Television Reviews

REVIEW: Big Hero 6: The Series – Season 1, Episode 16 “Fan Friction”

“Does my club sound fun?” “I’m in.”

*Spoilers*

In “Fan Friction,” Karmi writes a story about the heroes in which Hiro is her boyfriend and the team have names like Chop-Chop and Tall Girl. She posts it on a fan fiction site, where Fred finds it, reading it to a horrified Hiro. Obake breaks Momakase out of jail. Hiro’s friends tease him about Karmi’s story and her name for him, Captain Cutie. The heroes find Momakase and try to apprehend her, but a bot sent by Obake aids her escape. At school, Karmi’s fan fiction is hugely popular, with everyone eagerly awaiting chapter 2, especially Fred. Fred reads the newly released chapter 2 to his friends, prompting more complaints from Hiro and more teasing. Baymax is unable to locate Momakase based on her heat signature, indicating to the team that she must have some type of heat cloaking mechanism.

However, he is able to locate the chemicals in her blades, and they head to a company called Securitech. She’s already gone, so Gogo races after her. Gogo decides to try the trick Karmi wrote for her, in which she glides up a wall, and it works. However, Momakase slices Gogo’s blades and escapes, leaving her unable to pursue. At school everyone is shipping Karmi and Captain Cutie, believing them to be a couple in real life. Honey and Fred also decide to try one of Karmi’s tricks, but it fails and leaves Fred stuck in a giant ice block. Hiro decides to use his hero alter ego to persuade Karmi to stop writing. However, before he gets the chance, Momakase sends a message stating that she’s kidnapped Karmi, calling on Captain Cutie to save his beautiful girlfriend.

The team heads to the site of Krei’s old lab, where they fought Yokai in the first movie. Momakase sees them coming, but Honey and Gogo double team her. Nonetheless, she tears down the foundation of the ceiling on top of them. Hiro finds Karmi tied up in a chair,  but it’s a trap and all his friends are there too. Momakase leaves them all to die in a cell designed with their powers in mind, but Hiro has made secret modifications to Baymax based on Karmi’s story. Baymax destroys the cell and they escape. Naturally, Karmi writes the third chapter about this true story, but it ends with Captain Cutie inviting her to be the seventh member of the team and kissing her.

Big Hero 6:The Series, Fan Friction

“Fan Friction” balances comedy and tension really well. It’s still unclear exactly what Obake’s ultimate goal is, but his conversation with Momakase about having intentions for Hiro piqued my interest. She was initially one of the only villains in the show not affiliated with Obake, and, having recruited her, I wonder if he’ll end up with all of them on his side. It’d be interesting if the season finale is a showdown against all of them, though it would be hard to top that in future seasons. It’s really exciting to be seeing more and more of Obake, and I hope we learn what his endgame is soon. I also wonder if each season will have a new villain.

I enjoyed the scenes in “Fan Friction” involving Karmi’s fan fiction, especially the exaggerated animation styles and references to anime like Sailor Moon and the mecha genre. “Fan Friction” nails fan culture to a T, and Karmi reminds me of some people I’ve interacted with on various websites. I also love the scene where Fred comes up with the portmanteau names people could use to refer to various “ships” among the team. He even includes a ship of himself and Wasabi, and I’m surprised they went there, but it’s extremely accurate. I wonder if Karmi will ever learn that her classmates are also her idols, and what the repercussions of that will be.

Although Hiro keeps saying he’s going to tell Karmi off or persuade her to stop writing about himself and his friends, he ultimately ends up playing along for her benefit, saying catchphrases and saving her. Of course, he never goes so far as to accept her as his girlfriend. This was genuinely nice of Hiro not to crush her dreams, especially given how mean she is to him at school. I was surprised he doesn’t react more when Momakase calls him by Karmi’s made-up name for him and refers to her as his girlfriend. I wonder if Hiro really does like Karmi, and if that will ever manifest in a relationship. I don’t necessarily want that, as I don’t care for Karmi, but it does seem like a possibility.

Big Hero 6: The Series, Fan Friction

“Fan Friction” is another example of how Big Hero 6: The Series is a perfect extension of the first movie. The character interactions are all natural and in-character, and it feels appropriate to see Fred getting wrapped up in fan fiction of himself and his team. I didn’t have any strong negative or positive expectations going into this series, but overall I’m very pleased with it. It also feels right when Honey suggests that Karmi write a better name and catchphrase for her, but in a very slight, considerate way. Unlike Hiro, Honey is too sweet to even entertain the notion of hurting or insulting the team’s biggest fan.Overall, “Fan Friction” is another winner. It’s got great comedy, particularly involving Karmi’s fan fiction and anything to do with Fred. The animation is good, the fight scene between the girls and Momakase is visually interesting, and I love that they play the main theme from the movie during Karmi’s fanfiction and throughout the episode. This series has quickly mastered the ability to continue the story without relying too heavily on pre-existing themes and plot elements from the first film, while still feeling connected to its events. Out of all of the newer Disney animated movies, I’m glad they chose to continue Big Hero 6 on the small screen. These characters are well suited to the villain-of-the-week format, and it’s genuinely exciting to feel the tension building as Obake recruits the smaller threats. I’m loving this season a lot more than I thought I would, and I look forward to seeing where they take the story from here.

Big Hero 6: The Series - "Fan Friction"

Plot - 9
Acting - 9
Progression - 9
Production Design - 8
Action - 10

9

Great

“Fan Friction” is another example of how Big Hero 6: The Series is a perfect extension of the first movie. The character interactions are all natural and in-character, and it feels appropriate to see Fred getting wrapped up in fan fiction of himself and his team. I didn’t have any strong negative or positive expectations going into this series, but overall I’m very pleased with it.

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