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For Kids Dot TV!

By: Gregory Weagle
HA! I made another funnie! - Splinter, TMNT II Movie

Well; it's that time again for the preview to end all previews (at least in my own sick, twisted mind). It is that time again where I make an effort to mock my favorite block of animated programs on television. Formally; this block was known to the world as the Smutbox, alias the Dirtbox, alias the Foxbox. Now you know this block of programming as 4Kids TV (which is ironically the entire address for their website minus the dot.. Har har..). It's time to load up the jokegun once again and see if 4Kids Entertainment can screwup this block and allow me to use my AAA material once again....

...And if things go the way that I think they are going to go then I see that 4Kids TV might suffer from a pretty steep decline in quality this season. 4Kids Entertainment is going to be stuck in a rut as there are many question mark on their 2005/2006 lineup. You can tell that there was trouble looming on the horizon when the new shows for 4Kids TV were shown seperately. Also; 4Kids TV will be saying goodbye to two quality programs in Kirby: Right Back At Ya! and Shaman King as they will be ending their series' before the fall season and will not be renewed for the fall. I expected Kirby to get the axe because let's face it: This show was running on fumes at this point and has made it through thick and thin since day one of the Foxbox. As for Shaman King; I hope the creator consider a sequel because Shaman King was monster over and was dubbed fairly well. Although if they do consider a Shaman King sequel; I hope that they do not go the route that the Yu-Gi-Oh! creators are going with Yu-Gi-Oh! GX because lord knows if I'm going to hear the screams of bloody murder from the anime purists. Sadly; as I expected America has spoken loud and clear concerning F-Zero GP Legends: WE DON'T WANT RACING CARTOONS! As much as I like F-Zero GP Legends there was no way that this show was going to last more than 14 episodes simply because the real thing is running on Fox every Sunday and it's much more interesting. Although in all fairness; I don't see the point as to why NASCAR is so special since it's only a bunch of juiced-up cars racing on oval track (for the most part) at 200 km/h. Thankfully; the Cramp Twins are dead and not returning either. On the other hand; One Piece is returning and I expect more great things to happen across the sea. WINX Club is also returning and hopefully we will see how Bloom copes with the fact that she's a witch. Mewmew Power is expected to return and I'll be reviewing that show in a moment. In a real surprise Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic X are expected to return this fall with new episodes. I'm shocked at this since I felt Ninja Turtles was being streched thin and Sonic X was finished after Sonic and friends went back home. The only unknown as this point is Alien Racers and I'm not so certain that I want the show to return as I explain in my review...

Before I reveal the new shows for the 2005/2006 season and my thoughts concerning them; I will be reviewing the two programmes that were released this sping: Alien Racers and MewMew Power. I apologize for waiting until now to review these two shows because I wasn't able to catch them early enough until recently. Man; I get way too much sleep to be good; that's for sure. Anyhow; I should point out once again that the second season of The Menu will not be reviewed since I don't review news shows. Also; as I always say before with anime involved: I am only reviewing the dub version and I review what I see and hear. No more, no less. I am not going to deal with anime purists screaming about how my reviews are tainted and shouldn't be taken seriously because they saw the naked original version. I'm sick and tired of these people because their hyper-ventalating on trivial edits is only encouraging post-production to edit the shows even worse. The only people who turely care about the issue of dubbed anime are the people who run the Pokemon comparisons and the Shaman King Uncensored websites. They are calm people who provide information and reasonable opinions. Everyone else should move to Japan and just shut up. You're only making the editing even worse than it needs to be. Now that I got all the stuff that I needed to get off my chest is finished; here are my reviews....

[1.] MewMew Power: For those who didn't read my preview of this show; here is the plotline: Five uoung females with different colored hair (A staple of anime) become Kitty-kat like superheroes trying to save the enivronment. Formally known as Tokyo MewMew and almost became Hollywood MewMew (to make it more American; nyuk, nyuk.) Zoey Hanson (a red-headed girl under intense love), Corina Bucksworth (A black-headed blue-bloodish girl who is the spoiled Buttercup of the team), Briget Verdant (the green-headed smart girl with deception), Kiki Benjamin (the yellowed headed showoff and risk taker) and Renee Roberts (the purple-headed super-model with attitude.) are _normal_ females who hangout at the MewMew Cafe (so much for secret id's I guess) as Zoey attempts to have a date with the resident MewMew hunk Mark. An alien race called the Cyniclons arrive on earth to destroy it and mankind for a woman called Deep Blue. Three of the top aliens: Cyniclon Dren (alien with crush on Zoey.); Cyniclon Sardon (the serious alien) and Cyniclon Tarb (The spunky young alien) descend to earth unleashing jelly-like parasites called Infusors to latch onto animals which causes them to go beserk (called Preasides/Chimera Animals). I think you know the mission the MewMew's are on at this point. Now if you can remember from my preview about a year ago that I panned this show out because outside of the enivronment angle; this was a poor girl's dead-ringer to Sailor Moon. I even said that it might be as bad as Saint Seiya/Knights of the Zodiac in both dubbing and quality. Well; for the most part I was in fact correct. I find it quite odd that 90% of the show is enivronmental based (the original was about halfway between enivornment and love) considering that they are on FOX which has been known to being less inclined to protect rhe earth properly. However; that is neither here nor there. To be fair to this show; they tried so hard to be refreshing girl's anime with enivronmental angle and better animation than Sailor Moon. However; for the most part there was little that hasn't been done before and done better with Sailor Moon. So far; MewMew Power has been powerless to do anything special and Deep Blue still reminds me of Metallica, Phanroh 90 and Melheliana. Without the context; this show is pretty good; but it isn't with the context...** 1/2 That's the lowest mark I've given for an episodic show since WMAC (DUD). But can it get any worse?! Let's see....

