Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Megas XLR -- Anime Fanfic on TV

Once upon a time, the Net's anime fans didn't have much fanfic to choose from. But there was one huge unapologetic crossover, mainly starring Larry Stu versions of the writers and Leibowitzes of the writers' friends, but filled with entertainment for every fan who read it. Action! Drama! Comedy! Obscure references! Computer geeking! And most importantly -- new and improved versions of every anime and sf starship, mech, or weapon they wanted! The series was Eyrie Productions' age-spanning epic, Undocumented Features, and even after all these years, it is still rolling along.

But now, someone has dared to mount a challenge. Someone gone pro.

Megas XLR is the saga of a guy who finds a giant robot in a junkyard and customizes it within an inch of its life. Its head is gone, so he replaces it with a convertible. He can pilot it because of his long experience with video games, from Atari on. Just as he and his slacker buddy are preparing to set out on a spree through their native New Jersey, more giant robots show up: first Kiva, a woman from the future military, and then the Glorft, the evil aliens who originally designed the robot (before Kiva customized the captured prototype herself). Kiva is won over and the Glorft defeated, but none of them can get home to the future until Kiva can make a new time travel device. And so, Coop and his giant robot Megas become the defenders of the Earth.

This show is killer, especially if you're my age. (The younguns will miss a few references.) Megas can do virtually anything that any heroic giant robot has ever done, right down to the rocket-propelled fists. There are also plenty of other pop culture and anime references -- for example, I howled when Megas' chest opened to reveal the wave motion gun from Starblazers. (Which was the size of the bow of a battleship, so it was even funnier to see it stuffed into Megas' comparatively smaller chest.)

And did I mention Coop is the only overweight action hero on television? (Unless you count Cadet Porky on Duck Dodgers in the 23 and 1/2 Century.)

"But what about the Larry Stu?" you ask. Heh. Take a look at the creators' pictures over in the Akron Beacon Journal. Now scroll down to see pictures of Coop and Jamie. Gee. How did they ever design Coop and Jamie's appearance? Hmmmm.

What can I say? I loved it. It's going to be on Saturdays on Cartoon Network's Toonami block at 7 and 7:30 PM tonight, with an additional showing at 12:30 in the afternoon. Watch it. Tape it. Tell your friends. This is good stuff.

Here's lots more about Megas XLR from DVD Vision Japan and AnimatedBliss. The Megas vs the Universe game on Cartoon Network. Be sure to click on "Jester's Advance" and "Chase Masters V" for some retro fun.

ObCatholicism: one neighborhood building Megas accidentally destroys is "St. Prynoski Elementary School". The kids are out on the playground and cheer, of course. (And "Prynoski" is the name of the ep's director.)


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