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GENRE: Anime ORIGINAL AIR DATES: December 7, 2018
// review by EscapeRouteBritish

Yokio Taco Bell.

The wait was unbearable once I had burned through season 1 of Neo Yokio. With the characters in place, I was ready for some much needed lore to flesh out Neo Yokio's history. The stars aligned and the heavens opened, because the Neo Yokio Pink Christmas special came and gave us a whole bunch of answers. Too bad they're in the form of a "What-If" scenario, so who knows what's canon?

It would have been better if they committed to the new lore rather than represent it as a story within a story. We're given extensive explanation of Kaz' heritage. Not only that, the demon war that led to the creation of Neo Yokio City was ripe for picking, and what they picked here was good. It would be a damn shame if they don't commit to it. Without spoiling anything, we get some major bombshells that really help to flesh out Neo Yokio and Kaz Kaan.

Pink Christmas comes in the form of a bespoke bedtime story Charles the Mecha Butler tells to Kaz to help him fall asleep on Christmas Eve. The story focuses on Kaz struggling with his "magistocratic" responsibilities in the lead-up to Christmas. It culminates in a battle between Kaz and a demon, which due to his indecision ends in a cataclysmic disaster. Merry Christmas, everyone's dead.

I'm glad that Richard Aoyade's character, Herbert "Salesclerk" Simms, received a significant amount of screen time. Assuming at least this much is canon, it's nice to have a name for the character I love most from the show. We also learn a lot more about this character in general, his love of sports, and his respect for Kaz Kaan.


Toblerone: the global chocolate of choice!

The one major issue with the series soundtrack is the overuse of classical music when you'd expect something more contemporary in a project from Ezra Koenig. This feature length episode balances it out with a recurring theme song, played on the bass by Arcangelo Carelli, and it's what we call 'lit'. It's absolute fire. We get to hear Jaden Smith put down some horrendous rap bars over it, a rap so bad they acknowledge in-universe.

The series mentioned regularly the mad parties thrown by Freddy Miles, but something really struck me as off about this festive special. There's a segment where Kaz Khaan has his drink spiked with a new designer drug, leading to a hallucinogenic sequence that shows the seeds of a later conflict. I'm sure drug taking happens among elite wealthy bachelors but I have trouble believing that Kaz would ever let his guard down enough for something like this to actually happen. Charles needs to work on his stories.

In a more positive note, Pink Christmas carries a message I believe we can all get behind - in a sense, materialism is not something we should strive for. At a time of year where our value is measured in the presents we receive, it is important to remember the reason for giving. Or as Arcangelo puts it, "fuck material goods".

It's also clear that Neo Yokio has embraced its meme status, featuring giant Toblerone and product placement such as the fairly egregious Pizza Hut watch which is considered some prized piece of desired apparell. You can probably get a watch just like this one with a kids meal.

Pink Christmas is unapologetically more Neo Yokio, and accepts its cult following by hamming up the things fans clutched onto in the original series. I sincerely hope the show continues down the path of satisfying it's small yet devoted fanbase and deliver more of its bizarre memetic goodness.


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