Promotional image showing main characters
|Genre||Adventure, Comedy, Science-fiction, Mecha|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tensai Okamura|
|Written by||Ryōta Yamaguchi|
|Licensed by||Nelvana Limited|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
Fox Kids, Jetix
|Original run||July 2, 1999 – June 30, 2000|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Magazine||Comic Bom Bom|
|Original run||July 6, 1999 – June 6, 2000|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masatsugu Arakawa|
|Licensed by||ADV Films|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|English network||Fox Kids|
|Original run||July 7, 2000 – March 30, 2001|
Medabots, known in Japan as Medarot (メダロット? Medarotto), is a role-playing video game franchise developed by Natsume and published by Imagineer in Japan in 1997. The video game franchise was later adapted into a Japanese anime television series produced by Bee Train. Spanning 52 episodes, the series originally aired on TV Tokyo from July 2, 1999 until June 30, 2000. Medarot Damashii, a thirty-nine episode sequel to the anime series that was produced by Production I.G, aired from July 7, 2000 through March 30, 2001. Both the series and its sequel are licensed by Nelvana Limited. The Nelvana Limited English dubbed version of Medabots aired on the Fox Kids network from September 1, 2001 through November 2, 2002 and was one of the channel's highest rated new series at the time. Medarot Damashii followed a year later, airing from September 13, 2003 until March 7, 2004.
A manga series, written by Rin Horuma (credited as just Horumarin) was also produced by the series. It was serialized in the shōnen magazine Comic Bom Bom in Japan and then published into collected volumes by Kodansha. The manga based on the first game, Medarot, was never translated into English. The manga based on the sequel, Medarot 2, was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, simply under the title Medabots. Further sequels Medarot 3, Medarot 4, Medarot 5, Medarot G, and spin-off manga Medarotter Rintarō and Medarot Navi were never licensed for release in the US. Medarot 2, 3, and 4 have, however, been translated into English for distribution in Singapore by Chuang Yi.
Several video games have been released for multiple platforms, including Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. Other related merchandise alongside them are plastic models produced by Kotobukiya.
The games are largely inspired by two prominent Japanese Role-Playing Video Games: Nintendo's Pokémon and Square-Enix's Front Mission. The former in that the game centers around collecting a variety of characters for trades and battles. The latter in that robot models are built from the ground up with customizable parts. Just like with Front Mission, these can be individually destroyed in battle, affecting their functionality in performing their associated actions.
The series centers around Medabots, artificially intelligent robots, whose purpose is to serve humans. The series begins with a ten-year-old boy named Ikki Tenryō, who wants to become a champion of the World Robattle Tournament. However, Ikki is unable to afford a Medabot, and his parents refuse to buy him one. However, he manages to get enough money to buy an outdated model, and, with a bit of luck, he finds a medal in a river. Ikki quickly inserts it into the Medabot he purchased named Metabee. The only problem is that the medal he found gives Metabee a severe attitude problem (a problem rarely seen in a Medabot), which leads Ikki to think he is defective. However, this theory is proven wrong later in the series, as it is revealed that Metabee actually has a "rare" medal.
The rare medals were kept secret by the Medabot Corporation, as very little was known about them. However, a Medabot with a rare medal would be able to call upon an attack called the "Medaforce". In the manga, the Medaforce is a form of medal mind control, as explained by Dr. Aki in the third graphic novel of Medabots. In the cartoon however, it is shown as a way of increasing the power of the Medabot's special skill into a focused beam attack.
Another important aspect is the story of Henry, the store clerk who sold Ikki Metabee. We find out that he is, quite obviously, Phantom Renegade. A running gag of series was Henry almost telling everyone he is The Phantom, with no one ever discovering this fact. We are then introduced to Space Medafighter X, who is another one of Henry's secret identities, the number one medafighter in Japan. Later, during the World Finals, he rarely shows up to the fights, instead sending substitutes and working behind the scenes. This being because he supposedly started The Ten Days of Darkness, which occurred eight years before the events in the series during the World Robattle Cup when Henry fought as Hikaru Agata with the original Metabee ( however, the medal was different). The Medabots went on a rampage during the Ten Days of Darkness, which stopped when Hikaru Agata was forced to kill his Medabot by destroying his medal.
