Episodic Reviews: Thundercats (2011) 04 & 05

Okay, as much as I like the heartwarming series that is Bunny Drop, one can only say so much about the series before one starts repeating um… oneself. The same doesn’t exactly apply to an action animated series featuring anthropomorphic animals. I only wish more of them were sporting eyepatches and mohawks. So yeah, if anything, expect a combined episodic review for Bunny Drop, which I guess wouldn’t be considered “episodic” anymore, but whatever.

So, IMDB tells me that Eamon Pirruccello and Madeleine Hall voice WilyKat and WilyKit, respectively. From their filmography, I’d assume that they’re actually playing their age. But then I scroll down to the part where Hall’s credited as a director and producer for three documentaries—one of them dating back to 1994, so iunno. Maybe it’s the nostalgia glasses, but I like the concept of kids voicing kid characters, even if it does result in some Charlie Brown-style dubbing every now and then.

Avoiding the possibility of them existing as grass-types in the Pokemon world, the general concept of the Petalars could have gone one of two ways: taking the serious route and falling on its face, or the somewhat tongue-in-cheek route just to play it safe. While I’m sure everyone on the writing team was fully aware of some of the ridiculously cheesy lines coming from the Petalars, it still ended up being portrayed in a way that leaned more toward the former rather than latter of ways. I like the general idea of a race that perceives time differently based on their short lifespan, but to integrate lines like being remembered “for centuries to come” just kinda brought things down for me.

…that, and the fact that you could overanalyze the Petalars’ lives to hell to the point that you’d much rather analyze the timeline of the Dragon Ball universe. I mean, you first see them in the middle of some kind of burial ceremony which takes a good couple minutes. Ignoring the fact that you don’t see them do the same for any of the other Petalars (maybe the guy that died was royalty?) you can’t avoid the fact that it must have taken their equivalent of a good chunk of their “lifetime” to hold the ceremony in the first place. It’s just… ugh… I think it was one of those concepts that’s better if you don’t think about it too much. I’m sure a chunk of the old-school fanbase was hoping the forest was enchanted to make the characters age a good chunk just so Lion-O would be closer to the same physical age he was in the original series.

So from what we’ve seen of the Sword of Omens, it’s basically the dues ex machina of the series, which I honestly don’t mind since I’ve already suspended so much of my disbelief for a show centered on anthropomorphic cats. That and well… it’s based on an 80s series, which you can only go so far with. Though that’s not to say I don’t like the series so far. On the contrary, anthropomorphic anythings put into an animated action series is pretty hard to screw up.

Oh yeah, and Panthro’s alive.

Honestly, I feel like even the series’ younger demographic knew that Panthro had to be alive. I mean, it’s 2011—I think we all grew tired of seeing the black character offed so early into a series.

Naturally, the following episode fills in the gaps, from Panthro’s Return of the Jedi-like betrayal by the hands of fanged guy, to his meeting with the rest of the crew. Understandable and enjoyable enough, but did that really mean having to leave the cutesy characters back at camp while the big kids went off to fight some kind of Ben 10 alien reject? While I’m sure Kit, Kat, and even Snarf will have their moments in the spotlight in later episodes, their exclusion in this one just stood out too much. I felt the same thing in season three of Avatar: The Last Airbender when they started leaving parts of their own cast “back at camp,” if only because it’d mean having too much on the plate to keep track of for the writers. If you’re gonna separate your heroes, at least do it in a more believable way. Seriously, if Digimon remains my standard for keeping track of multiple protagonists, then there’s something wrong.

As for Panthro himself… eh, he’s what I expected him to be. To draw something of a parallel, I had a haircut at a different barbershop than usual. The guy that cut my hair was a bald black guy. He was nice enough, and did a good job of cutting my hair, but I couldn’t help but notice a pinch of him looking down on me just because I didn’t know how to explain my haircut. It’s like he’s been presented with so much in terms of haircut challenges, that it almost seemed like a chore for him to do his job for the likes of plebs such as myself.

Panthro is kinda like that. I’m sure he’s a good guy, and his reputation as a skilled fighter seems to precede him, but to go from the King’s right-hand man, to finding that the King’s been replaced by his snot-nosed kid? It’s just not the same, and I can see where he’s coming from. Still, I prefer the company of the two Wilys over him any day. Actually, now that I mention it, I wouldn’t put it past the writers to come up with some goofy interactions between the siblings and Panthro. They’re such polar opposites, that the situation is practically being begged for.


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).

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