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Disappointment

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Disappointment

Postby Wing Saber » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:41 pm

[color=#4000FF]who else was disappointed with Animated and misses the Unicron Trilogy?/color]
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Re: Disappointment

Postby lioconvoy » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:22 pm

dude are you serious!!! animated rocked. the stile was strange but it gave us some grate figures. as for the unicron trilogy, i loved it. grate set but there were far too menny issues with it. for example bad dubbing and the figures were mor often than not unposable bricks. good plot agreed but nothing compared to animated
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Wing Saber » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:40 pm

as for the toys i agree with you, but the tv show of Animated was dissapointing to me. first of all Optimus Prime is supposed to be leader, not just some junk bot.
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

The Unicron Trilogy was terrible in comparison to the masterpiece that was Animated.

The characters and their development were all just fantastic. For once, Optimus was not the cliche "Mr. Perfect with no faults"-type character. He was younger and more youthful. We could relate to him better as he grew from an uncertain maintenance crew captain to a fully-capable warrior and hero. Bumblebee went from being a spunky goofy kid to being a more rounded combatant who took a better understand of the seriousness of war, while still maintaining that lovable kid-friendly atmosphere. Bulkhead seemed dumb and klutzy at first, but as we got to know him better, he turned out to be quite the valued teammate, what with him being Cybertron's top Space Bridge technical genius, as well as obtaining a more artistic and creative side. Ratchet started off gruff and unfriendly after having witnessed the horrors of war up close and personal, but eventually came out of his shell and opened up to his teammates by become a sort of mentor to the younger bots. Prowl was...

...my favorite Autobot of the series! His history wasn't dealt with much until season 3, where we finally get an understanding of why he was such a loner at the beginning, and eventually grew to becoming a team player. He had an appreciation for all forms of life, and his skills as a Cyber-Ninja were just amazing!

The Dinobots were just great! Grimlock was aggressive, powewrful, and stupid. All key traits of his G1 counterpart. Swoop and Snarl were also pretty funny, despite their lack of speaking. Not to mention that their immense power made these Dinobots seem like the Transformers equivalents of Chuck Norris!

The Elite Guard was an interesting idea. Ultra Magnus as the Supreme Commander had me skeptical at first, but he was pulled off nicely as a firm and powerful leader. Jazz was like Prowl but with a different flavor of awesome. His slang talk echoed G1 Jazz and he was just an all-around cool guy (and another awesome Cyber-Ninja!). Sentinel Prime was perhaps the biggest jerk in the universe. He was a pompous, arrogant, stuck-up, cowardly, good-for-nothing, Tick-wannabe! And he was so good at it too! He may not have been the most likeable character, but he was true to his role through and through. Blurr was basically G1 Blurr but with a governmental position. He was greatly enjoyable to watch. Jetfire and Jetstorm were unexpected with their accents, but their sheer power and fun personaitlies made them full of win.

Arcee was very true to her G1 self, and Omega Supreme was absolutely the icing on the Transformers Animated cake! And Wreck-Gar has to be the funniest TF character of all time (or at least tied with Beast Wars Waspinator).

Unlike the Unicron Trilogy, the Decepticons were made out to be competent and dangerous threats. Megatron was like a revolutionary leader and is perhaps the second-best Megatron of the them all (the first-best being the Beast Era Megs). Starscream was just sick! (in a good way) He was very close the G1 Screamer, and actually went the extra mile of the trying to kill Megatron early on. Blitzwing and Lugnut were both awesome and hilarious at the same time. And Blackarachnia was such a tragic character that one can't help but feel sorry for her.

The Constructicons and the Starscream Clones were both hilariously great. I loved how the C-cons were parodying the stereotypical labor workers, and the Screamer clones each being a component of the original's personality was just brilliant!

