January 27, 2012

Shadowcon Reviews- Crisscross

Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 1, episode 16: “Crisscross”

Okay, so while I said that my next Prime review would be “Operation Breakdown”, I decided that that episode is less prominent than this one. This episode, “Crisscross”, combines both villains introduced in my last two reviews, and while “Operation Breakdown” is technically part of the MECH storyline, it doesn’t directly impede the overall arc of the MECH/Arcee story. This episode is also the strongest for MECH out of their three central titles, and is a pretty good Jack/Arcee story as well. Airachnid makes her return and is far more villainous than in “Predatory”. The main draw of this episode, however, is the fact that Jack’s mom finds out about the Autobots. Jack is back to his common-sense self, and bringing his mom into the inner circle was a logical move from a story point of view: she was going to find out about the Transformers sooner or later, and I think that they introduced this element at the perfect time in the season. This brought about a huge change, and elevated the elements of this episode, making it stand above its immediate neighboring ones. Episodes 12 through 16 made the bulk of the low point for the first season, and from here on out, the episodes and plots and characters continue to thicken and get better. I’m impressed that the writers were able to pull themselves out of the mud this quickly, too, considering that after this, they only had so much to do before the huge awesome ending.

January 11, 2012

Shadowcon Reviews- Predatory

            Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 1, episode 12: “Predatory”

            It’s safe to say that Arcee is the most developed character out of the entire cast. Her complex character, the development of an actual story arc, and a good chemistry with the Autobots and humans alike, makes Arcee worth watching. When done right, she comes across as a wounded soldier, one who’s able to assess the situation and take immediate action, while also letting her emotions get the better of her. Three main episodes deal with these aspects creating a loosely connected arc, and we’ll be looking at each of them over the course of the next month or so. This episode “Predatory” is the first of the three, and probably the weakest. This is in part due to the introduction of the main nemesis of Arcee, the uncharacteristic incompetence of Jack, and the overuse of flashback. That may sound a bit odd, so let’s dive in and see why things are the way they are.

January 10, 2012

Shadowcon Reviews- Convoy

Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 1, episode 9: “Convoy”

I consider this episode to be a standard Prime episode; not bad, not great, but having enough plot to fill twenty-five minutes. This and “Scrapheap” are what most other episodes of the show are measured against, and it isn’t until “One Shall Fall” that the quality of the show is boosted considerably. That’s not to say that the episodes preceding that one are bad; on the contrary, most deliver strong scripts and moderate character development, and while this particular episode is sparse on the latter, it does manage a solid script and very few major plot holes.

January 1, 2012

Shadowcon Overviews- Transformers Prime Season 1

The last three series I glossed over, making up the Unicron Trilogy, were the three series that I grew up with. They’re also the worst of the Transformers series according to the majority of the Transformers fans, so I came in at a pretty sour patch in the Transformers timeline. This is unfortunate, because after these three series passed, there was much rejoicing.

In my view, Armada and Energon represent the point where the Transformers were really just not doing well. The series were rushed from their Japanese shores over to America, and as a result, the toy lines of each series suffered hugely because of it (I’ve discussed this in greater detail in the individual overviews, so check those out if you want to know the nitty-gritty). Cybertron followed, and it was an improvement both in the writing, and in the dubbing. Nevertheless, it was still week compared to other Transformers shows come before such as Beast Wars or even the Generation One cartoon. However, while the Cybertron cartoon suffered, the toy line blossomed, offering up what has since become a type of ‘catch-all’ series of toys, ranging from ordinary vehicles to awesome futuristic fighters all the way to animal transformers, harkening back to the Beast Wars era. With the release of the feature film the following year, the Transformers brand as a whole was beginning to set itself up for major changes. Some were good and some were, well… not really bad so much as jarring (Transformers fans hate change, you see).