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3Below is an American computer-animated television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Cha Cha Cha Films.

Two royal aliens, Aja and Krel Tarron of House Tarron, along with their bodyguard, Commander Varvotos Vex, are forced to flee after General Morando leads a rebellion on their home planet of Akiridion-5. With nowhere else to go the trio end up crash-landing on Earth, in the city of Arcadia. There, the Akiridons adjust to human culture while trying to fix their spaceship to return home, and stop Morando.

The show is the second series in the Tales of Arcadia animated franchise, a sequel show to the series Trollhunters. 3 Below was released on December 21, 2018 and will be followed by Wizards in 2019, which will serve as the Grand Finale of the trilogy.

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The show can be found here.


Tropes in this series include:

    open/close all folders 

    A-M 
  • The '50s: Mother's information about the planet is 60 years old as well as from television and radio broadcasts, so when disguising the ship as a house it ends up looking very retro. Later she also downloads all of her knowledge into two blank robots and they end up being a pair sterotypical parents straight out of a fifties sitcom, spouting old commercials.
  • Action Girl: Aja is much better in a fight then her brother though she lacks formal training.
  • Actual Pacifist: The reason why General Morando launches The Coup is because he believes that the King and Queen's agenda to promote peace is a detriment to Akiridion-5, General Morando believing that they have become weak and launches a Police State campaign to militarize everything. Varvatos Vex gives Morando his way in when the King refused his request to seek vengeance on the invaders that killed his family, though he is quick to change his mind when the King knew he was the traitor and trusted him anyway.
  • Alien Among Us: Now having crashed on Earth, Aja, Krel and Varvatos have to blend in to a planet they have never heard of or seen before. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Aliens of London:
    • Lieutenant Zadra has a noticeable British accent.
    • Stuart, another alien living on Earth, also has a pronounced English accent.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Krel and Aja are able to speak fluent English (albeit with a flawed understanding of Lingo and conflicting accents).
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Due to the impracticality of his human disguise, Varvatos briefly takes to staying home and watching television as a form of information gathering.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: The Zeron Brotherhood abduct a cow for some reason, which Steve finds when he ends up on their ship with Aja and Krel.
  • Altar Diplomacy: According to the King and Queen, they were both members of royal families at war with each other before they married.
  • Amazon Chaser: Steve. After getting his ass thoroughly handed to him by Aja, he awingly compares her to an angel.
    Steve: [internally] Whoa! She's like a ninja-kicking angel. I mean, she— she kicks ninjas, but she's an angel.
  • Amulet of Dependency: The human transformations the group uses, in contrast to Stuart's device-based transformation, seem to be dependent on the ship's systems, and spending enough time away from it can cause them to start failing.
  • Artistic License – Law: Krel and Aja end up at Arcadia Oaks Highschool because Det. Scott tells them it is illegal for them not to be in school. American schooling is only compulsory until age 16, the average age of a high schooler. Furthermore, it's not illegal for a student of any age to not be in school when in the company of a parent or guardian, which Vex had said he was.
  • Ascended Extra: The show's main characters Krel and Aja made their first appearance in the Trollhunters episode "In Good Hands", their alien nature only alluded to repeatedly but not outright shown.
    • Steve Palchuk and Eli Pepperjack have a much greater impact on the story of 3 Below than they did in Trollhunters. Steve even gets Promoted to Love Interest. Most of Arcadia Oaks High student body and faculty also get increased roles.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Aja, Krel and Varvatos' human disguises are applied through a device in the ship. They turn them fully-human (with the various weakness and problems that entails) and they cannot remove the disguises until after 12 Earth hours.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Mother, the A.I. in control of the ship the royals use to flee to Earth.
  • BFG: One of an Akiridion Serrator's Modes, though we've yet to see it fired; usually played for laughs with one of the main cast overreacting, and the "target" not even noticing the utterly massive cannon now trained at them. The weaponry Area 49-B's Personnel carry also somewhat counts.
  • Big Bad: General Morando, an evil dictator who took over Akiridion-5 for his own diabolical purposes.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: In the season 1 finale, as Krel and Pepperjack are fighting creepies, Aja and Steve have their first kiss, complete with Slow Motion and the camera circling around them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending of Part 1, while Aja and Krel managed to defeat Morando's new super weapon and save their parents' cores, doing so required great sacrifice. Their ship is damaged beyond repair and Vex has been captured by the Zeron Brotherhood.
  • Black Site: Area 49-B. Clear reference to Area 51, a highly classified United States Air Force facility in Nevada known for its reports of unusual phenomena, secretive nature, and undoubted connection to classified aircraft research, leading it to become a focus of modern UFO and other conspiracy theories. Doesn't help that it's more defended than Fort Knox.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Omen takes control of Mother as well as Ricky and Lucy in the part 1 climax.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Seamus give his father a passive-aggressive one once it finally sunk in that his father was driving the unnecessarily bitter rivalry against Krel.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The body reconfiguration technology decides to choose forms that are often ignored on Earth: a girl, a Latino, and a senior citizen. Problem is, she completely ignores context, so they wind up with siblings with two different accents and drastically different skin colors and an old man repeatedly trying to fight everyone, things that are sure to get them noticed.
