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|Index||18 reviews in total|
This is an absolutely incredible series. I watched every episode throughout my Freshman year in High School (I even woke up early on Saturdays to watch it 6 days a week). The story is very drawing and compelling. Any sci-fi fan, fan of animation, or fan of drama or action will be engrossed in this.
...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.
When this show was on the air, my father and I watched it repeatedly. We rewatched every episode untl it was pulled off. He and I stil miss it. The animated shw had a strong storyline, lovable (likable is to weak a word for these characters) heroes, villains that had reasons for their hatred of humanity, and strong dramatic moments. Characters die, planets are treatened, and the heroes of ExoFleet continue till they finally win the war. But, on the very last episode, the stage was seat for a third season, which was never made. There are rumors of a movie being made. I hope to god there is. This is the best of it's kind folks. I hope you can find it. Amazon has videos, but they are from th first season only. There are 52 episodes total; season one consisted of 13.
Exosquad came out when I was about 9, and I was immediately obsessed with it. I remember coming home from school every day and plopping myself in front of the TV all excited, just to catch a rerun. It was seriously that good. The story, when it is boiled down, is basically a futuristic World War II. The insane, brutal tyrant leading his people in a fight for global (or in this case, multi-global) domination, and the extermination of an "inferior" race. (Note the Neosapien officer's uniforms and the constant striving to create the superior breed of Neo and tell me that's not Nazism). But the show was so much more than that. The characters were all given a chance to develop, and the writers always managed to reveal the reasons behind the actions. The audience could understand the motives of the Neos, and could even justify the carnage they wrought. The depth of the series surpasses anything else American animators have produced, and easily rivals the best of Japanese anime. The only negatives I can find are the animation (but it was a decade ago, so I can forgive that) and the abrupt ending. There was so much more they could have done with the series if only given a chance. But, if it was appealing to the marketers' key demographic, it wouldn't be nearly so good, so I guess we should be grateful for what we got. If you get the opportunity to watch, or even relive Exosquad, I highly recommend it. I recently acquired the majority of the series, and I can say that my childhood memories hardly do it justice. Now I'm able to appreciate it so much more, and I hope you can too.
ExoSquad is the second best American animated series I've seen. The first being Robotech(though American produced, had heavy japanese anime origins). ExoSquad had great character and plot depth. Each laser shot during the battles counts(meaning people could get hit and could possibly die). I use the battle casualty factor as a way of measuring as to whether an animated series is mature or for children. ExoSquad's plot was inconsistent at times which gave me the impression that they didn't write the entire saga before producing the episodes. An example of this inconsistency were the seemingly invincible mutant creatures that were impervious to laser fire in one episode and in later episodes could be killed easily with one laser shot. Unfortunately America doesn't seem ready for mature cartoons. Each mature American cartoon produced seems to get abruptly cancelled(there were quite a few, some cancelled at less than 10 episodes). Just for the record the Marvel superhero cartoons shouldn't be considered mature as they pale in comparison to their comic book counterparts maturity wise(nobody dies). If you can find a channel with reruns of ExoSquad, check it out.
To call Exosquad a "cartoon" is unfair. This saga is absolutely
brilliant with its parrallels to the reality of war, racism, prejudice,
ethnic cleansing, and the brutalities of totalitarianism.
In Exosquad, a race of artificialy created humanoids -bred for slavery - revolt against natural humans in order to exterminate them and take their own place as the rightful rulers of the Sol system.
In the outer reaches of the solar system, are the Space Pirates who were prisoners forced to mine the outer planet's moons for raw materials for building spacecraft. A group of violent, angry people bent on revenge against the people of earth.
In the middle are humans, who make up the populous of Earth, Venus and the space Navy, The Exosquad. Besides commanding a large force of battleships, they are trained for heavy weapons - including E-Frames - powered armor battle suits that increase the destructive power of individual soldiers.
While the plot sounds like the run of the mill anime, the show is given a distinctive American feeling by a cast of western actors, as well as a distinctive sense of realism and authenticity by graphic violence and actual death of characters as well as other brutalities of war such as forced labor, starvation, summary executions and stories of resistance, betrayal and honor.
This show goes well beyond the average cartoon and despite its watercolor animations, the high quality artwork and voice acting ranks Exosquad right up there with other space sagas such as Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica.
This show was highly enjoyable and I rate it a perfect 10.
My only disappointment is that the show was unfinished. The episode "Beyond Chaos" begins an incomplete story arc that would have been better left concluded in the episode "Fall of the Neosapien empire". In many ways, this left me disappointed - like the final episode of Space: Above & Beyond but, if you can overlook "Beyond Chaos", the rest of the series is unfortgettable and brilliant.
I'll admit that in general, I'm fond of cartoons, but I despise one trick
ponies. ExoSquad is far from being a one trick show. The storylines were
diverse and interesting, yet connected nicely for an ongoing plot. The
characters developed better than most television shows.
Essentially, the premise boiled down to the genetically altered NeoSapiens revolting from their slave positions and taking over Earth, Mars and Venus. The ExoSquad must attempt to liberate their home planets, but at the same time, by both necessity and inclination, realize that the NeoSapiens are not as evil as one might think, and neither are the pirates that have always been their enemies.
The beautiful thing about the show was that it was intelligent. Attitudes changed as characters grew. The viewer was not treated to random violence every time they turned on the show. This show deserved better than to be unceremoniously cancelled at episode 52.
We did our take of episodic series(many more for sure to follow in the US)but reason it's no.1. It did it first. Universal. How can you neglect releasing this show on DVD? The voice actor's went on to be the most sought after in the industry. It had top notch but yet nostalgic looking ship's like Flash Gordon. Many people had no opportunity to see it but how many household's now have DVD player's? DVD has created it's own culture of show's and film's that might have never been seen by the general public either. You need to release this show before it's completely forgotten but only a loyal few will remember this "classic cult" series. Even the opportunity to meet the few voice actor's I've met at con's has been great and Richard Newman was the top's in presentation of his panel of his many work's including Exo Squad. I can do at least one more thing. Thank you for Exo Squad.
YOU CAN WATCH THE ENTIRE SERIES ONLINE AT:
That said, Exo Squad is truly the single greatest animated series to ever come out of the west. In terms of plot depth, character complexity, weight of issues and so many more factrors it is wholly without peer in American animation. It is a lone and shining example of what the format could be if only our animators would hold themselves to a higher standard. Wuite easily, Exo Squad, is indeed one of the greatest stories ever told. So often in our culture, we believe animation to be a format restricted only to telling simple children's stories, yet Exo Squad delves deeply and articulately into extremely complex sociopolitical issues that challenge even adult viewers. The characters are so multifaceted and multidimensional that one often forgets that they are but two dimensional representations of people and not actual human beings. It is a sad and despairing truth that Exop Squad was cancelled, and as of yet, has not been released to DVD, but perhaps someday that will, hopefully change. Until then, you can watch the entire series online at "http://www.myspace.com/exo_squad". ENJOY!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All I gotta say is that its one of the best animation shows to ever come out in the U.S. It's a shame that is television treatment got it cancelled before the 3 season and the spin-off were able to be created Oh well its great and I wish someone would release a DVD of it. Currently the only way to find the show is by searching everywhere for it. Overall the continuing storyline and the actual humanity of these characters is what made the show really great. Its to bad it was never fully finished but they did at least finish the main story arc which is the story of the war between the humans and the Neo Sapiens. The third arc was gonna force the two to band together against a new alien threat but there was only 1 episode shot so the series does end on a slight cliffhanger but its worth watching so if you can get it I highly recommend it.
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