Lockdown was simply brutal. A neutral bounty hunter who keeps his prey's weapons as trophies is just twisted and cruel. And it worked out perfectly. Soundwave and Shockwave were true to their G1 counterparts, and with Shockwave being a double agent was a genius idea that was wonderfully executed! And Wasp's tragic life leading to his conversion into Waspintor was so deep and well thought out. And not to mention that this Waspinator was a dangerous and capable threat, which is an awesome change.

Sari was a decent human ally, as she wasn't that annoying and was pulled off in a unique way by giving her the AllSpark Key. And when it's revealed that she's part Cybertronian, I just wanted more. Her father was an interesting guy, being the one who helped rebuild Megatron and then being forced to build the Decepticons's Space Bridge. Captian Fanzone was probably my favorite human character in this series. His dislike for machines led to some very funny moments, as well as his preference for the older, less-technological days is similar to how some TF fans prefer a lot of the older series over the newer ones.

Now admittedly, the human villains were pretty lame, with the sole exception being Meltdown. Out of all of the human villains of the series, he provided the most deadly threats to the Autobots and was even capable of killing them with a single prolonged touch. Also, the despite Headmaster being an annoyance most of the time, he was still a dangerous enemy, what with his ability to manipulate any Cybertronian body by simply beheading it.

Aside from the characters, there were many other positives to this series. The character models and the toys were almost exactly identical. This case of nearly-absolute "show-accuracy = toy-accuracy" is pure gold. Sure it also occured in the Cybertron series, but with animation models this unique and unordinary, it must have been a challenge to the designers to come up with ways to match up both animation and figure so perfectly. And the fact that they were successful at this is simply an amazing feat.

Not to mention that, despite its outwardly childish appearance, there lying beneath the surface was a serious (and, at times, dark) show. Anyone could pull off something that kids could enjoy. Same goes for adult shows. But to make the plot enjoyable for both kids and adults is simply fantastic. It wasn't too happy-go-lucky, nor was too to gritty and brooding. There were times where it was light and comedic (Wreck-Gar's debut), and times where it wore a serious face (Lockdown's debut, Sari's origin, Blackarachnia's and Wasp's misfortunes). It even kept a realistic feeling to it at times (the illegal street races) while still retaining a slight sci-fi appeal (Soundwave's VR world).

And let's not forget all the homages to nearly EVERY series. Even RiD got some referencing in the story ("Cars and trucks BAD! Car Robots WORSE!" and TFA Heavy Load). Most of them were to G1 and Beast Wars, though Beast Machines, the Unicron Trilogy, the first Bay Movie, and even Transtech got homages. EVen Kiss Players got referenced! :o No series had given this many references since Energon/Super Link (as that was the 20th Anniversary series of the franchise).

All in all, despite its initial distastful look (the very first ads for it looked awful), Transformers Animated has shown bright enough to become one of the greatest Transformers series of all time.
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Wing Saber » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:19 pm

I personally didn't like Animated. Armada is my fav. you got all those awesome characters like Starscream, Sideways, Megatron/Galvatron, Hot Shot, Blurr, Jetfire, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Cyclonus, and Unicron! plus amazing storyline!
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:50 am

Wing Saber wrote:I personally didn't like Animated. Armada is my fav. you got all those awesome characters like Starscream, Sideways, Megatron/Galvatron, Hot Shot, Blurr, Jetfire, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Cyclonus, and Unicron! plus amazing storyline!

Starscream - whiny/emo
Sideways - cool
Megtatron/Galvatron - cliche
Hot Shot - Hot Rod/Cheetor/Side Burn archetype
Blurr - cool
Jetfire - somewhat cool
Optimus Prime - cliche
Scavenger - interesting, but not too special
Cyclonus - annoying (except for the Japanese version where he is funny)
Unicron - confusing and inactive (he didn't do much on his own like he did in the G1 movie, and instead relied on Sideways as an avatar)
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Disappointment

Postby DocWho » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:34 am

Wing Saber wrote:I personally didn't like Animated. Armada is my fav. you got all those awesome characters like Starscream, Sideways, Megatron/Galvatron, Hot Shot, Blurr, Jetfire, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Cyclonus, and Unicron! plus amazing storyline!


