Animated Review – Batman Beyond (Batman of the Future): Return of the Joker

 

The caped crusader is back, all be it someone different. But hey Bruce Wayne may be old but Batman doesn’t age or die. Even in the future Gotham deserves it’s dark knight.

Story

Set in the futuristic city of Neo-Gotham in 2039 (40 years after the events of the animated series) Bruce Wayne is an old man who has retired from being Batman, but the mantle would later be passed onto High school trouble maker Terry McGinnis who now dons a high tech version of the bat suit. The new Batman went on to fight crime against villains old and new, frequently crossing paths with a gang known as ‘the Jokerz’.

In this movie the Jokerz attempt to steal some communication technology for satellites, only to be stopped by Batman. It turns out that this was an order by none other than the Joker himself who was believed to have been dead for 40 years, he then decides to try again through Wayne enterprises where he announces his return. Now the new Batman must find out what happened to the Joker 40 years ago and defeat him in the future once and for all.

Verdict

As well as keeping to the Batman of the Future theme the movie brings back the nostalgia of the original series, there is actually a part of the movie that takes place during the time Bruce Wayne was Batman and the Joker was with Harley Quinn which was good to see. There is definitely something for all Batman fans.

DC

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Animated Saturday: Star Wars The Clone Wars

Hello folks and welcome to a very special animated review on Star Wars day! So it seems fitting to review a Star Wars animation or in this case The Clone Wars. Get on with it I shall.

Story

Set along time ago in a galaxy far, far away (like everything in Star Wars), the story of The Clone Wars takes place during ‘The Clone Wars’. The Clone Wars themselves began during the events of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones when the Galactic Republic created an army of clones to combat the droids controlled by the Separatists and assist the Jedi in their fight against the Sith, this results in dozens of conflicts across the galaxy all leading up to the events of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. Along the way we are introduced to new characters such as Ahsoka Tano who is a young Padawan assigned to be taught by Anakin Skywalker in order for him to be more responsible. Plus there are other characters from the Star Wars films including General Grievous, Jar Jar Binks (sadly) and even the return of Darth Maul.

Why I don’t like it that much

As I watch the series I try to get myself immersed into the story, but it doesn’t go so well. I always get the voice in the back of my head reminding me that the series itself is just some way that George can squeeze some form of a story for money. But then again if he didn’t I would be complaining about how there is not enough of the ‘Clone Wars’ within the Star Wars universe. I also noticed that the voice cast doesn’t include the same actors that they used for the films, but that is understandable as most of these actors are busy with Hollywood. But they managed to compromise by using famous voice actors to fill in the roles, for example the role of Mace Windu originally done by Samuel L (Motherf***ing) Jackson is done by Terrence C Carson who provided the voice for the sword master in Afro Samurai and Kratos in God Of War. Plus they have guest celebrities for voices such as George Takei, David Tennant, Simon Pegg and Seth Green.

Verdict

I can think of a lot worse things to come out of Lucasfilm (holiday special cough cough), but once again I think the originals are better. But I suppose it’s good to watch some clone wars action after school, or anytime because of the internet.

So long and May the 4th be with you

DC

Animated Saturday: Devil May Cry The Animated Series

After playing the Devil May Cry reboot I’ve been starting to get into the Devil May Cry media, recently I have bought the Devil May Cry HD Collection and the Devil May Cry Animated series and here is the review of the series.

Set in the Devil May Cry universe between the original Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 4 (chronology is screwed up I know) the series starts out with Dante being hired to escort an orphan girl called Patty Lowell who is actually entitled to inherit the Lowell family fortune. This becomes an issue with his uncle who wants the fortune instead, later on in the first episode he turns out to be a demon and is slain by Dante. Unfortunately the fortune is a scam and Dante has to take care of her whilst also trying to pay off his massive debt. The rest of the series consists of Dante doing jobs to try and clear his debt, taking care of Patty, getting into more debt and eating pizzas and strawberry sundaes. There are also reappearances of Lady a Devil from DMC 3 and Trish from the original Devil May Cry which help add to the series banter and appeal. Overall each of the episodes brings a new scenario to Dante and Co whilst having subtle hints of a growing story that will all come into place in the last episodes. My only problem with the series is that some of the episodes are generally weak but the fans have asked for an animated series so it would be a shame to disappoint them.

Before I wrap this review up here is a fun fact, I actually mentioned this anime before in my High School Of The Dead Review due to the fact that they have been made by the same studio.

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(A late) Animated Saturday: Cowboy Bebop – The Movie

Before I begin the review I would like to apologize for the delay of this review, I couldn’t get to the computer on Saturday :(. So without further ado here is the review.

