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DVD Review: Medabots - The Complete First Season

Medabots: where young kids pit their robotic pals against each just because they're bored! Okay, so not really, but it's not far from the truth. In the world of Metabots, which apparently takes place sometime in the future, it seems that not only does everyone own a robot slave, but they also all use them to "robattle". So it's basically a Pokemon ripoff, replacing the annoyingly cute critters with mechanical monstrosities. And while both series are most definitely made for children, speaking as an adult male, Metabots is a bit easier to watch.

Anywho, the protagonist of this series is a kid named Ikki (pronounced like "Icky"). He's all bummed because everyone at school has a Medabot except for him, and his mom refuses to buy him one, saying that he needs to save his money and buy one himself (boy if that doesn't bring back memories!)... so he does what any kid would do in that situation and hangs out at the store staring at the Medabots. One day the store owner takes pity on Ikki and offers to sell him an old model for the little money that Ikki has... and Ikki refuses! Seems kinda lame to me after the big fuss he made.

To be fair, the store owner was only offering to sell him a Medabot body, not a Medabot medal (which is like the equivalent of a brain or soul). After some mostly insignificant events, Ikki finds a Medabot medal, buys the Medabot body, and starts his wave of robot-on-robot violence! Of course, it soon becomes clear that there's something special about that mysterious Medabot metal, as Metabee (that's Ikki's Medabot) has much more personality than your average run-of-the-mill Medabot. If fact, he actually refuses to follows Ikki's commands at first. This changes as they realize how much they need each other.

There isn't a real flowing plot line here, as most episodes can be taken as they are, in whatever order. Each finds Ikki and pals going on some kind of minor adventure. In several of the episodes they wander far from school and stay out late and I can't help but wonder what is up with these kids' parents? For instance, in one episode the kids are out at night in a forest, and in another they follow their coach downtown. Is this sending the right message to kids? Well, at least they're using the buddy system!

The show does have some scenes which actually made me chuckle, such as seemingly every time there is a robattle about to happen, the referee pops out from some hidden area, which reminded me of Agent 13 from Get Smart. There is some dialog between Ikki and Metabee which is occasionally more interesting than I would expect from such a show, but overall the characters and stories are all rather plain. Not a bad show for kids but adults will find it lacking.

The first season DVD box set released by Shout! Factory is called Medabots: The Complete First Season, though technically it's not quite complete as they're missing Japanese episode 19 "Once Frostbitten Twice Shy" (ピンゲン南へ…), episode 20 "Heavy Medal" (レアメダルを奪え!), and episode 23 "Bridge Over Troubled Squidguts" (風と火の記憶). Apparently they must have realized this at some point, because attached to the front of the DVD box is a sticker that says "The Complete First Season As Seen on Fox Kids".

Also, there is no Japanese language track, unfortunately. This is understandable, though, since this is the series as it was released on Fox Kids, and thus it went through a few edits, so the Japanese track wouldn't always match up. I would much prefer an unedited version that did contain the Japanese language track, but that's not what this is. I did find it odd, however, that there was no subtitle track. There's really no reason not to put one in, except for that they didn't think it was worth the effort.

The following episode are included in the first season DVD box set:

Disc 1
  1. Stung By a Medabee
  2. Return of the Screws
  3. Running Scared
  4. The Legendary Medafighter
  5. The Old Man and the Sea Monster
  6. The Gimmie Ghost
  7. Cyandog Bites Back
Disc 2
  1. For Better, for Worse (Part 1)
  2. For Better, for Worse (Part 2)
  3. Mystery Medabot
  4. Phantom Renegade Unmasked
  5. Ban All Medabots
  6. Meet Your Meda-Maker
Disc 3
  1. The Spy Who Robattled Me
  2. I Dream of Hushi
  3. Metabee vs Rokusho
  4. Use the Medaforce
  5. Fifteen Minutes of Shame
  6. Enter Rintaro
  7. The Ace from Outer Space
Disc 4
  1. Me and My Shadow Sword
  2. Dude, Where's My Ma?
  3. X-Treme Measures
  4. The Road to Ruins
  5. Beetle Mania
  6. The Mother of All Robattles

Medabots - The Complete First Season, released by Shout! Factory, is available starting January 15, 2008.

Press Release: Medabots - The Complete First Season

View Medabots trailer

"Get ready to Robattle!" On January 22, 2008, Shout! Factory, in association with Nelvana Enterprises, will unleash Medabots: The Complete First Season on a 4-DVD set, priced to own at $34.99.

Enter the world of Medabots, where kids have the ultimate power -- and supercharged robots. Fueled with artificial intelligence and a specialized arsenal of high-powered weapons, the Medabots compete against each other in exciting Robattles, with the winners acquiring Medaparts from the defeated Medabot. But more than anything else, these challenges are about courage and mind power, where the soul of the Medafighter and Medabot combine to emerge victorious.

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