[2.] Alien Racers: This is a CGI show in the vein of Cubix: Robots For Everyone. Alien Racers have been chosen as champions to fight over thr right to claim Xenoc; a planet with an energy source which has the power to create or destroy the entire universe. Master Kaidon of the Centarens (the good guys) built a Xenoc Chamber and knew that the planets would simply fight over the energy. So the master built a race on the planet Xenoc for all the energy... and apparently the moral of the story is Speed=Power. When I first saw this show; the first thing I thought was this is a cross between Beast Wars and NASCAR Heat; expect this was far worse. The show is basically a badly-executed racing show with a few interesting character designs. When I mean interesting in this case; I mean creepy. The sad part is none of the characters in this series really appealled to me and looked like they were just running through the motions here. Not to mention that the CGI-animation was subpar for the most part. Overall; this was another below average show and it shows considering that this show was a mid-season replacement for the Cramp Twins. Thankfully; it was a lot better than the Cramp Twins if that means anything at all... * 3/4. Memo to developers creating future CGI shows: Learn from Reboot, Spiderman 3D and Beast Wars; not Cubix. It can only help..Or overall; leave CGI to Main Frame Entertainment. They are experts in this genre...


Well; I guess Martin Mystery, Pirate Island and TMNT were special after all since they were quality mid-season shows. Anyhow; I did promise a preview of the new shows for the fall 2005 lineup and I will deliever as usual. There are four new shows on tape for this new season; including a new anime series, a popular franchise that many consider bad, and a bunch of dolls trying to be Barbie. Ooops; forgot about the brand new card fighting game. I cannot forget that without sounding like a idoit....As I stated before; there are many question marks concerning this season and I will explain them as we start with my thoughts concerning the brand new shows. Here we go......


[1.] G.I. Joe Sigma Six

The new G.I. JOE SIGMA SIX animated series will be based on a new segment of the legendary brand, created by Hasbro, more than 40 years ago. Hasbro introduced G.I. JOE SIGMA SIX, a new line of action figures featuring an all-new 8-inch scale, at the American International Toy Fair in New York last month.

My Thoughts: Ah yes; we start our preview with the return of a 1980's pop-culture icon. Kids in 1985 swarm to television sets to watch a group of elite fighters from various branches of U.S. forces to destroy an evil terrorist group call Cobra. Sound familiar?! Now; I'm probably going to get flamed for this (jb and mintchocolatebear); but I thought the original was pretty good for a 1980's show despite the hypocriticalness on the violence/non-violence moral. I would day that this hypocriticalness was far worse in 80% of the 1980's cartoons (Mister T anyone?) G.I. Joe was famous for three reasons: [1.] One of the characters was based on a real-life professional wrestler: Sgt. Slaughter...(Ironically; Rock & Wrestling was released at about the same time featuring real life wrestler designs and fake voices.) [2.] It spawned various catchphrases including 'YO JOE', "Now you know and knowing is half the battle." and various others. and [3.] It was actually an anime series bought by Sunbrow and was one of the most successful toy shows/toy lines by Hasbro. However; like many shows released in the 1980's; the show's quality declined in 1990 when Dic took over, the toy show was destroyed by the Children's Television Act and in 1996 when G.I. Joe Extreme was released; the whole concept of war was slowly becoming more and more morally suspect. It'll be very interesting to see how this show will fare in the 9/11 era. It's no surprise that Fox is boardcasting this cartoon considering it's attitude towards the war in Iraq. The show is being developed by Gonzo Studios and it is supposed to be anime based; so the animation quality should be decent enough. The real question is will they make Sigma Six more like the original 1985 series or will they make it more like the 1990's series that followed?! If they make it the latter; don't be shocked if the quality takes a dip. Just a warning. G.I. Joe Sigma Six has the fewest questions and if they are answered properly; this show could be more than a solid show to help 4Kids TV get over the other shows which are more questionable at this point....

