Who would have guessed a Youtube Original series would have such a huge impact on me that I wanted to review it. And not in a bad way either, even though I love those hate rambles, because Origin is really really good! I’m not even saying this in a way that it’s good for a Youtube show. It’s good enough to stand next to Netflix really, at least in my opinion.
It’s the far future. We have people waking up on a spaceship that hasn’t really made its destination. The destination being Thea, a habitable planet for humans to escape to after mostly destroying the world. In other words, they discover the spaceship has been hit, and everyone else evacuated. And soon after that, strange things start top happen on the ship.
What started as just another sci-fi show, really got under my skin because it really took the time to introduce us our characters. With flashbacks woven into the main plot, the show really built its tension. And I was there, from start to finish, enjoying every minute of it.
Before I even get to the characters, Origin goes the extra mile by casting its actors from all around the world. The representation is good, everyone gets a fair amount of screen time and the flashbacks allow us to hear multiple languages besides English. There are two more familiar actors here, Natalia Tena and Tom Felton, both of whom we know from Harry Potter. The rest are unfamiliar faces, one literally giving his acting debut and yet, it all fits and works. And even though I sort of started watching it for Tom Felton, I’m glad that Sen Mitsuji feels more of a lead here because he is amazing! Fangirl worthy the minute we see him, which is literally in the first scene of the series!
Like I said, there is a whole range of characters in Origin and each episode has one of the central character’s flashbacks to their past added into the present storyline. Episode one focuses on Shun (Sen Mitsuji), who’s escaping his violent past. Shun is by far my favourite character of the show. He is kind of a bad man, but his development is the most fascinating in the show. Though I do admit, Baum (Phillipp Christopher), almost stole the entire first season during his flashback episode.
That being said, everyone on the show has their past they are escaping. So it has The 100 vibe to it, plus elements from every other sci-fi show in space but it manages to make it more about humans than anything else. The majority of the show is about their relationship with each other, the conflicts, their past. There are so many little things that the show allows us to witness between the characters. And each character has their flaws among their strengths. And of course, there are also a lot of mystery to them.
The show doesn’t feel over complicated. It’s not the most busiest sci-fi shows, and that’s where it succeeds. But don’t get me wrong, it has some truly amazing visuals when it matters. It just doesn’t waste those scenes and CGI around. I can tell because at one point I forgot even to notice it. It was just seemingly part of the show, and when it mattered, it stood out again.
There is no telling if there will be a second season yet, but if there is, I wonder if they amp things up. I do like how the show is very compact, and it doesn’t need much because it takes place in such a limited space at times. The rest, the flashbacks feel slightly different from our own present time, similar to Black Mirror. The set design is pretty cool too, and like I said, it’s just simple enough to feel realistic.
Since so much of the show is in its details, I want to gush about it with some spoilers too. First of all, Shun is precious! Yes, I get it, he was a hitman but he cares so much about Lana, that all his good characteristics surface. He is brooding but loving, and I hope since the show so clearly likes him the most too, they won’t kill him off. Oh, and the reason the show loves him the most? He has two flashback episodes, which means he is the centric character more often than others.
Baum is one hell of an asshole character but man, when his flashback episode reveals he is gay or at least bisexual, I was like GO BAUM! Because representation, right there. Though, if I have to admit, I did guess one of the male characters was gay. It’s just refreshing to see such an unpleasant one given this trope. In a good way!
That final episode though. Like I kept thinking, who could it be and I guessed completely wrong. I didn’t want it to be her, you know, because Lana was so important for Shun and he is my favourite. But in a way, I like how this show isn’t afraid to do it. And to have such a great character put into such a situation. It almost felt like the alien life form was not evil at all, but simply surviving just like the rest of them. Natalia Tena is such a great actress too, and the reveal episode showcased her skills a lot. In other words though, that final episode hurt like hell but I was so proud of it!
Finally, I do admit that it’s been a while since I’ve been so into a show. And it’s amazing to have one from such a platform. Now it’s important for the show to continue, even though I’m not really sure where it can go.2