Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors on YTV, and a lump of coal for the holidays

Hello everyone, it’s been a while… I assure you, that while I am a fairly lazy procrastinator, those inhibitions were not the cause for a lack of updates on the site. Well, at least the main page. I admit that I haven’t had much movement on the topics for the site bar. Anyways, there really hasn’t been much at all to talk about. There were November and December press releases for programming schedules, but most of that was stuff I honestly had no interest in, so I wouldn’t cover it. Thankfully, this dry spell happened to occur around the exact time of mid-term, of which this procrastinating boy used time usually devoted to writing up blog entries now used for finishing assignments.

Enough about me, on to the news!

Pokemon’s a consistent franchise, it’s always a tale about Ash and his electric mouse traveling around some seemingly never-ending world and encountering new friends and foes. This consistency is probably why the franchise has been able to maintain its popularity for so long. Pokemon’s episodic plot structure allows the series to easily bring aboard new viewers at every turn, opposite to something like Digimon, which has a heavily serialized plot that is a bit difficult to pick up on depending on when you start watching the series. The latest season of Pokemon to hit up here is Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors, and it’s no different.

Catch new adventures of Ash and his friends every Saturday afternoon at 12:30PM on YTV. New episodes began airing this past Saturday. Don’t blame me if you have missed an episode, reader Anime-Ash, as well as schedule wizard Mohji both mentioned that out of the blue YTV.com posted a header telling people new episodes would air yesterday afternoon, with no prior indication being shown at all. YTV has since updated their header showcase, and the Pokemon slide is no longer there.

Mohji also points out that YTV will be pre-empting the Super Anime Lineup® every Saturday afternoon in December. But it’s not all that bad, as it seems Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds will be getting a repeat slot Friday mornings at 7:00AM. So for all you duelists out there, if the latest anime episodes, manga chapters (which will start running in the English Shonen Jump by the time 5Ds’ repeat slot begins), trading cards, and video games aren’t enough to keep you full, you’ve got some blasts from the not-so-distant past to look forward to! Personally, I’m just going to sleep in. But that’s just me.

Thanks goes to Mohji, and Anime-Ash for pointing these things out.

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Teletoon screws over Metajets, picks up Endangered Animals, and saves My Life Me for 2011

Metajets, not Medabots

Metajets is a promising animated series produced by South Korea’s Sunwoo Entertainment, and Canada’s own Cookie Jar Entertainment as a Teletoon production. The show premiered earlier this summer over in the US on Cartoon Network, where it was burned through rather quickly. The show was tossed aside, almost as if the only reason it was even picked up was because of an obligation to obtain something more popular (more Johnny Test?).

The series was a no show on Teletoon’s Fall 2010 schedule. Which was a bit surprising, given that it aired on Cartoon Network, and Cookie Jar Entertainment said it would air in the fall. Thanks to schedule wiz Mohji, it seems Cookie Jar was right, and English Teletoon is indeed airing the series right now. The problem is, just like Cartoon Network, they’re not giving the show a chance. Teletoon is airing the show at 6:30AM. That’s rough for an action cartoon, especially one that’s not linked to a successful property.

Now, I’ve only seen a few episodes of the series, and can’t really claim it to be some amazing bench mark of animation, I can claim the series to deserve better than that. Especially given that Teletoon’s allowed things like Skyland, and Spider Riders to live on the channel.

Sure looks like a Dumb Bunny if you catch my drift

Teletoon has greenlit a new series from Vancouver based Nerd Corps Entertainment. This series, entitled Endangered Animals, will be Nerd Corps second series for Teletoon, the first being Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5. The 26 episode first season tells the story of a pet bunny no longer bound to an owner, and a seagull who try to live in an ever more urban piece of wilderness. Sounds preachy, but I’m sure it won’t be. From the preview picture, it seems more League of Super Evil than Storm Hawks, or Dragon Booster. Which surprises me that Teletoon picked it up. The series would be perfect to compliment something like The Penguins of Madagascar (Ugh). But maybe YTV feels they’d have too much Nerd Corps on the air. Since the cancelled Storm Hawks still has loads of repeat slots, and League of Super Evil seems to be doing well. YTV also ordered a series called “Team Awethum!!!” way back when, but it’s no longer listed on Nerd Corps site, so who knows what’s up with that.

My Life Me has been a series I’ve been following for a while now. The series is a Canadian production with character designs by the creator of Dramacon, with the aesthetics being very anime-influenced. It seems it will be a while until we see it on Teletoon. While Quebec’s Teletoon has been airing the French version of the show since September, and Disney Channel Asia appears to be airing the English version right now, English Teletoon will have to wait until September 2011. Yeah, 2011. According to the show’s official site at MyLifeMe.ca it’ll launch on the English Teletoon next year. Who wants to wager if it’ll air at 6:30AM too?

Monsuno: The future of anime?

Monsuno

Orange and blue, it's everywhere.

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.

