I’ve finished watching the first episode of the new Transformers cartoon. Very, very impressive. The animation reflects the generation one characters better I feel. It was a fair complaint that shows like Beast Wars and Armada didn’t have enough in common with the original generation of Transformers cartoons.
I think that this latest series has been targeted at viewers my age, as it contains many of the original, favourite characters. On top of this, they now display the very-Japanese idea of robots joining up to create bigger, stronger robots. We saw this with Voltron, then with a rip-off Voltron (who I can’t remember), and more recently with the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.” Optimus Prime has some magical power he carries inside himself called “The Spark of Combination” (it sounds like a classic case of “lost in translation”), which allows Hot Shot and Inferno to connect and form a single, bigger robot. He also has “Prime Force” in his truck-trailer, which is a team of four smaller Transformers. There’s a fire truck, a helicopter, a rock driller and a submarine, which join using some “Power Link” magic to make Optimus Prime, Super Mode.
Man, enough with the joing and becoming bigger concepts. Transformers are tough and kick ass on their own, they don’t need to display teamwork by linking together. To top this off, the Decepticons are now working with the Autobots, though this will change within a few episodes no doubt.
On the upside, they transform really quickly, which looks cool. The people have a more anime look to them, and will probably have more personality as the show develops. Already, Kicker, the reckless youth, has shown a disliking towards the Transformers and a passion towards his own species.
Also, in the first epiosode, there’s a shot where a Transformer is washing some cars, and one of them looks to be Takumi’s AE86 Trueno from InitialD :)
Interestingly, I saw this article showing Snow Cat, a new character which is based on the GI Joe vehicle of the same name. The only difference is that the GI Joe toy was “good” and the Transformer’s Snow Cat is a Decepticon (“bad”).
Now, I just have to wait for episode two.