Poll: The next theme month

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With my first theme month completed I need to figure out which theme month I should get ready for next. I’m going my Crew figure out which one should I prepare for deployment.

  • Monkey Madness: A month of giant monkey movies
  • Goofy Gamera: A month of all the more comical Showa Era Gamera films
  • Bigger than Big: A month looking at all the different versions of Gigantor (Tetsujin 28)
  • Transformers: A month of Tranformers series to help get through the extended list of different Transformer series

Cast your votes below crew and help me figure out what you want me to review for this blog.

Transformers Armada

Transformers-Armada

Today’s review is one of the first of the many Transformers series that were created in Japan. You would think that given the country’s history with Giant Robots and that the series was originally the product of combining several toy franchises together that they would know exactly how to tell the perfect Transformers story. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all and the series in question is a perfect example of just how poorly the Japanese Transformers series are in their storytelling and presentation.

In the long war between the Decepticons and Autobots, a new groups has been drawn into the conflict. They are called Minicons and by combining with either Decepticons or Autobots infuse them with incredible powers. Escaping the conflict by coming to Earth million of years ago, hibernating in small devices, the Minicons are awakened by a trio of humans named Rad, Carlos, and Alexis. They soon discover that reviving the Minicons has gotten the attention of both the Autobots and Decepticons  who come to earth to gather the Minicons. Wishing to help the Minicons, the trio teams up with the Autobots who are fighting to protect the universe.

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I should probably start with the good points of this series before I rain down the negative points that plague it. First off I like that this show brought back Unicron as the ultimate obstacle of the series. This time thought he is mostly silent and unable to be communicated with. Also, the series does have Alexis who I stated in my Top 10 Transformer Human Companions as one of the best human companions in the history of the franchise and her bonding relationship with Starscream really is interesting to watch.

Now, let the crap storm begin. The series takes some of the best story lines in the entire history of the Transformers Franchise and executes them so poorly that the entire show is mediocre at best. Story lines including Wheeljack becoming evil, Starscream becoming good, and the introduction of a third race of Transformers caught between the two factions are handled with little to no severity that they range from average  to incredible boring. This makes the series a chore to get through instead of the constant thrill ride that it should be using such unique and original plot threads.

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This show also has several voice acting errors. The number of times that a character calls another character a different name occurs so much that a viewer could easily make a drinking game out of it. Don’t believe me? Just pay attention to the fact that Carlos calls his Minicon partner Grindor by the name of Alexis` partner Sureshot more than once.

Also despite all my efforts to talk about something enjoyable in this series, there still is the biggest problem that makes the series so untouchable. I speak of course of FRED: The worse human companion EVER!!! Fred`s whole gimmick is that he’s the fat kid and he likes to eat. THAT`S IT! He doesn’t have a special bond with a particular Transformer, he doesn’t have a special skill that helps him to help the team, and has like one moment in an entire series where he is useful but then we have the rest of the show where he`s whiny and complaining. I hate Fred so much.

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Since this is the first Japanese Transformers I am reviewing I should probably take the time to talk about my theory with a lot of the adaptations of Western series and why they aren’t as successful as we would they they would be. Western properties such as Iron Man or Wolverine should have been incredible when they finally came to the realm of anime but they were less than essential viewing to say the least. Instead they suffered from what I like to call, Adaptation Over Protection. Basically its the idea that the the creative team is so worried about doing anything too extreme with the characters to not offend the fans that they don’t tell a proper story and the show overall feels bland and unnecessary as an entry to franchise. With Armada for example they are so afraid of telling a good story with the good drama with the characters that the show isn’t able to achieve the emotion that they were hoping for. I mean both Optimus Prime and Smokescreen die but are back so quick that we don’t feel the impact of their temporary passing. I’ll be mentioning my Adaptation Over Protection Theory in future posts on this blog.

So there it is. The first of my Japanese Transformer series reviews. Now not all the shows are this bad but there are plenty more that are actually worse then this. Armada has a lot of potential and wasted it. Wasted potential is always hard to see.

RATING: C-

Transformers Prime Season 1

season2OrionPax_1327426487Seems like the more I get done on this blog, the more I still need to do. There are many shows and movies that are now staples of Mecha and Kaiju that I haven’t gotten around to tackle yet. Really wish I had the time to make this my day job. Because I don’t I have no choice but to keep on going. Time to look in on one of my all time favorite franchises with Transformers Prime.

Unknown to the world at large a war is going on between a race of robots from the planet Cybertron. One one side of the fight is the heroic Autobots and on the other is the traitorous Decepticons. A trio of kids named Raleigh, Miko, and Jack discover this war and join the Autobots. Together with Ratchet, Arcee, Bulkhead, Bumblebee, and Optimus Prime, the three kids will work to protect he world from Megatron, leader of the Decepticons.