ReBoot finally gets a DVD release

Shout! Factory, and Rain Maker Entertainment announced last night that they have plans in place for the first computer animated television series to finally hit DVD. The series co-created by Gavin Blair at Vancouver based Mainframe Entertainment (Creators of Beasties/Beast Wars, and Shadow Raiders/War Planet among other things, eventually bought by Rainmaker) in 1994 for YTV became a fairly large hit with considerable merchandise being produce, and broadcasts worldwide (a notable one being the censored ABC broadcast in the US). The series spawned four seasons, and two TV movies before a lack of funding ended the show with a cliff hanger. That didn’t stop the show from becoming a fixture of Canadian television, airing to this very day (on Teletoon Retro). However, rights issues, and weird releases left fans without a proper home video release of the series. There were plans to create spinoff shows, but nothing outside of that webcomic (which you can read at Reboot.com) ever really materialized. Sure, there is that movie that’s been in development for ages…

Anyways, Shout! has the rights to distribute the series on DVD, and on digital store fronts (so expect to see it on things like the PlayStation Network video store, or Netflix). Given this is Shout!, I do hope they’ll include a stack load of extras, and commentaries. Although, I’m not sure I’ll have to hope, as the press release states the first release will be of a complete series collectors box (who wants to bet it’ll be in the shape of a game cube?), and that’s usually a good indicator of a stacked release, if their $100+ sets of Transformers, and GI Joe are anything to go by. For those who don’t want to drop $100+ for all of ReBoot at once next year (you should!), I’d expect Shout! to break up the complete series release into single season sets. That is, assuming the show doesn’t tank entirely with the initial release. Those expecting Blu-Ray shouldn’t. Shout! is a smaller scale company who doesn’t really do Blu-Ray. Not to mention the fact that ReBoot was rendered in standard definition, so unless someone digs up 16 year old computers with the shows files in tact, and re-renders everything in HD, a Blu-Ray release wouldn’t provide a huge increase in picture quality.

I’ll get to the Metajets Teletoon news eventually…

Beyblade: Metal Masters, Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge, Oh My!

I'm part of that 83% only on Saturdays, but that don't make me a dateless Saturday night Bionixer. Yeah, I remember.

Nelvana announced its MIPCOM lineup, and let it slip that they are producing a new season of Bakugan, this one entitled Mechtanium Surge, and the second season of the Beyblade reboot, Metal Masters. Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge is the fourth season of the Bakugan franchise, following the original, New Vestroia, and the currently airing Gundalian Invaders. Each season, except the first, have aired in North America before airing in Japan. Beyblade: Metal Masters was known in Japan as Metal Fight Beyblade: Explosion, and premiered on TV Tokyo earlier this year. It continues the story of Beyblade: Metal Fusion (or Metal Fight Beyblade in Japan), with Ginga and friends encountering new friends, and of course new enemies. A Metal Fight Beyblade film premiered late last month in Japan. At their MIPCOM booth, they’ll also be showing off a new Franklin CGI series, now Nelvana only needs to bring back Rupert in CGI to take the soul out of all the characters of theirs I grew up with.

Secondly, Corus Entertainment had its Investor Day today, and I’ll tell you this much. If you dislike YTV’s Family Channel esque approach in recent years, don’t expect that to change. Viewer ship in all key demos are up on the channel, and Corus commands a crazy amount of the kid demos. They did finally confirm that YTV’s HD feed will launch in 2011.

Also just some random bits, Corus optioned the rights to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, with the intention to launch it in early 2011. The network premieres in the US in January. No word on what’s up with The Anime Channel, so I guess I can safely say that they’ll let the license to that expire, and that Bionix wasn’t killed as a marketing ploy (this “theory” never actually made sense). Nelvana also gave the go ahead to a bunch of new live action productions, including Life With Boys, Mr. Young, and a new Hardy Boys…

While keeping the Nelvana ruining nostalgia going on, the Rock & Rule Blu-Ray (which may or may not only include the American cut of the film) has been pushed back into late October.

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Thanks to Mohji for pointing out the Beyblade and Bakugan news in the forum.

Power Rangers Predicament

First I’d like to start off this post with an apology. In an earlier message this week, I reported that YTV would be pre-empting the broadcasts of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, and Three Delivery this past Saturday. As a viewer, I can confirm this didn’t happen. Both shows aired new episodes, and the previously mentioned The Next Star marathon that I announced would pre-empt those shows, in fact aired at 2PM. I’m sorry if this has caused anyone to skip out on those two shows. I was simply following a press release issued by YTV, and parent company Corus Entertainment. It was likely a typo, but it would’ve been awesome if someone on programming felt it would be in bad taste to pre-empt some of the only timeslots on the channel devoted to animated action, with reruns of the show that helped destroy all teenage oriented animation on the channel. But meh.

In related news, Three Delivery and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds will be pre-empted for two weeks. Commenter Mohji noted that in addition to next Saturday’s Beyblade Metal Fusion marathon, the following Saturday will have a Pokemon marathon. No real surprise with Beyblade, as that holds the recognition of having the largest premiere of an animated series in YTV’s history, and desperately needs help to catch up to the American broadcast (which as of this writing, is 14 episodes ahead). Pokemon? Not so much. There isn’t a major game to tie-in to, and the episodes YTV will be airing are repeats.

