Reviews: The Powerpuff Girls 2016

The Power Of Four Review (spoilers)

When I heard that a fourth Powerpuff Girl was being added, I wasn't really surprised because I knew what this was: A ratings stunt meant to bolster the show's views. The show decided to go The Fairly Oddparents route and shake things up with a new character because that worked so well for them, right? But I decided to wait until the special aired before making any final judgments. And after watching it, I can say that it turned out to be better than I expected. It's not perfect, but not as bad as everyone feared.

Pros:
  • Him being the main villain of the arc was quite the unexpected twist and the fight with him is easily one of the best fights in the whole series due to it not being a big anticlimax and being a hilarious parody of the Magical Girl anime.
  • When I first read the premise of the episode, I thought the Professor would be written out of character, but I'm pleased to say that that didn't happen. Outside him him zapping Bliss with his immobilizer, which I thought was a pretty dickish move of him, he's still the same caring dad we know and love.

Cons:
  • The schizophrenic tone of the special. It really felt like the writers weren't sure whether they wanted an action or a comedy. Every time they try to do something serious, they always force a joke in, causing a Mood Whiplash that ends up ruining the scene. It's only when Him appears does the special finally seem to find a balance.
  • Earth Plow, the Gnat, and Chipmunk Commando were unnecessary and annoying villains that served no other purpose than to lengthen the time of the special and beat the girls so Bliss can be the one who saves the day.

Bliss: Of course, I can't end the review without mentioning the newcomer herself. First off, after watching it, I can say that she's not a Token Minority nor an attempt to force diversity into the show. While her design had me raising an eyebrow at first, I quickly got used to it as she was older than the others being the first Powerpuff girl. Honestly, the only real problem I had with her was that her backstory not only felt forced, but completely contradicted the established canon with her being best friends with Mojo, Professor being in a rivalry with a lazy Distaff Counterpart of him, and him repeating the same accident 22 times.

Overall, I give this a 7 out of 10. It's good, but there was room for improvement.

A rocky start but its not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Gotta say I was surprised when they announced PPG was getting a reboot and yes like a lot of fans, I was disappointed they didn't invite the original three VAs of the girls back to reprise the roles And a new style? Didn't mind that either, to me the original style wasn't that noteworthy other then being more angular in designs (seriously compare the old series with Dexter's Lab original run, not much of a difference). The original cast was still recognizable so I had no problem. The changes weren't major, so I was still intrigued where this new version could go. Now that it finally premiered, what's the verdict? It's...passable. The charm of the original series is pretty lacking, I'll admit. At the current of this review, there's not a lot of focus on the original villains and some of the girls personalities are iffy (Blossom Super OCD, Buttercup being a Deadpan Snarker and Bubbles love of cuteness kinda making her a bit more girly then usual). The newer villains likewise are pretty bland in comparison and none of them stand out. And the show's fighting edge that the original showcased has been tone down a bit.

That said there some good points, the animation (when it isn't showcasing errors) is smooth and I like the animesqe design, giving the girls some more fluidity. The show does try to keep to it original roots of being an off-beat superhero series, and some of the eps did make me chuckle (And NO, I don't care about the internet memes. They're quick gags and don't linger long. Trust me there are much lamer cringe worthy jokes, people. Stop focusing on such trivial things). The new voice actresses are pretty good too, they're getting into their role nicely and aren't bad at all. Though could be more distinctive and emote a bit better. But hey still a first season, so they have time to improve (hopefully).

Overall, yeah it's nothing like the original series, but not the worst cartoon out there (and if you say it worst then Teen Titans Go, you are horrendously wrong. The difference between these shows? The writers on PPG '16 actually care. And yes. I'm well aware of the crossover with TTG, I'm just chalking that up to being a network stunt). If you can get past the knee jerk reactions over the errors and memes, you can see there is potential here. Despite the flaws, I am intrigued to see where this new version will go and hope that the staff will be able to address previous mistakes. Nothing great right off the bat, but doesn't mean that automatically makes it bad. Time will tell.

Horn Sweet Horn

Ever since my last review, I decided to watch some of the other episodes in light of hearing about this show's flaws. I considered updating my review, but decided against it. After all, my opinion of the show remains unchanged. It's not a terrible show, but it has gotten off to a terrible start. So instead, I decided to review a single episode. And what better episode than "Horn Sweet Horn", the episode everyone seems to loathe. There are very few pros, we're just gonna see how this episode messed up so badly.

