Transformers Energon Cartoon: Thoughts and Feelings.

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by imported_Tony_Bacala, Jan 4, 2005.

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  1. imported_Tony_Bacala

    imported_Tony_Bacala Guest

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    SUCKS!

    Just kidding. Truthfully, Ive only watched like 3 episodes. 1, its never on when I watch TV. 2, the episodes I did watch, were bland, boring, and I had no idea what was going on. 3, the audio dubbing/mixing quality is horrible. I can't watch a show if the sound is bad. Animation, I can let slide a little, audio, no way. G1, BW/M, even RID, had awesome audio work. It stopped there tho.

    I was excited to see the use of 3D cell shaded models mixed with Anime. Worked for the Zoids cartoon well. I just think it was executed poorly along with 20 other things with this show.

    There are alot more things I could critique on this show, but I just don't care enough to do so. And I think that's the point.
     
  2. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Dubbing was horrible. Not the talent that was used, but it was used poorly. Bad translation, horrible execution, poor direction ... Energon felt like an amateur fan-created show (no offense NB and Taggenagger!). I think the director was as confused as we were in regards to WTF was going on.

    It's sad when the Japanese version with the Japanese dialogue makes more sense than the English version, when you don't even know Japanese.

    Good animation from time to time, but easily the worst Transformers cartoon put out yet. Armada was leaps and bounds above Energon in the story and soundtrack and proper use of the music and sounds.
     
  3. Lodril

    Lodril Poet of Destruction

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    A few comments:

    1) The Anime style 'serial' presentation almost always gives way to the very common fallacy of the ever increasing threat. Go back to episodic presentation... this gives new people a chance to easily get into the program, and avoids a lot of the goofiness we see now.

    2) New power should equal something new. Something other than a paint job. The fallacy of the ever increasing threat has given rise to continual 'power ups' of the characters. These increases are so frequent that they become meaningless. For example, in the Energon cartoon, when fighting against Unicron, everyone drove in circles and shot. Then, they got new paint jobs, drove in circles and shot. Supposedly they were more powerful, but it seemed pretty meaningless. If they want new paint jobs, let them get new paint jobs. If redecos are the same character, then just relate it to some story point... a promotion, a new philosophy, something. Saying the character is more powerful, but then making them the same is darned silly. There's no reason to tie redecos to non-specific power increases, so either make them straight redecos in context ("Hey, I look good in red!"), or show some demonstrable improvement. I'm personally in favor of repaints being new characters, but at the very least tie it in to the story as a repaint, rather than some goofy ineffectual 'evolution'.

    3) Megatron should be at the forefront, not lounging on a throne. He's a general, let him lead. If you want a dark menacing voice of command, something that issues orders from the shadows... THAT is a job for Unicron. He's much better as a shadowy, unknown force of evil than the continual oversized McGuffin we have now. Learn from Spielberg in Jaws; less is more.

    4) Delay the episodes, rather than sending them out unfinished. Unfinished episodes are confusing. Confusing is unintersting, especially to younger viewers, who have many competing interests. Lose their interest in the show, and you lose the toy sales.

    5) Stop being so damn Japanese. They are a much smaller market, so don't market the show to them. The Autobots have become too polite and military, and entirely too homogenous. The Decepticons are just plain goofy and alien. The story makes no sense here in the states... so stop letting the Japanese run the show. I remember, as a kid, there was an episode focused on Gears, and what a jerk he was... but he was an Autobot! The whole crew was a rag-tag collection, and the Decepticons were more often the straight men of any comedy bits.

    6) Make big smaller. Why the heck is Optimus wrasslin' with Unicron? If you want a big threat, try combiners! Try packing the Decepticons with superior firepower. In G1, the Decepticons were tough, and Devastator was a terrifying threat. One of the reasons the show is so bad is that the bad guys are always beaten by being outgunned. A clever strategem is always more exciting than a rehash of a gimmick we've all seen already. The big threat has gotten too big... a lot of which ties back to my earlier comments about the fallacy of the ever increasing threat, and the need to return to episodic programming.

    7) Don't use the non-transforming gimmick constantly. Make it an event in the story each time, and maybe go some episodes without it.

