YMMV: Medabots

  • Adaptation Displacement: Most people who know about Medabots at all only know about Nelvana's anime dub. It's rare to find someone who knows that it's actually a franchise that got started in 1997 with a video game series. It's even rarer to find anyone who knows about the manga adaptation or the GBA games that got localizations (everything that made it to the west is a derivative of Medarot 2, Ikki's premiere game — the Medabots game is actually Medarot 2 CORE). The anime is actually a Broad Strokes adaptation of the first two video games and a few of the manga (mostly the Medarot 2 manga and Medarotter Rintarou, whose title character became a Canon Immigrant in the anime), and was released two years after the original game.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Baron (the Screws Gang's big boss) and his Medabot, Banisher, are made up to be fearsome opponents. The actual robattle ends as soon as Metabee shoots Banisher. Once. (His special ability is having a Strong Appearance).
    • If the games are to be believed, Banisher can only deal damage by counterattacking, and since Metabee headshot it (and Metabee is deceptively strong), he presumably dealt enough damage to knock him out. (Either that or the robot is just too weak to fight, and Baron instead tries to scare opponents into submission.)
    • Baron is also an anticlimax boss in game as all he can do is counter attack, meaning he can only hurt you if you attack. You might get hit once, but if you have any sense you'll them spam Medaforce which bypasses counter while he stands there doing nothing but trying to counter.
  • Ass Pull: The original series finale is a lot to swallow, even if you do have the games as reference. It's one thing to claim that the Medals, which are known to be of prehistoric and non-human origin, are actually alien Brain in a Jar technology whose fighting nearly caused The End of the World as We Know It for their home world and galaxy. It's another to have this accompanied by the fact that Dr. Hushi isn't dead at all and that Brandon, a Spear Carrier who shows up twice in the whole series, is actually an alien ally of his.
  • Awesome Music: The dub had a surprisingly epic opening theme. An instrumental version would play during fight sequences.
  • Crazy Awesome: Mr. Referee and Coach Mountain.
  • Creepy Awesome: Beast Master (Robo Emperor) and God Emperor (Mega Empreror) are two of the most popular medabots in the Japanese fandom (as of a recent 2012 Japanese poll results held at Nico Nico Douga. The first is Nightmare Fuel material, but the second is one of the most recurrent medabots used in the franchise of the games.
    • Ugly Cute: The thing with God Emperor could be a case of this. Compared to Beast Master, it's... more normal to like because of its design (besides being a powerful medarot/weapon). To the point that Kirara, in Medarot 2, has one of these...
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor Oceana. The dub did not help by moving her first appearance, originally the eighth episode, all the way to the filler section... at least thirty episodes later. Especially after the ShipTease episodes about Metabee/Brass. Cue the fanbase treating her like a rabid whore who wants to steal Metabee from Brass, who is suffering for her "love". An interesting aversion could be Karin since she's dumped on Kouji to make way for Ikki/Arika or Ikki/Kikuhime.
  • Ear Worm: Both the American Opening AND the original Japanese opening could be this for anyone that have heard them.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lots of one-off and minor recurring characters. The stand-out human examples are Mr. Referee and Couch Mountain. Notable Medabot examples include Warbandit, Arcbeetle, Oceana, Femjet and Drackonfly.
    • The Robo-Emperor, for being completely terrifying as well as one of the few villains in the show who's played completely straight.
    • Black Beetle is pretty much the only character from Spirits that is accepted or liked for several reasons: her cool design, being an Evil Counterpart of sorts to Metabee, and her somewhat interesting backstory.
  • Evil Is Cool: Hilariously subverted with Baron and Banisher, who look and sound unbelievably cool... but actually can't fight worth shit.
    • The Robo-Emperor however, plays this frighteningly straight.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Episode 20 has Ikki in a race against time to either get enough points to represent Japan in the world tournement, or save his mother from the Rubberrobo Gang. He manages to save her, but Metabee's too busted up to fight another battle for the Last Lousy Point.. guess we'll get a lesson about how you should do the right thing even if you're not rewarded, and about not pushing your friend beyond his limit... nope, Ikki is a coward for not wanting to fight, all his friends heckle him and he accepts. Say whaaa.?
  • Fanon Discontinuity / Seasonal Rot / Internet Backdraft: Medabot fans hate Spirits with a passion. Do not mention Spirits in a forum, you will regret it forever.
