Follow TV Tropes

Following

Western Animation / Kulipari: An Army of Frogs

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kulipari_an_army_of_frogs.jpg
Advertisement:

Kulipari: An Army of Frogs is a Netflix original animated series based on the book trilogy written by ex-NFL player Trevor Pryce. The show takes place in Amphibilands, a village populated by frogs who live in peace and are protected by a magical barrier known as the Veil. When the frogs find their homeland in danger after an evil scorpion ruler teams up with a spider queen, a young frog named Darel must venture out of the Veil to seek the Kulipari, an ancient clan of poisonous frog warriors who defend the Amphibilands from evil.

Has a sequel comic, Kulipari: Heritage set after the events of the first season following Burnu on his quest for the Poison Scrolls.

A sequel series, Kulipari: Dream Waiker, came out on November 20, 2018.

A sequel novel, Kulipari: Warflower will come out in 2019, detailing Quoba's exploits during the timeline of Heritage and Dream Walker.

Advertisement:

Kulipari: An Army of Tropes:

  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the novels, the power of Kulipari is strictly a great enhancement to one's physical abilities. In the show it gives them more explicit magic powers, most notably with Quoba, who's stealth was originally so enhanced she could move without being seen being changed to her having the ability to literally teleport. This gets taken up to eleven with new Kulipari introduced, such as Wilka who has the power of cloning herself.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Due to the compressed nature of the second half, a lot of details get left out.
    • The reason the veil should be lowered is more apparent in the books. While the Amphibilands is established as the source of water for the outback, the fact that the Veil is restricting that flow of water and the outback has been suffering from a drought as a result is not fully addressed in the show.
    • Hawks simply show up to deliver Darel's group back to the Amphibilands and then immediately leave, in the book they show up while Darel's expedition are under attack simply to prey on the attackers, requiring Darel to beg them for assistance; creatures of the air don't meddle in the affairs of creatures of the land, so transportation is the most they agree to.
    • Advertisement:
    • In the show the Spiders just abruptly decide, Screw This, I'm Out of Here! in the second battle for the Amphibilands; In the book, Darel meets the Trapdoor Spiders earlier, who give them a spider silk bracelet, which in Spider traditions marks one as being protected by spiderkind. Once the Spiders notice this, they honor their traditions and refuse to continue fighting.
  • Adapted Out: Gee's younger brother Miro is absent in the show.
  • All for Nothing: Killara's entire subplot in Dream Walker. He spends a valuable amount of time trying to steal his pearl back from Lord Darkan, even going as far as abandoning his trusty Co-Dragons Nogo and Skink. When he finally gets away with his prize, it's revealed that he stole a fake, and Fahlga's spiders acquired the real one.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The dart frog Kulipari are real life examples of this, but take it a step further by also being able to glow on top of that.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Gee does not have a canon love interst and has not shown attraction towards girls, yet he offers to give Darel a back scratch and then enjoyed a massage from Ponto much more than he should.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Darel uses his father's dagger as his weapon of choice.
  • Anti-Climax: In Kulipari: Heritage. After spending four issues setting up Lord Nahradhan as the new villain, he's abruptly killed with a spear to the back. By Lord Marmoo, no less.
  • Anyone Can Die: Downplayed. It isn't until Episode 9 when some of the recurring characters start dying, and even then more than half the cast makes it to the final episode.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Among other things, frogs can eat vegetables, scorpions have internal skeletons and platypi are not venomous.
  • Back from the Dead: Lord Marmoo, who's resurrected by Queen Jarrah's magic in Episode 10.
    • And he's revived again by Lord Nahradhan's magic in "Heritage".
  • Badass Grandpa: Old Jir, who doesn't hesitate to fight alongside the frogs during the battle in Episode 9, despite the fact that his poison has clearly burned out.
  • Badass Normal: Darel, he doesn't have the poison of the Kulipari, but he can hold his own in a fight and even has the Kulipari's respect to the point they trust him as a leader.
