Earlier this year, Netflix released one of their most ambitious, stunning, and hilarious animated series to date with The Cuphead Show! The cartoon series based on the 2018 breakout game Cuphead from Studio MDHR provided viewers with tons of laughs, memorable characters, and a visual feast of animation. Now, it returns with a second batch of misadventures with everyone’s favorite cup brothers.
Season two of The Cuphead Show! relatively follows the same formula as the first: bring viewers along on the adventures of the mischievous Cuphead (voiced by Tru Valentino, The Rookie) and his cautious brother Mugman (voiced by Frank Todaro, Transformers: Titans Return). This time, though, there are some new foes and friends they encounter in the form of more familiar bosses from the games as well as some old enemies like The Devil (voiced by Luke Millington-Drake, Loot) and King Dice (voiced by Wayne Brady, Whose Line Is It Anyway?). There are also some storylines that continue from the first season, with The Devil still trying to nab Cuphead’s soul and the boys running into Ms. Chalice (voiced by Grey Griffin, Avatar: The Last Airbender).
The new adventures that Cuphead and Mugman go on are just as fun as the first batch, with a few misadventures being standouts. The boys going to Baroness Von Bon Bon’s (voiced by Zoe Moss, Moon Dogs) cursed Sugarland for a Hansel and Gretel-inspired cautionary tale is a total blast and their high seas adventure with the legendary Captain Brineybeard (voiced by Jason Vande Brake, Half-Life: Alyx) is full of swashbuckling delight. Fans will be even more pleased with the nods to the games that season two provides and all the bosses it brings to life through great voice acting and character designs. Plus, some of them have some awesome songs they belt out to add some jolly tunes to Cuphead and Mugman’s misadventures.
The new stories are equally as great and add some good original hilarity to the mix. From Cuphead and Mugman trying to find new brothers after they have a spat to them facing off against a menacing yet hilariously over-the-top maestro, the series continues to expand on the world of Cuphead in great ways and craft memorable new characters. The series easily provides great new laughs through some fun cartoon shenanigans and hilarious lines. The Devil’s freakouts have never been funnier and watching Cuphead and Mugman get into tons of trouble across Inkwell Island rarely gets old.
The animation also remains top tier, boasting some stunning color and incredible visuals. The way the series continues to utilize 3D backgrounds to create a lot of depth to the environments and actions of the 2D characters is jaw-dropping with how spectacular it looks. The gateway to The Devil’s lair is absolutely epic looking and made even better with the amazing music attached. Cuphead and Mugman’s high seas adventure with Brineybeard is visually stunning with the 3D islands they pass. Also, Baroness Von Bon Bon’s Sugarland is a masterful visual treat that’ll have you hypnotized by its sweet décor. There’s truly nothing as nostalgic and ambitious as The Cuphead Show! out there and it continues to be a dazzling visual treat making it an instant classic.
There are some things though about these new episodes that do show some future improvements the series could have. There are a couple of episodes that experiment with longer runtimes that simply feel too long and make the adventures drag on. The idea of continuing storylines across multiple episodes can sometimes work in making for some good running jokes, nice nods to past adventures, and even another solid season-ending cliffhanger. However, if the story doesn’t have enough meat on its bones, the running plot thread can feel like it’s dragging on and not providing enough good story material to make it worth continuing. Certain episodes can feel like they’re stretching themselves thin, but for most part, the new adventures are a lot of fun and have some good cartoon stories that bring viewers back to the days of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
The Cuphead Show! Season 2doesn’t exactly tread new ground, but it provides more fun and funny misadventures with Cuphead and Mugman that fans will easily enjoy and continues to be one of Netflix’s best animated series. Plus, it presents some small room for improvement, which is never a bad thing.