I have a love/hate relationship with children's programming. While on the one hand, most of it is geared toward selling toys and other nonsense, often the universes are interesting enough to warrant at least a passing glance. Monsuno is like a mixture of Beyblades and Pokemon in that colorful characters use hourglass-looking canisters to hold creatures and battle. I don't know. It's all terribly distressing.
All of the standards are here. The edgy hero with a blue jacket. The cute female best friend with red hair. The goofy, nerdy friend who craves food all the time. Seriously. It's Ash, Misty and Brock from Pokemon presented to a Nickelodeon audience.
The jokes fall flat, as they're impossibly cheesy. I understand that we're not dealing with Shakespeare here, but are children so dim that all matter of nuance and subtlety is eliminated or lost in translation from the original Japanese? It just doesn’t work. I know kids who are smarter than this, and while the series is geared toward a very young audience, I feel even very young kids would roll their eyes at the humor on display here. Before going back to their iPads and watching people get hurt on YouTube or whatever the little monsters do with these devices.
All in all, Monsuno is your standard Japanese import: all flash, no heart.
DVD Bonus Features
"Monsuno: Destiny" is on sale January 8, 2013 and is rated tv-y7. Animation. Directed by Yoshiaki Okumura. Written by Joe Casey, Joe Kelly. Starring Cam Clarke, Karen Strassman.