It's an animated series with anime-inspired artwork about a band of youngsters trying to save the world from great evil. Sound familiar? Of course Avatar The Last Airbender didn't invent this kind of story, but it has set the bar incredibly high. So how does the Thundercats remake hold up? It's enjoyable, but that doesn't mean that it has no flaws. Now that the first season has drawn to a close, here are my impressions. We'll start with the positives: the art is great. The voice actors are doing an excellent job and the battle scenes are awesome. However, the quality of the show can be a little uneven. It starts with a bang: "Sword of Omens"/"Ancient Spirits of Evil" is a great series opener. However, the very next episode, "Ramlak Rising", is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. A sea of sand and fish people on ships? I got the impression that even for Third Earth, this is weird, but we barely have a sense of what Third Earth's like - save the weirdness for later, people! Things improve with the introduction of Panthro and we get a string of good episodes, culminating in "Legacy", my favorite episode so far, which fills in backstory and has some truly awesome battles. And then we get an episode that is symptomatic of the series: "The Duelist and the Drifter". The story arc comes to a grinding halt with a filler episode that focuses squarely on Lion-O and reduces the other characters to mere cameo's. Which brings me to the show's greatest fault: character development. Nearly all of it goes to Lion-O, with only a tiny smattering for Tygra, Cheetara and Panthro (who does admittedly get some good lines). As a result, whenever the main characters get into a conflict, it feels forced. The season finale, "Between Brothers", is symptomatic of this. Much of the episode revolves around Sibling Rivalry and a Love Triangle, but both have not been explored in-depth before, so the conflict comes across as rather forced. Despite these faults, I did enjoy most of the show. It's decent, but the creators have to up their game to make it truly great.
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