Power Rangers Samurai

Red Ranger's helmet looks like a Kamen Rider, and the Blue Ranger's helmet kind of looks like a marijuana leaf...

Now on the actual story that’ll get me all those hits from Google, Power Rangers: Samurai (tremendously original and unique title). PR: S is the newest iteration of Power Rangers currently filming in New Zealand based on a very Japanese Sentai Shinkenger series from a year or two back. The series is so Japanese, that there’s kanji on their helmets… What makes this series incredibly different from the previous 9 or so seasons of Power Rangers is the producer. Earlier this year Saban Brands bought the Power Rangers brand away from Disney. Nostalgic people will know that Haim Saban’s previous company, Saban Entertainment actually brought Power Rangers to world. Haim later sold Saban Entertainment and its properties to Disney for a stack of money. A huge stack.

Rumors say Disney had wanted to get rid of Power Rangers for some time, and was limiting its audience on purpose as an attempt to make it seem they had to sell the brand due to poor ratings, not the fact that they would never totally own the franchise (Japan’s Toei supplies the Sentai footage for Power Rangers, and owns part of the brand). You can see this in the fact Disney dropped the franchise from its boy oriented channel, and placed it entirely on the ABC Kids block, in a timeslot that most network affiliates ignored. The cheapening and desire to sell was no more evident when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2010 launched in January. MMPR 2K10 is simply a slightly remastered version of the original 1993 series except with Adam West Batman style captions for punches, kicks, jokes, and transitions. It was super cheap.

To combat this change, PR: Samurai will air on Nickelodeon in the US in early 2011. The first season will consist of 20 episodes, with an option for a 20 episode second season, and a movie (the last time a tokusatsu series said they were going to have a movie made before the series even aired, we got Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, and we know how that turned out). Nick in the US is banking on the franchise doing well, as they’ve committed Nicktoons Network to become the hub for over 700 episodes of the previous Power Rangers iterations before the launch of Samurai. It’s all part of them trying to target the boys market with action series (see Nicktoons acquiring broadcast rights to DragonBall Kai, buying the Ninja Turtles franchise, etc.).

Now Power Rangers has had an interesting life on Canadian TV. The franchise was always available to those who had cable, as most companies carried a Fox affiliate, or an ABC affiliate so you could always get the US broadcast. In terms of Canadian broadcast, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was initially picked up by YTV. When I say initially, I mean it. The series only had a 13 episode order by YTV, and nothing more was ever purchased. This wasn’t because the series performed poorly, it’s because the series received complaints from parents, and YTV was issued a formal complaint by a TV regulator (although this regulator doesn’t actually have any control on YTV), and they complied. After this the series was picked up by Global TV and ran a few seasons until Disney purchased Saban. From that point forward all Power Rangers series aired on Family Channel (because they love Disney more than Edward loves Bella), but because it’s a show aimed at boys, it was almost always shafted at 5 or 6AM on weekends.

Given that Power Rangers: Samurai isn’t a Disney production, it’s safe to assume that Family won’t be airing this one. But just because it is airing on Nickelodeon doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a Nickelodeon production (similar to DragonBall Kai on Nicktoons, it’s a third party show). If it is a Nickelodeon production, it would almost be guaranteed to at least air on Nickelodeon Canada, although that’s a fate almost as pleasant as airing at 5AM on Family Channel. If Samurai does well on Nickelodeon in the US, I can see YTV breaking a long, long tradition and having the show air on the channel (since we all know they’ll air anything from Nick that more than 3 people watch). Although, I’m not sure where they’d put the show given the whole shift to co-viewing, and how a show about teenagers with attitude would work with that.

Speaking of teenagers with attitude, as a celebration, and a tool of anticipation for Samurai, the official Power Rangers website at PowerRangers.com is streaming a new un-Adam West-ified episode of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Right now you can see Tommy be a dick, and steal the show from its real leader, hurray!

Lastly, I’ve also launched a Twitter feed, simply follow I Miss Bionix.

My Life Me resurfaces as “3 et Moi” on a Teletoon, and Disney Channel Asia

Me Myself and Me

Not to be confused with the Sarah Polley, and Scott Speedman film, My Life Without Me

My Life Me, a series that was one of the first blog entries I posted on this site has finally surfaced (the fact it was one of my first blog entries is more important than the fact the series had character designs by the creator of Dramacon). The series was scheduled for a Fall 2010 debut from its distributor, but co-producer Teletoon did not mention it at all in its schedule, or highlights for the fall season. I think I know why, I was looking at the wrong Teletoon, the English Teletoon.

My Life Me is actually airing on the French version of Teletoon, and premiered there earlier this month under the name “3 et Moi” (3 and Me). Still no word on what’s up with the English version on the Teletoon I watch…

But that English version is airing on the Asian version of the Disney Channel, and has been since late August. Here’s a tv spot in English.