Cartoon Round Up: Mini-reviews of recent cartoons by Jgames
As the title said, it's me reviewing a bunch of recent cartoons from this year. More as a way for me to talk about all the different cartoons I like without writing full-on reviews. Let get the show on the road.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power season 2 and 3: I already reviewed the first season, but I felt like talking about it as I did feel it had the potential to be a great show. What I got to say about the show is the same thing about season 1 except fewer things to complain about. The show She-Ra is about the adventure of Adora and her friends as they try to protect the kingdoms from the Hordes. A big complaint would be its just a season cut in half so they can pretend they made two seasons which is annoying, but I guess people have low attention spam if you do not pump out the show quickly. As always, the villains are the best part of the show in my opinion. Catra, in my opinion, is one of the better cartoon villains in recent years. She reminds of Azula if she was more mentally unstable in the beginning, with her being her own worst enemy when it comes to being happy. She is the type of person who rather die with everyone just to spite the people she felt betrayed by. She continues to be manipulative, emotionally unstable, cunning, ruthless and I love it. Also, love the world-building they been doing recently that does help be more excited and invested in the show. It has improved from the first season, which felt more conventional, while this season they are taking more risk and I love it. Also was pleasantly surprised by the development of Entrapta and Hordak and how they bond together through science. When it comes to the main characters, they fine, granted some of the side character's personality seem to change a bit. Once I think about it, the other princesses got less screen time, which I did not mind as we can focus more on the main characters with Adora trying to fulfill her role as She-Ra. It was a fun season and I hope the show continues to improve.
12 Forever: I remember watching 12 Forever pilot and thinking it was alright, but there were better pilots I would have preferred getting pickup (which luckily another show on this list did). The show is about Reggie, a 12-year-old girl who goes to another dimension, named Endless, to escape her problem with her best friend Todd and another character name Esther joins. While in that world they have superpowers and the world is full of weird creatures, and many mysteries behind it. Each episode is about 12 minutes long and usually, deal with one of the characters facing a problem and going to Endless to escape from it. The best part of the show is not the fantasy world but rather the characters real-world problem. An example is Reggie, the main character, not wanting to grow up and face problems like being self-confidence, her sexuality, expressing herself, puberty and abandonment. Not to say they were handled perfectly, and some of them are even a bit problematic but there something refreshing of a kid shows handling kids problem more head-on. Trying to have a perfect balance of telling kids that is okay to still be kids, but also showing that like everybody else, they need to live in the real world and grow along with it. Honestly, a part of me does want them to have another season as I do want to see them explore more into some of these topics that were never resolved. The problem for me, however, is the fantasy world. I did not like the side characters in the world of endless. They are just not funny, they are just stupid and lol we are crazy weirdos. It reminds me of the comedy of Adventure time without that cynicism and slapstick that balance out the lol upbeat stupid humor. Do not get me wrong, there is some interesting world-building later on the show that does make the world a bit more fascinating, and there is 2 really creative episode that does take advantage of the world. That being said, I just found the show to be overall okay. It does not help that I just did not like the designs all that much, aside for the main villain, the buttwitch. I just do not like rectangle noses. I think it’s a show kids would definitely like, but maybe not as much for adults, but it was okay.
Amphibia: I will be talking about a none Netflix cartoon, and instead look into Disney with Amphibia. The show is about Anne, a 13 yr old girl who got sucked up to a magical world along with two friends after opening a small chest. She now finds herself in a mystical world full of creatures and talking frogs. Anne is now trying to both find her friends and get back to her world, all while adjusting to this new world and making some new friends. I had a really fun time with this show. Love the animation and art style that is so vibrant and colorful, and yet still can be dark when it needs to. The amount of murderous creature in this world is abundant, and love the fact that it has so many grim and dark jokes in the serious. All while making the friendship Anne has with the Plantar family be genuinely touching. Love the character development of Anne as she is a girl who is somewhat a trouble maker, and had friends who pushed her to do things she was uncomfortable with. They do a good job of showing what it means to have a real friend that is not preachy. Sprig is a likable energetic friend who always getting trouble but is really nice, Poly is the fun violent character, and Pop-Pop manages to be a solid old grouchy grandpa that can be a stick in the mud but also loosen up. The show is a good mix of episodic and progressing the story with lots of mystery and lore that makes me excited for more. Just like most animation studio, Disney is a hit or miss, but their recent hits like Gravity Fall, Star vs, Duck tales shows that they can still make great shows. I think you can probably add Amphibia to that list.
