Monster Rancher was a show I was never interested as a kid since I just saw it as an other Pokemon rip-off but one day I found a DVD for cheap and decided to check it out and realized the show was very different from what I imagined and kind of fun. Not only that but the games seemed very interesting with the whole discs into monsters gimmick. So how does the anime hold up many years after the Pokemon fad came went and returned? Let’s find out.
The anime is divided into two series, which each consists of a story arc. Series 1 is fun but very episodic in the beginning and only later it does it get going with the story. The show does reek of 90s anime dubs from the voices to the censoring and dialog in general. The show is nothing like Pokemon however and is a lot more like a generic quest that many animes have. You have the big bad and his 4 generals who are somewhat interesting and eventually of course they are defeated.
The show has fun twists and turns and while never doing anything new it keeps you interested. You get to really like some of the monsters during the show. Like the Pokerap for Pokemon the Pokemon anime, Monster Rancher also had one and as much of a rip off as it is… its fantastic and makes you remember the Pokecraze very well.
Series 2 continues the mystery of the generic lost dad from the first series, so while series 1 did have an ending the second series doesn’t feel like an after thought that isn’t great like with other animes just because of the popularity of the show. Series 2 here does a grat job in actually doing things that the first series never finished addressing which is a nice thing and more shows should strive for.
Master Moo who isn’t a cow oddly enough is the big bad in the first series and the one that the main cast which consists of Mocchi, Tiger, Suezo, Hare, Golen, Genki and Holly are on a quest to defeat and they’re called The searchers. All the main cast is fairly interesting and have enough personality which really helps the show out.I like how they incorporated the changing Compact Discs gimmick into those stone mystery discs, since it works. Some things that were censored included Hare having a gas fart attack but apparently not much else which is good.
General Durahan returns in the second series and he was one of the most interesting antagonists in the first series and part of the big four but in this series he is only a head which sucks and he ins’t as interesting as he was in the first part. We also don’t have Pixie who was a really cool character. We have a new cat and a big robot who are his new henchmen and at least they are interesting. Two of the big bad 4 return and we see what happened to them sadly they were not the most interesting 2 that returned. Series 2 gives you more time with the characters you learned to love in the first and it works well as a sequel series adding an new adventure. Series 2 is also more like the games which in turn makes it seem more like Pokemon since they do enter tournaments.
Overall if you are into Pokemon or like the monster catching type of anime you cant go wrong watching this show. The show made me very interested in checking out the videogames which I’m sure I will in the future.