Produced by Production I.G., Studio Deen, MOI Animation, Infinite Elegance LLC, and Friends Night Available now on Netflix
Neo Yokio, as covered prior on this site, is a Netflix produced show that’s built sturdily on a platform of self-love. Neo Yokio Pink Christmas is a celebration of a successful initial season by making jabs at itself and the holiday season. From references to designer clothing to slashing the Rockafeller Christmas Tree Demon, Neo Yokio Pink Christmas covers it all. Neo Yokio pokes fun at podcasting and holiday specials as well.
Neo Yokio Pink Christmas takes place as a bedtime story told to a sick Kaz Kahn, still played by Jaden Smith. This is the story of the history of Neo Yokio, the Tokyo-flavored New York City, and the bloodline that snuffed out the demons in the 1800s. The story is only briefly interrupted with ideas on how to improve the improv-story told by the mecha-butler, voiced by Jude Law. Intertwined between the visit of an estranged aunt and the escapades of Kaz and his crew, Lexy and Gottleib, is the plain life of Salesclerk Herbert. Salesclerk Herbert is a background character who initially only served to name designer products, now serves as the arguably main character of the insert story. As Salesclerk Herbert is impacted by the dualistic nature of Arcangelo Corelli (not the violinist) and his own job, so too does the city’s fight against its own past become visible.
The humor of Neo Yokio Pink Christmas is still very hit or miss, leaning on the millennial absurdist capitalism the original season was known for. Characters will heap praise on a Dominos Pizza Rolex watch with the same respect as a gorgeous sweater party. Designer drugs are just as noteworthy as designer clothes. Jokes are often used to about face the mood of the scene into deadpan, or trip a normal Christmas dinner into a off-hand comment about how the dinner fowl was imported. Characters will often just state their feelings, which is both refreshing and jarring. Almost as important, the fourth wall exists if only because no single character says “Netflix.”
Once you get past the initial premise, you start to notice that the art of Neo Yokio Pink Christmas is improved over the prior season. Visuals are more daring and visually impressive, and overall confidence to get more daring. Special effects feel more significant and even lighting and shading on characters feels more deliberate. Scene composition even feels more artistic, showing an interesting scene rather than a necessary one.
Overall, Neo Yokio Pink Christmas benefits from being able to tell one long story and tell it well. Improvements to the storytelling and the animation are noticeable consistently through the double-length episode. The only real downside to the story is that the third act feels too quick to end. The third act being short is even commented on by the characters.