Anyone who has read my reviews of the past sets of Teen Titans or even of the episodes themselves will no doubt know my feelings toward the latter half of the series. After the third season of the show, I felt that it was slowly wearing out its welcome; the lackluster Brother Blood story was weak from the get go and with the show never mixing it up, it became the same old story. That is, until season four premiered and immediately began throwing together stories that made the Titans such a fan-favorite. With “Episode 257-494” opening up the season with the zaniness that only Teen Titans could provide, fans were taken on a thorough history of Raven’s past which culminated in the three-part “The End” finale which remains the only three-part episode in the shows history.
Of course that’s not to say that the season didn’t have its downs. The second episode, “Cyborg the Barbarian”, was incredibly disappointing (perhaps I just don’t like Cyborg, but his episodes were never that strong), but with the Raven focused episodes and the Robin-costume filled “The Quest”, the shows lowpoints in its fourth season were few and far between. There were no other “weak” episodes in the season so to speak; Raven’s story occupied five of the thirteen episodes and the rest of the episodes were one-shots that were almost one-hundred percent fun to watch.
The only episode I have a real problem with this season is “Mother Mae-Eye”, which to this day disturbs me to no end. I don’t know what it is about the episode; I loved the Mad-Mod episodes, but something about Mother Mae-Eye just made for one strange episode. I thought it was because I was ill when I originally saw the episode, but rewatching it proved it to be just as weird as before. Of course that’s also part of the charm of the episode; though she may be a one-shot villain that we only truly see once (aside from the cluster-bomb of villains in season five), she certainly sticks in your head as being something more than that.
Also an interesting occurrence this season was the shows attempt to tackle an issue in modern culture. Much like how Batman Beyond would tackle issues kids would face in school (drugs, peer pressure), Teen Titans tackled racism in “TROQ.” It’s almost an uncomfortable episode to watch, but in the end it’s a pivotal study of Starfire that adds more depth to her character. “Stranded” also brings Starfire and Robin closer together in the “relationship” area, which we later see come to some sort of fruition in the “Trouble in Tokyo” film.
Overall this season of Teen Titans comes Recommended. Its ups were far more frequent than its downs and it almost always remained a good time to watch.
Arriving in the standard two-disc amaray casing that past seasons have been released in, this set is almost identical to past releases except for one small detail: there is no insert detailing the disc contents. Perhaps I simply got a set without the insert, but if not then it’s strange that this is the first of the four season set releases to be void of the insert. Menus contain music over the main menu only, with subsequent menus being static and audio-less.
Video and audio quality is a notch up from the last season. I didn’t notice a single bit of interlacing/ghosting on this video transfer, which for animation is rare. It truly looked pristine and clear at all times. The only downside is it’s still not in widescreen, but I guess that’s to be expected. Having just purchased a widescreen set, however, it’s definitely disappointing. Audio is the same standard Dolby 2.0 and remains as clear as ever.
On the extras front we get fifteen minutes of character profiles. The profiles cover “Control Freak”, “Bob & The Source”, “Billy Numerous”, “Mother Mae-Eye” and “Trigon.” Each character gets input from the crew of Teen Titans, ranging from Glen Murakami to Andrea Romano. Character designs, voice casting, history and more is revealed in these short little featurettes, each running around three minutes each combined for a near fifteen minute total. Not quite as impressive as Season Three’s extras, but certainly way better than what we got on Season Two.
The only other extras here are some trailers (LEGO Batman and Scooby-Doo). We’re a bit on the light side and some commentaries would have been nice, especially considering that Raven was perhaps the most beloved character in the show (for both good, bad and disturbing reasons). Still, for the price you get a solid bit of content, what with near three hundred minutes of episodes alone. Recommended.
Teen Titans: The Complete Fourth Season is now available on DVD.