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Cuphead the Game? No, Cuphead the Show! The Cuphead Show Review

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Cuphead, the game that took the gaming community by storm in 2017 and made everyone fall in love with two main fighters in crime, Cuphead, and Mugman. This game incorporated not just a steady plot of collecting soul contracts from indebted monsters around four worlds but also showed how important it was to not deal with the Devil. Cuphead is one of those games where you might throw your whole game system away because you’re on your 100th try of defeating one of the bosses in world 2. Cuphead is also a game where you might take a year or two long break before completely beating it because you just can’t get past those overly difficult minigames. Though Cuphead is all of these things, you can’t deny the love you have stored away for it every time you hear, “I’m Mr. King Dice. I’m the gamest in the land. I never play nice. I’m the Devil’s right-hand man.” Yes, I love Cuphead and I love the adventure and story it brings. Cuphead was definitely the game of the year.

But the game is not what this article will focus on. This article will talk about the newly released Netflix series of the wonderful video game, Cuphead. This series, which came out in 2022 and has one season, definitely caught my eye when I first heard the announcement of its release. My sisters, who are also major Cuphead fans, told me to watch the trailer on Youtube. I looked it up and began to watch it, and I have to say, I wasn’t as enthusiastic to watch it. I’ve had this sort of reluctance to watch series that are adapted from movies or video games. The series that I’ve seen before didn’t live up to how good the movie or video games were and it would just make me cringe every time I thought about it. I didn’t want to mess up my perception of Cuphead because it was literally the game that saved me from my Undertale plateau and gave me a reason to keep watching other games. I decided right then and there that I was not going to watch this series and leave it at that. 

Then I started hearing and reading reviews about the series. I used to always tune into live streams on Tik Tok where people played different games. I came across someone that was playing Cuphead and I watched it for a while. After a few minutes, someone commented if the live streamer had watched the Cuphead series, and the live streamer said he did and he really liked it. At that point in time, I didn’t really pay much attention, but then more and more live streamers kept saying that they really liked the series. I then started to feel that maybe I’m missing out on something, so I mustered up my motivation and I declared that I would watch this series, just to see what all the hype was about. One day, I sat at my desk, popped in my headphones, got comfortable, and started to watch the show. 

It was…. ok.

I’m not saying I absolutely hated it, but I’m not saying I absolutely loved it either. There were some funny parts that made me smile and some parts that made me tune into what was going on, but all together, the series wasn’t up to what I thought it would be. For some reason, I thought the series would follow the plot of the game or at least have a continuation of the game after the ending, but I don’t know why I thought that considering how dark the game is. If you don’t know, the main plot of Cuphead was that the main character, Cuphead, gambled with the Devil and lost, then Cuphead had to make a deal with the Devil to fight all the monsters in the three worlds and get their soul contracts. Then at the end of the game, Cuphead faces off with the Devil and sets the monsters free. That’s basically the whole plot of the game, though it is dark and not something you’d want in your kid’s tv shows. I didn’t realize that the series was rated TV-Y7, but it made sense as I watched on. It was clearly a kid’s show with some interesting humor that I think teens/adults would enjoy. 

The animation has to be the best thing about the series. The voice acting as well was really good. I like the fact that they added some characters from the video game into the series and also incorporated some of the music from the video game, such as with Ribby and Croaks and the root pack. I wish there were more characters from the game in the series, just for nostalgic reasons and curiosity about how they would be portrayed. I liked the relationship that was shown between Cuphead and Mugman. They’re like the modern Spongebob and Patrick, but I would say less dumb, but not by a lot. Mugman had more reasoning than Cuphead, which explains a lot since, in the game, Cuphead was the one to deal with the Devil. I liked how they’re always together and getting into trouble, yet still, be untouchable by the end of the episode. I would have to say one of my favorite episodes from this series was the baby episode and the episode with king dice. They were funny and more memorable. 

Honestly, the series is great for kids and I think if you never saw or played the game, you would be into the show as well since you won’t hold as many expectations over it. It’s a good show to watch when you need something to pass time and a little entertainment for a while. Maybe I just have too many expectations and too many needs for the show to live up to the game, but I was kind of expecting something different. I thought there would be a clear plot throughout the episodes, but they were more just scattered stories for each episode that showed the daily lives of Cuphead and Mugman, aside from episodes 8 and 9 which continued the same story. There is another season coming out, so maybe the first season was just an introductory season and the next season will have a clearer plot. Even so, I would recommend this series for casual viewing and for kids to watch. Hopefully, season two will be just as creative and interesting as season one. 

Maya McKelvey is currently a college student at The College of New Jersey where she studies Communication Studies and Professional Writing. Maya spends her time writing poems, short stories, scripts, and song lyrics. Maya also is well versed in dance which she has been doing for over 7 years. Maya is an open-minded person who believes in taking risks and chances. Maya is currently the Academic, Career, and Campus editor for The College of New Jersey's Her Campus chapter. Follow her if you'd like on snapchat and Instagram @y8awesome.