The series follows an amnesiac cyborg girl named Tari in a world where society revolves around video games, speedrunning & esports as she discovers she has the uncanny ability to warp into video games. A cartoonier version of Tari was introduced in SMG4/Super Mario 64 Bloopers as a new major character to promote this show and get her familiar with the viewers prior to its announcement and release. A cartoony counterpart of Belle was introduced in the YouTube Arc as a counterpart to Tari.
The first episode of Meta Runner was released on July 25, 2019 on the SMG4 channel.
In a futuristic world, society is now centered around video games, serving as not just entertainment, but also jobs in live streaming and lifestyle. Among the gamers are “Meta Runners”, a group of gaming individuals who replace their limbs with cybernetic arms that allow them to boost their gaming performance.
The series tells the story of Tari, a Meta Runner who was the subject of an experiment called Project Blue led by former scientist, Dr. Sheridan, who was commissioned by the TAS Corp. organization. In a sudden accident causing an explosion, Dr. Sheridan was apparently killed along with a former Meta Runner, Lucinia, inside the laboratory. After waking up in the now abandoned and wrecked establishment, Tari finds herself in Silica City with no memory of what happened except for a few flashbacks. After witnessing a speedrunning tournament of Ultra Jump Mania performed by Belle Fontiere, Tari decides to play the game for herself, but she suddenly gets teleported into the game where she befriends Theo. Intrigued by Tari’s newfound ability, the head of TAS Corp., Lucks plans to use her to benefit his organization.
Tari and Theo get sucked out of the game and try to escape, but Tari gets captured while Theo escapes and is found by another meta runner, Lamar Williams, who rescues and takes both of them to a hidden base in a ramen restaurant where they meet up with two other meta runners, Sofia Porter and Masa Shimamoto. Together the three are a small undercover group called the MD-5 who've been trying to expose all to TAS Corp. by exposing the corporation's cruel actions to the public, but to no avail. The MD-5 then invites Tari to join them, citing that with her help, they'll finally be able to put an end to Lucks' evil affairs once and for all.
The protagonist of the series. She is a shy, insecure and amnesiac Meta Runner and a skilled video game player with the unusual ability to warp into the video games she plays. She is trying to avoid the sinister company TAS Corp.. Tari is revealed to be an AI program from Project Blue, with her name actually being T.A.R.I. (Turbo Artificial Rapid Intelligence).
The deuteragonist of the series. He is the main playable character of Ultra Jump Mania. He encountered Tari after she stumbles upon his video game world, Ultra Jump Mania, and later brought him to life in the outside world.
The tritagonist of the series. He is a calm, composed, and mostly serious friend of Tari who leads MD-5. He was once a team captain of TAS Corp. before he got decommissioned after trying to hack into Lucks’ private server. Since then, he has been at war with his former boss.
The anti-heroine of the series and secondary antagonist of Season 1. She is a Meta Runner who was the star of TAS Corp. until she defected to MD-5 in Season 2. She was best friends with Lucinia Porter and seeks to avenge her possible death.
The posthumous overarching protagonist of the series. She is Sheridan's assistant who also worked on Project Blue and likely created Tari. She was theorised to have gone missing after the explosion and was a good friend of Belle and also a sister of Sofia.
The main antagonist of the series, serving as the main antagonist of the first two seasons and will presumably be a posthumous antagonist in the upcoming third season. He is the CEO of TAS Corp. and is obsessed with Tari, due to her unexpected ability. He is willing to perform unethical actions for his company. He is also Masa’s arch-nemesis.
The overall secondary antagonist of the series, specifically being the secondary antagonist of the second season. She is a member of the Claythorne Family of Great Britain who aims to move to TAS Corp.'s main lineup so that she can have all the attention from the audience. She is also the current rival of Tari and a Meta Runner of TAS Corp..
The overarching antagonist of the series and presumably the main antagonist of the third season. He is an ex-TASCorp. scientist who worked with his assistant Lucinia to create Project Blue and stop him being fired. He had survived the explosion and currently plotting a revenge on Tari.
Common robots found across Silica City, usually with a particular job or function. These professions include showing off a 180-degree gaming chair, runing the gaming store in TAS Corp., making Raman, or even competing in underground fights.
Battle Blaze: A game where you use various weapons to shoot your opponents around the map. The game is an homage to the first-person shooter genre of games. Tari plays this game with Masa in the episode Aimbot.
Tempest: A game where wizard-like characters use magic spells to eliminate their opponents all around a giant map. The game is an homage to the battle royale genre of games. Tari plays this game with Masa, Lamar, and Theo as part of her plan in No Clip, One Shot, The Run, and Shutdown.
War Tech Fighters: A game where war mechs fight in space with swords and shields. The game seems to pay homage to the 2D fighting genre of games. Masa is briefly seen playing this game in Hard Reset.
Turbo Crash 9: A game where players use vehicles to eliminate other players around the map. Players can tag-team, so one player can control the vehicle while the other controls the weapons. It seems to pay homage to the battle royale and racing genres of games. Masa and Lamar play this game against Marco to win a new Meta Runner arm in Unreal Engines.
Pocket Gakusei: A dating simulator where Tari acts as a student in a school and must go out with a girl to gain her trust. The game is an homage to the dating simulator genre of games. Tari uses this game to plan her escape with Lamar, Sofia, and Masa in Transfer Student and Heart to Heart.
Hidden Heroes: A game where cyborgs use swords, bows, and other weapons to defeat hordes of ninja-like cyborgs in a Japanese setting. The game is an homage to the hack-and-slash genre of games. Tari, Lamar, and Masa use this game as part of Tari's plan to escape in Hack and Slash, Friendly Fire, and Soft Lock.
A short clip from our upcoming animated series Meta Runner! Tari warps into the 3D Platformer; "Ultra Jump Mania". She meets the game character Theo and... has a hard time getting use to platforming mechanics.
Season 1 would premiere on July 25, 2019 and end on October 10 of the same year. It consists of 10 episodes. The season's plot follows Tari as she, along with her friend Theo, is being pursued by TAS Corp. and joining a group of meta runners who plan to take down the evil organization.
On August 28, 2020, the season was made into a special movie cut called Meta Runner New Game+ and was shown on the GLITCH channel.
The final battle with Tari and Belle in Tempest has now begun!
Season 2 premiered on October 16, 2020 on the GLITCH channel. It was made with higher quality animation and slight changes to characters and environments.
Season 2 takes place six months after the Season 1 finale as Tari tries to work her way up to shut down TASCorp once and for all. It is slated to move from the SMG4 channel to the new GLITCH channel for the second season premiere.