[2.] Magical DoReMi

Doremi refers to herself as the "unluckiest bishoujo in the world". With a little sister that treats her like a child, parents that fight almost every day and a crush that is in love with another girl Doremi aspires to become a witch, hoping that magic can solve all her problems. Doremi then finds a real witch, but after calling the witch out the witch is transformed to a green blob incapable of using magic. Blaming Doremi for the incident the witch takes Doremi as an apprentice, hoping that despite Doremi's constant misuse of magic Doremi will become a witch someday.

My Thoughts: This is an anime series created by Softbank and has been in existance since 2001. Anyhow; this show poses the most question marks coming in. Not to mention that this show carries a lot of risk for 4Kids since this is really an all-girl anime show. WINX Club was accepted in large part due to a male bonding angle which was treated pretty poorly during that series' run. In all due respect for the show; Magical DoReMi does look like an impressive series and hopefully 4Kids will due a good translation job on it. However; the biggest question is will it be enough to overcome the various barriers that this show has created? Needless to say; this is the underdog series for 2005 and I'm interested. Let's see if the quality hold true throughout......

[3.] Bratz

The Bratz animated series follows the exciting adventures of Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha and Jade as they scoop stories for their hip teen magazine. Bratz—aimed at girls ages 6 to 11––will debut as the fourth season of 4Kids TV launches on Saturday, September 10, 2005.

My Thoughts: I never thought that in my sickest dreams that Bratz would ever be made into a cartoon and a movie; but here it is. In a move that wasn't a surprise at all: cartoon buffs everywhere are already denouncing it. Welcome to hell people! Okay; I honestly don't think the show is going to suck (at least not yet anyway!) since I haven't see it yet! However; Bratz is going to be fighting an uphill battle in order to gain respectability. For one; Bratz has been accused of being a sex-up version of Barbie. Barbie looks like a role model compared to the Bratz. Not to mention that these dolls are self-proclaimed brats. This is not exactly a quality that any child would like to have. For another; the record of doll shows since the Children's Television Act banned references/actual products in cartoons has been below average for the most part. Let's face it; it's a toy show and lazy writing can be passed on. Finally; Bratz is competing againest Magical DoReMai and that series' quality is a lot less suspect as I mentioned previously. In the end; if this show gets delayed until spring of 2006 then look for the series to be considered a write-off. If it's released this fall; then this show has a chance. A slim chance; but a chance nevertheless.

[4.] Chaotic Card

4Kids Ent. Inc. has acquired the worldwide licensing rights to CHAOTIC, Apex Marketing and Dracco Company Ltd.'s trading card game. 4Kids Entertainment will manage the licensing, marketing and promotional initiatives for this trading card property and will join creative forces with Apex Marketing to develop and produce an all-new children's animated series based on the property. 4Kids will jointly own the copyright to the television series, which is expected to debut on 4Kids TV in fall 2006. In addition to marketing the trading cards and co-producing the television series, 4Kids will look to develop licensing partnerships in all core categories, initially focusing on toys, interactive entertainment and collectibles. The CHAOTIC trading card game enjoyed great success in Denmark.

My Thoughts: This show without a doubt will be released in 2006. This marks the first time on 4Kids TV that a card fighting game has been released. In fact; this marks the first time a card fighting show debuted and didn't come from Japan. This card fighting show comes from Denmark so it does sound like it's refreshing from that point of view. However; card fighting shows outside of Yu-Gi-Oh! have sucked. Anyone remember Duel Masters?! You probably don't because there is nothing memoriable to note outside of the fact that the original show was five minutes long. Although this show does have an excellent track record in Denmark (or so I heard); it doesn't mean anything since many shows from Japan don't pass the American appeals test. Luckly; this show will not be released until the fall of 2006 because it would also be considered a write-off if it became a mid-season replacement. If Chaotic Card can make this show with some solid storylines and really good character designs then this new show has a chance on 4Kids TV.


So there you have it; four new shows and lots of question marks. Magical DoReMi is the best show of the four if it can get past being a girl show in a boy's block. Personally; I think this show has a shot of becoming great. G.I. Joe: Sigma Six is a wildcard while Bratz and Chaotic Card are in trouble unless they can get past the obstacles of pain and suffering. The 4Kids TV block is at a crossroads at this point. While One Piece, Sonic X, TMNT, Winx Club and MewMew Power will give a solid lineup; 60% of the shows are expected to leave by mid-season. This will ultimately lead to two paths: [1.] The four show will exceed expectations and will be good enough to continue 4Kids TV's quality streak or [2.] The jokegun goes full-blast and 4Kids TV returns to the SmutBox's first season. This is 4Kids' last chance not to screw up and the future will be revealed within a year.......Don't blow it 4Kids! You were doing so well too! That's my opinion; I welcome yours. See you next time....

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