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Western Animation / Monsuno

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A joint Japanese-American animation project, developed by Man of Action Studios, Stephen Berman, and Jeremy Padawer for Fremantle Media and animated by Larx Entertainment and Studio Hibari.

65 million years ago, a meteor crashed to Earth loaded with alien DNA. Sometime in the future, Core-Tech scientist Jeredy Suno uses this DNA and combines that of several Earth animals with it, creating the Monsuno. After going missing, his son, Chase Suno, embarks on a journey to find him, along with his friends Jinja and Bren. In the process, they come across Monsuno of their own, along with two separate factions aiming to control the Monsuno for their own purposes: S.T.O.R.M., the Strategic and Tactical Operations for Recovery of Monsuno, an ultra-secret Government Agency of Fiction which wants to control all Monsuno activity on Earth; and Eklipse, a criminal organization lead by Dr. Emmanual Klipse, a megalomaniac ex-scientist ally of Dr. Suno who wants to wipe out humanity and replace it with a New World Order run by Monsuno.

The show details the gang's efforts to find the missing Dr. Suno while avoiding the efforts of both groups.

Season 2, known as Monsuno: Combat Chaos, premiered April 21, 2013 on Nicktoons network. A graphic novel series was announced in July 2013, written by Brian Smith and drawn by Erwin Prasetya.

On the first of July, 2014, a 13-episode long third season, still called Monsuno: Combat Chaos, premiered in its entirety on Hulu. This season wraps up all of the remaining plot hooks and marks the Grand Finale of the series.

Tropes in this series:

  • Abandoned Warehouse District: It is in fact the location where the final battle of season 1 takes place.
  • Above Good and Evil: Dr. Klipse has explictly stated he does not care about right or wrong, only Monsuno (read: power).
  • Action Girl: Jinja has shades of this, even with a Monsuno battling at her side. In the course of the first three episodes she has knocked two guys out with flying kicks, and hot-wired a military truck by herself.
  • After the End: The apparent plot of "Mirrors".
  • Aloof Ally: Dax.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has a different opening and ending theme.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Beyal, Dax, and some of Medea's minions.
  • Anime of the Game: Or rather, of a toy line.
  • Animesque: The show, from one point of view. Considering it's an American-Japanese co-production, it can just as easily be called an anime as it can a western series.
  • Anti-Hero: Dax is a Type III.
  • Anti-Villain: S.T.O.R.M. is a Type III, though they tend to act a bit hypocritical; Jon Ace, on the other hand, is a Type IV.
  • Artificial Limbs: One-Eyed Jack's left arm and leg are metallic due to complications taming Freedom Striker. The same incident took out his left eye, requiring an Eyepatch of Power.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Charlemagne and Dr. Klipse are the leaders of the antagonistic factions (S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse respectively). Both of their Monsuno are powerful enough to have defeated all protagonists' at the same time.
  • Ax-Crazy: Medea. Even her own minions think she's nuts.
    • And yet she seems rational when compared to Dom Pyro.
  • Badass Biker: Dax.
  • Badass Boast: Chase in the first episode to Ace
  • Badass in Distress: Dax by Klipse during the appropriately titled "Kidnapped".
  • The Baroness: Charlemagne, the S.T.O.R.M. leader. A rare example where she is one of the Big Bads.
    • Medea too, though a much more Ax-Crazy version.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 16; however, it's fairly mild compared to other examples, and the beach aspect only lasts for about 5 minutes before moving on.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Pretty much a recurring line from Beyal to Chase.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Both Charlemagne and Dr. Klipse, though Charlemagne gets a bit more face-time as Klipse's hand is seen more through his mercenaries, at least at first.
    • Season two adds the Forge resistance and their leader Professor Tallis along with a group of evil scientists called the Hand of Destiny to go with the aforementioned S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse. In a bit of a reversal, Charlemagne has only made a cameo in the season's first episode so far and the S.T.O.R.M. organization as a whole is downplayed despite the addition of the S.T.O.R.M. Strike Squad, an Anti-Team Core-Tech. On the flip-side, Dr. Klipse gets more face-time with more of his plots being seen, Dom Pyro working closer to Klipse alongside Hargrave, and of course the whole clone named Six that Klipse made using his own and Chase's DNA thing.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Bookman in his first appearance.