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This series is dark, edgy, and taking the franchise in the way it needed to go with a lot of new twists on  different aspects of the Transformer mythology. Story lines like Dark Energon which causes transformers to become zombies and the new approach to what Unicron is are very intriguing takes on aspects of the history that we have already seen. In the initial five part premiere we watch as fan favorite cliff jumper is killed, Megatron creates a race of zombie robots, and is blown up and presumed dead trying to bring his new army to earth. If that doesn’t entice you nothing will.

One of the aspects I enjoy in this series is how they decided to treat the characters like they were robots. Introduced in the show Beast Wars, the writers and creators of the show actually decided to portray the characters as robots that can actually sustain damage and be repaired afterward. This allows for highly graphic violence to be displayed on a regular basis which makes the tension and stakes feel much more real.

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We are also introduced to a few new Decepitcons each with their own unique skills and personality. Knockout the Decepticon scientist/medic who is extremely vain and cunning easily became a fan favorite. We also get actor Steve Blum as Starscream who keeps the character faithful to his Generation One counterpart but adds his own bit of a deceptive nature with the slyness overflowing his voice. People are split on the idea of the now silent Soundwave, who repeats what people say back to them much like the Predator but personally I liked him. He was more mysterious and he unsettling that way. Adding to the fact that his job was to monitor communication frequencies to spy on people and the creepiness of him goes up a bit more.

If this review isn’t clear enough, let me spell it out for you. GO WATCH THIS SHOW. At least the first season which I feel is spot on. How will the seasons that follow fair? You’ll just have to come back for those reviews another time.

RATING: A

Colossal News: Adult Iron GX

Hmm. That title sounds like some kid of vitamin supplement. Anyways a lot of articles have surfaced for once again its time for COLASSAL NEWS.

CJaFt2SUsAAqIvFirst up, the cult film and childhood favorite of many, the Iron Giant will be returning to theaters this fall. Fathom events will be having special screenings of the film and this release will apparently include new scenes. I still have to review this movie for the blog but let’s be honest. This one is an automatic A.

Next up is information on the new Mobile Suit Gundam series has been released. The new show will be called Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans and is set to debut in October 4th of this year. There is also talks of streaming it here in America but I hope they figure out a better way then the YouTube channel of GundamInfo which won’t let me watch the English Subs of Reconquista in G here in the states. keyvisual01-144503

Also, if anyone was wondering about where the Gundam Review are on this site and how I can keep calling myself a Mecha fan without ever touching the Franchise I have good news. I am working on making “Gundam Month” where I will have an entry everyday covering a series or movie in the Franchise. I’m still working on getting all those review together so give me a bit. They are coming I promise.

News has also surfaced of a new Transformers cartoon that will be directed at adults. Gaming and media website Machinima will be helping to create the show which will air on their website. The cartoon is said to be based on the IDW comic series, which has helped to produce some of the best Transformer story lines ever. Trust me if your a Transformers fan and not reading those comics then you are missing out.

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Finally in a historical first Crunchyroll will be simultaneously broadcasting a Tokusatsu show as its running in Japan. The show is the latest entry into the Ultraman Franchise, called Ultraman X. Check out the Facebook for the usual small comments about the episodes as they come out.

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That`s all for now. Untiil next time, GO BIG OR GO HOME! Still working on my sign out.

Top 10 Human Companions in Transformers

Fans are quick to pass off the importance of the human element in the different Transformer series. Humans have helped the Autobots on many occasions to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but still they are easily dismissed as being unnecessary. So, as a way to showcase the great these characters do, I have put together a list of the top 10 Human Companions over the different Transformers’ series.


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10. Alexis (Transformers Armada)
Alexis is the only competent human in this entire series. The four boys are incredible immature and are unable to take the fact that they are involved in an intergalactic war seriously. There also is the fact that she has a bond and shipping relationship with Starscream. In the follow up series she rises to the position of diplomat as a liaison between Humans and Autobots. Definitely worth the 10th position.
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9. Kicker (Transformers Energon)
Making this list Ive noticed a pattern. Kids that start out annoying but eventually grow up and do what needs to be done. Kicker starts out as a kid that back talks to Optimus Prime but eventually helps to bridge a gap with Alpha Q which helps to learn more about the history behind Unicron. Also he wields the depowered Star Saber pretty nicely.

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8. Daniel (Transformers: The movie and Headmasters)
Again a kid that starts off as annoying but proves his worth. In his first appearance he helps save Bumblebee, Jazz, and Cliffjumper. In the Japanese series Headmasters, he helps befriends the new headmasters as they take over for the series. He appears low on the list though because he is known to cry at the drop of the hat.

