next_genThe new animated Netflix movie Next Gen fits the Girls Underground archetype quite solidly, and was enjoyable although not spectacular (I especially appreciated the little dog companion Momo).

Teenager Mai lives in a futuristic city where everyone seems to own a robot. Her father left when she was a child, and her mother is now extremely distracted by technology (a very modern and relevant take on the classic GU distracted parent). After being dragged along to the launch party of a new robot, Mai wanders off and finds a secret lab and makes a connection with a special robot, 7723, before being separated from it. We are also introduced to the CEO of the tech company, who is clearly the Adversary and has nefarious plans for his robot minions.

SPOILERS BELOW

Eventually 7723 tracks Mai down and she strikes a bargain with it, hoping to use its powers to vanquish her enemies at school, but as time goes on they develop a friendship, and she comes to realize 7723 is damaged and cannot keep all the memories they are creating together. Meanwhile, the Adversary is searching for his lost prized robot.

When the Adversary finally strikes and kidnaps Mai’s mother, 7723 is unable to help, having deleted his weapons systems in an attempt to create more memory space. Mai views his inaction as a betrayal and goes off alone to rescue her mother. She confronts the Adversary, only to discover a fraud and the true Adversary is revealed.

7723 makes a big sacrifice in order to help defeat the Adversary but at the last minute is disabled, and Mai must face it alone. She saves the day, but her companion now has no more memories of their time together, and they must start from scratch.