TRANSFORMERS PRIME SEASON ONE
Much of my review for Season One is in my DA journals, but they're kinda sorta old and I've changed my mind on some. If you want more recent opinions on how I feel, check them out here in the Toonzone Blog (incidentally, Season 2 is there, too): www.toonzone.net/blog/authors/…
I reviewed every episode except Episode 20 to 23. Yet anyways. I'll eventually get to them in the future. I know you can't see "One Shall Rise: Part 1" in that list, but rest assure, I did review that one as well. The link to that particular one is here: : www.toonzone.net/blog/blogs/42…
TRANSFORMERS PRIME SEASON 2 AND RESCUE BOTS SEASON 1
"Orion Pax: Part 1" Review
"Orion Pax: Part 2" Review & "Hotshots" Review
"Orion Pax: Part 3" Review & "Flobsters On Parade" Review
TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, EPISODE 5: "THE ALIEN INVASION OF GRIFFIN ROCK"
There isn't an actual character focus this time around for the robots and their human partners. This is Huxley Prescott's time to shine and we get a look inside his outer Agent Mulder. When he tries his damnest to find aliens, it ends with him accidentally wiping out the main power lines and sending people in mass hysteria of an upcoming invasion. It's total chaos and for the poor Autobots, further proof that the citizens aren't ready for their true reveal. Awww, those poor sparks.
"The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" (whew, quite a mouthful) isn't a particular favorite of mines, but like the rest of the show, it's filled with many little odds and ends that I find darling. What I did realize is how poignant the show is with their cast and their development. There's always been hints in the previous four, but Episode 5 goes that extra mile with their continuity. The big one isn't Huxley's possible running theme of potentially discovering the Autobot's origins, but little Frankie suspecting. There's also the sense that after only four episodes, I can watch this with sheer confidence that I know who is who and what personality that defines them. Transformers Prime is still working on this. (I know I rag on Prime a lot, but that's because I haven't seen the Unicron Trilogy yet, so be patient. XD) I'm particularly fine with the show going on a simple root and any lack of actual development isn't that much of a non-issue for me as long as the characters remain charming and lovable, but the fact that Rescue Bots has the massive potential to go deeper is there. It doesn't need to, but it says a lot about this series that it can.
I was watching this episode alongside and and we also concluded this: Griffin Rock is canonically suppose to be a testing ground for new technological advances. We think all the people sans the Burns family are dumb as rocks (okay, when people panic, they do pull of stupid shit, so it's justified) and were banished to this island to rot and die. With Doc Greene. This man built a giant satellite dish to track aliens and did not build a safety feature for something that can potentially OVERLOAD AND EXPLODE. This man needs to lay off the weed because he is going to get everybody killed. And Optimus Prime is in on it. No, seriously. Why do you think he dumped those four Rescue Bots there instead of recruiting them? He had no fucking clue what to do with them. This is some serious fridge horror, people. XD
THIS MAN WILL END YOUR LIFE! FEAR HIM.
OUT OF FIVE
AROUND CYBERTRON WITH NEWS REPORTER PROWL: Jeff Bennett has been in a number of roles and I can recognize which ones he did, but damn it, Reporter Prowl is all I think about when I hear Huxley! Incidentally, the mayor is Fanzone.
GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT: "I'm a shameless rebel." Chase says this after he stopped an entire tanker of poison from spilling onto town, risking his alien robot position to the news reporter (and by extension the public). Breaking that cardinal rule, he tells Charlie to "Slop a wheel boot on me, I deserve nothing less." Oh, Chase, you're darling.
"SOME OF US AREN'T ANY GOOD AT IT ANYWAY:" Blades just PWNED Heatwave. OOOOOOH!
SETI DISH: I didn't know this until Tav pointed it out, but SETI is a real organization. They look for aliens. ^^
ZOBOOMAFOO: Is that a lemur on the Burns' family TV?
THE ROBOTS' FAVORITE GENRE: Chase = Action with high speed pursuit, Blades = Comedy (D'awww), Boulder = Romance (D'AWWW), Heatwave = WAAAR! None of them were comfortable after watching the film Cody picked for them.
STATING THE OBVIOUS: When the Cybertronians are spooked and describing aliens, Heatwave reminds them that they are ones themselves.
MADE OF ADAMANTIUM: Judging by the door and Heatwave's size, that thing should have gone down like a chump. What the hell is that door made off?
