New Transformers On Netflix
At the end of July, the first part of the Transformers: War for Cybertron anime trilogy was released on the Netflix platform. “Transformers” for me is not an empty word. In the early 90s, I was specifically stuck in the 1980s animated series about transformers, which was shown on TV. For me, this is canon. No full-length films with Megan Fox are suitable!
Netflix has unveiled season 1 of the original Transformers: War for Cybertron anime series. I will tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of the new project for the cult franchise in our review.
Netflix’s streaming platform is increasingly focusing on animated films and TV series based on established franchises, from Fast and Furious and Ghost in the Shell to Castlevania and Splinter Cell (the franchise show has just been launched). A new project of this kind is the anime series Transformers: War for Cybertron, which will consist of three parts.
The events of season 1 unfold on the planet Cybertron, where the faction of the Transformers-Autobots is at war with the Decepticons. The leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, together with his henchmen, decides to deliver the final blow to the opponent. He plans to find a strong source of power ‒ the Great Spark, with which he can deactivate the Autobots and lure them to his side. On the brink of defeat, the Autobots under the command of Optimus Prime try to play ahead and take the artifact from the planet to escape extermination.
Season 1 of the TV series “Transformers: War for Cybertron” immerses viewers in the realities of a tense civil war that unfolded in the vastness of the planet of transformers and led to the death of a huge number of its inhabitants. The choice of the location in itself is a benefit of the project since the world of transformers is more mysterious from a mythological point of view and has more room for fantasy and interpretation than the Earth, where, for example, the main events of the popular series of films by Michael Bay took place.
The tone of the narrative of the series “Transformers: War for Cybertron” is more serious than that of Bay’s blockbusters, sometimes silly and without much regard to the plot, relying on literally and figuratively explosive action. Here, the war between the Autobot and Decepticon factions is shown at a more thorough level. The heroes of the confrontation appear before us more human not only due to facial expressions (at least in some of the characters) but primarily due to relationships and actions. Of course, the dialogues here cannot do without some kind of pretentious speeches, as in the film franchise, but in general, in the anime series, the transformers turned out to be more complex personalities than they appear in Bay’s films.
All the most famous characters in the universe are present in the series. Initially neutral in this war, Bumblebee in season 1 is given not much screen time, but it seems that his role will be revealed to a greater extent in the sequel. Optimus Prime and Megatron lead this story forward. Optimus Prime is a stumped, valiant protagonist who tries to find a humane way out of the critical situation of his faction. Megatron is a tyrant whose remnants of honor are blinded by a thirst for revenge and a desire for complete power over Cybertron.
In general, the confrontation between the leaders of the factions and their comrades-in-arms is arranged quite gloomy and tough for a project with a rating of 7+. The serious tone of the narration, both in general and in particular (for example, scenes with transformers impaled on bayonets or torture of one of the characters), the absence of silly humor, and indeed humor as such ‒ all this does not allow to call the show frankly childish in its content, so the series could be of interest to fans of the franchise of all ages.
The style and drawing method of Transformers: War for Cybertron is great for visualizing Transformers and their world. Together with the serious tone of the storytelling, the restrained colors, and the staging of some dramatic scenes, this creates a very coherent dark atmosphere for the show. However, the visual side of the project is not devoid of controversial points. The animation and staging of the fighting scenes raise questions. At times, the authors seem to be trying to show the battles between transformers realistic, but such a decision is not a very skillful implementation of an action poor in terms of fantasy leads to the fact that the fights look simple, and in some places even clumsy and boring.
Alas, the creators could not go into a creative gap in the demonstration of confrontations and transformations of the main and secondary characters. For the most part, the action and everything related to it in the series turned out to be mundane, which seems to be perhaps the main problem of this show.
“Transformers: War for Cybertron” is designed for a prepared audience that is aware of all main characters and the essence of the conflict between the Decepticons and Autobots. Without a “base” you should not meddle. I can’t boast of detailed knowledge of the MCU, so while watching it I had to google information about the Omega Supreme and the Alpha Trion protocols.
If you add up all the negative aspects of the show, here they are.
What I didn’t like about Netflix’s Transformers 2020:
1. A lot of talking and little action. Are they going to talk or shoot?
2. Three-dimensional graphics made the transformers clumsy. In the canon of the 1980s, they were nimble, but here they need time to swing …
3. The complete absence of jokes.
4. In general, a dark dull picture was superimposed on the monotonous rendering of the characters and a poor color scheme, which is why the minor characters are almost indistinguishable from each other.
5. It is clear that nothing is clear: everyone is running in search of Energon, then suddenly they start looking for the mythical Great Spark, then they run over to the enemy’s camp, then something else. It’s too complicated to be even a bit interesting.
6. Transformers without people is somehow strange…
Season 1 of the series “Transformers: War for Cybertron” is not an ideal start of the show, but still deserves the attention of fans of the popular franchise. The Netflix series will not be a dizzying attraction for viewers, but it will be able to interest connoisseurs of this universe, especially those who are fed up with Michael Bay’s films, being thoughtlessly focused exclusively on the popcorn show.