  • The Coup: The exiled General Morando launches his invasion on Akiridion-5 during Krel and Aja's coronation, becoming dictator of the planet with a resistance marching against him.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": A Running Gag that comes with the feebleness of Varvatos' human disguise.
  • The Dreaded: The Zeron Brotherhood is feared by those who know them, and for good reason, with their ruthless tactics.
  • Energy Beings: Akiridions have bodies made of hard light, with the essence of their being contained in a life core.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • When Bertha Flanagan accuses Krel and Aja of being illegal aliens (though she meant it literally, she knew they were actual aliens), Señor Uhl immediately, and rather angrily, comes to their defense and apologizes to them for the trouble. He's happy when Krel and Aja receive their student ID so they would go through a less troublesome process.
    • Mary Wang happily recording Krel and Steve's brawl but taking a moment to call out Seamus with digust when he utters a xenophobic insult.
    • Seamus reaching the point where he realizes just how despicable his father's prejudice is
  • Fantastic Racism: The head of Area 49-B views all aliens as invaders, and will gleefully imprison and experiment on them.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since Aja and Krell having a whole adventure with the Trollhunters gang in "D'aja Vu" would cause a major Continuity Snarl, it's probably not much of a surprise that the events end up getting wiped out completely.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Collision Course", Vex bitterly remarks how after the Zerons bombed the Commerce Building on Satallite-9 (an attack that killed Vex's family), the King decided to fortify the planet's defenses instead of allowing the army to hunt down the Zerons. This was his reason for initially betraying the Tarrons to General Morando by lowering the shields of Akiridion-5.
  • Full-Body Disguise: The human disguises used by the main characters are a combination of this and Baleful Polymorph. The reconfiguration, as it is put, fully turns them into humans with all the aches and pains.
  • Galactic Conquerer: Morando wants to make Akiridion-5 a galactic superpower with him at the helm.
  • Genre Shift: Trollhunters was originally a Fantasy-Adventure Chosen One narrative based around Arthurian legend. In-contrast, 3 Below has a closer focus on Science Fiction, the lead characters being aliens taking sanctuary on Earth.
  • Going Native: Having been on Earth for decades, Stuart is the only alien present in the show that is fully in-line with Earth culture and can blend in the most effectively. He even has a habit of using human idioms and sayings that passes over the Akiridion's heads.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Morando's forces have red as a contrast to the normal Akiridion blue, is it any wonder that they're the villains?
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Arcadia gets stuck in one when a troll combines its trickster magic with a piece of Akiridion tech.
  • Hard Light: The physical forms of the Akiridions, as well as a good portion of their technology.
  • Heart Drive: The Akiridions have life cores which contain their entire being. If their physical bodies are destroyed, they can be reformed from the cores. If the cores are destroyed, they're dead for good.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Trollhunters may come off as background characters in this series, though that's mainly due to the fact that they are in the middle of their own adventure. Certain episodes of Season 1 actually take place during Season 3 of Trollhunters, but from Krel and Aja's perspective.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Varvatos Vex goes for his glorious death by crashing his ship into the hijacked mothership to down it, and atone for his betrayal. He doesn't die, but props for effort.
  • Hope Is Scary: Morando is fully aware of how powerful the hope that the royals will return is, and plans to rub their demise in the populace's face.
  • Humanity Ensues: Aja, Krel and Varvatos' human disguises are more than just holograms, the various biological functions of humans acting being as much a crutch as they are an advantage (Varvotas' frail old body just one thing to mention).
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Earth was chosen to be the trio's hiding place because it is the last planet in the known universe that Morando would think to look for them (the other one being sucked into a black hole at the time), and even then MOTHER describes it as a little ball of water and mud named after "dirt".
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Aja, Krel, and Vex really don't like being referred to as aliens, they prefer Akiridion.
    • Aja isn't a princess. She's a queen in waiting.
  • Interspecies Romance: Aja, an Akiridion warrior princess and Steve, a kinda normal human teenager are dating.
  • Killer Rabbit: Foo Foo the Destroyer is a robotic rabbit bounty hunter that insists that he is a tough and unstoppable killing machine. It does not help that his hops - his hops - are accented with a cute bouncing noise.
  • Killer Robot: Omen, a Blank redesigned to be a weapon.
  • La Résistance: A resistance movement forms on Akiridia-5 after the royals escape.
  • Logo Joke: In a sequence visually similar to the one used for Trollhunters, an alien device opens up into the shape of the crescent moon and Luug walks out to stand on the moon in place of the boy.
  • Love at First Punch: Steve becomes infatuated with Aja after she beats him up.
  • Morph Weapon: Serrators are Hard Light generating objects that look like protractors in their innate form. They take on whatever weapon form their wielder desires from large bladed swords to blaster rifles and can even be shields. Other aliens have similar devices, such as Zeron Alpha's version which generates a triple-tipped drill.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Krel and Aja have four arms each, and while nice, are not to be underestimated. This is indicated to be a sign of royalty by Vex, as the rest of their race only have two arms.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Aja happily squeals over all the new things on Earth, including grass and water.

