Due to being unemployed and there being a world-wide pandemic known as the Coronavirus,
needing to try to stay away from other people as much as possible and coming down with a stomach bug, I decided to try a show I might not otherwise review. A modern Nickelodeon show.
Nickelodeon hasn’t produced a good cartoon since Avatar: The Last Airbender. And other than the rare show that hardly gets aired on the main channel before they were kicked off to Nicktoons. Now, with the streaming wars coming to an apex, Nickelodeon has joined forces with Netflix.
And released its second cartoon solely for the platform: Glitch Techs. The show focuses on two teen gamers, Miko and High Five, real name Hector, who become members of an organization that hunt down game glitches that escape into the real world.
So in other words, it’s your pretty standard monster hunting show. And it doesn’t really do anything to stand out. And I’ll admit, maybe the show didn’t appeal to me because I’m not really a gamer. So, I am taking that into consideration.
Ugh. This show falls into the trap that a lot of children’s shows do – which is trying to appeal to the young audience by making up slang for the characters to use, or way overusing/misusing pre-existing terms.
It’s been a while since I’ve been a kid but I’m fairly certain that the NO kid uses the phrase, “Aw nerds,” to express disappointment like Five does.
I get that you can’t say “shit” on a kid’s show and even “Jeez” can be pushing it, but surely you can find some other expression to use in a show, in which the characters very likely consider themselves to be “nerds.”
Not everything needs to be so on the nose. Also, even though I know it’s common in kids’ shows to have characters act more like the targeted demographic’s age rather than their age, if these characters are as intense gamers as they’re meant to be, cursing would be a lot more accurate.
Another character says “noob,” a lot which is appropriate for the setting, but it’s still kind of annoying. But to be fair, it is mostly coming from the antagonist.
But it’s Miko who is the WORST offender. She uses phrases like “Oh my squee,” “lurve,” and “gives me the feels,” a little too often. I know that there are people who talk like this in real life. I was guilty of having similar phrases in my vocabulary when I was younger.
I get it.
That doesn’t mean it’s good to have a character say something like that every other line, even if they are a teenage fan-girl type. It’s annoying.
Generally, I’m not a fan of the hyper-active, yelling means giving your character a personality kind-of voice acting.
The infamous Asian streak and lessons in character design
The characters’ designs aren’t bad. They’re distinct and memorable.
And the Glitch Tech suits are honestly pretty darn cool. And I like how they give each character kind of their own little quirks in their outfits.
But Miko’s general design leaves me feeling a little uneasy. And it isn’t that she’s curvy or “sexualized” in the show. That’s just how some teens look. For me, the biggest issue is her hair.
If you aren’t aware there’s been a trend in Western media when it comes to Asian-American female characters and that is to give them a streak (or more) of pink or purple hair dye.
Think about it: Nikki from 6Teen, Juniper Lee from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, GoGo Tamago from Big Hero Six, Knives from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Mako Mori from Pacific Rim… The list goes on.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have dyed hair, but when all the characters you give dyed hair, are of the same race and all dye it the same color…maybe there’s an issue. And it’s also kind of code for: This Asian girl isn’t submissive. She’s rebellious.
Instead of hair dye, they could have given Miko a slightly over the top hair style and change it up from episode to episode like huge odango style buns in one episode and multiple ponytails in the next.
It’s something that absolutely has to be acknowledged, especially since this trend has been going on for years and apparently still won’t be going away anytime soon. I really can’t say much about the other designs though.
Uh… I don’t think the animation in this show is very good. It’s not particularly fluid, the characters’ lips move too fast or too slow when they’re speaking and there’s no weight or oomph in the fight scenes.
At times things move really fast and at other times not fast enough. It’s almost painful to watch for me. It was so bad that even though there are only 9 episodes in the first season and I have all the time in the world, I could just not make it through this damn show.
I don’t think I missed much though. It’s not like the plots or character dynamics that are particularly engaging or do anything worthwhile.
This show pretty much relies on standard plots, in between the monster fights. One episode where the character have to enter a castle crawler-style game is the “spooky” episode, there’s one where the antagonist figures out how big a piece shit he actually is, there’s one where the protagonists go off into gender-segregated adventures with secondary characters.
It’s all just kind of meh.
And the character dynamics are nothing new. You have High-Five as the awkward, nerdy, rule-following boy and Miko as the standard ADHD, but actually brilliant in her own way manic pixie dream girl.
It’s a new pairing that I’ve seen a lot. And I’m starting to get real bored with it, especially because this one is boring and the characters don’t have a lot of connection or chemistry. They don’t particular work well together because aside from both loving video games, which is like the whole company so aside from accidentally discovering the company together, I don’t get why they aren’t paired with somebody with a better dynamic.
Did their research
At least they reference a variety of different kinds of games and there seems to be a lot of understanding of it, even if some of them are such blatant rip-offs of popular games now or from the past, since they can’t do like FPS or anything too violent or gory.
I would have to say I don’t know how much research is put into these games but if we go by the TV tropes page there are a lot and I can respect that.
But still it’s not a show that I think is well executed in any other way.
And that’s the scoop
Year of release: 2020
Length: 9 episodes, 23-46 minutes
Creators/ Executive Producers: Eric Robles, Dan Milano
Directors: Phil Allora, Chris Graham, Ian Graham
Producers: Debbie Steel, Lisa Thibault Woods
Voice Actors: Ricardo Hurtado, Monica Ray
If you liked this review, read: Generic mystery adventures await in “Victor and Valentino”