For 800 years The Ninja has protected Norrisville. Unbeknownst to the citizens every four years the mantle of The Ninja is passed to a new person, which is ninth-grader, Randy Cunningham. Now he must learn how to use his ninja powers to protect his city from an ancient evil.
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja has several things going for it; a unique look, a great voice cast, and some truly funny jokes. The unique look of the cartoon is mostly credited to Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Invader Zim. Jhonen’s design style is very unique which makes Randy Cunningham stand out from most cartoons out there. Another point in its favor is the voice cast, which is stellar. The cast includes Randy himself voiced by Ben Schwartz of Parks and Rec fame, John DiMaggio from Adventure Time and Futurama, Kevin Michael Richardson from Teen Titans and Green Lantern the animated series, and of course, Tim Curry of Home Alone 2 and Clue fame plays the main villain (even though he only does it for the first season). Because of the pedigree of voice actors, the cartoon never feels dull or that comes from the actors are phoning it in. In fact, it seemed that the voice cast had fun with their characters especially Ben Schwartz. Finally in a world where cartoons and animated films seem only to rely on fart jokes Randy Cunningham also does. Though every once in a while the show can have some really funny jokes which made me laugh that wasn’t fart related. These would usually come from Randy and his pal Howard which is important cause it made you like the characters. I also want to make an honorable mention to another weird but fun part of the cartoon which is the unique sayings they have throughout. These include everything being Bruce or calling people a shoob. I like that they added their own kind of popular language to the characters. It gives the world a special feel even if it’s a bit confusing at times what they actually mean.
While Randy Cunningham is an interesting take on the high schooler hero genre unfortunately it isn’t the best example of it. Many shows have come before it and done a similar story better like Kim Possible and Danny Phantom. This doesn’t make it a bad show by any means just a show that had a lot of potential but never used it correctly. Most of my problems with the show stem from there not being any real character growth. Every episode of the series sees Randy learning a lesson but you never see him grow as a character. Likewise the show puts forth a lot of great questions that if answered would elevate the show quality wise while building the world but they never really answer those questions they just kind of leave it hanging. Some of these questions include: why was Randy chosen as The Ninja? Why is McFist, one of the villains of the story after The Ninja when he already owns the town for the most part? Where are Randy’s parents? I believe if they would have answered some of these questions and given the characters some growth through the series it might have made this a classic. Unfortunately, it just falls short of that and with some other classic shows doing it better it can come off as forgettable.
Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja has a lot of things going for it; a great voice cast, interesting ideas, and a unique animation style. Despite these great things the show falls short due to its lack of character development and world-building. By no means is it a bad show and I say check it out on Disney+ if you get the chance. Just know that it’s not as good as it could be compared to other shows that have come before it and use the teenage superhero trope better.
Pacopolis is under constant attack by an army of ghost from the Netherworld and there’s only on yellow hero who can stop them, Pac-Man! Along with his friends Spiral and Cylindria and a slew of other allies Pac will have to face off against Lord Betrayus and his underlings to save the city and quite possibly all of PacWorld from certain doom.
Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures is a very interesting example in how to have a good foundation of a story but not use that foundation to an advantage. On the positive side this animated series looked pretty good. It had imaginative world that looked both colorful and bright but also used iconography from the real Pac-Man games as intricate designs for everything from the streets to the buildings. Another thing I enjoyed about the show is Pac-Man’s powers. I like how he eats different berries to gain different abilities and I also liked that his friends could eat them too but the berries effected them differently than Pac-Man. All of Pac-Man’s transformations look pretty cool even if they kind of looked like another round video game character named Kirby. One of the more unique aspects of show was a really good set up for the characters with compelling backstories that took a lot of great liberties that could have led to attention grabbing storytelling.
