...If you don't consider Saban's "X-Men" from 92 to 95 (until the animation went downhill).
I Remember always getting up and watching this at 6:00 am... I looked forward to it every morning. I had seen "Battletech" on the Fox Kids network (if that is indeed the network they showed it on) and was not impressed- I do in fact like playing Mechwarrior 2 through 4 though. The Battletech cartoon did not last long, but this one lasted at least 2 years or so, and even though it was similar to Battletech in that the "pilots" flew a man-shaped "robot" armed with weapons, the story was considerably different than Battletech... This is not about Clans fighting under strict rules of engagement as in Battletech, this is about all out war, and touches on many ideas that have been floating around: Man creating a race of Servants, and the servants decide to be the masters- Slavery, the NeoSapiens had revolted against Slavery "50 years ago" in the cartoon- And now Phaeton, the Neosapien governor of Mars decides to attack Earth while the entire Exo-Fleet is in heated battle with Pirates in the outer solar system. Some of this is pretty parallel to Germany building up arms in stark denial of the Versaille treaty, but the NeoSapiens are not representative of Nazis. I watched every single episode as it was originally shown as much as I was able. I do not understand how cartoons are syndicated, but I remember the original series, seeing episodes that were later re-run and edited somewhat, with new music and a new intro at the beginning. I always wondered if the episodes I saw in 1994 were first run or re-run, but after watching "The Fall of The NeoSapien Empire" and the couple of episodes that came after that, ending with "Beyond Chaos"- They never showed the series on KCOP/13 or KTLA/5 again and later that year channel 13 in LA became UPN's mother station- And UPN had their own cartoons to show, if in fact KCOP was allowed to be shown in San Diego- The damned Syndex Law caused whole channels to be blocked out... so, I was only able to watch this show when I was allowed to see KCOP-13. The same thing happened when I was trying to follow Babylon-5: The channel was blocked out because of Syndex and channel 6 in San Diego, stopped carrying the show, so about half of a season was missed, some people did not get to see it at all until it was re-run on Sci Fi channel some years back.
This show was well animated, well acted by the voice talent, well written, the first 3 episodes by Mark Edens, who adapted several famous X-Men stories to Cartoon Script. So the writing was top notch. There were virtually no "filler" episodes, the story was told until the show was canceled after the episode "Beyond Chaos." Another thing that was important, is that this was no kids cartoon, it was a about a war, and they showed people getting blown up and shot and killed in various fashions- Even in GI-Joe cartoons, they would show the enemy pilots parachuting safely away. Well, "In Space there are no Parachutes" so when a nuclear reactor exploded, there were casualties. Even my father agreed with me that this was not for kids, and he was on Guam in WW-II. He actually sat down and watched this with me sometimes, I believe he liked it, even though he would never admit it. There were several very good voice talents in this, but most identifiable was Teryl Rothery, Dr Janet Frasier from Stargate SG-1 as Maggie Weston. But for about a year, all these characters were endeared to me, especially Bronski- And his relationship to Takagi... "The old man and The Kid" I loved the idea of these people having little "exo-frames" that were not identical, each one was designed for the person who flew them, my favourite was the E-Frame that Marsala and Nara flew, I still have one of those Playmates models of Marsala's Eframe... I have it in a display case. The missiles still shoot, the impact panels still pop off, and all the lights still work, and Marsala is still there in the pilots seat, but no Nara.
There is so much more to say about this... I would be very happy if this were to be released on DVD- Or maybe shown in it's entirety on The Cartoon channel. It was just one of those things: From 1990 to 1995 these kinds of cartoons were shown on Fox and other channels, but not on Saturday AM. If this ever comes out on DVD... I highly recommend it, for older kids, but not for very young ones.
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