Monster Rancher, known as in Japan, is an anime series based on the video game series of the same name. The series initially consisted of only 48 episodes; however, it was eventually decided to extend it for a total of 73 episodes.
The series follows a young boy named Genki Sakura who gets trapped in the Monster Rancher world inside a new game disk that he receives in the mail one day. Genki eventually meets a variety of characters that join him on a quest to defeat Moo, an evil entity bent on destroying the world.
The show had a more serious tone; deaths and murders were frequent (although the monsters were not really "killed", they were turned into disks covered in vines and remained in that form permanently). Minor characters were usually given a tragic backstory, and even some villains were given depth. The show still supplied a sizable amount of humor, usually in the characters' mannerisms, in order to appeal to multiple age groups. All of the Japanese music score is changed, as well as all the sound effects. Even the Japanese opening and ending theme songs are replaced with an American-made theme songs, with the opening and ending animanation changed to barrages of scenes from the American episodes and the original Japanese opening.
For the characters in the Monster Rancher anime, see List of Monster Rancher characters
The Character Hare had his "Gas" attack cut out in America. "Gas" is an attack where Hare turns around and flatulates on his enemy. The flatulence stinks so badly, it stuns enemies, knocks them out, as seen in Hare's Trick
and he used Gas to keep the Iron Bird afloat in the Iron Bird
A couple of scenes were also lifted from the episode "My Name is Pixie". At one point during the episode, Genki rescues Pixie from quicksand. After he hauls her out, the mud on her face makes her look as if she has a beard (why that was cut out is not known). There is also a scene in that episode where Genki lifts Pixie "bride over the threshold" style in his arms and skates away with her while she kicks and yells in protest. For reasons unknown, a few frames were cut from that scene as well.
Several key episodes of Season 2 were skipped by some networks that aired Monster Rancher in the U.S. "Battle with the Big Bad Four" and "Tiger's Battle with Destiny" only aired once in the USA on Fox Kids. These episodes were probably considered too violent to be aired again as they were pivotal battles for Holly and Tiger respectively.
In the Spanish and English versions of the anime, the opening was recorded produced and vocalised by Anthony Lopez.
While not related to the English dub, there was an interesting change on the Japanese release's opening for Episode 1. Episode 1 had a different opening animation for the first opening than other episodes. The changes include:
- A fade in shot into the title logo rather than a camera scroll through some building to the logo.
- The first two close up shots of Mocchi and Holly spinning around are not present.
- After the pan up the group that are sitting on a pile of misc. objects, there is a shot of Genki's face, with the wind blowing.
- The shot of Tiger latched onto the Monster's neck and ripping part of the skin off, as well as being thrown off of him, is instead a shot of Genki jumping over some of the Dinos from episode 1.
- The shot of Genki being chased by the Dinos and one of them falls on a rock, is instead a shot from episode 1 where Genki is roller blading on the ground towards Holly.
- The shot of Holly, Hare, and Golem on a dragon, in which the shot pans out to Mocchi and Genki is instead a shot from episode 1, which shows the scene where Genki decides on Mocchi's name.
- Hare has a mistake on this version. Originally, his eyes had black pupils with a white background for the rest of his eyes. (Although the scene where punching some plant monsters has his normal eyes.)
- The dragons flying into the sunset are removed from the end shot.
There are also many other additional details added onto the animation.
Monster Rancher on DVD and VHS
owns the rights to the first 12 episodes, which the company released on DVD
. ADV also released the entire first season of Monster Rancher
. The series was brought to the US and dubbed by Ocean. After Monster Rancher
went off the air in the US, ADV halted its release of the series on home video and DVD. In 2005, BKN International A.G. licensed the DVD rights for 73 episodes of the Monster Rancher
anime series to Digiview Productions
LLC for US and Canadian mass retail market distribution. Digiview only released one DVD containing episodes 1 through 5 at select Wal-Marts and other select places that sell $1 DVDs in February 2006. Eventually, this DVD was reissued to include up to episode 8. The digiview website currently doesn't offer the DVDs up for sale indicating that it may be cancelled.