So, in the wake of my review of "Deadlock", I've been thinking about what other shows to review. I know I still have a lot of Prime to look at, and I intend to do so (though the schedule will likely have to pushed back; school work is really starting to pile on). But despite me having a lax work ethic anyway to the point that I might not finish with the show until like three years later or whatever, I've thought about other animated shows I love that I might consider doing something for on the blog. And if nothing else, I'll be able to put my thoughts on them down here, so that's good if I don't get around to actually talking about them in an Overview manner. But besides that, I did want to write about just a few shows I love that don't frequent this site. So without further ado, in no particular order, here are five shows that I love.
1. Justice League and JLU
Technically these are two shows, but I don't care. This series has been talked about and lorded over for quite some time, and it's easy to see why once you begin watching. Unlimited in particular really struck my fancy when I was a kid, and going back and rewatching it just has me still intrigued as hell. The characters are all pretty good, and the plots are excellent for the most part. The animation is top notch too! What makes this series work for me is really just the writing. The Cadmus arc specifically is one of the best animated tv arcs I've seen, and the more mature themes running through it and the rest of the show bring out a lot of what makes the DCAU so great- it's a kid's show, but there's more than enough in here to make it enjoyable for adults as well.
2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Yeah. So, I have no experience with anime at all; I'm really a guy outside the fandom looking in, and from what I've seen, only a few shows have really sparked my interest. This is one of them, and it's the one that continues to be my personal favorite, and I'd even go so far as to say that it's one of the best shows I've seen, animated or otherwise. I watched the English dubbed version on Netflix for those wondering if I'm an anime purist- I'm not. However, despite the potential risk in a translated work like this, Madoka turns out great! It's unique, its animation is staggeringly awesome and attention-grabbing, and you really care about the characters on screen. The themes of the work are also awesome, and the moral and ethical questions raised both within the show and even outside it and about the genre that this is in (for as I understand it, this is more of a deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre than anything else, which is awesome), fascinate me to no end. If anime isn't your thing, then no, this won't work for you. But I would say that if you haven't really checked out anime before and you're on the fence, then this is a fantastic gateway piece, and as someone who's only seen this and like three other shows, I have to say that this one still stands up as the best in my opinion.
3. Person of Interest
It's interesting how this show has become both really popular and has remained largely under the radar for most social media sites. It's not quite a cult show like Firefly, but it's certainly not a mega hit like Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead. It has an interesting following, and it's easy to see why as this show gets its audience thinking about government surveillance, the Patriot Act, ethical privacy, and how all of these things reflect on individual people. Originally starting out as a "suspect of the week" show, its evolving story and nicely solid characters have turned it into a greta mind and moral puzzler. The cast is great! I love Michael Emerson, Amy Acker always brings her A game, and say what you will about Jim Caviezel, but he does fit into the role of stoic military man quite well. The plots are what drive this show forward with character development coming in at a close second, but that's not to say that the characters are flat. Indeed, some of the best moments come when the characters are tested by the machines and forced to wrestle with their inner demons as a result of external forces. It's a niche show, but I love it! Check this one out if you can!
4. The Spectacular Spider-Man
Oh, how we loved you. And oh, how your passing led to even greater evil than we ever could have imagined. Frankly, DC rules the small screen. The DCAU, while now no longer running, certainly has better plots, more character elements, and just an overall more mature and professional feel than much of Marvel's TV ventures. While I've not watched any of the Avengers shows, I've heard some of them are pretty great. But the thing that made me turn my head and pay attention to Marvel's TV ventures was Spectacular Spider-Man. The show is just so great! While the '95 show had decent adaptations of stories from the comics, this show has a great fluidity to it, a modernization that and maturity to it that, from the trailers, I would not have called at all. This draws on several story elements from the Ultimate universe comics, and Josh Keaton imbues Peter Parker and especially the Spider-Man wise-cracks with all the life and personality that Spider-Man should have. He's great! I also love all the twists and turns that the show takes. Season Two is excellent, and it really just makes you want to weep at the end, because it'll never be coming back. This is, in my opinion, something that Marvel should really be proud of- this is up there with the DCAU in terms of quality, storytelling, animation, and just plain excitement and engagement.
5. Transformers Animated
I've said before I think how I'm not this show's biggest fan. Well, that's not to say that I don't like it. I do like it; I just think that it's a bit too lorded over. What this show does right, it does amazingly right. I think what makes it work is how frankly surprising it was when this first came out that it had actual story and character to it, in light of the then-recent Cybertron series, which, y'know, didn't. Also, after the first Michael Bay film, well, this was a welcome return to form. There are a lot of references to previous lore in this show (and its ancillary material), which I think is what turns me off to a lot of it. I'm all for easter eggs, but good god, find some restraint. Anyway, that aside, the characters are quite good; three dimensional and full of personality, both the Autobots and Decepticons in this world come to life. The animation, another element of great contention among the fandom when this first came out, quickly becomes one of the make-or-break elements of the show. I didn't like it, frankly, but I think that serves just to remind me how amazing the story and character elements were, and indeed even when rewatching this, those elements continue to impress. Prime remains my favorite Transformers show, but most would say that this or Beast Wars is their favorite. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that; both are excellent examples of how to write Transformers well, and Animated in particular delivers a strong punch of solid writing and characterful animation.
So, those are five shows I love. Might come back to one or two of these at some point. I'd love to give each of these an Overview treatment, but I have no idea if that'll ever happen. Anyway, what shows do you love? Have you seen any of these? What did you think of them? I'm always on the lookout for new stuff, so if you have any shows you'd recommend, let me know!