The negative side of Ghostly adventures is a lot of wasted potential. Something that could have been great but turned out not so much. The biggest problem I have with the show is that it never reaches its full potential story wise. Instead of building on the wonderful foundation that the creators of the show made with compelling backstories that could had led to potentially fascinating episodes. They almost completely ignore it and only refer to it occasionally. Another example is the humor. There is a lot of good jokes in this show that made me laugh. My problem is when they start focusing heavily on burp and fart jokes that over stay their welcome. Another good example of wasted potential is the animation. While the animation looks good at times the lip sync isn’t right and most of the time breaks the illusion. Finally, and I know this might seem like a minor gripe but the theme song isn’t good. A lot of shows have great theme songs that either set up the premise of the show or are such a great ear worm that you can consistently hum it to yourself. However Ghostly Adventures doesn’t have one, in fact, it seems like the theme was either thrown together quickly or edited so poorly that it just doesn’t work. So much so that I just tried to skip the theme song every time so I didn’t have to hear it. The Pac-Man games all have a wealth of amazing music and it would have been so much better if they’d just used one iconic tracks and just gave it a remix. As you can see Ghostly Adventures has a ton of wasted potential that stops it from being great.
Is Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures worth watching? If you’re a very young kid like five or six years old, the answer is yes. The colorful world and characters are enough to grab any young kid’s attention. For older kids and adults however I can’t really recommend it. Which is sad because of the potential you can see in the show. A potential that could have reached a wider audience with its story and characters. If you want to check it for yourself out the easiest way is to stream it on Netflix or watch it the reruns on Discovery Kids. There are better shows out there that masterfully bridge that gap between kids and adults but Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures isn’t one of them.
(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)
Trapped by Maul and his forces in the underground beneath Mandalore Ahsoka faces off with the former Sith Lord for the first time. Rex and the other Clones save Ahsoka after she finds out that Maul was trying to lure Obi-Wan and Anakin to Mandalore. During the rescue they are unable to capture Maul and he gets away. Ahsoka continues her pursuit of the former Sith while Maul himself kidnaps a Clone trying to learn more information about Ahsoka and starts preparing himself for the on-coming storm that about to sweep the Galaxy. Will Ahsoka catch Maul before his plans for her come to fruition?
You know that moment before a really bad storm hits? When the skies are dark grey or even black, the wind has picked up, and there might be a light rain. You can almost just feel the on-coming storm in your bones. That’s how I felt through this entire episode. You know what’s about to happen and you can just kind of feel it in your bones. It’s the anticipation that makes you both excited and a little scared for what’s to come.
Like the previous episode this week’s felt so very cinematic and the writing is just as impressive. I want to give a specific shout out to the Motion Capture they used with Ray Park. For anyone that doesn’t know Ray Park is a famous actor and stuntman that played Maul in Star Wars Episode One and Solo and he is known for his cray amazing martial arts skills. They used motion capture of Ray to get Maul’s movements just right and it really paid off. Though if I could make a small gripe there were tiny seconds of time where the animation looked a bit off from the visuals. Yet it didn’t distract too much from the episode it was just slight moments of weirdness.
Next Friday we will get part 3 of this 4 part arc but even better is that we don’t have to wait long for the finale as the last episode will premier three days later on May the 4th, which is Star Wars Day. I foresee the storm of Order 66 being in the next episode and a lot of sadness going forward but this excites me none the less.
My Life as a Teenage Robot went under my radar when it premiered in 2003, in fact it wasn’t until much later that I even knew it existed thanks to Nickelodeon’s so called retirement home for its cartoons shows NickToons Network. That is due to the fact that unlike other cartoons on Nickelodeon at the time Teenage Robot didn’t really have the popularity of shows like Spongebob Squarepants or Fairly Odd Parents. Which I feel is a little undeserved because it had a unique art style and characters, even if the set up itself was a little cliché.
For those who have never seen it My Life as a Teenage Robot the basic premise is this: X-J9, or Jenny as she likes to be called, was created by her “mother”, a scientist named Nora Wakeman to defend the world against evil aliens and mutant monsters that attack the world and almost a daily basis. However being a teenage robot Jenny wants nothing else than to be a “normal” teenage girl. She gets that chance after meeting her neighbors Brad and his younger brother Tuck who befriended Jenny and convince her mother to let her live her dream. From then on the show is all about Jenny trying to live a “normal” teenage life while still defending the Earth from villainous foes.
