When it debuted earlier this summer the Michael Bay directed Transformers: Age of Extinction was met, as expected with rather mixed reviews. And as audiences will note, it apparently didn’t last very long in theaters, either. While it didn’t last very long, Shout! Factory has made up for the failure of that film by releasing earlier this month Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series. There is plenty to say of why this box set will last far longer than its big screen counterpart. The primary reason for the success of this “series” is its writing. While it is its own series, it is actually just one part of larger story. Another reason that many audiences will appreciate this latest installment of the beloved Transformers franchise is its mix of hand drawn anime style animation and CG elements. And lastly, the packaging of the discs rounds out the whole thing. It is even more proof of why Shout! Factory remains not only the leader in classic and modern classic series, but in home releases overall.
The central point of success behind Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series is its writing. Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series is the final installment of a three-part series that started with Transformers Armada and continued with Transformers Energon. Cybertron picks up right where Energon left off. In this installment of the Unicron trilogy, the Autobots are trying to close a black hole created due to Megatron interfering with Cybertron’s new Energon sun. The only way to close the black hole is to get a group of “Cyber Planet Keys” that will close it. Along the way, the Autobots have to face off against their old foes the Decepticons time and again. This aspect of the series will bring in even the oldest of fans that perhaps are more familiar with the Transformers than their younger counterparts. Younger fans of this long-running franchise will be impressed as this latest installment incorporates certain elements of today’s hit anime series into its writing. One of those elements is the use of “cyber keys” to “power up” the Autobots and Decepticons. This is very similar to the way that characters in Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon and others of their ilk use their own special power ups for their characters. The very fact that the Autobots and Decepticons are searching for very specific hidden objects is much in line with other current anime programs, too. Given in the original Transformers animated series, the Autobots and Decepticons were searching for Energon cubes on Earth. But the “Cyber Planet Keys” are more specific, almost legendary type of objects much like those hunted in those other anime series. So again, the use of this element will certainly bring in today’s younger audiences. With any luck, bringing in younger audiences will also get those same audiences interested in the original Transformers series that remains the gold standard for what is one of Hasbro’s most well-known properties.
Audiences of all ages will appreciate the writing behind Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series. The writing incorporates elements of the franchise’s original series and those of more current anime favorites into one series that can in turn perhaps bring the whole family together. Just as important to note of this installment in the Transformers franchise is its “animation.” Just as it incorporates the writing elements of current anime series, so does it also incorporate the “animation” elements of today’s hit anime series. Again, the similarities to the likes of Pokemon, Digimon, and even Yu-Gi-Oh are quiet clear. There’s even a similarity to the likes of Monsuno to a lesser degree. That’s because that series and the others use both hand drawn anime and CG-based creations together, too. While the use of such animation techniques will not grab everybody, it is sure to pull in audiences that are fans of those animation techniques. And then having pulled in the fans of those techniques, hopefully those same fans will become even more interested in the original Transformers franchise through the inclusion once more of the Autobots and Decepticons, even if some of the characters have changed. Yet again, audiences see just why Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series will be far more welcomed by audiences than Michael Bay’s recent big screen adaptations of the Transformers.
The animation techniques used throughout Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series and the writing that combines both the original Transformers series with its more recent incarnations are both important in their own right to the overall success of this box set. There is one more aspect of the set overall that is worth noting when considering what will make audiences appreciate this set. That last aspect is the set’s packaging. For the longest time, Shout! Factory has proven to be the leader in multi-disc home releases not just for the content of their releases but also for their packaging. The packaging of their sets has maintained a certain bar that has been the model to which so many other companies aspire to achieve. Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series is no different. The series is spread across seven discs. Each of those discs is placed on its own spindle on either side of a group of “plates.” One disc is placed at the top of said plate on one side, while the other disc is placed at the bottom of that same plate on the other side of that plate. The set’s seventh disc is placed on the inside back of the box’s case on its own spindle, too. This method of packaging multi-disc sets saves the discs from one another and it saves space on DVD racks. It’s too bad that some other companies out there still don’t strive to achieve this model. It only serves to exemplify once more why Shout! Factory is the leader in home releases.
The packaging used for Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series is a model to which every home entertainment company should aspire to achieve. That model set alongside the animation techniques used in this series and the series’ writing make this box set even more enjoyable for those that are fans of both anime and the Transformers. The three factors together make this a box set that as one can tell, so many audiences will appreciate and enjoy. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/transformers-cybertron-complete-series-0. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.