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Daily DripEntertainment

Chinese Youth Cosplay Netflix’s ‘Love Death & Robots’

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The perfect blend of short stories, sci-fi, fantasy, and dastardly good animation, Love Death & Robots dropped its third season on May 20, much to the excitement of fans in China.

hashtag for the series on the microblogging platform Weibo, which had hit 120 million views at the time of writing, has also invited a torrent of comments, mostly positive. Characters from the latest season of Love Death & Robots have also caught the attention of cosplayers.

Since its launch in 2019, Love Death & Robots has followed an unconventional premise: Each episode unfolds in a separate universe, and its creators — from entirely different production teams — must address at least one of the three themes in the program’s title.

Love, Death & Robots

A still from ‘Jibaro’ in season three of Love Death & Robots. Image via Twitter

On Douban, an IMDb-like user review platform in China, the third season of Love Death & Robots has scored 8.5/10 and has been voted on more than 180,000 times.

Netizens seem to have particularly enjoyed the first and last episodes of the new season.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Titled ‘Three Robots: Exit Strategies,’ the first episode features three lovable robots as they explore the remains of human civilization on a post-apocalyptic Earth.

The trio eventually tracks down a few ‘fortunate’ survivors that have successfully relocated elsewhere in the universe. One almost expects these survivors to be ultra-rich, tech-savvy elites, but as it turns out, Earth’s sole survivors are cats.

The closing line in the episode — “Who were you expecting? Elon Musk?” — had Chinese netizens in stitches, and some joked, “Cats are the hope of civilization.”

love death robots the witness

A still from ‘The Witness,’ directed by Alberto Mielgo, from season one of the series. Image via Twitter

Saving the best for last, Love Death & Robots ended season three with Alberto Mielgo’s ‘Jibaro.’ The episode has topped Weibo’s trending topic list with almost 37 million views.

While Love Death & Robots rarely sees return directors, Mielgo is also responsible for ‘The Witness,’ a murder sci-fi set in a cyberpunk Hong Kong, in season one.

A heart-racing love story, ‘Jibaro’ revolves around a seductive siren and a deaf knight. They first met by the edge of a pond in the middle of a lush forest, which also happens to be his final destination.

Marked by stunning visuals and a compelling soundtrack, ‘Jibaro’ lingers in the viewer’s consciousness long after it is over. Intrigued by the two characters and their mysterious interaction, Chinese netizens have taken to the internet to discuss the episode’s symbolism.

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In keeping with an unwritten rule of the social media era, is a show even successful if netizens don’t cosplay its characters?

Love Death & Robots has inspired China’s makeup gurus and fashion-savvy crowd, who have taken to various platforms like Weibo and Xiaohongshu to share their faithful cosplay recreations.

Mielgo’s stories, which feature mysterious female leads, have been a favorite jumping-off point for cosplayers in particular.

Cover image via Twitter

Beatrice Tamagno
Beatrice is a graduate student in sociology at Fudan University in Shanghai. Her writings have appeared on SupChina and ChinaNauts, an online magazine she co-founded with fellow researchers from Fudan. When she is not researching gender in contemporary China, you will find her playing mahjong or binging Chinese TV shows.

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