Transformers Cyberverse is the next Transformers cartoon, based on the upcoming (or maybe it’s out…I don’t get to the toy section much these days) kids toy line. (They also have a new version of Rescue Bots for the younger kids and I think Power Of The Primes is wrapping up for adult collectors.) Instead of doing the smart thing and bringing it back to Discovery Family, who already pays more respect to the ended Transformers shows of the aligned continuity than Cartoon Network did with Robots In Disguise, they’ve left the show in the hands of the network that poorly aired the previous show. That’s not a good start.
Add in the fact that no CN show outside of the anime on Toonami has an episode that lasts longer than 11 minutes and it’s an even worse sign. The woman running the network right now seems to think the future is in streaming, I get that. But the only reason other shows are shorter than your average 22+ minute (not counting ads) cartoon is budgetary. Most cartoons made for YouTube don’t have the budget for a full-length show because they aren’t on a major network like, oh I don’t know, Cartoon Network? Shows on Netflix are full-length episodes, right? I don’t have Netflix so I don’t know.
What I do know is that the first two episodes, which only combined is a full episode, were posted to Hasbro’s YouTube channel so I can show you them free and legal for as long as they’re up. That’s why this ended up on Saturday Night Showcase instead of just a pilot review. So do they make up for the run time? Well….
I was hoping that preview we got was unfinished but apparently not. This is the animation we’re getting and it’s a huge downgrade from just the last show. The backgrounds are so sparse I forgot there were even mountains in the distance. The transformations look okay but the character models feel lacking compared to what we’ve gotten in the past two computer-aided or generated shows. Even Rescue Bots had decent backgrounds.
And we’re back to Bumblebee losing his voice, except in the virtual space. I think he’s supposed to be using his radio again but his new voice actor seems to be doing all the audio, so the only real difference is changing voice patterns and Bee not moving his mouth except in his mental space, which doesn’t show up until episode 3. There’s also a pacing issue based on how much space (or lack thereof) the episodes have to tell their story, which also hurts the show.
So is there anything good? I’ve seen the next two half-episodes (the first four were posted to the Cartoon Network website but my link is on my computer and if you’ve been here all week you know the problem) and I think there are two more On Demand but without an order I don’t know which one to watch next. That’s a problem because unlike Mega Man: Fully Charged the story seems to be serial in nature. There’s a progression as Bumblebee tries to reclaim his memories of not only himself but what happened to the All-Spark. There is at least potential to an interesting story, and the voice acting (at least for Bumblebee and Windblade–the Decepticons didn’t speak enough to make a good judgement) is good. There is at least a chance the show will be good despite the visual and Bumblebee’s character both being downgraded.
I don’t think this is in the aligned continuity and while that’s too bad it may be a good thing given how fall Cyberverse has already fallen from Robots In Disguise. It isn’t a terrible show necessarily and the story may end up saving the faults but I’m kind of disappointed. I don’t know if Hasbro Studios or Cartoon Network alone is to blame or both but I’m not sure this will push the toys as well as the last show would have had Cartoon Network aired the thing when kids were awake to watch it. Based on history I’m willing to blame Cartoon Network given the shows the air now, but Mega Man has much better animation. I’ll still watch it and maybe it will get past its limitations and be good but right now I’m a bit doubtful.