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 Tai Chi Chasers is an animated action adventure series imported from Korea and is similar to shows such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon where characters use cards with special powers as weapons to battle each other. Unlike Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon the violence in Tai Chi Chasers is not through proxies projected by their cards or pokeballs; the wielders of the cards are attacked and experience injuries directly. Although most of the violence is bloodless the Dragonoids may be scary for younger viewers. In addition, the main character Rai (Bella Hudson) is reckless, hot headed, competitive, and constantly antagonistic towards his teammates.
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What's the story?
Rai (Bella Hudson) is a normal if competitive kid who discovers that he is a Tigeroid, an ancient race from a parallel universe that is embattled with the evil Dragonoids. The two groups are searching for the one thousand lost tai chi character cards that have special powers and can be used as weapons. For example, the hwa (fire) character can be activated to produce a fireball attack. Rai teams up with a group of TAI CHI CHASERS in order to find the lost tai chi cards and become a master tai chi chaser.
Is it any good?
Tai Chi Chasers is really an extended commercial designed to sell trading cards. While similar series have their share of hot headed protagonists Tai Chi Chasers takes the cake with annoying lead characters. Although Rai (Bella Hudson) loses his mother, his home, and his semblance of a normal life in the first episode it's hard to feel any sort of sympathy for him as he is constantly yelling and arguing with his newfound teammates and putting them down or mocking them. Rai's teammates are often helping him out, saving him, or making excuses to keep him in their group by blaming themselves, but he still continues with his admonishments.
In addition to the main character's faults, the tai chi cards themselves are uninspiring. The cards each have a special power that is initiated using a cell phone-esque "activator." Each card is listed with stats and are not much different from attack cards that one might find in a Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon card deck. The biggest difference in this series is the retention of the Korean names for the cards and the direct violence that is perpetrated between opponents. There are no cute pokemon or card summoned monsters to absorb attacks here. Rai and his teammates experience each attack directly. There are also moments when the cards seem to have their own motivations and provide assistance to the characters without being activated as if they had their own consciousness. Rather than being inspired, these moments often feel like a cop out designed to make the cards more appealing and marketable as the characters don't really do anything themselves to cause these miraculous things to happen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in children's television shows. Is the violence really necessary to the story?
Families can also talk about how tai chi in real life is a martial art that is practiced for its health benefits and is completely different from how it is presented in the series. Does the series help promote the real tai chi or simply the Tai Chi Chasers card game?
Kids: Does watching the show make you want to buy the Tai Chi Chasers cards or toys?
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