Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) – Season 1

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I originally wanted to wait to review this series when I finished going through all the seasons of its predecessor, Transformers: Prime. Now with the second season’s upcoming premiere I decided to do a special review in honor of this show’s return. Let’s “Rip it up and Ride it out”…hey it took Bumblebee a few times to get it too.

In the aftermath of Transformers Prime, Bumblebee has begun mentoring a young security officer and helping to rebuild Cybertron. All this changes when Optimus Prime sends him a message telling Bumblebee he needs to head to Earth. Using a space bridge, Bumblebee arrives on Earth and discovers a crashed prison ship and the captive Decepticons have escaped. Now with the held of of his student, Strongarm, a delinquent named Sideswipe, a Dinobot named Grimlock, and a malfunctioning minicon named Fixit, Bumblebee must work to track down these Decepticon fugitives and bring them to justice.

RID3The series picks up where Transformers: Prime left off and does help to give Bumblebee his own focus. There isn’t much focus on Cybertron after the first episode. It would have been nice to see what other characters were doing and what changes had been made to the planet now that it is inhabitable again. Hopefully this will happen more in season two. Of course, it does go into some new explanations about the Tranformers Universe by introducing the Realm of the Primes, where the former Primes reside.

The major flaw with the series is the set up. The Autobots get a new Decepticon to track down almost every episode in the classic “Monster of the week” formula. Few series before have had more Decepticons over Autobots through the course of its run. Some of these characters do appear later in the season and even form a team of their own so at least they are able to modify the classic formula.

RID1The team of Autobots is standard by the characteristics they bring to the team. They consist of a novice leader (Bumblebee), the strict rookie (Strongarm), the loose cannon (Sideswipe), the wreaking ball (Grimlock), and a medic (Fixit). Not that the show isn’t able to tell good stories with these characters. Seeing Bumblebee mature to the point he is in a leadership position was a welcome sight for his fans. It was also nice to have Grimlock back into a Transformer series, it would have been nice if he wasn’t a dumb knucklehead with a punch first and ask questions never attitude.

The series doesn’t really have any major flaws but at the same time doesn’t do anything as fanatic within the show like Transformers: Prime did. Probably the lack of the darker and grittier tones which were given off thanks to the sleek computer design the previous series was animated with. Still, the show is good and I am looking forward to watching the new show as it airs.

RATING: B-

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