    • Same goes for Grandma Future as well; though her appearance kinda gives it away, Chase, Bren, and Jinja fall for it anyway.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In episode 13, Beyal calls Jinja "Princess" (Dax's nickname for her) in an attempt to flirt. Earlier in the same episode (more vague, but it's pointed out regardless), Bren talks about destiny (which is usually Beyal's thing).
    • In season two episode "Mirrors", Bren called Beyal "Monkfish".
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": S.T.O.R.M. has an "S" logo they put on most of their equipment.
  • Building Swing: Dax and Lock do this from a bridge in episode 22.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bren. By the end of season 1 even Beyal's had a few jokes at his expense.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The events of an earlier episode and the more recent revelation that Chase's mother is still alive leads to Jeredy being confronted by a very angry Chase in episode 20.
  • Calling Your Attacks: As a Mons series, no surprise it has this.
  • Captain Obvious: Jinja became one while pointing out something was a trap and admitted it herself.
  • Car Fu: Jinja in episode 2.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The failsafe devices in season 1. Chase's necklace is also revealed to be a whistle used specifically for Lock.
  • Colour Coded Armies: So far, the Monsuno have a main color scheme to show who they were manufactured by: blue by Jeredy Suno/Core-Tech, yellow by S.T.O.R.M., red by Eklipse, and orange by Forge. Wild Monsuno are colored green. All the protagonists wear blue (aside from Jon Ace, both in-monster and out), all the villains wear predominantly red outfits and S.T.O.R.M. wears black and yellow (Though justified for S.T.O.R.M. as it's uniform). Even their Monsuno are color-coded.
  • Cowardly Lion: Bren tends to act scared most of the time, pointing out how creepy or dangerous situations are. Yet, he had enough courage to face Quickforce when taking it back to its core, and doesn't mind fighting.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Team Core-Tech's first battle against the S.T.O.R.M. Strike Squad. Amusingly, after losing and splitting up, Team Core-Tech takes out their opposition rather easily without even using their Monsuno, sans Chase who does fight Alpha again with Lock and wins. The curb-stompers became the curb-stompees in the span of a single episode.
  • Dark Action Girl: Medea.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jinja's primary trait, in a friendly way.
  • Deader than Dead: If a Monsuno exceeds the core's time limit, but are too far away to return, this happens to them.
  • Death Glare: Lock's default expression in battle, with a slightly softer version out of battle.
  • Disappeared Dad: As well as a Missing Mom, mentioned below, Chase has his father vanish for a complete set. Two thirds of the way through season one, we learn that Chase's mom may still be alive.
  • Distressed Dude: Jeredy at the end of episode 22 and most of the following episode until he's rescued...and then kidnapped again in episode 24.
  • Doomed Hometown: Dax's was revealed to have been destroyed by Eklipse.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Monsuno can only survive out of their cores for 8 minutes, with any longer being extremely risky to their health. Considering the destruction they can wreak, it's completely warranted.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Chase, Bren, Jinja, and Dax briefly don S.T.O.R.M. grunt suits during "Six", successfully luring the Forge Punk Monks into a trap.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese version. Jinja is changed to Vicky, Beyal to Noah, and Dax to Ash among others. May also fall under Keep It Foreign.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Beyal gets these in episode 18 due to losing his soul.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: What Jeredy has been trying to prevent.
  • Evil All Along: Six in his second appearance in "Lynchpin". He was the one who came up with the idea to take control of Lock since he shares Chase's DNA. It almost worked too.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Forge Punk Monks and the S.T.O.R.M. Strike Squad, both to Team Core-Tech. The latter even has five members, each mirroring one of the Team Core-Tech kids.
    • Dr. Klipse created clones of himself that use Chase's DNA for the sole purpose of making a Monsuno controller that can take down Chase. Although Six, the successful one, isn't inherently malicious, he's still the most "Evil Counterpart"-like of the aforementioned. He even launches his Monsuno like Chase.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In "Endgame", Chase convinces the Desert Wolves to form an alliance and provide a distraction so Team Core-Tech can sneak into Eklipse's base. Jack eventually catches on that he was used, and starts attacking both sides.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Inverted when Beyal continues to wear his heavy robe when at the hot and sunny beach and Averted when the kids make their return trip to the snowy Mandala mountain range. Played straighter with Medea and her exposed midriff.
