Review: Anikulapo, the 2024 series – Rise of the Spectre, on Netflix

Synopsis: In Rise of the Spectre, a race against time to avoid a dismal fate, traveller Saro returns to the Oyo Kingdom with orders to complete a nearly impossible task.

The Cast 

  • Sisi Quadri – Ghost drummer
  • Owobo Ogunde – Bashorun Ogunjimi
  • Deji Olofaina – Oloye Oyo
  • Oyindamola Sanni – Olatorera
  • Bimbo Ademoye – Arolake
  • Uzee Usman – Prince Kuranga
  • Rasaq Olayiwola – Oloye Oyo
  • Eyiyemi Afolayan – Princess Omowumi
  • Rọpo Ewenla – Asohun Oba
  • Moji Afolayan Olayiwola – Olori Wonuola
  • Ronke Oshodi Oke – Olori Agba
  • Adeniyi Johnson – Ara Ilu Ede
  • Damilola Ogunsi – Onibode Orun (Heaven’s Gatekeeper)
  • Layi Wasabi – Ghost Bridegroom
  • Toyin Afolayan – Iyalode Oyo
  • Taiwo Hassan – Alaafin Ademuyiwa
  • Funky Mallam – Ara Ilu Ede
  • Kunle Remi  – Saro
  • Jide Kosoko – Oloye Oyo
  • Titi Kuti – Adigun
  • Sola Sobowale – Awarun
  • Aisha Lawal – Olori Sunkanmi
  • Adebayo ‘Oga Bello’ Salami – Oloye Oyo
  • Lateef Adedimeji – Awolaran
  • Gabriel Afolayan – Akin

The Crew

  • Produced by: Seun Soyinka, Kunle Afolayan
  • Directed by: Kunle Afolayan
  • Written by: Kunle Afolayan, Shola Dada
Anikulapo, the 2024 series – Rise of the Spectre, on Netflix

The Review

No matter your opinion of Kunle Afolayan productions, you can’t fault his technical prowess – the views of his movie and the quality of costume and makeup. The makeup in this series is much better than the first offering of the movie. I want tribal marks now.

Rise of the Spectre is an expanded and continued story of Anikulapo, in a fictional Oyo and surrounding towns and villages. It is a story of the interactions between the natural, preter- and supernatural worlds, and there are myths and folklores woven into it. There is no point trying to connect it with history.

I love how the story is slowly marinated. I generally don’t like filler scenes, but this production is slowly told in different time lapses, with the first few episodes establishing what happened to the characters since we left them in the first offering. The first few episodes also introduce new characters, and the introductions are not jarring at all; they naturally segue into the story.

The new actors are such great additions. Owobo Ogunde is such an eye candy. I wonder why more women are not falling over themselves to be with him in the story. Owobo is evidence that talent can be truly hereditary. He embodies the regal mien of his late father, Hubert Ogunde, and as young as we were when he died, we can see him clearly in his son.

Oyindamola as Olatorera is a breath of fresh air. Her acting is thoughtful and unrushed, even when the situation would get some others to shout in the moment. I like how the main characters from the first installment took a step back to allow the new characters shine. That’s the product of solid directing.

I do not like how Alaafin is portrayed. He seems like a spinless, sex-crazed man who is mostly pushed around by others, including his wives. Perhaps that is what the director wants us to see.  The endless council meetings without actions are rather tedious, but they still don’t take too much away from the production.

Rise of the Spectre is fiction, hence there are artistic liberties in portraying the timelines, as well as the preter- and supernatural characters. One major drawback for me is the ending: we have such a build up and the series just fizzles out in the end, and I am left with, “What sort of ending is that?” Also, is Saro dead or alive? What about the sacrifice that is to be made that is not made? What happens to Princess Omowunmi, seeing as Kuranga is dead? So many questions. Perhaps the producers plan another installment. Nevertheless, Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre is a great production, and I will be watching it again.  

NollyRated Score for Anikulapo, Rise Of The Spectre

Score: 4/5 (Great Movie)

NollyRated uses a 5-level scoring system, as follows:

  1. Poor
  2. Sub Par
  3. Okay
  4. Great
  5. Outstanding

Join Our Tribe on Twitter: For updates on new Nollywood and Hollywood movies, reviews, cinema reviews, and Nigerian and American movie personalities, join our tribe on Twitter @NollyRated.

Leave a Comment