The first eight episodes have shown great things (art, setting, story) and bad things (absentee characters, horrible dialog). Like the anime that inspires ThunderCats, the show has taken a while to get going.

In the first book (the meta term which ThunderCats refers to arcs) we get a socially minded prince (Lion-O) in an indifferent empire with the return of a hero. The hero turns out to have a black heart and betrays his king and welcomes an ancient enemy as his new patron. The traitor kills the king and after the sack of the capital city a race is on for a sacred book which could change history, like it did once before. The physical journey mirrors the spiritual journey and lessons Lion-O must take. When the book is found and its mysteries start to be peeled back, our hero is more confused and more dedicated than ever.

The new ThunderCats is ambitious. It wants to tell a tale like Lord of the Rings or Journey to the West. And it has a great story to tell. But it also stumbles on basic dialog and the actual storytelling. Characters are absent for an episode or two and then reappear for a scene. Seriously, Cheetara is barely in the show and Tygra is box cover dressing. I’m not sure if it’s a production issue that isn’t allowing them to be the next Avatar: The Last Airbender or just that their reach exceeds their grasp. And make no mistake this show grasps to be like Avatar, but right now it’s only touching Aang and company with its fingertips.

Book two will soon be upon us. I hope the hiatus has allowed the ThunderCats team to tighten up their game and start living up to their potential. Otherwise it will be another annoying eight episodes of coming close to something excellent, but missing by fingernails.  And that’s maddening enough.

Iain McGregorAnimeTVAvatar: The Last Airbender,ThunderCats
The first eight episodes have shown great things (art, setting, story) and bad things (absentee characters, horrible dialog). Like the anime that inspires ThunderCats, the show has taken a while to get going. In the first book (the meta term which ThunderCats refers to arcs) we get a socially minded...