Adult Animation Revolution: ‘Entergalactic’ — A Smart And Stylish Animated Drama That We Need More of

by Tito W. James

Created by Kid Cudi and Kenya BarrisEntergalactic is about two young artists navigating the twists and turns of finding love in New York City. The vibrant vision of New York, African American leads, and animated illustration aesthetic are sure to remind viewers of the Spider-Verse. However, Entergalactic quickly asserts its own identity with its raw, bawdy, and charismatic characters.

The program sheds the snarky or sappy protagonists usually found in most romantic comedies and instead follows the journeys of two creative, independent, and imperfect adults. The characters’ inner thoughts and emotions spring to life on screen in brief moments of pop-surrealism. The stylistic editing, vivid colors, and playful storytelling is more than just hip art direction — all of these creative choices reflect the worldview of the characters at this point in their life.

Animation has delivered some of the most interesting love stories in recent years with films like The Windshield Wiper, Your Name, Weathering With You, Night is Short Walk on Girl, and Anomalisa. Entergalactic adds its own identity to the genre and celebrates its characters’ bodies and spirits. The depiction of sexual material in animated form is a hot-button issue and I believe that Entergalactic moves the conversation in a more creative direction.

While I have no qualms about animated sex or violence, some audiences and creators have expressed concern that adult animation was devolving into “video game cutscenes.” That’s why it’s important that we have intelligent adult animated dramas that are just as visually transportive as a high-concept blockbuster. Adult animation is more than a single genre, identity, or art style. The adult animation revolution is about challenging the preserved limitations of animation and exploring the outer-limits of form and content. Kid Cudi expressed how “we’ve entered an era of indie style adult animation that I never wanna leave” and Entergalactic is a prime example of this new era.

Entergalactic is now streaming on Netflix.

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