What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's a lot of violence in this anime cartoon, but the fact that battles usually take part between conjured monsters in place of humans takes the edge off the content's effect on kids. No blood is spilled, and traditional injuries are rare; instead, the Monsunos' life force dwindles until they return to their cores for a recharging session. The fact that the heroes are rag-tag teens adds to the show's allure for kids, and their ability to band together and thwart the villains has unstated messages about teamwork and courage. This fast-paced show will appeal to boys especially, but the creative storyline and compounding mysticism in the plot offer viewers more cerebral content than do a lot of shows for this age group.
What's the story?
Eons ago, asteroids carrying mysterious DNA matter crashed into the Earth's surface and wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving traces of their life essence deep within the planet's crust. Millions of years later, Dr. Jeredy Suno discovers this DNA as he's searching for a solution to the planet's energy crisis, but his experiments reveal that the glowing substance actually enables the re-creation of mystical monsters with super powers. Through experiments, he develops a way to harness and summon these creatures, but when he goes missing from his lab, he leaves behind a core containing the life force of one of these MONSUNOs for his son, Chase. Chase and his friends, Jinja (Karen Strassman) and Bren (Christopher Smith), suddenly find themselves in a heated struggle over control of the Monsunos with Dr. Suno's former employer, S.T.O.R.M., as well as fending off the advances of the evil Dr. Emmanuel Klipse, who's out to collect the monsters and use them to exact revenge on the world.
Is it any good?
Fast-paced action, a multi-layered story, and powerful, magical beasts make Monsuno a dream for adventure-seeking kids who want to believe there's something more to the world than what meets the eye. This fun series stretches the imagination and makes the process of scientific discovery seem like a pretty cool endeavor...especially if it leads to the rebirth of alien creatures. What's more, the fact that the show's heroes are a bunch of teens who hardly look the part but who find the courage and character when it counts doesn't hurt the show's likability, either.
It's tough to tell an enticing good-vs.-evil tale without devoting some time to the violence that erupts between opposing sides, so that's something to watch for in Monsuno. The good news is that the humans -- and the heroes in particular -- don't usually get their hands dirty in the skirmishes, thanks to the Monsunos who are at the ready to defend them. There is some weapon play, mostly directed at the creatures, but even so, the imaginative nature of this action/adventure story greatly downplays the effect of this violence on its audience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about taking on challenges. Have you ever been put in a tough position you didn't expect? How did you cope? How do these experiences make you stronger? What can you learn from them?
Kids: What are some scientific discoveries and/or inventions that have greatly changed our society? What improvements did they make? Were there any negative effects from them? Can you think of an instance in which the bad might outweigh the good for a new discovery?
What are the benefits of being part of a team? How do teammates bring out the best in you? What do you do when you and your friends disagree about a course of action?