Friday, February 24, 2012
Monsuno Episode 1: First Impressions.
A summary of the episode "Clash":
We start with the protagonist, Chase Suno, running away from a T-rex for some reason. After that short non-sequitur, we are introduced to the theme song, which sounds a bit like it's sung by T-Pain. I've heard it gets catchy after a while, but it's a bit unbearable the first time I hear it with slightly weak lyrics.
Jon leads Chase to a vault which only Chase can open. Inside is a glowing core and what is no doubt this series's Pokedex, the "Core-Tech Tablet", which Jinja and Bren argue over while Chase retrieves the capsule.
As they escape, Chase reveals that he has decided to name his Monsuno "Lock", after a poem his dad liked.
Meanwhile, at the EEEVIL fortress of...EEEVIL, a goatee'd man watches footage of Lock and laughs...EEEVILLY!
Now, as for the episode itself, it at least feels like a pilot episode: The characters are introduced and the conflict gets underway. It feels a lot like the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam where the son stumbles into his father's greatest creation and somehow gets it to work well enough to escape the clutches of his enemy. It feels less like Pokemon in this sense; In Pokemon and other shows like Beyblade and Yugioh!, the subject of the series is presented as already concrete and well-known. In Monsuno, it starts with all hell breaking loose.
Another purpose of the pilot episode is to get to know the characters and sympathize with them. However, I don't really get that much from Chase, Jinja and Bren just yet. Maybe it's due to the fact that TWO episodes premiered and I have yet to see the second one.
If there's anyone who got good character development that I sympathize with, it's Jon Ace. Had he been allowed to finish his plan uninterrupted, he might have gotten Chase to cooperate better and have a different sort of story.
So, unlike the pilot of Redakai that made me hate everybody, I at least found a character I enjoyed watching. I hope Jon Ace will be a frequent sight in this show and that any other members of S.T.O.R.M. will have good diversity as well. I suppose when Chase recovers from the shock of episode 1, and stops using "Crag" as a replacement for cursing, I'll like him more.
There are also some things we learn beyond how Monsuno work in the pilot episode:
* Core-Tech is a subsidy of S.T.O.R.M.
* Chase, Jinja and Bren know how to rough it, but they are almost out of supplies.
* Jon Ace's slip might mean S.T.O.R.M. is also unaware of Jeredy's whereabouts.
* Jinja is good at fixing stuff while Bren is good at hacking stuff.
* Monsuno can fight and use special moves autonomously.
* S.T.O.R.M. isn't exactly villainous, but does have questionable morality.
* Eklipse is likely EEEVIL!!
So, while a bit mild, the pilot seems to land closer to my "Best Case Scenario" prediction, which is a good thing. The series has some great potential and if this episode is any indication, I might have called it right.
It's better than Redakai, no doubt. I think I'll keep watching it to see how it pans out and see if the complex conflict I predicted comes to pass.
But, for the love of god, fix that theme song!