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Genki is a young teen boy who gets zapped into an alternate world called Monster Rancher (Monster Farm in the Japanese version) where he must stop the evil Moo which can only be done by reviving the Phoenix, along his journey he befriends new Monsters and a girl named Holly.
Most property based animated series basically just serve as half hour commercials for toys. "Monster Rancher," while it does serve that purpose, rises above what you'd expect given that. Unlike "Pokemon," which is insipid, and "Digimon," which is derivative of the latter, "Monster Rancher" rests its strengths in strong, character development scripts.
Except for a few stereotypes like "Star Wars" familial elements and the brooding, loner type with attitude, the majority of episodes have, thus far, been fine essays reaching into the minds of characters we would normally not care about. Whereas one would expect a character to be chosen from the video game to use as a plot device, the plot device is instead the motivation for the character, rather than motivation being revealed as an afterthought to spur on the plot.
So far, there's only one season of episodes. But, if there are more, and if the same attention to character detail is maintained, this series should prove to be quite enjoyable, despite a few minor stereotypes.
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