    8) Transform more often, and make it useful. Transform to run someone over, not to drive through space. Highlight the advantages of transformation... they don't really hide in disguise anymore, which is a shame, but they don't use their alt modes for much else either. It may as well be GI Joe.

    9) CHARACTERIZATION! Speaking of GI Joe, I saw the Valor vs. Venom cartoon recently and wanted to cry. It wasn't a great show, but in two hours there were dozens of characters introduced, and they were all distinct from each other! They had names, and quirks and gimmicks... and that was in the equivalent of four episodes! They had more personality in those four slots than Energon has shown in over thirty, and with a smaller active cast.
     
  4. ikado

    ikado Cuttlebot

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    I was at first amazed at how good the show was comparred to Armada. I watched about a dozen episodes and even got up at the crack of dawn to watch them. I even wrote on my OTFCC questionare that I really liked the show. But the story, the dubbing, and the characters just sucked. I don't know why it's been so hard to get a decent Transformers show going in the US. I think it's because the story is made in Japan. The last good TF show was Beast Wars and everyone knows it. You want to sell more toys? Make TF go for another 20 years? Write it for a slightly older audience. Little kids will still think its cool, and its something us fans can enjoy as well. Think Cowboy Bebop with Transformers.
     
  5. Autobot Dave

    Autobot Dave Photobot

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    I agree.

    One of the problems that I have with cartoons these days; not just TFs, but in general; is that they all talk down to kids. One HUGE way to differentiate the Transformers brand from other 30 minute commercials is to speak to kids on their level, or even on a SLIGHTLY higher level. They've been so over-run with badly dubbed (and I would argue written) anime, that I believe they'd welcome this change with open arms; not to mention that it would seem (to them) like a "fresh" take on cartoon story-telling.

    As far as Energon is concerned, it simply didn't meet current standards animation-wise. And it was pretty bad dubbing-wise also.

    From the clips we've seen of Galaxy Force, I'm very pleased with the animation. Here's hopin' for a great story; a story that the kids'll love :thumb 

    Have fun, gang!
     
  6. Taggenagger

    Taggenagger Transformers fandubs! TFW2005 Supporter

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    The low respect for the fact that good dubbing needs reasonable time is what I blaim for Energon being such a big bucket of dialogue flubs. I'm sure Voicebox would do it much better if they'd have a few weeks more in production time. I don't think any other studio would do it better or worse with the same amount of time.

    The story.. well, it started off pretty good. But then it got so trashed up with the ultra boring Unicron saga, and all but one episode (Crash Course) not focusing directly on the hunt after the big planet eater. Too few transformations to alt mode, too uninteresting lessons in the worth of friendship and combinations, too crazy human in Dr Jones and while speaking of characters.. what did they have to show?

    The balance was way off. One moment, Ironhide could bash Kicker for having trouble going out in space because of traumas in his childhood, then he could be your regular youngster bot everyone wants to teach good stuff. "This is my big moment to show what I can do!", and thousands of other ways to say that came from his mouth all the time.

    And Prime? In episode 38, I believe, he punched Ironhide so hard he flew a rock-throw away, just because he didn't follow orders. What kind of role model for kids does that? Sure, Ironhide was a big joke himself, but that was too much.

    I do want to admire this show for a few things. The animation looks very good from time to time, yet not when the robots walk. It was also awesome to see the mystical entrance of Starscream, the characterization of Demolishor (especially in SL, when they actually showed feelings when he died) and the conflicts between Rodimus and Optimus. I'm just too weak for a Rodimus/Optimus fight, that's all. The special dreammatch episode was extremely fun and nifty. Now I'm talking too much about Super Link, but they're basically the same show.

    Episode 39 was a blast, some of the best stuff I've ever seen. I'm all too weak for the symbolism in Prime getting big (though I don't like magic, but here I do an exception) and actually gaining an ability to beat the living poop out of Unicron. It was so awesome, and I'll remember it as one of the best episodes ever. Too bad that Energon took away 2/3 of the drama by making Kicker and the Autobots cheer on Prime rather than doubting his ability to win. With them not sure of he'll win or not, Prime's victory is even greater.

