I found the first three episodes (Dawn of a New Day pts. one & two, The Great Wall) of this series really off-putting plot and character wise, but stuck with it because of the beautiful animation. I was well paid off, with episode four being much better. Ep five was a bit of a backwards slide, but by six I was hooked. Apart from the great animation on the scenery, what I really love about this series is the characters. They are, for the main part, well written, thought out, and original. There are no spunky red-headed girls racing off impulsively and needing to be rescued, no bossy adults to be put in their place by teens, no suave teen heroes (he does try, though, poor guy), no token technobabbling tech-heads constantly attatched to their computers, and no dumb muscle.
The adult in charge (a wonderfully portrayed, firey Scottish guy,) is listened to, respected, and shown as a flawed human being who is simply trying his hardest to succeed and survive under a great deal of pressure.
When the Teen Hero does something stupid in the name of heroics, he gets TOLD what a moron he is. He's clumsy, un-coordinated, out of shape, full of himself, and yet, completely loveable.
The Love Interest, well, that status is debatable. Three years older, she doesn't giggle, simper, or encourage the hopeless attempts at flirting in any way. She will, however, inform him when he's out of line, wrong, or just plain stupid. Physically, mentally, and maturely, she's definitely his superior, but she never comes across as snobby, mean (frustrated, perhaps), or unlikeable.
The villains, on the other hand, are generally lacking in originality, but even they have their moments. The show certainly doesn't dodge the fact that they are killers, and it's easy to see what makes them a threat.
My greatest complaint in the characters would have to be Lena, whose ever-increasing powers are a deus ex machina, and not one that's used sparingly.
The animation on the settings, scenery, and props is truly stunning, and no doubt the biggest drawcard of the show. However, the motion-capture used on the characters, whlie giving us very human movement and body language, leaves a lot to be desired in the facial expression department, and took a bit of getting used to.
Another downside to the series is the lack of continuity between episodes, which while allowing newcomers to pick up the series easily, is a bit of a killer on character development and plot expansion. Hopefully, more continuity will be in trouduced in the next series.
Overall, Skyland is an original, refreshing series that may take some warming to, but which is definitely worth the effort.