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YMMV / 3Below

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  • Abandon Shipping: A minor example, but Steve/Aja was a surprisingly well received pairing, which caused some to stop shipping Steve/Eli, a very popular pairing back in Trollhunters. While Steve/Eli remains popular, this show have rise to other ships that use these characters, including Eli/Krel.
  • Applicability:
    • The premise of the series is about two teenagers who are forced to flee for their lives when a dictator stages a violent coup on their home planet, and get separated from their parents in the process. They wind up in the United States of America, struggling to adjust to an entirely new culture and way of life, which is made easier by them meeting and befriending one alien who's been living on Earth for a while now and gladly teaches them human culture. Some humans also discriminate against them due to being aliens in, depending on who's in the loop, either the foreigner or the extraterrestrial sense of the word. Through it all, the siblings try to hold onto hope they can return home, reunite with their parents, and the dictatorship over their home collapses. That story, without any of the alien sci-fi elements, can be applied to any refugee seeking asylum in better-off countries.
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    • In the first episode Krel is marked as the king-in-waiting by his father in a public ceremony that was used by his ancestors for centuries, with his father telling him that he did this with his father. In the second episode, Aja is marked queen-in-waiting by Varvatos, who would be present in the normal ceremony but not in this role, and with only her brother looking on, and in a completely different setting without much of the ritual. This has a lot of applicability to trying to maintain customs and traditions after being displaced and trying to connect to a sundered heritage.
    • In the series finale, Krel decides to remain on Earth as he considers it his new home while Aja returns to Akaradion-5 to accept the throne and repair the damage Morando had done. These are two choices refugees have to make when the trouble in their home countries subside; either remain in their adopted homes or return to their original homelands to help rebuild them.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: In the previous series, Claire's mom, as soon as she finds out Trolls exist, wants to warn the mayor about the impending apocalypse underneath Acadia because the mayor has a duty to protect the city, and the people of Arcadia should know they're in danger. However, the Trollhunters talk her out of it because if the masquerade breaks, then the Trollmarket refugees and the humans of Arcadia will be imperiled by this sudden change in status quo, especially with Gunmar on the way and humans lacking the necessary firepower, despite the very good points Mrs. Nuñez brought up about getting as much help as they could to fight Gunmar and Morgana. When the Tarrons find out that Morrando is planning on invading Earth, they immediately decide to alert the Earthan Authorities and recruit as many allies as they can despite the threat of Area 49-B because they know they can't take on Morrando's army alone.
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  • Cliché Storm: There are a lot of story parts that are borrowed from other Science Fiction works in the story. i.e. The 1950s based disguise, Area 51, Interspecies Romance, a crash involving a flying saucer, Aliens Among Us, Etc.
  • Ear Worm: "Easy peasy lemon squeezy..." It helps that it serves the same role as "I've Got You, Babe" in Groundhog Day.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Alpha. He quickly gained fans for his cool design and badassery. Being the only surviving member of the Zeron Brotherhood, he also became popular as a source of fan theories and Fanfic Fuel.
    • Tronos Madu gathered fans due to his Tragic Villain backstory. His subsequent Heel–Face Door-Slam and being killed by Morando only added to it.
  • Genius Bonus: Varvatos' quickly lost chess game in "Flying the Coop" really is one of the fastest possible checkmates, known as Fool's Mate.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Tatiana Maslany and Diego Luna play the lead characters, which they almost were in Rogue One, in which Maslany almost had the part of Jyn Erso opposite to Luna being Cassian Andor until she had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Perhaps they dodged a bullet there, since Jyn and Cassian had romantic subtext while Aja and Krel are siblings, akin to Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Godzilla (2014) (which was also directed by Rogue One director Gareth Edwards) or Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Ho Yay: Shannon is seen kissing a girl in "Asteroid Rage" when both confess to have never kissed anybody before what they presumed would be their death, both characters being the first explicitly LGBT+ characters in the Tales of Arcadia franchise.
  • Popular with Furries: The Zeron Brotherhood in general, for being a group of evil and cool characters. Among them, Alpha is still the most popular one.
  • Ship Mates: Steve/Aja shippers have gotten some friends who also ship Jim/Claire, the other Official Couple. Some shippers also started shipping Krel/Eli as a companion ship to this show's main couple.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Krel/Eli, which has gotten traction over the idea of it being a companion couple to Steve/Aja and that Eli, with his nerdy personality, would be attracted to a super intelligent alien.
  • Signature Scene: Aja and Steve's Big Damn Kiss in "Last Night on Earth".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The story is very unsubtle about the difficulties faced by immigrants and the racism that follows.
    • Krel and Aja are literal aliens (and even then, "aliens" are considered an offensive slur) who wind up in the sleepy American town of Arcadia as refugees when their planet suffers a coup. The normally stoic and heartless Señor Uhl becomes protective of them when he finds out (though he thinks they come from a foreign country) and vows to protect them, becoming hostile to people who single out Krel and Aja for their foreign-ness or use the term "illegal aliens", implying that he himself has faced such discrimination before.
    • Krel's human form was deliberately designed to make him appear as a "Latino" because the data collected by the ship's AI believed that people care the least about them, with various characters like Seamus' father and Birdynote  implying that "someone like him" would not have the mathematic skills that he does without cheating.
    • In "Ill Gotten Gains", Krel and Aja's human friends chase Area 49B away by threatening to record Kubritz' xenophobic statements on their phones and make them go viral on social media if she doesn't leave Aja and Krel alone, a popular technique that minorities and their allies use to defend themselves from bigots with authority.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series' premise is identical to Sym-Bionic Titan but without the Human Aliens and Humongous Mecha.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The Reveal that Varvatos Vex betrayed the Royal family out of anger for his fallen family and let the shields down for General Morando the day of his attack. The King knew this and still forgave him, which led to Vex becoming The Atoner and protecting Aja and Krel with extreme zeal. When the siblings find out, Krel just sounds so hurt and was even willing to kill him in revenge, but Aja decides to exile Vex to Earth for all eternity instead.
    • Vex's Heroic Sacrifice when he is stopping the Mothership from leaving. He apologizes to Aja and Krel for all he had done, with the siblings tearfully pleading with him not to die a glorious death.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Krel and Aja’s Broken Pedestal regarding their parents’ refusal to help save Tronos Madu’s planet is completely unresolved, with no explanation for why they did it.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Averted. Many Trollhunters fans like 3Below because of its good quality, heartwarming moments, and fish-out-of-water humor.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Colonel Kubritz is a US government official who detains and captures "illegal aliens" without trial or jury, imprisoning them indefinitely with the paper-thin pretense of protecting the country even if it comes at the expense of actual legal citizens. She also dismisses all evidence to the contrary (even from her own allies), doubling down on her decisions and siding with an Authoritarian figure everyone else says is untrustworthy. It does not help that Krel - one of her two biggest targets - has a human form deliberately made to look latino.


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