If you’re a G1 fan, I want you to think back to how excited you were for that first live action movie. It ended up being good, but not quite all that it could have been. Everything after that just seemed like a sharp drop off of a very tall rollercoaster. The question then became: when will we finally come back up? We finally have that answer.
Netflix will release Transformers War For Cybertron Siege this Thursday, July 30th. This is the first of a three part anime series that begins in the latter stages of the Autobot/Decepticon War, set prior to the events of G1. I got a chance to see it a bit early, so let me share some spoiler free thoughts.
First off, this might be the most real and grounded Transformers adaptation to ever hit any screen, period. Both sides are dealing with real issues, both societal and political. Issues of trust, loyalty and honor all factor in to this story. This is not simply some story about robots who fight each other, blow stuff up and make witty remarks from time to time. This is war, in the face of annihilation, and it feels like it. You actually see these characters dealing with these issues, and the story is actually allowed to play out. This anime series isn’t afraid to let this great script tell the story, and not solely rely on big action sequences.
Don’t take that as a slight to the visuals. The trailer gives you an idea, but you don’t get an idea of just how gorgeous this presentation is until you see the episodes in full. The battle sequences are good, but the visuals really shine in the aftermath. Seeing the toll that these battles take, seeing what it does to the beings of Cybertron and to the planet itself, reminds me of watching a classic war movie. It also helps the pacing of these attacks feel more realistic too, which is also a nod to the editing crew.
As FJ DeSanto told me in my interview with him (from Episode 326 of the podcast), we also see how Optimus Prime and Megatron both deal with their people. The story also doesn’t gloss over the fact that, these characters have more of a history together than this current conflict. I loved seeing the story early on involving Ultra Magnus. Seeing how Starscream slowly evolves was also very entertaining. What I’m trying to tell you is, prepare yourself for real character depth beyond your leaders. This is a good reminder that Transforms isn’t fueled on Optimus Prime and Megatron alone.
I could honestly go on and on about how many things this series got right. As a G1 fan, I was captivated and I was moved. If you are a new fan, this will give you the information you need to jump in and not be lost. You will have to peel the onion a bit if you’re going in cold, so don’t judge this based on one episode if you’re not deep in the lore. Enjoy the wonderful writing and the talents of the voice cast, and I promise, your questions will be answered. The best part is, we know we still have two more pieces of this trilogy to look forward to. As far as starting points go, this was about as good as it gets.
Photo Credit: Netflix/Rooster Teeth