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Web Video / Reviving Bionicle

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The cancellation of the first incarnation of BIONICLE struck a painful blow to fans everywhere. Ten years of story and sets came to a literal abrupt end (the ongoing story serials that took place after the main story are incomplete). A fan named Nathan, aka SuddenlyOranges, decided to help out with dealing with the end by creating a short film called Reviving Bionicle, which deals with various BIONICLE sets trying to come to terms with the discontinuation of their beloved franchise. With the success of the short, the video turned into a full fledged series dealing with the misadventures of the toys consisting of three short films and a five-part miniseries.

And yes, the show takes a lot of cues from Arby 'n' the Chief, and yes Nathan's acknowledged it.

The series centers mostly around comedic exaggerations of the Toa Mata, who live in the house of the series' creator Nathan. Since their owner is suspiciously and conveniently gone from the house most of the time, the toys come to life and generally take part in self-destructive shenanigans and the occasional analysis of the toyline they hail from.

Reviving Bionicle provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: The second attempt at a Bionicle short film by the Uniters turns out to actually be much more well done than Tahu and Onua's, leading to those who saw the rough edit wanting to join in unironically.
  • Adaptational Expansion: Being a hoax, Voriki had little to no personality or characterization prior to his appearance in this series. Here, he's an over-the-top heroic figure who speaks in gratuitous metaphors and has a near-obsessive desire to dish out justice. Too bad it turns out he's not actually Voriki.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Perditus, Surge, Evo, and Kapura to a less important extent.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Therapy shows that Tahu has no idea where Gali has gone. His silence and his comment about "ripping off the band-aid rather than speculate to death" suggests something dark behind the mystery.
  • Arc Words: "Hail Denmark."
  • Back from the Dead: It's revealed that Voriki is in fact a resurrected Greg.
  • Backup Twin: Tahu appears to be one. Despite the fact that the rest of the Toa Mata are in their 2001 set forms, Tahu is in his Stars form. At one point, he kicks his 2001 counterpart off-screen without a word.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Denmark turns out to be this
  • Big Bad: Perditus, in the first sequel.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Nathan Evo 2.0 and Mark Surge in the second sequel.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Despite his childishness, Tahu is still a very competent leader and strategist.
    Onua: You are usually the one to get stuff done. We were hoping you could work some magic and find clues.
    Tahu:...Like Blue's Clues?
    • Good Guy is largely seen as a joke, and his often dorky behavior gives others more reason to pay him no mind. In reality, he's ingenious enough to invent a machine that can control LEGO sets with trans pieces.
  • Came Back Wrong: Played for laughs. Pohatu is often tasked with rebuilding people who have fallen apart, resulting in this trope.
  • Canon Immigrant: Of sorts. The series is mainly about BIONICLE, but Hero Factory characters exist as well. They are even the main antagonists. There's also the Good Guy sets, BIONICLE polybags/mini sets that were only released overseas, who have become important characters in their own right.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Reviving Bionicle 2 has shades of this, but the third entry almost completely dives into this territory. Reviving Bionicle 4 as well leans more on the dramatic elements of the series, downplaying the comedy during the later episodes.
  • Character Development:
    • Tahu mostly gets over his immature love for BIONICLE and desire for its return and replaces it with a healthier hope for its revival, becoming more accepting of its end(s). Still childish, though.
    • Takanuva moves on from hating Voriki, especially due to the fact that it turns out Voriki is the product of a mind control experiment on the deceased Greg.
    • After Generation 2's cancellation, everyone (who's from the first incarnation) finds themselves rather indifferent to the news in high contrast to the overreaction to Generation 1's end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Good Guy 2008's lack of trans pieces.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Greg, who first appeared as if he was a one-off character only to return as the plot-relevant Voriki.
  • Companion Cube: In Anonymous, the Bootleg becomes this for Onua in the latter half of the episode, who confesses to it his anxieties about past memories possibly only being dreams, and the feeling that he hasn't had the chance to say goodbye to certain people before they 'left'.
  • Cult of Personality: When BIONICLE returned, Tahu and Onua start worshipping LEGO and its home country Denmark.
  • Deconstruction: Of BIONICLE and its fandom.
  • Delaying Action:
    • Tahu stalls for time so that Perditus would be run over by Pohatu and Kopaka before he could kill him.
    • All the sets that are free from Denmark's control download as much as they can online in order to cause its upload to lag.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Tahu is more sensible than he would eventually be and Onua is more dumb than he would be later.
    • The overall look and feel of Reviving Bionicle 1 is more simplistic and joke heavy compared to the story heavy, cinematic feeling of Reviving Bionicle 2 onwards.
    • Gali appears in Reviving Bionicle 1, yet starting with Reviving Bionicle 3 its stated she disappeared. Anonymous Retcons this by stating Tahu used loose Gali pieces and gave them to Takanuva to play her.
  • Easily Forgiven: Hilariously averted with Perditus who, after being freed from the bin apologizes to Lewa for dismantling him. Lewa accepts his apology...only for he and the other sets Perditus dismantled ready to ambush him around the corner.
  • Epic Fail: Tahu attempts to disable Denmark with a Squid Launcher, a well-known utterly useless range weapon from the toyline. The results are as you might expect.
    Onua: I know that was supposed to explode, but I'm actually really impressed that it went that far.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Surge tries to talk Evo down after their plan to upload Denmark is foiled, and the latter decides to kill everyone in the house (including himself and Surge) with Denmark.
    Evo: If Hero Factory won't live, then nobody will. I'll kill everybody!
    Surge: Evo, that's too much!
