TV Review: Trese (S1) | Filipino Myth and Folklore with Shades of Familiar Heroes

If it wasn’t for Geeked Week this show would have pass me by, but I’m glad I found it. It’s a filipino animated series on Netflix directed by Jay Oliva who’s work on animated shows and movies like Young Justice, and Justice League Dark to name a few. Based on the comics by writer Budjette Tan and artist Ka-jo Baldisimo, the show features an incredible English voice cast like Shay Mitchell (You), Jon Jon Briones (Ratched), Griffin Puatu (Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Matthew Yang King (Sweet Home), Darren Criss (Glee), Lou Diamond Phillips (Prodigal Son), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) to name a few.

Premise: Set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings.

Review: I knew little about the show when I dove in, I just liked the look of the animation, in fact when the trailer premiered during the Geeked Week stream I was busy on the phone. I discovered the show as I was watching it and I liked the fact that it has its own identity.

The world building is intriguing, unique in some many ways. It’s full of creatures that were unfamiliar to me, at least for some of them. I commend the show for not explaining its cultural identity but showcasing it instead. It was fascinating. However, the story is not as tightly woven as I would liked, the flow is a bit wonky despite the interesting dynamic between the characters and their history. It feel a bit rushed but it has a nice dark DC feel to it.

Trese is uniquely familiar because for some, the filipino myths and folklore will speak to them, and for others, Alexandra Trese will remind them of western comic book heroes they know like Constantine, Raven, or Zatana while being her own thing.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

If you’re interested in the source material, help us by getting them from the links below:

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