Animation T

The adventures of a writer and monster hunter and his human and monster friends. Decent animation but sloppy writing. Tactics includes brothels, strip party games, and violence. The hero is a manipulative jackass and there is a strong romantic subtext between him and a daemon. The heroes rival is a complete jerk that does not believe in demons or monsters even when they are standing right in front of him. There is a group of bad guys that are out to kill one of the demons in this little group, oddly enough by restoring his memories and returning him to full strength. On the other hand several of the characters are young children, and cute cartoony creatures. Some of the situations and reactions are Pokemon grade stupid. The production team simply does not know if they want to make the next Pokemon or Samurai Champloo. Early on they just have a series of disconnected adventures. Toward the end it becomes a violent psychological thriller. One of the children, Suzu is around 10 years old, initially acts like she is 4 and near the end is delivering monologues like she is 20. The dissonance makes the show a bit of a slog to get through.

Team Galaxy
A high school for future Space Marshals. In the same style as Totally Spies. Similar absurd premise. Similar artwork. Similar paper thin characters. Similar sub-average writing. The characters are not quite as vacuous as the three principles in Totally Spies but the show is.

A good workmanlike Disney princess adventure. Pretty, with some decent if not memorable songs. A fairly boilerplate story with villains, and a princess, and a comic side kick, and a message. Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad, it’s not even mediocre, it’s actually fairly enjoyable. Overall I’d say it’s pleasant enough.

Teen Titans
Teen super heroes who fight villains and live in a giant T in the middle of the bay that nobody seams to notice. Raven and Starfire are the two females and they are by far the most interesting characters. Raven is the ultimate Goth. She uses dark magic to do good but there are things in her past that she fights desperately to keep secret. She has to be continually reminded that she has friends and does not have to battle them alone. Starfire is as light as Raven is dark. She is filled with joy most of the time and even when angry it is an anger based in a deep morality of life. She has the ability to shoot bolts of energy from her hands and later after she goes through puberty from her eyes. She is royalty on her planet but is extremely naive about Earth and its customs. Both Raven and Starfire can fly. Robin has all the Batman gadgets and martial arts but how did he end up on his own? Cyborg is three quarters machine but how did he get that way? Beastboy is able to change shape into any animal but he is mostly there for comic relief. Some of the episodes are a lot of fun. The one where Starefire went through puberty and the several where Raven deals with her father. The one where a villain steals all of their souls but accidentally switches Raven and Starfire and they have learn to use each others power. There were also several episodes that were just awful. The show is a sometimes hit and more often miss.

Teen Titans-Go
A complete reboot of the story. The characters are the same but the animation is flatter and more ‘cartoony’ than the earlier series. The stories are more for humour and deal with interpersonal relationships more than defeating criminals. It’s fun and silly and in some ways as enjoyable as the first series. I like it.

A gritty city buried in the earth, ruled by the Orgono and the Union. A fighter that had his left leg and right arm cut off, and a leader of the Organo who is trying to hold off a gang war with the Union are the principles. Tying them together is Texhnolyze, a technology used to make superior artificial limbs. It’s only available to the elite who flaunt their power and degrade the masses. Who is the little red haired girl that watches the events unfold. Who is the traveler? Very slow to build. The stories intertwine but remain distinct. Very well written. Quite violent with adult themes. The end is quite thought provoking. I thought it was actually quite good.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
A thirty something guy who lives in Tokyo is killed. That would make for a very short anime except the next thing he knows he has been reincarnated in a D&D type world…as a slime, the lowest form of life. The thing is even as a slime he has the same easy going personality. He quickly finds out that he can gain power from consuming “magicules” and then when he consumes a monster he gains that monsters abilities. He gets more powerful, makes friends, and soon is a true hero. He defeats evil, and inspires the people to work together, cooperate, and build a kingdom. I gotta say I really enjoyed this one. It was fun, well written, and the dubbed version is well acted. A first class job all the way. One note. the show is 23 episodes long. The place I found it has two more, #24 and 24.5. These are stories that happen in the same universe but aren’t related, or for that matter are nearly as fun.

Production Note: All titles that begin with The are filed under the first word after The. The Cat Returns is filed under Cat, The Emperor’s New School is under Emperor’s, The X’s is under X’s, and so fourth.

Time Squad
Time police that search out anachronisms and deviations from history and go around and fix them. Tudrussell is a knuckle dragging muscle guy, Larry3000 is utterly effete, and Otto is the only one with brains. This would have made a good movie but there is not enough material for more than a season.

