Back in September of 2017 a little game called Cuphead was released by Studio MDHR and it took the Internet by storm! Whether it is because of the hand drawn rubber hose style of animation, the big band and swing style of music, or the tight and tough as nails gameplay. From YouTube playthroughs, to merchandise, to now their Netflix show The Cuphead Show!. Now, I am going to be as unbiased as I can. I came into The Cuphead Show! as a fan of the video game and it is one of my favorites! So I will try to judge this as not just a fan, but as someone going into the episodes blind.
To start with, the theme song is an earworm. It is catchy and upbeat. Also, if you are a fan of the video game, you will see familiar faces in the intro. As for the plot summery of this first episode it reads, “Cuphead convinces Mugman they should ditch their chores and head for the carnival, unaware that it is a front to collect soul.” Personally, I love this summery! It tells you all you need to know about Cuphead and Mugman’s personalities. Cuphead is the brash adventurous extrovert while Mugman is the more cautious and levelheaded introvert. Plus if you know the plot of the video game, you know who’s behind this front, The Devil. This also expands the lore of Cuphead by showing The Devil has many fronts, not just his casino.
The animation is exactly what I expected. It feels modern, and yet nostalgic. I grew up on the Fleischer Brothers’ animations, like Betty Boop, Popeye, and Bimbo and The Cuphead Show! emulates it perfectly. It’s rubber hose, that looks like it was made today, but feels like it was from it’s golden age. Thinking about it, there was no single piece of animation that I hated at all. The music, well what can I say? It is big band and swing! My two favorite genres! The voice acting is also great. Three voice performances stood out the most to me: Tru Valentino, Frank Todaro, and Luke Millington-Drake. Who voice Cuphead, Mugman, and The Devil. Tru and Frank sound like how I expected Cuphead and Mugman to sound. Then you have Luke who’s voice for The Devil I did not expect, however I quickly grew to love.
Personaly, I give Episode 1: Carn-evil five stolen souls out of five. I cannot wait to visit Inkwell Isle again for episode two.