  • Expy: Chase Suno's appearance is looks like that of Saito.
  • Eyecatch: The Japanese dub has these, usually having the Monsuno focused on in a given episode.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Jon Ace, having been turned into a Monsuno after his Heroic Sacrifice. After he regains his senses, this also adds Cursed with Awesome.
  • First Kiss: At the end of "Mirrors", Jinja pecks Beyal on the cheek.
  • Fusion Dance: Lock/Evo, Driftblade/Blackbullet, and Backslash/Shadowhornet each fuse when Klipse's core reactor explodes in the season 1 finale.
    • Interestingly, all three gained the power of flight thanks to this.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: All Monsuno permanently have these.
  • Glory Seeker: Medea, as noted in her character profile on the Monsuno website and through her actions early on.
  • Heel–Face Turn: John Ace early on, despite the whole Heroic Sacrifice and turning into a monster thing.
    • Six seems to pull one of these in "Lychpin", only to quickly find out it was a trap that he came up with in an attempt to take control of Lock for his 'father'.
  • Heroic BSoD: Beyal in episode 17, though the following episode reveals it was more than just losing his powers...
    • Bren during most of episode 28, reluctant to fight anymore due to Quickforce's death.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jon Ace in episode 13. Quickforce in episode 27.
  • Honor Before Reason: Alpha defies Charlemagne's orders to ambush Team Core-Tech in "Knights" due to wanting to defeat Chase in a fair battle.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Bren's reason for taking control of S.T.O.R.M.'s aircraft in episode 22 was his experience with his flight simulation game.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: In Season 3, Team Core-Tech fights the Hand of Destiny on a S.T.O.R.M. space station - in a room with a heavy glass ceiling - using Monsunos. Even one normal collision to the glass is too much for it...
  • I Shall Taunt You: Chase uses this on the Bookman in episode 15 while he is a prisoner in order to gain some time before he is rescued.
  • Killed Off for Real: Master Ey.
    • The Bookman as well can be quite hammy when talking about his plans.
  • Last of His Kind: Beyal after his master is killed. His adoptive sister is revealed in the same episode, but Becca didn't have the Monsuno Sight.
  • Literal-Minded: Beyal.
    Jinja: Beyal, I think Bren needs some air in the next car.
    Beyal: Why? There is plenty of air in this one.
  • Master Actor: Drezz when he first appears.
  • Mighty Glacier: Lock, partially in the literal sense.
  • Mind-Control Device: Charlemagne had One-Eyed Jack chipped with one, and it was stated that it also let him hear the voices of Monsuno.
  • Missing Mom: Episode 17 reveals that Chase's mother is dead. However, episode 20 suggests otherwise — more specifically, it's implied Petros has her imprisoned.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: This series seems to love this trope. Lock (polar bear, gorilla and tiger hybrid), Quickforce (antelope and raven hybrid, which resembles a hippogriff) and Charger (armadillo, bison and moose hybrid) are the tip of the iceberg so far.
    • Dr. Suno revealed that Monsuno are hybrids of various types of animal DNA, mixed with elemental energies. So, all Monsuno are Mix-and-Match Critters by nature.
  • Mon Tech: Cores are required for the containing of wild Monsunos as well as being able to battle with them.
  • Mons: Debatably a Deconstruction, as the series shows how dangerous a world where people can summon animals of mass-destruction as their pets would be; Monsuno are exploited by both S.T.O.R.M. and Klipse as weapons, treated violently, and the protagonists are hunted like criminals. And the case of One-Eyed Jack shows that Monsuno can and will occasionally harm and mutilate humans.
  • Mysterious Past: Dax. Jinja tries to get him to reveal it in episode 17 to no avail. It's revealed in episode 31 that when he was young, his family were killed in a terrorist attack led by Dr. Klipse. This is the reason why Dax trying to get revenge against him.
    • Mr. Droog as well.
