By Sorenya Miller
If you are not really paying attention to the screen while watching Invisible City, then you might fall asleep. The Brazilian fantasy slow-burn series will have you confused, but slightly intrigued. Invisible City centers around Eric (Marco Pigossi), an environmental police officer seeking to find out the untimely cause of his wife’s death while discovering magical entities and the truth about his wife and himself along the way.
The series opens with Luna, Eric’s daughter, being told a story about Curupira and two explorers. For those who are not familiar with Curupira, he is a flaming head man with backwards feet that protects the flora and fauna of the forest. The magical entity is just one of many that we are introduced to throughout the show. As the series unravels, it is revealed that these entities have been around for a very long time and can blend in with humans. They also have powers such as controlling fire, wind, the mind, and some can shape-shift into animals. On that note, I must commend the special effects team for their use of CGI. When the creatures turn into their true form it doesn’t look super fake or too cartoonish. The producers actually nailed that part with making the creatures look visually pleasing on screen.
Moving forward, we find out that the lives of these entities are endangered by a killer spirit, also known as the dry body—the least threatening name I’ve ever heard for an antagonist, but its name speaks to what it does. The spirit dries or sucks the soul out of its targets, with its first victim being Manaus, who can shapeshift into a pink river dolphin. Manaus is washed ashore on a local public beach in his animal form. While running, Eric spots the dolphin and immediately starts to investigate by questioning the individuals surrounding the creature; suddenly, they disappear. Throughout the series we also see a lot of disappearing acts and it’s kind of ironic that no one else from the public notices this.
After placing the pink river dolphin in the back of his truck, Eric takes it home and soon realizes that it has turned into a man. Most people would freak out if they saw something like that happen, and probably start running like a maniac. That might have been a normal first reaction, but Eric instead dumps the body in the forest. I am not sure if that was a smart move, but it sets up the premise for the rest of the show. Due to Manaus’ passing, Eric now becomes a target by Ines, another magical entity who thinks he’s responsible for the death of Manaus.
Ines has the power to enter people’s minds, make them do her bidding and turn into a butterfly. However, when she tries to enter Eric’s mind, she is blocked out, which stipulates that Eric might be a magical entity himself. The series does not explore too much into detail what Eric can do or who he is. Instead, we are only given brief snippets of his past. It would have been good to see if Eric has powers, since that would have given a bit more context to the show. Moreover, the other entities in the show are still a mystery, and hopefully they can be examined in more detail in Season 2, but it’s more likely that I won’t be watching.
In addition, the show utilizes flashbacks to provide some character development and backstories for some of the characters. However, it was very insufficient, and I was still left with questions after some of the flashbacks. Not only that, and I don’t know if the cause behind it is terrible English dub, but the acting was cringy. The main character Eric fails to display striking emotions and his acting is very stiff, which makes the character somewhat unrelatable. Most of the acting in the show is terrible and the characters failed to keep my interest. Even those who are supposed to be intimidating are very subpar.
The overall story did have some interesting aspects, but the build up was very slow. It wasn’t until Episode 5 that things started heating up and the real villain was revealed. I really did start to get excited after that fifth episode, but it soon died down because the ending was very anticlimactic. The truth about Eric’s wife was not even uncovered. Although it was shown how she died, there are still some questions to be answered.
In general, I was not impressed. The show failed to capture my attention and when it did, it was not for long. Even the dialogue at times was confusing, and I had to rewind a few times just to get what the directors were trying to convey.