Judge Dylan Charles is aware—horribly aware—that the average fifth-grader can keep track of all these characters.
"Our worlds are in danger. To save them and the galaxy we must find the four cyber planet keys before the Decepticons can use them for evil. It is our mission. Hotshot, Jetfire, Landmine, Vector Prime, Scattorshot, Optimus Prime…Transform and roll out."
Billed as the third entry in a series (following Transformers Armada and Transformers Energon) Transformers: Cybertron is actually a whole new storyline with no real ties to the two previous shows. The American production team threw in some superficial connections betwixt this one and the others (Megatron's Unicron armor, the black hole being related to the death of Unicron), but it's better just to ignore all that and think of this as a new story.
Facts of the Case
Cybertron is about to be pulled into a universe destroying black hole and it's up the Autobots to stop it. They must track down the four Cyber Planet keys and use them to stop the blackhole. But trying to get the keys first is Megatron and his Decepticons. It's a race against time to prevent the whole universe from being sucked up.
The animators for Transformers: Cybertron could learn a thing or two from Transformers Animated. The transformers in Transformers: Cybertron are all computer generated (the rest of the animation is traditionally done). It's annoyingly hard to tell who is who and what's going on—especially when there's fighting going on. The large, bulky, and overly busy character designs make the grand battle royals a nightmare to sort out who's doing what to whom.
And then there's the problem of the constant upgrading of the characters. Every ten episodes or so, a character is reborn and changed into some all new robot. Because it wasn't difficult enough to tell who was who before apparently. Megatron goes Galvatron for the ten billionth time. Red Alert, Hot Shot, and Scattorshot (And Scattorshot? Seriously? Can't they spell it correctly?) get new character designs halfway through the show. Christ, even Crumplezone gets revamped.
Then of course there's the bevy of new characters. Scourge, Wing Saber, Evac, Crosswise, Soundwave; the list just never stops getting longer. It's not like there's anything depth or rhyme or reason to half of the new introduced 'bots. About the point I rolled my eyes so hard that I strained a muscle was when Crosswise, the monster hunting Autobot, was introduced. He's an alien robot who hunts monsters that turn out to be the shadows of ancient Decepticons that haunted Earth's past. Right.
Maybe the overload of characters and character changes wouldn't be half as annoying if I didn't know that this was just a ploy to sell more toys. "Kids just aren't buying Overhaul anymore!" "Well, let's turn him into LEOBREAKER! Then the kiddies will open up their parent's wallets again." Shame on you, Hasbro. Shame on you.
Then there's the humans. It's my humble opinion that the only time humans were ever used properly was with Spike in the original show, for the very simple reason that he's not a middle-school kid. Optimus Prime is quite possibly the most irresponsible giant talking robot in the universe as he's constantly leading small children into the thick of battle. When does that ever pay off? At least once, their presence almost leads to the destruction of the entire universe. And that's never a good thing. The adults are almost as bad. Dr. Suzuki told the children at one point that the best thing a scientist needs is a lack of common sense. Look at me right now. See that twitch over my left eye? That's looming insanity right there. This show nearly drove me insane.
There's so much more. It's needlessly redundant: Optimus Prime and Megatron had about ten "final" battles over the course of the show. Hot Shot raced Override almost five hundred times for the Speed Planet key. The show took twice as long to finish because it dragged everything out for episodes on end. On the plus side, though, Transformers: Cybertron had continuity in spades—and I love continuity, even if that continuity is madness in concentrated form.
And then there's the weird mix of goofy good times and grim seriousness. Take Scourge, the feared dictator of Jungle Planet. He's supposed to be a fearsome monster. But eventually he changes his ways and becomes a good guy because he gets berated by a little girl. This kind of thing hurts me. Inside.
There's not even the saving grace of some sort of strong message or educational quotient. If anything, this show will be responsible for the dumbing down of this generation's of children. It's mindless, flashy, confusing entertainment.
It's a good transfer, although there's a complete absence of extras. This doesn't exactly make me sad, even though I would have appreciated a lengthy explanation for the last episode included in the collection. It just seems like a retread of the earlier episodes, rather than a whole new one.
Whenever I watch one of these modern kid shows, I try and think back to my old favorites that I watched growing up. I try and remember if they were as cataclysmically dumb as the stuff that gets peddled nowadays. The answer: no. Skip Transformers: Cybertron and watch Transformers Animated instead.
Transformers: Cybertron is guilty of selling dumb to school children.
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