The downside is that I’ve had to come face to face with a fact few people my age are willing to deal with: Transformers is and was a TV show designed to sell toys. Search your heart; you know it to be true. Sure, we can all reminisce about the old days. About Gen. One, and the movie, and so on, but at the end of the day, it’s all a long commercial. A commercial that, occasionally, you enjoy. For me, Transformers: Cybertron is not one of those times.
There is nothing really wrong about Transformers: Cybertron, it just so happens there is nothing overly right with it either. It’s a kids show, it is made for kids, but unlike some of the other entries into the Transformers universe, that’s all there is. There are no nods to the older fan, not even to an older viewer. Transformers: Cybertron operates under the firm assumption that only kids watch this stuff and moves on from there. I can’t really fault a kid’s show for being a kid’s show, but I don’t have to give it a free pass either.
Transformers: Cybertron is also very Japanese. Extremely Japanese. This coming from a guy who makes a hobby of enjoying many things Japanese. In Cybertron the Autobots search the universe for the Cyber Planet Keys, powerful artifacts that have the power to save the world from the giant black hole that is threatening to snuff out all life as we know it. Of course, the Decepticons are also seeking the Keys, for use in taking over the galaxy.
As they search for the keys, each of the Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike, awaken special cyber key powers, enabling them to go through additional transformations and use special techniques, which are all individually named, and these names must be shouted to the heavens in order for the special move to work. By far my least favorite anime cliché, yet far from the only one used through the show.
The best thing I can say about Transformers: Cybertron is that it’s very long. This release contains over fifty episodes, meaning if you’re a parent out to please the kids you’ve got days of enjoyment from one purchase. It’s a good show as far as the kids are concerned.
Plenty of fighting, but no real violence, and a cast of human characters that every child in the world could envy: because they get to hang out in the secret base of the Autobots all day, and apparently never go to school. All things considered, you could do worse for your kids. Just remember, when you stare into the abyss of children’s programming, the abyss stares back.