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Old 2011-04-09, 12:41 PM   #15
Blackjack
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The Ultimate Robot Warrior
Airdate: 21 September 2001
Written By: Kazuhiko Godo
Adapted By: Richard Epcar
Japanese Title: The Ultimate Extreme! The Large Buddha Statue Transformer

Synopsis:
As Megatron probes Doctor Onishi's mind with the psycho-probe, he finds mention of a 'Cave of the Dragon'. Believing it to be something important, Sky-Byte orders the Predacon trio to look into it. Gas Skunk, trying to watch TV, stumbles upon a news broadcast showing a giant statue that changes into a fire-breathing dragon. He races off to inform Megatron and Sky-Byte, missing the end part of the broadcast that says it's a Hollywood effect for a movie. Thinking that this is a powerful Transformer, Megatron sends his troops to recruit him. However, the bumbling Predacons are unsure where the Cave is and begin to attack random statues and trying to get them to transform. Slapper is accosted while assaulting a statue, and the Autobots' denials about knowing about a massive robot only serves to confuse Slapper further. Koji mentions to the Autobots in their base that there are statues in the Cave of the Dragon, which has also been mentioned in Doctor Onishi's microchip. The Brothers are sent to investigate.

Side Burn chases Kelly in her red sports car as usual, and in doing so runs into a thick fog bank, as well as Sky-Byte, who has located the cave. However, they see a massive figure obscured by the fog... and vanishes. Sky-Byte reports to Megatron, who isn't impressed when Sky-Byte shows him an empty space. T-AI explains to Side Burn that it is more special effects courtesy of the Hollywood crew's set. This gives Optimus Prime an idea. As Sky-Byte explores the cave, he sees a giant, slumbering dragon... who is actually Railspike and Rapid Run in disguise. He runs away screaming then the dragon begins to chase him. The Autobot Brothers attack the Predacons, claiming to be defending a sacred place. When the fake dragon comes out, the Autobot Brothers pretend (badly) to be afraid of it. The Brothers 'retreat', and the Predacons try to attack the dragon... who then 'transform', with the aid of smoke effects, into a giant statue made up of Midnight Express and Optimus Prime under what amounts to a cloak and a mask. The statue fires missile storms at the Predacons, but falls down and can't get up. Tow-Line and a smokescreen helps Midnight Express to stand up, and Optimus Prime jumps out from 'behind' the robot and drive off the Predacons. Back in the cave, the Autobtos discover that one of the real statues has a Cybertronian artifact in its forehead, with Optimus identifies as an 'O-Part'.

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

Review:
Waaaargh. Horrible. Sure, there are some funny moments like the Autobot Brothers failing to act properly, or Midnight and Optimus falling down and couldn't get up, or Slapper's solo act against the Autobots, pr Gas Skunk's attempts to get proper TV reception. But that's about it. The rest of episode's concept is silly, overblown, and a way to revolve around a joke that's lost its punchline when the broadcast reveals that it's only a Hollywood effect. It's boring. It doesn't help to rescue the inherent stupidity of having robots dress up with magic 'anime cloaks that happen to look realistic'. And using Buddha statues? I'm not Buddhist, but I'm sure there's a lot that would think that it isn't much of a gag episode and feel offended by Buddha spitting out missile barrages. All you get this episode is to see how big of jerks the Autobots are and how incompetent the Preds are. Poor Predacons. Basically it's a gag episode that takes up three times as long as it has any right to be.

(One out of Ten)

Notes:
First appearance of the O-Parts (mighty silly name), which would be the main plot device for the next ten episodes or so.

The psycho-probe is based on a similarly-named device in the G1 episode 'The Girl Who Loved Powerglide'. Unlike Astoria Carlton-Ritz, though, Doctor Onishi doesn't jinx machines and it successfully reads his mind.

While the Japanese dub have no qualms about doing so, Robots in Disguise declines to mention that the events take place in China, or that the statues involved are Buddhist in nature.

Side Burn chases Kelly across the Great Wall of China, but like Tokyo Tower and the rest it is never identified by name in RID.

Optimus Prime mentions a 'Golden Age', a reference to a period in the original cartoon that is also referred to as such.

When posing as a statue, Midnight Express uses his Rail Racer arms to look bigger.

The microchip was obtained by the Autobots in 'The Secret of the Ruins'.

Goofs:
How can the Predacons, who had displayed rather acute senses of location (able to locate locomotive D-5 as the plot demands, able to hack traffic computers, et cetera) not figure out where the 'Cave of the Dragon' is?

Hollywood or no Hollywood, you can't just make a gigantic Buddha statue bigger than a bullet train disappear just with a bunch of pulleys and strings.

Do the Predcaons take that long just to enter the cave? Surely the Autobots can't set up that elaborate set-up in five seconds, can they?

How does Optimus' crazy missile barrage go out of the statue's mouth?

At one point both of Sky-Byte's optics are segmented instead of just one.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-11-25 at 05:54 AM.
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