Redakai: Conquer The Kairu is a Merchandise-Driven cartoon series and card game developed by SpinMaster. The game centers around cards (Called "X-Drives") that are made of clear plastic and have several transparent portions. There are three types of cards: Characters, who you start with three of, Monsters, which change the defenses and abilities of characters, and attacks, which damage opponents. First player to knock out all three of their opponents wins.The Cartoon centers around a boy named Ky Stax and his friends Boomer and Maya who quest around the world trying to collect an energy called "Kairu", the life energy of the universe before the villain Lokar and his minions find it first. They do this by fighting other teams and transforming into monsters. The episodes are different every week without much of an overarching plot.Redakai came in with a lot of fanfare but fell by the wayside in the United States after just a few months due to overwhelmingly negative reception.There is in fact a Season 2 subtitled "Shadow of Lokar" that was in production and has been completed for some time now. Season 2 episodes have begun airing October 3, 2012...in France... However, some countries like Australia are airing the English episodes (with the US having no sign of airing them at all) and can be found online if you know where to look.
This series provides examples of:
All There in the Manual: The show relies a lot on its supplementary materials to tell the story, such as the website and promotional videos carrying key plot points that aren't visited in the show itself.
And Knowing Is Half the Battle: About halfway through, these sorts of tips started coming up at the ends of each episodes, sometimes tips on how to play the card games and sometimes general advice. However, the card-game tips typically aren't applicable to the actual game.
Broken Aesop: Episode four is about a macguffin which siphons Kairu from the surrounding forest, causing it to wither and die. Once the macguffin is dealt with the forest instantly heals, sending the message that environmental damage is easy to fix.
Drunk on the Dark Side: Falling/being dragged into a Shadow Kairu-infested lake causes Ekayon, and later Maya and Boomer, to become this. Before Ky finds a way to fix them, the three tried to get/force Ky to take a dip as well.
Jerkass: Team Stax. They scowl, use trash talk, and execute a lot of questionable behavior, such as openly and unsympathetically taunting Boomer for getting a pimple.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In season 2, Ky is the only one to want to help Team Imperiaz rescue their parents from Zane, which contrasts Boomer and Maya who don't want anything to do with them due to past bitterness. The fact that they end up betraying them again later does lend weight toward Boomer and Maya's unease, but Ky isn't really bothered by it and does feel sorry for them.
Ky's saved the E-Teens a few times which has led Zair to develop a crush on him.
Last of His Kind: Mookee comes from a world that was destroyed by Lokar and is, allegedly, the last of his kind.
Limited Wardrobe: Everyone really, though in season 2 Team Stax do get variations on there clothes: Ky's vest becoming a long sleeve jacket, Maya gaining a red-and-white vest, and Bommer's vest becoming white and silver.
Evil Costume Switch: Team Radicor in season 2, though they were always 'evil'. Not much changes really: Zair gains a red jacket, Zane gains a new cloak from Lokar's tattered robe, with Techris being the most obvious in a new "jumpsuit" with a new haircut.
Minimalist Cast: Although the cast isn't small per se, there is a noticeable 'limitation', if you will, of characters in this show, with Team Stax seemingly the only good guys collecting Kairu until Ekayon come along over halfway into the first season. Even then, he almost never shows up. There are more Redakai Masters other then Master Boaddai, so presumably there are more good guy teams out there, yet we never see them and Lokar's E-Teens always end up targeting Team Stax. Due to the Kairu deposits often being in the wilderness, we see few character of the days and even fewer recurring characters other than the E-Teens making the character pool seeming shallow compared to other shows of this type. Even season 2 doesn't do much to change it despite the new characters, Master Boaddai gaining new trainees and Team Hiverax replacing Team Badicor. In fact it makes things worse by recycling a good deal of season one's characters of the day. At least the whole "We might see them again." bit isn't a lie here.
Heck, it's practically an Invoked Trope, as it is said that one's Inner Kairu develops when the time is right...
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Cataclysm that wound up throwing the Kairu energy all over the world in the first place was caused by Ky's Dad, Conner Stax.
