I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

"So-LAR!" The Bionic Six and Every Other Structure

by Chrisaphenia Danai Papagrigoriou
Nov. 26, 2011

The Japanese/American 1987 TV show The Bionic Six is a classic of filmmaker Osamu Dezaki as well as if fundamental cartoon Sci-Fi.

The Bennet Family, from Cypress Cove, CA, is to become The Bionic Six through the successful experiment of a brilliant scientist. Professor Amadeus Sharp works for the government organization, Special Projects Lab (SPL). He has been working with Jack Bennet, the father of the family and also an engineer and test pilot and in this case, a field agent for Professor Sharp. This means that Sharp has the bionic technology he has developed implanted in him.

Jack Bennet and his family take a skiing holiday in the Himalayas where a tragic and pretty extraterrestrial accident occurs, effecting him and his family forever. An alien spacecraft initiates an avalanche that covers the whole family in thick snow and puts every member of it into a coma -- except for him. Convinced that what saved Jack Bennet was his bionic second nature, Professor Sharp, in an effort to save the rest, applies it to them too. Luckily, they wake from coma all new and bionic! They now have become The Bionic Six, an all-superhero family with a goal to fight for good. All this takes place sometime around the millennium change but it's not specified exactly when.

Each member of the family has their own different powers all initiated by their special rings which they refer to as "wristcomps". Biologically, the family consists of Jack Bennet, Helen Bennet (his wife), their son Eric Bennet and their daughter, Meg Bennet. In addition, Jack and Helen have an adopted son and a foster one. J.D. Bennet is the couples' extraordinarily intelligent African-American adopted son. Bunjiro is the couples' Japanese foster son that has been living with them after his real father disappeared. They all acquire code names after their transformation to occasionally bionic human beings.

Jack Bennet is Bionic-1 and his powers are mostly centred in his eyes. X-ray vision, lazer beams, control over other electronic devices and loads more.

Helen Bennet is Mother-1. Helen is an oceanographer and a marine biologist. Mother-1's powers are primarily mental. She can telepathically move around time, space and communicate with other beings and devices and even project holograms and optical illusions.

Eric Bennet is Sport-1 which suggests his athletic nature is attending the Albert Einstein High School and plays for the baseball team, the Einstein Atoms. When he activates his bionic powers he acquires the qualities of a self-controlled magnet. He can control gravity amongst himself and objects or only objects.

Meg Bennet is Rock-1, a name that implies her genuine interest in music. She also attends the Albert Einstein High School where she actively participates in the debate team. Her bionic mode is mostly her ability to manipulate sonic waves in gigantic blasts and energy levels from blasters placed on her shoulders. Also, she is the fastest runner of the Six.

J.D. Bennet is I.Q., that refers to his implausible intelligence. He is a boxing hobbyist and in his bionic self he compiles the ultimate being of physical and mental balance of extremely high levels.

Bunjiro "Bunji" Bennet is Karate-1, which quite obviously suggests his inclination to martial arts. As Karate-1 he is a martial arts master who can enhance his fighting skills with unimaginable force.

Note that the members of the family some times even outcome all the other members' already superhuman powers in particular aspects like speed, hearing, physical strength amongst others.

Given the fact that the family's oath is to fight for the greater good there must be some sort of imminent danger and obvious evil. We find this in the face of Professor Sharp's brother, Dr. Wilmer Sharp or, Dr. Scarab. Although a bright scientist himself, he characteristically possesses malevolent values that lead him to a constant effort to steal his brother’s technological achievements in order to reach immortality. The character is full of ironic remarks and obvious disbelief in whatever his brother and The Bionic Six stand for. His right eye is modified into a bionic scanner that detects other individuals with bionic capabilities. Of, course the baddie isn't just that one guy but also his minions. Glove, Madame-O, Mechanic, Klunk and Chopper. All of them repulsive beings and ugly creatures posses bionic qualities in smaller amounts and have egotistical and vice values. They obey to their master (Dr. Scarab) but also seek for their own success in the bionic game and seem to lose all the time as they lack in brains. Their blind need for recognition from Dr. Scarab has resulted to the other two members of the villain group. Mrs. Scarab and Shadow Boxer which were mend to be beings manufactured from Scarab but due to interference from Madame-O and Glove turned out as genetic accidents. All of them minions transform into their bionic selves by loudly saying: "Hail Scarab!" (I know).

The Bionic Six combines vividly two elements that come from the show's origin. From the Sci-fi point of view and the fact that this whole thing is not taking place too far from the Millennium, we see the delicately detailed view of future life as a routine integrally linked with technology, even biologically which is some Japanese cartoon Sci-Fi expertise. Secondly, in a world where gadgets, spacecrafts, robots as pets, technical support for the better human life and full man-machine harmony that only results to progress and by default corrects the malfunctions within it, we see the American moral structure that bases everything around the value of the family bond, their unity and total commitment to the cause. The Bennet family is healthy, pretty, happy, tight and interracial. They cope with the unavoidable twists of life and despite their being bionic they don't pursue ungodly wishes like Dr. Scarab's immortality. On the contrary, the villain team contains all the values we are to repel as good people. Jealousy, lack of emotional strength, pursues of values such as money, power and superiority over others and so on. Also, most of them are hideously ugly.

Subsequently, the whole story and confrontation of parties is the television-friendly conflict between good and evil. Sci-fi style. Very entertaining, The Bionic Six is a show where more than anything, the gamut of imagination in cartoon-based technology will impress you.

Chrisaphenia Danai Papagrigoriou