My Little Pony: The Movie Review

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It’s time to finally take a look at the new My Little Pony film. After being a pocket fan of the series for a while, this was the last step I needed to really embrace the franchise. It was pretty eery walking into the theater as it was completely empty, but it help set the tone for the film. Gradually some little kids came in and I can say that the film succeeded in being an emotional roller coaster for them. They cried when Twilight Sparkle cried, laughed at some of the jokes, and even cheered a bit during the hype moments. Definitely a solid group all around. I definitely enjoyed the film and it hit a lot of the right notes. It could have been better if it had been a little more serious at times and made the Mane 6 more reasonable, but all in all you couldn’t ask for much more from the title. Now the series can finally be mainstream.

So the film starts off with Twilight Sparkle preparing a big party. She’s even going to have a singer show up to wow the crowd. Unfortunately Princess Celestia, Luna, and the other pony all say no to Twilight’s plan to make the party even more awesome. They explain that true friendship is knowing when not to lend a hoof in need. Twilight does her best with her friends but Pinkie Pie squashes the cake by mistake and embarrasses Twilight in front of the town. That’s when the Storm King’s minions show up and take over Equestria. Twilight Sparkle and her friends are wrecked in seconds and forced to flee. They must now find a legendary Queen to save them, but they’ll have to travel outside of their home for once. Going into the modern day cities will be tough since everyone is a swindler and the Ponies are used to dealing with nice folk. This could be tough.

Well, for starters I enjoyed the graphics. It feels like an interesting flash/CGI hybrid at times with how the designs look. They look more wholesome and detailed than the TV show, but at the same time I found myself missing the classic TV show versions once in a while. I think you very quickly get pulled back into the film though and this style certainly worked really well for the energy effects. They really stood out.

The soundtrack for the film is excellent as you would expect. The Open Your Eyes song is definitely catchy and even contained a brief origin story within it. The final song that the movie ends with was also quite good. During the movie the Mane 6 sang a few times as well. While the songs couldn’t quite match those 2, they were still really good. Mix that in with the danger themes in this film and you can see why it was so good. I would have liked to have seen the My Little Pony theme song, but I suppose that might have been too much to ask for.

One thing that the film does well is keeping up a sense of danger during the movie. We get the opening attack on Equestria which was quite good. A slice of life movie would have been solid as well but throwing in the action to make the film really feel special was a good move. We got mini action scenes throughout the film as well since the heroes were being pursued the whole time. The end of the movie doesn’t really have much action as it isn’t taken seriously anymore, but it’s better than nothing. I basically got what I expected in this department.

Unfortunately not all of the Mane 6 members look all that good. Twilight Sparkle is definitely a lot less impressive in combat than she should be in this film. At least the villains had an orb that can one shot any pony in their possession so that made the whole scene a little better. Twilight should have no problem with the minions though and using more magic would have helped them get to the goal a lot sooner. She also doesn’t act like a very nice pony at times like when she yells at Pinkie Pie. I do actually agree with her decision to steal from the other Ponies though. It’s nothing personal to the kids, but Twilight has a kingdom to save so she can’t let these “allies” waste a valuable resource like that. She’d bring it back afterwards anyway so it’s all good. It’s a shame that she couldn’t do that without getting tied up though. It’s a close match between her and Rainbow Dash as the best hero in this film. I’d probably give it to Rainbow Dash here though.

Rainbow Dash definitely gets her props as she helps a group of pirates learn how to be heroes again. Her sped is also put on full display for most of the film so you get to see just how strong she is. It’s a shame that Rainbow Dash didn’t get to actually fight at all though. Seeing her take down the villains would have definitely been really cool. Applejack fans won’t be thrilled as she doesn’t do much here. Some shade is thrown her way by the other ponies, but she takes it in stride for the most part. She just doesn’t get to do anything for most of the film.

Rarity is also basically a non factor here. She falls for Capper’s tricks a lot easier than the other Ponies and was one of the weaker characters here. She spends the majority of the film complaining, although most of the Mane 6 are guilty of that at one point or another. Twilight Sparkle may have had an easier time without her friends since they slowed her down quite a bit. Rarity’s a nice enough pony, she’s just really out of her element. Unfortunately, Fluttershy was probably the worst pony here. She spends most of the film crying or shaking in fear from the villains. I get that she is the nervous one of the group who is lacking in confidence for the most part, but I thought she was past that by now. To an extent this film can feel like a bit of a reboot in terms of character development t make it accessible to the general audience. Fluttershy simply fell victim to this.

Pinkie Pie looks pretty good. She is definitely a little on the hyper side as she makes jokes during moments that would be tense otherwise and helps to sabotage the heroes at times. At least she has heart though and is always smiling. Pinkie Pie was a good character here and I’d probably give her 3rd out of the Mane 6. It was also neat seeing all of the cameos in the background like Cheese Sandwich and Big Mac. It felt like the movie tried to get all of the supporting characters. I’d say that it’s a shame not seeing the Cutie Mark Crusaders much, but I can’t because I prefer the Mane 6 anyway.

Time for the film original characters. I liked Tempest Shadow quite a lot. She makes for a very cool villain with a neat design. She’s also quite powerful and is portrayed as one of the strongest ponies in the whole series. It would be cool if she were to start appearing in the TV show. At this point, Ponyville should be known as one of the strongest places in all of Equestria. I mean, I won’t say much about her role even if the trailer makes it pretty obvious but regardless I thought she was a cool character from start to finish. Sure, she’s rather naive the whole time, but every character has a flaw of some kind. I’d say that she got past it and is easily the best film character. The rest were rather lackluster to be honest.

We’ve got Grubber, who is the comic relief sidekick. He got in the good one liners which weren’t bad, but then he has to try and explain them which isn’t very funny. There wasn’t really a point to his scenes. The Storm King may be the main villain technically but he’s played off as a comic relief character for the most part. He could have easily won the day once and for all if he was a little smarter. Alas, he wasn’t and he ended up lowering his guard quite a bit. I definitely wouldn’t have minded if Tempest had simply betrayed him.

Capper is a smart cat who knows the ways of the world. The problem is that he’s a blatant ripoff of the main character’s sidekick in Zootopia down to his fast manner of speaking and mannerisms. He’s not a bad character as his only flaw is being generic, but I don’t think we really needed him. There was also Princess Skystar who showed up to learn about the powers of friendship but then missed out on the whole climax. So much for that character eh? Trying to guilt trip the Mane 6 certainly wasn’t very nice. There were also the Pirates but they didn’t do much either.

Now, I know for a film you want to use your newfound budget to make other backdrops and all, but I kind of wished we had stayed in Ponyville for a bigger chunk of the film. I much prefer that to the desert, ocean, or any of the other places we went too. I can’t fault the film for wanting to leave since most of the Pony episodes take place there, but it would have been neat to have seen it a little more. Perhaps next time. While the film original characters didn’t get the best of write ups, they weren’t bad. It’s just that the film may have tried to cram in too many of them into the film. At least they all had a purpose so in the end the Ponies could see how many people they reached in the end. After all, at the end of the day, the Ponies just want to make new friends.

If there’s something the next film could improve on, it’s the action. I want to see the Mane 6 take names. I was even expecting Derpy to jump in and start chopping the villains down to size. It doesn’t have to become a full blown action movie although I’d be down with that, but since the Ponies can fight, it would be nice to see them utilizing their abilities more. At the very least, Rainbow Dash can speed blitz most of these guys. We definitely got robbed of our Twilight Sparkle vs Tempest Shadow match.

Overall, My Little Pony is a film you should check out. It has a good amount of action and adventure within it. Twilight Sparkle is a nice character who always does her best even if the other Ponies don’t help her out all that much. Once she tunes them out and gets to work, nothing can stop her. It’s a shame that my favorite Pony Starlight Glimmer didn’t get to show up and wreck Tempest, but we all know how OP she is so it makes sense. Whether you’re a Pony fan or not, you’ll be able to enjoy the interactions between the characters and get invested in the story. The film never drags on so it’s a fun ride from start to finish.

Overall 8/10

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My Little Pony: The Elements of Harmony Volume II Review

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It’s time to check out the new My Little Pony guidebook. I read the last one almost 4 years ago so it has certainly been a while. I suppose that makes sense since each guidebook covers 3 seasons of the show and it takes a while for those to be produced. As it stands, I can’t see a third volume coming out for a long time since I think it is currently only 1 season out of date. It’s a very informative book and I can honestly say that it is pretty much perfect for learning about the ponies. I dare say that Megaman.exe and Transformers still had the most colorful and immersive guidebooks on the block, but this one keeps it close.

