Here in the UK we had an odd introduction to Zoids. As well as the classic TOMY toys, in the 80s we also had specific mythos created for us in the pages of the “Spider-Man and Zoids” comic. It was also the first time I encountered Grant Morrison’s writing, as he wrote some of the Zoids strip.
TOMY made a concerted effort to relaunch the line in the late nineties, and this is the second anime series in support of that (99′s Chaotic Century being the first). However New Century Zero was the first to be dubbed into English and show in the West as Zoids/ZERO.
As they later dubbed other Zoids series, presumably they had some success, but like the 80s launch I don’t think it exactly set the world on fire the way Transformers did.
There’s something to be said that the late, un-lamented Woolworths was the main place I saw Beyblade toys and DVDs. And that it aired on FIVE, the fifth and least popular terrestrial UK TV channel. It felt a little like an also-ran, but there were a lot of them in this period, and Beyblade may have been best at coming last.
Part of cross-media blitz to make spinning tops popular again for the first time in 100 years, the Beyblade anime is cheap and stupid. The highlight of which would be the episode I saw where there was a villain who had been genetically engineered to maximise his ability to spin a top. Despite this, this is not the stupidest show designed to sell toys this decade…
With the seven year fad lifespan expired, they started a new Beyblade series this year, ready to lure a new generation into the exciting world of things that spin in one direction. More on that later. Or possibly less on that.
Keisuke Itagaki’s manga is kinda funny looking and not really suitable for animation, so this anime version of his excessively violent tale of a kid with severe parent issues looks a lot tighter than the loose, fluid, if anatomically incorrect art of Itagaki’s.
Anyway, I saw this up to where he was fighting a mountain ape in order to train. I see in the manga he’s up to fighting a defrosted caveman called Pickle. This sort of madness tempts me to watch/read more.
Based on a Videogame? Check!
Totally disinterested? Yes!
This seems like a show I should probably check out on the basis of the OP. Cartoony, highly kinetic, it’s the sort of thing that pushes my buttons. And it’s Shoji Kawamori letting his hair down, which is always better than SERIOUS Shoji Kawamori.
And talking of SERIOUS Shoji Kawamori, starting a little over a week later than Earth Defence Family, was Arjuna. Arjuna is pure, unfiltered Kawamori, so expect environmentalism and spiritualism. While it’s good that a creator has such a strong voice, in Kawamori’s case, when it’s unfiltered it actually seems to swamp his creative abilities and people end up only seeing the preachiness.
Masahiko Nakahira’s Kamen Rider “homage” came to anime courtesy of Koichi Ohata (Most Dangerous Geist). I’m going to hazard a guess that the title is the best thing about this show. Or possibly the dirt cheap price of the Media Blasters box set they released of it.
Now available for £4.99 at your local clearance book shop!
Hiroshi Motomiya’s long running manga about single dad biker Kintaro’s journey through the world of the salaryman, had this short perfunctory anime released in 2001. Almost feels like a long service award for the manga than a worthwhile enterprise as an animation. It also had four series of a live action TV show and a film from Takashi Miike
Kiyoko Arai’s Feng Shui-themed shojo manga had a 51 episode run starting in 2001. This is one of those shows whose fansubbing came at the dawn of the bit torrent explosion, but remains incomplete (but also never abandoned).