I think calling Exo-Squad “the American Anime” is a little silly, because I think Anime’s reputation for crack storytelling is a little overblown. A lot of anime’s are just a bit silly, but they get the reputation by not shirking the tough plots.
Exo-Squad, a ’90s after school cartoon epic, share’s this trait with anime, and thankfully doesn’t share the animation style. Not that American animation is particularly innovative, but I digress.
If you’ve never seen Ex0-Squad, it’s about a military unit fighting a war in a future in which Earth, Venus, and Mars have been attacked and dominated by neosapiens, man-made creatures created to serve. It’s your basic Battlestar Galactica plot, but if you didn’t like the strange turns B.G. made into the grandiose theology and philosophy realms, then you’ll dig this show, because it’s just straight up war fought by a whole bunch of exo-frames (think Riply at the end of Aliens).
I’m not going to go into too much analysis of the plot, because it’s been so long and my memories of childhood wonderment have proven, upon reexamination, to be mostly in my head. However I’m watching them all again, and with 5 episodes down, the show is still as good as it ever was in my memory.
The things they are brave enough to explore in this series, from resistance to collaborators, warfare, media culpability, peace-at-any-cost types, and genocide are pretty brave, and the best part is, kids handled it just fine. It was a shame it only played for two seasons, but the best part is, they completed the story in those two seasons, without rushing it.
The very last episode was meant to start a new epic arc, crossing the world over with the Robotech ‘verse, I think, but that never went anywhere, and honestly, I think that’s fine.
I’m bringing this up now because even though Season 1 of Exo-Squad has been available on Hulu.com for years, Season 2 was just recently put up as well, so now every amazing episode is online for free viewing.
Watch it with me? You won’t regret it.