    And of course, I do love the soundtrack, except for the mega worthless Energon intro. Like Kickback said; "Armada's theme kicked all kinds of asses, Energon's theme is ASS". Solar Transform and Calling You are two wonderful music pieces, one can listen to them everyday.

    I don't hate Energon, but the series has so many flaws. Still, it can't (in my book) be even compared to the shit Headmasters and Beast Machines gave us. While Beast Machines' ├╝ber-religious idotic story with no sense of making the characters be of any worth to a good life, Headmasters has no story at all. So this series is on 3rd place of the worst, and that's a list I rarely want to update.
     
  7. blackconvoy_D01

    blackconvoy_D01 Destronger

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    Cowboy Bebop additude and writting fuzed with TF's. F'in brilliant!!! That would move very well with me!
     
  8. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    From what I've seen of the show, it works great up until episode 26. Very few faults I can find there. Then there's the clip show episode that goes nowhere (unless it's being used as window dressing for GF) followed by the part when they're defending the planets. Fine, it's a nice evolution of the story, and the race episode is cool. But the series just seems to lose its way in those episodes. I feel that it would have been better served by going a different direction in that last arc. The fight with Unicron was awesome, but the pacing seems to really slow down in the later episodes.
    Don't get me wrong, I found Energon (and Super Link) to be a great series, and the 500th episode special is must see viewing, but I feel the second 26 episodes are no where near as well done as the first 26. I'm not sure what it is, some of the urgency seems to go or something.
    I'm also not a fan of the switching between the CGI and the Cel animation. Both are well done, but they don't work well together, especially since the Cel goes and plays up the character designs in ways the CGI never could (more ornate antennae on Convoy, a more demonic look to Galvatron, etc)
     
  9. StarAngel

    StarAngel Long live the Decepticons

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    I don't know why Hasbro will not have Mainframe do TFs again. They put stuff in there only adults will understand and also be enjoyable to kids.
    Japanese humor (if any) doesn't seem to come off right in TFs.
    Maybe if we make a poll that supports Mainframe (or an American company) to do TFs, and present it to Hasbro, perhaps they will listen to us. Or have American writers with Japanese animation like the original G1. :rock 
    Anyways Energon:
    I enjoyed the two disks I have of it. That is all I have of the show. its not bad. But that is all I've seen of it. I feel without seeing more I should not make a bigger assessment of the storyline. I did see episode 500 in Japanese dialogue which was regardless funny seeing repaints of the same character standing next to each other as well as Demolisher and Cyclonus superlink. . .. . to name a couple of things off the tip of my mind.
    As for dubbing, you have to remember a few things. Japanese do not even try at times to make the words fit mouth movement so when it comes over here the original script that was said has to be cut or the words will not fit at all. The voice actors are doing the best they can. Americans (children and adults) will notice big time if it doesn't fit and that will really really make the show attendence drop big time. The voice actors at last year's OTFCC mentioned a lot of this with some very interesting stories to go along.
    The animation is awesome and smooth. No major complaints there.
    My one complaint is that there are too many humans. I don't mind one or even two in the show but the show is about TFs not about humans who live with Tfs. I don't mind Kicker but I liked it when the other humans didn't appear much or none at all in the show.
    Ironhide is not too bad. He can be annoying at times but I think of him trying to be everything he wants to be and wants to prove it. At times that is annoying. As to Ironhide basher Kicker for going out in space or whatever, Ironhide may feel a bit tougher than Kicker due to size and metalhide and he may feel a bit intimited at times by someone who could be seen as weaker species and regardless forced to join up with him by Optimus. Obviousely Ironhide wants to be paired off with another Autobot.
    Energon is a lot better than American Headmaster. The animation was good at first then went bad in no time, introducing new characters left and right in 3 episodes and even the writer himself wasn't happy about the story due to the fact it had to introduce 30 new characters in less than 20 minutes or less per episode. Or so it seemed. One season I cannot watch is the HM.
     