There are several sections in the book. First we take a look at the main ponies of course. The book talks about the Mane 6, their friends, allies, enemies, etc. It also talks about the surrounding areas and just about everything you need to know about the basics of Equestria. This section is always pretty fun and even if you already know most of the characters, it’s nice to see their write ups. It’s an essential part of every guidebook.

There is also a small section at the very end of the guidebook which talks about the songs. It writes down all of the lyrics for them so you can really appreciate the writing. I’m guessing they only chose some songs as I doubt there were 3 seasons worth of lyrics in there, but maybe there weren’t as many musical episodes as I had expected. The songs were nice although it’s always a lot more enjoyable to actually listen to them than read the lyrics.

The bulk of the book and the section where you’ll spend the most time are the episode descriptions. The guidebook goes through each and every episode from seasons 4 through 6 and gives a detailed look at what happens. They even post the moral to each episode on the bottom of the page. This is one of those areas that separates the guidebook from the rest. I can’t think of any other guidebook that does such a great job of showing you all of the episodes. You could theoretically be able to start season 7 feeling confident that you know everything if you read this guidebook. (And the last one of course)

There aren’t a whole lot of bonus features beyond that so I’ve pretty much mentioned everything there is to know about this one. So it’s pretty basic with the episode summaries being the main thing that makes it a lot of fun. Without it I’d probably have to dock a star, but it’s good enough with that feature. You’ll find yourself breezing through the book as you eagerly catch up on the latest pony knowledge. Now lets talk about some of the bonus features that the book could have had though.

I think some sections that could have made the book a lot more detailed would have been a nice Q and A section. Seeing the writers and voice actors talk about the characters and answer questions from fans would have been nice. Maybe hintings at future episodes or at Derpy’s big upcoming role would have been neat. Maybe some character popularity polls like which MLP characters are the most popular or something of that nature. These are all things that could have made the book more epic. “Top 10 MLP fights” may not be applicable for the average fan but what about something like top 10 songs or top 10 episodes? Those are a must for the average guidebook. Maybe what this series can do is make the next volume come out after 2 seasons instead of 3 and then they can pack in the empty space with some of these bonus features. Just a suggestion, but I do think it would make the book even better.

Overall, You’ll enjoy this guidebook. The only way you wouldn’t is if you aren’t an MLP fan, but if so then I doubt you’d be reading this in the first place. I suppose it could be a good launching on point for fans who haven’t had time to watch the show but in that case I would hope that you would have read the first voluem first. That would definitely be beneficial. It’s been a while since I read a guidebook, but maybe more will pop up at some point. They seem like an easy thing for a franchise to do so I wish more would do them. Imagine a nice Pokemon version where it’ll cover all of the episodes in a region? That’d be really nice. Meanwhile, now I just need to wait for my library to get the next My Little Pony comic to continue this marathon of the franchise.

Overall 8/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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Considering that I’ve seen 3 full episodes of this show (The opening two part special and now Pinkie’s Pride) I felt it was time to add the show to the blog. I won’t have a review up until I’ve seen the whole show at some point, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that this show will keep up the high quality. It has pretty nice songs and solid action scenes as well. With antagonists ranging from the well meaning Cheese Sandwich to the evil Tirek, the show has a lot of variety. The title may not sound too impressive if you’re quick to judge, but it lives up to its reputation as an inspiring show. My favorite member of the Main 6 overall is Rainbow Dash, but Pinkie Pie is a close second who manages to surpass her at times. Twilight also manages to snag 1st once in a while with the other members of the Main 6 always being fun as well.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 9 Review

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I’ll never forget when I first became a My Little Pony fan. It all started when I walked into Duane Reade and had to choose between buying the Pinkie Pie game for GBA or Backyard Football. I ended up choosing the latter, but only played it for a few days before it was tossed in the legendary drawer of games never to be seen again. Meanwhile, My Little Pony has continued to grow over the years and I had to hop on the bandwagon. It’s a fun series and this comic series is actually one that I preferred to the main title so it’s sad to see it end here. I can finally say that I have read the final issue of a long running MLP series.

There are 5 stories in the collection and the art tends to change for each one. Some issues look better than the others as a result, but the experimentation was fine since none of them looked terrible or anything. The first comic is a team up between Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich. This is where my status as a casual fan comes back to haunt me because I have never heard of Cheese Sandwich before. I actually thought the pony was a she, but apparently not according to the wiki. In this case, I blame the artwork. The story sees a giant, living house kidnap Cheese Sandwich and Pinkie Pie along with some other ponies. They have to now make such a large party that the house will leave them alone. Pinkie Pie tries to escape several times, but there are no shortcuts in this mission.

Despite being a Pinkie Pie story, I’d say that this is the weakest of the bunch. The house didn’t exactly make for a great villain and I wasn’t sure about the moral. We don’t need parties to go on forever and even if the house wants this to be the case, it’s just not happening. As a proud member of the “I don’t go to parties” crew, I have to say that silence is golden and the best parties are the Mario ones on the Gamecube. Still a fun enough comic of course, but it all gets better from here.

Next was Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer. Glimmer has quickly risen up the ranks to be one of my personal favorite ponies and this comic helps her case. Sparkle wants to impress the kingdom by reordering the books and decides to bully Glimmer into helping under the ruse of it being for training. Starlight would rather not do this since she has been waiting for weeks to read her favorite spell book, but Twilight tricks her into thinking that she’ll learn more magic by helping. Twilight refuses to listen to any of Glimmer’s advice and reminds her that this isn’t a democracy. As a result, giant monsters show up thanks to magic going haywire and Twilight realizes that abusing one’s power is not a nice thing to do. Especially when you try to command a friend.

I feel like Twilight should probably know this moral already, but I’ll let it slide. Starlight helped her see the light (See what I did there?) and ultimately helped make Twilight a better pony. The art was a little suspect here as all of the characters were very small and chibi, but it wasn’t bad. We also got some nice action scenes as Starlight had to defend the kingdom on her own by making a giant energy barrier. She’s clearly still got a lot of power at her disposal. I’d probably put this story in the Top 2.

The next story was Rainbow Dash and Soarin. Soarin’s a petty pony who suffers from an inferiority complex and decides to run away to the mountains. Rainbow Dash is tasked with finding him and not taking his grumbling too seriously when she attempts to bring him back. Twilight Sparkle warns Rainbow Dash that sometimes you shouldn’t go too far to try and help a friend since the situation is dangerous. Rainbow Dash calls Twilight out on this and dashes off. Dash is also the perfect pony for the job since she ignored Soarin’s subtle digs and just brags about herself to counter it. Soarin realizes the error of his ways and agrees to come back to the Wonderbolts. He may not be a kid genius like Rainbow Dash, but he’ll try his best to keep up.

It’s a fun enough story and the author certainly had fun with Rainbow Dash’s personality. While the rest of the ponies are acting really polite and trying to be subtle, Dash just goes right to the point. It’s a pretty refreshing contrast from the rest of the ponies. Twilight looked pretty bad again and I’m wondering if the series just doesn’t like her. It’s probably just that they want to make the other characters look good for a change and I’m fine with that. After all, having a meaner Twilight Sparkle makes for a pretty good dynamic and she’s one of my favorite Ponies either way. It’s also worth noting that Derpy made a surprise cameo here and took the world by storm. She gets some subtle hype as she was able to deliver a letter back to Equestria during a bad storm but you’ll only realize this if you pay close attention to the dialogue and piece together when she could have taken the letter. It was pretty cool.

The next story is about Fluttershy and Applejack…or not. For some reason they don’t appear at all in this batch. They may have a one panel cameo in the background or something, but they miss the whole adventure. The story is really about Rarity and Trixie. They are tasked with teaming up to make a Broadway show the best that it can be. It’s going to be in Manehattan so the stakes are really high. Unfortunately Rarity has not forgiven Trixie for her evil ways and decides to give her the cold shoulder. Rarity refuses to work with her and does her own thing. As a result, she doesn’t make the clothes fireproof so Trixie gets blamed when the fireworks go wrong. Rarity realizes that she was being a petty pony and apologizes. Trixie accepts the apology and then they make the show a success.

Once again, it’s the main pony with the issue and the side pony has to help save the day. It may seem a little borrowed from the Twilight Sparkle story, but I liked it all the same. I didn’t care for the unreasonable manager though who threatened Trixie and Rarity for no reason. She’s probably one of the meanest ponies I’ve seen in the series. The art was also solid so I’d probably have to say that this was the best story in the batch. The story right after is very close though and the Twilight story was hype as well. It was a pretty close battle between the three.

