straight up violence porn. With a long lead of an anti-government story to justify the gore.

    Shapeshifters: shapeshifting soldiers fighting in afghanistan. So…. yay….

    Helping Hand: its basically a retelling of “The Cold Equations”.

    Fish Night: two guys have an acid trip that ends very badly. Gory? Mmmm…..

    Lucky Thirteen: space marine flying an AI attack ship. Combat porn.

    Zima Blue: no gore. A story plot based not at all on violence.

    Blindspot: cyber humans hijack some stuff. Cartoon violence.

    Ice Age: not gory at all. Hilarious at times. Unusual idea.

    Alternate Histories: discussion of the various ways time travelers try to kill hitler. Maybe not gory, but Hitler dies over and over in increasingly weird ways.

    The Secret War: a straight up bug hunt.

    When I said Love Death and Robots is the 2020 version of the 1981 “Heavy Metal” movie, I wasnt kidding. Heavy Metal is comprised of a bunch of different short stories about the Loch’nar, an object that embodies the sum of all evil in the world, and how it touches and impacts different worlds in different ways. This shows up mostly as some form of violence. And some comedy bits sprinkled in.

    Love Death and Robots is bug hunts, body horror, combat scenes, thievery, and murder. And then it has a couple stories that are NOT explicitely based on violence.

    Three Robots, Zima Blue, When the Yogurt Took Over, and Ice Age, are pretty much the only episodes not explicitely based on violence.

    Its Heavy Metal but with WAAAAY better graphics.

  21. I jam to Good Hunting! As an Asian American kid I hated things that tried to appeal to me, simply cause they didn’t. A lot of them tried too hard to just factor in my ethnic background or the fact that I was female.

    Now that I’m older tho? Oh, yeah, gimmie some strong female protagonists with some Asian lore in it! Throw in a good soundtrack and I’m all set.