New ThunderCats Series – Episode 1

As you may or may not have already read, I am not particularly convinced that the world is need of a new ThunderCats series. But in the interest of Science (yes, Science!), I decided to check out the first episode that premiered last Friday anyway. (Also because my previous rant about the announcement of the new series got a lot of hits over the weekend.)

So let’s start with the bad:

  • I spent the first 10 minutes thinking I had accidentally downloaded a Furry version of Vision of Escaflowne or El Hazard. What is this world? This is not ThunderCats, by Thundera!
Welcome to Agrabah. City of mystery, of enchantment.
  • The citizens of Thundera are complety ignorant of all things, “technology”. Seriously, guys? The whole reason the original ThunderCats were alive when their SPACESHIP crash landed on a distant planet was because they were in SUSPENDED ANIMATION.
  • Also, for some reason (and this is what irked me the most, honestly) Tigra is Lion-O’s older brother (their father is a Lion, in case you were wondering) but it’s Lion-O who is the crown prince. How does that even happen? Is Tigra a bastard? Was he adopted? Should he be renamed Ligra? Tigra’s also a lot less ghei in the new series, boo. I liked that he was kinda sexually ambiguous before. Oh, was that just me? 
  • I also can’t get over just how anime everything looks. Haha.

On to the good:

  • It takes getting used to, but it’s actually very well done. The design of the castles, the buildings are gorgeous. The animation is fluid, although the incorporation of CGI with the 2D stuff isn’t as smooth as it could be.
  • I am also a little relieved that nobody looks like wrestling rejects anymore. No one’s in speedo’s yay! The costumes don’t look as bad as I originally thought they did in the teasers, but Panthro still looks too much like Jet from Cowboy Bebop.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid production with a very promising story. I just don’t understand why it had to be a ThunderCat remake. You could replace all the ‘Cats with original characters and still have the beginnings of a great animated series.

I will admit, I got chills the first time Lion-O did the whole, “ThunderCats, HOOOOOOO!” bit.

Thunder, thunder, thunder, ThunderCats! Kamehameha!

So yeah, maybe I will tune in for next episode. For, you know, Science.

Game of Thrones

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

— Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones” is a 10-episode mini-series based on the first book of the fantasy novel series, “A Song of Fire and Ice” by  George R. R. Martin. Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, GoT revolves around the politics and intrigue surrounding the Iron Throne.

Truly, the best way to adapt a book and give it justice is to turn it into a mini-series, rather than a movie. And with so much gore and sex, this is right up HBO’s alley.

One of the biggest changes here are the characters’ ages, who are all significantly older than their literary counterparts. I am all for it as Danaerys, for example, is 14 years old in the book. That would make all her nude and sex scenes (particularly the dubious consent ones haha) more than a little awkward for me.

The costumes were just absolutely beautifully done. It distracts me sometimes, but that’s just the cosplayer in me talking. My favourites were the armor worn by Tywin Lannister and the gowns worn by the ladies at Eyrie court (despite my disgust for the Arryns).

A lot of fans complained about the casting when it was first announced, particularly about Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon as he had mostly been in comedies prior to this. But I was pleasantly surprised by Addy. Who knew he could pull off such a dramatic role, and do it so well?

And then there’s Jason Momoa.

Mmm, boy. Where do I even begin? To be fair, I was a big Dany x Drogo fan from the book before I discovered the gloriousness that is Jason Momoa.

My only qualms –and they are pretty minor– are one, the lack of emphasis on the more supernatural aspects of the GoT universe. With all the knights and lords and ladies, it’s easy to to think it’s just medieval England not in a land where there once were dragons. They introduce the supernatural elements in the first episode, then pretty much forget about it and suddenly pop up again around episode 8.

Two, I just felt there was too much sex. Granted, the book has a lot of sex too, but this felt more like the directors and producers trying to spice up a really long, rather unexciting bit of dialogue by having it done during a sex scene so people don’t get bored.

Now that the season has ended and they don’t start shooting season two til July, I have nothing to look forward to on Mondays to make them seem a little less blue. To fill the void, I’m going to finish reading the second half of, “A Feast of Crows”, which I hope to finish before, “A Dance with Dragons” comes out next week.

Game of Thrones will soon be aired on HBO Asia. The series will premier locally on Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 10pm (9pm Bangkok/Jakarta) with two consecutive episodes each week.