Sunday, September 21, 2014

Anime? Review: Young Justice

Does this count as anime? I'm not sure. I guess it depends on whether or not to count it, but I have nothing better to talk about this week. I'm also a little distracted at the moment given there are Personal Matters that have come up recently and I am currently in the dark about a few aspects. But for now, let's enjoy ourselves with an anime-like show made in America about DC teenage superheroes.... that ISN'T Teen Titans: Young Justice.

So, Robin. Do you have Angry Birds on that thing?
Earth-16: July 4th. Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, and Speedy, sidekicks to the world famous Superheroes and Justice League members Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Arrow are about to take their first step into becoming members of the Justice League, full access to the Hall of Justice. But when this access is little more than a VIP tour of the Justice League's front, and that the League's real head quarters, the orbital satellite "Watchtower", was still out of their reach, Speedy left the group, and Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash decide to take matters into their own hands. After exposing a hidden cloning facility and rescuing Superboy, a clone of Superman, the young heroes where given an opportunity to prove themselves: A small team of young superheroes and sidekicks, who's mission is to on covert ops that the Justice League are too public and too well known to lead. However, when a secret Cabal of supervillains gets uncovered by The Team's actives, are Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, and new members Miss Martian and Artemis ready for the treat?

I got nothing, this is just a great DERP face for Superboy.
Simply put, this series is great. I have always been a fan of DC over Marvel partly because I find their superheroes to be far more iconic with Superman, Batman, and Wonderwoman, but mainly because I grew up with Bruce Timm's DC Animated Universe. Series like Batman, Superman, and Batman Beyond where phenomenal, and Young Justice continues this trend with great action, amazing animation, and the very best in writing. For a Superhero series the action is constant and always very kinetic, and this is help greatly by the superb animation. Even with the fast pace action, you are never confused with what is going on due to animation constrains. However, this is all secondary to the top-notch writing that is consistent throughout the series. It's not just that the characters are likeable (even Lex "I'm evil and I'm loving every minute of it" Luthor is likeable), or that the story is compelling, it the fact that both of those things are true and that the series keeps you off-guard just enough so that you don't know what is going to happen next. It is a true credit to the series that it can consistently throw you curve-balls and sudden plot twists that I HONESTLY did not see coming. It is a complete ride from beginning to end.

"Hi, I'm Captain Marvel! We are going to the BESTEST time together!"
Unfortunately, the series does have it's share of problems. While the first season was nearly flawless, the second season "Young Justice Invasion" had a major problem with it's over ambitious cast. There just ended up being way too many characters, and a lot of them didn't get enough time to develop. It's nice that they put a special spotlight on some lesser known superheroes like Jaime Reyes A.K.A. The Blue Beetle, but they did so at the cost of other characters like Tim Drake A.K.A. the third Robin, who suddenly had relationship with Cassie Sandsmark A.K.A. Wondergirl and only two throw away lines to explain it. Which is a shame given how the first season handled the interpersonal relationships between their characters. But now I tackle the elephant in the room, which is that Young Justice never got a third season. Which is a shame considering things where building up to an epic climax all the way back in the first season that was teased at the end of season 2, but now that climax seems to one that will never be told. Also, I REALLY wanted to see more of Timmy Drake, he's my favorite version of Robin.

Even with the problems of the second season's cast being too large for it's own good, and the fact that we STILL don't have a proper end to the series, Young Justice is a MUST WATCH! It is very much like Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. It excels at having amazing action and excellent writing, and like Avatar and the entire DC Animated Universe before it, it is an animated series who's audience transcends the 7-12 year old male demographic that this type of show would normally garner. Top notch in every regard and is a Must watch by anyone.

Until Next Time.

-Crescent, Nerd Quiz, name all the characters seen here in under 20 seconds.


  1. I enjoyed watching the series as it aired. The release schedule was stupid with it taking random breaks, but it was one of the better animated series from the west. I loved the first season, and it really happened the relationship drama well. I do agree about the second season screwing things up with the flashforward. It did not seem all that necessary when everything already worked. However, I were to make a Top 10 western animated series, this would probably make it. Good review!

    Oddly enough, Young Justice and The Clone Wars being cancelled actually made seek out something else animated, and that was anime.


    1. I don't really mind the timeskip in this series because it was largely used to have the next generation of heroes be established before the action really gets started. I just wish they had a lot more time to develop the characters they introduced. The stuff with Mal and Bumblebee was a great example of developing the new characters while not taking too much time from the plot, while the "romance" between Robin and Wondergirl was an example of them failing to do so. Honestly, I think the problem with this is more to do with the fact that season 2 was only 20 episodes. That's not a whole lot of time to develop over a dozen characters.