ADVANCED AI: Doc mentions such a technological achievement is non-existence so far. I kind of wished it was since this whole "Autobot act like non-sentient robots" is just convoluted nonsense. Yes, it may be much more convenient, but this is an island of impossible technology and fucked up breaks from reality; I think I'll be fine with it.
BEST LINE: "Cody, this hurts inside." Heatwave's response for Cody picking a movie for them. Honestly, who says that line in that context? It's hilarious!
WORST LINE: None.
TRANSFORMERS PRIME, EPISODE 30: "OPERATION BUMBLEBEE, PART 1"
Even against Optimus Prime, Bumblebee is the Autobot who got gypped the most in terms of character. Optimus Prime may be blander than white paint, but he has a defining personality. Bumblebee is...uhh...Bumblebee...Bee is...umm...Bee is something. His voiceless role does him a disservice. Without it, I have no idea what he's suppose to be. "The Kid-Appeal Character." "The Youngest and Most Inexperience", you say. Well, yes, but that's an automatic and mandatory trait for just about any Bumblebees. It's what we expect him to possess, but that still doesn't cut the cheese. Throughout Season One, he barely does anything outside of what the plot and his toy-appeal designation forces him to do. He barely had any characterization.
Let's compare him to the other silent bot, Soundwave. Soundwave doesn't get much screentime either and much of it is largely off-camera, so what does he carry that Bee does not? Simple: he's portrayed as a subtle foe. Soundwave's entire purpose is to be quiet and work behind the shadows. He's the Decepticon's eyes and ears - a spy; it's his job to be as still as possible. Soundwave's face is blank to give us a visual reminder of that. It also adds to his creepy and unsettling feel. Bumblebee is none of those things. He is lively, energetic, and playful (or that is the indication I am assuming). He needs pantomime and facial expressions for us to understand how he feels. For a time, this was kept to a minimum and poor Bee never got the chance to prove why he should matter.
"Operation: Bumblebee" attempts to remedy that. After MECH takes away the Transformation Cog that causes him to, well, transform, Bee is left wondering if he has any value or worth to the team. But first, he spends most of the episode pissed off and therein lies the personality he's been sorely missing. When he can't transform, he gives Bulkhead the most distressed look I've ever seen (much more so than whatever "emotion" Optimus barfs out). He bothers Ratchet impatiently until the doctor had enough of him (XD), when he spots Miko and Raf playing a racing game, he's resentful - cue the two turning on the TV to cheer him up only for a car commericial to pop up. Bee clutches his head and lets out an anguished beep. The episode reveals Bumblebee has a thing for speed. I would say it came out of nowhere, but 1.) Given how little we knew about him in Season One, I don't mind this and 2.) It's Bumblebee. I wouldn't be surprised if this is something they got from TFA. The point is, he's incredibly expressive here. We understand his frustration, we see how he's taking it. Badly. Like someone found his secret stash of candies. Finally, we're getting somewhere.
It's not just Bumblebee, the episode triggers a number of things that has the potential to span the season and become story/character arcs in their own right. Ratchet's is more poignant, hinting numerous times of his insecurities and guilt for not having fixed Bee's voice since the war. There's a small scene (very small, I mean like a second) when Raf eyes Bumblebee after he tells him he's not useless. Granted, he's feeling sorry for Bee's condition, but headcanon dictates that perhaps Raf may feel the same. The other big event is Starscream allying himself with MECH. Silas is reluctant, but I don't blame him. The last time he was forced to team up with one, they weren't exactly making friendship bracelets or anything. But they managed to get into a "You scratch my back, I scratch your back" sitch. Starscream plans to give him the required ingredients for Energon to make their Transformer (or a transformer suit? I don't know) in exchange for any Energon deposits they find. Win-Win...until someone ends up betraying the other and three guesses on who'd likely do it first.
*sigh* I'm going to have to accept that Silas isn't ever going to be anything but a generic villain, am I? There's no motivation for this guy; he's a bad guy just because. One look at his character design is all you need to know on how utterly uninspiring he is. Fiiiiine. He's made about 3-4 appearances sparodically throughout the last season and if neither of them managed to elevate his dullness, this one won't either. At the very least, I can proclaim in full faith that he is a very, very, veeeeeery good antagonist. His callous attitude to anyone and his creepy-ass behavior gives him major villain creds, provides a good obstacle for the heroes, and honestly, pulls it off a lot better than BIG, DUMB, UNSUBTLE SHARK MEGATRON. Fine, I can live with that. I don't want to, but if they're not going to make him an interesting character, I can settle for awesome bad guy.