  10. Rodimus Prime

    Rodimus Prime Sola Gratia, Sola Fide TFW2005 Supporter

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    The show was good up until they went into that wormhole or whatever. After that it really dropped out. A lot of plot points were dropped or (like with Starscream) a lot of potential from the previous show was wasted. Also, I'm really sick of the "Japanese" way the cartoons are done. I don't mind the anime style or any of that, but the "color = Powerup" mindset is boring and getting really old now. That goes with the "ever increasing threat" bit that someone else mentioned earlier. You can only build up for so long and then it gets goofy. Speaking of goofy, the (as mentioned previously) whole thing with making pretty much all the bad guys goofy is stale now. Aside from a couple, all the bad guys in Energon were idiots or tag-alongs. The ending was the worst though. Prime going Super Saiyjin or whatever and wrestling Unicron Godzilla-style was bad. Real bad. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the show creators honestly thought of the worst way to end the show and then used it for the finale.

    However, before that it was pretty much all good. I understand the need for filler episodes, etc. I loved the fact that it had Rodimus, and actually made him pretty close to his G1 version, just without the doubt nagging him. That was a real treat and brought in a new factor into the mythos, with another team of Autobots who didn't just bow down and follow Prime, but had their own faction. I also loved how the show had a lot of other gray characters, or bad guys who were pretty sympathetic (Alpha-Q, Demolisher, etc). I just wish it could've lasted.
     
  11. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    I think the major problem that we've had since RiD is that it is written by the japanese for the japanese and them they try to convert it for a western audience. It really doesn't work that well. Why can't we just get a TF show written by western writers again? The market here is so much bigger then Japan...
     
  12. ToasterThief

    ToasterThief New Member

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    From a business standpoint it made sense to ride the wave generated by the anime craze. It became viable to produce one show for two target markets. However that bubble, while it hasn't burst, has shifted, and maybe to the point where it's not viable to advertise to both target markets with a single show. Cybertron will undoubtedly be a test of this.

    As for Energon, it was just ruthlessly dull. As bad as the animation was in Armada at times, Energon was so clunky and restrictive that you simply accepted the fact you'd never see anything as dynamic or fast paced as the Starscream sword fights. Visually, musically, it just felt flat.

    It didn't even feel like an effective way to show off the toys that it was supposed to be selling, outside of the powerlinking anyway. Very few characters ever really got to use their vehicle modes to do anything significant, something which seems to be addressed in Cybertron.

    I don't think it was very effective at targeting kids at all. The first episode started with a few minutes of buildings coming out of water. There was narration, but that's hardly a way to grab attention. The real shame is that after the half-way point, the series just completely lost steam and seemed to give up. The opposite of Armada.

    It was a sub par show that failed to bring anything new to Transformers as a whole. Lots of kids watched Armada (I remember Cartoon Network touting the nielsen ratings with glee) and there was a fair bit of investment on the viewers part in characters like Starscream and Hot Shot. They were relegated to the background, and it just missed the most obvious oppurtunities to be a better and more balanced show.

    Having the shows air within weeks of each other in both countries brought its own problems to the table, too. I wouldn't try that again.
     
  13. Weremole

    Weremole Whack-a-mole Avenger

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    As I haven't seen Energon i'll just comment on Super Link.

    It should have been called Transformers: Missed Oppurtunity.

    It had a rather nice start but then it crashed. Set up all too many plot threads and missed tying them together cohesively. They aslo failed to finish some that where left standing since Armada even though we know now it really WHAS the same studio. In the end; with last-minute additions like Ghestalts and the like as well as the previously mentioned dangling plot threads and unexplained concepts it turned into a trainwreck.

    So much 'could' have been told and so much where we hoping it would be. But in the end it whas just that; a failed promise and a missed oppurtunity.
     
  14. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    I'm going to echo what others said about the Autobots, but expound on it a bit. Yes, they're too homogenous as characters...I think a big part of that is that there's nothing to differentiate them in terms of ability, really.

    What makes Hot Shot different from Rodimus? Do their weapons function differently? If Hot Shot is the shirt and Rodimus the pants, what does that mean versus Rodimus as shirt and Hot Shot as pants? Do they have substantially different functions in the organization? This is something that they've gotten right in other continuities and even Armada...Hot Shot was a warrior whereas Red Alert was a doctor/scientist, for example. Their weapons functioned differently, too.

    Part of character development is knowing what role the character plays and what makes them special...none of the current crop really seem all that special.
     
