More like me dusting off something I found from four years ago in my journal. I’ve tried to remove any broken links to videos that no longer exists, but I might have missed something.
Lesse now… Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars was a thirteen episode cartoon that had a lot of potential and I think was a whole lot better than a lot of shows in the day, especially with its colorful cast of characters. There was also a comic that was way, waaay darker, I hear. It also had a rockin’ intro theme.
However, like many other cartoons, it did a lot of silly things and opens itself up for some snarking. This is all tongue in cheek, mind. Apart from one character whom I absolutely loathe, I like this show a lot.
Remember, this was all written four years ago.
And we begin with the cast.
Captain Bucky O’Hare is a green rabbit in a red uniform, complete with a cape with a yellow star on. This definitely wouldn’t have worked in the Cold War, eh. Bucky is actually one of the most interesting heroes from this age that I’ve seen. He has reason to angst, because his home planet Warren has just been conquered and swampified by the toads. However, he’s a no-nonsense tough hare who doesn’t take crap – and he can and will take a beating, even if he tends to get momentarily knocked out a lot.
Some will definitely say that his voice actor is doing a sloppy job, especially in some moments where Bucky is fighting and throwing bad puns around. This WAS the age of punination, after all. All cartoons had to have them. And they were FUN FUN FUN. Or so the writers thought. I’m sure the rest of us got quite tired of hearing “we’re in a pinch!” every time a giant crab showed up (as they ALWAYS did at one point or another).
Bucky does deliver the puns when he has to, but he often does it in a dry, tired tone which I in this context find hilarious. It could very well be that the voice actor is just not willing to put force into it, because he realizes that it’s NOT FUNNY. Or it was meant to be. Whatever the case, it really comes out like Bucky is thinking “Well shit, it says in my contract that I have to spout these inane things, so I guess I hafta follow the rules… ugh…”.
Or maybe Bucky just doesn’t have a sense of humor. He is almost always frowning, after all. You can practically count the times he smiles on one hand.
His bitterness is understandable, as he, his crew and their ship [i]The Righteous Indignation/i is one out of three parts of the fleet fighting the toad empire. Seriously. There are three small battleships trying to fight back an armada of millions of brainwashed, slimy killers. Bucky pretty much has the entire universe’s (aniverse’s) fate on his fuzzy shoulders, and he has to wrestle politicians every second step of the way.
But hey, he’s got goggles! Instalove!
Bucky gets captured by the toads very often for being a main character.
Pilot Jenny, first mate is the token girl. She’s a cat alien with loads and loads of pink hair. She’s also probably Bucky’s love interest, even if that’s not very well explored in the show. She does get huffy when the fox Mimi starts throwing questionable proposals at Bucky (seriously, she tries to get him onto her ship, “just you and me…” at one point), and they hug at the end of one episode.
In the final episode, it seems like everyone pretty much expects Bucky to be in love with Jenny – she is captured by the toads, who demand a very high price to free her. Nobody except Willy rises much of a protest (though there’s a bigger reason for this on the heroes’ side) when the normally gung-ho-put-‘em-up-slimeballs Bucky appears to be rendered unable to fight in the face of a threat to Jenny’s life.
Jenny is unfortunately one of the biggest problems on the show. She’s a tough gal and can take care of herself, but this is mainly due to her having mystical psionic, telepathic, healing, out-of-body-projection, make-things-explode-with-her-brain powers. This is apparently common of her race.
The kicker is that Jenny must keep her powers secret (apart from the telepathy), for some unexplained reason. This means that she can only be allowed to kick ass when nobody else is watching, or can see it. I find this to be a pretty blunt and annoying way to limit her powers, making them nothing but a dues ex machina to be used when everyone else has been knocked out cold.
The powers are also limited by not being usable against living creatures, which is a lot more sensible limit. The whole secrecy thing simply feels tacked on.
Also, there seems to only be female cats. Hmm.
Jenny gets captured fairly often.
Deadeye Duck is made of win and awesome. An ex-pirate, trigger-happy, absolutely psychotic duck with four arms and a vocabulary you wouldn’t believe. He can hardly talk about toads or anything scaly without dumping at least ten derogatory adjectives onto the species’ name. At this point in time, “suck” had not quite gotten as much a no-no word in kiddies’ shows as it is today, apparently, which is why you’ll hear various versions of “slime-sucking” a lot. Also calls everyone in the crew “me lad” and “me lass”. He gave up pirating to help Bucky fight the toads, and apparently harbors a deep respect for the hare.
