Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — Deep Dive Review

Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — Deep Dive Review

Blog, Cartoons, Deep Dive
The Deep Dive segment of Animation Discourse is meant to explore popular cartoons, anime, and animated film to ultimately determine what makes for excellent animated works.   Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is a Netflix Original series produced in part by Hasbro Studios. It was released in October of 2017, and has received mixed, but positive-skewed, reviews since.   As mentioned in a previous article: "Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is reminiscent of a combination of both Spectacular Spiderman and Ben 10: Alien Force. The series is actually produced and directed by Victor Cook who worked on the former project, and it definitely shows in both its art style and dialogue points."   In the present-day animation market, which uses Marvel’s Spiderman as its keystone superhero series, Stretch Armstrong offers…
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Miraculous Ladybug — What Season 2 is Doing Right

Miraculous Ladybug — What Season 2 is Doing Right

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
Miraculous Ladybug is one of the most popular Americanized cartoon series that is presently being broadcasted on an international scale. It features the kindhearted and clumsy Marinette Dupain-Cheng as she transforms into her crime-fighting superhero alter ego, Ladybug. She works alongside her partner Cat Noir—who, unbeknownst to her, is also her classmate and crush Adrien Agreste—to track down and defeat the dark magic that is plaguing Paris.   A/N: The use of the term "Americanized" refers to how the series targets and complies with U.S. styles of storytelling and marketing, not a description of where the series originated, as Miraculous Ladybug was created via a collaboration between French and Korean production companies.    The premise of Miraculous Ladybug follows the format of a typical Japanese "magical girl" anime, being a known genre to anyone…
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Mysticons Revisited: Updated Review 2018

Mysticons Revisited: Updated Review 2018

Blog, Cartoons, Hidden Gems, Reviews
Back in August 2017, I published a first-impression review of the Canadian animated series Mysticons. At the time, I had some critiques that still stand to this day; however, I have come to realize that I vastly underestimated the quality and potential of the series.   Synopsis: Produced by Nelvana and Corus Entertainment—two Canadian production companies specializing in children’s programming, specifically animation—has created a series that could potentially become a hit in this day and age online cartoon fandoms. The show surrounds a group of four teenagers, Arkayna, Piper, Emerald, and Zarya, who are brought together through a acquisition quest of the “Dragon disk”, an ancient artifact that is held in the royal ranks of Drake City. This artifact has caught the eye of evil perpetrators who would like to…
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Kyoko Mogami, Skip Beat — Female Representation in Anime & Manga

Kyoko Mogami, Skip Beat — Female Representation in Anime & Manga

Anime, Blog, Reviews
Skip Beat is an amazing manga and anime series that has stolen many readers' and viewers' hearts alike. The story centers 16-year-old Kyoko Mogami, who drops her entire life in Kyoto to shadow her childhood friend and lifelong crush, Sho Fuwa, in his pursuit of becoming famous Japanese vocalist. In being consumed by love, of the unrequited variety, Kyoko works 3 jobs just to pay for her and Sho's living expenses; however, it doesn't take long before she discovers that Sho doesn't have the slightest romantic inclination towards her, and instead treats Kyoko as his personal gopher.   Skip Beat, whether taking on its anime or manga form, has everything anyone could ask for; from humor to drama, to even a sprinkle of romance, Skip Beat incorporates multiple genres while maintaining seamless switches…
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Selling Out?: Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

Selling Out?: Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
From My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010 – present)  to Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015 – 2017)  Hasbro Studios has been behind the production of a wide variety of animated television and web series. As one of the largest toy-manufacturing companies in the world, it’s no surprise that the creation of its sudio’s series are directly tied to merchandising.   Hasbro is not the first production company that uses merchandising as a way to justify the hefty financial investment that corresponds with animation. In fact, Disney has used this business strategy for decades in order to increase its project’s revenues outside of the big and small screen. The difference between Disney’s production however, is that storytelling is of upmost priority, while toy sales only follow. On the other hand,…
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Mysticons: New Series, Great Potential?

