The Transformers, the lucky robots who achieved success thanks to the homonymous series of toys produced by Hasbro and Takara Tomy, have experienced a series of ups and downs in terms of popularity, still managing to find worldwide consensus through a truly conspicuous number of products dedicated to them, including numerous animated series, comics (which have not disdained even crossover with Marvel heroes ) and the inevitable films directed by Michael Bay, capable of generating record takings and of bringing the colossal robots to gain huge acclaim even at the general public level.
Netflix recently released Siege, the first part of the animated trilogy dedicated to the civil war between Autobot and Decepticon, introducing the Transformers: War For Cybertron series, consisting of six episodes lasting twenty five minutes each.
The time has come
Despite the multitude of series and products related to the Transformers franchise, it is undeniable that the storyline part dedicated to battle for Cybertron (the homeland of the protagonist robots) is still one of the most compelling of the saga, capable of igniting the hearts of fans like few others.
The Netflix series thus decides to project us into the last stages of the war, with the now decimated Autobots forced to hide from the relentless Decepticons, intent on ending the conflict once and for all so as to reign unchallenged without having any more problems.
The Allspark, a powerful artifact capable of changing the fate of the conflict, becomes the keystone to resolve the difficult situation, with the two opposing factions determined more than ever to take it over to try to save what remains of their world now in ruins . The historic contrast between Optimus Prime (Autobot leader not yet fully trained) e Megatron (head of the Decepticons) is once again staged, immediately managing to entertain the viewer thanks to a satisfactory characterization of the characters.
The series is well-paced, thanks to the alternation of action and reflective scenes that are never out of place but that, on the contrary, manage to create a good mix of situations. The strength of this first season lies above all in the great fatalistic climate that concerns her; both the Autobots and the Decepticons are in fact intent on carrying out their ideals (right or wrong that they are), however aware that they have basically reached the end of the line, given that sooner or later the final conflict will be inevitable, through a not so trivial introspective focus on both sides.
Seeing Megatron dominate unchallenged in order to arrive at the desired final goal (regardless of one's sense of honor) is an excellent narrative device. The work in fact, while maintaining the classic division concerning the evil Decepticons and the good Autobots, pushes in some points to reflection, thanks to some dialogues between the various characters that refer to a past where the divisions were not really so clear, with the Decepticons used as slaves and the Autobots totally indifferent to their fate.
Transformers: War For Cybertron, albeit aimed at a transversal audience, decides to focus on quite gloomy atmospheres, able to recreate the final war between the two sides well, aiming not only at the action but also at more reflective moments.
A desperate choice
The series, although sometimes focuses on some simplistic narrative development (such as how Bumblebee accepts almost without question a great responsibility), manages to build a solid plot and generally supported by a good pathos. The same sometimes desperate situation in which the Autobots find themselves, in fact in the minority and continuously hunted by their terrible opponents, it's a great way to keep tension alive, where between successful changes in the face and some pleasant twists, one can never be sure of what could happen during the episodes.
Also commendable is the way in which the sense of honor of the numerous characters has been managed, with a real difference in approach (even during battles) between the behavior of the Autobots – these devoted to the respect of their enemies – and that of the Decepticons, intent instead to annihilate their opponents without any kind of moral scruple.
As for the technical side, the series manages to defend itself well, thanks to a well-made character design supported above all by a sound design of fine workmanship, capable of recreating very well the characteristic sound linked to the transformations of robots.
Transformations moreover managed effectively during the episodes, thanks precisely to sequences where the various protagonists decide to change for real needs (war or displacement) and not only for simple aspects related to fan service. Good animations, both during the dialogue scenes and during the fights, albeit somewhere (especially regarding the fight) there is a sort of underlying static nature, which however does not particularly affect the fine workmanship of the entire series.