Parents in Distress: The Imperiaz only work for Lokar because he is keeping their parents as hostages. In season 2 episode "The Escape of the Imperiaz", Diara, Koz, and Teeny finally find their parents Nan and Berkby in a crystal prison in a cavern, only to run smack into Team Radikor. Zane then forces them to work for him under the same stipulations as Lokar.
Product Promotion Parade: Happens near the end of each episode. Getting the Kairu Energy "unlocks new X-Drives". It's like the characters just opened a booster pack as they list off what they all got. Late season 1 and season 2 tone this down some or mixes it up a bit.
Rival Turned Evil: Though Zane was always evil, once Lokar's out of the picture or so it seems... and he finds his X-Reader, he really loses it, declaring himself the one in charge over his own teammates and later even Team Imperiaz. He even dons Lokar's tattered robe as a cloak for emphasis.
Rogues Gallery: Lokar's E-Teen Teams would each take turns more-or-less with heckling Team Stax for the current Kairu deposit during an episode. The different Teams generally wouldn't interact with each other with some exceptions, more so later on in Season 1 and onward.
Scenery Porn: Yes indeed! This show's art in general is good, and often times the 'camera' pans out to show off the various beautiful landscapes and backdrops that Team Stax inevitably visit on their quest for Kairu. (Tellingly, they never visit populated cities, only small villages at most.) For some, the art is the primary reason for watching the show (if not the only reason).
Ship Tease: Maya and Kieran in the latter's appearances. In Kieran's second appearance in a season 2 episode, Ky and Boomer definitely put the tease in Ship Tease for Maya, thus emphasizing it even more.
The Sixth Ranger: Though not a permanent fixture, Ekayon is about as close as this show gets.
Storming the Castle: Interestingly, this is done during the first episode of season 2 (rather than the end of season 1, due to the Kairu Tornament). Team Stax and Conner storm Lokar's Keep with the end result being an explosion that ruins the Keep and seemingly takes out Lokar. (Keyword being 'seemingly'.) Said explosion was caused by a container filled with large quantities of Lokar's stored and corrupted Kairu that Ky accidentally fires at in a battle. This explosion scatters the Shadow Kairu energy across the globe, thus setting up the premise for the season: find and collect the dangerous Shadow Kairu.
Strictly Formula: Up until about when Ekayon first showed up two thirds into season 1, the episodes had a pretty standard formula: Master Boaddai would sense the location of a Kairu deposit and send Team Stax to collect it. They would arrive at the general location and try to pin-point the exact whereabouts with their X-Readers and Maya's ability to sense Kairu. Along the way, the E-Teens of the day who happened to be looking for the exact same Kairu deposit Team Stax were would intercept them (or vise-versa). A Kairu challenge would happen (with powers and no monsters) and Team Stax would usually (but not always) drive them off temporarily. They'd continue searching for and eventually find the Kairu deposit only to come by the same E-Teens again. Another Kairu challenge (with monsters this time) with Team Stax usually coming out on top. They collect the Kairu, get new X-Drives they may or may not use, and go home feeling better about themselves, with a possible scene of Lokar reprimanding the failed E-Teens (additional obstacles when looking for the Kairu are optional). Once Ekayon first appears and onward however, the formula gets shaken up bit by bit. Early season 2, for example, has Team Stax not win as many decisive victories, even losing the Kairu to the Hiverax and failing to beat Team Radicor the second time around.
Tagalong Kid: Mookee kinda filled this role early on, but it wasn't long before his appearances became more sporadic to the point were he stopped even being on the X-Scaper and just stayed at the monastery.
Yank the Dog's Chain: Team Imperiaz in regards to rescuing their parents. All of season 1, Lokar was blackmailing them to find him Kairu with no inclination that he would ever free their parents. Then comes season 2 with Lokar seemingly out of the picture: they finally find their parents only to run afoul of Zane who takes up Lokar's blackmail to coerce services to himself. They then enlist Team Stax for help in taking down the Radicor, with some reluctance on Boomer and Maya's part, only to have that blow over forcing them to double cross Team Stax (for the second time in the series). Even when the two E-Teen groups drive off Team Stax, Zane reveals he has no intention of releasing Nan and Berkbyever, and continues using them as leverage. It's unfortunate; if only the Imperiaz had the courage to stand up to Team Radicor's threats along side Team Stax...