Cartoon Review: Magi-Nation

Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time are aware that when I was in grad school, I spent my weekends at a friend’s game shop. What you don’t know is that my Poke-kids actually managed to badger me into a TCG game.

I remember the months leading up to Magi-Nation’s release. Inky had a poster up that showed the regions (I think there were only five at that point), and some of the monsters. I spent a lot of time staring at that poster, and eventually some of the kids noticed. They were fairly excited about the chance to learn a new game (since not a single one of them took an interest in Magic), and they were even more excited to see me interested in the game.

(For those of you who are new to the blog, I helped run a Pokemon League, and the kids tried repeatedly tro drag me into playing with them. That stopped the minute I beat one one of the top players in the shop.)

The game came out, and I decided to play a dual-region deck (which was highly not recommended)- Arderial and Naroom. These two regions are best described as “hide and zot” and “heal like a mad Weebo”. The kids mostly played Cald, which was all about dealing direct damage. We had the occasional Orothe (large monsters hiding in the water) and Underdark (small banding creatures underground). My Arderial/Naroom deck really wasn’t too challenged by any other deck in the center except the pure Arderial deck wielded by a good friend of mine.

I was moving away from there right as the expansion that introduced the Weave and Kybar’s Teeth were released, which coincided with the release of the GameBoy game, which starts right outside the Weave.

The game was harder than it needed to be, and it quickly became very boring to go around collecting bits of monsters to make the rings. When a puzzle proved unsolvable, I put down the game and never went back.

A couple of weeks ago, I was setting up the VCR to record the 4Kids cartoons, and discovered a cartoon called Magi-Nation in the listings. It was just beginning, so I watched it. It’s based heavily on the video game instead of the card game. Tony, the video game’s main character, is now a brunette, but he’s still the last Dreamer and has to save the world. Monsters are still kept in rings. They’re colorized Furok (one of my favorite Naroom creatures). It’s been a bit bizarre trying to adapt to the changes.

Interestingly enough, Magi-Nation has that ever-elusive E/I rating, except it makes more sense on Magi-Nation in three episodes than it did on Winx Club in three seasons. I’ve noticed that in every single episode, Tony and whatever magi he’s wandering with have to solve a math problem of some sort to get where they’re trying to go. It’s not subtle at all.

(And if anyone is curious, I’m currently sitting here, in my pajamas, watching Yu-Gi-Oh GX!!! And then I’m going to watch ChaoticTMNT: Fast ForwardDinosaur King, and another GX episode…all in my pajamas! I’m a happy camper!)


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