Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
By Deirdre Sheppard,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Muscle-bound superhero fights to save the planet.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Kid Muscle isn't always a good role model (he settles problems by fighting and calls people names), but he does set a strong example when it comes to believing in himself.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon wrestling matches, which sometimes involve breaking robots into pieces.
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No actual swearing, but words like "idiot" dominate the dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated action series is all about vengeful duels and fights; consequently, cartoon violence is an integral part of the show. There's some iffy language, too -- no swearing, per se, but lots of name-calling along the lines of "idiot." It's hardly educational, but the series does offer a good message about accomplishing what you put your mind to.
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What's the Story?
ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY chronicles the trials and tribulations of Kid Muscle (voiced by Marc Thompson), the spoiled son of Muscle Planet's reigning wrestling champion, King Muscle (Eric Stuart). After 28 years of peace, the planet's enemies have formed a new alliance to conquer and destroy Earth. The remaining muscle clan can't withstand this younger, stronger generation of adversaries, so it's up to Kid Muscle -- also known as Mantaro -- to take them on. He joins the Muscle League, whose other members include Kevin Mask (Ted Lewis), Terry "The Grand" Kenyon (Frank Frankson), Dik Dik Van Dik (Stuart again), Wally Tusket (Madeleine Blaustein), and many more.
Is It Any Good?
Like most other superhero programs, Ultimate Muscle relies on sometimes-questionable language and violence to create excitement. The characters don't swear, but they do call each other "idiot" on a pretty regular basis -- not exactly the best example. Also, while problems are usually resolved in the wrestling ring rather than with weapons, the matches can sometimes be pretty brutal (with robots occasionally getting torn to shreds).
That said, the show does help kids learn that you can do anything you set your mind to. Kid Muscle starts out as a lazy character, but it turns out that his lethargy is the result of low self-esteem. Once he starts believing in himself (and comes out from behind his famous dad's shadow a bit), he's always able to ward off his enemies.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about identity. How are all people like their parents? Is it necessary to have the same goals as your parents? How can you use what you learn from your parents to be the best person you can be? Is Kid Muscle like his father? Do the characters in the show spoil Kid Muscle because they compare him to his father rather than see him as his own person?
- Premiere date: September 14, 2002
- Cast: Frank Frankson, Marc Thompson, Ted Lewis
- Network: Fox
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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