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Monday, September 8, 2014

The Awesomes

For those of you in the US, you have probably already heard of the cartoon in series The Awesomes, now in its second season of streaming on Hulu.

For Canadians such as myself, it has only JUST appeared on Teletoon, the canuck version of the Cartoon Network last week. It was the same for Beware The Batman and a whole lot of other cartoons and other live-action programs such as Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, blah-blah-blah.

We Canadians get screwed nowadays - not like back in the 1960s and 70s and 80s when we had the cartoons the same Saturday morning as the US. I have no idea what it's like for others around the world.

Hence, this public-service announcement.

Anyhow... The Awesomes...

It is a cartoon series about a group of successful superheroes who retire or quit and are replaced by a rag-tag group of substitute superheroes that the original group had deemed unfit for superhero membership in the group.

It's a comedy. And, it's funny.

Main characters include:
There's our Japanese connection.

If you'll notice Sumo above in the screen shot for the show, rays of sun emanate from Sumo, providing us with the classic Japanese war flag symbology.

Sumo is the strong man of the group - except that he's not a man. He's an 11-year-old boy who, when angered or hurt transforms into Sumo in an Incredible Hulk fashion. Or, for your more literal types, in a Mister Hyde-like fashion (of Dr. Jekyll fame), which was where Marvel Comics 'borrowed' the concept from originally.

I'm only going by the first episode (because Canadians are unable to access Hulu), but the show employs some classic stereotypes.

Sumo, who is only known by the name 'Tim", lacking a proper Japanese family name, is cherry-picked from a list of candidates to join The Awesomes.

At such time, we see his Japanese parents who spout off classic lines about American decadence and laziness, because that's what the Japanese think about the West. Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, it's still funny.

Anyhow, before Tim joins, he is tested by the team's lovable but very dimwitted strong man, Muscleman, who promptly gets his butt handed to him by the transformed Sumo.

Tim, according to Wikipedia, does not wear a costume, but for Japanophiles, Tim wears regular clothing, and when he transforms into Sumo, he has on standard sumo-wrestler (rikishi) gear known as the Mawashi, a belt or loin cloth that sits snuggly between the butt cheeks and around the waist.

Everybody loves the underdog. I do, being one myself. But it's one of the reasons why movie-going audiences lapped up the movie The Guardians Of The Galaxy, probably the best movie Marvel Comics has put out in years - I still think the first Blade movie was so unexpectedly good that it ranks very high with me, and X-Men: First Class, just because I really, really enjoyed seeing Emma Frost aka The White Queen.

So... if you are able to, I'd suggest trying to sign into Hulu on your computer or whatever and watching The Awesomes. Us Canadians... while I suppose there are ways to watch otherwise, we can watch it on TV.

Like I said, the show is on its second season, each episode being 22-minutes, with 20 episodes in the tank.

Andrew Joseph  

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