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Old 2011-03-31, 11:18 AM   #9
Blackjack
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Sideburn's Obsession
Airdate: 15 September 2001
Written By: Yukoyoshi Ohashi
Adapted By: Richard Epcar
Japanese Title: Speedbreaker's Crisis!

Synopsis:
Side Burn chases down a weird-looking red car, and Prowl tries to stop the two speeding vehicles. However, Prowl is stopped by a red light and loses them. Side Burn follows the funny red car to a junkyard, but the red car reveals himself as Megatron. The Predacons surround him and capture him. The next day, Optimus, Prowl and X-Brawn go out to search for Side Burn when they realised he hasn't checked in. The Predacon trio attack and leave a message telling them that they have Side Burn, and if they want to see him again Optimus has to go meet them alone. Despite the obviousness that it's a trap, Optimus insists on going. Elsewhere, Koji, Karl and Karl's father visit a car crushing facility. The Predacons arrive and drive them off. Koji stays behind, hidden, and sees Side Burn captive. The Predacon goons monologue about their plan: lure Optimus Prime into a trap and let Megatron finish him off. In the base, Prowl and X-Brawn convince T-AI to send the Spychangers to help Optimus Prime. Prowl and X-Brawn decide to go as well in disguise.

Prowl's ideas of a costume is an unimaginative NO ENTRY sign, which X-Brawn mocks. X-Brawn then dresses both their alternate modes in ugly paint jobs. In the factory, the Predacons ask Side Burn why he loves red cars so much. Side Burn tells a woeful tale about him with a red sports car in the past, but the red car met with an accident, and even younger when he was a young tricycle... Slapper was touched, but Sky-Byte knocks his underling in the head for believing in Side Burn's tall tales. Optimus Prime arrives, and is captured with Energon ropes. Megatron arrives and kicks the helpless Optimus Prime. Prowl and X-Brawn witness this from hiding. They contact Koji with his phone, and tells the boy to switch on the car crusher. The machine lifts Prowl into the conveyor belt (the Predacons remark that it's one ugly car) and when he's in range Prowl transforms and destroys the machine which powers the Energon ropes, freeing Optimus Prime and Side Burn. The Spychangers arrive, and the Autobots trounce the Decepticons in a battle. The Predacons retreat, and Sky-Byte shifts the blame to Gas Skunk and Dark Scream. Side Burn apologises and says he'll never chase a red sports car again. Guess what zooms by and Side Burn chases a second later?

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Side Burn, Prowl, Sky-Byte, Gas Skunk, Dark Scream, Slapper, Optimus Prime, X-Brawn, Hot Shot, Rev, Crosswise, Ironhide, Wars, Mirage
Notable Others: T-AI, Kelly, Koji Onishi, Karl

Review:
Allright, this is a little disturbing. Kids watching this probably won't get the stalker/molester subtext, but still. And all those flashbacks about him being a tricycle and stuff... this episode gives a prime example about how flat the voice actors can be. Just look at Slapper crying anime-style after Side Burn's fake heartbreak romance story. But the delivery is just about the same with any of Slapper's lines. Still, there are some nice scenes likeMegatron kicking the bound Optimus Prime. Also, one of the rarer times that Sky-Byte and the Predacon trio are actually competent. Prowl and Brawn disguising themselves as gaudy cars is pretty cute, but the whole things falls flat again due to the banal delivery. Another average episode, overlong with many unnecessary dialogue that could be trimmed out easily. The characters are becoming more likeable and tolerable. But we never got an explanation for the titular disturbing obsession of Side Burn's, don't we?

(Four out of Ten)

Notes:
The traffic light Prowl stops at has been recoloured green from the standard blue that Japanese shows normally use. No, Japanese traffic lights aren't really blue. It's because the kanji for blue and green are really similar (blue is easier to remember apparently) so animes use blue for traffic lights. Yes, it's weird. That's culture for you.

Slapper compares themselves with 'Vehicon drones', the mass produced cannon fodder in Beast Machines.

The rope used to tie Side Burn is called Energon chains after a similar gimmick in the G1 episode 'S.O.S. Dinobots'.

Prowl and X-Brawn fling their disguises away in typical anime fashion.

Goofs:
Side Burn's name is spelt as one word in the episode title, it's not a typo on my part.

Prowl is in pursuit of a bunch of speeding cars, taking over the case from other police cars, has all the sirens and lights on, but stops at a red light. At an empty intersection. What.

T-AI first says that the Spychangers are on an assignment, but when she does contact them they are in their usual hang-outs. Unless you count Rev sitting like an idiot behind an ad for himself as 'assignment', that is.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-11-25 at 05:31 AM.
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