Mysticons: New Series, Great Potential?

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
As of August 2017, Nickelodeon has added a brand new animated series to to its roster of hosted content. Mysticons emerged quietly into the television scene without much of a heads up, but has been gaining plenty of online attention as of late. Produced by Nelvana and Corus Entertainment—two Canadian production companies specializing in children's programming, specifically animation—has created a series that could potentially become a hit in this day and age online cartoon fandoms. The show surrounds a group of four teenagers, Arkayna, Piper, Emerald, and Zarya, who are brought together through a acquisition quest of the "Dragon disk", an ancient artifact that is held in the royal ranks of Drake City. This artifact has caught the eye of evil perpetrators who would like to use it's power to revive…
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OK K.O.! Let’s be Heroes: Surprisingly Endearing

OK K.O.! Let’s be Heroes: Surprisingly Endearing

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
In 2013, the pilot for OK K.O.! Let's be Heroes was created and released through Cartoon Network's Summer Shorts program. Despite its positive reception, the now hugely popular series Steven Universe was, unregrettfully, chosen from the pack instead. However, 4 years later, OK K.O.! finally earned its long-awaited chance to shine. On August 1st, 2017, Cartoon Network released four 11-minute episodes followed by multiple more during the days following, granting the series its starting momentum to reach potential heights. Ever since this K.O.! bomb, the series has been receiving plenty of hype throughout various online platforms and is starting off with a 8.4/10 rating on IMDB.   OK K.O.! is an episodic series told from the perspective of Ko—a young boy who tags along with his mother to work at the Lakewood Plaza Strip Mall. While his…
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Hidden Gems: Delta State

Hidden Gems: Delta State

Blog, Cartoons, Hidden Gems, Reviews
What if you were able to lucid dream on command? What if you tapped into a realm of the subconscious every time you did so? And what if skilled mind hitmen were attempting to control the human psyche by entering this realm?   Delta State is a Canadian animated series that premiered on Teletoon in 2004. It has one season of 26 episodes that completes an entire story arch, with plans for a second season being denied the chance to see the light of day due to low ratings. The series didn't attract a huge audience, possibly, because of it's unorthodox animation style, compelling storyline, and Canadian origin. But the main culprit for its unfortunate cancellation (based on keen detective skills) is over the fact that Delta State was simply too…
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Teen Titans GO! Does it Really Deserve all of this Hate?

Teen Titans GO! Does it Really Deserve all of this Hate?

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
When you hear the words Teen Titans you probably think of a kick-ass superhero team consisting of an alien, shapeshifter, humanoid robot, half-demon witch, and a regular boy in a mask who, for whatever reason, is unanimously selected to lead the team. In terms of the Teen Titans' place on television, you probably reminisce about the animated series that aired from 2003-2007—a series that is full of action, story, character development, and most importantly, heart.   Many animation enthusiasts who were born in the 90's and raised in the 2000's, remember Teen Titans as one of their favourite animated series growing up. Many have fond memories tied to it that has defined their childhood right alongside the popular titles of Danny Phantom, Kim Possible, Justice League Unlimited, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.  The early-to-mid 2000's didn't showcase anything notable in the world of animation aside…
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The Loud House: A Charming Series About Family

The Loud House: A Charming Series About Family

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
Chris Savino and Nickelodeon bring cartoon fanatics alike the hit series The Loud House. With modern animated series about crystal gems protecting Earth, magical princess from alternate dimensions, and ladybug-themed superheroes wielding indestructible yo-yos, it’s oddly refreshing to watch a slice-of life animated series with its simple central premise being life in a large family. The Loud House stars Lincoln Loud, an 11-year-old kid and his daily life in being the only boy in a family of 13. Along with his two parents who are typically faceless characters, Lincoln has five older sisters and five younger, being the exact middle child.   The series has been receiving much praise for its heart and old-school charm. Some vocal animation enthusiasts even go as far as to call it Nickelodeon’s trump card and savior. Although these…
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