Recommendation — Mysticons

Original blog post here.

Being as that I am myself Canadian, I do try to go to bat for other CanCon (That’s CANadian CONtent, if that’s unclear) creators.

A Canada flag, with a forest and mountains in the background.
Come for the eight months of winter, stay for the legendary Pro Wrestlers.

Photo by Daniel Joseph Petty on

Which not only brings me to the matter at hand, but nicely segues into the opening point I want to make.

The logo of Mysticons.
Mysticons: Nelvana and Nickelodeon. Image via TvTropes.

Fundamentally, if Mysticons isn’t CanCon Sailor Moon, it’s animated, all-female Power Rangers.

A stylised group image of the four main characters from Mysticons.
Mysticons: Nelvana and Nickelodeon.

The basic premise of Mysticons is pretty straightforward — and, to be fully honest, something we’ve already seen a hundred times before (that’s not necessarily a bad thing).

They’re a team of transforming superheroes that fight bad guys and learn valuable life lessons each episode.

The character archetypes of the team members are all tread pretty familiar ground (again, that’s not a bad thing; why mess with what works?). There’s the naturally-talented but insecure princess, her childhood friend bodyguard, the tough streetwise orphan, and the funny, streetwise orphan.

It is, however, worth noting that all four of the Mysticons are female and stand as pretty solid role models for the female audience (and those among the male audience that aren’t bothered by shows with female leads).

A group of young women in a group hug.
So, basically, this, but they’re magic.

Photo by Elly Fairytale on

The most interesting element of Mysticons is the fact that it’s set in the Fantasy equivalent of essentially the 21st century. It’s hard to explain it well in writing, but watch an episode and it should become clear what I’m trying to say.

Basically, it’s what TvTropes (by way of, as I understand it, Final Fantasy) calls “Magitek.”

A surprised woman checking her phone.
Again, basically this, but the phone should be
unicorn-powered and her glasses are probably made from
the solidified tears of some sort of forest spirit.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

On the most fundamental level Mysticons is a fairly typical Fantasy world: there’s Elves and Dwarves and magic and monarchic government. But in terms of the characters’ day-to-day life, the world the magical equivalent of 21st century North America: they have computers and cell phones and video games and Instagram and public transit and pizza joints, but also, to remind you that this is a Fantasy world, they also have teleportation and astrology and speeder bikes and sky-boats.

Their society and technology is all based around advances in magic, rather advances in real-world sciences. Again, it’s hard to convey with just written words, but trust me, I really respect how much novelty it brings to an otherwise pretty familiar concept (again, familiarity is not automatically a bad thing).

Overall, the pacing of the plot moves pretty quickly and is delivered pretty well to wrap things up in 40 episodes (two seasons of 20 episodes); whether or not there’s ever going to be more still seems to be up in the air at this point. The overarching struggle against evil is pretty standard for the kind of show that Mysticons is (you know what I’m going to say here), but plenty of the individual episodes manage to make the most of the uniqueness of the setting. Some of the long-term story arcshave one or two too many twists for their own good, but ultimately, even these things end up being not quite as good as they could have been, rather than actually bad.

And, ultimately, Mysticons deserves a shout-out from me because CanCon’s gotta stick together.

Much like good waffles.

A screenshot from an episode of The Simpsons explaining that good waffles stick together.
The Simpsons: Gracie Films and Disney.

Copyright 2022 J.B. Norman.
Adapted from a post originally written 2020.

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