Yeah, all those awesome characters.

Armada Starscream was great, Sideways was alright, Megatron/Galvatron was one-dimensional, Hot Shot was painful to sit through, Blurr had ZERO personality, Jetfire was bland, Optimus Prime wasn't half bad, Scavenger was dull, Cyclonus was annoying, and Unicron wasn't even a character, he was a plot point!

Animated had far superior characters, just because they don't fit in with how you grew up with the characters does not make them bad.
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:18 am

Here's what all is wrong (and some of what's okay) with the Unicron Trilogy.

First up is Armada:
TFWiki.net wrote:Criticisms
The US dub of Armada was plagued with errors. Most explicit is the repeated misnaming of characters, particularly the Mini-Cons. More subtle clues point to scripts that were transliterated and never given a proper re-write to adapt them for a Western audience.

The show also featured wildly varying animation quality. This is due in large part to an extremely rushed production schedule; Voicebox rarely had time to get more than a first-draft translation of the script together in time for recording, and would often have to work with unfinished animation. As a side note, it is often claimed that much of the animation was cleaned up for the show's later broadcast in Japan, which is basically true; aside from the well-publicized example of "Linkup", which featured some significantly altered and corrected animation, smaller alterations were made in many episodes, such as changing incongruous Mini-Con lineups or fixing blatant coloring mistakes (such as Cyclonus being colored as Demolishor for one scene in "Swoop").

The cause of this rush job is still under speculation, but there appear to be two primary suspects:
  • Initial plans called for Dreamwave to supply character models for the series (at least, that was the claim), but that never materialized, possibly throwing off production schedules.
  • Cartoon Network, the channel that aired the show, reportedly would not sign off on the series without a certain number of episodes already finished, forcing a rush job to get the cartoon out to coincide with the toy line's release.

Even accounting for the rushed dub, Armada's scripting tends to be of poor quality. Characters give long, rambling, semi-coherent monologues, react strangely to one another's dialog, have very disjointed "conversations", reiterate obvious plot points to one another, and repeatedly use stock phrases such as "Hey, wait up!" Moments of intended silence are filled with babble, especially the dreaded "Uh?" every time a character reacts to anything.

The show has also taken flack for the repetitive nature of its first half, in which the same small groups of Autobots and Decepticons hunt for Mini-Cons in one episode after another. The threat of Unicron, as well as the gradually expanding cast, eventually led to more wide-ranging stories.

Reception
Although fans had a mixed reaction towards the product as a whole (which is typical of any new series), it was incredibly successful with the target audience, children ages 4-9. The toys sold like hotcakes, prompting Hasbro to pad out the tail end of the toyline with a number of Beast Wars redecos.

The success of Armada led to the more expensive R&D that went into the next two franchises, Energon and Cybertron. It also prompted the launch of the Transformers Universe subline, as demand for Transformers product continued to outstrip Hasbro's ability to develop new molds.


Prepare yourself for Energon:
TFWiki.net wrote:Criticisms
The Unicron Trilogy was a franchise that got off to a poor start, fictionally speaking. Armada (the predecessor to Energon) suffered from a bad beginning that, in the eyes of many, condemned the entire show. Although it improved as it went along (with the "Unicron Battles" story arc regarded as fairly good in comparison), the sub-par start left it laboring under a bad reputation that it never escaped. Many fans had hopes that Energon would be a return to glory.

It was quite the proverbial [stone] to the [head], then, that Energon, the televisual representation of Transformers for its 20th anniversary year, turned out to be just the opposite — a series with a strong beginning, which slowly but surely degenerated into what is widely considered the worst Transformers cartoon broadcast in the U.S. In retrospect, the fans' positive initial reaction may have been simply because it wasn't Armada.


