What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon features recklessness, speeding, aggressive driving, and violence through car crashes. Characters are quick to issue challenges and lose their temper. This is a very "macho" cartoon, the message being that real men don't back down from a challenge. The winners are cheered, get all the girls, and are heroes, while losers are mocked. Women are shown to be sex-crazed groupies, ripping at the car racers' clothing. The women are often scantily clad with the highest heels and tightest mini-skirts.
What's the story?
F-ZERO is a modern, Japanese-anime version of the cops and robbers game. Rick Wheeler is the protagonist, a skilled police officer/F-Zero racer. Wheeler was cryogenically frozen for 150 years but is unfrozen by the police when his old nemesis returns. Now he finds the city is strange, dirty, and futuristic. In a flurry, Wheeler rushes off with a new car against orders and tries to find his girlfriend from 150 years ago, whom he'd wanted to propose to but never got the chance.
Is it any good?
At times, the plot feels more like a daytime drama than a cartoon. But while the show is farfetched and unrealistic, for the most part it's entertaining. That said, it delves into mature issues like internal conflict and lost love that may be boring to young kids. Wheeler is like all cartoon superheroes -- irrational, quick-tempered, brazen, and conflicted. And if you're thinking this all sounds like it could be a video game, well, it is one.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the angst and inner turmoil of the hero. Why does he have such a chip on his shoulder? How would your kids handle these situations more appropriately? Is it ever OK or necessary to rebel against the rules? Who do your kids think is a hero? What defines a hero? Other discussion topics include loneliness, despair, isolation, and what to do in life when you can't get what you want.