  • Fan Boy: Tahu towards LEGO and BIONICLE.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Nathan's large LEGO bin, which Kopaka describes as a place where "No LEGO will ever see the light of day again."
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The motivation for Evo and Surge's desire to kill all BIONICLE toys. They feel their line was doomed from the start due to just coming off the heels of BIONICLE's cancellation. With its return, they believe they no longer have a chance at being loved or remembered.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The toys don't worry about falling apart since they're already construction based sets meant to be taken apart and put back together.
    • However, broken or cracked pieces can be a source of insecurity for certain sets, especially if their parts have a tendency to break often. This is touched upon in episodes leading up to Therapy, which focuses on it extensively.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Lewa, my foot is about to wind-fly right up your ash if you don't come down right this instant...Ash Bear. I meant Ash Bear."
  • Grammar Correction Gag: When Denmark calls itself "The Afraid", Tahu corrects it, despite its desire for a serious talk about existence.
  • Heroic BSoD: The revelation that Voriki is in fact Greg sends him into one of these.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Voriki dives in front of Takanuva and takes the full force of a blast from Denmark. The result is that his entire personality and mind is erased, effectively killing him.
  • History Repeats: Uniter!Tahu and Uniter!Onua begin their own attempt to revive BIONICLE after Generation 2 ends. Everyone else reacts with a Here We Go Again!.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved:
    • Perditus's murder spree was born from this. He came with the Thornatus vehicle set, but his less-than-adequate design left him forgotten and thrown to the side in favor of having his vehicle be driven by more popular characters.
    • The Hero Factory Heroes, who were quite upset at the idea that their line was quickly forgotten and thrown under the rug when the BIONICLE reboot happened. So much so that they planned on using Denmark to kill all BIONICLE sets across the world in the hope that such an event will force LEGO to bring back Hero Factory.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Denmark tells Tahu that it's going to go away after a while and requests that he find it a friend.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Sacrificing one of their own to a garbage disposal is apparently one way to appease LEGO, according to Tahu and Onua.
    • Justified as they were under the influence of Denmark at the time.
  • It Can Think: It's later revealed that Denmark is sentient, but prefers to call itself "The Afraid" due to its fear of what Evo and Surge plan to do to all existing BIONICLE sets.
  • Left the Background Music On: Tahu and Onua often accentuate their current situation with appropriate (or inappropriate) music from Nathan's phone.
  • Manchild: Tahu is pretty childish about BIONICLE's end and trying to bring it back.
  • Mind-Control Device: Denmark.
  • Mirror Character: Tahu and the Hero Factory sets. Both were upset that their respective lines were cancelled and desired for their return.
  • Mood Whiplash: Abounds of it.
  • Mundane Solution: Denmark's activation across the world is easily averted by unplugging the Internet.
  • My Future Self and Me: A variation. Takanuva talks with his various incarnations from both past and present to vent his frustration with Voriki.
  • Noodle Incident: When asked about the 2001 Gali canister, Tahu quietly refuses to give a proper response.
  • Not With the Safety On, You Won't: Turns out Tahu failed to use a Squid Launcher because he forgot to put the safety off.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Tahu at various points intentionally acts like his expected immature self, only to reveal that it was actually an integral part of the plan.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Evo wanted to kill only BIONICLE sets, but soon devolves into wanting to kill everyone in the house after that plan fails.
  • Only Sane Man: Kopaka, who is generally annoyed at Tahu and Onua's hijinks.
  • Self-Deprecation: "Nathan's an idiot."
  • Serial Killer: Perditus
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stylistic Suck: Tahu and Onua's adaptation of the BIONICLE storyline.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: Tahu and Onua try to convince Greg to jump into the kitchen sink's garbage disposal as a sacrifice to LEGO by calling it the "Happiness Hole".
  • Take That!:
    • Kopaka: "I hate Steven Moffat so much."
    • While dazed from head trauma, Onua off-handedly talks about a "flying robot sea lion," a reference to controversial BIONICLE tumblr Limeflavouredlibertarian24's story "FLYING ROBOT MANATEE."
  • Taking the Bullet: Voriki dives in front of Takanuva and takes the full force of a blast from Denmark, dying.
  • Taking You with Me: Evo, refusing to be denied victory, attempts to kill everyone in the house with Denmark.
  • Tempting Fate: "Man, can this day get any weirder?"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Tahu's reaction to Good Guy 2008's arrival:
    Tahu: This world cannot escape sin.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: Ripped straight from The LEGO Movie
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Averted but discussed. One of the theories thrown around by the main characters about Evo and Surge's sudden evil ways was that they were taking their roles as "Heroes" to the extreme.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Denmark's observation of everything he sees.
    Denmark: When I look out at life, I see only timeless beauty.
  • Yes-Man: Onua to Tahu, though it's more because of his naivety than blind loyalty.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Tahu gives this to the Hero Factory sets when they threaten to activate Denmark.
      Tahu: You're making it sound like nobody ever liked Hero Factory. Lots of people loved you guys! You brought in lots of new LEGO fans! Look, I was pretty upset when BIONICLE ended, too. So much that I also tried to bring it back. But I learned that even if it's over, that won't stop me from holding onto hope that maybe it'll actually return!
    • After Voriki discovers the truth about his existence, Takanuva gives him one of these.
      Takanuva: I don't think you're looking at what a hero is right. A hero can stop the bad guy, yeah. But it's more important to save people. You don't really do it for the glory of stopping evil, you do it so that others can live. And, to be honest, I didn't believe in the impossible either. you are.

"The future does look bright."