  • Beneath Notice: The mercenaries have Sandpaper Frog servants that are so despised by everyone, Darel realizes that pretending to be one will let him casually travel through the enemy camp unimpeded.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Lord Marmoo and Queen Jarrah.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Episode 9 is one long clash between Lord Marmoo's scorpions, Killara's mercenaries, Queen Jarrah's spiders, and the inhabitants of Amphibilands.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Despite how grim the twelve episode was, the Season 1 finale ends on a much brighter note. The residents of the Outback band together and find a new home with plenty of fresh water and food, none of the wounded perish, and Lord Marmoo's army is washed out of the Amphibilands with a flood and presumably drowns off-screen. But Quoba exhausts all her poison, their new home no longer has a Veil and is vulnerable to attack, and during their fight against Marmoo, certain frogs (namely Arabanoo and Chief Olba) were killed.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Interestingly enough used on both sides when the character in question starts using their full strength. On the heroic side, this only happens with the Kulipari as part of their transformation. The implication here being that this is what happens when a character is using venom, as both Kulipari and villainous scorpions and spiders draw their strength from it; non-venomous magic characters like the turtles and platypodesnote  have their eyes turn gold instead.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Heritage is a lot more graphic compared to the TV show, featuring full bloody shots of characters being stabbed, sliced, impaled, and in some cases, bifurcated.
  • Bloodless Carnage: With the exception of a red slash across Arabanoo's chest, there's not a single ounce of blood shown during the fight scenes, even when characters are stabbed or slashed.
  • Breakout Character: Burnu. While he was the leader of the Kulipari in the show, he didn't show up until halfway into the series, and even then, he was a Deuteragonist at best. In Heritage, he's the main character on a solo mission to find a MacGuffin, while everyone from the show has been Put on a Bus.
  • Brick Joke: In Heritage, Burnu wins a fight against Ponto because Ponto tripped over a twig and passed out. Sergu then tells Burnu that "sometimes you save the day, and sometimes the day saves you." In the final issue, Burnu and Wilka are almost killed by Lord Nahradhan, only for Marmoo to abruptly show up and throw a spear in his back, thus saving them both. When Burnu and Wilka escape, he understandably breaks into a fit of laughter.
  • Bring Help Back: Deciding to remove the Veil, Darel sets on an expedition to find anyone that will help them when the Scorpions inevitably attack as a result. Nobody will help.
  • But Now I Must Go: Stinger decides to leave Nova Australis at the end of Dream Walker, where he tells a tearful Tipi that he must lead the wandering scorpions out in the desert.
  • Character Development: Burnu starts off extremely arrogant and looking down on the non-Kulipari Darel, but as time passes he begins to realize that Darel is special in his own right.
    Thuma: You always said he's not even Kulipari?
    Burnu: Well, he's not. He wasn't born with poison like you and me.
    Thuma: What was he born with?
    Burnu: Courage. Everything else he's had to earn, and that's what makes him great.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The pearl given to Darel to teach him that even the tiniest grain of sand has value, ends up helping him kill Lord Marmoo the first time by trading it to Killara.
    • On that note, Darel's father's dagger, which he rarely used up until that point but always kept it around.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Lord Marmoo was kinda hammy to begin with, but after he gets an "upgrade" from Jarrah, he's so vociferous that he may as well have chewed on the Amphibilands like it's a pack of bubble gum.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Kulipari: Heritage ends with Lord Marmoo still alive, and Killara giving him the location of the Poison Scrolls.
    • Dream Walker leaves several subplots open when it ends. Quoba is implied to have pulled a Face–Heel Turn; Lord Marmoo successfully escapes Cardigal and seemingly has the power of the Poison Scrolls; Fahlga is now Queen Fahlga, and intends on teaming up with Killara to find more Scrolls; Queen Jarrah and Sergu's spirits are still trapped inside Koa's mind, with the former dying to use Koa's powers to destroy the frogs; lastly, Lord Darkan is still alive and well, and most likely pissed off that his city has been destroyed.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Ponto is the Kulipari's resident medic, and also the biggest and most physically powerful of them.
    • Coorah too, trains to heal and to a lesser extent to fight.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The entire book trilogy is covered in one 13 episode season; An Army of Frogs is covered in Episodes 1-9, The Rainbow Serpent comprises Episodes 10-11, and Amphibian's End is Episodes 12-13.
  • Darkest Hour: By episode 13, The Amphibilands have fallen to Lord Marmoo, and while the frogs are allowed to live in exile, the Amphibilands are the source of all the water in the outback, and Marmoo has dammed it all up, putting all civilizations, not just the frogs, to be in peril.
  • De-Power: Quoba burns out her poison, apparently permanently, helping Darel drop the rock at the end.
  • Demoted to Extra: Gee, Coorah, Quoba and Pigo all have considerably less screentime in the Dream Walker season. Gee and Coorah spend most of their time residing in Nova Australis, while Quoba was on her own mission that will later be focused on in the comic Warflower. As for Pigo, he dies two episodes in after falling down a waterfall, and there has been no hints that he survived.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the novels, Arabanoo joins Darel in the second battle for the Ampibilands but ends up one of the casualties of the battle with his death revealed to be caused by Taking the Bullet for Coorah after the fact. In the show, he explicitly tries to attack Marmoo and dies in a Single-Stroke Battle just before Darel arrives.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Lord Nahradhan, who's killed by Lord Marmoo—conveniently right before Marmoo acquires the location of the Poison Scrolls.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Dingo makes various bad puns, and then immediately explains said puns despite how obvious they are.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 12 ends with the Amphibilands destroyed, the Kulipari too wounded to fight, Darel surrendering to Marmoo, the residents of the Amphibilands all captured by Marmoo's army, and Arabanoo dead.