I hate to say this, but after repeated viewings of this episode, I realized that Starscream and Airachid have effectively switched roles. When Airachid started off, she was a neutral who mostly did her own shit and stuck to her own needs and desire. Starscream was too busy usurping Megatron's throne at the time. Airachid joins shortly before Starscream leaves Megatron's crew. Like Airachid, he's on his own and decides to do things on his own terms while Airachid tried to take over Megatron's position at the end of Season One for a reason I'm still baffling over. I don't know if she plans to pull that stunt again, but it's interesting nonetheless. And I don't think this is coincidental. Okay, this will be spoilers for an upcoming episode, so if you don't want to know, do not click this link: www.seibertron.com/energonpub/…
...I honestly have no idea how I should feel about this. Incase this emotionless internet gives little indication, this isn't a happy feeling.
There's a couple of good plots regardless and it's to this episode's credit that it handled them all without feeling muddled. Granted, much of it are merely openings to possible greater things, but props regardless.
Also, KNOCKOUT IS SO FUCKING AWESOME THAT I EXPLODED FROM FANGASMIC GLEE! He pops up at the very last stretch of the episode and W#Y@($*#(@)(! HE'S FUCKING AMAZING!
And now, for your amusement, screencaps of His Majesty, The Glorious:
"CATCH ME IF YOU CAAAAN!"
"You're not even going to try and shoot out my tires?!"
"Bumblebee, where's your famous horsepower, HUH!? SHOW ME SOME SPEED!"
"What is with the Rent-A-Car?"
"I'd stick around and do some donuts around you, but I have a delivery to make."
YES! YES! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
All in all, this is a fantastic episode that honestly gets better after watching it like three fucking times (Hey, I got a blog to maintain). It gave Bee the much needed personality he sorely lacked, there's room for other character developments, and some prime - and I mean prime - sexyfine scenes with Starscream and Knockout. My god...I'm seeing stars. Goddamn it, now I'm afraid Part 2 isn't going to be nearly as good as this episode, so I'm sucking my breath. See ya in a week.
OUT OF FIVE
Incidentally, did you know Marty Isenberg wrote this episode?
MEGATRON EXPLAINS IT ALL: "And to think that yoooou led me straight to it, Optimus. Or should I say, Orion Pax did? You really should have left your Decepticon shield intact for you have no idea how useful your code breaking skills proved to be during our all too brief time together." I've heavily criticized this before, but this goddamn show relies too much on exposition. Recapping things isn't terrible, but they have a baaaaaad tendency to drag it on and on and on. This is yet another case. Megatron, did you really have to say all that? Was that long-winded sentence necessary? Have some faith in your target audience that they will remember three measly episodes.
HE AIN'T 'FRAID OF NO GHOST: Ratchet states Megatron is A-Okaying desecrating dead bodies to turn into zombies, but organ stealing? Heaven's sakes, noooo. 'Sides, that's Lockdown's territory. XD
OH, HAVE WE MET: Megatron tore out Bumblebee's voice box; yet he does not mention this in "Sick Mind/Out of His Head". Okay, so maybe the writers likely didn't think about this at the time. Shame. Even a small hint would have been pretty decent.
EASY COME, EASY GO: Ratchet explains that their bio-mechanism doesn't allow him to easily fix Bumblebee's voice box or get a new T-Cog. It neatly explains why Knockout didn't give Breakdown a new eye.
POPULATION: MANY: There are more students shown in school. Incidentally, there were also more cars zooming past Sierra in "Orion Pax: Part 1". Along with Bee's movements, the animation has improved. But Starscream still has those bizarro eyes.
"YOU WANNA RIDE WITH THE SIREN ON:" Only one sentence and it speaks so much of Ratchet's relationship with the kids. He's warming up to them that he actually tries to cheer up Raf. Such a line would never be uttered by him during the first half of Season One. It's a very subtle character development that I actually have to give praise to.
BEST LINE: "I'll get him Okaaay, you get him." It's the delivery of the line that had me smiling. Raf's lie when Ratchet picks him up is a close second though.
WORST LINE: "We are robots in disguise!" Arcee's "more than meets the eye" and now this. In just three episodes. Marty Isenberg, I know you have a lot to work with, but come on.
Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. More updated as the series progresses. Placed there for archival purpose.
Chess Piece (A Danny Phantom Fancomic):
An AU Danny Phantom comic. It's been canceled, but for those morbidly curious to read this convoluted train wreck, the link is here.
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