Saturday, June 12, 2010

Retro Anime

One thing I rarely talk about are the first few anime I've watched, especially when I was a wee lad. I think I have mentioned them before, but did not go beyond the very first that I watched, Voltes V. In Asia, it was quite easy to get "cartoons" of Japan. That's what I would call them back then since the word "anime" was not a household word yet. Though I knew it was Japanese because my brother has told me that it is Japanese and I remembered that it was the Japanese language that I was listening to.

I was very young when I first watched Voltes V. I was maybe 3 or 4 or 5 years old. I couldn't even say the word "Voltes" and said "wortel" instead, which meant "carrot". Oh and in Jakarta, "Voltes" was spelled "Voltus" for some reason... Oh and the picture above is of Megumi Oka, the female member of the Voltes Team, probably my first anime crush; and the reason why I liked anyone named "Megumi" ^^;

Behold! The anime that started it all!

I remember only segments of the show if I try to recall, things that I thought was the beginning was actually the end, there were some dialogues in Japanese that somehow I memorized and I could not forget that epic theme song! And of course Voltes V's final attack, the Tenkuuken or Sword of the Heavens, yelled out by Kenichi, the leader of the Voltes Team. Later on, when my brother and I watched Martian Successor Nadesico, we heard it once again... One of the characters in the anime within the Nadesico anime was called Ken Tenkuu. We laughed our asses off when we heard that name! Eventually I'll talk more about Voltes V, once I finish watching this show again...

There were lots of Super Robot shows I watched back then, but they weren't all robots back then. So before I go back to the Super Robots I'll show one of the ones I saw that didn't involve robots.

Ikkyu-san is a boy who lives in a Buddhist monastery. When he gets in trouble he always sits on his lap, meditate and does a circling motion with both his index fingers on his head to think of a way out of the situation. This is pretty much what I've remembered of the show...

Machine Hayabusa was my choice of racing car anime. I've never heard of Speed Racer or Mach Go Go until I came here. I only knew Hayabusa. It was really cool actually, especially the car design... Unfortunately when I watch this opening, I don't even remember this song... It's such a blur to me :P

I have no idea why there are Touhou characters in my God Sigma fanart... Anyways, back to the robots.

I remember this song and this transformation of the robots... but I'm starting to think that maybe I didn't watch complete series, which is why it's hard to remember what happened in the show... Either way, God Sigma is freaking cool!

Of course after the three robot combination, I have to get to Getter Robo. I did watch a version of this show, but it was called Shogun Geta in Jakarta. It was only until I saw the robots and heard the opening that I realize they're the same. I remember watching up to the end of the first season for this one... I never got around to the next ones with Getter Robo G and everything else.

I slightly remembered Mazinger Z, but I don't think I've seen any of it... Love the song though!

I remember Go Shogun was made into stickers and was put in to kids magazines and I collected those. Such a cool looking robot! But other than the robot and this song, I don't know much about it ^^;;;

Now here's a show I remembered watching, Gordian! I liked how the guy enters the first small robot and the robot moves the way he moves, and then that smallest robot enters a medium size robot and then enters into the biggest robot! IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME! I think it's one of my favourite concepts, though I'd wonder what happen if the guy has an embarrassing itch and just has to scratch... When we finished the show, the clerk was telling us that there's a sequel to this show. I saw that "sequel", but it was nothing like Gordian... I wish I knew what it was called...

And lastly, the last anime I sorta watched before I left Jakarta was Saint Seiya. Now, when I say "watch", I say it loosely because it was on a paid channel... I saw it scrambled ^^;;;  I remember hearing this song and thought it was cool. I tried watching what I can with it, but let's just say I missed it all...

It was right after this that I began to like more American cartoons that started to appear more in Jakarta channels, particularly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then I still loved TMNT when I moved here because it was still playing on TV. So due to the lack of information and income, I wasn't able to come back to anime until mid-90's when I discovered a very interesting concept for an anime when I was discovering puberty...

Yep, Ranma 1/2. I fell in love with the concept of a boy changing into a girl. It was really funny... I can't help but think I was Kunou because I was falling for the female Ranma or that I wished I was Ranma when I can switch genders at a splash of water ^^;;; Oh and cute Akane in the opening is very cute!

