Season 1: Rise of the Snakes
Ninjago is one of my favorite TV show (in case you haven’t noticed, I love kid’s shows)! I am so attached to the characters. I only like the first two seasons, though, and have to adapt all further seasons to meet my liking.
As most stories are, this one is intriguing and full of promise. It is very rare for artists to create a bad story, actually, but if they do, critics are there to rat on them!
Basic synopsis: Four elementally powered ninja trained in the martial art of Spinjitzu protect the world of Ninjago from evil.
The ninja are Kai, fiery-tempered ninja of Fire; Cole, strong and steady ninja of Earth; Jay, funny and talkative ninja of Lightning; and Zane, weird-but-calm ninja of Ice. They are mentored, trained, and taught by Sensei Wu and supported by Kai’s sister Nya.
In this season, they are fighting an ancient race of snake-men called the Serpentine. The Serpentine are powerful because of their respective venoms, but funny because they are so dumb. There are the Hypnobrai, who can hypnotize anyone into doing their bidding; the Fangpyre, whose bite can turn anything into a snake; the Constrictai, who can tunnel anywhere and squeeze people with amazing strength; the Venomari, who create hallucinations for their opponents by spitting venom on them; and the Anacondrai, the most feared tribe that are very persuasive and can turn invisible.
Additional characters include Lord Garmadon, the villain they fought in their pilot episodes and Sensei Wu’s brother, and Lloyd Garmadon, Lord Garmadon’s son.
The ninja are the unknown, unofficial protectors of Ninjago. The snakes are first merely really dangerous bugs, but eventually become a really detrimental threat when they decide to attempt to unleash the Great Devourer, a non-intelligent snake that turned Lord Garmadon evil. Basically, the snakes manage to avoid the ninja all the time and the ninja are kind of racing with them to see who will hold the cards to whether or not the Devourer will be released. Meanwhile, the ninja also have to fight emotional battles to reach their full elemental potential. In addition to all this, there is a rivalry with a mysterious Samurai who keeps stealing their thunder by defeating snakes. Also, young Lloyd Garmadon is on his path to figure out whether he’s gonna be a hero like his Uncle Wu or a villain like his father.
A cool part about this show is that they have parallel physical and emotional battles, humor that is funny to both kids and parents, as well as real, fairly-deep themes.
Ep. 1, Rise of the Snakes: Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today. (“The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:16,21a)
Ep. 2, Home: Use words carefully (Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. – James 2:12)
Ep. 3, Snakebit: Embrace loved ones because no one can be sure of tomorrow (“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” – Matthew 24:42)
Ep. 4, Never Trust a Snake: The best way to defeat an enemy is to make them your friend (“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:43-44)
Ep. 5, Can of Worms: Rumors are destructive (A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. – Proverbs 16:28)
Ep. 6, The Snake King: Don’t let envy get in the way of duty (A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. – Proverbs 14:30)
Ep. 7, Tick Tock: Your past doesn’t determine your destiny (But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession. – 1 Peter 2:9a)
Ep. 8, Once Bitten, Twice Shy: If you try to make yourself someone else, you’ll end up looking foolish (For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13)
Ep. 9, The Royal Blacksmiths: Stealing is never right (Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. – Ephesians 4:28)
Ep. 10, The Green Ninja: People are more important than objectives (“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10)
Ep. 11, All of Nothing: Everyone can use their resources for good (Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. – Colossians 3:23)
Ep. 12, The Rise of the Great Devourer: Look ahead before you act out of spite (My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19)
Ep. 13, Day of the Great Devourer: Keep fighting even if all looks lost (“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm till the end will be saved.” – Matthew 24:12-13)
So, yeah, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, Season 1: Rise of the Snakes is a great story and very enjoyable. Lots of good action with legends and histories intertwined at a relatively good quality story level. I’ve also loved it since second grade, so…Recommended!