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Granted, I'm sure people weren't expecting much when 2i, creators of the Magi-Nation card game and cult GBA title, announced they were making a cartoon. The creators optimistically predicted that the cartoon would revive their rapidly dying franchise. However, they appear to have completely forgotten about their existing fans when they were trying to cash in on the kiddy market.
Stupid marketing decisions aside, the cartoon has a more youth-oriented slant than the games. Age-wise, it seems to appeal to a crowd slightly younger than the Pokemon group. Although the cartoon bears some resemblance to the GBA game, new characters were added, others were changed (in both personality and design), and key story elements were altered. Agram, for instance, has a much friendlier look to him (gone are the bizarre bandages obscuring his eyes) and, although sealed in the core like in the game, he somehow is able to project himself into the world as some sort of phantom. Korg and Zet also look drastically different. Oh, plus the dream creatures can talk.
The show is fairly child-friendly and greatly resembles Pokemon, with some sort of friendship between summoned monsters and their summoners as well as a "Name that creature!" during commercial breaks. The dialog will make older audiences grimace, but there doesn't seem to be anything that would offend children or parents. Nor does the show have any really compelling content that would keep older audiences amused, save for the campy dialog and scenarios.
All in all, Magi Nation sadly plays out like a second-rate Pokemon or, perhaps slightly more apt, a Monster Rancher knock-off. If it's anything like Monster Rancher, the series is probably doomed to Monster Rancher's fate--a season or two followed by cancellation.
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