19 February 2003 | Nic_hse
G.I. Joe is a good example of the flaws of American cartoons.
When I think of GI Joe it brings back to me fond memories of the 1980's. Although GI Joe premiered in 1983, I didn't start watching regularly it until 1984. By 1985 I had already been exposed to and was captivated by what is perhaps the best American produced cartoon ever made, Robotech. Robotech although produced in America, of course it had an extensive Japanese anime influence. After watching a mature series like Robotech, it's very hard to enjoy a very simple and juvenile cartoon such as GI Joe. With that said, I'll proceed to point out the flaws with this series .
1. The first thing I didn't like about GI Joe is how the laser blasts don't count. In the typical battle scene you'll see dozens of lasers being fired at the joes and no one gets hit. To make matters worse they don't even take cover; they just charge straight into the line of fire. Cobra soldiers must have the worst aim in the world. (In Robotech each shot does count and most of the LARGE battles produced casualties.)
2. Secondly when I watch an episode of GI Joe, I never feel that the Cobras have any chance of winning. With the exception of an occasional
two part or five part episode most conflicts are resolved in a half hour.
3. (Lack of an origin for GI Joe or Cobra) Why was the GI Joe force formed and why is it only an American Force(A Real American Hero?). Cobra is an international terrorist group, shouldn't the GI Joe force be supported by more than just America. Where does the Cobra force get it's funding to support it's activities? They lose vehicles by the dozens in a typical episode. I mean these things do cost money. So many questions....so little answers.
4. (Lack of character and plot depth) This one ties in with number 2 and 3. This series is limited by the lack of an extended storyline. The advantage of having a plot play out over a several episodes is that you can develop relationships between the various characters, villains can actually win battles and you can give the impression that this series is more than a thirty minute toy commercial.
I don't know what age group was intended for but given the rather idiotic and laughable "Knowing is half the battle" segments at the end of each episode, I'd have to say no older than twelve. I was 11 in 1984 and I remember even then I had the complaints listed above. My exposure to Robotech only made the flaws stand out more. Speaking of those "Knowing is half the battle" segments, some of them were pretty hilarious. I remember one where a boy was in his backyard swimming pool and suddenly he gets a cramp and out of nowhere the Joe named "Wet Suit" emerges from the pool to save him. He then gives him the tip of not eating before swimming and "don't swim alone and knowing is half the battle". Now my question is what the hell was Wet Suit doing in the kid's backyard pool? Geez he was even dressed in full scuba gear(which he NEVER takes off by the way) no less.
In closing I have to say if you haven't been exposed to the many much better cartoons out there (mostly anime), then you'll probably enjoy GI Joe. If I watch it now it's for the nostalgia factor. Actually I highly recommend this cartoon for the laughs you'll get from the end segments alone. Well now you know and Knowing is Half the Battle.....GI Joooooooooe!! Ha, Ha, Ha!!!