A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that LBX: Little Battlers Experience is an animated series about a group of teens who fight oppressive evil forces through battles among their miniature robots. The battles are fairly violent, with gunfire and a multitude of other weapons coming into play and the warriors often needing to be cleaned up and reassembled. A subplot follows a main character's efforts to save his father from the clutches of a nefarious organization. The young heroes rely on positive characteristics such as courage and quick thinking to win against more powerful opponents, who often overestimate their abilities. The show has some good qualities, but it also acts as a lengthy ad campaign for action figures and accessories that replicate what kids see in the series.
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What's the story?
When Van Yamano finally gets his own LBX robot after a long wait, he discovers he has a knack for playing and an instant connection to his robot, Achilles. He's in good company with his friends Amy, Kaz, Hanz, and Gabe, all of whom enjoy the game as well. But the fun doesn't last long, as he's quickly pulled into a battle against evil forces who hold his father hostage and are out for world domination. And, when he learns that Achilles holds the key to potentially saving the world from this threat, he and his friends redouble their efforts to safeguard the robot from the clutches of the New Dawn Raisers and their sinister leader, Cillian Kaido, who hopes his grandson, Justin, can defeat Van.
Is it any good?
LBX: LITTLE BATTLERS EXPERIENCE is more than a cleverly disguised marketing ploy designed to get kids to buy its action figures (though that is bound to happen); it has an absorbing good-vs.-evil story line whose players are easily sorted into one of the two categories, making it easy for kids to root for the protagonists. The subplot that follows Van's father's plight adds some sentimentality to the story as well, which could go either way depending on your kids' sensitivity to struggles of the heart. But its strong messages about courage, loyalty, and friendship always hit their mark.
As with series peers such as Pokémon and Bakugan Battle Brawlers, LBX is fairly heavy on violence, but, because the robots do all the fighting, the impact is limited to them rather than being aimed at the kids. Even so, it may upset sensitive viewers because of the characters' emotional attachment to their respective robots, so it's important to know your child's nature with regard to this kind of content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's messages about good guys and bad guys. In the real world, is it always easy to understand a person's true motivations? Have your kids ever guessed wrong and been hurt by someone because of it?
How does having an LBX change Van's life? Does it affect how others feel about him? What is an "in" crowd? Do your kids feel pressured to act a certain way to fit in with peers?
Kids: Do shows like this one make you want the toys that accompany them? Do you think that's the intention of this show? Are there others that you watch that have the same effect?
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