Centuries ago a group of Alchemists created a box of 108 pieces. The box was a gate to the underworld. Now the gateway is open again and Phantoms are coming through. Phantoms are a cross between zombies and vampires and they hunt humans. A police team is assigned the duty of investigating a series of gruesome unexplained murders. They run into a group of people, Tokko, who kill the phantoms with swords. It turns out that the members of Tokko are the only ones that can actually hurt the Phantoms. Their job is to hunt them down. There is some political intrigue, but not much. The story is only 13 episodes long so there is not enough time to add depth to the characters. The animation is average at best. There are plot holes and inconsistencies that trip it up throughout. Worst of all it is wrapped up very abruptly and they do everything but set up a billboard saying This Is Just Chapter One. Then no more in the series were made. It had possibilities but in the end was rather unsatisfying.

Tokyo: Magnitude 8
A 12-13 year old girl and her 7-8 year old brother are out at a museum when Tokyo is hit with a massive earthquake. The city is destroyed. They have to make their way back to the mainland and then home across town amidst debris, collapsing buildings, and aftershocks. The animations is excellent quality 2D. The writing is superb. Believable characters you care about, and situations that feel real. They are helped by some nice people and some are jerks. The kids talk like kids. They see some terrible things that kids that age shouldn’t see yet, but that’s the way it is. They experience all the terrors and unexpected joys of anyone who goes through a disaster such as this. No magic, no robots, no bad guys, no typical ‘Anime” cliches. A very good series.

Tom Goes to the Mayor
Bad animation, pointless stories, overall too mediocre to even dislike intensely.

Total Drama Island/Total Drama Action/Total Drama World Tour
I’ve mentioned before that I intensely dislike the whole Survivor genre. Animating it doesn’t help. This one is somewhat better in that they play up how the people who go on those kind of programs are attention craving losers. But it’s still forgettable drek.

Totally Spies
Faced with the threat of Kim Possible on Disney Channel, Cartoon Network tried to create their own teenage female spy show. Unfortunately they created the most sexist stereotyped vacuous female characters ever. I have only been able stomach a few minutes at a time.

Toy Story (Movie)
(Pixar) The secret life of toys. An amusing adventure story. The toys look good, suitably wooden or plastic, unfortunately the few human characters look plastic as well. The story is fairly simplistic. Both this and the sequel are amusing if not high art. OK if it is playing on a long flight otherwise there is better stuff out there. Mostly the film is a historical artifact now. I read somewhere that it was the first movie to be totally CGI. Characters, scenes, backgrounds, everything was done on the computer in 3D.

I just can not get into this story. Vash the Destroyer has a horrific reputation that he does not deserve. He is just a klutz that ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets blamed for everything. He keeps running into very bad people and gangs that try to get him for the reward on his head and they do the damage he gets blamed for. He is also being followed by two women who work for an insurance company. It just seems overly violent and somewhat pointless.

Trinity Blood
In a post apocalyptic world, people kill animals, vampires kill people, and crusnik kill vampires. Politically the world is divided up into the church, lead by the catholic hierarchy out of the Vatican, and the empire of vampires in the east. Father Abel Nightroad is a crusnik that poses as a Catholic priest to defend humans against the vampires. He appears as somewhat naive and clumsy but when needed he can weald terrible power. This is a dark show, both figuratively and graphically. The colors are richer than most TV animation. The writing is often moody and there are times when you really have to pay attention to catch the subtle hints or you will have trouble following the action. There is also a fair amount of depth to the characters. Some of the Vatican hierarchy have agendas of their own and are not completely good guys. I like how women occupy high positions in the church. Some of the bad guys have a sympathetic side. The Crusnic for example, who are vicious killers, if you are a vampire, are victims of horrible human experimentation. The artwork is brooding and luscious. A quality job all the way around.

Tripping the Rift
The greedy captain of a small space ship, his sex slave, lame-o relative, and robot fop. Thin characters. Thin plot. Poor development. Basically this is an excuse for the animators to draw 3D nerd fantasy women. Mildly amusing for a few episodes then like most soft core porn it got boring.

T.U.F.F. Puppy
A cartoon version of Get Smart with animals. The principals are an utterly inept dog and his skilled sidekick. a cat. The bad guys are animals as well. Fairly good, if rather juvenile.

A sweeping story of interstellar empire and insurrection, full of palace intrigue, and chance changes of fortune, and lucky breaks, and brilliant strategy. The animation and voice work is average at best, but the writing is ambitious…and I didn’t care for it. Maybe it’s the War and Peace problem, too many characters, scenes, and locals. After four or five episodes I started losing track of who was who and which side they were on. More importantly, I didn’t care any more. Maybe I’m just not a fan of palace intrigue. I like stories about people. This is a story about a galactic empire threatened with revolution. Or maybe it’s just because it might not have been terribly well done.