Conceptual and storytelling flaws
Plotting
The primary flaw of Energon is that it simply does not have enough plot to fill 52 episodes. The first half of the series moves at a respectable pace, and around episode #20, the villains achieve their objective — the restoration of Unicron. However, because there are another 30 episodes to fill, an attack by the Autobots and their allies deactivates Unicron. The storyline is then essentially repeated for twenty more episodes, until Unicron is reactivated again and destroyed again. But even then, there are still thirteen more episodes to go, and with the driving aspect of the plot destroyed, viewers are served up a virtually pointless storyline full of repaints and combiners, which added nothing to what had already taken place.

Individual episodes are likewise padded out with time-killing scenes such as stock footage sequences, generally a minimum of three per episode. An incredible amount of time is consumed in communication and report scenes, in which the characters stand around in front of video screens and tell one another things that the viewers already know.

Character de-evolution
The series takes a very dismissive attitude towards characters and their development. With the exception of Ironhide (who survives the series and resolves his long-running feud with Scorponok), the writers seemed unable to carry personal sub-plots and conflicts through to any conclusion. Instead, they would either quietly drop these opportunities for character development, or (much more gallingly) the characters would die and/or get mindwiped, so the stories would not have to be resolved. Examples:
  • Demolishor's uncertainty in the Decepticon cause? "Resolved" by having him sacrifice himself to save Megatron, then having Megatron resurrect him with no memories.
  • Inferno's struggle against Megatron's Decepticon programming? Brought to an end by having him kill himself, then be resurrected, only to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the series.
  • Kicker's hatred of Transformers? Vanishes with no explanation after roughly two episodes, save for the occasional kick to Ironhide.
  • Rodimus and Optimus Prime's ideological feud over whether Unicron should be destroyed? Rodimus puts himself under Optimus's command for the mission to defeat Galvatron, and the argument never comes up again.
  • Wing Saber's dedication to capturing Shockblast? Well, he captures him . . . but when Shockblast escapes again, Wing Saber doesn't say a word.

Many similar examples exist.

Promoting toys
Of course, any Transformers series exists to sell toys, but in promoting the abilities and gimmicks of its toyline, Energon frequently ignored common sense to the most amazing degree in order to shoehorn these concepts into a setting and story where they didn't make sense.

In choosing to set most of its action in the void of space, Energon foolishly robbed the Transformers of any real reason to transform. They can all happily fly in robot mode (in space, on planets, anywhere), inviting the question of why transformation is necessary. But, to promote the fact that the toys transform, characters would routinely change to vehicle mode anyway, even in outer space. Cue innumerable scenes of cars, trucks, and snowmobiles driving through space. Characters would even transform to vehicle mode on the ground, and then drive away into the air. Everyone could control their flight with no problem in either form, completely invalidating the need for any variety in alternate mode. Conversely, on occasions when it might actually make sense to transform to a speedy vehicle form for fast or long-distance travel, characters often choose to run to where they're going instead.

Whereas the English version of the series takes its name from the central plot element (the collection of Energon) the Japanese version, Super Link, takes its name from the main thematic concept/gimmick: Autobots powerlinxing. The Japanese version of the show contained a lot of waffling about the symbolic nature of this ("Even when one heart is weak, together, we are strong!"). Unfortunately, the fact remains that, almost without exception, these combinations are used in straight firefights, where combining two soldiers into one means fewer guns to fire at the enemy. Further, the resulting combined soldier rarely shows any sign of enhanced firepower.

Further failing to advertise the combining gimmick are the "Maximus" combiner teams. For about 90% of their screen time, the three giants are seen in only their combined super robot modes, rarely splitting into individual vehicles. The central torso units are seen as individual robots for perhaps 5 seconds in the entire series, and the show doesn't even acknowledge that the limbs could be individuals.

Production flaws
Art and animation
Energon introduced a new concept to Transformers cartoons: the blending of CGI with traditional cel animation. The animators rendered the Transformer characters in cel-shaded CGI, while animating humans and other aspects of the show through traditional means. On the plus side, this allowed for a consistently high level of cel animation quality (especially enjoyable after the often scattershot quality of Armada). In particular, the show uses the CGI to show many characters in motion at once, often with a high frame rate that gives them a very fluid appearance (for example, the many charges of the Battle Ravage Terrorcon drones, replete with numerous stamping legs and bobbing heads and tails.)

