TV Review: Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (Season 1, 2021)

Based on the Capcom video game series of the same name, and set between the fourth and fifth games in that series, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a Netflix Original Anime Series released in 2021. Several years after a viral outbreak ended with the destruction of Raccoon City, Leon Kennedy (Nick Apostolides) is a special agent working for the President of the United States, after saving the President’s daughter the year prior. Meanwhile, Claire Redfield (Stephanie Panisello) is working for the organisation TerraSave, seeking to aide those suffering following unregulated use of bioweapons in civilian areas. The two soon discover a conspiracy which may go all the way to the top of the Government, and could cause a new World War.

+ the animation was significantly more palatable than other Netflix Original Anime Series (see: Dragon’s Dogma and Godzilla: Singular Point), especially in regards to the main characters. Zombies looked intentionally janky, and the final threat, whatever it may be, was as overdesigned as you may come to expect from the series

– in regards to voices, Apostolides’ Leon is easily my least favourite of the past three, following Paul Mercier and Matt Mercer in the various other media in which Leon has appeared. Panisello, too never really feels like she’s into her role. In terms of action, Claire gets absolutely shafted in that she does nearly nothing the whole series, as Leon gets all of the action, important exposition, and big moments. Claire should be a badass as well, dammit
– the show has a frustrating pace. I watched three episodes and thought it was setting some stuff up well but seemed to be rushing other, and then realised it only had four episodes altogether. This left me concerned at how they could wrap it up; unfortunately, my concerns were justified, as it just kind of ends as blandly as it began
– being set between the fourth and fifth video games in the series means there is four games of expected knowledge going in, and then more hinted at events and companies and locations from the would-be following game. You don’t explicitly need that knowledge, but it’s clear the show was designed for fans of those particular games
– similarly to the above, what is the point of setting the series between games four and five, when the eighth game had just come out? Sending us back in time to the mid-2000s only dates the series, especially when the movie Resident Evil: Degeneration already did exactly this same thing (and for my money, did it far better)

> on a personal note, I am quite sick of the Leon/Claire pairing in Resident Evil spin off media. Chris/Jill have more going for them, or why not be wacky and have Leon/Jill, since Leon is apparently the golden goose of the franchise? Hell, why not introduce Ethan, the protagonist of the two newest games?

Should you watch this show: No. This felt like the creators/directors wrote a movie to continue the series of CG entries, but soon realised that they already covered this exact period in a movie that was better, so they just split it up into four episodes. This was a real shame.

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