More than a Digimon, more than a Pokémon, more than a Monster Rancher… Monster, I wanted a Medabot.
As a child, you couldn’t put something more enticing, more enthralling, more [insert adjective] than one of the little assemble-on-your-own little automatons seen in this show.
Medabots played on YTV in Canada sometime during the 1990s. I say this because in the sugar-fueled days of my youth time went really, really fast. All I knew when I was that little brat was that a Medabot would solve all of my problems. For Medaforce’s sake, they had missiles!
Ikki Tenryou, the main character of the show, is a down-on-his-luck elementary school kid whose only desire in life is to own a Medabot. In their universe, the little robots are really, really expensive. Yet, what are these kids really paying for?
Medabots are walking death machines. Metabee, pictured in the image above, has three main weapons: he has guns on his forearms, he has missles on his head, and he has arms and legs that could punch a hole through an elementary school kid. In this future, kids don’t play with little toys meant for fun. These kids play with war machines designed to hurt other war machines, and potentially set kids on fire.
Ok, I’ve got to slow down a little here. For the sake of television and anime, there’s a kind of suspension of disbelief that we all have to subscribe to. What this means is that Ikki and Metabee would never, ever fight other human beings. They wouldn’t do harm to one another because it’s against their programming as protagonists in the show.
What would little Matthew do with a Medabot?
I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs assassinating my character.
My elementary school self was the biggest dick you could have ever met and there are times when I look back on my conduct… well, let’s not go there quite yet. The point being was that as a child, I would have used a Medabot for destructive purposes. Imagine giving a sugar-soaked child like me the ability to use missiles and guns through an indestructible robot. The horror.
I wasn’t a bad kid at home, but at school – where the show primarily takes place – I was a bit of a nightmare. I didn’t go around beating up other kids, but I was a troublemaker who had a posse I belonged to with a few friends from the neighbourhood. So, imagine me, some other kids walking around with fully armed robots looking for trouble… Medabots!
There are other problems with letting kids own Medabots as well. For instance, in the first few episodes Ikki has to deal with a group of Punk-Rock Thugs who are stealing parts from the show’s other characters. You see, during a “Robattle” two sides fight their Medabots and whoever wins get to take a part from the other team. Part of each battle is the supervision of a Robot Battle League referee who oversees the fight is fair and that the victor gets his or her part.
If you were a kid with all of the money in the world you could potentially create a Medabot so powerful that you could take everyone’s parts. For Koji Karakuchi, a rich-kid in the show, is one of the top fighters in all of Japan simply because he has more money than the next person. However, with just pure talent Ikki is able to beat Koji on a number of occasions. Even if he is able to overcome insurmountable odds through practice, Medabots is still a business driven by the market.
Aside from being a douche as a child, I also never had spare money. Sure, I have a few cents here or there to buy something from the nearby convenience store. Never would I have enough money to buy an automated robot. It would be even more devastating to have someone older or with more money than me who could steal the essential parts of my Medabot.
In the world of Medabots, Ikki faces a lot of these same challenges and faces the problems with owning a Medabot who has his own mind. For those who aren’t familiar with Metabee, he’s a pretty strong-minded character. Ikki and Metabee’s relationship is one fraught with challenges with their two wills constantly trying to overtake each other.
The problems owning a Medabot far outweigh the benefits. As a fully grown (sometimes I think only half grown adult) I wouldn’t trust myself with a baby let alone a baby with a machine gun.
In elementary school, I really, really wanted to have my own Medabot. The idea of owning an automated robot who could fight on my behalf was really enticing, but when you’re that young it’s really just a fantasy. The world of Medabots is a dog-eat-dog world, and I’d rather just own one of those.