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Old 2011-03-30, 06:43 AM   #8
Blackjack
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The Secret of the Ruins
Airdate: 10 May 2000
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: Gigatron's Raid

Synopsis:
Megatron and the Predacons attack Metro City in an attempt to draw out the Autobots. T-AI contacts the Autobot brothers, but Prowl and X-Brawn are busy looking for Side Burn who's taking Koji to explore some ruins. Team Bullet Train is deployed instead, and they walk through the city until they encounter the Predacon trio. Gas Skunk uses his acid breath to attack, but Railspike uses his missiles to ignite the acid, sending the Predacon, unable to stop his attack, running around and unintentionally frying his teammates. From the base Optimus Prime suspects that since the Predacons aren't raiding some energy supply, the attack might have an ulterior motive. Elsewhere, Sky-Byte explores a mountain range alone in search for some ruins that the Predacons learned about using the psycho-probe on Dr Onishi's brain. However, he spots Side Burn on the area to, by coincidence, search for ruins that Koji explains were left by native Americans. The duo find said ruins easily and enter inside on foot. Sky-Byte fires his shark missiles at them and tries to bury them inside. Side Burn detects the missiles and transforms, racing through the cave and finally dodging the missiles (scaring the hell out of Kelly in the process). He radios for help.

Team Bullet Train continues to beat the Predacon trio up, but Megatron engages the Autobots. Optimus Prime, meanwhile, goes to aid Side Burn. Sky-Byte enters the ruins, to try to figure out whatever made it so important to Doctor Onishi, and assumes that it must be a source of power. Optimus Prime arrives and knocks Sky-Byte down the stairs. Sky-Byte grabs the chest in the center of the ruins and races outside, radoing Megatron, who calls off the attack. Sky-Byte, exits to find himself surrounded by the Autobot brothers who shoot down Sky-Byte. The chest is recovered, and the Predacon retreat. The Autovots open the chest to discover the prize — a photo of Koji and Dr Onishi that the doctor had hidden in the caves the last time they were there. But more importantly, X-Brawn and Koji notes that there is a mysterious microchip embedded in the frame of the photograph...

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Dark Scream, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Optimus Prime, X-Brawn, Prowl, Railspike, Rapid Run, Midnight Express, Sky-Byte, Side Burn, Rail Racer
Notable Others: T-AI, Doctor Onishi (flashback), Koji Onishi, Kelly

Review:
A larger cast compared to last episodes and more action scenes makes this episode a wee bit better. However, again it does feel way too long that you are left wondering why the hell do the characters yap so much when the action already makes it clear what they are doing. "Oh no, the missiles are chasing us!" No shit, Sherlock. Another thing I hate is T-AI taking five minutes to contact the Autobot brothers, exchange some lifeless banality before sending Team Bullet Train to beat the Predacons up. Characters are also very... inexpressive. Even when they are surprised (with the animation implying that it would be somewhat of a loud yelp or cry in the original Japanese version) the delivery of the dialogues are often lacking, as if the voice actors just didn't bother to put in the effort, which is quite a shame as good voice acting could actually make this so much more bearable. And, uh, it always bugs me why Megatron spends so much time trying to get information about energy from Onishi's head when he could simply go to the world wide web or ask somebody else. Even G1 Megatron had the sense to just attack anywhere the humans make their energy. The first real evidence that this isn't just a poor reboot of G1 appears here, where it is revealed that, hey, we actually do have some semblance of a plot. The last half-minute deals with them finding a microchip, but it would be another ten-plus episodes until whatever the hell is in it is going to be explored. Because a fight in the 'ruins' that I'll proceed to forget after finishing this review is somehow more interesting than an overreaching plot.

(Five out of Ten)

Notes:
This episode had one of the more extensive edits post-9/11, being pulled before reaching air and is re-edited and redubbed, before re-aired. The entire beginning scene, which depicts Megatron crashing through a building as onlookers run away screaming, before the Predacon trio begin attacking buildings. The entire scene is revamped with looped animation from 'Battle Protocol' without destroyed buildings. The effects of Gas Skunk's corroding gas on the buildings is also cut out.

There's a lot of Japanese-specific gags and word puns cut out by the dub.

First appearance of Dark Scream's freeze ray, although it still comes out of his 'Center Laser!'

First appearance of Gas Skunk's gas attack as well.

Goofs:
An oddity often observed in RID. With Predacons threatening human life, why is Optimus sitting around in base? And why do Prowl and Brawn consider locating the eratsz Side Burn more important than saving lives?

On the matter, why can't T-AI track Side Burn down?

After Side Burn transforms after escaping the missiles, the smoke around his feet move very oddly.

Doctor Onishi somehow has his glasses back although they fell off during 'Battle Protocol'.

At one point Sky-Byte's segmented eye is on the wrong one
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-11-23 at 04:56 AM.
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