Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light is a show I heard a few people randomly mention for a long time; An old forgotten short lived series that I’d never heard about so I was excited to check it out. The concept of the show is in a futuristic world the age of technology suddenly ends as everything electronic seizes to work and a new age, the age of magic comes back. Hmm.. the concept doesn’t make a lot of sense, I mean why did technology randomly stop working but I guess it has potential. For some reason though the show just didn’t seem like it was going to be a good one but I was willing to give it a chance.
All the characters are as generic as they can get, I didn’t even learn any of the characters names after 13 episodes, The leaders of each respective group is Leoric and Darkstorm and the others have similar themed names. The only characters I actually liked was Cindar, of the darkling lords and Cryotek of the spectral knights. Cindar is not very intelligent which gives him some funny lines.. too bad we don’t see much of him until the end. Cryatek is the only one that has some type of personality that can even aspire to rival Cindar. The theme song; The intro is not bad at all, catchy theme and cool action sequences. The outro is just the intro song without vocals and its more bad ass because of it, especially when you see the main guy just randomly whip the screen.
We begin in this world that is trying to survive without technology when Merklynn (Merlin, get it? how sneaky of them!) goes to the bad guys castle to offer them magic, they of course refuse. He later goes to the good guys castle who accept and when they do the bad guys decide to go along also in case the magic thing is real. Merklynn is as stereotypical as you can get for a wizard. He tells them to get magic they need to pass through a bunch of hazards and after sneaky things from the bad guys both get it and this is were Merklynn gives them their Magic. This is also were the bad guys get the bad end of the deal, all the good guys or “spectral Knights” get the powers to transform to some decent animals that range from a lion to a bear. The bad guys or “Darklin Lords” get the lamest animals you can think of; The only cool one is the shark who is given to the female of the group who rarely uses her power since she’s both a girl and the plot needed water in order for her to use her animal or totems as they’re called here. There were plenty of animals they could have thought of, not to mention they could have given them animals that don’t exist, we know this isn’t off limits as one of them gets one, not to mention this world is filled with them.
Each team also gets three totems which they fight for during the series, each one has a special power, from summoning a giant troll to firing a giant bow. This is when Merklynn tells them that every time they run out of magic, they need to come to him and do him some kind of favor in exchange; Both teams hate the idea and constantly moan about it. Now before I go on I want to talk about Merklynn, first of all he must be immortal since he’s been around since the first age of magic. Second of all he seems to have some motivation to do what he does, I mean he gives magic to the good guys and the bad guys already knowing who is who in the moral spectrum. Not only that but he actually lets the villains escape on two occasions when they are captured. This makes you think there is some ulterior motive from his part that he needs help to accomplish and it doesn’t matter who he gets help from. This is implied a bit in the early episodes but later it’s never brought up and it kind of feels like he just does it to have random servants for him basically. Who knows since it was never mentioned and likely would never have again which sucks since it was one of the few interesting things the show had going for it.
Now as to why the bad guys are bad and the good ones good is never really explained besides the “these are the good guys” presentation; Sure the bad guys do some sneaky things but you have to remember this is a post-apocalyptic world with people fighting to survive, everything they do is perfectly explainable, nothing that really sets them as the evil ones. In fact, even the spectral knights had a few questionable things going on for being the goody two-shoes they were trying to be. The actual powers are kinda cool, they basically transform into animals which are formed of light and have rave inspired neon colors, sadly the powers are rarely used in any interesting way, if at all; It’s definitely cool when handled correctly though.
The characters wear these futuristic armors which look both terrible and kinda cool at the same time, I don’t know… my opinion constantly changes, they mostly look bad but they can occasionally look cool. The actual world in which they live is pretty much a mystical one, there are weird mythical creatures running around and its implied that they are all there because of the age of magic but it really makes no sense that they didn’t exist before. Even the characters act as if its no big deal that there are unicorns and fairies around. Also the knights were oblivious to the age of magic and even refused to believe it in the beginning however everyone else seems to know its the age of magic after that one episode and that magic is real, talk about convenient.
And Conveniently enough they have flying machines and lasers that apparently work with magic. A few times (very few) the show seems a bit dark, after all it is a post-apocalyptic world, especially in one episode that deals with slaves, I mean its dark for its time, don’t be expecting much. One neat thing is when they introduce other wizards as antagonists, sadly this idea is used only twice and both times it could have been handled better. Most of the time instead we are treated with generic plots. The first episodes tried having a cliffhanger and they did try having a character that appeared in more than one episode and a story that continued off but its really just an episode of the day format. The show isn’t too terrible, I was able to watch through it without forcing myself too much but its definitely not good by any means. I guess for its time it might have been decent, it also has some interesting concepts that are never really handled properly as mentioned so I can see why someone would be nostalgic over the show.
I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone unless you like 80’s cartoon which this one isn’t too bad when compared to others or if you were a fan as a kid you probably will enjoy it. If you think the concept sounds cool watch it but don’t expect much, this is a skip for most people. One cool thing and reason why people remember Visionaries fondly is toys; The toys have a hologram on the chest and staffs based on the animal totems and they look pretty awesome. If the show had been a bit better I would have likely gotten one or two on ebay. The show also had a six issue comic before it was cancelled, unsure if I’d want to check it out though the show didn’t leave me wanting to but if I do I’ll make sure to write about it. Random thought, I actually think Visionaries could be the future world of Centurions.