Based on a short story by Alastair Reynolds, Beyond the Aquila Rift follows a team of space travelers who accidentally end up light years from home.
The first thing that struck me about this episode of Love, Death, and Robots was its dive into photorealism. Admittedly, it was an esthetic that took some getting used to. Once I got over the uncanny-valley effect, I could really appreciate the level of detail that went into the character models and world.
The crux of the episode is the relationship between Tom and Greta. The photorealism of the designs heightened the drama between the two characters. The animators were even able to capture nuances of human expression like Greta trying to fight back tears. Greta’s design also stands out because she’s a character who is clearly alluring but is also a mature woman.
The sex scene was explicit but nothing we haven’t seen before in live action films. The scene is further complicated by the reveal of Greta’s true form as an alien spider. The story has striking similarities to legends of the Jorōgumo, a Japanese spider-demon that disguises itself as a beautiful woman to lure in its prey. In this case, the spider-alien claims that she actually cares for Tom and all the lost souls beyond the Aquila Rift.
Love, Death, and Robots is currently streaming on Netflix.