The final story is a team up with Celestia and Luna. After many years, they finally have enough time to enter the big Olympic events in Equestria as a team. Unfortunately they had already promised the town that they would fix all of their problems first. They decide to skip sleep and just work on the problems together. This begins to test their patience and they also eat special barrier which take away their powers and increase their anger levels 10 fold thanks to the meddling of an old witch. Celestia begins to show her true colors as she continually taunts Luna by saying that she is superior and nobody ever likes Luna. Celestia gets really personal the whole time. Luna always has a comeback ready and gets the last laugh, but never goes quite as far as Celestia and she makes sure her words don’t cut as deep. You can probably tell who I thought was in the wrong on this one.

The art is the most exaggerated part of the comic as the ponies really yell and make a lot of intense facial expressions. I’d say that the art was bad, but it did a good job of depicting Celestia, one of my least favorite main characters in the series. Even by the end she just never gets as likable as Luna. Still, they both learned their lesson about eating strange fruits and not inspecting their food before they ate it. The other ponies didn’t suspect a thing for the most part. Rarity figured it out since she’s one of the smarter ponies around but that’s to be expected. I’d also argue that Luna ended up winning the competition although I’m sure you could try to piece together an argument for Celestia, I’m just not sure it would go very far.

How did it work as a series finale issue though? Honestly you wouldn’t have even known except for the final line where they break the 3rd or 4th wall. I suppose it was fitting to have the two highest ranked ponies team up for the finale though so they did think that part through. I was satisfied with it. The ideal ending would have been a Mane 6 team up but I guess we see that a lot in the main series as it is. I’m still pretty behind on that one but I’ll get there eventually. My favorite member of the Mane 6 just judging from this volume is Rainbow Dash. Historically she is usually at the top although occasionally she is dethroned by Pinkie Pie or Twilight Sparkle depending on the graphic novel or episode.

Overall, This is a pretty fun comic. I may have taken some subtle shots at the Mane 6 forgetting morals that they probably should have already learned, but no pony is perfect. They can’t be expected to not make any more mistakes and at least they learn from them in the end. My Little Pony always promises well written, wholesome entertainment within each issue. It’s definitely one of the most solid MLP comics I’ve read and there weren’t really any bad comics. The weakest one was the Pinkie Pie adventure and it still made for a good read. The art may fluctuate quite a bit, but it’s pretty good overall. I highly recommend reading it whether you’re a Pony fan or not. There’s plenty to enjoy for everyone and at the end of the day it’s just a pleasant read. Hopefully the rest of the MLP comics I ordered from the library get here soon so I can continue the marathon!

Overall 7/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Review


It took a long while to get to this review, but I’ve finally made it. TMNT was one of the only big 90’s action shows that I had never watched from start to finish. Well, that finally changed and it certainly lives up to the reputation that the 90’s have created. I can see why no other TMNT show can top this one since it would be extremely difficult. This show handled all of the characters and lore perfectly. With solid action scenes, animation, and a great soundtrack, there is a lot to like here and not much to dislike. It can attract any and all action fans.

The show follows 4 Turtle warriors who become humanoid hybrids once they are exposed to a mysterious ooze. They are trained by a rat named Splinter who teaches them how to master hand to hand combat. They live in the shadows since the general public isn’t quite ready to handle them yet. They work to oppose the various gangs that are around like the Purple Dragons and the Foot Clan. The Turtles also obtain several allies over the years and make a lot of enemies as well. With 5+ seasons and a bunch of episodes along the way, you can bet that numerous obstacles stand in the way of world peace.

Let’s talk about the cast. Leonardo is the leader of the group as always and commands the team well. He trains the hardest and takes everything more seriously than his brothers. He is always calm and collected when dealing with the villains. With all of this in mind, surely he is the strongest right? I’d say that he definitely is. Raphael has always been known as the tough turtle, but in this show, he lags behind the others. Leonardo puts up a great fight against the Elite foot ninjas and just has way better showings in general when compared to the others. Leonardo temporarily became very hot headed like Raphael when his power was not enough to save everyone. It was actually a pretty fun phase and one episode in particular showed how changed he was. When two random guys with wings started a brawl in the city, both Raphael and Leonardo wanted to take them both out instead of talking it through. Leonardo became a better Raphael than Raphael. While Raphael was my favorite as a kid, Leonardo is definitely the best turtle this time, at least in this show.

Raphael is still the second best though. He talks a real good game and while he may not be as skilled as Leonardo or Michelangelo, he is still a strong fighter It would have been cool to have seen him get more one on one fights like what Leonardo got so we could get a better picture of just how strong he really is. There’s not much reason to dislike Raph and the guy makes a lot of good points on how the heroes shouldn’t be hiding all the time. It may have gone the X-men route if they had shown themselves to the world since I’m sure that the humans would try to attack them, but it would be good to get out of the sewer more.

Michelangelo is the comical character of the group and proves that natural talent can go a long way in this group. The other turtles train constantly while Mikey sits back and watches comic books, yet he ends up being a better fighter than Raph and Don. One would think that this is just a fluke, but he outshines them consistently. Mikey’s definitely a likable guy and this is probably one of the only TMNT products that can do him justice. It is very easy to badly write this kind of character since the constant jokes can easily get annoying to see. Luckily the writing is on point. The running gag of Raphael hitting Mikey is also voice acted well on Mikey’s part as he always manages to sound shocked no matter how often it happens. You almost feel bad for Mikey since it isn’t always his fault, but the Turtles are always eager to get into a fight.
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Finally we have Donatello. He was always my least favorite member of the group since I always have preferred the fighters. He is written well like the others though and the team definitely does need his expertise on many occasions. Also it is not as if he can’t fight either. He is roughly at the same level as the other Turtles, he just prefers the gadgets angle to being in the fray. His staff is definitely a better weapon than the nun-chucks if you ask me, but it does lose to the twin sai and the sword. His weaponized truck was definitely Donnie’s best idea. Having that thing around was always super handy.

April and Casey are main supporting characters. Their romance could be a little dragged out and unnecessary, but I guess it was handled better than most. Casey makes for a good rival to Raphael, even if he is left in the dust by the end of the series. His beef with the Purple Dragons helped the threat to really hit home. His personality makes Casey a good rival to have around, but a power boost would have helped as well. April is like Lois Lane. She doesn’t have quite as much spunk, but isn’t afraid to get in on the action. She never got to really fight though which is too bad since she does know some mild hand to hand skills. Having a cool crime fighting outfit like in the CGI film would have been cool. She certainly helped the turtles out a lot by giving them a place to stay and providing pizza. The gang would have been sunk without her.

Time to talk about Bishop. It’s a bold move talking about him before most of the characters, but he was a highlight in the show and easily the best character. I can’t say that I had been expecting him to be so awesome so it was a very pleasant surprise. As you may know, I love seeing the government play a role in any action show where they have to deal with supernatural foes or meta humans. I also like it when they look good and Bishop certainly served the country well. He was actually overpowering the turtles when they fought despite being outnumbered 4-1. I dare say that he is the strongest character with no super powers in the show. He may barely count since he may have a super soldier serum or something like that, but I don’t think it was ever stated officially. Capturing Splinter, Karai, and besting the Turtles is really all the evidence you need. Not to take away from his hand to hand skills though, Bishop was just an exceptional character and it’s hard to do him complete justice on that regard. You really have to see the episodes to really appreciate how awesome he is.

Another character who was a surprise hit was none other than Baxter Stockman. I figured that he would be your average mad scientist. He would talk a good game, but would not be able to back it up in the slightest. Stockman may not have turned out to be some kind of intense hand to hand fighter, but he was a lot more confident than I could have expected. He keeps on talking back to Shredder and showing no respect even after getting his arms and legs ripped off. Even losing his whole body aside from his brain didn’t deter him. It’s pretty crazy that none of this caused him to lose his bark. In the end Shredder could not break him so that was pretty good bragging rights for Stockman.

Hun was essentially Stockman’s main rival so they were polar opposites. Hun was very strong, but not particularly smart. He wasn’t nearly as fun as Stockman though and could never hold his own episode in the same way. He made up for it by having some good fights though. He started out at a level where he could take on multiple turtles at once, but by the end they can all handle him rather easily. Another big villain was Karai. She was a little more noble than the Shredder. She was still a villain of course, but she preferred to take the turtles on in fair hand to hand battles. She was definitely quite skilled and proved to be stronger than the turtles one on one except for Leonardo. He would always have the slight edge over her although it was close.

