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Shin kidô senki Gundam W (1995)
One of the best shows ever on Toonami
When I first saw the adds for this show, I remembered thinking it looked like a cross between 'Ronin Warriors' and 'Voltron', because those were really the only two similar things that were airing on American TV at the time.
It turned out to be like something I'd never seen before, but I later found out it was something the Japanese had been seeing for decades. Five children are trained to be expert pilots by a group of rebel space colonies, and then sent to topple the Earth Government using giant robots called 'Gundams'.
This show was much more mature than anything else on Toonami at the time, with a great deal of each episode devoted to character development, and a very complex plot involving future politics. I didn't see every episode, but what I saw, I liked.
That's not to say that the show was perfect, it definitely had some problems. Not the least of which was the abundance of 'angsty' characters. Of the five Gundam Pilots, three of them were quiet, anti-social mopers (Heero, Wu-Fei, Trowa) and one was 'the sensitive guy' (Quatre) leaving only the fifth Gundam pilot Duo to inject some much needed life into the 'Gundam Club'.
The bad guys were actually more likable, and their motivations were a little more understandable. A group of aristocratic soldiers called 'Oz', they were focused on returning power back to the individual countries of Earth, rather than just blowing things up. And unlike the Gundam pilots, members of OZ actually showed remorse after killing someone. Sympathetic villains, almost a first for Cartoon Network's Toonami block.
While the hero characters of most other Gundam series were a little more heroic and a little less wishy washy, this was all we had back in early 2000s America.
As a great action show with plenty of character and philosophy thrown in, Gundam Wing certainly stands the test of time, just don't expect to root for the good guys.
What has Scooby become?!?
The first episode of this new show was on today, and it was horrible. Not only did Shaggy have a squeaky new voice that made listening to his lines torture, but it's so far away from the original concept and animation style that it's barely recognizable as a 'Scooby-Doo' show.
Even back in the dark days when Fred and Velma were gone and Scooby's nephew Scrappy was there, the team still solved mysteries. This new show instead features Shaggy and Scooby battling a James Bond type super-villain and his henchmen while living in a mansion. There's not even a van called 'The Mystery Machine' (and the teaser for the next episode which promised a transformers type robot car did NOT put my mind at ease). How can anyone take Scooby Doo and make THIS?
The show earns two point for two scenes featuring the whole Scooby Doo gang, all of whom speak with the correct voices except Shaggy, and even then I'm being far too generous.
Mario & Luigi RPG 2×2 (2005)
The Brothers are finally back!
Although I never played Mario and Luigi, I know that it was released mainly out of necessity because there were no more Mario side-scrollers to port to the GBA. Its sequel, Partners in Time, also delivers the first new Mario adventure on the DS. The eponymous partners are actually AMrio and Luigi paired with their younger selves by means of E. Gadd's time travel device. Although the action commands prevent battle from being boring, they also seem a little unfair at times, with just average enemies being a one-hit kill if you don't dodge properly, rather than just shaving off a few points like they did in Papar MArio 1 and 2. Another problem I have is that you don't spend much time wandering around towns talking to the inhabitants, as that was one of the most fun parts of Paper Mario. Nevertheless, the story is funny and the gameplay is fun, so if you're a Paper Mariio fan, or a Mario and Luigi fan, this is definitely a must buy.