  • Mystical White Hair: Beyal, who is sort of a monk/oracle hybrid.
  • Never Say "Die": A few exceptions here and there, but this is mostly in effect for life threatening situations.
  • New Season, New Name: Season one's "Monsuno: World Master" becomes season two's "Monsuno: Combat Chaos".
  • The Nicknamer: Dax has one for the other Core-Tech team members: Little Suno for Chase, Monkfish for Beyal, Little Man for Bren, and Princess for Jinja. After "Kidnapped", Jinja begins calling Dax 'Daxie' which is what Dax's mom used to call him.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: Jinja says this when Beyal says the fifth member is Dax:
    Jinja: No. No way. Not him.
  • No Name Given/Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Dawn Master.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Dax and Jinja during the attack of the Library while they are distracting the Bookman's henchmen:
    Jinja: This is your idea of distraction?
    Dax: No. This is my idea of fun.
    Jinja (chuckle): Mine too, actually...
  • Noodle Incident: Regarding Dr. Kilpse and his failed experiments. Specifically Six's other five brothers, especially "number four".
  • Oddly Small Organization: Not counting the mercenaries (e.g., Darkspin and Dom Pyro) it employs, Eklipse seems to be made up only of Dr. Klipse and Hargrave.
  • Only One Name/Only Known by Their Nickname: Only a handful of characters in this show have both a first and a last name. Most only have a first name or a title and a last name known, and some only go by by their nickname.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Core-Tech kids as a whole to different extents. The majority of season one is spent trying to find Chase's dad Dr. Suno and along the way we learn that his mom may still be alive. Bren and Jinja's parents may or may not have gotten a passing mention throughout the season, but other than that, nothing. Which makes you wonder how they could up and leave them to look for Dr. Suno with Chase or if they even have any. Beyal is out right stated to be an orphan and he and Master Ey are the last of the true monks of the Library of Tebab, the rest of whom were killed by the treacherous Bookman. Dax's parents were both killed by Eklipse in an attack on his village.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Beyal has two of them in "Mirrors" — his conflicts over the Sadistic Choice drive him to get in a fight with Bren, and Jinja falling into a fissure triggers an anger-fueled Heroic Second Wind.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jon Ace borders on this, as he sympathizes with the Monsuno, helps Chase and his friends at risk to himself, and likes to think of himself as being on the "right side". Despite this, Jon hasn't left his faction, and was forced to follow orders to fight Chase. He leaves S.T.O.R.M. in episode 11 and joins the heroes in the next episode, but is killed in episode 13...only to later find out that he was mutated into a human/Monsuno hybrid monster.
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: Master Ey has flat green eyes, indicating his otherworldly knowledge.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight initially, as most Monsuno used by random villains are either reptiles or/and insect hybrids. Eventually subverted with protagonists Beyal (whose Monsuno Glowblade is a three-headed cobra/spider hybrid) and Dax (whose Monsuno Airswitch is a hawk/vulture/lizard hybrid).
  • Revenge: Though the details aren't clear, Mr. Droog seems to want this on the Monsuno for his race's destruction.
    • Dax is revealed to want Klipse taken down for good in "Kidnapped" due to the death of his parents.
    • Beyal went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Jack kills Master Ey in "Peace", but is stopped from continuing the Cycle of Revenge by his sister Becca.
  • Sadistic Choice: The kids (Beyal in particular) are faced with one during Jeredy's After the End simulation in "Mirrors" — save the world (and sacrifice their Monsuno) or be killed by letting the world explode.
  • Seers: Beyal, though he is still learning. Chase too often has visions, which at first Beyal liked when he was new, as it was one of the reasons Chase excepted him so readily, only to eventually grow jealous when his visions disappeared temporarily, though he does seem to get over it when they return later.
  • Sequel Hook: Not everything is wrapped up with season one's end. Chase may have reunited with his dad, but his mom is still unaccounted for. Jon Ace is still a monster, S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse are still out there, and the Monsuno essence will still eventually destroy the Earth. Plus, we've only just begun getting into Mr. Droog's revenge, and Chase not activating the failsafe devices and destroying the Monsuno essence in the planet may have made him a new enemy. And Monsuno fusion!
