Episodic Review: Thundercats (2011) 03

I was actually on the fence as to whether or not I should follow up my initial thoughts of the series’ two-parter with episodic reviews, but having read the entirety of the Bunny Drop manga, the chances of me dropping that series after a couple more episodes is high, so I figured.

While I was glad to find that the new Thundercats hasn’t deviated from its original series as much as other reboots have, I will say that after seeing the series premier, I was still skeptical of future episodes. You know how in Holes how they say “The second hole’s the hardest”? Well the same can be said for TV episodes, too. In some cases, too much effort may have been put into the first episodes that future episodes just don’t compare. Thankfully, in this case, it seems like Thundercats is slowly picking the pace, fleshing out their characters with each episode, no matter how filler-ey it comes off as (seriously, as cool as pirate fish sounds, you can’t get any more filler-ey than that).

First thing I noticed this episode: John Williams better be credited as the music composer this episode, because the first two tracks sound a lot like “A Window to the Past” and “Aunt Marge’s Waltz” from the Prisoner of Azkaban Soundtrack (sidenote: the last HP soundtrack worth your money). Doing a quick search, it seems that series music composer Kevin Kleisch “take[s] a lot of inspiration in John Williams.” Uh… right; the same thing can be said of Dragon Ball Kai composer Kenji Yamamoto’s score and legal stuffage with Dragon Ball Z composer Shinsuke Kikuchi leading to the latest in inconsistent Dragon Ball releases. Then again, the music industry in general’s pretty wonky, so I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing happened at all. Williams is probably too busy tending to his 5 Oscars to care that much, anyway. (Wow, 315 words in and I’m pretty sure I’ve already set a personal record for most hyperlinks in a post, so uh… check ‘em out?)

I’m still not that clear as to Tygra’s relation to Lion-O. They refer to each other as “brothers,” but they seem to imply it in a blood sense rather than a chumly sense. Oh. Either I was more bored during the series premier than I wanted to admit, or that’s something that really should have been brought up before.

So the gang’s split up between looking for The Book of Omens and Mumm-Ra, completely ignoring the possibility that looking for one may lead to the other. Really digging the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender vibe here—you’ve got your ragtag “chosen” characters on a quest for one thing, while at the same time making sure to defeat the greater evil behind everything else. From what we’ve seen, it looks like Thundera’s been surprisingly behind in terms of tech, so it looks like we’ll be abandoning the whole Dungeons and Dragons motif (thankfully) as the gang travels further along. Really digging the direction taken so far.

Really digging the Naruto cloaks, too. I’m guessing it’s some kind of traveler’s standard?

And ignoring Kat’s scandalous choice of new wardrobe, I’ll admit that I like the brother/sister duo. Their quest of heading to the treasure-laden city of Aldara, which apparently Kit has the only proof of its existence, is a believable goal for the characters to be striving for and makes me wish the city does in fact end up existing. Let the records show that I’m of the opinion that Aldara will end up being like Omashu in Avatar season 2, though; no good can come from a city of treasure.

So this series’ Sword of Omens is lacking in hokey Batman light-up signal and its call seems to be more to activate its badassery than to summon other Thundercats? Fine. Though I won’t be surprised if Lion-O’s able to unlock some kind of secret powers of the sword later on; all good weapons gotta be upgradable.

The fish captain’s your typical Ahab stereotype. Still, his interactions with the rest of the characters drove the plot forward and were more helpful than obnoxious. Rather odd to find that fish people operate boats over swimming, but I guess that’s expected when your sea is made of sand.

…and the cook reminds me a lot of Hachi from One Piece, which in turn made me think of Kit and Kat as little Saiyans with their ridiculous orphan appetites. But unlike the episodes music, all the character quirks come off as more of homage than subtle ripoff.

So besides that, there’s not much else to say. Oh wait. GIANT MUTANT IVYSAUR MONSTER.

Okay, besides that there’s not much else to say for this episode. I think it’s the fact that the last animated American show I enjoyed was A:TLA that I’m bringing up the occasional comparison to it… which is a good thing. I need something to whet my appetite besides endless amounts of Avatar reruns on Nicktoons to build up for the Legend of Korra.

btw, cutesy characters are cutesy. Glad to know the creative team’s realized Snarf for the child-marketable non-speaking alien cat-thing it is.


About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

2 Responses to Episodic Review: Thundercats (2011) 03

  1. Lynx-o says:

    Hate to break it to you, but the D&D theme is prominent in this episode.
    The Dune Sea motif is straight out of the Dark Sun campaign setting (Sea of Silt), which was updated just last year for the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons.
    Thundercats + D&D = Good times.

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