Beast Wars: Transformers
Studio: Mainframe Entertainment
Writers: Bob Forward & Larry DiTillio
Genre: Animated Sci Fi
First complete run: 1996-1999
Regular episodes: 52
WTF? Computer-generated imagery on an anime blog? Beast Wars may have been produced in a Canadian studio, but for me it's a quintessential favorite. The second series in the larger Transformers franchise, Beast Wars chronicles part of the struggle between two warring factions of "Transformers," the Maximals and the Predacons. The franchise's enigmatic characters provided the inspiration for the 2007 film: Optimus Primal the leader of the Maximals, and Megatron the leader of the Predacons. Crash landed on a strange planet, these Transformers and their minions take the forms of various wildlife nearby, alternating between beast and robot forms in order to wage war on each other.
Graphically...let's be fair, it's 1990s animation. The figures look cool but their movement and interaction with the environment are very clunky at times. In general though, the CGI gives Beast Wars a fun, Sci Fi feel that makes the action scenes a little more engaging than firefights in classic anime. The show is clearly marketed towards a younger audience so you won't find any deep, intricate plot that spans from episode to episode. But, Beast Wars has a surprising amount of adult content; every episode is guaranteed to have some humor that young kids would definitely not understand. And the Transformers actually have an unexpected amount of emotional depth, giving the show a serious, philosophical feel at times that you might not expect from 1990s CGI. Sometimes it's nice to watch an animated show that isn't totally deride of meaning, but whose episodes aren't contingent on complex plot developments spanning across multiple arcs. Beast Wars is that show; pick it up, watch a few episodes, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
An aside, in case any of you are truly offended I put a Sci Fi show on an anime blog: Beast Wars is the second series in the Transformers tetralogy. The fourth and final series in the franchise, Beast Wars II, is a true Japanese anime.