Monsuno is an anime that aired back in February of 2012 on Nicktoons. Much like Pokemon or Digimon, it deals with humans whom use monstrous creatures for battling, saving the world, and all that stuff. I was looking forward to it after seeing some previews. I love monsters, and I use to enjoy Pokemon back in the day when it was actually good. So I went ahead and gave Monsuno a try. I know it's been over a year, but I finally got around to finishing it. It's a fun show with some of the most unique creature designs I've ever seen. Some of the things it fails in though is story telling and villains. Indeed, Monsuno has a great concept, but some of it is wasted on some pretty questionable things. But first, let's talk about the story.
The story follows five characters. Chase Suno is the main guy, then we have Bren, Jinja, Beyal, and Dax. So what's the driving source behind the story? Chase is after his father, whom has seemingly gone missing. So they spend over 15 episodes looking for him. The actual story of them attempting to find the dad is pretty average. It's not thoroughly engaging, but it would do. Of course, Jeredy, (the dad) is pretty annoying when we're first introduced to him. We learn that he's been in contact with Dax the whole time, but didn't want his son to know. Why? It was never fully explained. Now regarding the main characters. Chase is pretty much your average main character. There's not much wrong with him, he's basically like Ash Ketchum. Sadly the series is pretty much devoid of character development, all of them are pretty much the same by the time Episode 26 airs. I will admit that I wasn't too fond of them when they were first introduced 26 episodes ago, mainly due to the extremely sub-par voice acting. But they do grow on you. Beyal is by far the most interesting one. He was a much needed addition to the team, with his smart monk way of doing things. Dax is another interesting one. He's the hotshot of the group. However, he does have some of the more interesting scenes. One of my favorite quotes from him is "We all have a past to deal with." Him telling Jinja that she doesn't want to about his past makes for an interesting plot point for the viewer.
While the heroes grow on you, the villains are quite the opposite. Early on the evil organization known as S.T.O.R.M. is established. They're pretty much the usual type of sinister organization. I do like however they went with a woman as the leader, Charlemagne. Sadly the writing doesn't do wonders for her. She's given no development throughout the entire 26 episodes. With better writing she could have gone places, but in the end she's just a generic leader of an evil organization. The other main villain Dr. Klipse. This guy is just awful, he makes Charlemagne seem compelling. He is one of the cheesiest villains I've ever seen in an anime. Every time he laughs the viewers laugh because it's just so ridiculous. Are we supposed to to take him seriously? An antagonist that pops up later is One-Eyed Jack. This guy is by far the most interesting and best villain. For once we had a guy with interesting backstory and is kind of a maniac. Also his voice actor did a really good job. Sadly he was absent during the final battle. What I find ironic is that his plan is to 'liberate' all Monsuno, yet he and his comrades carry their own. Besides that hypocrisy, One-Eyed Jack was a highlight. Another villain pops up in the form of Digby Droog. When he first appears he fools the viewer into thinking he's a cool good guy. Soon we learn otherwise. He's an interesting character, but was heavily under-utilized. If he comes back in Combat Chaos, then I can forgive it. We also have a double agent called Medea. She was pretty cheesy in the beginning. However, while I'm not sure if it was her exotic look or interesting voice, she grows on the viewer. Sadly she was strangely missing from the final battle.
Now, if it's one thing this show does succeed in, it's the monsters, or rather Monsuno. The designs are so incredibly unique, props to the designer. They even match how unique some Ultraman monsters look. The main one owned by Chase is Lock, whom is basically a polar bear with blue spikes. He's the Gomora or Pikachu of the show, extremely loyal and gives 110% in every battle. There's also a very interesting subplot of him going against Chase because their bond wasn't that strong. Some actual character development between the two happens. But yes, Lock is a great monsuno. I wish however more of them got some backstory. The only ones that really had were Lock and Quickforce. The rest just appear as tools or 'pets' as Medea calls them. Still, Quickforce had probably the most interesting. It was a crazy and unstable Monsuno that Bren got under control. Sadly the roars are all kinda generic monster sounds. I think the only one that has a unique roar is Airswitch. Probably the best thing about Monsuno are the fights. Unlike in Pokemon where the fights...weren't fights, here they're pretty intense. Tackling, punching, slashing, the battles really shine. And every episode has at least one. I do have to question the use of Babbeon however. Jeredy said "Use it when you need it most" like he's a legendary and powerful monster. He never looks that impressive in his few appearances.
There are some other characters that pop up later on. We have the crazy Carnage-like Dom Pyro. Somehow the show successfully captures this guy's insane personality. In his second appearance he is presumably crushed by debris. But at the end, he's shown to be alive and grabs a rat. (What happens is off screen, but still pretty hardcore ) But he doesn't appear after that, not even in the final episode. Again, if Combat Chaos brings back all these loose ends, it can be forgiven. We also have Dawnmaster, one of the more interesting characters. His emergence in the second-to-final-episode was plain awesome. I hope the show uses him more in Season 2. Then there's Jon Ace. He leaves S.T.O.R.M. and joins up with Chase and friends later. It makes his 'sacrifice' in Episode 13 very good. Of course, nothing can stay dead in a Nicktoons show, so he was brought back. But in a very cool way. He was transformed into a Monsuno/human hybrid by an explosion. A pretty interesting plot point that is used effectively. The final episode is very climatic, with Charlemagne, Dr. Klipse, and Chase having a three way battle. It's the perfect kind of final showdown. Strangely however, we don't know what happens to the two villains afterward. Did they escape? Were they thrown in jail? The theme song is great, very catchy. As for the show's soundtrack, it's pretty standard. There are however occasional 'epic' tunes with some great choir. If Combat Chaos can use these more with a better soundtrack, we'll have a real winner.
I may have sounded a little harsh, but really Monsuno is a fun monster anime. The main characters grow on you as it progresses. The creatures and fights are FANTASTIC. The villains aside from One-Eyed Jack and Medea are pretty sub par. Well, Charlemagne is OKAY, but Dr. Klipse...I really hope someone offs him in Combat Chaos. The story could be a bit tedious. Not that it's slow, but searching for Jeredy becomes quickly annoying. At least with him found, Season 2 can concentrate on a more engaging story. Monsuno is an anime with great concept. The main characters are there, the monsters are there, and the fights are most certainly there, it's the villains and story that need to arrive. Hopefully Combat will improve upon all of the first season's faults.