On the other hand, the CGI animation is positively primitive. Characters possess no sense of weight and can not move in any manner but the most basic. Even walking is a challenge for characters with bulky models, like Ironhide, who is often reduced to swinging his arms and legs back and forth while sliding along a predetermined path. The black-line outlines of character models were often not rescaled for different shots, resulting in the characters sometimes appearing as indecipherable masses of heavy black lines.

Additionally, "emotion" is nonexistent; the blank-faced CGI models could not easily display any facial expressions beyond "mouth open" and "mouth closed." Numerous characters don't have facial animation, even ones with mouths. Most prominent among these is Alpha Q, who has no facial animation at all despite the fact that he's basically nothing but four faces. In some cases, when it was necessary for a character to emote visibly (Megatron's pronounced yawning, Inferno's tortured screaming), or to do something visually dynamic (acrobatic transformation), the CGI would actually be replaced with cel animation, because it just looked more impressive. Does that seem right to you?

In addition, the show's CGI compares very poorly with Beast Wars and Beast Machines, both of which came out years previously, both of which were fully CGI (without the crutch of cel animation to fall back on), and both of which had characters who boasted complex, nuanced facial expressions and fluid, constant body language — even the ones with utterly inhuman faces and bodies. The only way to spare the animators' reputation is to assume that Energon's budget was miniscule in comparison.

Even within the limits of the animation, many bad editing, design, and lighting choices make the series difficult to follow visually. Unicron's body — primarily black, to match his Energon redeco toy — is frequently lost against the blackness of space. When Alpha Q energizes Unicron's head, it becomes the Energon Orb, with no visual indication as to what it used to be. Scenes set underground or within Unicron's body are commonly underlit, to the point that the characters can't even be distinguished. Strange elements such as the rift in space are inconsistently animated and described by the characters, making it difficult to figure out what they are.

Editing
At times, Energon tends to flow like a single feature-length film... a film that has been mercilessly chopped up into 22 minute segments. Thus, confusing, unclear elements like the rift in space and Unicron's dark, partially re-energized body are routinely shown in closeup without any introductory establishing shots, making it extraordinarily unclear what's happening or where for the viewer who's just watching one particular episode by itself. To be a little bit fairer, this "chopped-up film" sensation is not exactly uncommon in Japanese animated series with a defined length, but Energon is a good example of the method at its very worst.

The show's scene editing also tends to be very abrupt and choppy. Battle animation in particular routinely cuts between numerous, very short scenes, showing several simultaneous but unrelated events as if the viewer must be kept up to date on all of them in real time. This makes it difficult to grasp the significance of any of the events shown. When boiled down, this editing style often serves to mask the fact that not much is actually happening.

To make things worse for the credibility of the editors, "Scorpinok", "A Tale of Two Heros", "Improsoned Inferno", and "Deception Army" all have blatant spelling errors in the titles! Making it more annoying is that only the latter two of those four were corrected for the DVD release.

Scripting and dubbing
The original Japanese version of the show is, in short, sluggish and confusing... but at least the conversations make sense. Even that got lost when the show was ported for North American consumption.

The dub of Energon seems even more rushed than Armada, which was already known for being so hurried that dubbers were working with unfinished animation, got names wrong, and had moments of dialogue that didn't jibe with the action. Energon generally got completed animation, and usually got names right—but Misha gets three different names during the course of the show, and Downshift and Cliffjumper are constantly confused.

The rushed dub script is full of mistranslations. Though some elements obviously needed to be altered to suit a Western audience, it seems that many portions of the dub were never checked to see if they made logical sense. As a result, the script is stilted, perfunctory, and repetitive, constantly throwing in cliche, time-killing phrases like "We've gotta [repeat the plot which everyone already knows]", "Let's do it!", and "It's time to [perform some action that's already blatantly obvious]". There is arbitrary new dialogue (that seems to exist purely due to writers' carelessness) which does not match what is occurring onscreen. The final result is a show with some bizarre non-sequiturs and more than a few moments of genuine nonsense.