  15. Crossblades

    Crossblades Combiner fan

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    The show is too cliched. I was amazed at first, but later on the series it got too boring. I didn't feel that I was watching G1. So far the only TF cartoon I really like is RID, because there I felt that I was watching G1.
     
  16. Dark Magnus

    Dark Magnus Your opinion is wrong!

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    As many above mentioned, there are so many missed opportunities in Energon for me to be 100% behind it. The characterization was horrible for the Autobots, almost everyone was the same exact character, at least in Armada, each guy had their own thing going for them(red alert=scientist, scavenger=old warrior, blurr=loner, etc).

    The show started out with such promise but like Hot Rodimus pointed out, I think it lost it's way when they went through the wormhole, all previous plotlines were dropped and new ones were created that were somewhat non sensical(sp?).

    Good toy line, bad cartoon.
     
  17. Acid Wing

    Acid Wing Senior Alien TF Member

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    I will also speak on the behalf of Superlink as Energon was sparse as it was on Cable TV and basically suffered from poor dubbing here in North America.

    After seeing most of Superlink, I would agree with the fact that the Autobots didn't have a set personality, although in Superlink the voice actors did in my opinion, a very good job of providing one (e.g. Cliffjumper's "Check it out," Ironhide's willingness to prove himself as a capable leader, Rodimus' stern authority, etc). The Decepticons, on the other hand, I felt were portrayed for the most part very well, ranging from the intial beginning episodes of Galvatron's fury to Shockblast's psycopathic urges to Sixshot's treacherous ways.

    For the most part, the animation was fine to me. If compared to GF, the 3-d renderings are of course less advanced, but I felt Superlink did what was then a good job of blending the 3-d models along with the 2-d backgrounds.
    Not mainframe, but a step away from 2-d animation for some time.

    In regards to the score, I loved the music. The intro, outro songs were cool along with the other themes such as Galvatron's were nicely done.

    The last few episodes may have seemed to lack that punch, but I still was satisfied with what occured such as the closure between Scorponok and Ironhide, the death of Ironhide's ragtag team, Sixshot's death, and the gestalts to name a few warranted overall, from my perspective a better show than RID.
    To me, Superlink seemed more concerned with spirits and evil influences a la Unicron's spark, Primus, Alpha Q's death, rather than an actual physical war whcih I believed turned off many people.
     
  18. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    yeah, the dubbing was rushed, the story went down the drain, and i f**king HATE these "magical" color change power ups, but there were some interesting ideas being kicked around in there (nothing to do with characterization or storytelling though).
    a lot of people are criticizing it for being "too japanese" in regards to the writing; i'd just be happy if it didn't immediately try to fit in with this trendy kiddy-style anime that intentionally tries to be overly quirky. apparently, this kinda stuff is wearing thin with the kids too- take a look at how beyblade (another hasbro toyline that attempted to capitalize on the fading anime craze) is doing. hasbro recently cited beyblade as being one of the brands that they're experiencing weak sales with.
     
  19. StarAngel

    StarAngel Long live the Decepticons

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    I remember at OTFCC 04 with the voice actor panel, where the actors told us how rushed they are with each episode plus try to put life into the characters in such a rushed way. They explained it better.
    My husband showed me part of Cybertron (Galaxy Force) and it looks very promising. You can tell that the TFs themselves are CG but it also suppose to have cel animation as well. I hope future cartoons in storyline and so forth are more promising to all fans in the future.
    I think the reasons why Hasbro is doing Japanese is 1) cheaper to produce 2) Anime is huge in US over the past couple of years. Anime will go back to what it was in popularity and not totally disappear.
    Hopefully TFs will not fall to where Beyblade is. I don't think it will in the long run due to TFs long history but I hope it doesn't fall in the same trap that Beyblade has fallen. Of course I'm going off from what I hear and see off this thread and what I know about anime-based toy lines.
     
  20. Flameshield

    Flameshield Blind Sniper

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    for me, energon was to "fast pace". it was jumpy and not all that great. my problem with Energon was the fact that Prime had to become as big as Unicron, and Galvatron did the same thing near the end.
    Armada was the frist season i saw of Transformers, i miss a few of the last episodes, but Armada beats Energon if they were to race.
    that's what i think.
    Flameshield
     
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