Welcome to my first article in this new series about watching the cartoons I used to enjoy growing up to see if they stand the test of time. I'm going to be watching a couple of episodes each week and then on Thursdays I will be discussing my findings on the show. Hopefully it lives up to the nostalgia I have for the show. As far as rules for choosing the series goes, it has to be a show that I watched when I was a kid, it had to be aired on Saturday, preferably on either WB Kids or Fox Kids, ABC Family is also acceptable, but really that was the red headed step child of the Saturday morning cartoon channels in the 90's. Now I'm kind of cheating with this one, I already know it's still pretty good, but because it's the first article in the series and it's also the first article I'm writing for main TAY! I'll let it slide this week. I'm also going to announce the series I'll be watching for next week at the end of every article so that you can watch along with me if you'd like and discuss on Thursdays.
Season 1 Episode 1
Right upon start up of the episode I realized how solid the animation was in this series, Jackie's martial arts are fluid and facial expressions are exaggerated, but believable. The opening sequence in the tomb where Jackie discovers the shield, sets both the tone for the series, mildly comedic, but also action based and it also sets up the plot going forward for the series. The introduction to Uncle made me remember exactly why I love that character! Oone More Thing, his dynamic with Jackie is probably the best part of the series, next to the action itself. I won't bother with breaking down the rest of the episode piece by piece, but it displays that the three henchman for the main antagonist are totally pathetic, introduces Jade (who's pretty annoying in this episode, but if I remember correctly gets better as the show goes along). The episode also introduces Section 13 and the main conflict of the season with the 12 magical Talismans. Plus any episode with mystical ninjas and a big sumo wrestler looking dude is awesome.
Season 1 Episode 2
I get the feeling that this episode is going to be a bit rougher than the first episode, mainly because Jade is absolutely annoying in this episode. She does get better as the episode goes on, but wow what a weak start! And what a ridiculous way to lose the Talisman wouldn't you realize you swallowed a giant stone hexagon?! O.o I forgot that the show also tried to teach a moral within each episode, I guess it was a children's show and they're like mandated to do stuff like that. The show also had guns in it although it wasn't used, I thought WB censored stuff like that out? The fighting in this episode was just as fantastic as the first. Shendu as a villain is interesting and it keeps building the lore of the show. Plus, shadow ninjas always a plus. The skateboard chase scene was an impressive bit of animation and it seems like the show runners have a good grasp of what makes an interesting angle. Also she jumped a truck on a skateboard! Whoa! Maybe it's because of the Rooster Talisman and she just doesn't know it. I forgot that it was the power of levitation, I thought I remembered it being super speed. Ah well, C'est la vie. Uncle didn't have many good moments in this episode which is a shame, because it's the last one I'm watching for the article. Oh, even better it's not levitation it's telekinesis. Cool. Also Fish Nunchakus.
Overall the series lives up to the nostalgia factor that I remember from when I was a kid, It's an extremely entertaining show, and it builds upon it's world episode after episode. Cool stuff.
Next week I'm going to revisit Xiaolin Showdown, if you guys want to join me :)