For this animated review I decided to do an anime like we used to do every Saturday until we broadened it up to animated shows/movies in general, to pay homage to anime I bring you Cowboy Bebop – The Movie

Cowboy Bebop is set in 2071 in the capital city of Mars which has managed to sustain life to the standard of a city on Earth, the story centers around a group of bounty hunters which are sometimes called Cowboys who travel around on the galaxy on their ship called Bebop catching criminals for the bounty on their heads. Unfortunately during the chase of a hacker with a bounty on his head for 5 million woolong a mysterious man blows up a chemical truck that releases a deadly virus killing those are infected, in desperation the government of Mars issue a massive bounty of 300 million woolong to whoever captures the man responsible for the attack which attracts the attention of the bebop crew. However throughout the movie all isn’t as it seems as there is a deeper conspiracy involved and a master plot that will cause the death of millions if the mysterious man isn’t stopped.

The characters themselves all have their own unique traits. There is the cool and slick Spike, the serious and somewhat philosophical Jet, the lady killer Faye, the child hacker Ed and Ein the dog (who is a dog). All these personalities seem to come together to create banter between the crew during their between bounties.

Most animes usually have a distinct gimmick that separates them from the rest, in this case it’s the soundtrack. Before I mentioned the soundtrack of Afro Samurai with the Hip Hop stylings of RZA and the Wu Tang clan. But for Cowboy Bebop the soundtrack is provided by ‘The Seatbelts’, I don’t have much knowledge on this band but from the soundtrack that they have provided I can say that they are good at providing a smooth sound with some up tempo styling. And I like it. 

FUN FACT: the movie title shares the name with a Bob Dylan song, which then later resorted in a name change upon US release to avoid lawsuits.

Before you start thinking this film sounds quite promising, well it is with the exception of a really shit ending. Not to spoil anything I will say that a child could’ve written it, in fact as a child I would’ve committed this sin to finish writing a story in a hurry. Plus the ending gives me a thought that I can’t get out of my head, no matter how hard I try.

So if you want a great film with a not so great end, Cowboy Bebop – The movie is for you.

DC

Animated Saturday: The Bravest Warriors

From the great mind Pendleton Ward we have an animation that isn’t Adventure Time (don’t worry that review will come in the future), this is the Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover.

File:500px-Bravest Warriors official designs.png

Story

The Bravest Warriors is set in the future and revolves around 4 heroic teenagers known as the Bravest Warriors. The average day for the bravest warrior would be going round space to save alien races from peril and destruction, but there is time for them to chill in their invisible hideout on Neo Mars. The four warriors (from left to right) are Danny, Chris, Beth and Wallow who each have power animals of a Dog, a Bee, a Cat and a Falcon which help these brave warriors fight the forces of evil wherever it may be. At the invisible hideout there are the two pets ‘Catbug’ and ‘Impossibear’ who are written so well you could write a lot of episodes based on just them.

One of the charms of the Bravest Warriors is that each episode has something new going on, in episode 9 they have to save the aliens of Bunless 9 from 100 years of war and darkness by getting to sentient beings to fall in love whilst they are physically manifested in Chris and Beth’s butt (that’s right their butts).

All new Bravest Warriors episode, “The Bunless”
Be sure to watch the animatics for the episode which is one of the first steps the animators take, when drafting up an episode.
Bravest Warriors airs every Thursday, on Cartoon Hangover

There is also that sense of happiness that you would get from watching Adventure Time, it’s good that Pendleton Ward has managed to capture that essence and put it into his other projects. This is why I actually starting to prefer his work over Matt Groening’s and that is saying something. So if you’re on YouTube trying to find Adventure Time episodes come on over to Cartoon Hangover and watch the Bravest Warriors instead.

DC

Animated Saturday: Regular Show

If you were to say to your friends “Hey guys I found this funny ass show on Cartoon Network!”, the response you would most likely get is “Dude everyone knows about Adventure Time, keep up”. But I am saving that review for another time so here is the next best thing, Regular Show.

Regular Show is about two best friends Mordecai and Rigby who work as groundskeepers at a park, although the term ‘work’ is kind of used loosely considering that they get up to hijinks instead of actually working (almost forgot to mention that Mordecai is a bird and Rigby is a Raccoon). Other workers in the park is huge round headed man Pops, Mystical White Yeti Skips, Fat Green thing Muscle Man (yes I know the irony), High Five Ghost who has a hand on top for High Fiving and walking Gumball machine and park manager Benson. There are also support characters Margaret the love interest of Mordecai and Eileen who is a mole (apparently). 

What gives the show material is that the hijinks of Mordecai and Rigby usually result in a weird, over the top situation which in some cases become supernatural. For example in one episode Rigby changes his name to ‘Trash Boat’ after inspiration from a rocker named ‘The Urge’, when people found out about Rigby’s name change he became famous for the wrong reasons which eventually resulted in a future form of the Urge to travel back in time to kill Rigby. Plus the mystical Skips tends to have a wide knowledge in supernatural arts which helps fix the problems caused by Mordecai and Rigby. It’s this random, over the top scenarios along with humour that can relate to adult themes in some cases that makes the show appeal to older and younger viewers. In fact the show actually won an Emmy and has been nominated for Annies and even a BAFTA.

Unfortunately there are no DVDs that aren’t region locked for America so us Brits will be losing out slightly. One day they’ll release region 2 DVDs and I will be a happy boy when that day comes.

DC