So, I’m almost halfway through season 2 of The Owl House. And on the whole, I would say season 2 is better than season 1. It fleshes out more of the characters, there’s not much killing for time as compared to season 1, and they tell some really interesting stories. Of the strengths that exist within The Owl House, I think its biggest strength is its ability to write really flawed characters.
Take for instance Eda. On a lesser show, she would be this one dimensional villain the hero would have to stop. But as we see through the show, she starts to open up and become more of a loving mother. I maintain that Eda is really the glue of the series, and her being this sort of antihero really makes her character pop.
Another example of flawed characters is The Golden Guard. Here’s a character who in a lesser show would be the main bad guy or one of the main bad guys. Instead, he’s being given reasons why he may end up seeing the light and turn to the good side. The Golden Guard is basically a better written version of Kylo Ren. On a side note, I could kinda see Kikimora as well turn to the good side. Something about the way she carries herself reminds me of Taiga from Toradora. She got like this Chihuahua mentality about her. Maybe she won’t be redeemed, but I could see it.
But it doesn’t stop there. There are many other examples of flawed characters. Amity is an example, given she is a recovering bully (You know, like recovering alcoholic), Lilith is another one given what she did to her sister Eda, Eda and Lilith’s mother is another one given she neglected Lilith, and Luz’s doppelganger is this as well. It could’ve been extremely, extremely easy for the show to have made Luz’s doppelganger be the result of Emperor Belos, or a shapeshifter somewhat akin to Double Trouble from Princesses of Power working for Belos meant to give him dirt on what the human world is like. Instead, they gave her doppelganger a sad, emotional, relatable backstory, which is the impetus of me writing this post. Honestly, besides Emperor Belos and the guy who signed people to unbreakable book contracts, the most unlikable person in the show is the guy who captures Luz’s doppelganger, which the show lampshades the irony of by having him say he’s supposed to be the good guy.
I consider myself a staunch connoisseur of tsunderes, which for those that don’t know are characters that put on a tough act but are a softie deep down (It’s like the jerk with the heart of gold trope, but tsunderes normally has more to do with romantic feelings. You can use both interchangeably though). And when I’m asked what makes a good tsundere, I normally say “When the reason for their behavior is believable.” It’s easy to write someone who treats everyone like shit. The difficult part is to keep them interesting. If you can write a character that treats people like shit but make them interesting, that’s half the battle. It then can pave the way to their eventual redemption. The biggest strength of The Owl House is taking characters who seem initially unpleasant and unlikable and making them compelling to the viewer. It does this in spades. I’ll take an intrinsically flawed character any day of the week over people who you’re supposed to root for who are bland, something which is extremely common in children’s programming. I really wish more shows were like The Owl House.