Genki was playing a new video game when he suddenly found himself sucked inside of it - and now he finds himself in a land where the monsters are real! The evil monster Moo is trying to turn all the good monsters into baddies, but Holly and Suezo are trying to stop him by finding and releasing the legendary Phoenix. Genki joins these new friends in their quest to find the Phoenix. With his own monster, Mocchi, and the friends they make along the way, Genki and Holly will continue to seek out Mystery Disks until they find the one which contains the Phoenix and free the world from the evil Moo.
STORY SECTION: 5/10 [Is this the DigiWorld?] This is in a nutshell a simpler Digimon variant. A boy and a girl are transported to a monster land, where they must find a way to return home. Along the way, they befriend and liberate monsters, learn and mature through their adventures and face the evil demon that tyranises this world. And that is pretty much all there is.In case you have watched any Digimon seasons, you will know what to expect. Simple adventures, moral messages, coming-of-age talking and other silly themes. So, ok, at some times the series gets more violent or scary than Digimon. And there are some plot twists concerning the origin of the monsters and the identity of the arch-villain that do spice things up. But that happens only at a few points and it is not enough to improve the whole childish concept of the story. ANIMATION SECTION: 6/10 [Hey, look! More species of Pokemon!] Cute and clear but nothing great, appealing to the eye animation but without any artistic value. All character figures and objects don’t have much detail on them, the colors are vivid and generally bright, with too much lightning / shadowing antithesis. The monsters are as weird looking as most Digimons are. You know; an animal or object with a weird trinket to make it look bizarre. I must say, some of them look too spooky or ugly, even for kiddie standarts and thus I find them less appealing to the eye that their counterparts. Special effects such as energy beams and explosions are also too simple to the point they become boring to keep watching. The world is also rather empty and full of ruins so you are not made to think it is bursting with life or anything. SOUND SECTION: 6/10 [Pokemon! Got to catch them all!] Don’t expect any great voice acting or marvelous music themes. Kiddy voices, funny sounding monsters and cheery music themes are all you get. Enough to keep an 8 year-old focused but quite lame for teenagers and above. CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 [Is that Ash and Misty?] We have your typical immature, hyped boy in red, acompanied by your typical gentle and serious girl, aided by some comic relief monsters. And a generic Big Bad chasing them. And some other one-episode monsters and characters teaching them or chalenging their moral beliefs. And… Well, that’s probably all. Not original, but colorful and kinda developed in the end. VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10 [When is the “list of monsters I have to catch” going to end?] Not original or interesting in the long run. It won’t keep any seasoned viewer glued and newcomers in Anime will most likely turn to “that other show”. VERDICT: 4/10 Better leave alone these critters in their Pokeballs… I mean, ancient tablets!
So……usually, I don’t review anime shows this length but since I’m being blackmailed to it or a certain lynx will reveal my whereabouts to you-know-who, I should probably get started on this. Monster Rancher……Yes, I know the Japanese version of that is Monster Farm but today we are doing the English version that aired on the now-defunct (and fortunately) Fox Kids. Now it is based on a series of life simulation RPG videogames created by Tecmo (the company that brought you Ninja Gaiden & Dead or Alive) having over 14 games across different videogame platforms. In the anime adaptation, it revolves around Genki, a 12-year-old middle school boy who really loves to play videogames and one day, he discover the Monster Rancher game and as he plays it, he is zapped into their universe where he meets the rest of the team: Holly, a 14-year-old girl on the quest along with their monster team, Mochi, Suezo, Golem, Tiger and Hare (No, I’m not calling them Tiger and Bunny) to find the ancient Monster Phoenix, and it is the only powerful monster that’s able to stop the dastardly……..MOO!Yes, his name is Moo. What happened to Mistress BAA? Overlord BARK? Princess SQUEE? Hell, where is Grand Master MEOW?Now, you’re wondering that this anime reminds you of something. You know, that type of anime that involves battle monsters and traveling in unknown strange lands especially when the travelers are very young and it’s also based on card game/videogame franchise. I know what this anime reminds of……..it’s like…..DEATH NOTE!!!OK, I’m just kidding. But the difference between Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Digimon & Death Note is Death Note doesn’t have those noticeable COPYCATS and generic ones at that (unless somebody can correct me)!! WHY anyone would needed another one of this type of anime? I get that it’s something for kids to watch and even though this came out when I was a kid, I never knew about its existence but I guess that were trying to cash in on the Pokémon/Digimon/Yu-Gi-Oh craze and I don’t think it worked that well considering Monster Rancher only lasts about 72 episodes and the other ones just go on forever even if we had enough.Well, the story is generic, there’s no doubt about it. Now the characters: Genki is fucking annoying……there, I said it. Basically he is the stereotype of this type of anime where he’s very determined, optimistic, and