Beast Wars Season 3

Beast Wars Here it is. The review of the final season of Beast Wars. It’s been a fun ride and a great opportunity to not only celebrate the anniversary of this incredible series but to also help others know just how incredible it is. There is only one question, does the last season bring it home or fail in the end?

After resolving the cliffhanger of the previous season, the Maximals find themselves moving into the Ark. They now must protect it from Megatron who wishes to use it to win the Beast Wars. As they keep up the fight they will get a new recruit named Depth Charge, but he is more focused on getting revenge on Rampage. Unfortunately, the Predacons will also get some help and it involves a lost comrade.

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This season really kicked it up a notch. From fixing the timeline, to the introduction of the Transmetal 2s, and the finale which was nail biting, every episode helped to move the plot forward. Also, it featured some interesting new characters like Depth Charge and Tigerhawk. All around a pretty impressive and interesting season.

This season isn’t without questionable episodes. The episode where Cheetor teaches the cave children but then Megatron decides to use them for his own means only barely qualified as an episode which moved the plot. The season wrapped up a bit faster with three discover of the Nemesis. Still this isn’t enough to bring it down much.  

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There really is one plot point I’d like to talk about. This is the whole deal with the Vok.  This mysterious alien race helped to motivate the series at just the right time. In this season they only get one episode and sadly it doesn’t really help to wrap up who or what they are. Also they are never really used again except for minor references therein there in other Transformers series. It might be nice to have the IDW comics take them out for a bit and explore them in more detail.

With this series properly reviewed I can focus my attention on more Transformer related series. Of course I’m probably going to make my next theme month be Transformers but I don’t have it planned for this year. Hopefully next year. I’ll keep you posted crew.

RATING: A-

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Transformers: Beast Wars: Season 1



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This year marks a special anniversary in the Transformers Franchise. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Beast Wars TV series. Many felt the Transformers should never take the form of animals and dismissed the series straight out. Those who did missed out on something great. Beast Wars is one of the best Transformer series ever.

The Maximal crew of the Axalon have crash landed on a mysterious planet while pursuing a group of Predcon fugitives. Led by Megatron, the Predacons have plans to harvest the energon on the planet and use it to take over their home world of Cybertron. It’s up to the Maximals, lead by Optimus Primal to stop them  and protect the peace of this strange world.

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This series was the first original (Generaion 2 wasn’t original) Transformers series in America in almost 10 years. Deciding to scale back a bit from the huge armies of yesteryear, the show instead has a cast of only ten at first. Each character had an individual purpose and was able to grow through the adventures which took place in the show. Since then this staple of fewer characters allowing for more emphasis on development has lead to success with the series which followed.

The series also introduce many elements into the Transformer mythology. Aspects such as the Spark (the soul of the transformer), the Matrix/Allspark (heaven), the Pit (Hell), and Slag (a phrase of profanity) were all first used in this series. These introductions alone should could cause individuals to give this series a heavy degree of respect.

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Beast Wars also sports a surpassing large amount of violence. Treating the characters like the robots they are allowed the characters to suffer great damage and get the necessary repairs after the battle is over. This element led to some impressive action scenes in the first season alone.

The show isn’t without its faults. The CGI hasn’t aged the best. Sure for the time it was pretty impressive but looking at it now some of the background animation is rather dull and there are a few errors here and there. Still, these are small complaints which don’t distract from the overall series.

Beast Wars is a Transformers series which shouldn’t be missed. If you know a Transformer fan who hasn’t taken the time to watch this series then kick them in the butt and insist the show has merit. Remember, this is just my review of the first season. I’ll make sure to finish the rest of the reviews through the course of this year and give the series the proper anniversary it deserves.

RATING: A-

Transformers Prime: Season 2

primes23Time to return to another installment of the Transformer franchise. The first season of Transformers Prime was one of the best televisions series ever to bear the Tranformers’ name. Did the second season keep up the strength of storytelling and action?

After the events of the first season, Optimus Prime believes he is his younger self, Orion Pax and he is still friends with Megatron. His comrades will have to venture to their fallen home world of Cybertron to find a way to restore Optimus to his original self. Will they succeed or will Optimus continue to wear a Decepticon symbol on his shoulder?

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The quality of storytelling of the previous season stays constant. From the beginning of the season while Optimus believing he is a Decepticon to the quest for the Cyber Keys the drama keeps the audience in their seats episode to episode. The call back to previous Transformers series with items such as the Star Saber and the Omega Lock are excellent ways of using the franchise`s rich cannon to tell a fantastic story. Also, all of the different Cybertronian technology they have recovered over the course the series comes to a head as all seem to play a part in the season finale.

The introduction of new characters help to make the story interesting as well. The Decepticons get Dreadwing, brother of the fallen Skyquake who turns out to be very noble despite being a deadly warrior. The Autobots get introduced to Smokescreen, a young brash solider who has been sent by Alpha Trion, Optimius Prime`s mentor to help with the war. Both of these characters are welcomed additions to the show and really help to flush out the story telling.

primes21This season isn’t without its problems. First up it does contain a clip show (A big problem as this blog is always against clip shows). Second, the show continues with the fetch quests from the previous season. It keeps up the discovery of Cybertron relics before moving to the Cyber Keys. It is a small complaints but still worth mentioning.

This series continues to be one of the best installments of the Tranformers’ franchise. All that is needed is to look at the final season and the movie that followed it. Stay tuned crew. These reviews will be coming down the line but I have another Transformers series I need to focus on this year as it is celebrating an anniversary.

RATING: A-

Transformers Armada

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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

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