TV Review: Sonic Boom – “Translate This”/”Buster”

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It has been quite a week for the Sonic Boom franchise, with the Wii U and 3DS games releasing and completing the circle of multimedia that make up Sonic Boom. Regardless of your feelings towards the games, the TV show was a welcome addition to the new franchise last week, and this weekend we have two new episodes to watch – “Translate This” and ”Buster”. How do these episodes compare to last week’s premiere? Let’s pour a bowl of Reece’s Puffs cereal, tune in and find out!

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While last week had a decent first episode and a highly enjoyable second, this week’s episode combo reverses that order. “Translate This” was easily the best of the two, and might be my favorite episode so far. The episode kicks off with Tails introducing his latest invention, U.T. the universal translator. Unbeknownst to Tails, the device has an interesting side effect when translating english to english (or french to french, if you are watching this on Canal J or Gulli), as U.T. can also translate what is said to what the speaker actually is thinking but prefers not to say out loud. This results in Sonic and friends getting into arguments over the mean thoughts they have about each other, which in turn catches Eggman’s attention.

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Like last week’s episode ”Can an Evil Genius Crash on Your Couch for a Few Weeks?”, Eggman steals the show in this episode. Seeing the potential to turn Sonic and friends against one another, Eggman swaps U.T. with a decoy that transmits whatever Eggman says into a microphone. There is a great exchange between Eggman and the real U.T. as Eggman’s vanity comes into play, with U.T. translating what Eggman says to putting Eggman at the center of attention. Learning of Eggman’s plot, Tails heads to Eggman’s fortress on his own and tricks the doctor into taking him on as a temporary assistant in exchange for the return of U.T. It’s great to see a shared appreciation Eggman and Tails have for each other’s genius, even if they are on opposing sides. It was also nice to see Tails using his cunning to trick Eggman in allowing U.T. to send Sonic and friends a message which U.T. delivers and then translates, revealing Tails’ true intentions. While “Translate This” is a great Tails episode, it also reveals that not only does Amy like Sonic, but Sonic may also have feelings for Amy. The hinted infatuation isn’t anything heavy, but it was a fun touch that I’m sure Sonamy fans will eat up.

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The second episode, titled ”Buster”, is probably the weakest of the four episodes released thus far. While it’s a Sticks centric episode, the new addition to the team is not to blame for the problems I had with the episode. Rather, it was Buster that really threw me. The episode begins with several unnamed animal characters including a bull, a cat, and a walrus and her child. It’s great to see more new faces of animal characters to populate Sonic Boom’s world, and as with last week’s new faces, they are far more in line with cartoony animal character designs rather than outright furries – what a relief! After a fun fight scene between Sonic and team and fight Eggman’s Firebot, adding to the show’s already expanding arsenal of robots of the week. During the rescue, Sticks demonstrates that she has problems with how she treats small animals, so the team suggests she get a pet to teach her how to care for animals. It’s kind of confusing that there is a distinction between pets and baby animals that grow up to be a walking, talking Sonic Boom character. Maybe pets are orphaned animals in the Sonic Boom universe? Ah well, it’s just a cartoon, I shouldn’t overthink it.

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After failing to find a pet at the pet shop (or is it an orphanage), Sticks discovers a robotic dog that barfs up slime and she names it Buster the Cluster. It was at this point that I stopped paying attention to the episode, and only could think about what the hell was happening. Why does a robotic dog barf slime? What’s a “cluster”? I’ve said in the past that I’m a fan of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, a show known for its weirdness. So for an episode of Sonic Boom to confuse me says a lot. After Buster barfs slime all over Sonic and friends, and foils an attempt at stopping Eggman from stealing cybernetic tentacles. Later, Eggman appears with a gift for Buster and reveals that the robot dog is actually a slimebot he invented. The gift turns out to be a bone that causes Buster to grow and sprout tentacles, causing Sonic to ask if those are the same tentacles Eggman stole earlier, to which he says they are.

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Once again, I’m confused. How did the tentacles fit inside the tiny bone? Why is it that after they calm Buster and he spits out the bone, he shrinks and then the tentacles go back into his robot body. It’s like the tentacles were inside him all along and the bone only activated them, but Eggman clearly said the tentacles were the ones he stole. But Buster was in Sticks’ possession when Eggman was stealing the tentacles. Suffice to say, this episode was riddled with plot holes and confusing moments. Definitely the weakest of the Sonic Boom episodes. Overall, “Translate This” and ”Buster” presented Sonic Boom at its best and worst. Eggman continued to be the show’s most entertaining character, even in the episode “Buster”, and the series gets big bonus points for including redesigns of classic badniks.

Next week on Sonic Boom: “Hoarding the Horde” and “Unlucky Knuckles”

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2 responses to “TV Review: Sonic Boom – “Translate This”/”Buster”

  1. Curty says:

    My only complaint about the series so far is Sticks’ voice. It’s like glass in my ears.

  2. bertodecosta says:

    Tails and Eggman should be science bro, just like Iron Man and Banner (Hulk)

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