War for Cybertron: Earthrise animated series

The modern comics universe has had such a different take on G1, one that's significantly represented by the Generations toys, so they share a forum. A modern take on a Real Cybertronian Hero. Currently starring Generations toys, IDW "The Transformers" comics, MTMTE, TF vs GI Joe, and Windblade. Oh wait, and now Skybound, wheee!
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War for Cybertron: Earthrise animated series

Post by andersonh1 »

Earthrise is an odd name for this six episode series, because we don't actually see the Earth until the final episode, but then we didn't really see a Siege in that series either.

Siege gave us a Cybertron-based storyline, but Earthrise takes place largely in space. Once again I have some thoughts:

- this version of Megatron is pretty vile. Taking his own loyal Decepticon followers and using them as fuel and raw materials to build a spacecraft to pursue Optimus Prime is a betrayal of the worst sort. The character as written seems reluctant to cross these lines as he continues down the slippery slope, but he keeps crossing them nonetheless and has become a pretty monstrous individual. It's little wonder that a number of Decepticons in Siege and Earthrise have abandoned him and joined the Autobots. Megatron also continues to blame the Autobots for "forcing" him to take the actions he's taken rather than taking responsibility. It's never his fault. And he's Hamlet for an episode, talking to the head of the dead Ultra Magus. There's some interesting stuff going on with this version of Megatron.

- I didn't expect a Quintesson to show up, much less one that's pretty G1-show accurate in appearance. Having the thing cut off four of its faces was pretty grotesque though.

- While I expect Optimus to show humility and extend a hand to his enemies, at a certain point he has to realize that Megatron is a lost cause, and just shoot him. Bumblebee had the right idea by shooting, not talking. Not that it did a lot of good.

- I enjoyed seeing a lot of familiar characters show up in this series: Sky Lynx, Scorponok, Doubledealer, and Galvatron all get some good scenes. But I am reminded once again that this show is clearly pitched at older viewers who are familiar with the history and lore, because very little is explained, and what is explained in dialogue goes by quickly.

- There are again some great visuals, particularly the space station stuck in the space bridge, and the planet on the other side. Seems like there was some material there for further stories that there was no time to tell. The ships hanging in space over the Earth also looked great.

- The whole plot revolves around hunting for the Allspark, which ended up on the opposite side of the Universe from the Ark. Can I call this a "rubber band plot"? Optimus takes an action and immediately regrets it and spends the whole six episodes looking for a way to undo it.

- Nice to see the Dead Universe appear in the series, though not a lot is done with it.

- The subplot with Elita-1 and her crew was pretty strong material as they do what they can to resist the Decepticons and free prisoners, actions which save their lives when some of the freed Decepticons rescue them from being used as raw material for the Nemesis.

Overall: this is definitely a toy-based show, where characters turn up because they have a figure that needs to be promoted, and it's more obvious than it was in Siege. I don't remember any of the music, so I guess it made no impression on me. Earthrise is a middle chapter, no doubt about it, and exists to get us from the last part of the story to the next. I enjoyed it, probably more than Siege, but it feels stretched out, running in place for longer than was needed, particularly on the space station. I'd give it about the same score as Siege, 6 or 7 out of 10. Not stellar, not bad, carried more by the visuals than by the voice acting.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise animated series

Post by JediTricks »

After reading your review, I jammed through the Earthrise cartoon in a few days, watching it while doing the dishes. It's an odd series, it totally fails to deliver on the promise of an Earthrise and doesn't fit with the ER toy line at all, but it builds out the characters a little better than Siege. The "darkness" in the storyline is matched only by the visual darkness of dying Cybertron and the low-on-power ship interiors, that was a huge mistake to make it so hard to see. It also didn't help that this story feels like maybe two episodes of plot stuffed into six episodes of time, so there's a lot of time spent in a few locations.

The voices are overprocessed, maybe I just forgot how bad Siege was, but the processing on the voice work is downright irritating because it's just so much of it that it strips the personality away. It didn't help that a lot of the acting was wooden, nor that Sky Lynx was acted so much better than the majority of the cast that I thought it was stunt casting.
- The whole plot revolves around hunting for the Allspark, which ended up on the opposite side of the Universe from the Ark. Can I call this a "rubber band plot"? Optimus takes an action and immediately regrets it and spends the whole six episodes looking for a way to undo it.
You can and should, Optimus has so little to do as a character in this series compared to Siege that it's frustrating. The same emotional beats every 1.5 episodes make it feel frustrating, two forward, two back, repeat.
See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?
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