Bakugan Battle Brawlers

 
So-so anime series has heavy marketing tie-in.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

The show is definitely more about entertaining kids than promoting specific positive messages, but there's a clear definition of good and evil, and good is always in the right.

Positive role models

Dan, the main character, is obsessed with becoming the top-ranked
Bakugan player and often ignores his parents and teachers in favor of
playing. Female characters tend to have minor roles and seem to be
there mainly to support Dan.

Violence & scariness

A significant portion of each episode centers on "battles" based on a complicated game using cards and small balls that transform into fearsome creatures that attack each other. These beasts look dangerous, but there's little actual physical contact or violence in the fights.

Sexy stuff

No sex or nudity. But, as in many other anime shows, some of the female characters wear clothes that simultaneously emphasize their childishness and show more skin than seems age appropriate.

Language

"Butt," "crud," "dorkus," and other mild name-calling is about as bad as it gets.

Consumerism

The show often seems like a massive marketing campaign for Bakugan toys. Characters are frequently shown playing the central, complicated card/ball game, and, when they aren't playing, they discuss their strategies and rankings or arrange matches. The cards and balls are also available for sale in the real world, and -- perhaps not coincidentally -- both the cartoon and the merchandise were developed by Sega Toys.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this anime-style action cartoon is very obviously tied to an extensive line of Bakugan toys, and young fans may quickly start begging their parents to buy them. Characters in the show frequently play the central tie-in card game, and, when they aren't playing, they spend most of their time discussing it. That said, other than the obvious commercialism and some cartoon fantasy violence involving the Bakugan beasts, the show is age-appropriate for tweens.

What's the story?

Dan (voiced by Scott McCord), the main character in BAKUGAN BATTLE BRAWLERS, has only one ambition -- to be the top-rated Bakugan player -- and most of this anime series focuses on his efforts. It shows him playing Bakugan (a complicated game that combines playing cards and small monster figurines that transform into huge creatures and attack each other), making plans for his next match, coming up with new strategies, and gossiping about other players. In fact, the entire show centers on the Bakugan game. The series tries to add another dimension to this fairly limited story by introducing a parallel plot about a different dimension, Vestroia, where an evil monster is trying to take power. Through a mysterious accident, the monster ends up on Earth as a Bakugan beast. His rival, Drago (Jason Deline), follows, hoping to foil the nefarious plan, and becomes the most powerful Bakugan creature in Dan's collection.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though many modern kids shows are tied to merchandising campaigns, the marketing message in Bakugan (which is associated with an extensive line of toys and other products) is much more overt than most other programs and will be obvious even to tweens. But young kids may not notice it, and those who like the show will almost certainly start clamoring for a trip to the toy store.

Bottom line? The show isn't much fun for anyone who realizes it's just a big commercial, and it's consumerism waiting to happen for anyone who doesn't.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the connection between entertainment and marketing. Do you think this show can be enjoyed on its own, or is it too much of a toy commercial?

  • How has connecting toys and TV shows two changed the way we choose what

  • shows to watch -- and what toys to buy?

  • Do you think a TV network would want to air a show that didn't have any good toy tie-ins? Why or why

  • not?

TV details

Cast:Jason Deline, Julie Lemieux, Scott McCord
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD

This review of Bakugan Battle Brawlers was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byohya August 20, 2010
age 7+
 
just one big commercial
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byfreya429 March 22, 2011
age 2+
 

Do you watch this show ? If so you socialy isolated by your parents

If your child watches this show and owns any of these "toys" they probebly wear sweat pants and velcro shoes to school. This show is absoloutly horrible unless you like to see cartoons on crack. Just another ripoff of pokemon. If your child watches this they have no friends and just play with there little magnetic toy balls all day at recess.
Kid, 10 years old October 9, 2010
age 17+
 
dan is a street thug and is constantly killing inocints
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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