Ikki Tenyrou is a kid who really wanted a Medabot, and one day he finds one by the name of Metabee. Unfortunately, this Medabot has an attitude problem and refuses to work with Ikki at first. Eventually, though, the two become close friends and fight against many, many competitors together through 91 episodes of ripped off storylines and stereotypes.
Medabots is an interesting series in the same way watching two trains crash each into other is interesting. I'm impressed that both Bee Train AND Production IG went out of their ways to make this series had no redeeming features whatsoever. Bad art, awful character designs, washed-out, lifeless coloring, lame fighting sequences, and a foray of robots that make H.E.R.B.I.E. from that old Fantastic Four cartoon series look bad ass. Somehow Medabots manages to screw up even the simplest of things; this makes Pokemon and Digimon look like Studio Ghibli works. The sole amusing moments in the series revolve around a referee who pops out of NOWHERE to announce a battle. I wish I had something better to say.
And what Bee Train and/or Production IG didn't screw up, Nelvana did. Much like they did in Cardcaptors, Nelvana throws together a disjointed, badly composed series of synthesizer tunes at you along with a truly moronic opening theme with the tag line "More Medabots, More Power". (Which doesn't make any damn sense. The kids aren't collecting Medabots: most only have one robot and simply fight with that.) The voice acting is weak as well, with the possible exception of Erika, who's voiced by a veteran child actress at Nelvana. All other voices fall into one of two extremes; too little or too much. Worst of all is Metabee, who somehow manages to sound angry even when he's happy.
The characters are also trite and stereotypical. Ikki is the obligatory energetic, frustrated male lead who has a hard time getting along with his robotic friend Metabee, not unlike Ash and Pikachu from Pokemon...except Pikachu was actually cute and not a wise-cracking smart ass like Metabee is. Erika's the token tomboy best friend, Karen's the pretty, popular girl, Metafighter X's a ripoff of Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, and we even have the female head honcho and her male underlings a la Time Bokan. The side characters are no better, and in some cases are even lamer stereotypes.
Medabots is pure garbage. There are very few, if any, cartoons I can name off the top of my head from any country that are much worse. Yu-Gi-Oh! had better looking human characters and occasionally cool monsters. Beyblade had actual animation and color design. Mon Colle Knights at least had a few funny moments here and there. Medabots, meanwhile, has practically nothing. It's pure cash cow market drivel that reminds me of why I hate almost all those commercials that animation companies passed off as "cartoons" in the 1980's. And it's even less sincere about it; this makes Care Bears look like award-winning animation.
In short, Medabots stinks worse than a trash heap and is about as pleasant to look at. Avoid this title at all possible costs.
Probably the worst Pokemon clone out there, a title it still holds over a decade after its debut. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: A little bit of violence, usually exchanged between robots. Nothing any kid shouldn't be able to handle.
Version(s) Viewed: Broadcast (ABC Family), English dub
Review Status: Partial (8/91)
Medabots © 1999 TV Tokyo/ NAS / Kodansha
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