Saturday, September 5, 2015

Top 5 Favorite TFP Characters, Number 5: Knock Out

So, trying to give myself a rest from reviewing Over the Garden Wall, I decided to make a list of my Top 5 Favorite Transformers Prime Characters. My original idea was to make a Top 5 list of my favorite Justice League episodes, but the thing is, I am about two or three episodes short of making a certain judgment. In other words, I haven't seen all Justice League episodes, so I don't really know what my favorite episodes are overall until I have seen them. So until then, I went for something a little simpler: Top 5 favorite characters list.
A few years back I made an NCIS favorite characters list that listed each and every single character I knew from NCIS and ranked them from most favorite to least favorite. Even then, I soon realized the complications. There are certain characters I don't really care enough about, and so by the time I posted my top 5 characters, I began judging the other characters on how indifferent I felt about them until I could get to my least favorite character.
Here are the links to the posts, by the way, if you want to see them. I wouldn't recommend it. They are rather very bad and narrow-minded, and I have some very different opinions and better reasoning now. Also, there are some rather unfortunate typos (which I may or may not edit)... Why do I keep them around? I like to see how I've (hopefully) evolved. Please don't read them….
This time, I'm going for a different route. Just list my top 5 favorite characters! Why top 5? Because I don't think there are enough characters for me to make a top 10 list… And I'm afraid I'm too indifferent about certain characters to make a full list. I'll make one post per character, from 5 down to 1, nĂºmero 1 being my most favorite character. So let's start the actual post now, shall we?
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[PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION. IF YOU DISAGREE, THAT'S FINE, BUT PLEASE DON'T BASH ME FOR HAVING A DIFFERENT OPINION COMPARED TO YOU]

Transformers Prime is one of my most favorite cartoons in the Transformers franchise, and one of my most favorite cartoons in general. I'm sure I've said this before. It was dark, had some excellent stories, both continuous and contained, and even had some pretty funny moments. But I think what I love most about Transformers Prime is the characters. Yeah, the humans were actually pretty interesting (which is impressive), but I'm talking, of course, about the Transformers themselves.
Both the Autobots and the Decepticons had some rather memorable bots in their ranks, most of them being pretty enjoyable to watch. They each had their own personality, their own back stories, their own motivations. There really wasn't a character I disliked in the series…!
Ok, that's a lie, there just might be one possible exception… But the point is I really liked, and still like, the characters. And what do have we here? A list of my top 5 favorite TFP characters of course! Whether they be Decepticon or Autobot, they are viable for the list. So let's get started!

5. Knock Out

"Yes, right, you're one of those."
"Come again?"
"Never understood why any self-respecting Decepticon would choose 'automobile' as his vehicle mode when he could have flight."
"I like the way I look in steel-belted radials."
While trying to compile this short list, only three bots were instantly on the roster, hands-down, no contest. Knock Out, of course, was one of those bots. It's almost hard to say what I love about this guy in a coherent manner.
Knock Out is the Decepticon medic. He's one of the few Decepticons with a ground form, he's one of the few Decepticons without any actual weapons, he's the shortest 'Con on the show, and he is hilarious. In my opinion, Knock Out is apart of the funniest moments in the show. With Knock Out's narcissistic personality, his constant quips and sarcasm, his awfully over-confident attitude, his cowardice, and of course his obsession with having a perfect paint job…

"You painted my paint job! Prepare for surgery!"

…and the fantastic campy performance by Daran Noris, it is kind of hard to take him seriously. Both the Decepticons, Autobots, and the general audience would agree. But it's not just the humor of this character that makes me love him so much, because quite frankly Knock Out can be one scary as scrap character. I honestly wonder why any 'Con would trust this guy enough to lay down on his medical slab!
Knock Out is kind of underrated. I mean, the fandom knows of his awesomeness, but his own teammates often underrate what he can do. Sure, everyone knows that he is a medical and scientific genius, but if Knock Out wasn't such a coward, I know he would kick a lot of aft on the field. He wields a mean electro staff, and he took down Optimus Prime! And that was in his debut episode!
While I am disappointed we don't see much of Knock Out's full potential on the field, the show more than makes up for it in how scary he can be when in his element. Oddly, while Knock Out is apart of some of the funniest moments, he is equally apart of what I see as some of the creepiest/scariest moments of Transformers Prime. Knock Out can be really scary when in his medical lab. He has no qualms performing surgery on a live patient, or performing experiments on the carcass of his dead partner (and by extension performing experiments on the live human inside said carcass).
I think one of the creepiest moments is in episode The Human Factor, in which a man named Silas uses the dead body of Breakdown (Knock Out's partner) to keep himself alive. Renamed CyLAS, he proposes partnership with the Decepticons, but when he fails to impress Megatron, he is handed over to Knock Out's dissection table. And Knock Out couldn't be happier about it.

"He will be a fascinating case for study."
"I will leave no fiber or fiber optic unexamined."

Just the cold glee Knock Out shows in having both a techno-organic lab rat and revenge for his partner is enough to give me chills every time. That, and CyLAS' yells of protest while he's being dragged away. [shudder] It's hard to see Doc Knock as a doctor with his sarcastic and all around uncaring beside manner, and mad scientist tendencies. On an unrelated note, when I first started getting interested in Team Fortress 2, there was something about the Medic that struck me as familiar.

"No worries, Herr Kommandant."

I can't imagine why it is...
Knock Out's survivalist tendencies are another thing that makes me wonder why anyone would trust this guy, and attributes to both his funnier and more chilling moments. Knock Out is pretty much motivated by whatever could benifit him the most. He supports the alpha dog, he supports the winning team, he is more than willing to abandon the Decepticons if the Autobots end up winning… Which is exactly what happens by the end of the series.

"Ah, such luster."
"…"

"What? I'm joining the winning team."
I really want to know more about how this guy interacts with the others now that he's an Autobot. Seriously though, Knock Out is so intent on power and survival that he was willing to off Megatron himself! Twice! Granted, both times the big guy was helpless on his medical table, but still! That takes some real ball bearings.

"But… if I disconnect before a proper power down, the link is severed, and… the big guy will never emerge from Starscream's head."
All in all, I just love Knock Out. He's sarcastic, he's funny, he's a complete coward, and gosh he can be scary as scrap. Daran Noris does such a fantastic job voicing this snobbish, vain, pretentious 'Con, and I think that the character would not have been nearly as enjoyable without him.

[Check out this fanart of Knock Out trying to be a good and trustworthy Autobot medic by the-starhorse on Deviantart]

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