Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Transformers Marathon II; Robots in Disguise 2015: They really should stop using that subtitle

Whereas Transformers Prime was a combination of Animated and Bayformers, Robots in Disguise 2015, its direct sequel, was a combination of Prime and Rescue Bots (next week). Doing this one early as I have been keeping up with RID 2015, so unlike Rescue Bots, it’s the perfect thing to review while I’m at the Tech Games Fest during this week. So with that out of the way…

It has been years since the events of Predacons Rising. Bumblebee now leads a new team of rookie Autobots who were called back to earth due to a crashed Decepticon prison ship, leading to all the convicts it held to escape onto the planet. Plots varying season by season, but that is the overarching plot. It’s meant to be loose as the best comparison I can give to it directly is the G1 cartoon, but it is a bit more detailed and they stick too it more often than not. Rarely does the show stray too far away from that basic idea. The thread itself is meant to have a lot of characters be introduced into the series without the need to explain where they came from. But as a result, it does give the show an air of “this is just meant to sell toys”, in comparison to its predecessor which did feel like it was prioritizing the show before the toys. Only problem with that idea is that, from what I’ve seen, a lot of these characters don’t have toys and what ones do, tend to get a lot of repaints, many of them not even being into other characters. It feels like it’s trying to be G1, but that its going overboard with the character designs so that they can’t get the toys out in time. Yet somehow the toys can serve as spoilers for who’s coming? It’s weird how it works.

What’s annoying about it is that the designs are all really well done, and the amount of variety in the designs is amazing. It actually overshadows the “wait, how is that supposed to work?” feeling that I get from something like Bayformers 4. Granted, a part of that is the art style not trying to be realistic, but more on that in a bit. While the Autobots are all pretty standard for Transformers, as they’re mostly just different varieties of car, Grimlock and Windblade being the two exceptions but both of those are designs we’ve seen before (Windblade’s not changing since her Generations release). The Decepticons on the other hand go for a “What if the predacons from RID 2001 actually could blend in?” A werewolf inspired con that turns into a stylized four-wheel drive, a Sharcticon scientist who’s turning packing peanuts into explosives that turns into a Submarine, a cybertronian mob boss with antlers that turns into a tractor. Those are amazing and I want to see more of them. It has the air of a young kid playing with his toys as the show doesn’t really want to take itself too seriously. It’s got more maturity then something like Teen Titans Go does, don’t get me wrong, but it still knows it’s a show aimed at kids so it doesn’t linger around the dark and heavy moments. For the most part, it’s as bright as the art style itself, which goes for a bright, cell shaded like look to it. Visuals wise it is nice to look at, but for some reason the motions in it feel just a touch stiff. The characters are very expressive and the motions look smooth, but somehow it still looks just a touch stiff, like the animations are missing two or three frames. It’s hard to tell and I may only be imagining it, but to me it is still a slight problem.

Not a fan of the soundtrack though. It’s either bland and unforgivable, or in the case of the main theme, really, really bad. Not the full-length song I linked at the start of this post mind you, I personally like it. I’m talking about the shortened one that is used in almost all the episodes (I think only episode one uses the long version). It uses vocals meant to be like the original song, but the music it goes with it just butchers it. It and the cast of interesting, yet interchangeable cast are the two biggest issues I have with the show. For the most part, any other problems I have with it are minor ones I can let slide. Is it as good as Prime? Not really, I’d still rather watch Prime over RID 2015. But compared to RID 2001, it is a step up and in the right direction. It falls into that middle ground of shows. Nothing really bad about it, there are others I’d rather watch over it, and shows I’d rather avoid more then it. Next week we close the marathon with Rescue Bots.

1 comment:

  1. I love the RID show, and agree with most of your comments here. My guess as to the look being not as fluid as you or I would like is probably "limited animation" at work, aka the budget of the show. It's one of reasons I don't enjoy He-Man from the 80s, despite liking the characters - the limited animation really makes it a pain for me to watch. I've only read a few of your articles, but this one was really well written, and one of the first things I've seen online from someone who recognises that RID 2015 is a kids show - and not full of "its terrible cos I like the older shows...wahhhh!" type comments. You know the ones.