It's a tale of good and evil, darkness and light. It's a tale of fantastical elemental powers being used to stave off the menace of an everpresent evil that is cunning, and smart, and wins sometimes, and above all he's unrelentingly nasty under all his smooth talk so you can hate him without remorse. It's people being strong, and people failing, and epic awesome mask powers and stupid jokes and hilarious insults and really good animation wait that's just the first three years I haven't even gotten into everything post Mask of Light!
Why do I like it?
It's my childhood, pretty much, so I love it for all the things it was when I was eight. The Toa Mata/Nuva's fights against the infected Rahi in 2001 and the original Mata Nui Online Game that took Takua to the six villages in a first person view that hid his identity until he found it out himself and watched the Toa confront the Makuta, not to mention the multiple awesome minigames. 2002 and the Bohrok, with the reports written 'by Takua' on the various attacks, the Bohrok animations that showed the story to someone playing catch-up, and the transformation of the Toa into their Nuva forms. 2003 and the Bohrok-Kal with more animations, then Naming Day when I found this glorious thing, and then the second MNOG that followed Hahli across the island as she trained for Kohlii, and then the unrelentingly evil Sons of Makuta also known as Rahkshi appeared and the Toa of Light was prophesied and the Herald went to find him and Takua was transformed into a Toa and then came the discovery of Metru Nui!
Ahem. I like 2004 on too, especially 2004 when it revealed that any Matoran could become a Toa with the application of Toa stone to Suva since this opened up a whole world of canonical fanficcy opportunities, but 2001-2003 will forever have a special place in my heart. Whichever year had the reveal that Lightning was an element and the Matoran with it were female was pretty awesome too.
Favorite character The Makuta Teridax, for all his slimy world-dominatey viciousness, is a pretty awesome character, but I'd have to say my absolute favorite is... drumroll please while I try to pick just one ... drumroll...
Ma! Ta! Nu! Eeeeeeee!
Mata Nui! The guy who's got an island named after him, the guy who's got a religion based around worshipping him, the guy who was a giant robot with people in, the guy who was voiced by Michael Dorn, the guy who was snoozing until the last story arc... is probably my favorite character of them all. He's compassionate and noble and a bit stilted in the 'figuring out how to be short where short means not 40 million feet tall and detached from people' way but he figures it out, and one of the first things he does in a new Toa-sized body is not step on a Scarabax beetle. Who then goes on to be his travelling companion and occasionally literal shield, so there you go.
Mata Nui also made probably one of the more romantic gestures of first promising to take Kiina to a new planet and then taking the new planet to her. Okay so 1, it was his job anyway and even if he hadn't promised that to Kiina he would have reformed Spherus Magna and used the Mask of Life's power to give it new life anyway, and 2, I have my shipping goggles on so tight they're cutting off circulation, but that scene was what tightened them in the first place so blah. It's not even impossible as canon so long as it's only a one-way thing Kiina has and Mata Nui only reciprocates close friendship!
Honorable mentions go to Kopaka, my first crush on a fictional character and setting of one of my types to frosty and silent but also protective and very duty-bound, to Matoro, whose death was the first time I cried about something in Bionicle without it being tears of laughter, to Click and Pewku, for being the best non-humanoid and non-speaking characters I know of, and finally to the Makuta Teridax for being an unrelentingly excellent villain.
Favorite part of favorite era
My squeeing up above probably made it obvious I really like the 2001-2003 era, but my favorite part has got to be the Bohrok(-Kal) Animations made by Templar Studios, and the MNOGs made by same. Watching the characters, and being the characters, was the. Freaking. Best. Is the best, since I can relive them any time I want due to having the games on my hard drive and the flash animations on the BIOsector01 wiki. I think my favorite of those is MNOG1 and the Animations, since while MNOG2 was fun once I finally got to play it all the way through without glitches it'll always be tainted with the memory of it being taken off the Bionicle site in early 2004 and then being returned in 2006 with glitches galore. Also, training the six stats needed for Kohlii is a giant boring grind that I couldn't stand enough to not go into the text-save document the version of the MNOG2 I had and boost all the stats to 99, so sailing through the Kohlii matches was a bit boring. And the ending was a letdown after nearly eight years of waiting.
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