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Teen Titans: The Complete First Season
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Teen Titans: The Complete First Season (DVD)
With awesome super skills and powers galore, these crimefighting partners kick butt and squash evil like nobody’s business! But as roommates in Titans Tower,™ it’s every hero for him- or herself when it comes to living in peace. Not even super heroes can settle fights over who’s in control of the TV remote! In these 13 action-packed adventures, the Titans face all your favorite villains – Mad Mod, The Puppet King, Killer Moth and, of course, their archnemesis Slade – in one power-packing showdown after another. Some battles even pit the Titans against each other! Featuring bold animation, funky music and fun characters, this complete Season One from the hit TV series is an intergalactic knockout!]]>
The complete first season of Cartoon Network and WBTV's fine adaptation of Marv Wolfman and George Perez's '80s-era DC Comics title Teen Titans arrives in a 13-episode two-disc set. The attractive, anime-influenced episodes of the series' 2003 debut season pit the Titans--former Batman sidekick Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg, Terra, and Raven--against a horde of regular foes, including Slade (voiced by Ron Perlman), Trigon, Trident, Mad Mod, and many others. True to their age, the Titans also have to deal with issues about maturity, confidence, a hint of romance, and even a body-switch between two members. --Paul Gaita
- 13 episodes on 2 discs
- Finding Their Voices: the secret information behind the making of Teen Titans
- Comic Creations: from comic book to cartoon
- Puffy Ami Yumi music video
- Sneak peek at Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi TV show
- Puffy Ami Yumi interview/featurette
- Toon Topia bonus cartoons: The Hiros episodes 1 & 2
- Easter eggs
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Why "arguably"? Well, the heavy manga/anime influence, with its exclamation points appearing over characters' heads and characters eyes bugging out when they're surprised (and other frequent exaggerated flourishes) takes some getting used to, as does the more simplistic, cartoony look of the characters themselves. But all that is eventually kind of cute once you get used to it. And it doesn't take away from the drama and action, which is generous and well done in these thirteen episodes. Having said that, though, I think I still prefer my serious superhero fare to be more consistently, well... serious. But, again, the occasional goofiness on display is not a dealbreaker, by any means.
I do mourn the waning of worldwide fascination with all things American in popular culture in recent years, though. Time was, everyone loved American cities, American music, American everything in the TV shows and movies we exported to a happily-waiting world. Now, in shows like "Teen Titans" (and the recent film "Speed Racer", for example), the stories are set in bland, nondescript cities that could be located anywhere in the world, and with zero references to the many fun aspects of life in the U.S.A.
Obviously, more and more entertainment is produced nowadays in a way that makes it look like it might be taking place wherever that entertainment product is being exported. So, fun shows or not, it's kind of sad that the only obviously "American" moment in these thirteen episodes was a brief scene set in front of a drive-up burger joint.
Anyway, enough of that rant. I guess I have to accept the brave new world of homogenous entertainment product. And these episodes, as stated at the outset, are undeniably entertaining on many levels. I like how we jump right into the world of the Titans with nary an origin story in sight (for the team as a whole or for its individual members), with information about the characters only dispensed as we need it. Both the individual episodes with various villains and the season-long "Slade" arc (which rears its head here and there throughout the season and comes to a head in the last two episodes) are pleasing and involving.
Extras include a half-hour or so piece where we hear from the creative forces behind the comic book and the show, and shorter companion pieces covering the voice actors and other aspects of the series. All are very interesting (the show's creators, by the way, don't mention any directive to downplay the American locale of the Titans, only that they decided to bow to an overall Japanese flavor and style because the show was being animated in Japan... taking advantage of the animators' strengths and all). The interview with the Japanese girl band who sung the show's theme song went on a bit long, though.
Hey, despite the gripes, this was an enjoyable batch of shows and I think I'll pick up the second season. I'll report back if it continues the downplaying and watering down of all things American, though. And if it does, I'll try not to be grumpy about it.