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The aliens Artemis and Bunny are based on Asian folklore: there was a Japanese folktale about a princess who lived in a kingdom on the Moon, and an Indian folktale spoke of a bunny in the moon. See more »
Fans of the Transformers franchise should curse this show's name. This, my friends, is where the rampant childishness that has plagued the various Transformers series of late began. Here's a bit of background on it: while the second season of the Canadian-made "Beast Wars" was being dubbed into Japanese, Takara (the Japanese company that handles Transformers) needed a way to meet the fan demand for "Beast Wars" products and shows. So they created "Beast Wars II." The toyline featured only five new molds, I believe, and the others were repainted from various lines including Beast Wars, Machine Wars, Generation 2, and even the original Transformers line. This cel-animation cartoon was quickly thrown together to satisfy the demand for a medium to tell the story of the toys. The premise is simple enough: the heroic Cybertrons (led by Lioconvoy) must stop the evil Destrons (led by the Emperor of Destruction, Galvatron) from stealing the angalmois (energon) reserves of the Planet Gaia. These events are conveniently overseen by two celestial observers, Artemis and Moon. Artemis is a very loud and obnoxious robot that looks like a teenage girl while Moon more closely resembles a rabbit. This is where it gets a little...well, awful. Artemis is too cute for her own good, always whining and hitting Moon with a mallet. She is obsessed alternately with the sophisticated Cybertron squid Scuba and with the effeminate Destron aerial commander Starscream. This is crucial to understanding the subtext of the show: nature vs. industry. The Cybertrons all transform into animals while the Destrons all transform into construction vehicles and military hardware (except Galvatron, who transforms into a drill-tank as well as a dragon but more on this later). This theme would be explored more eloquently in the Western follow-up to "Beast Wars" called "Beast Machines."
From the getgo, this show is obviously aimed at younger audiences. The jokes are incredibly corny, there is almost nothing resembling a story arc, and it all has a very light-hearted feel. So light-hearted, in fact, it's difficult to take seriously. For example, the Cybertron called Tazmanian Kid pees on a fire to help put it out. How mature. Galvatron hits Megastorm and his head shrinks down into his body. No gripping realism here. Starscream prances around like a 15 year old girl at times (we'd most likely call him a metrosexual nowadays, though). As the show progresses, the original idea of machines vs. animals disappears when Megastorm, Starscream, BB, Dirge, and Thrust are all transformed into cybernetic beasts (Gigastorm, Hellscream, Max B, Dirgegun, and Thrustor, respectively). New bands of characters show up, but it's not like that helps matters. This show is the reason we have such crapfests as "Robots In Disguise" and "Transformers: Armada." If you are not above the age of 8, I do not recommend this show. At all. Western Transformers fans might be interested in it, but if this is the case, I recommend finding an undubbed or unsubtitled version of it...that way you can remain blissfully ignorant of what is being said and pretend they're having deep intellectual discourse instead of whining about brushing their teeth (Dirge and Thrust), getting drunk (Apache), or just being p***ed off all the time (Bighorn).
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