Infinity Train: Infinity train, another show that I saw the pilot for, and really wanted badly for the show to get pick up. The original pilot seems to have an interesting concept, fun characters, and a dark edge to it with a big mystery that made lots of people love the pilot. The show is about Tulip, a 12 yr old girl running away and trying to get to video game camp after her divorced parents couldn’t drive her there. On the way she somehow got transported to an endless train, each filled with a unique world. Meeting a depress/happy robot call one, and having a mysterious number on her hand, Tulip tries to find a way back to her home. The series was great for a 10 episode show that was 12 minutes each. It manages to retain lots of the dark element, humor, interesting world and mystery that fans were hoping. The shows manage to do a good job of tackling grieve and how we want to stay in the past, tackling some heavy subject like divorced parents head-on. It was an overall entertaining mystery show, that does a great job of balancing its dark and scary moments with light-hearted one. Love that Tulip is a fun logical thinker who loves programming and tries to solve everything through logic in places where she needs to think emotionally. The villains in the show were all great and some them being relatable and empathetic. The problem with the show is that despite the endless praised I can give it, I cannot help being disappointed that it was only 10 episodes and each 12 minutes long. This felt like a show that could have been bigger. Not that every show has to be 100 episodes long or have 6 seasons and a movie, as self-contained seasons are refreshing to have. That being said I felt like some emotional beat could have been better like Tulip friendship with One, a robot that is just sometimes useless and a bit annoying. They literally test their friendship at the second episode, and they were not able to make it feel genuine that Tulip would give up her chance of getting back over a robot she barely met. The mystery of the infinity train could have been explored more, but sadly again it was just ten-episode. It is confirmed that it will have another season, but the way they wrap up the first season, it just feels unnecessary and doesn’t make me as excited as I could have been. That being said, for what it is, is definitely a show that you should give a watch.
Cannon Buster: Cannon Buster is a Netflix original anime not made by a Japanese person, but made by a cool black comic artist, writer, producer, etcetera, LeSean Thomas. The person worked on Black Dynamite, The Boondocks and Legend of Korra to name a few. The anime is based on his graphic novel that never got finished and instead got turned to an anime. I find it cool that he was able to make a comic book based on his love of anime and turn it into an actual anime. There more thing to the story like Kickstarter and delays and whatever, but enough of me talking about stuff I got in Wikipedia, and let talk about the show itself. The show is about Philly the kid, an immortal who has a huge bounty on his head. He meets up two robots, SAM and Casey, who tag along as he helps them out in trying to find the prince. The world feels like an anime fan just putting everything they love about anime in a world and trying to make it feel like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and a hint of Samurai Champloo and I love it. They have androids, mechas, magic, demons, ninjas, samurai, different types of furry humanoid, monsters, immortal, etc. It is a crazy world that is lots of fun to watch. As diverse the world can be, it often feels like the wild west, with many outlaws and bounty hunters killing each other and after Philly the kid bounty. I think what makes it work are the three main characters. Philly is a likable idiot asshole who despite being constantly annoyed and pissed off, always try to help his new friends. There more to his character backstory that I am interested in learning in the next season (which they better have). SAM is a friend robot, so she is constantly friendly, but also happen to be a very powerful weapon, which is a nice contrast and make for some cool moments. Casey is a maintenance bot that is in love with fixing the car and obsessed with junk. It feels very close to a Watanabe anime (the person behind Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Space Dandy), especially with things like the main character always being hungry, and the right balance of seriousness and humor with lots of western element in it along with lots of the very anime stuff you expect. Granted not on the same level as Watanabe work, but I just love following the character journey and the misshape they get themselves too. Love the look, love the animation and designs and music. I originally thought it was an anime trying to appeal to a western audience or maybe the director just loves western media, but it's actually a show made by an American who loves anime. That being said, I could not care that much for the Prince and his story along with the main villain who is just unintentionally stupid and hilarious and can’t be taken seriously. Granted the Prince and the main villain scenes did not take that much screen time, but the screen time they had varied from slightly tolerable to just boring. Especially when the three main trios finally converged with the prince, some of the emotional moments just miss the mark. Overall I just had a really fun time with this anime and cannot wait for more, and hopefully, they take the prince and the main villain story a bit less serious.