New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

No noses? No problem! Zombiebots? Sure, why not. A confusing new canon that allows loose and contradictory material? And now a new sequel show with an entirely different art style that takes place way in the future!
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Sparky Prime
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

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Season 2 has wrapped up... in the UK. Not sure why Cartoon Network in the US is lagging behind so much, other than Cartoon Network is always terrible to shows they can't control or profit off of the toyline. But anyway, since the episodes are available, I wanted to share some thoughts.

Unfortunately, season 2 really doesn't do much differently from season 1. A majority of the season is still simply the Autobots capturing Decepticon fugitives, with a hint of a larger coming threat going on in the background. The biggest difference in this season is that episode plots alternate between two Autobot teams, with Optimus, Windblade, Sideswipe and Drift becoming the "Stealth Away Team" to track down Decepticons who have moved further away from the crash site, while Bumblebee, Strongarm and Grimlock remain at the base and continue handling local threats.
Spoiler
The plot in the background leading up to the season finale is that a majority of the Decepticons remained with half of the crashed Alchemor (which they have taken to calling Decepticon Island), and are fixing it up in order to leave Earth, although Steeljaw takes over the group and intends on making it the first base for his Decepticon Empire. Much like last seasons finale with Megatronus getting free from his extra-dimensional prison, I felt it was pretty underwhelming. It was better than last season because I felt they did have more leading up to it, but that might only have been because this was a much shorter season. The last two episodes also brings up this rivalry between Optimus and Bumblebee as leaders, which seemed to come out of nowhere given they hardly spent any time together this whole season. And Optimus had said at the end of the last season he wouldn't take over as leader.
Spoiler
Highlight of the season: Soundwave and Ratchet both make apperances (with Jeffery Combs returning as the voice of Ratchet!). Unfortunately Soundwave is returned to the "Shadowzone" dimension at the end of the episode he appears in. As for Ratchet, he explains he came back to Earth because he's a Decepticon hunter now, having essentially been exiled from Cybertron after he stood up for Optimus to the new High Council. Apparently the new High Council blames the Autobots just as much as they do the Decepticons for the ruin of the planet, and refuse to acknowledge Optimus sacrifice to save the planet. The end of the season has Windblade, Ratchet and Optimus returning to Cybertron with all the Decepticon prisoners, while Bumblebee and the rest of the team decide to build a permanent Autobot base on Earth.
Season 2 overall... I wish they'd they'd done more of what they did in this season in the first season. And a lot of the problems I had with season 1 are still present. So many of the episodes just feel like filler with the more interesting developments hardly touched upon and/or rushed at the end of the season.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

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Season 2.5
The Autobots decide to do some cleaning up, revisiting their old bases to remove any Cybertronian artifacts left behind, only to discover there is a new band of Decepticons on Earth who are relic hunters, and armed with some new Mini-Cons who can power up and take control of those they link with. Bumblebee ends up contacting Optimus who agrees to return to Earth. Eventually, the Relic Hunters discover the Dark StarSaber, which is immediately taken by the Scavengers, a team of bounty hunters hired by Starscream. While Starscream is impressed with the Dark StarSaber, he's actually after the Mini-Cons, but they've stolen the Relic Hunters ship and joined forces with the Autobots (after a little convincing from Optimus). But it's not long before Starscream is able to capture the Mini-Cons. It turns out these Mini-Cons were experimented on by Megatron but left locked in a lab in Darkmount and escaped after Starscream found them. Starscream plans to merge all 7 with himself to have the power to defeat Megatron (whom he feels abandoned the cause) and conquer the universe himself. He succeeds in merging the Mini-cons, but the Autobots manage to separate Aerobolt from Starscream, who then links with Optimus (becoming Power Surge Optimus Prime). With the power boost, the Autobots are able to work together to defeat Starscream and remove the Mini-Cons from him. The Mini-Cons decide to leave Earth in the ship they stole, while Optimus again returns to Cybertron with the captured Decepticons.

I have to say, I really liked the attention the writers gave to continuity with these episodes. Although the Autobot base that was destroyed in Prime shouldn't have any relics left, Bumblebee explains they actually had some secret levels. It's also revealed they had a base prior to that in Mount Saint Hilary. Although disappointingly, all we see of it is tunnels in a volcano. The Autobots also discover a video diary Bumblebee used to keep, but it shows him in his current form rather than his Prime body. Starscream also returns, explaining he managed to best the Predacons (by actually tripping a booby trap as he ran for it, apparently killing Skylynx and Darksteel but Predaking isn't shown). It's interesting to note Optimus explains he hasn't actually returned to Cybertron yet, waiting for some friends to investigate things with the Cybertronian Council first. Despite being a short segment of the season, it's disappointing they once again have done a relic hunt after the majority of Prime did it.

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andersonh1
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

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I'll post a few thoughts on RID as we watch through it. We watched episodes 1 and 2, the creatively named "Pilot" parts 1 and 2. The show is definitely lighter and softer than Transformers Prime, and I find myself the most interested in Bumblebee's response to the appearances of Optimus Prime, who isn't even sure if he's alive or not. There's a bit of emotional resonance there after all these two have been through together that appeals to me. The actual plot of the episodes (and presumably the series) is obviously going to be recapturing all the Decepticon fugitives on Earth, which should provide quite a bit of storytelling opportunities. The humor has been dialed up, and though I didn't much care for the new human characters at first, they're better than first impressions would indicate.

It's entertaining. I prefer Prime's darker tone and rich CGI to the light, bright RID, but I enjoyed it.

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Shockwave
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

Post by Shockwave »

I really need to finish watching this at some point. I think I've seen most of it, but I know there are things I've missed. And I like Grimlock in this series.

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andersonh1
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

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Episodes 3 and 4 - they definitely went with different designs for this show, with non-humanoid Decepticons. A wolf-man, a lobster named Bisk (who is a gamer!), the Sharkticon and a combiner who breaks up into five spider robots. Bumblebee mentions Megatron and Dark Energon once, and his long period of time spent on Earth, so yay for continuity. I like that Rusty got his own storyline completely separate from any Transformers activity. There's some definite "kid show" vibes, but it's been fun so far.

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andersonh1
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

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Episodes 5 and 6 - My favorite part is seeing Bumblebee try to emulate Optimus when figuring out how to lead. It's mostly played for comedy, but with an element of truth as well, since it's understandable that BB would see Optimus as a role model, and Bumblebee is genuinely searching for a way to be a more effective leader. Optimus himself gets a brief scene, mentions the Primes, and I'm really wondering what's going on with him. Weird hearing Kevin Richardson voice the buffalo Decepticon (and why is every Decepticon so far an animal of some sort?). Seeing two Cons team up is something I knew was coming. It's also pointless for Bumblebee and Strongarm to ever use their pistols, because so far they have exactly zero effect on whoever they shoot.

I'm enjoying the show, but here's hoping we get some plot variation down the road rather than nothing but "capture this week's Decepticon". That could get old real fast.

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Shockwave
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Re: New cartoon: Robots In Disguise

Post by Shockwave »

From what I recall, there was a fair amount of "capture the Decepticon of the week" but not so much that it dominated the series much like the minicon hunting dominated Armada.

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