Saturday Monster Cartoons: Bionic Six

June 18, 2011

In the near future Professor Sharp, head of the Special Projects Labs (SPL), creates a new form of technology to augment humans through bionics. His first subject was Jack Bennett, a test pilot who secretly acted as Sharp’s field agent, Bionic-1. On a family ski vacation in the Himalayas, an alien spacecraft triggers an avalanche that buries the entire family, exposing them to the unusual radiation of a mysterious buried object. Jack frees himself but discovers his family in a comatose state. Theorizing that Jack’s bionics protected him from the radiation, Professor Sharp implants bionic technology in the others, awakening them. Afterward, the family operates incognito as a publicly lauded team of adventuring superheroes, the Bionic Six.

The primary antagonist of the series is a mad scientist known as Doctor Scarab, along with his gang of henchmen — Glove, Madam-O, Chopper, Mechanic, and Klunk — accompanied by Scarab’s legion of drone robots called Cyphrons. Perhaps ironically, Scarab is Professor Sharp’s brother. Obsessed with obtaining immortality and ruling the world, Scarab believes that the key to both goals lies in the secret bionic technology invented by his brother, ever plotting to possess it.

I used to watch this cartoon so much as it was quintessentially 80’s with the good versus evil, great intro music, and the lack of merchandising which made the plot so good, what people didn’t know was that famous Japanese animation director Osamu Dezaki was involved as chief supervising director, whose distinctive style (Golgo 13, Cobra) is evident throughout. The transformation scenes give it away as a Japanese influenced production as it is a pivotal thing in Japanese cartoons such as sailor moon, and voltron.

The bionic six consisted of a family of four and two adopted teenagers, one from Japan, and the other from Africa, the family concept was ahead of its time as a family like this was not very common in the 80’s. Each of the bionic six had their own unique power and yes the Asian member knows martial arts.

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