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January 25th, 2018 Movie – Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo

teen titans trouble in tokyo

T-E-E-N! T-I-T-A-N-S! Teen Titans! Let’s Go! One thing I am not ashamed to admit is that I do enjoy watching cartoons, even as an adult. The thing that some people don’t consider is that there are plenty of times that cartoons are written with the fact that adults watch them as well, and will have a lot of subtle humor that adults will pick up on but it will go over kids heads. Regardless, I remember watching Teen Titans when it was on Cartoon Network and thought it was one of the best written cartoons to come out in a long time. Today’s movie, Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo, is kind of like a series finale, coming out a couple of months after the show ended, and one that I was eager to watch.

The plot: A brightly colored ninja named Saico-Tek begins attacking Jump City in order to draw out the Teen Titans; Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. The Titans attempt to capture Saico-Tek and eventually do so, but not before Saiko-Tek damages Titans Tower. As Raven directs the others into helping clean up the damage, Robin begins interrogating Saiko-Tek to find out why he attacked their city and their home. Saiko-Tek eventually reveals he was sent there by his boss, Brushogun, then kicks the sprinkler system and disappears in the falling water. When the Titans can find no trace of Saiko-Tek in the city, Robin decides they should head to Tokyo to track down Brushogun and bring him to justice. When they arrive in Tokyo, Beast Boy starts to treat it as a vacation and wants to head to the famous comic book factory but Robin says they are heroes, not tourists, so they should find Brushogun and try to stay out of trouble. When they find themselves lost and unable to understand the language, Starfire kisses a boy (which makes Robin jealous) in order to learn Japanese and starts to lead them where they want to go when a giant reptile begins to attack the city. The Titans try to stop it but are unsuccessful and just before the reptile kills Robin, he is saved by Tokyo’s supernatural defense force, Commander Uehara Daizo and the Tokyo Troopers. Daizo greets the Titans, giving them a tour of their facility, and Robin asks if they can use it to track down Brushogun but Daizo says that Brushogun is simply an urban legend and doesn’t exist. Seemingly with nothing left for them to do, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven split up to explore the city, while Starfire drags Robin along with her, unaware that a mysterious individual is observing them and creates 4 beings to follow them. Cyborg heads to an all you can eat sushi restaurant while Raven searches for something to read, with a shop keeper handing her a pack of gum. Beast Boy laments about the comic factory being closed for the day but sees a cute girl and starts following her around, eventually being led to a karaoke bar. Meanwhile, Robin and Starfire keep hanging out and eventually wind up on Tokyo Tower, where they start to express their mutual attraction to each other. Before they can kiss, Robin focuses his attention back onto Brushogun and says they are heroes and don’t have time for this, upsetting Starfire and causing her to fly away. As Robin tries to focus on the object left by Saiko-Tek at the tower, he is attacked by Saiko-Tek. Robin and Saiko-Tek begin fighting and Robin eventually catches him and pummels him into the ground but as he stands up, with Saiko-Tek’s blood on his hands, the crowd believes he killed him and Daizo and the Tokyo Troopers arrest him. Meanwhile, Raven finds a bookstore and asks the shopkeeper about Brushogun and he hands her a book about his history. Meanwhile, Beast Boy is mobbed by fan girls after his karaoke singing and he runs away, running into Cyborg, who was running from the angry chefs, and the two quickly hide from their pursuers. Starfire is feeling dejected about Robin but after talking with a little girl, feels that Robin does care for her and she wants to find him, only to see a news report about his arrest and the mayor calling for the other Titans to turn themselves in or leave Tokyo. Starfire contacts the other Titans and tells them the news and they make plans to meet up but they end up being attacked by the 4 beings; with a blue robot boy attacking Starfire, a ghost-like being attacking Raven, a yellow robot attacking Cyborg, and Beast Boy being attacked by the girl he had followed, who had turned into a pink cat-girl. Meanwhile, Robin is being transported to prison when a note with the name Brushogen slips into the van. Suddenly, the name lifts off the paper and transforms into one of Saiko-Tek’s explosive throwing stars, causing an explosion in the van. Robin drags the driver to safety and then leaves, changing clothes with a mugger, who had tried to mug him in order, in order to avoid detection. Robin then heads to a dive bar and after beating up the patrons, asks for information about Brushogun and is told that he was real but disappeared just before the new criminals showed up. When the Tokyo Troopers arrive, Robin attempts to escape and after a chase, is surrounded by the troopers but before they can arrest him, Starfire flies down and rescues him. Starfire takes Robin to a temple and hands him his uniform and the two are about to kiss when Beast Boy and the others show up. Cyborg tells Robin they reexamined the crime scene and it wasn’t blood on Robin’s costume, but ink, which was also on all of them after their encounters with their attackers. Raven then explains the history of Brushogun, who was a comic artist who used dark magic to bring his drawings to life but the spell backfired and he ended up becoming Tokyo’s first super villain. Realizing he didn’t kill anyone because Saiko-Tek wasn’t really alive, Robin dons his costume again just as they find themselves surrounded by their various pursuers. The Titans manage to escape and start working to track down Brushogun when Robin realizes where he is hiding; the comic book factory Beast Boy wanted them to visit earlier. The Titans make their way inside and find that Brushogun is actually a captive himself, trapped in a cursed printing press which uses his powers to create villains against his will. Brushogun explains that he sent the first Saiko-Tek to them as a message, knowing that they would head to Tokyo to investigate. When they ask Brushogun who is the one controlling the villains, Robin deduces that it is Daiko, who shows up and has his troops attack the Titans. When the Titans defeat his troops, Daiko uses the press to create multiple copies of Saiko-Tek and the other creations to attack them. As the Titans fight their attackers, Robin confronts Daiko, who jumps into the press and merges with Brushogun, becoming a monstrous creature made of ink. Daizo then creates more beings to fight the Titans and the Titans defends themselves against the attacks. Seeing Brushogun in Daizo’s stomach, Robin heads up to him and asks how to stop Daizo and Brushogun tells him that if he is freed from the press, Daizo will lose his powers. Robin frees Brushudo, who thanks Robin for saving him before fading away, and the spell breaks. Robin checks on Starfire and as he starts to talk about them being more than heroes, Starfire tells him to stop talking and the two kiss, with the other Titans looking on and Cyborg saying, “Well it’s about time.” The next day, the Titans are rewarded for saving the city and exposing Daizo for his crimes. Beast Boy finds himself mobbed by fan girls again, Cyborg is awarded a mountain of sushi to eat, and Raven is made the mascot for the gum she was given. Afterwards, Robin says that maybe they do deserve a vacation once in a while and Beast Boy says next time they should go to Mexico, prompting Raven to smack him.

All of the humor that was in the TV series was able to make it into this movie, making this a really funny movie to watch. The voice acting was great, with all of the original people returning to voice their respective characters. The story was well written, making for a great stand alone movie that did not need to reference anything from the TV show to carry it but able to stand on it’s own merits, and did a great job of mixing in a somewhat serious plot with some humorous moments to lighten the mood. While I did like that they gave some resolution to the Robin/Starfire drama, which was a constant running gag in the show, I will admit that it did feel like it was done as a bit of fan service and wasn’t really essential to the story. The animation was great, with the cut scene animations making me really laugh several times. Whether you were a fan of the show, a fan of comic book based cartoons in general, or just a big kid at heart, this movie will definitely entertain you.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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