Deadeye is the gunner of the Righteous Indignation, and the one who shouts “let’s croak us some toads!” the most. That’s the tagline of the show, by the way, and another flirt with danger. “Croak” does after all mean “die” in the right context, and this show is pretty violent considering all. These aren’t robots, or ghosts, or nasty monsters being shot at and exploded, but anthropomorphic animals of various kinds. Nobody dies, but you could see it happening. There’s also talk of torture and slavery, even if it’s not touched upon very seriously. Heck, the only reason that there’s a war is that a corrupt computer program brainwashed an entire planet and made them his warriors of planetary conquering. Flirting with religious fanatics much?
Anyway, Deadeye lives for the thrill of shooting at anything moving. He also wins brownie points when making disgusted sounds and complain to the rest of the crew when he thinks that they’re getting too sweet and sugary about friendship and brotherhood and all that rot.
Deadeye is also awesome because his kind are either pirates or ninjas. Apparently somebody saw the great pirate vs. ninja debate in a crystal ball and decided to use it in this show XD
The problem with Deadeye is his four arms. Theoretically he should be able to pack twice the firepower of everyone else, but he actually never seems to use his second pair of arms in a fight. He only carries guns in his two upper hands, leaving the other two empty and dangling. More lost potential that makes me weep D: He does use all hands when manning the canon of the Righteous Indignation.
Also, I must say that whenever I see Deadeye on screen, I can’t help but think that he reminds me an awful lot of Psy-Crow from Earthworm Jim. It’s probably the color scheme.
Deadeye gets captured by the toads only once. (You’ll see why I’m mentioning everyone’s capture rate when we get to the actual episodes.)
Blinky is pretty useless. This little android is this show’s version of “cute little animal sidekick”. He makes himself useful every now and then, but mainly stands around yelling about things that need to be repaired, making damage reports while somebody else fixes problems, and picks up banana peels thrown by Bruiser. The peels he then stuffs inside his own stomach.
Blinky gets captured twice, but he mainly manages to stay out of trouble due to mostly being left behind to guard the Righteous Indignation together with…
Bruiser, who is, I’d wager, the token black guy – or would be, if they were humans. He’s three times the size of most of the other characters, speaks broken English (all of his kind does, though this is not played as stupidity. They are obviously smart when they need to be, like Bruiser’s brother Bruce), and packs a ridiculously hard punch. Bruiser is a Betelgeusian (pronounced like “Beetlejuician” XD) Berserker Baboon, a space marine. He always charges his enemies while howling “aaaaooooga!”, the battlecry of his kind.
This handy-dandy bag of asskickery joins the crew to avenge his brother, who everyone thinks dead after a photon accelerator mishap in the first episode. (They don’t call him dead, but rather say that he obtained one-ness with the aniverse. He dies in the comic though, as I understand it.)
Since Bruiser is the big bad dude, he has a heart of gold and is very protective of everyone, especially the little Blinky.
Bruiser is one of the biggest problems with the show, and probably caused the writer’s a lot of headache. Every toad in existence is terrified of the Berserker Baboons, and even though they are brainwashed by an evil computer program the toads will turn around and flee in panic at the mere sight of Bruiser. Actually a picture is enough to make them flee. The reason for this is not explained, though toads caught by the baboons tend to get squished into basketballs… which I guess is a good reason. And then again they seldom flinch from flying and leaping straight into gunfire.
So, all Bruiser has to do is show his face to the enemy, and there’s nothing left to fear. Even the very very villainous Toadborg falters for a moment before remembering that he is not a mere toad anymore.
How can a show deal with such a character, and still make the villains threatening?
In Bucky O’Hare, they solve the problem by having Bruiser almost constantly stay on the Righteous Indignation to guard the ship. It does make a bit of sense since that ship is pretty much the only reason the fight can go on at all, but there’s a big logic hole – there’s an entire planet populated with fighting-happy, toad-hating baboons. How hard could it be to find a second one to guard the ship, to let Big Bad Bruiser at the enemy? Heck, why not launch an invasion on the toad home planet and be done with it?
Well, technically that would mean the show would end in about two episodes (Toadborg and KOMPLEX can put up quite a fight, after all), but the logic is not there.
Bruiser gets captured once.
For all his illogicness though, Bruiser is not the main problem with this show. The main problem with this show is the character I shall now present to you.
Or rather in the next post, since I’m limited to six pictures a post.