hopeful and likes to yell something at the top of his lungs. Man, do I want to strangle this kid and tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU DAMN MORON!! Most of the dialogue is so annoying in this show and for example, the antagonists in the show? They are referred as “baddies”. Yes, They say that on this show and you know what, whether I think of that word, I’m thinking of somebody playing a drinking game to this show and you got to take a shot whenever someone say “baddies”. I guess that no one survived. Most of the monsters with the exception of Tiger are very forgettable, mainly because he bothered me the least and Holly…..yeah, she was important, too…….kinda. The name MOO as a villain is still stupid and I mean really fucking stupid.I’m ashamed to say who did the animation of this, considering they made one of my favorite movies (not just anime movies, but overall movie of all time). The studio is TMS (Tōkyō Movie Shinsha) and what they made before this was Akira of course, Little Nemo (yeah, that movie was animated by a Japanese animation studio. Go figure. I didn’t know that at first.) Anyway, the animation level here is about average for a now-vintage kid show but speed lines do occur sometimes and it makes it seem like they are slipping in that department and character designs are a bit average.The music……me screaming at the top of my lungs would sound better than this played-out Wal-Mart style Pokémon rap they played and also that damn side song that goes “Get a disk, take a risk, spin it fast, through the past”. I could’ve ended it with, “I rather get shot in the ass.”Now, on to the English dub and surprisingly to me, this wasn’t made by 4Kids. No, really, 4Kids are not responsible for this dub, for once. It was made by a dubbing company in Canada called The Ocean Group and yet the anime & western animation they dub or just voiced before and after this were better made. Here are a few examples: Black Lagoon, The Girl Who Leap through Time, Escaflowne, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Death Note and Inuyasha….freaking Inuyasha!! Yes, Inyuasha isn’t that great IMO but I rather watch that than this. Most of the voice work in here do sound so very kiddy-like, it hurts and it gets very irritating by the minute hearing those voices, especially since I recognize some voices that came from Ed, Edd, N Eddy.FINAL VERDICT: I could easily say that this show makes me want to curse kid-aimed anime, such as this, Beyblade and Scan 2Go, but even as a kid, I wouldn’t be as interested in shows like that and in the present day, I still won’t have an interest in it. But as much as I want to trash the show, I can’t but one of the reasons why is that the show can get genuinely decent for most of the time, especially in the emotional moments in the show gives it a plus in my book but still that gets shadowed by the idiocy of the writing, the marketing and the shallowness that basically carried this show. Now even though for you have any kids or younger relatives that might be interested in this and it reminds them of those other shows I mentioned before, just tell them those shows are better than this. As for the second season............I just gonna say what was the point of that? Because there really wasn't unless they wanted more exposure but that failed.In other words, Monster Rancher gets the grade of 3.5/10 PLANET TYRO RATING: HIGH Not Feeling This/An Acquired Taste
Story The story plays out very similarly to another game tie in, There isn't a lot tying each episode together. They are just monster of the week episodes. Another thing that is going against this anime is the abundabce of cheese, there is lots. Goodies and baddies being called goodies and baddies and the chief antagonist who feeds on hate may, rightly, have some people not being able to finish it. If you do you will see one of the most inexplicable second seasons I have ever seen. It is blatantly trying to squeeze more money out of the already wrung out franchise. Also the pacing is all over the place. Animation Considering how successful the game franchise is, you would expect there to be some money behind the production. There doesn't seem to be any. The animation is very low quality. It is inconsistent and the fighting abilities of each of the monsters are reused over and over again. Sound The sound is also really bad. Admittedly the opening sequence is rather catchy but everything else is terrible. The rest of the music is either trying too hard to be cool which is almost embarrasing. The voices are ok, they fit the characters well but due to how bad the characters are they still feel pretty bad. The voices don't fit that well in the dub, they are off somehow timing wise. Also in between the first and second season they changed the actor voicing the main character. He just goes from annoying to annoying, there is no improvement. Characters The main characters are pretty bad. They are very predictable at the start and then you have to watch them be predictable for 73 episodes. Pretty much every character cliche there is is represented. SOme of the characters that they meet on their journey are a little interesting, but you see them for such a short time it doesn't matter. Overall Normally I don't mind bad anime if there is some redeeming factor to keep you interested. In this there isn't any. The only reason I watched it was because I watched as a kid and didn't see the end of it. This compelled the need in me to finish things to keep going. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, even those who want to find out how it ends, there are episode summaries for that.
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