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Omiverse, the fourth entry into the Ben 10 series. I'll say it's a good series and worth a watch, but it's hardly without its faults. So I'll break down the positive and negative elements of the show.
The Positive: The Gwen/Kevin 'romance' has thankfully been put on a bus, after dominating the last 2 series' in such an obnoxious way. Rook is a pretty awesome supporting character and fills the much needed role of a Badass Normal on the show. Animation is alot more fluid compared to AF and UA and thus the fights are much better. Khyber and Malware make for some pretty awesome villains. The new aliens present in this series are also pretty cool.
The Negative: The new art style can be...pretty awful at times. Several aliens have been redesigned and look vastly inferior to their earlier counterparts (Big Chill being among the worst offenders, being a bulky Hulk-like monster in this series.) Ben's character seems to have devolved. After 4 whole series he's still a bumbling Idiot Hero acting like a 10 year old and makes all the same mistakes. Come on writers, can't you have him mature a little? the flashbacks to kid Ben only serve to highlight this, where the only difference between young and old Ben seems to be their voice actor.
On the whole Omniverse is good but not great. Give it a watch, but do be aware that it's far from perfect and some asects to it are likely to grate on your nerves.
It has its own flaws, but I enjoy the lighter tone, and I like that it's trying to fix the mistakes that Alien Force and Ultimate Alien made. AF/UA had a lot of plots that went nowhere, a ton of wasted characters (most relevant, Princess Attea, who was a one-shot in Alien Force before becoming the main villain of Omniverse's third arc), and the poorly written relationship between Gwen and Kevin. I didn't hate them, but they were pretty bland, and I had enough of them.
I like the fact that the tone is closer to the original series. The art style also has a lot more personality than the previous sequels. It really gets too much hate. I was skeptical at first, but it grew on me, and it fits the lighter tone of the show.
My only complaint is that there isn't enough interaction between humans and aliens, and that Rook can feel a bit useless sometimes. But he's still an extremely likable character, and he doesn't overshadow Ben like Gwen and Kevin did.
Ironically, I don't think Omniverse would work as well without Alien Force and Ultimate Alien's blunders.
Overall, I'd recommend it to anyone who felt unsatisfied with Alien Force or Ultimate Alien.
When Omniverse was first announced I was skeptic on how they would keep continuing the series by doing the same exact thing, but to my surprise it ended up being one of the freshest part of the series. Ben 10 Omniverse may just seem like a lame attempt at making the series cash in on the original's success, but it's more than that. If you were a fan of the Teen Titans animated series you'll most likely enjoy this show. Derrick J. Wyatt's style gives the characters so much expression while lending itself to more fluid animation. One of the better aspects of this series are the amount of unique plots. Alternate timelines? Cool. A future Ben who can fuse aliens? cooler. An all out brawl between multiple Bens and a Gwen? Awesome. Every Arc offers something unique and plays on the typical formula. Along with some interesting additions to Ben's rouge gallery like Khyber, Malware, and Dr. Psychobos you've got yourself a recipe for fun. Another enjoyable aspect is setting up things ahead of time and expanding them later. A future Ben suddenly popping up an asking our Ben to help with a "time war" seemed like a one off joke at the time. Later however, we actually get to see it in its glory.
However, for all the good things this show has done there are a few minor missteps. Ben has access to every alien he's ever used. This essentially turns him into a powerhouse capable of conquering basically any situation. Energy using enemy, just use Feedback. Time user, Clockwork's got it covered. This removes the thought Ben had to put into what Alien he was going to use against his foe. On top of this, some of his newer Aliens get tossed by the wayside and only make a handful of appearances, such as Gravattack.
Overall, this series has more ups than downs. When it hits it makes a home-run, but when it misses you'll feel it big time.
Final Rating: 4/5
I've been a fan of Ben 10 since the original series. I fully enjoyed the original series as well as Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, which other fans have turned against. However, Ben 10: Omniverse is the WORST iteration of the Ben 10 series and I hate it with a fiery passion. I have not watched every episode, but I have watched more than enough to review Ben 10: Omniverse. I didn't want to hate Ben 10: Omniverse, but as it got closer to debut, I became more alienated from Ben 10: Omniverse (no pun intended). I then gave a few episodes a watch and I began to like certain aspects of Ben 10: Omniverse, but they ultimately couldn't save this show from joining Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Pokemon Black & White as one of the worst shows ever made.
THE POSITIVES OF BEN 10: OMNIVERSE
I like Rook, Khyber, and Malware. Rook is a perfect foil to Ben to the point that I like him even more than Ben as of late, and he also gets a chuckle out of me with his naivete, Khyber is a great adversary for Ben to face due to his strategic approach when dealing with Ben, and Malware is one of the deadliest enemies Ben has ever faced, making his death all the sadder since he made the show good when he appeared.