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7. Headmasters Junior (Transformers: Supergod Masterforce)
There are many on this list that gain powers and gadgets that help them to fight with the Autobots against the Decepticons. These kids though actually use Transectors to turn into Transformers and fight side by side to defend there home. I`m putting the kids on this list over Ginrei because the Human Companions are always secondary characters to the Transformers and Ginrei rises to the leader roll soon after he appears in the series.
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6. Spike (IDW comics)

IDW gives us a Spike we have never seen before. This one is a specially trained soldier and member of the government trained Anti-Transformer team, Skywatch. He also has a way of taking down Decepticons without any back up or even his Mecha suit. I mean seriously he single handedly takes down a constructicon. That`s Chuck Norris levels of action hero.
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5. N.E.S.T. (Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon)
Anyone who has seen Revenge of the Fallen knows what would have made that movie better. More of the N.E.S.T. team and less of Sam Witwicky. The opening act with the team taking down rough Decepticons in China was one of the best actions sequences in all of Transformers. Unfortunately the movie is all down hill from there. Still, give credit where credit is due and appreciate that how awesome this team is.

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4. Marissa Faireborn (Transformers)
Before Micheal Bay ever had a chance to turn the characters to the billion dollar box office draw they are now and paired the Autobots with humans to fight against evil, there was Marissa Faireborn. Showing up in the third season she worked as a government liaison and secret agent helping to fight against the Decepticons. She has started showing up in the IDW series and her impressiveness continues to shine. Just don’t ask about the whole “Kiss Players” fiasco.

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3. Miko (Transformers: Prime)
Once again a character that starts annoying and eventually proves to be much more. Miko and Bulkhead’s relationship is one of the most touching ones in all of transformers history. The rage she feels when Builkhead gets injured after fighting Hardshell is tangible and authentic. She also becomes an honorary member of the Wreckers and takes the Apex armor out for a spin. Not bad for kid obsessed with heavy metal.

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2. Verity (IDW comics)
Speaking of honorary Wreckers, lets turn to the IDW comics. Verity starts as a kid on the run only to be caught in the the Autobot/Decepitcon war. After a huge time jump we see Verity has been slumming with the Wreckers. We bare witness to Verity taking part in the retaking of an Autobot prison from the villainous Overlord. She survives and is able to tell the stories of those who fell during the storyline “Last Stand of the Wreckers.”

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1. Sari (Transformers: Animated)
Sari gets a lot of crap because of her Key. Yes she had a Key that allows her to heal the team and help track down All Spark fragments. Still her aid to helping the Autobots to understand human culture and giving them a base of operations is invaluable. She also has a great bond with  Bumblebee. Her storyline is rushed in the third season and e don’t have the time to explore more of the mysteries behind her origin. Also there was no episode addressing how her powers went out of control. She stabbed Bumblebee.Why was this story never touched upon?

Transformers: The movie



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There are some movies that you have seen so many times that you can regurgitate the dialog up word for word. Yet at the drop of hat or with a simple suggestion from a friend you will gladly rewatch that film. This is the case with Transformers the movie. I’ve watch it a hundred times and I’ll watch it a hundred times more.

The film opens with the Decepticons having the upper hand in their war against the Autobots. Attacking a ship bound for earth and using it to sneak into the Autobots base an epic battle ensues resulting in the lose of many a fan favorite character. Elsewhere an evil force known as Unicron is watching and waiting ready to make his move and change the history of the Transformers forever.

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Considering I could gush over and over for hours about this movie I should probably look at the negative side of it. For starters I can agree with the critics who have stated that the film’s plot is very similar to Star Wars. Hot Rod (Luke Skywalker) is aided by Kup (Obiwan Kenobi) to help stop a mighty nemesis Galvatron (Darth Vader) who is being aided by the unspeakable power of Unicron (The Death Star). True as that might be the fact is that the story is still fun and entertaining despite these similarities. Besides there are worst films to copy.

The movie also successes in making sure to take a step that every good film based on a TV series needs to take. This step is enacting change. If it don’t have change that actually effects the main story from the series and shakes up the established stasis quo then it’ll be criticized for just being a long episode. Sadly this change comes in the form of losing a lot of great characters including Ironhide, Prowl, and Optimus Prime. Still these were deaths that struck a cord with every fan that watch the film.

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The movie boast some of the best fights in Transformer history. Blasters tapes vs. Soundwave’s tapes. Optimus vs. Megatron, and The Dinobots vs. Constructicons. All the while these fights are going on the intense music of Stan Bush and Spectral General (whose actual name is Kick Axe, but had to change it to be on the animated movie’s soundtrack). Another fact that everyone likes to point out is this was the last role for famed actor Orson Welles who voiced Unicron in a very menacing way. Sure its not as glorious as other roles of his but still it is memorable. There are worse ways to be remembered.

As I stated earlier I could gush over and over about this movie. The animation ages well. The action is breathtaking and the new characters are introduced in memorable ways.  The soundtrack is so catchy I dare everyone to be stupid. Sorry couldn’t resist. The fact is that if you haven’t seen this movie and are reading this blog I urge you to stop. You have to see this movie. Go now before it’s too late. In other words…Transform and roll out.

RATING: A