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Old 2011-03-24, 07:39 AM   #4
Blackjack
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An Explosive Situation
Airdate: 10 September 2001
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: High Speed Battle! Gelshark

Synopsis:
The Predacon Sky-Byte steals a power cell by bursting out of the ground and eating the delivery truck. Koji, meanwhile, receives a summons from Optimus Prime, who takes him to their secret underground headquarters, and introduces him to the holographic computer T-AI. In their spaceship which is stationed underwater, the Predacon goons apparently have been stealing flashlight batteries, and shows them to Megatron, who is mulling over energy concerns. Megatron is displeased, but Sky-Byte, second-in-command, arrives and presents his plan: to recover an energy bomb that some terrorists have hidden in a red sports car in Metro City. At the docks, Kelly (X-Brawn's owner) receives a delivery of the latest red sports car... which naturally contains the bomb. Sky-Byte pursues her. Side Burn also pursues Kelly, but with a wholly different intention — to hit on the red sports car.

Sky-Byte bursts out of the ground, prompting Prowl and Side Burn to engage him. However, Sky-Byte easily flies away in shark mode, and sees the Predacon Trio trying to recover the bomb and take the credit. Sky-Byte takes the car into the air and literally tears the car apart. Side Burn catches Kelly from certain death. Sky-Byte flies towards the Predacon base with the bomb between his jaws, but X-Brawn uses a grapple line to take the bomb out of Sky-Byte's mouth. The impact causes the bomb to be armed, and Sky-Byte berates X-Brawn. Listening to Koji's suggestion to take the bomb to somewhere high up, X-Brawn does so, swinging through the city with his grapple line, then climbing up a radio tower. Optimus Prime enters the fray, and transforms into his super mode. X-Brawn tosses the bomb from the top of the tower, and Optimus uses his Power Stream attack to shoot the bomb (and a luckless Sky-Byte) out of the Earth's atmosphere. The bomb explodes. Later on, Sky-Byte begins a study of human culture to better understand their opponents, but is stumped by literature.

Featured Transformers: Sky-Byte, Optimus Prime, X-Brawn, Side Burn, Prowl, Megatron, Dark Scream, Slapper, Gas Skunk
Notable Others: Koji Onishi, T-AI, Kelly

Review:
Ah, it's so nice to see Sky-Byte as a threat, isn't it? Poor, poor Sky-Byte, second in command of the Predacons, yet the guy that everybody pushes around. Here he's portrayed as quite a threat, though. The plot in this episode is fairly basic. Predacons want energy, they cook up some way of getting it (terrorist bomb in this case) and the Autobots foil them. Sky-Byte is still a generic villain here, albeit a little more troublesome than the Predacon trio... for now. The animation is, of course, better than G1. But there are lots of things that I really dislike.

Firstly, every time a Transformer moves their arms there's this squeaky metallic sound effect. Is that supposed to be cool or something? Because it's irritating. Another one is despite the small cast (not much bigger than Beast Wars) the Predacon trio never get any characterisation other than 'pathetic, mean losers'. The Autobots, too, have personalities dictated by their quirks. Prowl thinks he's a cop and speaks in cop slangs, X-Brawn is a rough-and-tumble Southern guy who likes off-roading and Side Burn is Bumblebee, but every time he sees a red car he goes into stalker/molester mode. I never get that bit about Side Burn, and honestly it's very creepy. Most of all is Koji. Why the heck does Optimus need to contact Koji? Doesn't make sense. Average tut-tut and pretty boring.

(Three out of Ten)

Notes:
First appearance of Sky-Byte (Gelshark in Japan). Like the Predacon trio, he's a repaint of a Beast Wars toy, TM2 Cybershark to be specific. His spark crystal becomes his Tsunami Blaster, while the claw arm becomes his Shark Spike. Sky-Byte quickly became the Ensemble Darkhorse of RID, being the one thing most of the fandom agrees is good from the series.

Sky-Byte is able to 'swim' underground through concrete or whatever.

The Jaws tune plays when Sky-Byte is 'swimming' through concrete.

Also the first appearance of Optimus Prime's Battle Mode. Or Super Mode as the toy names it.

Sky-Byte has absolutely wonderful hearing, and will be one of the running gags throughout the series.

X-Brawn clearly scales the Tokyo Tower, but since RID takes place in Metro City, it is not named as such and T-AI gives its height as 500 feet instead of Tokyo Tower's near-1100 feet.

T-AI introduces herself to Koji as the daughter of the Teletraan program, a reference to the resident computer in the original cartoon. She mispronounces it as 'Teletron', Beast Wars-style.

Megatron requests that the batteries be converted into Energon Cubes, a callback to the G1 cartoon.

The Predacon base is powered by 'Transwarp Cells', the engines that allow time travel from the Beast Era cartoons.

Notice Sky-Byte reading poetry at the end of the episode. It will not be the last. The excerpts are from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

This episode features a terrorist bomb, aired one day before 9/11, and thus naturally is not aired again.

Goofs:
The damaged part of the highway that Sky-Byte bursts out of heals in the next shots of the highway.

Why would Optimus Prime summon Koji? Are the Autobots so helpless they can't figure something out without a human?

Megatron pronounces Energon as 'Ener-gone' instead of the more traditional 'Ener-john'.

Prowl's Autobot insignias are miscoloured when he catches Kelly, as well as when he thinks about what to do with the bomb.

What book has Dickens and Shakespeare on the same page?
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-11-23 at 04:33 AM.
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