    N-Z 
  • Noble Fugitive: Krel and Aja are royalty on their home planet that escaped and are now in hiding in Arcadia, California, along with their bodyguard Vex.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The Zerons once bombed an entire civilian building to claim a single bounty.
  • Not So Different: Aja becomes very frustrated when it comes to trying to be a normal human, but thanks to a mind reading device from Krel, Aja sees everyone's thoughts and realizes that even humans have a hard time being normal human.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Akiridion-5 for Krel, Aja, Varvatos and every other Akiridion.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Morando was content to let bounty hunters hunt the royals through most of season 1 while he strengthen his hold and build super-weapons. However, once his attempt with Omen fails to kill them, he decides to head to earth himself.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • When Krel formats a couple of blank drones into fake parents, who then behave like manic 1950s stereotypes, Señor Uhl immediately tries to call Child Protective Services because the parents seem psychotic. Aja gets him to back down by explaining that their homeland was taken over in a coup, earning his sympathy and getting him to write off their odd behavior as trauma.
    • The show makes no attempt to hide the racism and discrimination against Krel and Aja, who are disguised as a Latino and a woman. It was actually deliberately invoked by MOTHER when picking their disguises. The main plot of episode 7 centers around Krel, Aja, and Varvatos dealing with a racist bureaucrat who suspects the siblings of being illegal aliens, though somewhat subverted in that the racist bureaucrat in question is really an alien bounty hunter who knows that main characters are literal aliens, but the point still stands.
    • In episode 7, it's brought up that both appeared to have 'dropped out of the sky'. Having no school history or any form of identification.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Aja apparently has a habit of running off and avoiding her duties as princess, the first episode starting with her sneaking off into the city in a hooded robe.
  • Reunion Vow: Krel is forced to activate the device causing the "Groundhog Day" Loop to avoid discovery by authorities, thus making it so he and Aja never met Jim and his friends and erasing their memories. However, Blinky confidently states that fate will reunite all of them. This is proven true by the fact that they already did meet in Trollhunters in the Backdoor Pilot.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the first episode the King and Queen lead their troops into battle against Morando while also helping the civilians escape. During the climax Morando tries to demoralize the people of Akiridion-5 by killing the royals live on broadcast. But instead it shows Krel and Aja fighting for their people and inspires the people watching to resist Morando even more.
  • Running Gag: Luug likes to play with Varvatos, usually involving him latching onto some body part like a lamprey at the worst possible moment.
  • Science Fantasy: Introduces aliens to the fantasy setting of Trollhunters.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Vex, disguised as an old man with a cane, is assisted in crossing the street by a girl scout trying to earn a badge despite his objections. Hmm...
      • Plus, one major villain is named Alpha and has a dog-shaped head and deep voice.
    • How the Akiridions are Energy Beings with a Heart Drive core they can reform from if their bodies are damaged sounds a lot like the Gems of Steven Universe.
    • Krel makes two blank robots his and Aja's earth parents, after a while Aja names one Ricky and the other Lucy.
    • Krel's name is likely a reference to the aliens from Forbidden Planet.
    • When Zadra and Stuart run through the backyards, Zadra hops over the fences flawlessly while Stuart follows her and crashes into the fences. This is possible reference to Hot Fuzz where Danny, also played by Nick Frost, does the same thing.
  • Sigil Spam: The resistance has rings which indicate the wearer is part of the resistance. This backfires when Morando figures this out and programs his battle robot Omen to recognize the symbol.
  • Sinister Scythe: Zarda's main weapon is a double-edged scythe.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Part 1 takes place at the same time as Part 3 of Trollhunters. The season has several nods to what was happening in the other series, which includes a party while the Trollhunters were at Merlin's cave and the episode where Jim gives Aja and Krel a tour are synchronous. The Part 1 finale dovetails with the Part 3/series finale of Trollhunters and Part 2 will presumably deal with the ramifications of the battle against the Gum-Gums.
  • Status Quo Is God: Before their canonical meet, in episode 6 "D'aja Vu", Krel, Aja and the Trollhunters discover each other's secret identities and proceed to team up in order to defeat a troll who has been starting time loops by combining its trickster magic with a piece of Akiridion tech. While they are victorious in the end, they end up accidentally exposing themselves to various citizens. Krel is forced to set said technology to turn back time one final time which will result in it self-destructing before the troll can find it, meaning that the events of the episode will have never transpired and neither team will have found out each other's secret identities.
  • Take That!: A dart aimed at society in general. Who will fly below society's radar? Girls, latinos, and the elderly.
  • Theme Naming: The Zeron Brotherhood members are all named after Greek letters. The wolf is Alpha, the cat is Beta, and the lizard is Omega.
  • Tron Lines: The design is basically Tron with aliens.

 
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3Below

Krel invents glasses that allows him to read people's minds.

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Main / ElectronicTelepathy

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