We can’t go on in the review without talking about the Splinter right? As the sensei to the four turtles, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with. I’d say that Leonardo definitely surpassed him by the end, but Splinter never got too weak. He could hold his own and his age never really got to him. His cane could even be used as a weapon even if it was nowhere near as good as a sword. I still disagree with most of his fist decisions about not going to the human world though. It never made much sense and it still doesn’t. If they are going to be heroes, then they will have to confront the villains at some point won’t they? They gradually begin to make their own decisions though and this is especially the case when Splinter is written out of the show for dozens of episodes at a time. I can’t say that I really missed him to be honest.

Another major character in the mythos is the Shredder. He plays a major role in the series like you’d expect. The show took a big gamble as it decided to make Shredder an alien. The show pulled it off quite well so I had no qualms with it. I don’t care for the design, but at least we never get to see it all that much. When he is in the suit, this version of the Shredder still has the absolute best design. He even gets a robotic voice that makes him even more menacing. Shredder proves to be too powerful for the Turtles most of the time as you’d expect, but he never really got any power ups. As a result, I do think that Leonardo ended up surpassing him. Shredder is my third favorite villain in the series behind Bishop and Tengu Shredder. It should come as no surprise then that most of the episodes with the Shredder as the main villain are highlights. He always has a pretty good plan at the ready and action is constant throughout.
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Tengu Shredder was another surprise hit although we should say that the surprise was very mild. I was expecting him to be pretty good the whole time, but he went above and beyond my expectations. He was essentially the Shredder, but even more intimidating and imposing. If you’re familiar with the show, then you’ll know that this is a pretty difficult feat to accomplish. His power level was also off the charts and if not for the Turtles getting serious upgrades as well, it would have all been over. To put this into perspective, you can’t even compare Tengu Shredder to the rest of the heroes and villains. Even powerful foes like the Shredder and Bishop are still meta humans. Tengu was above that and his physical stats were something out of an anime. It was a treat to watch.

The show did enjoy its array of Shredders so we got another one in the form of Cyber Shredder. He may have had less personality than the other two, but there’s not much to dislike with this guy. Since he is essentially a data clone of the Shredder, he retains the personality and fighting skills of the original with some data enhancements. He was another fine addition to the cast. Going back to more minor villains, I enjoyed the Evil Turtle Bot. His role in the show is tiny and I probably wouldn’t have thought much him if not for playing the video game. The game certainly made me see him in a new light since he was awesome there. He’s a pretty decent minion and actually gave the Turtles some trouble.

Another good minion was the Foot Tech Ninja. They may have been handled rather easily after their initial appearances, but they looked really good during the beginning. You can’t count these warriors out and they made good use of their tech. Even the normal Foot Soldiers are actually pretty cool minions. I could certainly get behind these guys at any rate. It’s important for a show to have good minions since you’ll be seeing them quite often. The best minions were certainly the Foot Elite though. They were able to hold their own against the Turtles and aside from Leonardo, I dare say that they were winning. They certainly didn’t earn the title lightly and since there are four of them, it makes for a fun fight against the four turtles.

Another faction was the Foot Mystics. They were pretty interesting since I remembered their original forms quite well, but wasn’t aware that they had a true form. I couldn’t take them very seriously as villains to be honest and they weren’t as impressive as the rest of the Foot. Their elemental abilities are handy to have though. Leatherhead is another supporting character that I wasn’t fond of. He became a good guy for a good portion of the series, but he always struggled with the dark side. He rarely got around to actually helping the heroes and while he is strong, his lack of hand to hand skills would have likely been exposed if he appeared more often.

The Ninja Tribunal was a powerful group of warriors who were so powerful that it was easy to assume they had entered the wrong show. These guys didn’t fit in with the others as with the whole season, but that didn’t take away from how awesome they were as characters. The group was pretty mean and I certainly wouldn’t trust them, but they were an imposing group. Were they over hyped? Yeah, they didn’t perform quite as well as one would have expected but at least they still did try to put up a fight. Their character designs and special abilities were pretty fun.

Another super group that may have been a bit out of place here was the Justice Force. They are a not very subtle homage of the Justice League and they tackle the threats that no one else would dare oppose. Unfortunately, we never really got to see how they would fare against the Shredder and the gang. Again, it’s almost as if it was a completely different show when these guys would show up. At most they may have met the Shredder very briefly in one of those alternate future kind of episodes, but I can’t really recall that with any certainty. Their version of Superman and Batman were definitely the highlights here. They acted the part well and did a good job when it came time to fight. Batman’s character didn’t actually join the group for a while, but he took the plunge in the end.

One character that I didn’t care for much was Renet. It’s not to much that she was a bad character, but that she always brought along bad episodes. Each episode she appeared in was a very painfully drawn out filler episode where you would just want the plot to return. She didn’t really add anything to the series and you would constantly just wonder what she was even doing in the show. It felt like some kind of crossover for the fans, but I don’t believe she was ever a big character so that didn’t work well. (At least for me)

Cody was a main character in the infamous Fast Forward season. He’s a nice enough kid and you could make a lot of comparisons between him and Chris from Sonic X. It does feel like he was forced into the series to make the Turtles a little more sympathetic since you could now put yourself in the kid’s shoes. It was a nice wrinkle that Cody was rich though. His uncle may have been crooked, but that didn’t stop Cody from trying to save the day. He’s all right, but the character is so generic that it is hard to dislike him. By the same token, you could dislike him because he is so generic. Serling was a much more charismatic supporting character that was introduced in the season. He got a lot of witty dialogue throughout and had some of the best facial expressions. He actually could fight when necessary and even became a suit of armor for Cody towards the end of the show. His attempts at humor usually worked quite well and fleshed out his character.
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The Ancient One is the kind of character that you would expect big things from right? He taught Splinter’s master so he must be super strong? Well, the guy let himself go so now he’s very overweight and prefers to be the crude humor specialist of the show. It’s always sad whenever the guy is on screen and he never fights so that leads me to believe that he is actually not all that tough. It’s a shame, but I guess that’s what happens when you buy into the hype. He was a wasted character and one who luckily didn’t get to appear much.

Viral was a fairly intense villain who appeared in Fast Forward. She had some really potent abilities and it was hard to permanently destroy her since the data could keep on coming back over and over again. She certainly didn’t mess around and while her role was ultimately pretty minor, Viral left a good mark on the show. Another decent group of minor villains were the Dark Turtles. Leonardo’s certainly got the most personality and he came close to turning good even if he ultimately couldn’t make the switch. The other three were comic relief for the most part, but it was still nice to see a team of counterparts to take on the real Turtles.

Khan is one of those characters that will make you take a step back and wonder where the writers were going with him. When he first appeared, Khan got a lot of hype since he murdered the Turtles in the future. Well, after his initial appearance, Khan was treated as a lightweight. The heroes didn’t have to pay any special attention to him and just wrecked him as they would any other villain. I feel like the writers maybe forgot that plot or had to shelve it due to backstage drama and as a result, we skipped Khan’s entire character arc. It’s too bad since the character had a lot of potential and could have been one of the best if handled right.

Usagi was treated as a hype character and you could also say that he was a guest star since he has his own comic series to think about. Unfortunately, I definitely didn’t care much for his character. I’d say that his skills were drastically overplayed to make him appear to be an even match for Leonardo. His advice was never all that good and once Leonardo went into his toughness phase after not being strong enough to save the day, Usagi didn’t do much to help. He was called in to try and calm Leonardo down, but it didn’t work at all and Usagi was always more about talking than acting. The character was just irritating whenever he’d appear.

That was a lot of characters eh? Well, now lets look at the show as a whole. The first season really started the show off on a strong note and you could make a strong case for it being the best season. Shredder Strikes Back, Return to New York, and The Shredder Strikes were all fantastic multi part events. I dare say that Shredder Strikes Back Part 1 is the definitive episode from the entire series. It’s my personal favorite because just about the whole episode is one large fight and it shows why Leonardo is the leader of the gang. I don’t believe that any of the other 3 Turtles would have been able to last very long here.

The next season started off with the weakest big event of the series. The intergalactic space war just wasn’t very interesting and since it was 5 whole episodes…it dragged on a great deal. Luckily, the season picked up again once they made it back home since we got to see more of Bishop and the Shredder. This season spent a lot of time with the Tournament at the end and had a good amount of stand alone episodes as well. It had less stand out episodes than season 1, but when you consider the consistent quality of the show, it’s not as if it was much of a change. Season 1 was more epic, but you could really appreciate season 2 because of how the tight continuity kept expanding the show.