To cite just one example: at the start of "Team Optimus Prime", Dr. Jones says, in a frustrated tone, "I can't get back the energon I sent to Kicker. That's impossible!" The entire notion of "getting it back" is absurd on the surface, akin to trying to get back water that went down a drain; saying that not getting it back is impossible is even more ridiculous; and further, the original dialog is a passive lament, more along the lines of "It's not like that energon I sent is ever coming back." Similar examples exist in nearly every single episode of the show.

Outside of these accidents, there are also some strange deliberate changes, chief among them the tendency for Primus to be intermittently ignored. In one episode, Primus would be dubbed accurately, talking with other characters normally, while in the next, he would be deliberately edited out, with his lines erased or given to other characters, and references to him replaced with "the core". Other odd instances include Terrorcon drones having spoken lines randomly inserted in some scenes, never attributed to any one Terrorcon.

Given all of this, the quality of voice acting frequently suffers throughout the show. This can be a common result of the antiseptic ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) environment, where actors perform solo, with no one to play off. But Energon is particularly bad in this regard. Lead talents such as Garry Chalk and David Kaye still turn in strong performances, but actors for many of the secondary characters clearly struggle to make something of the material they're given, often sounding flat and uninspired, or just confused. There are many times when all the actors clearly have no idea what their lines mean in the greater scheme of things, nor any idea of what they're really talking about; the Dr. Jones quote cited above is also an example of this problem.

There's also a pronounced amount of "filling dead air," with characters talking from offscreen simply to make noise where there was none originally. Take a drink every time someone goes "Uhh?" to break the silence, and you'll be [very drunk] by the first commercial break.


If you've survived this far, here's Cybertron:
TFWiki.net wrote:Differences with Galaxy Force
In contrast to Armada and Energon, the dubs of which had stuck quite closely to their original Japanese counterparts (unrelenting plethora of errors notwithstanding), Cybertron went to much greater lengths to localize Galaxy Force. English scripts for the series were written by David McDermott, Marc Handler, Seth Walther, Stephanie Sheh and James W. Bates (but the series does not include episode writer credits, so precisely who wrote which episodes is left unknown).

On the most basic level, dialogue was frequently re-written, sticking to the intent of the original but adding many more colorful turns of phrase, flavor and character, doing away with much of the formality and unflappableness with which the Autobots handled every situation (a common trait of the Autobots in Japanese Transformers cartoons). Cybertron would also add more dialogue to scenes that were silent in Galaxy Force; in particular, the show's extensive use of stock footage was livened up with new dialogue from characters as they transformed. Paraphrased dialogue from The Transformers: The Movie was common. The show's soundtrack mostly remained unaltered; the only new music was a new theme tune recorded by Paul Oakenfold, which was often used during transformation stock footage (but not with 100% consistency) and would sometimes be extended to replace the background music of the scenes that immediately followed said transformations. In other, more sparing instances, music would be replaced with different pieces from the original soundtrack; usually, this involved replacing melodramatic or "evil" music with more exciting tracks to ramp up action sequences.

A few aspects of the plot of the series were consistently modified or excised by the Cybertron dub, while some were created whole cloth. For instance, one of most notable changes of the series was the transformation of the male Nitro Convoy into the female Override, at the request of Cartoon Network. Other examples include the removal of suggestions in early Galaxy Force episodes that Coby had an unsteady relationship with his family, and the notion that Cybertron was consumed by the black hole in the first episode (since the characters were able to return to the planet later in the series without ill effect). In terms of newly-created ideas, Cybertron justified the continued presence of the Autobots' human allies Coby, Bud and Lori after their usefulness had realistically ended by crafting the concept of the Omega Frequency, the signal of the Omega Lock which only they could hear, making them necessary in the search for the Lock and Keys. This particular example is indicative of Cybertron's efforts to make as much technical and logical sense as it could, where Galaxy Force was content to hand-wave many things off with Burning Justice. Innumerable times in the course of the cartoon, characters glow with energy that comes from nowhere; while Galaxy Force does not address this strangeness, treating it as a normal thing for Transformers to do, Cybertron regularly inserts explanations, or at least has the characters react in an amazed fashion to this unusual thing that is happening to them.

