Home Channels Anime “Suicide Squad Isekai”: Episodes 1-3: Episode Recap

“Suicide Squad Isekai”: Episodes 1-3: Episode Recap

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Every Thursday, a new episode of Suicide Squad Isekai will release on Hulu and Max and episodes one through thee have already been released June 27. Did you miss these episodes? We can get you up to speed on what happened in these premiere episodes with some analysis about what I thought worked and didn’t work. To summarize the premise of this superhero/anime mashup, this is the story about the iconic supervillain team being trapped in an alternate universe with magic, orcs, and other fantasy tropes. So without further ado, let’s recap Episode 1.

Episode 1

The story begins with the Joker and Harley Quinn going on a crime spree and escaping from the police and A.R.G.U.S. government agents in a getaway car that’s driven by a piano. The Joker is indeed a madman when it comes to getaway vehicles. Harley Quinn gets into a fight with Katana in a flashy baseball bat versus sword fight animated by the great WIT Studio, the studio behind Attack on Titan and SpyXFamily. Because of gonzo anime logic, baseball bats work well in sword fights, but ultimately and inevitably Harley Quinn is captured so she can be recruited into the Suicide Squad and the plot can happen. The Joker disappears after this scene and isn’t seen for the remainder of these three episodes. It won’t be surprising if he makes a return appearance later down the line.

The next scene involves Harley in her cell at Belle Reeve and having to deal with a sexist guard who thinks she owes her for being “nice” to her. This does not go very well for him. Harley Quinn and other supervillains are then forced onto a helicopter and government agent Amanda Waller explains that they have been drafted into doing missions for the government and that they have been outfitted with collars that will explode if they disobey orders or do not check in with her within seventy-two hours will have their collars explode. This is obviously the origin scene for this incarnation of the squad, and the next scene is the formal character introduction scene.

Suddenly, they are no longer in a helicopter and stumble upon a fight between humans and orcs in a fantasy world. The Suicide Squad are unable to decipher the language of this fantasy world, but they can tell that humans and orcs want to kill each other messily. A major superhero fight scene ensues between the Suicide Squad and the orcs and we get our first proper introduction to this incarnation of the team while we see them in action. This version of the Suicide Squad includes Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Peacemaker, King Shark, and Clayface. Except for Clayface, this incarnation is obviously a mashup of the two live action film lineups. Clayface seems to have been influenced by the recent Harley Quinn cartoon in terms of personality and his popularity from that series probably influenced his inclusion. Most of the character designs look very close to their traditional comic book designs, but Clayface’s pretty boy look is probably the biggest departure. Also notable is that Clayface is aware of an anime genre known as isekai, a genre involving characters transported to a fantasy world, the situation they got into. There is some meta humor here.

Despite saving the humans fighting the orc, the Suicide Squad’s reward is imprisonment and that is the big cliffhanger for episode one.

Episode 2

Episode two begins by focusing on the human royalty having a meeting and discussing the political situation going on in their world. As an outsider, the audience isn’t really given the full picture of what is going on, but the previous episode established that humans and orcs are at war. We learn that peasants are starving, but the queen does not care. By this point, there is no real clear indication of whether the human side or the orc side is the “good” side and it is probably intentionally that way considering the morally gray nature of Suicide Squad stories. The princess, who has somewhat of a resemblance to Harley Quinn, believes the Suicide Squad could be helpful in their war.

The next scene involves the Suicide Squad in their cells. Despite the seventy-two hour time limit, they seem to be not that panicked and weren’t in a hurry to bust heads and escape. Clayface’s powers of course makes him able to escape bars, but somehow the guards have magic superpower cancelling handcuffs that they use and Clayface doesn’t even put up a fight before they cuff him. Considering how ruthless you’d expect the Suicide Squad to be, their hesitancy seems a little out of character.

After this botched attempt, the Suicide Squad becomes cellmates with Rick Flag, another character from one of the live action movies. He tells the Suicide Squad that the previous team was sent to this world to do a mission, but went missing. In order to avoid blowing up, they need to get to the portal and be within frequency range of the device that deactivates the detonators.

The main characters finally start getting into bloody action and start a riot at the prison. King Shark does what he does best and munches on the guards. Harley Quinn whacks a guard with a magic stick thingie and it appears she has an affinity for the magic weapon. The remainder of the episode is ultraviolent mayhem that one would expect from this franchise and just when they escape the prison, they have to face the army that captured them at the end of episode 1. That is our cliffhanger.

Episode 3

Episode three begins with probably the funniest scene in the series so far. Rick Flag attempts diplomacy with a knight, but his knowledge of the world’s language is tainted by learning words from the orcs, who use very rude and profane language. What Rick Flag thinks is nice talk is very not nice talk. Despite infuriating the knight, he takes them to the princess to carry on the mission she planned for them at the beginning of episode two.

During the next scene, we learn that the previous squad has joined forces with the “The Empire,” which appears to be a coalition of orcs and other fantasy monsters, and that the princess wants the Suicide Squad to help kick their butts. Rick Flag is again the victim of another comedic gag where he’s the collateral. If the Suicide Squad wants to see him alive again, they have to obey the princess, not the Suicide Squad have that much attachment to him.

The next scene involves said kicking the butts of the empire and we encounter a member of the antagonist Suicide Squad who is fighting against the protagonist Suicide Squad. The Ratcatcher, who is male in this incarnation unlike the second live action movie, has gained the ability to control animals other than rats in the fantasy world and controls werewolves. He has a grudge against Deadshot for mistreating him even though they were allegedly prison buddies. A fight ensues and we also learn that the Suicide Squad have gained new magic powers in this fantasy world. For instance, Clayface can now control clay that is not his own as he demonstrates by destroying a clay wall. We are reminded of Harley Quinn using the magic stick in episode two. The big cliffhanger twist for episode three is that Katana is a member of the antagonist squad and she helps the Ratcatcher escape.

Tune in next week to learn more about possibly who is on the other Suicide Squad team, more details about the human vs Empire war and more. For those wanting to see supervillains get into Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy shenanigans, this series delivers and is a lot of fun. A lot of the power fantasy and harem elements common in this anime genre are not present, which is very welcome for anybody who is not a fan of those controversial and divisive elements. Episode 4 on July 4!

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