Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.
Red vs. Blue: The Shisno Paradox hit digital platforms this week. With 16 seasons, Red vs. Blue is quite possibly the longest-running animated web series around, and a cornerstone of Rooster Teeth Productions. (I’ve previously covered RWBY, another Rooster Teeth show.)
Red vs. Blue was originally produced using the machinima style of animation, based on the best selling Halo video game. Machinima animation uses real-time video graphics engines, typically from video games, with audio and other effects added. In later years, Rooster Teeth developed dedicated animation techniques, but the overall look and feel of the show remain true to its machinima roots.
If you are not familiar with Red vs. Blue, this sci-fi comedy-action series starts out with two opposing teams of space marines (the Reds and the Blues) guarding an isolated box canyon in the middle of nowhere. They’re bored. They’re a bit clueless. They’re completely unaware of why they are stationed on a useless rock of a planet.
Over time (and many seasons), we slowly learn more, along with our hapless marines. They eventually exceed everyone’s expectations, certainly their own. By the time we reach the end of season 15, the Reds and Blues have been through a lot. They’ve gone from zeros to heroes, uncovering deep conspiracies, making powerful allies, and defeating some big bad baddies.
Minor spoiler alert: Season 16, The Shisno Paradox, tackles that much visited sci-fi trope… time travel. The story starts with a simple quest to get some pizza, but it gets weirder as the plot tramps all over time and space. The Reds and Blues get separated and lost in time. Their time traveling shenanigans turn time upside-down and make them pawns in a war between entities with god-like powers.
It’s a wild ride, with some fun twists and turns, and even a great discussion about how time travel is portrayed in movies. The final episode is… Well, I won’t spoil that for you. You’ll have to check it out for yourself.
Red vs. Blue: The Shinsano Paradox was released on various digital platforms on November 6th, 2018. A Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack will be released on January 1, 2019.