Season 3 is probably the weakest season. Granted, you can have a very different experience when actually watching the episodes as opposed to remembering them from afar. That being said, the only 5-6 episodes were about the Space Invaders once again and that had to be the worst plot. Let me explain why this plot just didn’t work. I didn’t really care about the Dinosaurs or the resistance organization that they were fighting. I just wanted the Turtles to head back to Earth so they could have some good hand to hand fights with the villains. That’s really all that I wanted and this space business just didn’t do it for me. The villains simply weren’t as interesting as the Foot or even dare I say, the Purple Dragons. We did get a pretty nice climax where Shredder, Bishop, and the Aliens all got to play their final gambit. Bishop once again got the last laugh I’d say, but all of the characters got a good amount of hype there. Usagi got to appear here so that was too bad though.

Season 4 was pretty exciting. For starters, this season changed the status quo much more than any other previous season. Leonardo blamed himself for what happened on the fated missile and became a hot head like Raphael. He was more dark and brooding and stopped being the calm and collected leader that he used to be. This made for a lot of great dialogue and it also helped Leonardo keep his place at the top of the food chain. While later seasons started to mess up the power levels a bit, this one could not since it was a part of the plot. The final episode of the season was especially exciting as it directly led into the next big adventure with Tengu Shredder. It was a really bold and epic way to close out the season. This saga also had Leonardo infiltrate the Foot headquarters and basically beat up every single person there. These were the kind of highlights that were lacking in season 3.
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Season 5 took a very different approach to the show and it worked well. While the first four seasons were your standard action adventure, I dare say that season 5 was more like an anime. The Turtles had to come together to stop an evil menace and to do this, they would have to learn how to wield super powers. Michelangelo got some great speed and really won out here since his ability was the only one that was lethally dangerous from the get go. The others also got some useful abilities and from there they worked to stop Tengu Shredder. They may not have had a lot of luck in the end since the Tribunal was overwhelmed, but the whole season had a feeling of danger and unease. Something was always happening here and it certainly had the fastest pacing out of all the seasons. Of course, at 12 episodes that was probably a given. Even the 12 episodes part seems like a homage to anime in general. Everyone suddenly got so crazy powerful and the fights were so good that this season really could have been a contender for the best in another title. As it stands, the short length does keep it back ever so gently.

Season 6 brought another twist to the show. It was the Fast Forward season and took a more toyetic approach to the show. It suddenly felt more like a Saturday Morning Cartoon and as such, every character suddenly had futuristic equipment at their disposal. It was a radical switch as the entire cast was switched out for a new one with the exclusion of the main 4 turtles. I thought it was fun enough. On its own, it was still good enough to get a 7, but you couldn’t really compare it to the older seasons. It was fun, but not as epic or action packed as what had come before. The Bounty Hunter Zixx was a decent addition to the cast though. He always had the upper hand on the turtles and was good at getting people to lower their guards.

Finally, we have the Back to the Sewers season. The appeal of this last installment was obvious as the Turtles finally got to go home and relax. Unfortunately, duty called as Splinter was split across the Digital World and Cyber Shredder wanted to break out of there and head to the real world. The Turtles had to move fast and activate all of their Tron gear in order to escape. Because of this, it still had some Fast Forward elements while bringing back the old cast. It was like a fusion of the two and it was a fun enough season. The new designs may have taken a bit of getting used too, but they were still pretty solid. I definitely preferred the old ones as they made for far better fights, but this will still beat most of the modern animated titles.

At 7 seasons long, the show had a lot of time to introduce characters and get you used to the lore. This is part of what made the series so successful. There were a lot of hypothetical match ups that you could spend time thinking about since they hadn’t happened in the show yet. I really wanted to see Shredder fight Bishop or to have any of those two go up against the Justice Force. The two aspects of the show rarely ever met up which is a shame, but I like to think that the series was saving that just in case it ever wanted to do a really big crossover episode. To an extent, the rocket finale was the closest that we got, but I wanted more.

TMNT lasted long enough where the show got to try out a bunch of different genres and we had a lot of action scenes. IT’s worth mentioning that even episodes without a big villain or a lot of fights could still be good because of the solid writing. It was just a well written show and the characters were portrayed in an accurate fashion. My only gripe was the noticeable lack of pizza in the show. TMNT goes hand in hand with pizza. That’s how it is and that’s how it’s always been. I’m sure that the show could have included pizza in more scenes if they wanted to do so. It just makes sense to add that into a Ninja Turtles show. Still, it’s a relatively minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

One of the best parts of TMNT was definitely the soundtrack. It had a lot of really great tunes and these were themes that you could only hear in the 90’s. As one of the only 90’s shows that I had barely watched from the action genre, this show brought about a lot of nostalgia. I really do miss this style and just watching one episode will remind you of what you are missing. Naturally, the animation is also very sharp. The designs are very wholesome and you can feel every blow during the fights. The impacts had power. The animation style switched a bit towards and the end and it was definitely a step down. It still looked better than the current ninja turtles show, but the glory days were long gone by then. Luckily, that was at the very end so pretty much all of the really epic Shredder episodes had already aired. The show has a similar feel to other big cartoons like Justice League and not only does it age well, but it clobbers a lot of the currently airing shows.

I’m not even typically a huge TMNT fan, but the show was just really solid. Even if you may not have thought the characters were great before, they are solid in this show. A good show can do wonders for a franchise and this show is evidence of that. The recent movies certainly haven’t helped and the current TMNT show looks rather choppy. I’d definitely take another season or this title over that. After all, an element that this show has over those is its tight continuity. You could actually compare it to something like Young Justice as it keeps building and building off of its plot lines. Everything is connected and the more episodes you watch, the more all of the plots start to intertwine. It makes everything feel that much more important. For example, the illuminati guys started showing up very early on in the series and the show kept you guessing as to their true identities for a very long time. While the twist on who they actually were was a little underwhelming, it was always awesome to see those guys apear. They were strong, mysterious, and had everything that you could want in a shadow group who operates behind the scenes.
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Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a great show. It’s one of the lost gems of a legendary era for television and I finally got to check it out from start to finish. It had quite a lot of episodes and a high amount of replay value so it’s the kind of show where you can easily re-watch some episodes of at any point. I’d highly recommend this to any blog reader who hasn’t checked it out yet. I don’t expect any of the other Ninja Turtle shows to match this one. From what I’ve seen of the only others, it’s not even a close fight. This one simply can’t be topped and that means that the 90’s (Well, technically early 2000s, but it feels like the 90s so I may as well stick with that) has scored another big win! If I ever do watch another TMNT show to completion, I’ll try not to constantly compare it to this one every episode, but it’ll be tough.

Overall 8/10

Transformers Rescue Bots Review

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It’s time to look at the recent Transformers show that may have finished. There’s always the chance that they could announce a new season at some point, but for all intents and purposes the show is over. It had a good run and seeing as how it is the longest Transformers show of all time, it left a good legacy. I originally started watching the show way back in 2011 so it’s been quite the ride. It’s a nice enough show.

A routine space mission goes wrong one day and four rescue bots fall to Griffin Rock. They are met by the Burns family and quickly realize that they will have to work together if they want to save the island from the many disasters that plague it. By work together, I mean that the humans call the shots and the Autobots help out as best they can. By the end of the show, several other Autobots appear and we even get some guest star appearances from bigshots like Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee.

One thing that you need to be aware of before starting this show is that it is aimed at a younger audience than the rest. What this means is that you can’t go in and expect a bunch of fight scenes. The show is really aimed at the same audience as Arthur or My Little Pony. There will be some danger scenes like a tree falling down or robots gone haywire, but typically that’s the extent of it. Occasionally there will be a real threat like a mad scientist and his robots for the really big episodes, but this show is more about friendship and morals at the end of the episodes.

It’s a show that is definitely better one at a time than in big marathon batches, which sets it apart from the average show. Watching it on my own probably wouldn’t be all that exciting and other shows like Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures were actually more engaging even if they weren’t as good in terms of quality. Still, you can find the fun in any show and at least you’ll get used to the characters the more you watch the show. Shows like this one are better to watch with other people so you can poke fun at it or do drinking games like taking a shot every time someone is super polite or passive aggressive. That happens a lot in the show since the Burns family has to be careful not to outright insult the townsfolk.

