for those who do not know who cybersix is.
I always feel so pained when people don’t know Cybersix.
Cybersix is a forgotten national treasure of Canadian programming — it’s an unexpected collaboration between the Japanese studio TMS Animation and the Canadian animation network Teletoon. It’s a loose adaptation of the Argentine comic of the same name and cancelled only after a 13 episode season run (probably because it was too good to exist) and market distribution thereafter has been limited and obscure at best.
The MC is genderqueer/nonbinary who presents as a male teacher by day and a lady crime fighter by night, has a brother who also happens to be a panther who also fights crime, has a bara love interest who is drawn to both identities, the villains are ex-Nazi SS agents, AMAZING ANIMATION, and so many other great things.
Also the opening is gorgeous.
I was around during the ancient, ancient days of the Cybersix fandom in its prime. In its earliest weeks, we collaborated on TMS’s actual message board and got bits of official information here and there.
Long story short: There would have been a second season if the show was a success in the United States, which it was not. There was a single run-through of the episodes on Fox Kids, and it took a while for the station to even grab that; as you might imagine, the cross-dressing angle didn’t fly.
(The cartoon was massively toned down from the original comic to begin with. It had some seriously adult stuff in there.)
The episodes on Fox were heavily censored, some eps were cut entirely, the intro was done away with (WHY), and silent moments were stuffed with silly, mismatched dialogue (the main reason I couldn’t stand, and still can’t stand, Fox Kids’ dub of Digimon). Popular opinion is that Fox bought Cybersix to compete with WB’s Batman Beyond (it’s also believed they picked up / butchered Escaflowne around the same time to compete with Evangelion).
It happened a lot to Canadian-produced cartoons in the ’90s. Remember Clone High? Want to know why there isn’t more Clone High? Consult the reasons above, but replace Fox Kids with MTV.
One exception: Reboot kept on in Canada while the show was dropped in the US. Since standards are a bit laxer up here, the rest of season two and season three were kind of amazing.
Not trying to project some kind of great Canadian superiority here - the States produces some great stuff, and I think Adventure Time is brilliant and takes all kinds of crazy, admirable chances - but when you grow up watching a home-grown show that suddenly ends because “America didn’t like it, so we can’t get the money we need” it doesn’t do much to soothe the ol’ Canadian inferiority complex.