  • The Dragon:
    • Commander Pigo to Lord Marmoo.
    • After the Time Skip, Queen Jarrah gets a Dragon as well named Fahlga.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted. While Lord Marmoo does value his brother as an ally, he never outright states he loves or cares about him, just the fact that he's strong enough to be his commander. Towards the end of the series, Marmoo blatantly puts Pigo's life in danger without caring about his safety, and it gets to a point where Pigo has to abandon Marmoo for the sake of not being eaten alive by him.
  • Exact Words:
    • Lord Nahradhan tells Burnu that no mere frog can kill him. And he doesn't. A scorpion kills him.
    • In Dream Walker, Killara tells Nogo and Skink that he always has a plan in order to achieve his goals. This includes leaving said trustworthy allies to get captured while he gets away.
  • Fat Best Friend: Gee, the corpulent frog who's Darel's closest buddy.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A very odd example in that the soundtrack, art and mythology are clearly based off aboriginal australians, but almost everything else about the in-universe factions, from clothing to social structure, are more medieval european. The scorpion army adds in a few mongolian and roman trappings, while the turtles are more comfortably native papuans. Naming is all over the place, with english names like Darrel, aboriginal australian names like Jarrahnote  and just the plain weird like Marmoo.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: The High Wattleflower, a medicinal herb with magical properties that only grows at the top of the mountain. Climbing the mountain to retreive the flower is said to be so dangerous that only the Kulipari were ever able to do it.
  • Furry Confusion: Killara's komodo dragons don't speak or wear any forms of clothing and act more feral-like, and his mercenaries ride them as if they're horses.note 
  • Gentle Giant: Ponto is the tallest member of the Kulipari squad and one of the tallest characters in the series, yet he has the role of the healer amongst the squad.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Jarrah.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Hiding War, which was fought for control of the water of the Amphibilands and ended with said Amphibilands being hidden behind a magic veil. Notable fallout from the war includes the death of most of the Kulipari and the fall of Terra Australis from Shining City to the Wretched Hive that is Cardigal.
  • The Great Wall: Realizing a scorpion attack may be impending, the frogs of the Amphiblands decide to defend themselves by building a massive wall around it.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • In the Season 1 finale, Commander Pigo and a small band of scorpions defect from Marmoo's army after Marmoo gives them the ultimatum to either leave or be eaten alive by the strong.
    • In episode 9, Darel manages to pay off Killara and his mercenaries with the pearl he had on him, it was enough to convince him to kill Lord Marmoo.
  • Heroic Lineage: Darel's father was a Kulipari, but unfortunately for him, Darel is a normal Wood Frog like his mother.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When acid bombs turn out to be effective on scorpion shells, but ineffective on Marmoo, Chief Olga takes the initiative and force feeds Marmoo one of them, burning his face severely, but getting herself killed by him in the process.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Darel and Gee are shown to have this kind of relationship. Darel even spends three whole episodes trying to rescue Gee from the scorpion army
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Amphibilands, as a result of the Hiding War, was enchanted with a magical Veil cast by the Turtle King that renders it invisible and keeps outsiders from entering.
  • Hour of Power: The Kulipari have a limited supply of poison and can only use their super form for so long as a result before they need to rest and recover. Forcing their powers too far runs the risk of burning out their poison entirely robbing them of their powers forever.
  • Human Resources: When Jarrah doesn't have enough power to lift the veil, she simply gives herself a power boost by killing off a large part of Marmoo's army.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Darel keeps calling the Skink mercenary a snake, annoying her constantly.
  • Jerk Jock: Arabanoo, who constantly teases Darel at how inferior he is and that he'll never be a Kulipari. He notes that he's only really doing it because he's Darel's friend and is trying to show him some tough love, and he gets considerably better from Episode 3 onwards.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Darel and Arabanoo get into a fight that inadvertently causes significant damage to the marketplace, but Darel is the only one who is held responsible for this.