The show was created by Rob Renzetti, who has worked on other cartoons shows like Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, and Gravity Falls. The show has an amazing voice cast including Janice Kawaye as Jenny, Eartha Kitt as the villainous Vexxus, Quinton Flynn as Sheldon, and Billy West as the Vice Principal as well as various other characters in the show. Teenage Robot was both critically praised and nominated for a bunch of awards including a Prime-time Emmy Award and several Annie Awards. Unfortunately as stated before it just didn’t get the popularity that shows like Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents had and was cancelled before the third season aired which led to it only being shown on NickToons Network.
I feel that this is a shame because Teenage Robot has that same feel as shows like Dexter’s Lab or Powerpuff Girls but had its own identity especially in the design department as most of the show took inspiration from the Art Deco designs that were popular in the 30’s. I believe another shortcoming is that fact that people get to hung up on details and can’t just enjoy it. We don’t ask why Bugs Bunny wears gloves and walks and talks or how Dexter can have an enormous Lab under his house that would cost over a billion dollars to create, we just accept it and enjoy it because it’s a cartoon and not real. While it fun to question things sometimes I feel people can just over analyze things which makes things less enjoyable. Overall I feel Teenage Robot is fun and and hilarious even causing me to pause the show to laugh at some of Its jokes. Teenage Robot is also very self aware as it makes fun of it’s own silliness at times. For example there is a scene where Jenny is sunbathing and my first thought was why is she sunbathing she’s a robot if anything her metal body would just get super hot and probably burn everything around her. No sooner did I think this then it actually happened on screen causing me to laugh. Even though Teenage Robot is a comedy It also has cool fight scenes and weapon designs. I would also be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention the awesome theme song too, definitely one of my top ten favorite cartoon show theme songs. I would highly recommend the show to anyone like myself that loves cartoons shows. Just remember that like most of the classic cartoons this show just requires you to turn off your brain and just enjoy.
Ready to go beyond? Then welcome to the Beyond the Start Button Podcast Each month Danny the Ultra-Sonic Player and Joshua the Ubernerd take a look at Nerd Life through what they are passionate about from TV, Movies, Comics, to Anime and Manga, and of course video games. In this special we talk about the most highly anticipated video game of the year, Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch. First, Joshua sits down with special guest RayGunn (the Creator of the Arcade Archives Network) and talks about their favorite “Modern Mario” games along with several of those of you who answered that question on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Then Danny the UltraSonic Player and Joshua the Ubernerd give their first impression review of Super Mario Odyssey. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the game yourself in the comments below or on the social media sites listed below and you might hear it on our next podcast. So strap in and get ready to go “BEYOND THE START BUTTON” season 2…Let’s a Go!
The Beyond the Start Button Podcast is a Rebellion Production and is part of the Arcade Archives Network. This podcast is indented for entertainment purposes only all sound bites, and clips used are product of their copyright holders. No part of this podcast can be reproduced, reused, or re-broadcasted without written consent or either Rebellion Productions or The Arcade Archives Network.
“And when everyone is super…no one will be” this quote from Syndrome from the Incredibles has been something that has always stuck with me. What would the world be if most of the population of the world had super powers instead of the other way around like in most comics? That question now has been answered by My Hero Academia, a manga (Japanese comic) that I have just recently read.
The story follows a young boy named Izuku Midoriya, his dream is to one day become a super hero like his idol All Might. However Izuku has one major problem he regrettably is not born with any superpowers or what they call in this world “Quirks.” But this doesn’t deter Izuku as he still tries to do his best to be like his idol and get into U.A. High School, a school specifically for future superheroes. One day after being bullied by the class jerk Katsuki Bakugō. Izuku comes face to face with a real supervillain who attacks him and low and behold who saves him but his idol All Might. After getting over the initial fan boy shock Izuku gathers up the courage to ask him if he can still be a hero even though he doesn’t have any quirks. When All Might tell him no, Izuku get discouraged and walks home depressed. As he is thinking about how to rethink his future, Izuku comes across the same villain from before but this time he is attacking Katsuki. None of the superheroes around can get to Katsuki because he is shooting off his powers wildly so no one can get close. Without thinking Izuku tries to rescue him from the villain but to no avail. All hope seems lost until All Might shows up again and defeats the villain once and for all. After being scolded by the other superheroes for putting himself in danger Izuku finally heads for home. He doesn’t get too far when All Might shows up again. This time All Might tells Izuku that he was wrong about him and then reveals his biggest secret. All Might can pass his power to another person and that person he has been looking for a very long time and he believes that it’s Izuku. But in order to gain this power Izuku will have to train his body and get ready for U. A. High School’s entrance exam. Does Izuku really have what it takes? Will he get into the school that he’s been dreaming about for years? You’ll have to read the manga to find out.
