Centaurworld is a weird series to talk about. Megan Nicole Dong’s very different take on an animated musical series explores the story of a warhorse named, appropriately, Horse, as she ends up lost in an unlikely world filled with mystical, singing centaurs of different species. We move from a rather dark story as she believes her rider has fallen to her death, as she struggles with this very bizarre take on a fantasy world. The second season has arrived and picks up where the previous one ended. Does it continue the wackiness of the first, or take a different direction?
The biggest change in this storyline is that we spend quite a bit more time in the “regular” world with Jessie Mueller‘s Rider. While teased as a darker side of the storyline, it does take some wackier directions. It mainly serves to give us a look at the struggle on their side to introduce a new horse going by the name Becky Apples to add some drama for Horse getting jealous and Brian D’Arcy James‘ General.
There are some great moments, especially during her infiltration of a castle with Becky Apples, but it seems just as wacky rather than playing a stark contrast to the wackier Centaurworld. It’s a bit of a shame, as one of the selling points for my viewing in the first season was that stark contrast Horse highlights while trying to make sense of her new surroundings. As we have now gotten beyond the “fish out of water” storyline, they tried to find a balance to still keep a certain level of comedy going.
Speaking of, it feels surprisingly reserved this time around which works to its favor. There are still some wacky moments, mostly continued with Glendale and Durpleton, but there are fewer of those “what just happened” moments throughout. Early on it felt like a stark contrast, but it seemed deliberate as this time around we take a closer look at our characters. Durpleton has a cute story arc where he sees a dying Lizardman as his son, and it even builds into a newly discovered backstory of the character.
Horse was teased quite a bit to be a magical being and she has seemingly adjusted to her new body. So, her new ability to jump into people’s flashbacks is quite convenient but does offer an excuse for the team to offer some insight into our cast and especially for the strongest moments of the season later on. It also is built upon from the previous season which was a clever way to confirm it as foreshadowing.
The wacky characters of Centaurworld are the highlight for most of the season. We get introduced to the wacky Aristocrat centaurs, who are seemingly the most random element in the season, especially with their design. Though I could’ve done without the birdtaur influencers, who had one or two jokes that dragged out. Still, some of the returning casts are still as hilarious as they were last time. You can never go wrong with more Comfortable Doug, voiced perfectly by Flula Borg once again. Also, I’m embarrassed it took me until this season to realize the Tree Shamans were First Aid Kit.
Where the show shines once again is in the music, voice acting, and animation. There’s a lot of attention to detail to make sure these two worlds feel distinctive. Each centaur’s design seemingly gets crazier and crazier the more characters we meet. While I do feel like some of the songs dragged out, especially the final one, they were also great to listen to with some great stand-outs, such as the “Last Lullaby” from the finale.
The show’s greatest strengths lie in the exploration of its main antagonist, the Nowhere King. Brian Stokes Mitchell is a standout in the season, whose voice just adds a lot to the powerful design bringing this unholy being to life. Getting to figure out why he is the way he is and building upon the hints from the first season worked incredibly well. The show’s antagonist is so good that it’s a shame we don’t spend enough time with him throughout the season, or even get a lot of hints at the revelation.
While more subdued than the previous season, the final season of the series ends on a strong note. It does fall into old habits early on, but once we build-up to the final confrontation with the Nowhere King it certainly finds its groove. Plus, we get more insight into our usually wacky sidekicks that feel more centered with their own little plot points. There are some great laughs to have, and some mesmerizing music to surely make you want to stay a bit longer in the insanity that is Centaurworld.