At the end of the second season, it is revealed that Victor (a medafighter for Team Kenya and Warbandit's owner) was helping Dr. Meta-evil to get medals during the tournament. During the finals, Metabee and Warbandit continue to fight, even with their partners lost and their bodies damaged. It is during this event that Dr. Meta-evil starts his plan using Metabee and Warbandit's medals; trapping them both in a dream. However, Ikki manages to get Metabee to wake up from the dream, while the other medabots, free now, help Metabee to fight against Dr. Meta-evil. Ikki must also stop the plans of the nefarious "RubberRobo Gang".
Later in the series, Medabots are found to be actually thousands of years old; remnants of an ancient civilization who called themselves Medalorians. The Medalorians were obsessed with war, and to become more effective warriors they fastened metal armor to themselves. However, their wars decimated the civilization, and the survivors coded their memories onto hexagonal pieces of metal. These, "Medals", cloned and mass-produced by the Medabot Corporation (a corporation founded by Dr. Aki), are the Medabot equivalent of a brain and soul. The original medals, referred to as "rare" medals, are kept in storage because of the extreme power they have.
Medarot Damashii (Medabots Spirit)
Medarot Damashii, a sequel to the original series, follows Ikki and Metabee, as they face a new challenge following the events of the original series. Kam Kamazaki, a twelve-year-old boy, has designed one of the most dangerous medabots in the entire story, called Kilobots (or Death Medarot, in the Japanese version), who use the X-Medal. These Kilobots have no feelings, since the emotion part of the Medabot medal has been removed, and more strength parts have been replaced instead, and can break the rules in order to win a fight. Because they have no personality, the Medaforce is useless against them. In the first episode, Ikki loses a Robattle to Ginkai and his Kilobot when it cheats and reloads. But he soon meets Nae, a Medabot mechanic and Dr. Aki's granddaughter, who gives Ikki new medaparts in order to defeat the kilobot through using a new feature called Action Mode (later Demolition Mode is introduced as well). Throughout the season, Ikki, Erika and their new friend Zuru (who also masks as the Mystery Medafighter) battle several of Kam’s friends and their Kilobots. The Mystery Medfighter’s ambition is to rid the world of Kilobots, with the help of his medabot Roks. Eventually, Ginkai re-discovers the true spirit of medafighting and ceases being a rogue medafighter and returns to using Medabots. Eventually Kam realizes the error of his ways and stops trying to develop stronger and more dangerous Kilobots, choosing to remain with his Kilobot Blackbettle, who has a personality installed into her medal.
The series is often criticized for the removal of several supporting characters such as Henry/Hikaru Agata/Phantom Renegade/Space Medafighter X and Arcbeetle, Rokusho, Koji and Sumilidon, Rintaro and Kantaroth, Karin and Neutranurse, Victor and Warbandit, Mr. Referee, the Rubberrobo Gang and the Chick Salesman, as well as for the fact that many of the new Kilobots and Medabots are simply slightly modified versions of the original series without relation to the original characters: Roks (Rokusho), Exor (Sumilidon), Arcdash (Arcbeetle), Unitrix (Warbandit).
- Ikki Tenryou (天領イッキ Tenryō Ikki), is a lively and easygoing boy, although a bit timid, he is one of the main protagonists of the series. At first Ikki is unable to afford a Medabot. But after finding a medal in a river, he manages to buy a model, which is named Metabee. However, the medal he found appears to be defective, as Metabee is stubborn and disobedient. In spite of this, a strong bond grows between them after several robattles. Though Ikki is not a full-fledged Medafighter, he gradually matures through the Robattles he engages in. He is voiced by Michiru Yamazaki in the Japanese version, Samantha Reynolds in the English translation of the first series, and Julie Lemieux in the Spirits anime.
- Metabee (メタビー? Metabī, whose name is a portmanteau of Metal Beetle) is one of the main protagonists of the series, a Medabot belonging to Ikki Tenryou. Metabee is a beetle type Medabot, specializing in revolver tactics. He possesses a rare medal that allows him to access the Medaforce. Metabee is known to be a rebellious and aggressive metabot who often causes problems due to his headstrong personality. He is often sarcastic to his owner Ikki, but he shares a close bond with him, and so Ikki trusts him deeply. In the English version he is voiced by Joseph Motiki.
Medabot: Kuwagata Version (also available in a Kabuto Version), which started the Medabots series, is a role-playing game that Natsume developed and Imagineer released in Japan in 1997 to the Game Boy handheld gaming system on November 28, 1997. A remake of the game, Medabot: Perfect Edition, was released to the WonderSwan on May 4, 1999.
