I cannot overstate the effect Bionicle has had on my life. Never have I become so fully ingrossed in a story as then, and I havent since. The shear quantity and complexity of information and characters within this universe we had all come to know puts it up against more established franchises (such as LotR and Star Trek) in my mind. During a time in my life when, to be honest, I had very few friends, I found them here and on BS01.
After all of that, you would think I would be over-the-moon happy for the triumphant return of this guiding force in my life. However, sadly, my feelings on Bionicle's return are, well...mixed.
It seems as if all the elements for it to go well are there...They created a play function which satisfies both the people who liked the posability of the inika build, and the gearfunctions of the mata build. They stayed incredibly true to the original mata, only making differences in ways we had been begging for for years (making Onua super musculer and different from the others being the most striking example). It's getting a complete web series, which is something we have always wanted. The art style they introduced for the setting and whatnot is fantastic. This is the star-studded treatment we always wanted for Bionicle, and felt like it deserved.
One thing seems to be falling short though...Based on the character bios and the animation preview we were shown, the story seems to be...well...less than what we had hoped.
One of the main things I loved about the story was that, unlike just about any storyline typically directed at my agegroup, it was challenging. The villains were complex, the heroes were conflicted, and even a Toa could turn evil. These were real characters in this world, with almost everyone being insanely fleshed out. That was what kept us with it all that time. But I don't sense that from the character bios in the bionicle site, or the animation. The matoran language is no longer present, which is what gave Bionicle a lot of it's depth. The toa all have what seem to be a "joke gimmick": Onua's sleepiness, Gali's inability to tell jokes, etc. It feels less strong than what we had come to know. While bionicle 1.0 was able to appeal to both a younger audience and older fans alike, this seems much more...targeted. cheesy. "The mask of ultimate power", really?
That's how I feel right now...Despite my apprehension, I will get every set, and follow the story dilligantly. As an 18-year-old going to college in a year, I know i am not the intended demographic, but I will take in bionicle's new story with an open mind and open heart. I am ready to love it.