Hello and WELCOME to Let’s Watch The Show, an episode by episode fan analysis of the cartoon network show O.K. KO, Let’s Be Heroes that is FREE inside every box of Sugar Blasted Laser-O’s! I’m your host, a colorful yet vaguely disconcerting mascot who’s commercials used to be WAY weirder in the 70s, Friendly Troll!
It’s KO’s first day on the job at the Bodega, and he’s all fired up to HELP! Who? Anyone, really! But ESPECIALLY his cool new co-worker Enid! But can he HELP Enid learn how great it is… to HELP people? Probably not. But he’s going to give it his absolute best by helping as many people around Lakewood Plaza Turbo as he possibly can! But it turns out even if your intentions are good, some people might take you trying to help as a reason to be… mean . It’s up to K.O. to break through the local Alleyway Teens’ hostile attitudes to see if he can REALLY help them, where it counts! ...and maybe get a “eh, that wasn’t SO bad” out of Enid after all.
Well folks, we’ve reached our first character spotlight split! Because even though this episode focused really specifically on K.O. , I feel like it’s also our first real look at Enid ! Luckily enough, I’m not a man who shies away from talking about characters I love… so lets bring it on!
K.O.- This episode really shows that KO doesn’t just talk a big game- and even though he can be enthusiastic, he really CAN be a big help! But he’s still a little kid, which means he’s the kind of innocent where… well. Sometimes he can’t really tell when someone’s making fun of him. K.O. assumes the best of people, so he doesn’t always realize when they’re actually trying to be mean. But it’s that same good faith in people that lets KO figure out how to help people who don’t even think they want to be helped! And maybe most importantly, even though he finds out the Teens were being mean to him, KO doesn’t crumple! He redoubles his efforts, and does his ding dang best to reach out! And honestly, what could be more heroic than that?
Enid- Anyone who’s worked in retail can probably emphasize a little with Enid; sure, helping people SOUNDS great but when that’s your whole job sometimes… people. Are terrible. Manning the front desk at the Bodega probably isn’t WHY Enid has a heart of ice and a mouth of sarcasm, but it sure can’t help. But even though she’s not receptive to K.O.’s The Joys Of Helping routine, she clearly already has a soft spot for him and his sincere sweetness. Seeing her crack a lil’ smile as he runs to clean up the store is pretty dang cute; and you can ALSO see she has a prettttty significant soft spot (crush) for local unruly wildcard teen, Red Action! So even if her defenses might be high, it’s clear that Enid has feelings, and isn’t just mean for the sake of it. Well. Unless it’s funny.
Villain of the Episode
Mean teenagers!! IN AN ALLEYWAY. Alleyway teens . ...maybe? I mean, they do get kind of turned around by the end of the episode, so I’m not sure that really counts as Villainy! More… mid level knee jerk bullying, even if the lava kinda pushes is. So… I guess the REAL villain this time… is apathy ?? That seems like an even tougher foe then a Darryl. Maybe even as dangerous as THREE Darryls… in a cowboy hat.
Oh cob there’s so many to choose from! But I think I have to say I have a special soft spot for Mr. Logic , the plaza’s resident hair stylist! I mean, haven’t we all had a day where you feel 20% off…? And how can you not love him after seeing him curled up in a sad little ball at his failure to create the perfect hairstyle. Besides, his salon has just the SMOOTHEST tunes?? Why does your soundtrack rule so hard, Mr. Logic. Is that the secret to your stylist perfection, Mr. Logic?? Could his powers come from the soothing groove of smooth, vaporwave tunes…
Hands down to me the highlight of the episode is K.O. riding hard on Helping Those Teens! Not only is it just a really sweet sequence, but it’s also really bumped up a notch by K.O.’s whole. Uh. Energy??? Maybe is the word? Whatever you’d call it, it’s got to be pretty intense having a 6-11 year old totally read out your whole deal. It’s really endearing! And as odd as it might sound, I kind of like that it doesn’t just… fix everything. Sure, we’re not left off on a total bummer note, but I really like that the show doesn’t try to sell you a cruddy bill of goods about Fixing Bullies. LOOKIN AT YOU, LIKE MOST OF THE CARTOONS IN THE 90s .
That Was SO Cool!
It just HAS to be K.O. cleaning up the bodega! Sure he might be new to being a hero, but K.O. really has cleaning the store down to an art. Could he be… THE CHOSEN ONE?? He Who Cleans the Wind?? Heir to a great and terrible power of scrubbing?!?! ...well, no. But he IS pretty dang good at it, and it’s a real nifty piece of animation!
I Just Think It’s Neat
Getting to see the other stores at the plaza is honestly something I enjoy a lot! Why? Because… honestly I really enjoy how they’re just. Genuinely very mundane shops? I guess that’s something I find endearing about the show anyhow; I’m that person who wonders about the day to day life in super fantastical settings, and this show’s literally that! It makes sense though. In a world with so many rad cool anime hairstyles, you WOULD need a place to cut your hair, right? And you can’t just be tossin grand artifacts of darkness our on a knick-knack shelf! You gotta frame that biz.
Good Messages For Da Kidz:
Even if you try your very best, not everyone you go out of your way to help is going to be grateful. But maybe the people you DO help make it all worth it! Or hey, maybe it’s enough to do it for your own sake.
We Got The Plot?
-Enids Blatant Crush On Red Action. Much like Mr. Gar and Carol, this ain't the last we're going to see of this relationship. And well, can you blame her? Red Action’s just so… wild.
-Wait, is Mr. Logic a… Robot?! Considering every other robot we’ve met is evil, that seems worth noting, right?
-Enid’s Icy Heart. Will it one day melt?? Well, maybe (probably), but I’m actually noting it here for other reasons! ...nerdy, granular reasons, but really isn’t that what this series is all about.
Final Overall Thoughts
With K.O. firmly set working at the bodega, this episode is really our first time getting to roll into the pattern of the show proper! And honestly, it’s a pretty dang charming way to do it; this episode makes it clear that the focus of this show isn’t just rad cool robot battles (and the evil men who cause them). This show is character driven in a very real way! And this episode really lets us focus a moment on how K.O. is beginning to fit in at the Plaza.
It’s charming, it’s sweet, and literally every time I watch it I just kind of crack up at Enid’s super intense, unblinking “ You will NEVER melt my icy heart .” What’s not to love here, really.