    • Killara never receives his comeuppance for his crimes, despite assisting Lord Marmoo during his assault on the Amphibilands.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: At one point, Darel has to come up with an alias whilst among Killara's mercenaries; glancing around the barracks, he comes up with 'Snorebutt'. Killara, on learning his real name, decides 'Darel' doesn't have the same ring.
  • MacGuffin: The Poison Scrolls in the Heritage comic.
  • The Medic: Coorah. Her Establishing Character Moment is her hoping that Gee, Arabanoo, or Darel got hurt when they fought each other just so she could heal them.
  • Misplaced Wildlife
    • The tree frogs, the series takes place in Australia (or at least a fictional analog to it) and while there are Australian tree frogs the ones seen here are clearly meant to be red eyed tree frogs which are Central American.
    • Zig-zaged with the komodo dragons which don't live in modern Australia, there is fossil evidence that they started in Australia then immigrated to the Komodo Islands.
  • Motor Mouth: Yabber the turtle, who admits he doesn't really understand the concept of 'talking too much'.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Lord Marmoo after he is powered up by Jarrah becomes so powerful he is immune to acid strong enough to burn through normal scorpion hide, and even when the heroes pull out all the stops and manage to phase him, he seems to magically recover shortly afterward.
  • Out of Focus: Despite early implications, Arabanoo fades into the background gradually as the Season progresses. This culminates when he becomes one of the scant few named characters to perish near the Season's end. Contrast Gee, who remains a constant throughout most of the Season, with minimal fading/focus fluctuation, usually sticking close to Darel, and who makes it through to the end of the Season pretty much unscathed (aside from getting kidnapped then rescued part-ways in).
  • Pet the Dog: Jarrah is somewhat more patient and caring towards her apprentice, Fahlga.
  • Plot Hole: Lord Marmoo is seen clearly chained to a wall in the final issue of Heritage, yet somehow, he manages to break free, acquire a spear, and use it to kill Lord Nahradhan. All off-screen.
  • Power Glows: Kulipari glow when they are drawing on the power of their poison.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Killara may be an evil reptile with an army of equally vicious reptiles at his feet, but he's simply a mercenary doing his job because Lord Marmoo is paying him to. When Darel bribes Killara with a better offer, he immediately betrays Marmoo, takes his army, and leaves the residents of the Amphibilands in peace.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Jir, an elderly frog who's blind in one eye and hasn't fought in years, takes on a crowd of scorpions by himself, and then pauses to let out a Battlecry. He's stung in the back by a scorpion seconds later.
    • Despite knowing it's their primary defense, the residents of Amphibilands have the Veil removed based on the Rainbow Serpent's words. Lord Marmoo immediately attacks and burns the village down.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Killara, Marmoo's ally, is a lizard with an army of cold-blooded mercenaries and feral komodo dragons at his disposal.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Arabanoo, one of the main characters, is killed in the penultimate episode of Season 1 to show just how grim the situation has turned.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Fahlga ditches Lord Marmoo and his scorpions after she sees Ponto literally bash him into the ground.
    • In the Dream Walker season, Killara ditches Nogo and Skink with his pearl after he sees Lord Darkan is gradually overpowering them in episode 7.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Darrel's decision to surrender to Marmoo spares the frogs, and saves all the creatures of the Outback save those who directly followed the Scorpion King.
  • Skintone Sclerae: Unlike the other animals the platypodes have these.
  • Smug Snake: Queen Jarrah and Lord Marmoo are equally smug and overconfident when they know they shouldn't be. Marmoo frequently teases Jarrah and doubts her magical skills, yet bows down to her whenever she unleashes said powers on him. Meanwhile, Jarrah constantly doubts how strong Marmoo and his army truly is, and pretends to act like she doesn't need him, when she knows she does. It bites her in the ass later when, after she's humiliated, she exhaust all of her power just to strengthen Marmoo, completely forgetting that he nearly killed her just one episode earlier.
  • The Social Darwinist: This is the primary facet of scorpion culture who believe the Amphibilands are theirs by "right of force" and also kill and eat their weaker siblings as babies.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Almost every spider in the series is a menacing nightcasting sorcerer/sorceress, with Queen Jarrah being the primary example out of all of them.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Quoba has the power of teleportation, and frequently appears at random in front of Darel and his friends. Dingo notes that it's kinda creepy when it happens to them, and even Quoba concurs that it's unsettling when Darel does a non-powered version to her at a later date.
    • In the book, she is merely stealthy, but still pulls this off all the time.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Pigo dies early on in the Dream Walker season, sacrificing himself to save Darel.
