ThunderCats (2011): The Duelist and the Drifter
Episode 8 of the new ThunderCats… sucked.
While ThunderCats is nicely animated, that’s about all it has going for it. Story and character wise, it’s average for a cartoon of this sort. It peaked with the pilot and “Song of the Petalar” was mostly good (if highly flawed). But the rest of the series has thus far been very average. If I just wanted vapid eye candy, I’d watch Mawaru Penguindrum.
But this episode suuuuucked even in that context.
Two good things about this ep. One, the main antagonist is pretty cool. He’s a trash talking but competent swordsman. And his design’s pretty darn neat. I love that he has a twirlable mustache. Two, there were quite a few nice furry character models, although as seen in the topic pic, they’re mostly just hue adjusted/palette swapped.
Otherwise, this ep’s a pile of crap. Why? Well, in previous episodes, what diminished every episode was when they tried teaching Lion-O a lesson. In the fish pirates episode, Lion-O was in a revenge rage for the whole ep, then he snapped out of it for no apparent reason and it sucked. In Song of the Petalars, he was being a smart, stealthy leader for most of the ep, but the lesson he learned was to be a stupid asshole Leroy Jenkins. It goes on and on. The show’s only good and only makes sense when Lion-O’s not the focus. Otherwise, it becomes groan inducing and common sense breaking.
The Duelist and the Drifter is an entire episode DEVOTED to Lion-O learning a lesson. It’s the equivalent of rather than having 10 summer movies and one of them being a Michael Bay movie, they decided to have every movie be a Bay flick.
By the end of the episode, everyone becomes retarded. The Duelist went from a suave swordsman to a common crook. The Drifter who was initially decent, became meh when he revealed his backstory, and then became an absolute retard during Lion-O’s showdown with the Duelist. Oh, no wait, no he didn’t. He was only mostly retarded then. He went full retard at the end when he said he was going to return all the swords that the Duelist FAIRLY and RIGHTFULLY won to their “rightful” owners (who were presumably sub par swordsmen with over inflated egos when they first fought the Duelist).
It’s a pity that THIS is the episode that Landon chose to watch. Not that TC is an otherwise great series at this point, but it’s at least usually watchably average.