Spider-Man: The New Animated Series ~ It's easy to see how this series could be a little polarizing, with its unusual usage of cel-shaded 3D animation, its mature elements, and a few unfortunate departures from Spider-Man tradition, such as Aunt May never appearing, J. Jonah Jameson having precious little role, and most of the villains not originating from the comics (though, since I'm a pretty new and inexperienced Spider-Man fan, I'm probably not as bothered by these things as long-timers). And as with any show, some episodes are better than others. Don't let that turn you off! I personally believe the show has quite a bit of merit and is definitely worth watching. (A bit of warning: The series originally aired out of order and as a result, the episodes are also in the wrong order on Amazon Prime. I recommend you use Wikipedia to determine the right order and watch it that way, as there is some continuity in the show even if it's not a whole lot.)The first question someone might feel inclined to ask is, "What even is this show?" It's definitely a bit non-traditional. It was aired on MTV, is designed to be a follow-up to the first Spider-Man movie (though the movie sequels ignored it), it's not geared towards kids in any way, and of course, the cel-shaded CGI animation style. And it only lasted one season, though it wasn't intended to. In a sense, it feels like this show doesn't have a "place". It's an animated Western superhero show for teens/adults. You don't see many of those. Even other mature superhero 'toons, such as Batman: The Animated Series, still maintain some pretense of being children's shows, eliminating swearing and the like, while this one doesn't.And you know, it's almost kind of a shame that such cartoons aren't a "thing". Because in my opinion, this show demonstrates the potential of action cartoons geared to teens and young adults. Sure, they may have gone a bit too far in the "gearing to young adults" thing considering it apparently kept them from showing much of "old people" such as Aunt May, Uncle Ben, or J. Jonah Jameson. But even though it takes a while to get used to, overall, I'm actually super sold on this show's aesthetics and how much they seem to jive with the target audience. The unique style seems to already separate this show from traditional kids' cartoons, the character designs are a bit more grounded and even sexier in places (though it's certainly not overkill), and then there's the neat EDM soundtrack. It all just seems to work together rather nicely.Yes, I'm not gonna lie, at first the animation seemed weird and bad to look at because it was so unusual. But when you get used to it? Honestly, it's pretty cool. The character designs have a feeling of being relatively grounded and it has the capacity to be very expressive and dramatic. It just works a lot better than you might imagine. And they use it for some great action sequences in places, too.Beyond aesthetics, this show has a ton else to offer. For me, how characters interact and their relationships with each other is one of the most crucial aspects to me really getting hooked into any series, and this show delivers on that front. The interactions between Peter, MJ, and Harry are well-developed and make them feel like a real group of friends. There's complexity to their relationships and room for growth, some of which happens, some of which is tragically unresolved. They're good friends, but there are plenty of rough spots. There's the fact that MJ and Harry are "normal" college kids with actual social lives, while Peter is the nerd dedicated to his studies...and secretly being Spider-Man. There's the fact that Harry has a deep personal grudge against Spider-Man due to believing him responsible for his father's death. There's the unresolved romantic tension between Peter and MJ that's made all the more complicated by Peter's interest in a show-exclusive character, Indy. There's an air of authenticity in the combination of casual, fun interactions and other hallmarks of friendship and the many problems the characters have. And the problems don't just exist, there are attempts to make progress on them...some more successful than others.The interpersonal issues and superhero adventures are not only rather well-balanced, there's often quite a bit of overlap that usually works pretty well (there are even a couple times when Peter's friends have to help him save the day). There's quite a bit of quality dialogue, and the story lines are usually pretty good and sometimes very nicely dramatic. It's not a perfect show, and some of the episodes are rough in various ways. But there's still a fair amount of good plotting to be found.The two-part series finale deserves a special mention as among the series' best, yet also rather heart-rending (it took me a little while to "recover"), as it's a MASSIVE downer ending that makes it seem like even more of a tragedy the series didn't go on longer. Extremely dramatic, gutsy, and well-done. They really pulled no punches here and it works! Even thinking about it gives me chills.Overall, there's SO MUCH about this series that is great. It has drama, emotional depth and intensity, compelling character relationships, aesthetics that can be awesome when you get used to them, a splash of more dark and mature themes that work rather well, and much more. No, it's not perfect, but it's definitely worth a go for anyone interested in Spider-Man or superhero cartoons in general.
Apart from the action scenes this simplistic, juvenile fare is basically a waste of time. I was excited to see this but felt disappointed by it's shallow plots and characters. The computer animation is understandably simple, which is OK in itself, but combined with an average script I felt I was watching an opening for a computer game and wished i could hit escape to just get on with the game. I watched 3 episodes of this new spider-man series but found myself just fast forwarding to the action scenes as the actual dialog is painful. The one liners voiced by our nimble hero do not embody what I would call actual wit, just plain stupid adages. I'm finished complaining now, I don't usually complain so much but am obliged to write 10 lines for some reason.