Outside of these major overarcing examples, there are sometimes other changes both major and minor made to the content of individual episodes for numerous reasons. TFWIKI.Net notes such changes on the individual episode articles.

Praise and criticism
With the bad taste of Armada and [Energon still lingering in the mouths of the fandom, Cybertron had a long way to go to make itself seem like an appealing prospect. On the English side of things, it generally succeeded: the show's dub is much more polished, lacking the myriad errors that had plagued the previous shows and bringing many distinct voices and accents into the mix, along with numerous pop-culture and Transformers references. Since the scripts had comprehensible context and some actual work put into them, the voice actors were likewise able to turn in stronger performances than they had in prior years. This effort was not appreciated by all viewers, unfortunately; those who had previously viewed subtitled Galaxy Force episodes online objected to the English dub taking greater liberties and occasionally altering aspects of the series, and were not shy about letting people know it.

Like Energon before it, Cybertron was animated using shaded CGI for the Transformers characters, and cel animation for most everything else. Though more advanced than that of Energon, the CGI still suffers from most of the problems of its predecessor, including a restricted range of motion, a tendency for the Transformers to stand around like statues, and crude walk cycles. Few facial expressions exist beyond "mouth open" and "mouth closed" (though to the animators' credit, there is an occasional smirk, smile, growl, etc. And Optimus Prime at one point manages to look furious with his mouthplate up.) The shading techniques used on the Transformer characters also means they look very strange alongside their traditionally-animated human cohorts.

There is a sense that Cybertron actively attempts to avoid the main problem that plagued Energon—that is to say, running out of plot. Consequently, while the basic plot of Cybertron is far more focused and coherent than that of Energon, its first half is quite ponderous and drawn out, especially in the case of the Velocitron story arc, in which thirteen solid episodes are taken up by race after generic race, doing very little to advance the plot. Conversely, then, in the final quarter of the series, the stories of Gigantion and Planet X seem very truncated, as if the drawn-out first half left no room to see these plots through to their fullest extent.

In addition, Cybertron delights in the use of stock transformation sequences, using them to pad out episodes like the cinematic equivalent of Styrofoam packing peanuts.

Continuity
As noted above, the Japanese version (Galaxy Force) originally treated the story as a stand-alone, unconnected to any previous story. The American version draws connections to the Armada and Energon cartoons, but various incongruities still exist:
  • In general, nobody really seems to remember the events of Energon. The Autobots act as though they've never been to Earth before and have no familiarity with its culture, despite having spent ten years there in places like Ocean City.
  • The Autobots are utterly dependent on the three human kids to help them blend into human society, when they previously had numerous human allies including Dr. Jones and his family, Rad, Alexis & Carlos, and the innumerable human inhabitants of Ocean City and the other Cybertron settlements on Earth.
  • Likewise, despite the Autobots' presence being fairly common knowledge in Energon, it is considered urgent to hide the Autobots from Earth's population in Cybertron.
  • The Energon cities themselves are never seen or mentioned.
  • Jetfire and Landmine both have distinctively different voices than in the previous cartoons. Red Alert has essentially the same voice, but with a newly added accent.
  • Formerly prominent characters like Rodimus, Ironhide, the Omnicons, and Kicker have vanished without a word; new characters Overhaul and Scattorshot appear out of nowhere; and Red Alert returns after being absent for all of Energon.
  • Returning characters are all in brand-new bodies with no explanation.
  • When he first combines with Leobreaker, Optimus Prime declares that he's never heard of two Autobots combining into one before. This is a rather odd statement, considering that such combinations were commonplace during Energon, and Optimus himself had been combining with other Autobots since Armada.
    • And a later episode hints that he combined with Wing Saber into Sonic Wing Mode before then, making this statement even more dubious, unless it's something Prime deliberately forced to the depths of his memory.
  • Nobody seems surprised that Megatron and Starscream are alive and well again.
  • The grand black hole is explained as a by-product of "Unicron's destruction". In Energon, that event happened in Alpha Q's alternate universe, a fact that's not mentioned in the show. Likewise, Cybertron was last seen in that same alternate universe. It's not much of a stretch to assume the Autobots moved it back where it came from, but in that case, why is it so close to the black hole?
  • The collapse of the Energon sun would mean that everything the Autobots fought for during Energon was in vain, and Alpha Q's worlds would die again, left in darkness without a sun and consumed by the black hole. Nobody seems to notice this little setback. To the contrary, Red Alert's report mentions an uninhabited planet that's not one of Alpha Q's planets as the black hole's first victim.