Here is what I don't like about Omniverse. First, the new artstyle. Ben 10 had a good art style, and AF/UA looked like it belonged in the DCAU, but Omniverse is way too simplistic for my tastes. I prefer detailed art in my animated shows. Second, the removal of Gwen and Kevin as main characters. There was no need to remove Gwen and Kevin from the cast. They have been major characters since the original series, so to remove Gwen and Kevin was not something I liked. Third, the way Ben and Julie were broken up. Ben and Julie's break-up was one of the most convoluted moments ever, since it was completely unneeded and stupid. Fourth, the change in tone. I liked AF/UA's darker tone, so to suddenly go back to a lighter tone bothered me. I'll take the original series, thank you. Fifth, the retcons. Ben 10: Omniverse has made many retcons to the Ben 10 franchise, supposedly to clean up the narrative, but I view it as an insult to Dwayne Mc Duffie's legacy and it creates plotholes that didn't need to exist. Finally, the character derailments. Ben is completely unlikable here due to his arrogance and stupidity. I HATE BEN 10: OMNIVERSE!
When I first watched this I thought it was some kind of April Fool's joke. But no, it turns out that the awful animation and dreadful story lines are in fact genuine. If you are a fan of Ben 10 and were looking forward to seeing Azmoth's new Omnitrix, then do NOT watch this. Its better to imagine the new aliens and features. This takes everything I loved about the franchise and trashes it completely. Yuck yuck yuck. Pleeeease make a normal series with the new Omnitrix.
Watching the whole franchise from start to finish, I can say that Omniverse is a piping hot mess, the style could have worked if it was the intermediary of Ben 10 and Alien Force, instead, it makes us raise our eyebrows and go "WTF!?"
-Rook: competent, and a great foil to Ben
-Undertown: a great idea that could been done even better with the serious tone of AF/UA, nonetheless, makes for interesting interaction.
-Return of the Plumbers on earth
-Art Style: 'Nuf said
-Bloxx: a walking Lego lawsuit waiting to happen
-Kickenhawk: no, just no...
-Ben's character assassination
-The general tone of the series just doesn't fit with how AF/UA worked, granted the last two weren't perfect, but they were far better than this. Still, fans of the 1st series do like the return to its roots
-Ben/Julie break-up, some people think it was overdue, some think that it shouldn't have happened
-Gwen/Kevin going to college: personally, I think it's a good idea seeing as how these 2 and their romance subplot became a heavy focus of the last 2 shows, they pop up now and then to make sure we don't forget them though.
I had pretty much lost faith in Ben 10 Omniverse after Rule of Engagement, and was considering to stop watching the show. But I heard about a crossover with The Secret Saturdays, which was the second crossover in the Ben 10 franchise (the first being the awesome Ben 10 Generator Rex Heroes United made by Man of Action before they started making crap for Marvel... but I digress). So, out of curiosity, I decided to check this one. Since I wasn't familiar with Secret Saturdays, I even took time to watch some episodes of the show so I wouldn't be lost.
Then the episode came up. And let's say it... the result is as disappointing as ever.
The Secret Saturdays characters are portrayed as mostly completely different from their original portrayal, Zack being the worst offender. The plot is decent, but rather cliché. What pisses me off, however, is that Ben's Flanderization is painfully obvious: his contribution to the episode mostly consists in getting the butt of jokes, hitting on Zack's mom (which I felt was more awkward than funny), getting portrayed as dumb and using the same aliens he always use in every episode (For a show that had Jetray Put on a Bus for being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, they sure don't shy away from constantly using Shocksquatch, Kickin Hawk and Feedback to the detriment of most other aliens). In fact, I think Ben only fought right in two scene of the whole episode and got ridiculized the rest of the time. And of course, the best development we could get was shallow comments about how they envy each other's stuff and Zack would like some credit for saving the world. Unlike Heroes United, we don't get to see the heroes doing any fun combination of their powers; the villain is just defeated in a very anti-climatic way by Feedback, who turns out to be his Weaksauce Weakness (Gee, who would have guessed?).
On the brighter side, Argost was fairly in-character: he had the same voice than in the original series, and acted more or less appropriately. But even he cannot save the show, and I expected something bigger than what came up.
Overall, a disappointment and much inferior to Heroes United. You might enjoy it if you are Secret Saturday fan, since most characters act like you'd expect, but don't expect Ben to shine.
So, despite my mixed feelings for Omniverse, I was actually excited when it was announced Vilgax was coming back. While an AF/UA fan, even I am lucid that Alien Force Vilgax was kinda pathetic (though he got a bit better in UA), and I really wanted to see how Omniverse would deal with him; seeing how Vilgax is a major factor in fans' opinion of AF, I thought this might be the deciding factor to say weither or not Omniverse is a good show.
When informations about the episode arrived, I had mixed feelings. I wasn't a fan of the look, since I had been expecting something more like the original show, with a gaz mask. On the other hand, I really liked the concept of Ben having to protect Vilgax while leading him to jail. Sounded like an interesting premise.
Then I got the actual episode. And while it was decent, I am... a bit disappointed.
Vilgax himself actually is quite good. He is portrayed as a serious villain, with people actually scared of him, and while he doesn't really gets to fight, he seems competent from the few parts I saw. I still don't find his look THAT good, but hey, detail. Attea was equally good, being both dangerous and fun. Some jokes actually made me laugh, especially the part about Ben asking her if she'll turn into a princess if a guy kiss her.
