‘Transformers: War for Cybertron Arc 1: Siege‘ is a new series based on the Hasbro toy line made by Rooster Teeth Studios, Polygon Pictures, and Allspark Animation. It was released in the United States via Netflix.
Optimus Prime (Jake Foushee) is leading a losing Autobot resistance on Cybertron against Decepticon leader Megatron (Jason Marnocha). Both sides are in a desperate search for energy and for a decisive victory. Autobot Commander Ultra Magnus (Edward Bosco) goes to the Decepticons in an attempt to broker peace, but is captured and tortured. While there, he overhears Decepticon scientist Shockwave (Todd Haberkorn) suggest that Megatron capture the Allspark, the very thing that created the Transformers, to forcing the Autobots into becoming Decepticons against their will. Ultra Magnus manages to warn Optimus, who sets out with Elita-One (Linsay Rousseau) to find it as well. As Megatron grows more violent, his commander Jetfire (Keith Silverstein) begins to doubt his plan, meanwhile, Starscream (Frank Todaro) waits in the wings.
Netflix kept referring to this six-episode series as an “anime,” but the illustrations do not seem to be in that style, especially with the Transformers resembling their Generation One appearances. That being said, I thought it matched the dark nature of this show. The character and planetary designs are incredibly well done, as are the action sequences. There were one or two that I thought could be smoother, but they were still cool.
As a longtime Transformers fan, I did enjoy this retelling of the events on Cybertron. The creators of this show did a good job of separating it as its own continuity while also paying homage to Generation One. It should be pointed out that while it is named after the hit video game “War For Cybertron,” it is unrelated. The story is incredibly interesting and maintains your attention the entire time. In the pilot, the first Transformers shown on-screen are Bumblebee, voiced by Joe Zieja, and Wheeljack voiced by Bill Rogers. This is identical to “More Than Meets The Eye Part 1,” the first episode from the 1984 series. That was a pretty cool Easter egg.
There are two points of contention I have with it. The first is with the aforementioned Bumblebee. At the start of the show, he is portrayed as a neutral Transformer who will sell information to both Autobots and Decepticons. I did not like this arc for his character, as Bee has been portrayed as a loyal soldier for Optimus. The second is with Megatron. As opposed to the tyrannical sadist he is known to be, they made his development a slow-burn, influenced by Shockwave, Starscream, and Soundwave, the latter also voiced by Edward Bosco. I prefer the deceptive, manipulative, and terrifying foe and while this new version is decent, I do not think Megatron would allow anyone to influence his way of thinking.
That being said, this is an excellent kick-off for this new Transformers trilogy. The animation is superb, the plot is well-written, and has just enough fan service for longtime fans to enjoy and is unique enough for new fans to get into.
Check out the trailer for Siege below:
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