Monster Rancher, known in Japan as Monster Farm (モンスターファーム Monsutā Fāmu?), is a 73-episode anime series based on the Monster Rancher series of video games made by Tecmo. It had originally aired in Japanese television on TBS from April 17, 1999 to September 30, 2000.
Changes made in the BKN version
The U.S. version, localized and aired on Fox Kids by BKN productions, had several parts modified to make it completely child-friendly. 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 episode.
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 vocalized 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
ADV Films owned the rights to the first 12 episodes, which the company released on DVD. ADV also released the entire first season of Monster Rancher on VHS. 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.
Presumably because they are in limited numbers and are therefore considered rare, the used VHS's and DVD's of Monster Rancher sold on Amazon are extremely high-priced (costing over $100 or, in some cases, $200), with the exception of Volumes 1 and 4.
- BKN International A.G. (September 1, 2005). "BKN News". September 5 Newsletter.
- CNN Matthews News Distribution Network (July 21, 2005). "BKN Announces New USA Deal". Press Release.