The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review


Over the past few years, I’ve gotten really into Dungeons and Dragons. One thing that was instrumental in checking it out initially and staying so connected with that community was Critical Role. For those of you that may not know, Critical Role is an online show where a bunch of voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons live on stream. Over the years the show has garnered millions of fans across the world and continued to grow in popularity to the point that now their original characters and world they play in has received it’s own animated adaptation. Given my upbringing watching a lot of anime, I was already quite familiar with the works of the individual cast members, so that helped pique my interest. But after jumping in and starting Critical Role, there’s no going back. If you’re a fan of fantasy, these characters and especially the world crafted by the masterful Matthew Mercer will grip you and take you for a long and satisfying ride.

The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review

The animated series has now reached it’s second season, and the events kick of directly at the closing point of season one. Vox Machina have restored order to Whitestone and during their celebrations with the Council of Tal’Dorei, 4 Dragons approach and leave the city of Emon in ruins. The group end up split during the attack but upon regrouping learn that the group of dragons, who call themselves The Chroma Conclave have been planning this attack and takeover for some time. Too weak to take on a group of 4 dragons in their current state, Vox Machina are sent on a quest to search for powerful weapons known as the Vestiges of Divergence that are scattered throughout the realms in the hopes that they will grant them the power to take down the threat of the Chroma Conclave.

I loved that this season wastes no time getting right into the action and setup of what’s to come for the group. Where season one had a 2 episode arc that established the character’s and their dynamics before jumping into what would be the main complication of the season, season 2 assumes you’re up to speed with the events that have already gone down and kicks right off with a massive dragon attack that becomes the catalyst for the events of the whole season.

The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review

Where season one focussed largely on a threat within the city of Whitestone, this season’s threats have the ability to affect the whole of Tal’Dorei. These are clearly enemies on a scale that Vox Machina have yet to face. The larger scale threat of the Chroma Conclave leads Vox Machina to brand new cities, people and even realms that have yet to be seen on screen in an attempt to gather the ability to take down the Conclave and end their reign over the cities they’ve conquered.

Within the episodes that make up the season there are smaller character focussed mini arcs that provide some great character development for most of the members of Vox Machina and involves them overcoming past or current demons to come out on the other side stronger for it, and moves the team closer to possibly achieving their overall goal of taking down the Chroma Conclave. These smaller arcs consistently shift the focus to various members of Vox Machina and provides a wider range of character development than what was provided in season 1 and really helps the episodes fly by. Once it’s all aired and everyone is able to binge the season as a whole, you’ll see how having the season constructed the way it has been allows it to maintain consistent interest and pacing from beginning to end.

The heart of the series continues to be it’s characters. Where season one was very much focussed on Percy and his backstory, season 2 does begin to share the focus around giving many of the others more time to shine and develop. Vax and Vex get to share some emotional moments and we get a deeper dive into their upbringing. Grog gets to show that he’s more than just the team’s raw muscle and gets the chance to grow both emotionally and physically. Keyleth get’s to showcase her skills, both new and old to continue to get the group out of trouble and prove that she’s a real force to be feared and surprisingly even Scanlan gets to show that he’s more than just the group’s prankster that can never take things seriously as he starts to question what his purpose in the world is and which direction his future should head. It’s amazing to see how deep and complex these characters are and how well they form a diverse yet cohesive unit, especially when you consider their humble origins as stats on a paper D&D character sheet.

The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review

The season is still unfortunately light on content with Pike. She’s more involved with the core group than during the events of season one but I would have loved some further character development or backstory given there was little time on screen for that last season. On the flip side, I did like that Percy was still able to be present, yet take somewhat of a supporting role this time around given how much the events surrounding him fuelled season one.

A big part of what makes these characters so enjoyable to watch and relatable are the character performances. They’re all fantastically done. It’s a massive added bonus that the cast of Critical Role are first and foremost actors. From their perspective, this is more than a typical dubbed production, going into a booth to provide their voice to a character. They’ve individually created these characters, written their backstories, crafted their goals and spent years playing as them in their home game. Getting to portray them now in an animated series sounds natural and this season showcases a wider range of emotions for every one of the main cast. Liam O’Brien as Vax gives one of the strongest performances of the series, with his character going through a wide range of emotions throughout the 12 episodes. Travis Willingham gives it all as Grog and unleashes one of the most powerful and guttural explosions of rage during the season that had me grinning as soon as it happened and Sam Riegel as Scanlan continued to impress with his real world ability to sing and craft great sounding and hilarious songs but takes things to another level this time around showing that Scanlan also has a soft side and is capable of having deep moments too.

The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review

I enjoyed the season from beginning to end, but there are some very minor nitpicks that exist. The first being the inconsistencies with the 3D side of the production. Much like with season one, some of the creatures within the show utilise 3D models for their animation. They seem to be integrated much better this time around into the traditional 2D animation but there are some scenes where things still do look a bit off or where the difference between the 2D and 3D elements in a scene don’t gel together as well as they do at other times. The 3D models used are certainly not bad by any means, and if they help speed up production and finishing up complex animations, I’m all for it if it gets us season 3 quicker but I just hoops next time things head even further in the right direction of blending more seamlessly with the hand drawn characters and environments.

And it’s a great thing that season 3 has already been greenlit for production. Unlike the first season, this season doesn’t have a setup, a middle and a conclusion to the main complication. It’s made up of smaller character focussed arcs but the overall goal that’s established in episode one is still far from achieved by the end. It’s a massive goal they’ve set so it’s understandable that it will take some time to build up to achieving it and have a rewarding payoff for the journey. This feels very much like The Fellowship of the Ring to the overall Lord of the Rings’ story. It’s filled with great moments and is incredibly fun to watch but it’s very clear there’s still so much left to tell in this story.

The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2 Review

Overall thoughts

The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 is a great follow up to the events that took place in the first season and takes everything to the next level when it comes to the scale of the stories, the characters and their growth. It continues to be packed full of humour and lighthearted moments but balances that with some really powerful and emotional scenes and also some tonal shifts that come out of nowhere to convey the horrors and personal demons plaguing some of the cast. The season also does an incredible job at maintaining a great pace and ends most of it’s episodes, especially those at the end of it’s 3 episode blocks with an engaging cliffhanger that aims to keep you on the edge of your seat and excited for the next week’s batch of episodes. It’s clear there’s so much more to come for the Vox Machina crew and I’m eagerly awaiting getting to witness the events of season 3. It can’t come soon enough.

Screeners for season 2 provided by Amazon for the purpose of this review.

If you want to see more content like this and never miss one of our frequent gaming and anime giveaways come and on Twitter.


Watched On: Home Release

  • + Still an incredible world and cast of characters
  • + Shares the focus among more characters
  • + Has the cast convey a wide range of emotions and growth
  • + Fantastic character performances

  • - Inconsistent use of 3D models
  • - Feels mostly like the beginning of something much bigger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.