The Max Sci-Fi Epic Series Masterpiece That’s Perfect In Every Way

By Robert Scucci | Published

scavengers reign

If you’ve slept on Scavengers Reign, then it’s about time you wake up because it’s one of the best animated science-fiction series to come out in recent years. It’s been a very long time since I watched a series in real-time, and I actually regret that I couldn’t binge through all 12 episodes in one sitting because I was absolutely enthralled from start to finish. From the alien life forms depicted on planet Vesta to the looming sense of tension between each and every central character, Scavengers Reign is the ultimate tale of survival set in uncharted territory. 

Sam And Ursula

There are three primary narratives in Scavengers Reign, all of which converge beautifully by the time season 1 reaches its open-ended conclusion. 

Scavengers Reign first introduces Demeter 227 captain, Sam (Bob Stephenson), and a crew member from the ship’s horticulture lab named Ursula (Sunita Mani) some time after their interstellar cargo ship crash-lands. Stranded on Vesta, an Earth-like alien planet that has its own incredibly complex, thriving, and frightening ecosystem, Sam and Ursula are found in a state of frustration due to a lack of resources. Holding out hope that the remaining crew members on the Demeter are still alive and in a state of cryostasis, they venture through the wilderness to locate the ship. 

Azi And Levi

scavengers reign

Once their story is established, Scavengers Reign shifts its focus to Azi and Levi, who are stuck in a similar situation elsewhere on the planet. Azi is a resourceful cargo specialist who sets up a makeshift camp with Levi, an artificially intelligent robot who proves to be quite useful in analyzing their surroundings. It’s hinted early on that a strange substance on the planet is integrating with Levi’s circuitry, making Levi self-aware. 


scavengers reign

Though the punishing environment that Vesta has to offer functions as a profound source of struggle in Scavengers Reign, there needs to be a source of human conflict, which comes in the form of Kamen. Upon waking up alone in his stranded escape pod, Kamen forms a telepathic bond with a four-legged creature named Hollow. Through this bond, Kamen unknowingly wreaks havoc on Vesta while greedily hunting and killing down various creatures in order to feed Hollow. 

I know it’s not a good look to immediately hate on a character who’s struggling to survive like the rest of the stranded crew members in Scavengers Reign, but Kamen represents everything that’s awful about humanity. Through early flashback sequences, it’s apparent that he’s a selfish, greedy, and generally incompetent person who’s responsible for everybody’s misfortune. In fact, I hate Kamen so much that all I can do is praise the writing for making him so unspeakably unappealing in every conceivable way. 


Characterization aside, Vesta is a character in and of itself. As the series progresses, Vesta is both an ally and an antagonist because its various critters and plant life forms (and how they’re utilized) move the plot forward in increasingly unexpected ways. You never know what kind of turmoil or salvation to expect as you become fully immersed in the vast alien landscapes that Scavengers Reign has to offer. 

As Scavengers Reign introduces more conflict through the introduction of various ancillary characters, alliances are forged, and wills are tested. Never losing the plot, Scavengers Reign is all-consuming yet easy to digest.

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scavengers reign


I can’t praise Scavengers Reign enough for its stunning animation, out-of-this-world creatures, and dramatic tension that plays out so naturally in such a bizarre setting. I’m trying to think of the right words to explain how gorgeous yet menacing this series truly is, but you just need to see it for yourself in order to believe it. Scavengers Reign’s depth never slows down its pacing, which is why watching all 12 episodes in one sitting on Max (heed my advice) comes with strong recommendations.