The Idhun Chronicles

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Idhun Chronicles TV Poster Image
Paper-thin characters doom beautiful anime to blahness.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

We're committed to diversity in media.

We're updating our reviews to better highlight authentic stories and accurate, diverse representations. See something that needs to be addressed? Suggest an update to this review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show's sensibilities are on the side of heroes/underdogs who hope to use magic to shape their world rather than force, but it's hard to glean much about the motivation in this series, which seems more interested in showing battles and fantastical beasts.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Idhun Chronicles falls into the "heroes' journey" type of storytelling but it also contains elements of a "chosen one" story, i.e. Jack was born with powers that other characters are aware of and that he didn't do anything in particular to gain. This makes him less relatable as a character, most viewers being aware that they're born average. Many other characters are cliched: Kirtash is the ice-cold villain, Shail is an unemotional teacher. Victoria, who learns how to use her powers through effort and over time, is the most interesting character and best role model. 

Violence

There are lots of fantasy-type battles: huge swords that emit beams of light, magicians who can generate force fields. Characters die onscreen and we see their dead bodies, but there's no blood or gore. Fantasy teachers (sharp-toothed dragons, hissing flying snakes) may be scary to young children. A teen character loses his parents and cries over the loss. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Idhun Chronicles is an animated series about a fantasy world, Idhun, that's besieged by an evil villain and the magical heroes who must band together to bring peace to Idhun once more. Violence is perhaps the show's iffiest element, and there are many battles between heroes and villains (who look alike and can be hard to tell apart): sword fights with blades that emit a lightsaber-like glow, magicians who can gather energetic forcefields and knock people and objects down, giant flying snakes that are under the control of the tyrant who's overtaken Idhun. Battles are bloodless and free from gore; we see dead bodies, but they're not lingered on. A boy grieves the loss of his parents by crying. Language, drinking, drugs, or sexual content is absent, but positive messages are thin because most of the show's running time is taken up by clashes and battles rather than in seeing characters grow over time. Main character Jack, as well as villain Kirtash and mentor Shail are all cliched character types; Victoria is a more interesting character who learns how to improve her magical skills over the course of the series. 

Wondering if The Idhun Chronicles is OK for your kids?

Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Based on the young adult fantasy trilogy Memorias de Idhún by Spanish novelist Laura Gallego, THE IDHUN CHRONICLES picks up as 13-year-old Jack (Itzan Escamilla) to find a terrible tragedy has befallen his family, and unearthly warriors waging a battle in his living room. When he comes to again, he finds he's been spirited away by Shail (Nico Romero) and Alsan (Carlos Cuevas) to a magical refuge where Jack learns that he's from the planet Idhun, and a pair of hitmen are after him and every Idhun person who fled the planet's great war. Now with Kirtash (Sergio Mur) and Elrion (Christopher Corey Smith) after him, it's up to Shail and Alsan, plus fellow Idhunese refugee Victoria (Michelle Jenner) to teach Jack how to harness his magic powers and team up to defeat the evil forces that hold Idhun hostage. 

Is it any good?

Beautiful animation and intriguing fantasy trappings can't save this anime from its so-so status due to its clunky pacing and undeveloped characters. It's a pity, too, because Gallego's original trio of books is, by all accounts, a richly realized world where the emotions of its characters are just as prominent as the magical occurrences around the characters, a distinct departure from most plot-driven fantasies with paper-thin characters. Unfortunately, in its anime adaptation, Gallego's characters have been flattened into types: Jack's the chosen one who has powers everyone knows about (but himself!), Kirtash is a bland hitman doing a job, Shail and Aslan are mentors who exist only to teach Jack. Victoria, who's just beginning to understand and use her own magical powers, is the most interesting and non-tropish character on the show, but we don't get a lot of time to know her between fight scenes. 

Speaking of those, they are beautiful, as is the rest of The Idhun Chronicles. The animation in the scenes where our heroes spend time in a refuge for Idhunese expatriates is positively Miyazakian in its glowing beauty. The characters look great too: Jack and Victoria look younger than Kirtash, Shail, and Aslan, and each has a distinctive way of dressing that helps separate one from the other. The glimpses we get of the embattled Idhun are a wow too: multiple suns and moons in the sky; dragons that fly over otherworldly hills; hissing winged serpents. But without relatable characters to care about, it doesn't add up to anything great. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the heroes inThe Idhun Chronicles. Who are they? Are their actions always heroic, or do they play both sides? Is it unrealistic to expect a real-life role model's behavior to be above reproach?

  • Do fantasy series such as this one ever make you look at the world differently? What might the dragons and unicorns of our world be? Is there anyone who can be likened to Jack or Victoria? To Kirtash or Shail? 

  • This anime was based on a series of novels by a Spanish writer and made by a Spanish media company. Other than the show's original Spanish-language soundtrack, is this heritage in evidence in The Idhun Chronicles? Can you see a Spanish influence on the animation style? The storytelling? The characters, their names, the architecture and imagery of their world? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love anime

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate