MaoChan Reviews: Storm Hawks

MCR Storm Hawks Title Alt

We have some new happenings here at MaoChan. As most of you know, I used to do tech gadget reviews, it was fun and always allowed me to showcase or slam a product. Well MaoChan has gotten pretty big in terms of visitors. And someone took notice as I was approached to do a review. This will hopefully, as time goes on, become a regular part of MaoChan. On the chopping block is an up and coming show on Cartoon Network called Storm Hawks.

Combining anime inspired CG graphics, motorcycles with wings, and a dose of Saturday morning humor, Storm Hawks is fun on many levels such that I think it can appeal to more than just the 10-13 year old boy crowd. But be warned, you better realize this is no Citizen Kane.

Full Review After The Jump

ORIGIN:
Storm Hawks is an original idea by Asaph “Ace” Fipke, Nerd Corps Entertainment’s CEO and founder.

TECH SPECS:
52 half hour episodes in computer generated 3D graphics by Nerd Corps Entertainment in conjunction with Cartoon Network and YTV.

AVAILABILITY:
Starting on Cartoon Network on May 25, 2007 then on YTV in late 2007. New episodes to be aired on Cartoon Network’s Summer @ Seven program on Mondays.

REVIEW:
In the world of Atmos, there is little land that has not been turned into ruin. Humans and creatures alike now live on mountainous regions with little area. All technology revolves around energy creating crystals that vary in size and power, giving life to machines, airships, and weapons. Preserving the sanctity of this world from the evil Master Cyclonis are the Sky Knights, groups of warriors who pilot motorcycle-like vehicles that can semi-transform into flying machines.

MCR Storm Hawks Group

Before the series starts, a group of Sky Knights called the Storm Hawks were all but destroyed when they defeated Master Cyclonis. But now a new, younger but just as evil Master Cyclonis has appeared and a rag-tag group of 6 friends who have taken it upon themselves to protect Atmos. They have followed their idols in becoming Sky Knights and take the name of the Storm Hawks.

MCR Storm Hawks Dark Ace

When you first start watching Storm Hawks, you will notice the amount of time that has been put into the show. The guys at Nerd Corps must have done their homework because this show is easy on the eyes. It was a treat to watch on my 42″ plasma, as the colors were vibrant. Everything seems to pop off the screen. When you look at most cartoons, everything seems cheap. Sure there is some stock footage used from time to time such as in fights, but it is not as noticeable compared to other shows. The film has no wear and worn out look, it is all sharp thanks to the digital source.

Audio is good, nothing to write home about, nothing to complain. It accents the visuals and does not deter from it. I listened in on my DTS 5.1 surround and it didn’t make me cringe wish I had the mute button. The dubbing is well done and the voice acting is on par with most high-end english dubs in Japanese anime. The one thing of note was the strange use of accents. I am not sure if it was to help represent the whole “we all are working for a greater good” thing but when there is the random character with a French accent, it is just weird. The character isn’t even French, he was some crazy dude that wears a pot on his head. Maybe it was a slam on France but it was lost on me.

MCR Storm Hawks Bikes

When it comes to plot, Storm Hawks starts off really strong. In the first 2 episodes, it brings you in with the background of this fantastical world, the cool motorcycle/planes, and the lore. Unfortunately, with most shows, I fear that it will get into episodic tomfoolery fast as evidence from the early episodes. I will cut it slack as the show was still introducing characters and the mythos in general but only time will be able to tell. I hope they will be able to continue the story forward as the characters are engaging and the over arching plot is cool.

When it comes to the show in general, I find little to complain about. The main knock against it, and this is in relation to the type of person I believe is a regular here, is that the show is a little juvenile with too much slapstick humor that comes off as appeasing the 10-13 year old crowd. For someone who is as juvenile as myself, I didn’t really mind it but some of you champagne & caviar dreams type people might get all snooty about it. All I would have to say to you then is grab that bottle of Dom and watch Storm Hawks with your pinky in the air to fancy it up a bit.

MCR Storm Hawks Fight

CONCLUSION:
Storm Hawks is a fun show that looks great and hopefully will find itself at home with most viewers.

PROS:
-Top notch visuals
-Great design of the machines and weapons
-Engaging storyline at first
CONS:
-Might suffer episode-itis
-Strange accents throw things off
-Might be too much juvenile humor for some viewers

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One Comment on “MaoChan Reviews: Storm Hawks”

  1. daggermind Says:

    At least they made Vren a “French resistance” stereotype and not “French surrender monkey” stereotype.

    The show is pretty good, even for someone who’s old enough to really be out of range for a show like this. It must be something about the characters that’s endearing to me, corny jokes nonwithstanding. I especially like how the animators have the characters’s bodies move around, freed up by cel-shaded CG. If this had been hand-drawn, I doubt the budget would have been enough for that extra body movement that makes them seem slightly more realistic.


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