Sym-Bionic Titan

Curse my lack of Cable TV; I’m only now finding out about this new cartoon series, they’re up to 7 episodes I think. I have to download them to watch them. And being made by Genndy Tartakovsky (the genius behind Samurai Jack and Clone Wars) they’re as awesome as I expected.

Now, the story itself is nothing original- it’s basically a mishmash of various old Giant Robot animes. On the other hand, the fact that, despite having a lot of humor, the story is serious, even grim, is new for similar cartoons on this side of the world.

Basically, it’s about an alien princess who comes to Earth to hide from the villains that conquered her homeworld; along with her come her bodyguard and a multipurpose robot. All three disguise themselves as regular teenagers and join the local high school. The bad guys find out they are on Earth and (of course) start sending giant monsters after them, which they fight using Iron-Manesque power armors, that in turn can be combined into the titular Titan, which resembles a transparent version of Gigantor.

Like I said, nothing that original, but the characters are interesting if very stereotypical: the princess is all sentimental, the bodyguard is a jerk and the robot is a nerd. Other characters include the main villain who is a lot like Darth Vader, a General who looks and acts like the one who is always chasing The Hulk, and the leader of a mysterious organization that seems to be in charge of dealing with aliens. Despite their not being deep in character (so far, to be honest I have only seen one episode as I write this) the dialog and situations they get in make up for it- their attempts to fit in High School, while predictable, were still hilarious.

And of course, the part that will matter the most to fans is the special effects- the battles are dazzling and the robots look cool. Most characters however are drawn in the cartoony style associated with Tartakovsky (think Dexter’s Lab or Samurai Jack) which will probably weird out anime fans. But I find the combination charming. :smiley:

The only thing that bothers me is the intensity of the story- the villains are VERY cruel, even the heroes argue a lot about what they should do. Oh and people DIE here, though mostly off camera. Power Rangers this isn’t!

We’ll see where the series goes. I know I’ll be following it for the near future.

Ok, now I’m all caught up to the first seven episodes. And wow, I wasn’t disappointed!

Sure, the show exploits anime cliches that go as far back as the 70s, but it gives them its own twists. And it also makes fun of several ones from American cartoons as well (the episode with the nosy neighbors had me in stitches.) And, well, it’s a Tartakovsky show- you never know what he’ll come up with next. Basing an entire episode on lance getting his driving license - and making it EPIC? Whoa! Not to mention all the “camera angles” and other visual effects used on the show; reminds me so much of Samurai Jack.

If I have any complaints, it would be that the story doesn’t seem to progress on some episodes. But I guess that’s to be expected since they are probably under pressure to make most episodes interchangeable so they can be aired in any order. That’s also probably why the characters don’t change much, though the show always find ingenious ways to reuse their personalities (like Aliana trying to improve the cafeteria food quality.)

Oh, and the music is sweet too!

I’m so glad we have a show of this quality on the air again. My favorite character so far is Octus (the robot). It isn’t easy to portray a robot character that’s supposed to be emotionless while still making him likable; Octus is doing it much better than Data ever did.

(10$ say that Lance’s missing father will turn out to be The Galactic Guardians’ leader).

Mental note: must check out Generator Rex too, I haven’t seen it yet either.

Hahaha, that looks gay as fuck. America really should stick to american products and quit aping Japanese ones.

Is it as childhood-y as Tartakovsky usually is? I don’t think I’d like him spinning a cartoon paean to high school as much as childhood. Even the wistful fairytale element of Samurai Jack seemed to have a childlike edge.

This series seems more aimed at teenage angst, mostly due to the character of Lance, who has big issues (as we find out later) due to mysterious death of his father. Whole episodes have been dedicated to that; “Shadows of Youtht” is one of those off-the-formula episodes that Tartakovsky loves to surprise the audience with, in this case it shows us Lance’s sufferings growing up in a military academy (the Titan isn’t even seen in this one!); and “Roar of the White Dragon” has him developing a rivalry with an Illegal Street Car Racer (complete with Race Track Babes, woot!)

However there are some episodes that are just hilarious, like “Elephant Logic” the one where Lance and Ilana’s arguments grow to the point they can’t even (literally) drive the Titan together, and Octus resorts to advice from a children’s TV show to get them to make up. (It works, but not the way you’d expect. :stuck_out_tongue: )