From the mind of Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack and the original Star Wars Clone Wars, Genndy Tartakovsky, comes Sym-Bionic Titan.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Kevin Thoms as Lance
Tara Strong as IIanna
Brian Posehn as Octus/Newton
Don Leslie as General Modula
John DiMaggio as General Steel
Tim Russ as Solomon
Three aliens are on the run from the conquerers of their planet. They've come to Earth to hide out, which means big giant robot fighting big giant monster battles. Oh and them dealing with the hijinks of adjusting to their new human lives.
That pretty much sums up the first episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, it's basically this generation's Voltron, Big O, Power Rangers, and Megas XLR. We're quickly introduced to most of the main characters of the series in the first five minutes (save for the big villain of the show, General Modula). I have to say that's pretty much the shows greatest weakness, it's pretty by the numbers so far. Plus a TON of story is crammed into the thirty minutes meaning any character quirks are tossed aside. Pretty much the plot has the rule of this day for the beginning. Still, there is somewhat hope with brief glimpses of intriguing character distinction.
We have the standard Voltron-esque plot here. Great evil empire sends a beast of the week after our heroes. About the only twist would be there's another possibly Earthly mysterious group also after the trio for unknown reasons. And that's possibly my favorite part of this show the wild card of this group and their leader, Solomon. The dude's absolutely an intriguing mystery in this first episode and probably why I'll be back watching the next episodes.
It's strange that somehow this cliché men in black group gets more a reaction out of me than the actual heavy of the series, General Modula. There's just no presence to this character for me or style. Maybe I'm so used to the glorious villainy of Aku, Mandark, and General Grievous who all chewed the scenery with their presence and style. Modula just seems so.. boring compared to them. Hopefully during the course of the series this changes. Other than that the only thing this character has going for him is his voice.
As for our heroes it's an intriguing set-up with them adjusting to their new life. Lance, the bodyguard and main hero being the loner has all the female teenagers giving him the lustful eye, Iliana the princess, gets labeled the kooky hippy, and Newton well of course he gets the smarty geek label. Again we only get the start of what awaits them, but I just wanted something a scrap of another supporting human character who befriends them. We'll probably get that later, but I kinda wanted to see more.
One other thing that I digress that made me scratch my head is near the end, the sudden ability Newton has and he nor Lance knew of it till that moment when the time called for it. What? I know this is a future subplot here, but again couldn't they just come out and say this bot is something unique or special? Or he has a sub mission he'll be doing somewhere down the line? Do we really have to push that card of him not knowing due to this hidden programing?
Though I digress for so much that I've knocked for it. I'll be coming back for more. So what did I enjoy about the show? Well it's Genndy Tartakovsky, which means the visuals in this are stunningly astonishing. In a world where flash and CGI animation is the current forms used in television animation Genndy brings his unique stamp livening up the animation world once more. So really, anything this show is giving is a hundred times better than what we're getting from any leftover Saturday morning show on the CW Kids.
The direction (also done by Genndy) is pretty good as well. From the fights to the shots and cuts to each work perfectly. The voice acting is top notch so no complains for me there. Everyone hits the right note for their characters. Again my favorite amongst the group being Solomon (voiced by Tim Russ aka Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager and the poor brother who got blown up good by Paul Kersey is Death Wish 4).
Really, my biggest fault is that we've seen this all before. Still, I'm hoping down the line we get some new elements thrown in. Like I said, the Men in Black group headed by Solomon intrigues me the most. Plus once they hone more of the plot to them adjusting to human life I think this series will be fine. Until then, I mean I can't give this a poor rating. This has a giant monster attacking a city with a giant robot battling it. How can I not say no to that?
3 out of 5
Review by: Zechs