Parents' Guide to

Viewtiful Joe

By Scout Davidson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Subpar Power Rangers rip-off has muddled messages.

Viewtiful Joe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Kids say (2 ):

VIEWTIFUL JOE is a terrible cartoon on a number of levels: The animation is shoddy, the dialogue is limp and forced, the pacing is awkward, and the plots don't make any sense. That said, the sad fact remains that a lot of younger viewers might really like it. It's a flashy, fight-filled, Japanese-style action show led by a super-cool hipster dude who slings one-liners and loves a good cheeseburger. What's more, no explanation is ever given as to why Silvia has been taken, why Joe is given his powers, or what the name "Viewtiful Joe" even means. Beyond that, Silvia doesn't even appear in many episodes -- Joe seems to just go on various nonsensical adventures involving random characters, and never in Movieland -- making the show's opening credits exposition of the "main" plot a complete waste of time.

With its aggressive fight scenes and slangy language, Viewtiful Joe seems aimed at 12- to 14-year- old boys. The problem, however, is that the show's messages are so simplistic, and the dialogue so lame, that no child past the age of 8 would want to sit through it. Children younger than 8 will probably feel mature when they watch this "big kid" cartoon, but some sequences are oddly terrifying -- for instance, a scene on a ghostly train in which a room full of floating toys suddenly turn on Joe and attack him for no apparent reason. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

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