Plot: This series follows the Teen Titans, a group of young heroes who live and work together, in Titan Tower. While not as experienced as some of the other heroes around, this troupe is still loaded with talent and skills, so they can hold their own against even the toughest villains. Robin serves as a leader of sorts, Cyborg is the tech master, Raven possesses immense powers, Starfire is friendly, but struggles to fit in, Beastboy makes sure even the most tense moments get some comic relief. This crew is a great blend of skills, but when they’re not battling it out with super villains, they often banter with each other, as teens are prone to do.
Entertainment Value: This first season of Teen Titans has thirteen episodes and jumps right into the thick of the action, with little exposition. The five leads are a little retooled, but still feel like the same characters we’ve known and loved, so origins are skipped and the show is all about the heroic action. Most of these adventures are self contained stories, but there is a larger arc in play, as the villainous Slade looms large over almost all of these encounters. But if you’re after deep, intricate narratives, Teen Titans isn’t that vein, this is fast paced, go for broke action driven content. I appreciated this approach, but I know not everyone is into the “villain of the week” style. In addition to the whole Slade bigger picture, we also learn more about the titans over the episodes, especially Raven. Again, not super in depth exploration, but given the lightning pace and aim at a young audience, these character driven moments are much appreciated.
A lot was made about the show’s visual design as well, as it is obviously influenced by the anime style to a massive degree. This is evident right from the start if you look at the new character designs, but it becomes more bluntly obvious once the animation kicks in. This is because the series borrows a lot of anime tropes, such as absurd transformations and other exaggerated visual elements. Sadness might lead to huge, dripping eyes, for example. Not the usual kind of content DC fans were used to, but I like the switch up and it ensures Teen Titans feels like a unique series. These are characters and stories you know, presented in this fresh, all new style. And while the first few episodes lean on the anime elements a lot, it soon levels out the show finds an effective balance, so just stick it out if it really rubs you the wrong way. I think this first season is a rocket ride of comic book action that never slows down and puts a welcome new spin on some well worn superhero stories. If you’re a fan of DC comics, animation, or just love the idea of anime slanted superheroes, give Teen Titans a shot.