DC Animated Movies: Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

So, a little out of order because while I thought I had Superman: Brainiac Attacks available from um, outside sources, turns out I didn’t, but I’d already gotten the DVD for Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo from Netflix, hence the switch up. I know it’s really important to keep to the schedule on these things, but just this once I considered it OK to switch up.

Yeah, it's kind of a lot

Yeah, it’s kind of a lot

Alright, so I’ve never been super into the Teen Titans TV show, because I’m not super into anime, but the kids I used to babysit for when I was in high school and college loved it, so I’d seen a bunch of episodes and knew the general deal. When I got into watching animated super heroes a year ago, it seemed silly to check into this one, when I remembered not liking it much, and Young Justice is a thing. (BTW Still available!) But, I guess because I’ve spent so much time with animation in general lately I was able to see past the anime style and enjoy (kind of) the story.

The story is basically that the Teen Titans team, Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy catch a criminal named Saico-Tek trashing “their hometown” which traditionally in comics is New York, but maybe not here? I don’t know. Anyway, this leads them, for reasons passing my understanding, to Tokyo, as Saico-Tek names only one name as Robin interrogates him, Brushogun.

While in Tokyo, they fight a Godzilla monster and catch the attention of The Tokyo Troopers, and their leader Commander Daizo. Daizo basically tells them to run along and play and the team takes this as a chance to vacation in Tokyo. Beast Boy winds up a Japanese heartthrob, Cyborg eats his way through an all you an eat sushi restaurant, Raven looks for a book in a language she can understand and Robin and Starfire talk about their relationship. And while as a strict Dick/Babs shipper any and all Dick/Kori action upsets me, I did enjoy this scene as it was so true to how young teens actually deal with their feelings. Anyway, eventually they figure out that Brushogun isn’t the real badguy, he’s only being manipulated by Daizo. Brushogun’s powers allow him to create living drawings and it’s really anime. The Teen Titans defeat Daizo and his creations, and they all go home.

Look, I’m the wrong audience for this particular movie. Like I said, I’ve never been a big fan of the anime style of Teen Titans, and I hate the character of Beast Boy regardless of the series or medium, I also don’t like the way that secret identities are completely dispensed with ,when it’s such an integral part of any Teen Titans comics story that these kids have two lives. But, what I did like about this one and about Teen Titans in general is that you really get to see Robin as a detective, in fact this version of Robin is more like Batman than any Robin except maybe Damian. And while it’s never outright stated, the nature of his relationship with Starfire gives away that he’s Dick Grayson. He’s overly serious and focused, he outright says that he doesn’t have time to be anything but a hero. (This is almost word for word what Bruce says to Diana in JLU.) I also love Cyborg, regardless of medium, and even when I was watching the show on babysitting jobs was a big fan of Raven, as her sarcasm speaks to me, and this version of Starfire is miles ahead of how she’s being written in comics right now. (I’m actually a big fan of Red Hood and The Outlaws in spite of the hatchet job they’ve done on her. The whole book is redeemed of my love for Jason Todd.)

This and most anime is never going to be my taste. I don’t like the hyper fast cuts and the childish characterizations. Up next is Superman: Brainiac Attacks for real. I mean it this time!


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