Natsume and Imagineer have released and re-released several video games tied to Medabots. Medabots AX: Metabee Version, released in the United States on March 31, 2003, is a Game Boy Advance fighting game that features characters from the anime series. Medabots Infinity is another role-playing game for the GameCube developed by Victor Interactive. It was released in Japan on November 28, 2003 and in the United States on December 11, 2003. This was the last game in the Medabot series to be released outside Japan.
Medabot Navi, based on the manga and anime, changed the plot of the original series. The story is about Kasumi, a teenage boy who lost his Medabot when he was a child. While visiting his old and abandoned school, Kasumi finds an abandoned medal. Thinking that it could bring his Medabot Metabee back, he places the new medal into his old medabot skeleton. Unfortunately, that new medal gives Metabee a stubborn and aggressive personality. Also, a Medabot named Baketsumaru (an advanced KWG model) and his Medafighter, a teenage girl, are well informed about Metabee's awakening.
In the September issue of Famitsu, Rocket Company, Imagineer and Natsume revealed a new Medabot game titled Medabots DS (メダロットDS? Medarotto DS) for the Nintendo DS. The game is considered as the sequel to the Game Boy Advance series with newer character designed and new versions and designs of all Medabots in the series. There will be two versions, Kabuto and Kuwagata, where the version decides the player's starting Medabot. In the Kabuto version, the player gets the rhinoceros beetle-type Gun-Nose, who specializes in shooting attacks. In Kuwagata, the player gets the stag beetle-type Sanjuro who specializes in close-range combat. The story revolves on the boy named Azuma Amakura, who somehow is introduced to the world of robattling with a KBT or a KWG-type Medabot. For doing so, he is given to a cellphone where he can install an application called the Medarotch, known in English as Medawatch, which can hold information about his Medabot. These special cellphones, though, are developed by four different companies. Other characters confirmed are Sakura Ooshima, Chitose Asakusa, Nut Daitoku and Taruto Benii. Azuma will have a rival, called Kohaku Himuro, who seems to be using a new STG (in the Kabuto Version) or KLN (in the Kuwagata Version) type Medabot. It has also been revealed that the Roborobo Gang will return as the player's main antagonist. Characters from the older series will make their return in the game including Ikki Tenryou, who now owns ArcBeetle since Metabee took a new KBT body. Erika Amazake and Nae Akihabara were also confirmed as well. The game's release date was on May 27, 2010.
Medabot 7: Kabuto ver./Kuwagata ver. (メダロット７ カブトＶｅｒ./クワガタＶｅｒ.?), was announced for release on the Nintendo 3DS on September 13, 2012. A new action game, Medabot Dual: Kabuto ver./Kuwagata ver. (メダロットDUAL カブトＶｅｒ./クワガタＶｅｒ.?) was released on the Nintendo 3DS on November 14, 2013.
Medabot 9 was released on the Nintendo 3DS on December 24, 2015.
Medabots Girls Mission, a game that includes adult female characters, was confirmed by Famitsu for release on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on March 10, 2016.
The Medabots anime series was adapted from the original 1997 video game, with its robotic combat elements inspired by Plawres Sanshiro. Produced by Bee Train, the fifty-two episode series originally aired on TV Tokyo from July 2, 1999 until June 30, 2000. A thirty-nine episode sequel to the anime series that was produced by Production I.G, Medabot Damashii aired from September 19, 2003 through March 7, 2004. Both the series are licensed by Nelvana Limited. The Nelvana Limited's English dubbed version of Medabots aired on the Fox Kids network from September 1, 2001 through November 2, 2002 and was one of the channel's highest rated new series at the time. Medabot Damashii followed a year later, airing from September 13, 2003 until March 7, 2004.
In 2007, Shout! Factory announced that they will be releasing the first two seasons of Medabots to Region 1 DVD, containing the English dub only. The Japanese version has received a VHS and DVD release of the first series, while Medabots Souls has only received a VHS release. On January 29, 2010, a Region 2 boxset release known as MEDABOT DVD BOX 1 was released containing the first thirty episodes, with a second boxset on February 19 finishing with the last twenty-two episodes. Two boxsets for Medabots Souls were released on December 30, 2010. This was Souls very first DVD release.
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Written by Horumarin, the Medabots manga series was originally serialized in the shōnen magazine Comic Bom Bom in Japan and then published in four volumes by Kodansha. The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media.
Four sequel series followed, all written by Horumarin and published Kodansha. The two volumes of Medabots 3 were released in Japan in December 2000 and April 2001. Medabots 4 followed later in 2001. The first volume of Medabots 5 was released in July 2002, but the second volume was not released until August 2007. Medabots G, a sequel to Medabots 5, was released in 2003.
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