The animation is flash based or at least it looks as if it is. It’s definitely not all that good and I’m thinking that flash animation just has a very low ceiling. It can look clear, but it’ll never get above a certain point. So, I wouldn’t say that Rescue Bots has bad animation I suppose, but it would certainly be near the bottom of the scale. There are few shows that I’ve seen with worse animation and this could be bottom 3. There aren’t too many tunes to be found here, but at least they are memorable. Especially since the same danger theme played at the first commercial break for just about 90% of the episodes. After a while, you could easily anticipate the theme and predict exactly when it would show. There were a few other tunes as well and even if they screamed “Public Domain” music, they weren’t all that bad. They were passable and there’s only so much that you can do for talking scenes anyway since a big fight theme would have been out of place.
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Chief Burns isn’t the main character, but he may as well be. He’s the head of the family and always takes charge. He’s not afraid to defy the Mayor and he gives out the morals a lot of the time. Burns makes the hard calls and he’s probably the best character in the show. I still love the name as well since Burns is a really cool last name. Cody is the real main character and he’s one of the nicest kids that you’ll ever meet. He takes things in stride and can’t wait until he is old enough to have his own Rescue Bot. It’ll take some time, but at least he will have a lot of experience in the field by then right? There’s definitely nothing to really dislike about him. Kade is the hotshot who is sort of tough, but not very smart. He’s the character who usually gets humiliated so that the others can learn a lesson. His overconfidence would be a good trait if he could actually back it up from time to time, but he just gets defeated over and over and over again, which is a little sad.

Dani is the pilot in the series and she is always arguing with Kade about everything. While Kade is the one who talks tough, Dani is typically the one who actually is tough. It’s tough for her to balance her piloting job and being a rescue operator in town, but she gets the job done. Graham is the smart one of the group and he likes science so much that he actually finds it enjoyable to talk about. The others don’t agree about the merits of science, but they try to be understanding about it. Graham’s not quite as charismatic as the others, but he tries. Woodrow is the hardcore brother (or cousin, but I think it’s brother) of Chief Burns and his thing is that his voice is always super calm and almost sarcastic. He likes going on adventures and having fun as opposed to the very safe and isolated life that Chief Burns leads. It typically gets him into trouble, but Woodrow is a character that would have been a nice addition to the main cast.

As for the Rescue Bots, Heatwave is the confident leader and probably the best member of the group. He’s very serious, but this isn’t the right show for that so everyone pokes fun at it and forces him to mellow out. By the final episodes he has basically stopped putting up the front because it wasn’t getting him anywhere. Still, the team would be lost without him. Blades is the comic relief member of the group. He is scared by just about everything, but he does like watching a lot of movies. He keeps the team grounded and is always ready for fun. He’s not exactly my kind of character, but his antics can be all right at times I suppose. Boulder is easily the least interesting member of the main crew. He’s very strong so naturally that means that he is the delicate character. He likes nature and reading. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but the other three have more interesting personalities. There just isn’t much to Boulder and he may as well be Bulkhead given how similar their designs are. Chase gives Heatwave competition for the best Rescue Bot member. He likes the old westerns and does his best to follow the lawbook to the letter. He’s a great law abiding citizen and you know that everything will be okay when Chase is on the scene. Nobody messes with him and Chase keeps the other characters honest. If they even think about doing anything that is morally dubious, Chase calls them out on it.

Blurr is one of the new recruits from the later episodes. Unfortunately, he was nerfed a little too hard in this show. His whole gimmick is that he’s super fast, but he loses a race to Quickshadow and just holds his own against Heatwave. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of his character? He’s portrayed as a hothead who doesn’t like to follow the rules, but the heroes tame him rather easily so he ends up being a character with no real purpose. Salvage is a lot worse though as he is basically Boulder 2.0. He’s also a strong, but really delicate fellow who likes to build things out of junk so that he can prove to the others how everything has a purpose. He never really gets to do a whole lot and the show intentionally gave him the most annoying voice possible. Luckily, we did have one good new recruit. Quickshadow is essentially a James Bond homage and was even featured in this universe’s equivalent. She is deep undercover and shows up to test the Rescue Bots and provide assistance when necessary. She gets a lot of hype and lives up to it for the most part. Her hand to hand skills are at a higher level than the other bots so that’s why it’s a shame that we never got any real opponents for her to fight. That would have been a perfect way to show off her skills, but at least we got to see her embarrass the others in training exercises. Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee were also cool to see. Prime may have been a little unreasonable at times as he would just suddenly show up and bark out new orders at times, but I guess that’s how most of the bots would see him. The Rescue Bots did their best to follow his orders to the letter even if splitting up the gang was a little iffy. He also came in person to help them out once in a while. Bumble Bee’s appearances were also interesting as he transformed from Prime version to Robots in Disguise by the end. It was certainly interesting to see the sudden change in character personality and I can certainly say that I prefer the Robots in Disguise version. It seems a lot more genuine and is also more charismatic.
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Frankie is Cody’s best friend and she’s a kid genius. She appeared a lot less during the final seasons, but still had a moderate role throughout. She’s a nice character and is certainly a lot more likable than her baby sister. Frankie never got her own robot, but she did get a skateboard and an alternate persona so she could help out the gang from time to time. Her father, Doc Greene had a big role as his inventions are usually what ended up putting the town at risk. He has no time to apologize though because he is typically already hard at work building the next one. The voice actor did a good job of making him sound completely oblivious and proud of it too as he kept on making defective products. Morocco is the main villain of the show and the heroes actually have to resort to some morally dubious methods to take him down. Case in point, they mind wipe him and send him to the past so now he can live out his life as a nice person. Yeah….that’s totally shady and uncalled for. The heroes completely crossed over the line on that one and while the show glosses it over….I can’t find myself forgetting that anytime soon. It’s too bad since he was definitely one of the best villains. We had a Morocco doll who took over his role as one of the big villains, but it wasn’t quite the same. No shots intended at the doll…but I would hardly call it intimidating.

Myles and Evan were sub villains that showed up once in a while. Honestly, they didn’t do all that much at all, but I just liked to see them show up because they’re just ordinary teens who somehow cause a bunch of trouble. They break out of jail many times (How?) and they laugh a lot. I suppose I’d be laughing too though if I could outsmart and hack Autobots. That’s not a bad feat at all and these guys were always amusing to watch. Madeline Pynch is probably the biggest villain in the show aside from Morocco. She is rich and uses her money to obtain powerful weapons and skirt the law without repercussions. She has a freeze ray and an invisibility suit thanks to the Burns family not being able to keep them safe and she defeated the whole team at one point. Her overconfidence got the best of her though as she let the team grab the weapons back. She shouldn’t have lost that round, but the show made her a little too powerful. I mean, she even had a memory displacing weapon to trick the heroes with. The plan should have been FOOLproof, but she proved that it was not. Quint is a game hunter who matches wits against the Rescue Bots. He defeats and humiliates them several times over the course of the show in a tribute to the original G1 show where a hunter captured all of the Autobots. He’s a cool villain and I like the accent. His robots are actually pretty overpowered when they first appear as their barriers can easily trap the Autobots. This guy definitely had personality and spunk.

At 104 episodes, the show definitely had a lot of time to throw in many different plots. Since the majority of the episodes were stand alones, that’s almost 100 unique adventures. We got to see the heroes turn into Dinobots and Heatwave even got a boat form. There were other bots who would show up and even other scientists as well. Since this was in the Prime continuity, it certainly expanded the universe quite a bit. It is sad to see the show go since I would have liked it to have kept on extending the episode count. Still, I doubt anything will be surpassing it anytime soon. Getting to be this long is incredibly difficult for an American cartoon nowadays.
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Overall, You should check out Transformers Rescue Bots if this sounds like your kind of show. It’s pretty calming to watch and seeing the characters deal with everyday troubles in town should be nostalgic from the old Andy Griffith show. If you grew up in a small town like this one, then that could help as well. It can maybe be a little boring at times since there isn’t much action, but that’s where the cast comes in. They’ll either make or break the title for you, but hopefully the former. It’s probably the worst Transformers show by default, but it’s still not bad. I’m giving it a 6 because a 5 seems a little too low, but a 7 is definitely too high. It’s just right as the show has decent writing and there are no real negatives to speak of here. It probably is the best time for the show to stop though since the final episode decided to really shake up the status quo and that could have been a very risky move. Maybe we would have gotten some new characters though and that could have been interesting. The show was no stranger to Transforming though as season 1 was very isolated, but by season 4 we had a mini army of Autobots and space bridges to use for instant travel at a moment’s notice. The characters really got to experience a lot during their time on the island.

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony The Art of Equestria Review

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My Little Pony is a franchise that I was mostly unaware of back in the day. Sure, I’d heard of the name in the past, but I had no real opinions on it. That all changed when Friendship is Magic came out and I finally got to see some clips of the show and read some of the comics. The theme song still isn’t great, but it is very memorable, which is always a good thing I suppose. This art book does a good job of discussing the characters and the paths not taken. Even hardcore MLP fans will learn some new things after reading this title!

