I really don’t use my Tumblr much, but was inspired by my buddy Starbeastrave to do a little round up of my favorite shows right now (cartoons mostly ^^).
1) YOUNG JUSTICE
Well duh, big fan of this one. I know the main criticisms it gets right now is either on the multiple story lines taking place simultaneously, which granted, can feel like too much at times, or on the romantic aspects. The latter I’m not even touching lol, that’s really a personal matter, and YJ shippers scare the hell out of me as it is. I’ll just say, when it comes to the relationships on the show, it’s 50/50 for me. Some they’ve rushed, and some they’ve taken their time developing, like Superboy and Miss Martian, which I think has been taken to interesting places, particularly in Season 2. Rather than the typical “LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOREVER!” you see in cartoons, we see them go through that puppy love stage, then brake up for a really disturbing reason, and then even date other people. That feels more like real life to me, and I’m glad they’re bringing that to the show.
However, the show biggest flaw is that they skip too much, and i’m not just talking about he 5 year gap, that I can accept as a story telling tool. A lot of things are done and developed off screen, and sometimes, it can be annoying. Still, that being said, I love the show and it’s characters. Greg Weissman’s style is just very appealing to me. He opts for multi-layered stories, focused mainly on the characters and their interactions, rather than the “Adventure of the Day” formula. He sets many plots, yes, but they all ultimately connect, and it makes the universe he creates that much more rich and palpable. I’d say that his (and thus this show’s) biggest strength is his ability to create such great detail in the broad strokes, and that to me at least, is great story-telling.
Favorite Character? Robin of course. Any Robin ^^ And Blue Beetle too.
2) TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (Warning: I’m about to RANT!)
When I was growing up, I loved 3 things: Batman, Power Rangers and TMNT! (And Pizza ^^) And that last one really died for me with the 90’s. I grew up with the Original cartoon and movie, and since then, nothing has appeared from my dear turtles to ignite that spark again….until now. I can’t quite explain it, but this new show really, REALLY makes me feel like a kid again. It just captures the spirit and details of what I loved about the turtles so much. I was not happy when I heard the new show was going to be computer animation, but figured I’d give it a chance, and i’m glad it did. The animations works! For the first time ever, you can really distinguish the four turtles by something other than their colored masks or weapons. The style is very “west meets east” animation, with a few nods to anime here and there, but never overdone, and with action that is grounded and yet still very fun.
This show has two strengths, and one is its writing. It’s actually funny, and not just Mickey, but all of them get their own moments to shine, and never at the cost of losing their personalities. That is to say, they don’t all act like Mickey, or go out of character just to crack a joke. It’s organic, and it flows well, whether a pun, or slapstick, or even just a visual, it works! And I love the Banter ^^ The serious moments are heartfelt too, you really feel these four are brothers, and that Splinter is their father.
The other things that impressed me was the voice acting. I was in love with Greg Cipes’s Michelangelo from the start, and he really takes the cake in terms of funny and charm. Still, I admit I was scratching my head at Jason Biggs (from American Pie) as Leonardo, and Sean Astin (Sam from LOTR) as Raphael but hey, they proved themselves here. Biggs captures the stoic tone of Leo, but never playing him as boring or too uptight, rather, as someone who truly wants to protect his brothers. And Astin brings that mean streak to Ralph, but never making you hate him. Ralph has anger issues, yes, but he’s also the most loyal and passionate turtle, and you feel that here. This Raphael is someone I actually want to root for.
Last but CERTAINLY not least, is Rob Paulsen as Donatello. For those of you who don’t know, he was the one who played Raphael in the original series, and is considered by many THE voice of Raphael. So yes, I too was like “WTF” when they announced him for Donnie instead. Does it work? Yes, and here’s why. The eighties were very different from today. The original interpretation of the turtles was much…softer than today. Even on a kids show, what’s dark now probably wouldn’t have made it in 20 years ago. Paulsen’s take feels very geeky, which might have worked back then, but I honestly couldn’t see it in THIS modern interpretation. That being said, it was a stroke of genius to recast him as Donnie. That geek tone really sticks with him, it feels savvy, and when he talks about computers and other dimensions, you (and the turtles) listen.
I know I’ve ranted plenty as it is lol, but one last character i feel needs mentioning, and that’s Shredder. So far, they’ve only teased him, but already I like what I see. The looks reminds me off the first movie, looming and dangerous. As for the voice, Kevin Michael Richardson brings that deep and commanding voice full of power and menace. My only complaint is that he could have tried to make him sound more Japanese, but a minor gripe. So yes, in case you haven’t noticed, i highly recommend this show ^^
3 & 4: Green Lantern & Transformers Prime.
I’ve yet to watch Season 2 of either one, but I really enjoyed the first Season of both, and I will catch up soon. Both of them feature one of my top 5 voice actors, Josh Keaton, so that for me is reason enough to watch them.