During my college years, I watched a lot of cartoons (probably more than I should have) when I wasn't studying - or wasting my student loan on alchohol and musical instruments that I could barely afford. Cartoon Network was one of the channels I ended up the most time on - watching great cartoons like Static Shock, Samurai Jack, Teen Titans, Spider-Man, the Animated Series, Yu-Gi-Oh, Duel Masters and even the updated He-Man cartoons now and then. But MEGAS XLR was one of those shows that I watched almost religiously. Why, you may ask? Simple - because it KICKED ASS!
MEGAS XLR was essentially a parody cartoon of the "Mecha" genre of animation that was popular at the time - essentially, giant robots beating the living heck out of each other. The plot revolves around a giant robot called MEGAS from the future, that was supposed to be used in a fight against the Glorft - an alien race that have conquered Earth. It get's sent back into the past - where it ends up in the hands of two Jersey slackers, Coop and Jamie - who "Pimp" it out, replacing its head with a hot rod (as you do when you get an alien robot appear in your back garden I guess!)
They are joined by Kiva - a kick ass warrior heroine from the future who originally comes back to retrieve MEGAS, only to see what Coop has done with it. As can be expected, the Glorft follow them back to the past and all sorts of fighting takes place.
Essentially, MEGAS XLR works as a kinda "monster of the week" series, where Coop and co would fight a new alien/robot - whether it was on Earth or another planet. The episodes generally parodied various other classic series, with some examples being Sailor Moon, Transformers, Power Rangers (and by proxy Voltron), etc. And other times it parodies rather obscure references, including The Prisoner and Planet of the Apes. All of which is done with it's tongue firmly in cheek. As a show, and unlike most other cartoons of the time, it does not take itself too seriously and it isn't afraid to have fun. The show also makes pop at various pop culture - including a TV station called Pop TV (an obvious pop at MTV), which usually ends up getting destroyed.
The humour of the piece stems from the characters of the show. Coop is a lazy bum of a guy that would rather drive fast cars and play video games - but when the time comes, he will stap in and kick some butt. Problem is, Coop has no idea of the destructive power that MEGAS is capable off, he always finds a way of beating the baddies, but not without destroying half the city in the process! But as it's a cartoon, no one (miraclously) is hurt. He's a refreshing change from the usual "save the world" kinda heroes and it's good that he isn't perfect and ends up screwing up a lot. Despite his impetious nature and appetite for destruction, he's a likeable character and a source for most of the shows humour. And his "heroic speeches" are both utterly cheesty just completely badass!
Jamie is his sidekick, a cowardly young man that always acts tough when trying to score with chicks, but often ends up cowering away in the face of danger. He's always the first one to point out the danger in Coops plans and always end up hiding during the fight. He's another source of comic relief but is also a likeable character. Kiva is the heroine of the piece - and she kicks ass! She isn't afraid to get up close and personal with the badies and show off her martial arts skill. Despite this, she has little understanding of the past, given that she grew up in a war torn future - so it is amusing to see Coop and Jamie teach her about their "interests". Kiva always tries to approach any battle with a monster stragetically, trying to find out weaknesses in the opponent - although usually Coop ignores her advice and charges in head first into battle. Kiva usually ends up having to bail the two guys out (usually Jamie) so she's a great character for the female watchers.
The characters are great, the action is epic, over the top and cheesy and the humour will be enough to raise a chuckle - especially if you know the source material they are parodying. But the thing I love most about MEGAS XLR? The soundtrack is just sweet! The music rangs from pop punk to full on heavy metal - and it is just AWESOME! I swear I have never seen a cartoon with a more adrenaline pumping soundtrack - I even spent years trying to track down a place where I could download it, it was that awesome! If you're not a fan of heavy music then it won't be for you - but anyone that enjoys a good moshing track should definately check this out.
There were only 2 seasons of this show (that I know of) as it was cancelled after just a year. Which is a shame because this was an amazing show that was a fun watch. It wasn't released on DVD as far as I'm aware, but you can download it on Xbox Live and Itunes as far as I'm aware. If you want a great, no nonsense cartoon that is full of humour and over the top action, or just want to turn your brain off for about 30 mins or so, then I recommend you check this cartoon out.
Tagline of this series was "Chicks dig giant robots" - and you know what, I dig giant robots as well. It's a show that I doubt will ever be bettered in terms of pure kickassery! Yeah, the show was that great that I just made up a word to describe it!
Until next time guys!
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