Okay, so this is actually a French tv series based on some obscure comicbook and was funded on Kickstarter: does it get any more indie/hipster than that? Needless to say we were intrigued when the pilot episode came up and boy-oh-boy does it deliver.
Synopsis: “Paxtown is a capital under the influence of drugs and corruption, torn apart by inequality and poisoned by the mafia. Here, trouble lurks at every corner. In this depraved metropolis, Richard Aldana grew up to be a cunning young man, without attachments or ambitions. In his spare time, he boxes. For Aldana, boxing is neither a sport nor a passion; it’s just a way to keep annoyances at bay. Despite having real talent, Richard would rather die than wear satin shirts and participate in the championship of ultra-violent martial arts, the Fist Fight Funeral Cup, for which all of Paxtown turns out.”
This first episode kicks ass in every conceivable way. It’s pretty much a French 80’s style throwback to fast-quipping, hard-punching, gritty crime stories but ALSO has some evil dudes running around experimenting with paranormal superpowers. The animation feels a bit like a motion comic (but much smoother) and the tone of the show has a very European feel to it. Imagine a more straight-up version of FX’s Archer and you’re on your way to getting a grip on Lastman.
The lead character, Richard Aldana, has a very specific sense of humor that anyone who enjoys the old-school action movies of the 80’s will surely appreciate. He’s a bad man, but he’s our bad man- so to speak. Aldana isn’t just a brawler, he has that special brand of charisma that allows him to joke/con/scam his way in and out of a jam, but he’s also headstrong and doesn’t think things through. The show does a great job of subverting your expectations about the typical action genre. Moments you think are going to fall into the typical “cool guy moments” are undercut with humor or an awkward exchange.
It’s not all jokes though, ep 1 of Lastman also lays in the intrigue/mystery and isn’t afraid to get heavy with the dramatics. Jérémie Périn (director) makes it very clear from the outset that this is a show for the r-rated crowd. In an era when finding an animated feature or show that is actually aimed at a mature audience, Lastman could not have come at a better time. Long gone are the days of animated movies like Akira, GitS or Paprika. The only time you’ll see an adult-oriented cartoon now is either on Adult Swim or talking hotdogs making stoner jokes.
Basically this show should be your jimmy-jam if you want some action that can’t be played during naptime at a daycare facility. So, yeah – the first ep hooked us and we want to know more.
Okay – here’s the catch, aside from this first episode you have to subscribe to VRV’s Mondo channel for $2.99/month (though they also have a free trial you can apparently check out). To be honest, $3 to watch every ep isn’t a bad deal, you just have to remember to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to keep watching their content.
If nothing else, check out this first ep of Lastman and let us know what you think on twitter @official_FAN