Meta Runner is an Australian science-fiction, adventure computer animated web series created by Luke and Kevin Lerdwichagul who are best known for their popular YouTube channel, SMG4, the same channel that made their own SM64 series. It was announced on December 2018, but then released a year later on July 27th, 2019 (originally going to be June 2019).
Set in a futuristic world centred around video games, the series follows Tari, a cyborg girl as she is being pursued by Lucks, the head of TAS Corp. organization and his Meta-Runner, Belle who want to use her newfound ability to warp in to any video game to benefit the organization. The show’s title refers to the fictional group of gamers in the show who replaced their biological limbs with cybernetic prosthetics to boost up their gaming performance.
Why it Rocks
- Tari gets her very own spin-off series.
- Splendid realistic CGI animation, along with lots of well designed character models like Tari, Sofia, & Masa for example.
- Speaking of which, Season 2 was a step up to the show with upgrading character designs (e.g Sofia), adding more to the show and creating new story plots that were a lot more engaging and adventurous than in Season 1.
- The concept is rather interesting as it speaks for itself.
- A incredibly well written, consistent & well executed plot with it's story.
- The settings are well done and amazingly consistent.
- The voice acting is performed quite well, especially from the voice of Tari, Celeste Notley-Smith (who also voices Tari in SMG4's comedy web series).
- A lot of great characters that were given a lot of character development throughout the series and were very well written, including Tari, Theo, Lamar, Sofia, Masa & Belle as examples.
- This is one of the few times AGW has helped with a web animated show in Season 1.
- All of the opening and closing theme songs in this show go from sounding cool to really catchy.
- The music compositions are executed very well.
- Like F is for Family, the series often times leads up to a story arc. Most specifically Season 1 as it all started.
- Wonderful action, drama, sense of adventure, pacing and timing (comedically or not).
- In which, the cliffhangers in Season 2 were rather intriguing & exciting than before.
- This is one of those shows created by the guys behind the SMG4 channel, Luke and Kevin Lerdwichagul. In fact, this is their first animated show out of other projects they were experimenting on creating new concepts for web shows, and this series shows how they've pulled off one of their concepts for a series quite well.
- Speaking of SMG4, there are some easter eggs hidden about them in the backgrounds in some scenes (e.g Episode 1 of Season 1 in some camera shots being a prime example).
- Some shorts that feature Meta Runner in them (ones focusing on Tari, her crossovers or the announcer Bow as examples) are quite interesting and pretty enjoyable to watch.
- Theo (while a thoroughly sympathetic character) can be annoying & unfunny at times.
- Evelyn is a extremely unbearable character. Even though she was intentionally made to be unlikeable (even more so than Lucks will ever be) and was thought out to be an "love-to-hate" kind of character in the Making of Meta Runner video, this still doesn't excuse the fact that she is just the clichéd alpha-bitch character whose only apparent purpose, up until the episode "Friendly Fire", is to be an complete & utter bitch to Tari, for little to no reason except to make the audience hate her in the cheapest way possible and root for her defeat to be set along side with Lucks and there were "love-to-hate" kinds of characters done more better than Evelyn ever was.
- Not to mention that her motive for hating Tari for getting all the attention is the exact trait that has been done with every "mean girl" character ever.
- Season 1 had some occasionally awkward or very intense moments (it's also a drama driven series after all, but still).
- Along with the occasional not so expressive animation in Season 1 as well (Episode 1 when Tari was in her frozen posture was an prime example).
- Minor product placements in the first episode of Season 1.
- Some cliffhangers from Season 1 in particular, can be a bit provocative.
- This may seem somewhat nitpicky but a lot of the main character models in Season 2 have a somewhat inconsistent and bizarre looking upgrade to their appearances (especially Tari, Belle , Belle [looking even more strange] with Lucinia [who's face almost looks very similar to Evelyn] & Lamar); while not crappy looking at all, but definitely strange looking compared to their original designs. Plus some of the character designs seem like they've had bit of an downgrade from the first season [Theo (when in scenes of the TAS Corp cell + some beginning episodes of Season 2 before they were improved) & Lucks himself both being obvious, prime examples of this].
- While a solid, creativity-driven show, there are some minor clichés like the big-bad, cooperate Lucks for example.
Meta Runner is met with overwhelming positive fan reception.
- The series itself is produced with the help of Screen Australia, AMD, and RWW.
- Tari is one of the first SMG4 characters to get a spin-off series.