Title: Xavier: Renegade Angel – Seasons 1 & 2
Release Date: November 10, 2009
One of the most recent additions to the [adult swim] DVD collection is Xavier: Renegade Angel Seasons 1 & 2. The show first aired on [adult swim] in November 2007 and is described as a CGI fantasy-comedy television series created by John Lee, Vernon Chatman, Alyson Levy, and Jim Tozzi. The animation techniques used to create Xavier: Renegade Angel leave viewers feeling as though they are watching a very primitive, poorly-programmed video game — but that was the intention of the show’s creators.
After two seasons totaling twenty episodes, [adult swim] has released Xavier: Renegade Angel Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD, complete with special features ranging from fan-made short films to “fanmentary” (fan commentary) tracks. Each episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel runs about 11-12 minutes and follows the series’s main character, Xavier, as he makes his way around the world on a “spiritual journey.”
Xavier is a very strange protagonist, both aesthetically and intellectually. Visually, Xavier is a walking nightmare: he has human legs that face the wrong direction and are covered in the same brown fur or hair that covers the rest of his body, one of his arms is an electric-green snake from the elbow down, Xavier’s nose is actually a tiny bird’s beak, the lower half of his face appears to be at least part feline, his eyes are heterochromatic (one blue and one brown), six nipples are visible on his chest, and he wears a blonde pageboy haircut. Xavier has delusions of grandeur and the best of intentions — seeking to reach spiritual enlightenment and help others — but an array of insecurities instilled by Xavier’s peers during childhood and gross misinterpretations of the philosophical concepts that he is exposed to cause Xavier to behave immorally and, at times, even violently, ultimately leading to more harm than good. Each episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel starts off with some sort of “inspired premise” (“What doth life?”) that quickly devolves into a mess of bizarre tangents that inevitably lack resolution. These convoluted, random events do leave those involved with the burning trail of destruction, and even death, that remains in their wake when Xavier trots off unexpectedly to his next adventure.
Although described as a comedy, Xavier: Renegade Angel is “peculiar” more than it is “funny.” The way that Xavier walks, sits, talks to and interacts with other characters on the show can make sober viewers uncomfortable to the point of turning the show off completely; however, Xavier: Renegade Angel may prove to be an extremely entertaining television series for viewers who are not, shall we say, sober. The overall feel of Xavier: Renegade Angel is not unlike a bad acid trip, and Xavier’s monologues make so little sense that viewers might have a better time understanding his “logic” with an altered state of mind. Not surprisingly, two of the series’s creators, John Lee and Vernon Chatman, are the imaginative minds behind the odd sketch comedy series Wonder Showzen, which aired on MTV2 in 2005 and 2006.
The Xavier: Renegade Angel Seasons 1 & 2 DVD package contains about four hours of programming, complete with extra features that will amuse current fans of the show. The 20-episode, 2-disc package is not recommended for extended viewing, but is best consumed one or two episodes at a time. Fans of Xavier: Renegade Angel will not be disappointed by this DVD set; however, I also would not recommend using Xavier: Renegade Angel Seasons 1 & 2 to introduce a new viewer to the show as it will prove to be extremely overwhelming and alienating.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars