May 31, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 4 "Yashimoto, Private Eye"

"I will say, stripping away the animation, it is a very well written episode. Yashimoto hunting down clues, finding the clothing shop where Cyber may have assembled her costume, making the connection to Adrian. Julian and Ikiko making various attempts to escape, most of which blow up in José's face, even as they still end up recaptured. My favorite is them bursting out of the grate right onto José's couch where he's playing video games. My first hard laugh of the series! The confrontation in Cyber/Adrian's apartment. The big climax. The story intercuts well, the characters are nicely explored as things unfold, the staging of the big battle at the end progresses nicely from stage to stage before slamming to its finish. Even the dialogue is sharper and cleaner than what we're used to."

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May 17, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 3 "Terra"

"You can definitely tell the people working on this show came out of the animation department of Batman: The Animated Series, because here they've built an entire episode around how much fun they had animating Clayface. As with so many things on this show, Terra is gorgeous to behold as its mud body flows in and out of various shapes and tendrils, using the ability to splat and pour as a part of its basic walking. Adding the face, the basic clown mask with either a smile or a frown, just kind of lumped onto the clay, is a really nice touch and really boosts Terra up as an interesting character to watch."

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May 10, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 2 "Data 7 & Julian"

"Data 7 feels like it shouldn't work. Cyber's brother is suddenly a panther, with a backstory straight out of a swingin' 60 Shotaro Ishinomori manga, and this should completely clash against the Julian/José plot. It doesn't. It's beautifully executed as they play Data dead straight, having him be the fantastical overseer of José for the as yet unnamed mad scientist behind everything, and use elements of the Julian plot to tie into Data's backstory with Cyber. Those flashes, of him falling from a cliff, Cyber failing to reach him in time, of flowers falling apart. The slash he makes on the photo to explain the scar over his left eye. These are beautiful narrative stings, on top of some absolutely spectacular animation of a panther in repose and action. Seriously, the fight between Data and Cyber is jawdropping and exquisitely well put together."

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May 3, 2015

[Short-Lived Showcase] Cybersix, episode 1 "Mysterious Shadow"

"Shockingly, unlike many other shows, the animation quality doesn't suddenly take a nosedive once we get into the episode proper. No, there isn't the same level of gloss and detail all the time, and a couple of shots are a bit more basic, but there's still a beautiful fluidity to the animation, with sharply composed shots, pounding, whipping action sequences, and so many little moments of character business which give things life. One of my favorites is the scene where Adrian storms out of the cafe and Lucas shoots up to follow. Instead of just sailing out the door or the directors cutting there, Lucas fumbles for his jacket, digs around until he comes up with a couple of bucks, plops them on the table, then can't resist grabbing one more slice of pizza before then making his way out, all while juggling the glowing green vile. If nothing else, this level of animation is the highlight of the episode, to the point where it's mesmerizing at times. I'm really curious if this is a standard they'll be able to maintain over the whole run."

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