There are a few different sections in this book as it tries to cover as many My Little Pony topics as possible. First, we have a long interview with one of the main creators behind the latest iteration as she discussed her reasons for getting involved and how she gets her inspiration. It’s a good interview, but I would have liked to have seen some more of the dynamics of things that she wanted in the show, but Hasbro objected too. The strife and the epic tensions would have made for a nice chapter.

Next up, we got to see the characters as they evolved from the previous shows. Their personalities and designs are discussed and shown. An interesting section was Twilight Sparkle’s as she was originally going to have gray hair and then almost had it with blue streaks instead of red/pinkish. It’s a tough call for me to decide which form is the best as all three options sound pretty good. I’m thinking that gray hair would have made Twilight Sparkle seem a little more powerful, but it wouldn’t affect all that much.

The book also spends a decent amount of time showing off the various locations in My Little Pony world. I liked the futuristic city that they visited in the superhero episode and Manehattan is always a classic location. There have certainly been quite a few epic bases as well and we’ll never forget the times where Ponyville was destroyed or conquered. The show definitely had some darker/intense moments back in the day, but I have to wonder if we’ll ever see epic moments like those again in the show. The time for those may be past at this point.

Side characters and villains were also explored. Tirek was actually deemed to be a little too scary so his design was altered a little. Ironically, the alterations actually made him look cooler so that ended up being a plus for him. He still may not have been as threatening as his G1 incarnation, but this guy could now pack a punch! A lot of the side characters will probably stay as background ponies forever, but a few have made a name for themselves like Derpy so there’s always a chance for a nice comeback.

The end of the book also shows some pieces of fan art that were officially licensed by Hasbro and can now be counted as real pictures. That’s definitely considerate of the company and it shows that they care about their fans. Now they can make more money off of the additional resources while also allowing artists to have their moment of fame and glory. This book is decently long at over 200 pages, but since most of the pages are filled with artwork, it all finishes very quickly. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting since it was a pretty engaging read.

So long as the art is good, I tend to enjoy art books. They may not have a story behind them, but they are like guidebooks that are very illustrative. Another section even listed several episodes where the reader gets to see the storyboards behind them. Then you can appreciate the intricate details like how the facial expressions for each character helps to set the tone and the stage.

I haven’t even seen the show yet, but I’m confident that I know about as much as the average MLP fan thanks to all of these guidebooks and comics. The final page of the book even tries to point out that the show is loved by people of all ages and there’s nothing stopping you from becoming an MLP fan today. You’ve just gotta get past the negative social impact of admitting that you’re a fan of the show and then you’ll have made it in the world.

Overall, This is an artbook that I recommend to all MLP fans. Furthermore, if you haven’t gotten into the series yet, then this is a good way to quickly get caught up to speed. It’s not as detailed as the other guidebook that I read a while back and it’s not as fascinating as that one, but it makes for a good read. It’s a short read, but one that will still satisfy you provided that you didn’t buy it for a very high price. I look forward to seeing what other MLP products come out soon and until then, this’ll probably be my last MLP review for a long while. It’s been fun though!

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friends Forever Volume 2 Review

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Have you ever had the urge to go outside and buy a My Little Pony video game just because you could? I’ll admit that I was tempted to buy the GBA game, but I haven’t had a chance to put this to the test because most stores don’t sell gameboy games anymore. Still, if I ever see it, you can be sure that I will check it out! The Friendship is Magic franchise has already become an integral part of the My Little Pony multiverse and it’s pretty amazing to see how much it has grown. It has 4 different comic series, a long running show, and it just keeps on coming! This spinoff series isn’t as good as Pony Tales, but I still prefer it to the first volume of the main series.

This collection brings 4 issues inside. The theme of the series seems to be to pair up 2 characters for a team up of sorts. It’s a way to see how everypony interacts with one another on a one to one basis. After all, they can all be pretty tough when in a group, but can Twilight Sparkle really get along with Applejack if they are thrown into a dangerous situation? That doesn’t happen, but it’s an example of what to expect in these issues.

One of the comics features a team up with Pinkie Pie and Princess Luna. Princess Luna is sad because the ponies don’t find her funny. This means that she is going to get stomped by Princess Celestia in the annual laughathon. (Close enough to the actual name) She asks Twilight Sparkle for help and the heroic pony quickly refers her to Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie is skeptical at first, but agrees to teach Luna how to have fun and be a good pony.

Well, this was a Pinkie Pie story, which meant that it should have been super special awesome, but it actually wasn’t as good as it could have been. I thought that Pinkie Pie was really out of character for the first scenes as she was a little mean to Princess Luna. By the end, the two of them are able to bond and Pinkie Pie’s advice pays off. The ending is happy for the heroes, but you still have to wonder who ended up winning. I don’t believe in draws anymore.

Rainbow Dash got to team up with Trixie in another story. One day, Rainbow Dash gets a letter stating that a kingdom wishes for her presence so that she can perform some neat acrobatics. Rainbow Dash has never been a pony to leave her fans hanging so she heads on over. To her dismay, Rainbow Dash finds out that a kingdom of dogs sent the request and their new queen is Trixie. Trixie was coerced into taking the position once the dogs found out about her skills as a gem creator (Hmmmmm…) and she realized that this deception has put her in a bind. Can Rainbow Dash help her escape the land?

Rainbow Dash would just fly her out of there, but the dogs foresaw this and put an enchanted crown on Trixie. The only way to get away is to make the dogs not want her to be their queen anymore. This was probably the second best story behind the Rarity team up. Rainbow Dash still proves herself to be a tough pony as her super speed feats are always impressive. She’s also more direct than the other ponies as she even asks Trixie why the hero should help. Trixie reminds her about friendship power and all, but it’s nice that Rainbow Dash had to ask. The solution to get out of this bind is a good one and Rainbow Dash got to prove her speed once again. We also got a nice moral about why deceit is never the best option.

Fluttershy teams up with Zecora in their adventure. Fluttershy wakes up one morning to discover that a Squirrel can talk. As she heads outside, the pony realizes that she can understand all of the animals. She realizes that this could be the work of some dark magic and asks Zecora to help. Zecora must now run some tests to see if this magic is reversible or if Fluttershy is simply losing her mind! Either way, this has certainly shaken up the city!

Well, this story was interesting, but I have to question Fluttershy’s distress at the animals learning how to talk. Given how friendly she is with them, I would have expected her to have been thrilled about this happening. I’d assume that she would just have enjoyed it no questions asked, but she seemed pretty alarmed at first. I suppose that it did happen suddenly, but it still didn’t feel like her usual self. As for Zecora…boy am I glad that she’s not part of the Mane 6. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of her. The rhymes are clever since it must be tough to think of rhymes for every sentence, but she couldn’t help Fluttershy at all. It makes you wonder why she was in this story. In all of the other team ups…there was a team up. In this issue, Zecora seemed to just be in it for the Wow factor. The twist of how the animals can now talk makes a lot of sense even if I didn’t guess it before hand. After all, there aren’t many beings who could achieve such a feat right?

By leaps and bounds, the best story is the team up with Applejack and Rarity. Given the two personalities of these ponies, you can be sure that their adventure should be a lot of fun. Applejack has to head to the West (Or was it East….!) coast to finalize a deal for some apples. Rarity decides to tag along because she loves road trips that result in great sight seeing detours. Applejack is glad to have the company at first, but Rarity’s passion for fashion starts to derail Applejack’s plans. Can the two ponies find a way to put aside their differences to get the apple contract signed or should Applejack have left this job to Big Mac!

In this issue, it’s easy to feel bad for Rarity. She loves fashion design, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she has the most business experience from all of the ponies in Equestria. Applejack doesn’t want to acknowledge this for most of the issue and I feel like she was in the wrong for most of the disagreements. It was Applejack who got on the wrong train after all and likewise, it was she who didn’t think up a proper business strategy. Even the very first time something went wrong, Applejack was asleep. Don’t think that she was the sole reason why things went south, but Applejack certainly played a big role. In contrast, Rarity was very well behaved and continued to help Applejack even when the latter was being rather petty. (Spraying mud on Rarity and calling her names) Rarity showed that true friendship can stay strong through disputes and she knows how to put her friend’s needs before her own. Through her actions, Rarity got Applejack to remember what being a real friend is all about. The ending is happy and I gained a lot of respect for Rarity.