  • Super Mode: Kulipari can boost their power by drawing on their poison, which is indicated by their eyes becoming black and their skin glowing.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Lord Marmoo and Queen Jarrah can't stand each other and have no problem killing one another. Regardless, they're both smart enough to realize they need each other to defeat the Kulipari. When given the opportunity, Marmoo offs Jahra at his best convenience, which happens to be the point in time where he was given a Power Up by Jarrah while she was recovering from a lost fight.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: Besides the main plotlines of Darel in Cardigal and the triplets in Nova Australis, Dream Walker also gives some time to Burnu and Wilka finishing the mission they started in Heritage and a few enigmatic scenes of Quoba that will be elaborated on in Warflower.
  • This Means Warpaint: Darel gets scratched in the face with a strong poison, that Coorah cures by applying a medicinal blue clay. This clay becomes smudged as the adventure continues, making it resemble blue warpaint.
  • Time Skip: Dream Walker takes place a few years after the end of the first season, in which time Darel has established the village of Nova Australis and the triplets have grown up and begun developing their own Kulipari powers.
  • Toilet Humour:
    • In Episode 6 of Season 1, Darel chases after Nogo in order to grab a set of keys he's carrying. He follows Nogo (who's suffering from bowel trauma) right into an outhouse. Cue green explosion.
    • Dream Walker has Nogo letting out a huge fart when he, Skink, and Killara are sneaking through Lord Darkan's fortress. When Skink is startled by the noise, Nogo tells her that it was just him, and nonchalantly farts again in front of her to prove his point.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jarrah usually keeps her composure intact, but she finally loses it in Episode 11 when she's frozen by Darel and the Kulipari and embarrassed by the frogs. Her pride shattered, Jarrah disregards all of Marmoo's threats against her and immediately strengthens his body just so she can send Marmoo to kill all the frogs out of spite.
  • Weapon of Choice: Quoba fights with a staff, Ponto prefers his fists, Dingo uses a bow and Burnu dual wields boomerangs. Darel keeps his father's dagger close to him, but trained in staff fighting, so he is equally likely to use a staff or a spear if one is on hand.
  • Weather Manipulation:
    • Yabber dabbles with this, showing his most impressive demonstration of this when he warms up a frozen mountain to create a massive tidal wave to wash away Jarrah's army.
    • Episode 9 of Dream Walker reveals that one of Koa's powers is this. And making it rain explosive puffer fish.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 7. Darel and Gee discover the Kulipari, only to find out that there are only four left. And Lord Marmoo's army finally reaches the Veil, ready to invade the Amphibilands.
    • Episode 9. Lord Marmoo's army breaches the Veil and engages with the Amphibilands' army. Jir and Sergu the Turtle King are mortally wounded in battle; Sergu gives his last ounce of energy to save Jir. Queen Jarrah and Marmoo are both defeated, and the Amphibilands is saved.
    • Episode 10. Queen Jarrah sends a squad of Ghost Bats to attack the Platypus village, and we later find out that she's resurrected Marmoo and they intend on hunting down Darel and the Kulipari. Burnu is infected by a poisonous spell inflicted by Jarrah.
    • Episode 11. After being defeated by the Kulipari, Jarrah grants Marmoo an extraordinary amount of power, and he repays Jarrah by killing her. Marmoo later heads to the Platypus village to find the Stargazer, but is subdued by Darel and his friends. During the fight, Chief Olba is killed.
    • Episode 12 changes the status quo of the entire show. The Veil is lowered permanently, and Lord Marmoo sends his scorpions to attack once again while Darel and his friends are away. The scorpions burn down the Amphibilands and take everyone hostage. The Kulipari are defeated, Arabanoo is killed, and when Darel tries to fight Marmoo, he's defeated as well. Darel surrenders to protect the survivors, and Marmoo has taken over the Amphibilands. Nothing Is the Same Anymore.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In Episode 7, Arabanoo and Coorah walk up onto one of the village's defenses and see Lord Marmoo's entire army standing right outside the Veil.
    • The final page in Issue 2 of Heritage reveals that Lord Maroo has been resurrected.
    • The final page in Issue 4 shows that Marmoo is still alive and well, and has acquired the location of the Poison Scrolls.
  • Wretched Hive: Cardigal.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lord Marmoo isn't shy about betraying or disposing of his allies if they're of no value to him. Ask Queen Jarrah and Fahlga (although the former narrowly survives).
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Heritage ends with Lord Nahradhan dead, but Wilka and Burnu still have no idea where the scrolls are. Turns out that Marmoo paid Killara to find them, and now he knows where the other scrolls are.
  • Zerg Rush: Lord Marmoo's primary logic. He believes that the sheer amount of his troops will overrun the frogs, regardless of what kind of defenses they have.

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback