Memory Lane: Teen Titans

Hello and welcome to Memory Lane! This is where I take a look at some of the classics in gaming, TV and animation history. This time I will be taking a look at one of the most popular superhero shows to ever air: Teen Titans.

Teen Titans was an action-packed superhero show that first aired over a decade ago in 2003. The show focused on a team of five superheroes living in Jump City in the DC Universe. The leader of the group is Robin. Former apprentice to Batman he leads the team and is the only one who can kick ass without any powers. There’s Cyborg, a super strong… cyborg if you couldn’t guess by the name who’s half-human, half-robot but all BOOYAH(it’s his catchphrase)!!! Beast Boy is the comedy relief of the group and apart from looking like a vegetable has the power to shapeshift into any animal. This includes extinct beasts like T-Rex’s and Pterodactyl’s. Starfire is a beautiful alien girl who can fly, is super strong and can fire a green energy from her hands she calls “starbolts”. Finally there is Raven. A shadowy goth with power over a strange dark energy and is a real demon in battle(quite literally). Together they form the Teen Titans and fight crime in Jump City while learning life lessons.

The concept is simple but the variety present in the episodes is staggering. Most episodes focus on a single titan and develop their character throughout an episode and the series as a whole. Robin has a serious obsession with catching villains that probably needs professional help, Cyborg has to deal with being half a hunk of scrap metal, Beast Boy deals with being the youngest and least experienced of the group, Starfire has to get used to life on Earth away from her home planet of Tamaran and Raven has problems with being an outsider and the fact that her dad is literally the Satan of the DC Universe. One of the best parts of the show is seeing all these radically different characters interact with one another. Each of the titans have distinct personalities that are very well-written. There are things you love and hate about them which are developed further every episode.  It makes for some unique ideas and episodes and even the most generic episodes have some moments where the show’s style oozes through.

One of the most striking parts of the show is the animation style. Although it is an American cartoon the anime-like animation style makes it stand out from a lot of other superhero shows. The action in the show is fast-paced, again utilising the anime-style to make some awesome fights.  As well as this, the humour(mainly delivered by Beast Boy) hits at just the right moments even in the more serious episodes. All of the Titans and most of the other characters have brilliant voice actors that fit their personality strikingly well.

Other superheroes young and old(but mainly young) also make an appearance in some episodes, especially towards the later seasons and team up with the titans with some of the most notable ones being Kid Flash, Aqualad and the Doom Patrol. Not episodes are all set in Jump City either. Almost no place is left unexplored with episodes taking place in space, under the sea, different dimensions and even hell at one point which gives a sense of the universe being a lot bigger than Jump City.

Many villains also spice up the show with their own unique personalities. The main enemy of the Teen Titans, Slade, or as most people probably know him, Deathstroke,  proves a formidable and intimidating foe who the Titans never seem able to beat is voiced the hauntingly good Ron Perlman. You will never get tired of listening to his voice as he goads Robin and the titans during a fight. Some other frightening fiends include crazy Mad Mod, the mysterious Red X and the hilarious, nerdy Control Freak. Each of them fill you with different feelings the second they come on screen from fear to tension to hilarity.

Unfortunately however, it has its flaws like every show does. Although few and far between there are a few ‘dud’ episodes that vary from decent to downright boring(Deep Six comes to mind). Some may also find they tire of the fights after a while especially if they watch other action-oriented superhero shows. Apart from this,Teen Titans remains a well-written, fondly-remembered show to a lot of people and for good reason.

Pros:

  • Fast-paced action
  • Well-written heroes and villains
  • Hilarious humour
  • Unique animation style
  • Good character development
  • Amazing variety of episodes

Cons:

  • Fight scenes can get tiring after a while
  • A few ‘dud’ episodes

Verdict: 9/10

Watch all episodes here: https://www.watchcartoononline.io/anime/teen-titans

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