Monsuno: The future of anime?
Some may question why so much of what I cover can be classified as useless kids junk. Honestly, if I didn’t cover it, I wouldn’t have much to talk about. More importantly, no one else really covers this kind of news. That’s a shame. Shows like Beyblade, and Bakugan are the gateway titles of today, and they get a bad rap because of that (some of it is warranted though). I don’t want some kid Googling his favourite show and finding only negative things about it, discouraging him from ever exploring anime fully. The sucess of these shows can only lead to good things. These shows can only succeed if they’re someone out there to say they exist.
Monsuno is toy company Jakk Pacific’s attempt at replicating the success of things like Bakugan, Beyblade, and Transformers. They want to create a brand solely with smart marketing. Smart marketing includes things like an animated series. Jakk’s doing that. Together with DCI-LA (Dentsu’s new North American label attempted to create programs Americans would like after the failed attempt to import their own productions with Geneon) they’re creating Monsuno, a 52 episode series targeted at boys 6-11 launching in late 2011 to early 2012 (Broadcasters are up in the air at the moment). Like always, it’s a series about a bunch of kids who find some magical plot device, and things to sell, of course you can’t forget about the token evil organization trying to take over the world!
Okay, I admit, my description there is pretty negative. But it’s to be expected, the series doesn’t seem to be overly original. If Beyblade and Bakugan are the Digimon and Pokemon of yesterday, then it appears Monsuno will be their Monster Rancher (I hope for a new Medabots one day). I do suspect Monsuno will be magnitudes larger than Monster Rancher, Jakk’s got many business partners with the property, Freemantle Media (the Got Talent people) are distributing it worldwide, and along with Jakk’s toyline, Topps will be creating a card game for the series. Given that we’ve lived through those days of Pokemon and Digimon, I can say we might be on the cusp of another anime boom. With all these kids buying stuff while watching shows, they’ll grow up, and those same channels providing them with a commercial product should provide them more. I say should because I can’t say they will.