Plot: On paper, the plot is relatively simple: Bubbles meets a pony named Donny, who wants be a unicorn. Bubbles convinces the Professor to change him into a unicorn, but things go wrong and Donny becomes a monster who Bubbles must stop. Again, simple plot right? But despite its simplicity, it still screws up in two major ways:

  • Making it into a Transgender-themed episode: Now, according to the writers, this wasn't supposed to be a Transgender-themed episode, but the producers insisted that it be one. Well that's the main reason why this episode is so despised. The episode was meant to send a message about self-discovery, but the part where Donny turns into a monster basically sends the message that transgender who attempts to change themselves will suffer horrible choices. So the writers pretty much fucked up a moral in the worst way.

  • The two Ass Pulls at the end:
    • 1. The group of unicorns appearing at the end and magically returning Donny to normal and repairing the pickle museum sounds like something straight out of a bad fanfic. But then again, this whole episode reads like a bad fanfic.
    • 2. Donny revealed to be a unicorn all along. Not only is this a cop out of epic proportions, not only does this undermine the entire goddamn moral of this godforsaken trainwreck of an episode, but the fact that none of the characters even bothered to look under Donny's hair displays a level of idiocy that is just migraine-inducing.

  • Characters: It's not just the plot that's fucked up, it's the characters too.

    • Bubbles: To say Bubbles acted like a bitch in this episode would be putting it mildly. She basically forced Donny to change who he is just to be friends with a unicorn and prove to people that unicorns are real. Her Mea Culpa at the end did very little to make up for her attitude in this episode.

    • Donny: If I could describe Donny in one word, it would be "idiot". He immediately trusts a girl he just met, completely trusts them with a life-altering procedure, didn't bother reading all the warnings the Professor gave him, and still has the gall to blame Bubbles? Hey genius, Bubbles was a bitch for coercing you into this, but you were the moron who trusted her. This whole plot would've been avoided if you didn't act like a dumbass.

Conclusion: This episode earned its place on the Dethroning Moment of Suck page and deserves the hate it gets.

A disappointingly mild version of the original.

How could one not be excited about a reboot of The Powerpuff Girls? The people loved it, it made lots of money, and there was plenty of potential for it to be great.

Mistake #1: All the original voice actors are still alive, and yet they brought in new voice actresses for the girls without even asking the old voices to come back. What did you think they were going to say, Cartoon Network? "No, I hate free money"?

But I digress, as this isn't a huge issue with the show for me. The new voice talent does a pretty good job.

Mistake #2: Memes. I like memes as much as the next guy, but when they're shoehorned in at random spots where they really don't fit, and they're not even relevant to the time period the show is airing in (when's the last time you heard "I literally can't even" or "me gusta"?), perhaps you should reconsider placing them in your cartoon.

Mistake #3: Perhaps my biggest issue with the show, the fact that it's Lighter and Softer than the original PPG. Part of what made the original so cool was that it was these little girls dishing out some pretty nasty violence. In this reboot, probably to maintain a Y7 in today's sheltered society, there isn't much violence, and when there is it's very toned down from the original. (Certainly no blood, and you rarely see any actual impact.)

Everything at the reboot feels so polished and sanitized and it never feels like there's any real intensity or threat.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I liked Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z better.

Overall Score: 5/10

Not Bad

I remember hearing about this reboot a few months back. I watched Pieguyrulz's video titled "5 Reasons Why The Powerpuff Girls Reboot Will Likely Suck". He gave some pretty convincing reasons, but he also said he'd wait until the show aired and judge it on its own merits. Likewise, I decided to do the same. And now that I've seen some of the shorts and the first two episodes, I've found the show to be surprisingly good. It's definitely not the Powerpuff Girls we grew up with, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

Pros:
  • The opening theme and intro is fun to listen to and awesome to look at and it provides an interesting twist to the original intro.
  • The setting being more modernized (The girls are in elementary, the PPG hotline is a cell phone, etc) kinda gives the feeling that the show is growing up in a way.
  • Despite it being a reboot, the original cast is still around, and I'm curious to see some of the new villains that will be introduced.
    • Likewise, the show's original formula is still around. The girls fight monsters and go to school and save the world and stuff, the interactive narrator is still here.
  • The animation is pretty okay.
  • The show can be pretty funny at times.

Cons:
  • About the only real flaw with this show so far is that the original voice actors for the girls have been replaced. The new actors aren't bad by any means, but the thing is that the girls sound completely identical to one another and there isn't much differences in their voices. This is even more jarring with the fact that Tara Strong volunteered to reprise her role as Bubbles (Bubbles was her favorite role) and was turned down.

Overall, like I said, the show is definitely not the Powerpuff Girls we grew up with and the girls' voice actors will take some getting used to, but so far the show is turning out to be good and it's worth a watch if you're curious.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/reviews.php?target_group=WesternAnimation&target_title=ThePowerpuffGirls2016