(The Channel Awesome presents logo is shown and clips from various action cartoons plays.)
ERod (vo): Greeting fanboys and fangirls, I'm ERod and I'm the Blockbuster Buster. Ever since my cartoons that should be movies list, a lot of you have been asking which new animated shows are my favorites. Young Justice, Transformers Prime, Green Lantern, Kick Buttowski, Generator Rex, Thundercats. Now, don't misunderstand me, the shows are ok and I enjoy them but there are only two new that I absolutely love and would buy the DVD sets the millisecond they hit the story. The first one is Avengers Earth Mightiest Heroes which I've already talked about and the second is -
(The title for the show is shown.)
Erod (vo): Sym-Bionic Titan.
(Posters for other shows play followed by clips of the show being reviewed.)
Erod (vo): Created by the man behind Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack, Genndy Tartakovsky, Sym-Bionic Titan is a delight for the nostalgic. It blends classic sci-fi elements like Star Wars to Gatchaman to Voltron. All of which are held together by some of the most dynamic and beautiful animation on television today.
Erod (vo): The vile General Modula has taken over the planet Galaluna, Before Modula can destroy the royal bloodline and crown himself ruler, the king sends his daughter, Princess Ilana onboard an escape pod to a distant planet called Earth. To keep her safe, he also sends two defenders. A soldier named Lance and a robot named Octus. As the three survive on Earth passing themselves off as average teenagers, they find that Modula has deployed some of his alien forces to find and destroy the princess. When this happens, Lance and Ilana can activate giant fighting mechs that can combat the treat but at times, when the treat is to big for Lance and Ilana alone, they combine their mechs with Octus to form the Sym-Bionic Titan.
Cast and CharactersEdit
Erod (vo): Let's start with the bad guys as this series has not one, not two but three great recurring antagonist. General Modula. Played by Don Leslie, Modula is a villain's villain. Relentless, merciless and brutal. He will kill anyone or anything that stands in his path to greatness. General Steel. Played by John DiMaggio who's better known for playing Bender, Doctor Draken and Marcus Fenix. Steel is the muscle headed moron who's put in charge of capturing and neutralizing Titan. Now, even though Titan is obviously on our side, the general still sees him as an alien threat.
General Steel: Fire.
(The tanks fire on Titan.)
Lance: We just saved them.
Ilana: Let's move.
(Titan goes underwater.)
Erod (vo): God, it's almost as if Michael Bay was a soldier. But, my favorite villain is by far, one of the coolest antagonist I've seen thus far. Solomon. Played by none other then Tim Russ who's better known for playing Tuvok on Star Trek Voyager. Solomon is the mysterious leader of G3. The Galactic Guardian Group. A secret unit dedicated to monitoring and nullifying alien threats. This character is simply awesome. As you are never sure where he stands. Is he a friend or a foe. Does he want to capture the heroes to dissect them or to recruit them into G3? Is he a well-trained agent or a super powered being? We just don't know and it's the mystery that makes him so intriguing. Also, that white primed hat is pretty boss. Like a lot of Genndy's characters, Solomon plays tribute to another great fictional character. Robert E Howard's Solomon Kane. There are plenty of subtle and blatant links between the two characters peppered throughout the entire series. Allright, let's talk about our heroic heroes of terrific teens. Starting with Princess Ilana. Played by Tara Strong, who'd better known for playing Bubbles, Timmy Turner and Raven, Ilana is quite literally the heart of Titan. She is somewhat of a contradiction. While she is very much the sheltered princess, she is not a pushover. She is just as brave and fierce as the boys. However, this doesn't stop her from being socially handicapped.
Ilana: The heart, body and mind. Join as one. Salutations friends. I am honored to be here in this fine institution where I know our friendship will blossom and the bonds of social segregation will give way to unite us as one.
Student: (He coughs the word "Dofus" causing everyone to laugh.)
ERod (vo): Joss Whedon once said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that everytime there's a female hero in a story, she often has to sacrifice her femininity to assume the role of the hero. This is most certainly not the case with Ilana. In spite of the fact that she is a brave and courageous fighter, she's still very very feminem. One of my favorite character traits of hers is how unlike most cartoon characters, Ilana actually changes her cloths. In every single episode, she is wearing a different outfit. And they genially look like cloths that girls would actually wear. Now, let's move on to the soldier in the group. Lance. Played by Kevin Thoms, Lance is the intense young gun with everything to prove and nothing to lose. His duty is to protect the princess and he will do so at any costs. I absolutely love how him being an anti-social douche automatically makes him cool in the eyes of high school kids.
Octus: Yummy foofoo.
Teenager #1: I W F T T M D.
Teenager #2: I wouldn't feed that to my dog.
Lance: Would you like to come to our food party.
Both teens: Sure.
Both teens: Sure.
ERod (vo): Oh, to be young and easily swayed. And last but not least, my favorite character. Octus. The brains of this outfit as played by comedian, Brian Posehn. Octus is a highly advanced robot that can create holographic projections to make himself look like whomever he wants. And thus, he makes himself look like a nerd and is quite content with that. And its not that Octus doesn't care because he doesn't have feelings cause Octus actually has feelings. Even though he's a robot, he actually cares about Lance and Ilana and he genuinely cares about saving the world. One of the coolest aspects of this show is that the three main characters don't actually meet until that faithful moment when they enter the escape pod. So, you are getting to know them as they are getting to know each other. Meaning, you don't have the dumb exposition faciliator character who's job is to ask all the dumb questions that give way for convenient explanations and you never have characters explain anything that they already should know. We are learning as they are learning.
Character Design and AnimationEdit
ERod (vo): I'm a huge fan of Genndy's simplistic, angular and stylized brand of character design. So, for me, this show is a feast for my eyes. But, if you hate this styling and you prefer more intricate character designs, this might not be the show for you. The animation is crisp, beautiful and clean. The way animation should look. They even blended in some computer animation for some of the ships and robots. But, they are done so well, that the contrast is barely noticeable.
ERod (vo): The entire first season is a magnificent menagerie of machine mulling mayhem. Titan is one bad-ass fighting robot who is not limited to one tired old finishing maneuver as he never finishes off an enemy the same way twice. Unlike most giant robot shows, I don't spend my time watching Sym-Bionic Titan twiddling my thumbs waiting for the giant robot to show up so the show can get good. No. Titan is the icing on an already delicious cake. In fact, I love the first season so much, that I was going to pencil in my calendar the premiere date for season 2 but I couldn't, CAUSE CARTOON NETWORK CANCELLED THIS SHOW! I couldn't believe it. Who would cancel a show with so much high-quality? I read on Wikipedia, and thus it must true, that the reason this show was cancelled was they couldn't make any toys based on this show. Again, I don't know if this is fact or fiction but what they're saying is that they couldn't come up with any toys for show that had aliens, mutants and giant robots in it? This is a very poor excuse to cancel what I'm officially counting as one of my all-time favorite shows. (The Badass-a-tude meter pops up.) 10 points on the Badass-a-tude meter. Find it, watch it, love it.
Octus: Initate Sym-Bionic Titan. Octus unit. Magnify.
(Awesome transformation sequence.)