Within the show, most of these problems were never directly addressed; the cartoon simply went about telling its story without much regard to previous events. Indeed, vanishing characters and new bodies had previously occurred in the changeover between Armada and Energon with equally little attention, though the second show at least established the existence of a ten-year fictional gap between them, making it somewhat less intrusive (such a gap also exists between Energon and Cybertron, but it was never noted in dialogue in the series).

However, external material has addressed some of the problems. The Cybertron comic storyline Balancing Act, for example, Vector Prime claims that the Autobots are suffering memory problems, caused by temporal disturbances from the Unicron Singularity. Jetfire's new accent was explained on the Hasbro web site as a result of time spent on the planet Nebulon.

Energon comic
Some fans believe that the cartoon follows the unfinished Energon comic book series from Dreamwave. Unsubstantiated rumors to this effect have swirled since the cartoon's debut, though the only "evidence" comes from media outside the cartoon:
  • The Cybertron comic storyline "Balancing Act", written by Hasbro copywriter Forest Lee, is set the same universe as the Cybertron cartoon series. But the story references events from the Energon comic, such as the Mini-Con Over-Run hooking himself into the Planetary Database — a plot point begun by the Energon comic, which would have been carried through if the book hadn't been canceled.
  • The bio of the Cybertron toy Dark Scorponok references his death at the hands of Megatron, as happened in the Energon comic but not the cartoon. However, this was overwritten when "Balancing Act" depicted Dark Scorponok as being pulled into the cartoon timeline from another universe.

The idea doesn't solve any problems; most of the contradictions between the Energon and Cybertron cartoons also exist between the Energon comic and the Cybertron cartoon. The cartoon contains no references to any events of the Energon comic.

The entire notion of a network television cartoon following up on a comparatively obscure, unfinished comic book seems counter-intuitive; furthermore, Hasbro material has presented many explanations for contradictions between the two cartoons. Why bother explaining why Cybertron Jetfire sounds different if he's not the same guy seen in Energon? Why have Vector Prime explain the differences between the two cartoons if they're not in the same continuity? It would have been simpler to retract the statement that Cybertron was a sequel series.
Long stroy short, the Unicron Trilogy is FAR from being perfect. Animated definitely didn't have this many problems/changes/ oddities/notices/etc.
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Wing Saber » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:37 pm

ok, those are some pretty good points. though, instead of sitting here for 5 hours reading it, i skipped over half of it
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Re: Disappointment

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Wing Saber wrote:ok, those are some pretty good points. though, instead of sitting here for 5 hours reading it, i skipped over half of it
:lol: Yeah, it is kinda long. When you have the time, you should look into the whole thing.

BTW, I did answer your Armada/Cybertron Sideways question in the other thread, in case you haven't seen it yet.

But despite my preference of Animated over A/E/C, nothing can (and has yet to) top the awesomeness that is Beast Wars!
"When there's gold feathers, punch behind you!!"

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” -- C.S. Lewis
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