I love the characters designs
I love it when characters break the fourth wall!
All Might is drawn in the traditional Western Comic Style and it makes him stand out
I really enjoyed this manga for several different reasons: There have been many comics, movies, even video games that have already told a tale about a superhero school. However, I feel this story is quite different than many of the others specifically in the fact that in this world super powered individuals are not the minority like in other stories but the majority. Most importantly for myself, I can relate with the main character, Izuku. Izuku is a kid who is very introverted, jumpy, and socially awkward but he has a lot of heart and determination. I feel a lot of people including myself can connect with that especially in this modern world we live in. I believe that stories are so much better when the audience members can associate with the characters. Being an Artist myself on of the first things I always notice is the art style. Manga and anime tend to sometimes blend with one another art style wise. However this manga is a great example of how not all Japanese Artist draw the same. The characters look unique compared to a lot of stuff out there. One of my favorite touches is that All Might is always drawn in a traditional western comic style which really makes him stand out from all the other characters. It gives him that larger than life look that fits his personality well.
To wrap it all up I highly suggest My Hero Academia not only for those out there who love manga but also to those out there who love traditional superhero comics. The manga is published by Viz Media and can be found online as well as in your favorite book store. For those who don’t read comics and enjoy cartoons there is also the anime which can be found streaming on Funimation’s website but as of the writing of this there is no American version on DVD yet. If you have already read or watched My Hero Academia and what to leave your comments and review please reply below or hit me up on Twitter @talesftgamegrid.
Very few things these days can truly be called “original.” We have reboots, sequels, and rebooted sequels and this can be true for many things movies, comic books, and even video games. There is one company that I feel has been trying to do “original” work and that is Nintendo. Now I know every video game system gets its Mario and Zelda game but Nintendo always tries to do something new. This brings us to Nintendo’s new game Splatoon. It hard to really put Splatoon into one video game genre, at its core it’s a third person shooter very much like Star Wars Battlefront or Gears of War but much more family friendly. However it also adds elements of platformers like Mario and puzzles and boss battles like Zelda. It a very original idea out of a genre that I think is starting to get stale. Now to be truly honest this is my first play through of Splatoon. I have only had a chance to play the single player and only a few levels. So these are just my first impressions but I wanted to just give you Arcaders out there a quick look at the game itself so please look out for more of my adventure on Splatoon coming soon.
PintSizedMaria have some of the best Harley Quinn earrings, I’ve seen in a while. I feel like if your doing a Harley cosplay these are the earrings you would want to wear. They have a little bit of bling to them but they are also really light. So they wont bother you after a few hours.
As you can see they look great on even though I appear to be scowling. I love these earrings they look fantastic and they are light weight. They aren’t pulling my ears. The coloring is also bright and vibrant. They give you a bit of geek with your outfit without wearing huge bat signals.
As you can see from the close up images they are both different but the same. These are earrings that Harley Quinn would love to wear. I love the classic Harley diamonds on the earrings. They are also flashy with out being obnoxious.
I also think that the price is right for these as well. PintSizeMaria sells these earrings for $25. Which for the quality of these earrings it’s well worth the money. Not to mention sometimes it’s the smallest thing that pulls your cosplay together!! Which I am currently working on putting together my first cosplay! I will be sure to post about it!
If this week didn’t have enough stuff we’re giving you a bonus Cartoon Connoisseur Theater! This episode Ubernerd reviews the new Disney XD show Star VS The Forces of Evil, is it worth a look? Listen to find out!
WARNING BEFORE WATCHING: I had some trouble with my computer so some of the video is slow IT IS NOT YOUR COMPUTER!!
This is a new review series where we are going over cartoons past and present. If you liked this video please like and subscribe. Also flee free to suggest a cartoon for me to review post it in the comments below.
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This has been a Rebellion Production and is part of The Arcade Archives Network