From the Mane 6, Pinkie Pie is still my favorite. I think it’s safe to say that Rainbow Dash is still second with Twilight Sparkle in third. That being said, Rarity has jumped over Applejack for 4th and I don’t see her dropping below that anytime soon. She can be a little over dramatic at times and her venture into romance holds her back, but through and through, she is one of the nicer ponies and certainly the most professional one.

The art is decent although I definitely think it could be better. Some scenes like the one where Fluttershy yells in surprise at the squirrel talking can be a bit exaggerated to say the least. Still, on the whole it will definitely remind you of the classic MLP style. The colors are vibrant and none of the pages are ever too packed so you always know what’s going on. It makes the collection that much easier to just pick up and start reading.

Overall, Friends Forever is another successful spinoff to add to Friendship is Magic’s resume. As with Pony Tales, each issue is a stand alone story so how much you like each one will determine how good the collection is. At 4 issues, the collection is very small so you will likely breeze through it. If you’re a Rarity fan, you’ll be very happy with her portrayal in the comic. You can certainly tell that the author appreciates the well rounded nature of the pony. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re a fan of the main series or the show. If you’re on the fence about starting the infamous/legendary/controversial series, this is a good place to start. You’ll get to meet some of the Main 6 and get introduced to the universe in general. The comics are just a lot of fun as well, which is likely why the series got so large so fast. Whether or not you’re a big fan of the franchise, you can’t deny that it is an uplifting title to read and it leaves you feeling content. Also, be sure to be on the lookout for Derpy’s cameo. That pony is always around somewhere and you just have to be on the lookout for her! Hopefully the library gets more volumes of the series so that I can review some more soon. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the main Friendship is Magic title.

Overall 6/10

Transformers Robots in Disguise

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Transformers has now added another show to its ranks! This one is still heavily influenced by America’s modern fascination with odd animation, but has managed to start out solid. This will be a fun Transformers show that will most likely not manage to defeat the G1 or Prime shows, but will be remembered as a good tune. Seeing as how Rescue Bots could be ending soon, this one came just in time as there needs to always be a Transformers show on the air for us to get our robot kick. I shall review the series when it finishes and hopefully that won’t be for a while. We need this show to get 2-3 seasons so we can properly compare it to Transformers Animated! (Bumblebee and friends need a new power up within the next episode so that they can really be a threat against the villains!)

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony Pony Tales Volume 1 Review

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It’s time to look at one of the My Little Pony spinoff comics. It’s been a while since I read a comic for this franchise and you may remember that I wasn’t thrilled with the first one. It had some animal violence and that wasn’t cool. Luckily, this one holds true to the show and it feels like it’s higher quality than the last trade paperback. Each story is a stand alone for a different pony, which is typically not my favorite format. It can work though as long as each story is interesting. Let’s see if the stories worked!

One story is about Applejack and her family is preparing for a nice feast. A holiday is coming up so now they can enjoy their food and bond as a family. The problem is that a monster is stealing their food. Applejack decides that she must stop him and she wants to do it by herself so that her family won’t need to worry. Can she really handle this task on her own?

The moral for this story is about letting others help out because sometimes it is for the best. It’s never good to deal with every task by yourself since everyone needs help once in a while. It’s a pretty fun story although it’s certainly weaker than the other stories. Applejack seems like a nice pony and her goal was pretty noble so I don’t necessarily disagree with her decision. Of course, accepting help was the right thing to do, but she wasn’t mean to the others when declining their help either, which is a nice change of pace from what would have typically happened in this situation.

Rainbow Dash’s story saw her go up against some mysterious beings who feed on negative energy. Rainbow Dash’s Sonic Boom seems to have no effect on their fortress of wind and they damage her wing. Her confidence is shaken and the villagers are starting to get riled up. A sense of dread and sadness fills the village and Rainbow Dash is the only one who can stop the villains. Can she get over her fear to do this?

The moral is a classic one about facing your fears and not getting too overconfident. That’s not even the exact moral as it was a little more complex than that. This was a fun story and we actually got some new villains, which was pretty neat. Rainbow Dash may be nervous for most of the comic, but it doesn’t feel too out of character since it’s handled pretty well. I think that the other ponies could have certainly been a little nicer about the whole thing, but not every pony in Equestria is nice. Only the ones who really count. It can be frustrating to see the villains crushing Rainbow Dash’s attempts, but the stakes are certainly higher than usual. This was a fun story.

Next up, we have Twilight Sparkle as she is sent to help out at a library/book place. Unfortunately, her temporary boss is pretty grouchy. Twilight Sparkle does her best to still remain very polite and do her work. The icy feelings between these two ponies start to thaw a little, but then Twilight Sparkle finds out a secret that could change everything. What has she done!?

I admit that it was probably a little out of character for Twilight Sparkle to look through the door into the lady’s secret room after being told not too. Sparkle doesn’t seem like the type of pony who can’t control her curiosity after all. I can’t say that with 100% certainty though so maybe I’m slightly off the mark here. This was a fun comic though and it reminds me why Twilight Sparkle is my second favorite pony. She is certainly very reasonable and a lot nicer than the other members of the Mane 6 beyond Pinkie Pie. (Pinkie Pie is always the best at everything after all) This may have been the best story in the collection.

Pinkie Pie may be my favorite pony, but she doesn’t get my favorite story. A clown has been helping many ponies laugh and smile through the years, but he is now retiring. Pinkie Pie must get him to see why being a clown was so much fun again, but is it really right to try and stop him from retiring?

In the end, Pinkie Pie see that it is a little selfish to try to stop someone from leaving their work when they have finally had enough. That being said, she also helps the clown realize that he can always help the industry out in other ways and Pinkie Pie gets better at being a clown through this experience. She is certainly good at cheering people up already so you may wonder just how much cooler she can get from here right? She didn’t act quite as crazy/insane as usual, but she doesn’t need to always be like that to be a fun character. She still has a lot of personality.

Rarity’s story naturally revolves around a fashion show that she is setting up. Her friends decide that she can use a little rest so they send her to a new spa that has opened up. Rarity is thrilled to go there until she finds out that it isn’t much of a spa. The mud baths are pretty literal and the food is all healthy to the point where it is barely edible. Can she really make the best of this?

I felt pretty bad for Rarity here since this is a case where she is really the victim of the moral. The moral is naturally to give things a chance and trying out new experiences isn’t bad, but…the spa went pretty far. The owners do have a good reason for this though and there are many emotional plot twists. It’s good that Rarity was able to help out, but it still would have been nice if she had gotten an actual vacation. This story certainly didn’t help her pass the other ponies, but she has her moments I suppose. Deep down, she’s as nice as the others.

Finally, we have Fluttershy’s story. It’s really a coincidence that she was last as I was mainly writing down the summaries from memory and hers I happened to remember last. (I had to double check for Rarity’s so at least Fluttershy’s was more memorable) Fluttershy has made a painting, but she is nervous and believes that it didn’t look very good. So, she enters it in an art exhibit, but she makes sure to be in disguise. Will the officials like this?

First of all, I have to say that this is where it comes in handy to be friends with Celestia’s protoge and with an expert in the form of Rarity. The officials naturally say that they can’t stand the painting and try to make Fluttershy feel bad (Along with all of the other painters) but then Rarity walks in and announces that it is quite good. The rest of the Mane 6 agree and they even managed to bring in Princess Celestia who announces that it is amazing. It all works out and Fluttershy decides to be more confident in herself. Her lack of confidence is why she isn’t one of my favorite ponies, but I do like the fact that she has a strong bond with animals so that helps to balance it out a little. You will definitely feel bad for her here. This was another good story and it’s probably second behind Twilight Sparkle’s.

The art is very good here even if the cover isn’t great. Yes…I think the cover could hurt sales and I seriously wonder why it was chosen! Well, mistakes happen I suppose. Still, the artwork inside of the graphic novel is consistent and all of the characters look accurate. This helps you fast blast through the comics pretty quickly even if the text can be a bit on the small side.

Overall, This was the My Little Pony comic that I had been expecting when I read the first graphic novel a while back. The short stories were all pretty good or interesting and this was a nice way to see if each of the ponies could hold their own story without relying on the others. I’d say that they succeeded in that area and the comic is a lot of fun to read from start to finish. It certainly never drags on or gets boring. There may not be a lot of action, but the writing is very good so that doesn’t end up being a problem. If you are on the fence about starting the franchise, this is a good way to get into it. I also recommend it for fans of the TV show as it isn’t a quick money grab. They did put in a good amount of effort here and I look forward to reading the next volume. It may be a while, but I do have another one of the spinoffs to review coming soon….

Overall 7/10