The premiere of Thundercats 2011

Okay, again I’m a little late posting this because of storms, but…

So today is the day Thundercats premieres. I decided that since I did this for Voltron Force I might as well do this for Thundercats as well.

Now, whereas the original Voltron was just a show I watched that I kinda-sorta liked, the original Thundercats was one of my all-time favorites. I own the original four DVD sets and I’ve been through the whole series at least twice, and really–American animation doesn’t get much better. Thundercats had it all: great music, anime-style animation, a magical sword that could pull a can of whoopass in a world where villains verged on Lovecraftian horror at times, just, everything. That show had a unique charm and atmosphere that is going to be hard to replicate.

That being said, keep in mind that this is a liveblog. I’m recording these thoughts as the show airs. I don’t have time to think about it or revise (and no, I don’t have a DVR), so these are my honest feelings.

Anyway, if you just want the skinny, skip to the section called “Final Thoughts.” Otherwise, read on:

Here’s the liveblog of Thundercats

7:00 PM – The Premiere!

7:02 – I was into this before the “thanks for the assist” line.

7:08 – Kinda mixed on Lion-O. He reminds me uncomfortably of a mix between Ariel the Little Mermaid and the 2003 version of Prince Adam.

7:14 – “And I’m gonna ring yours!” Uhhh…

7:17 – First commercial break. Okay, so far I’m having an okay reaction to this. The visual aesthetic is more like real anime than most American attempts at same and while the setting isn’t (so far) as generic as expected. And though Lion-O reminds me of Prince Adam I find he’s not quite as badly done. Tygra seems like he could become obnoxious later. But the special is far from over yet.

7:19 – So is Gandalf the Gray here supposed to be Ja… yes, that’s Jaga.

7:20 – Actually, for some reason the music and the visuals, especially whenever Wilykat and Kit are on-screen, remind me of Final Fantasy games.

7:24 – Okay, New Snarf is kinda cute.

7:27 – Second commercial break. No new thoughts at this time.

7:33 – Those blinking orbs look familiar, but I can’t tell from where.

7:34 – I can believe the technology, but the mecha kind of made me go “eh.”

7:35 – Third commercial break. My real-life cat has decided she wants to watch with me. So far this show isn’t bad but not especially great.

7:39 – I know Lord of the Rings comparisons are rather inevitable, but actually, the lizards remind me of the designs from Rankin-Bass’ Tolkien movies. I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise, considering…

7:41 – Running fast just looks silly when Jaga does it.

7:46 – Fourth commercial. And I hate to say this, but considering my previous blog entries on the subject, I actually find myself eating my words. This special only has fifteen minutes to go and so far this hasn’t been a bad premiere. Nothing has struck me as particularly ill-decided, contrived or badly-executed, and its all just kind of… well, it’s got that “Wait, I wanna see where this is going” vibe going for it.

7:53 – Oh yes! THAT is the Sword of Omens!

7:56 – (I think the time on my computer is off) Well, the pilot is over. It’s time for…

Final thoughts

I repeat:

Earlier, I predicted this show would be awful.

I find myself eating my words.

When I started watching, I was biased by both my love of the original and being tired of the constant stream of remakes America craps out like babies in a lower-class family. When I liveblogged Voltron Force everything so annoyed me that it basically became a game of finding out what else I could comment on, and I went into Thundercats thinking it would be mostly the same.

But Thundercats was different. The more I watched, the more I found myself actually watching it, and almost forgetting about this liveblog altogether. It was genuinely an interesting experience. And if the first episode is any indication, it keeps some of the things I love about the old series while mixing in new themes that actually work quite well. If I was going to make any complaint at all, it would have to be that this new series has a rather generic fantasy premise. But even typing that line, I’m like “Is that really the only thing you can come up with?” It’s not even worth trying to take a gem and make it look like a turd. The only thing that could possibly go wrong now is if the later episodes absolutely suck, and I think–hope–that isn’t gonna happen.

I never quite followed through on my words and watched more episodes of Voltron Force. I just didn’t care enough to work my schedule around it. This, though, I might very well find the will and the time, because this pilot started a train and I really want to see where that train ends up.

I guess I’ll tune in for those new episodes next Friday. I won’t liveblog them though–I’ll just try to enjoy them.

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