The problem is... somewhere else. Mainly Ben.
I really hate that they made Ben less mature and more bumbling, and it shows here. In all previous show, including AF/UA, Ben, even at his dumbest, never underestimated Vilgax. Sure he would crack jokes, but most of the time he was aware the guy was a treath (except in Vengeance of Vilgax maybe). Heck, by the end of UA, he aknowledge him as more dangerous than Diagon! And yet, here, he treated escorting him casually, mocked him constantly and was downright careless. I think it would have worked better if Ben had been serious all the episode, as to display his Arch Enemy relationship with him. Instead, we get jokes.
The second problem was the Bounty Hunters. I admit, it was great to have Sixsix back, and the three of them were at first effective. But then, toward the end of the episode, they all surrender as soon as Rook and the Plumbers show up, despite easily defeating them sooner. That was... anticlimatic, to say the least.
Overall, a good episode, but not as great as I would have wanted it.
Alrighty: Ben 10 Omniverse.
Plot: Gwen and Kevin leave Ben for college and careers, so he's assigned a new plumber as his partner. A hunter Khyber hunts Ben, and he faces enemies old and new.
I love the aesthetic, the redesigns are improvements (Psyphon and Jury Rigg in particular), or just as good as the originals, and the plot is entertaining. I really like the more colorful aesthetic and cartooney designs. This appealed to me so much, I went back and watched Ultimate Alien and the season of Alien Force I didn't finish. So yes, this series renewed my interest in the franchise.
Continuity Porn: I love it; all the continuity nods and gags. I'm a Transformers fan foremost, and that series thrives on continuity, so I tend to be drawn to it. I do however see some of the problems with it, at times it does seem rather pointless. On the whole, I find it enjoyable.
Malware is a cool villain with an enjoyable design and neat voice, I felt he was severely underutilized.
Rook had lots of potential to be a terrible character, I'm happy to say he isn't
I do miss the darker tone that the previous series had, and it has some really dumb moments, though on the whole, I can look past them, as they don't get really grating (Billy Billions's debut for example, could have been much more annoying). It does get dark sometimes, but then the humor can get really stupid next time. The seriousness is dialed back, and ultimately I find that a drain on the series.
The Errors get really noticeable sometimes, (will get to that when I write the review for Arc 3).
A few redesigns don't work for me, namely Big Chill and Alien X (The silliness of that jaw really get's me).
Julie (yes, her episode was supposed to be in the first arc). I never really cared for the character but... wow, that breakup was such a... waste? idiotic way out? Convoluted mess of stupidity? Yeah, that wasn't one of the series good moments.
Also, Ben's immaturity I feel is a big character regression, that serves to make him more unsympathetic, unfortunately.
While I like the Continuity stuff, some of it get's quite glaring when it starts to contradict (Omnitrix glitches for one, really?)
I'll admit some parts of this show are immature and down right silly but it is highly entertaining and i like the new character designs and continity nods. All in all, it's an ok show.
I have been a fan of Ben10 since the beginning. Unlike many fans, I enjoyed the sequels, especially Ben 10 Alien Force, and, while Ben 10 Ultimate Alien had its flaws, I kept watching it, and appreciated the season finale. When I heard a fourth installment was coming, I was rather glad. I got disappointed when I saw the redesign they did for Ben, since I loved his AUF look, and felt it was an error to change it. Since I consider the plot to be more important than the designs, however, I still tried watching. Now, I just reached 14 episodes, and I think I can fairly say that, so far, the show disappoint my expectations...
Don't get me wrong, there actually are good stuff. The series does a lot of Continuity Nod toward the original show (including flashbacks) and the sequels; it has an actual plot, with, I admit, a good twist, and an acceptably threatening Big Bad Ensemble. The humor is good, especially in the dialogues, and Ben finally has a competent Sidekick, Rook, who I believe deserves entirely his Ensemble Darkhorse status.
Now for the bad side.
I know I already said that, but the artstyle tend to be just horrible. I know, it worked with Transformers Animated quite well. But thing is, Transformers was a 80s show, and the designs had not evolved much, so simplifying them actually was a good thing. Ben 10 is a 2000s show, and had great designs to begin with; as a result, this just feel like a BIIIIIG regression. Some designs are good, like Ripjaw; others, like Alien X, are just awful.
Moreover, the show is, to my opinion, just trying too hard to be funny and like the original show. This has led to retcon that are just as confusing as the infamous one in Alien Force, as well as a Denser And Wackier approach. The original show sure WAS comical, but it knew when to stop goofing around. Omniverse, on the other hand... last episode I saw, especially, was just non-stop unfunny gags with a ridiculous villain I wished they had never come back.
In the end, what the show lacks, to my opinion, is depth; Ben is reduced to being a Jackass with Crouching Moron Hidden Badass tendencies, we no longer get Character Development that would make him a more interesting character. Say what you want about AF/UA, at least they did try to give him some depht in the Hightbreed story arc and other episodes. This show just reduces him to a moron for the sake of humor.
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