  • Shout-Out: A late Season 3 episode gives us a duo of scientists working in a space station named Lenny and Carl.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Subverted with Dax; he apparently betrays the group to S.T.O.R.M. for Monsuno essences... all according to a plan pulled out by Chase and him. Once they got what they wanted, he cuts contact with Charlemagne.
  • The Stoic: Beyal. Even a Heroic BSoD doesn't make him display much more emotion.
    • Not So Stoic: His Big Damn Heroes moment in episode 23 manages to be awesome and hilarious at the same time. He develops a bit more emotion during season 2, particularly during "Mirrors".
  • Take a Third Option: During the season finale, Jeredy gives Chase the final choice of whether to activate the failsafe devices or not. If so, it will destroy all the world's Monsuno essence, but the Monsuno themselves will be gone for good. If not, the Monsuno essence deep within the earth will eventually cause the entire planet to explode. He chucks the trigger into the sea and says that they'll find another way to save the planet without destroying the Monsuno they've befriended.
  • Technical Pacifist: Beyal. He says that violence won't solve anything, but isn't hesitant to spin out a Monsuno with the rest of them.
  • Techno Wizard: Bren is this, with a dose of nervousness thrown in and a bit of occasional giddy haughtiness. His expertise is with hacking computers.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Beyal. Being a monk will make you that.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Any Monsuno that hyper-evolves.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Sort of — Chase's whistle belonged to his mother (who is still alive, but was assumed dead), though he never knew this until episode 22.
  • Tsundere: Jinja comes across as this, especially to Bren and Dax whom she shows more of her dere-dere side to later on.
  • True Companions: Team Core-Tech by season one's end. Chase even acknowledges themselves as such.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Chase and some other characters seem to like using "krag" as a general-purpose curse word.
  • Villainous Crush: Medea's interaction with Chase is... rather interesting.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: What the plot of "Mirrors" turned out to be.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: It doesn't take long after Six's "birth" before he began to develop this towards his "father" Dr. Klipse. In truth, it was pretty inevitable.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Life" reveals that the Monsuno essence has been building up, burrowing to the core, and if the heroes don't do something, the planet will cease to exist and that this wouldn't be the first planet it happened to. And then there's the Stinger that confirms Jon Ace is still alive, but morphed into a horrific Monsuno.
    • The season premiere of Combat Chaos introduces a new enemy faction, the Forge Resistance, and kills off Quickforce.
    • "Ceasefire" of Season Three kills off Droog - plus possibly what remained of the Hand of Destiny - and has put Klipse put in S.T.O.R.M. prison alongside Charlemange, at least for now.
  • Wham Shot: It's very subtle, but if you look carefully at the tablets of the 'Five Tribes', you'll see that there are S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse symbols on their carvings. However, these tablets are at least 20,000 years old.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When setting up his failsafe device plan, Jeredy didn't take into account the possibility that the Monsuno on their side might not take kindly to being destroyed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Grandma Future was introduced, she was set up as a potential villain. She hasn't been seen since. The Bookman, too, as he swore he would get his revenge, but has been absent from the series for two or three seasons.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Under orders from his father, Chase is forced to destroy the Well of Pure Life, the source of most Monsuno essence from 65 million years ago, to prevent S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse from using it for evil. And though Beyal is deep in Heroic BSoD, his words to Chase certainly have this feel.
    • And Chase, equally weighed down by what he had to do, responds:
      Chase: S.T.O.R.M. and Eklipse would have only used it to destroy us. It's better that nobody has it.
    • In the next episode, Chase finally lets Dax have it for hiding that he's been keeping contact with Jeredy behind their backs.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Dax. His accent is vaguely European, but it's not clear what it's supposed to be. Seems to be somewhere between British and Australian.
  • Wire Dilemma: Faced with one in "Tornado", Bren cuts the blue wire. It just detonates faster.
  • Worthy Opponent: By the end of Antithesis, Chase considers the S.T.O.R.M. Strike Squad this, particularly their leader Alpha. The way Alpha lets Team Core-Tech go after his defeat seems to imply the feeling is mutual between him and Chase.
  • You Are Number 6: Klipse's "son", aptly named 'Six'.