    • The first Medabots had as one of its strong points, its pacing — it managed to insert a lot of plot and character subplots in few episodes, and yet never felt (too) rushed. Spirits, on the other hand, stuck with a single plotline (Kam's) through its entire run, and suffered dearly for it, as episodes had to constantly reinforce the status quo to stop the plotline from ending, thus advancing the plot ever so slowly for its 39 episodes. The exclusion of most of the original cast helped to make that more apparent — with less characters, episodes had to focus exclusively on Ikki, Arika and, sometimes, new character Zuru, making stories less varied. Spirits did away with the first series' strengths, and played up its weaknesses.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the first episode, Henry tries to help Ikki out by selling him Medabots parts that are actually in his price range, which basically amount to a dusty box of untouched Metabee armor parts. In a stunning display of ingratitude, Ikki and Arika laugh at him at suggesting such lame and old parts, and for a moment you can see Henry trembling. Henry once had a Metabee as his own partner, but he died prior to the events of the series.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Ikki and Arika mocks Henry for trying to sell them an old KBT model. And then, guess which model does Ikki buy in later?
    • One episode features Intrepid Reporter Seamus MacRaker accusing Ikki of being the Phantom Renegade due to having a suspiciously similar head injury, harassing him to no end. In Medarot DS, Ikki takes up the mantle of Phantom Renegade, going so far as to upgrade Metabee to have an Arcbeetle's chassis.
  • Ho Yay: Fans almost often tend to ship Hikaru and Ikki... People often do not remember that Ikki is an 8 year old kid and that Hikaru is in his late-teens. Too much squick. However, it's a bit of a popular ship...
  • Memetic Badass: Coach Mountain is an interesting example as other characters in the show view him as this, though the fandom agrees.
    Arika: "I heard he used to be a strong man at the circus and could bench press elephants. I also heard he chiseled out the faces on Mount Rushmore with his bare hands!"
    Ikki: "And he stopped an erupting volcano by plugging it with his butt!"
  • Moe: Karin on the human side; Saintnurse, Oceana, Brass, and others on the robot side.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Many Medabots with really cool designs and gimmicks only appear for a single episode in the anime, almost always leaving a great impression.
  • Robo Ship:
    • Metabee/Oceana, Metabee/Brass... Metabee/Rokusho... and even Medabot OCs with other Medabot OCs.
    • Also, some Medabots with their own owners... Yeeeeesh. (Though there are fanarts depicting the medabots as humans... it doesn't help some owners are 8-10 year old kids).
  • Superlative Dubbing: Arguably one of the best dubs for its time, and the target audience, of course.
  • They Just Didn't Care: Nelvana arguably pulled this in the English Dub. The airing of some of the first 20 episodes were pulled until MUCH later because they could just wanted to accelerate the action of the anime OR because they accelerated the appareance of Rokusho, making a Dub-Induced Plot Hole later.
    • Same situation would be applied to the continuity from Medarot to Spirits due to the change of animation studios when the latter was made. The fact that some people of the original cast dissapeared from the series under unexplained reasons, not mentioning the events of the World Tournament... this is not easy to explain when you can pull a "they just moved on with their lives" card. Considering that not everyone of the original anime staff at Bee Train moved on to Trans Arts and Production IG as well, it could possibly explain why some characters and story elements dissapeared and only made it through as "cameos" for the ED animation sequence, which happened to be directed by the original anime characters' designer. But, since no ED sequences from any anime series is canon with their anime...
  • Toy Ship: Ikki & Arika and Koji & Karin.
  • Unfortunate Name: For English speakers, "Ikki", due to the fact that it is pronounced as "icky" in the dub, a slang meaning "Gross". Many a kid chuckled whenever the trailers mentioned lines like "And the winner is... Ikki!"
    • Granted, it's actually pronounced "Ee-Key", but the spelling made many a person think it was pronounced as "Icky".
  • Values Dissonance: In Phantom Renegade: Unmasked (season 1, episode 11), Seamus McRaker slanders Ikki because he believes Ikki is the Phantom Renegade. At the end of the episode, Ikki defeats Seamus in a Robattle and Arika publishes an article that clears Ikki's name but Seamus faces no legal comeuppance for slandering a child. What makes things even more stupid is that everyone believes Seamus' stories without giving Ikki the opportunity to explain himself. In fact, everyone ignores that Ikki is a kid while the Phantom Renegade has been proven to be an adult. Adults Are Useless, indeed. The whole episode operates on Rule of Funny.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • If she hadn't had such a feminine voice, it would have been hard to tell that Spirits' Black Beetle is a female-frame Medabot.
      • Hell, the Latin American dub even turned her into a guy. It's that confusing.
    • Ikki for his very girly voice, name that rhymes with "Nikki" and a topknot hairstyle. It doesn't help that there is at least one scene that involves him crossdressing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The premise of the anime series at first could have got the attraction of the kids who watched the series back in the days. However, it took several layers of constructing the story, with its dark elements (the "Ten Days of Darkness", mostly) that you could really question yourself about its kids demography... something that became superlative from other similar Mon series out there in earlier 2000s.
  • The Woobie: Black Beetle.