Anyways... that's my past anime history. I may have missed a few, but these are the ones that made an impact for me when I was still young. Next up will be retro tokusatsu! And I'll leave this post with a very nice picture of Megumi Oka from Voltes V featuring pantsu and knee pits.


  1. Oo~ that reminds me Sailormoon was my first when I was 8, didn't managed to finish it though. Next followed by Slam Dunk, Ayashi no Ceres, Taiho Sichauzo.

    Ranma was my fave when it was on air on AXN, yep we share the same thought regarding the concept there, Akane was my first fave too lol I didn't know that she's tsundere! My first favorite tsundere XD

  2. I remember watching Mazinger Z when I was a kid, that was probably one of the first anime I watched too. From your list, I also remember watching quite a bit of Saint Seiya and a lot of Ranma. My favourite character being Shampoo.

    I don't really remember my first anime, I lived in latin america when I was young, they aired a lot of anime dubbed in spanish. But some of the ones I remember are Sailormoon, Dragonball, Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), Mazinger Z, Saint Seiya, and some others I don't know the name of.

  3. Watched Saint Seya and Ranma. Really like and still remember the openings. ^^

  4. My earliest anime memories (i.e. before they were known as anime) in the UK were all based on a small selection of videos I could rent from various video stores since you would never see them on TV.

    I scrounged video rental stores all over my little town to find videos of Daikyu Maryu Gaiking (the original 1970s version, naturally), starzingers, birth OVA, voltron, robotech (but only the macross saga) getter robo G (starvengers), Gatchaman (G-force over here), speed racer and a few others whos names I have forgotten.

    Still, those were still a fair few and they were all dubbed too! After the videos dried up due to various reasons and when I discovered video games, I didn't really pick up anime again until the mid 90s, at the end of the manga boom in the UK, with stuff like the guyver & zeroraima OVA and the patlabor movies. I really got back into it thanks to ADV and 3 shows they released, but mostly 1. They were Evangelion, Bubblegum crisis 2040 and Nadesico!

  5. Being in saudi,I had to watch all those anime(yeah in saudi there USED to be anime),in arabic, though f-wken worth it cause mainly all of them are super robot shows or transformers and hearing megatron speak arabic was major LOLs^^

    Lupin III,the only show I remembered thats not a mecha show, fli Dubs at its best^^

  6. @Yamada: It seems like a lot of people have Sailor Moon as their first, but different regions have different firsts. Yep, I think Akane was the first tsundere for everyone ^^

    @Toxyn: Ah I hear Latin America had a lot of those anime shown there, particularly Saint Seiya because it's so popular there, but no one here have heard of it when I came here. I also like Ukyo, just because I like Okonomiyaki ^^;;;

    @phossil: Two of the greatest from that era, it seems :)

    @gundamjehutykai: That's pretty much how I watched my anime too back then, all rented from a video store (though now that I think about it, they were probably pirated videos). Ah, yea, I didn't really discover video game until I played Double Dragon and TMNT arcade. If it weren't for these two games, I wouldn't be so hung up on games, lol. ADV definitely were game changers back then since they were quite omnipresent.

    @GunStray: It's funny how there's even anime in Saudi while it can be quite lacking when it comes to North America... Lupin is one of the classics I didn't get around to see. I regret not ever finding that since it sounds very fun.

  7. Ahhhh retro anime... the 80s and the 90s, with their cliche and ridiculous hairstyles, clothes, plots...

    In my case, even though I now realize I watched crap-loads of anime even when I was 4-5 years old, I just came to know anime as it is when I hit the 13-14 year old mark, and I have only one anime to blame: Sailor Moon. This show was the pandora's box, the gates of destiny, the start of it all.

    I have to say we got pretty lucky in South America with anime; most popular titles (saint Seiya, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon) didn't have censorship, barely changed names and mostly quite popular to the original Japanese (Rayearth still hurts though). I can't believe the kind of shit US did to anime (cardcaptors gggrrr!), IT'S DISGUSTING.

  8. @Yaku: And their ridicilous character design, sometimes ^^; We were about the same age when we first watched anime then, just different years. Sailor Moon seems to be the first choice for a lot of people, except I get the watered down version over here in North America. I think I got into the internet anime scene is because of Sailor Moon because of all the cuts and censors I hear about it.

    It's definitely a different culture in Japan, South America and North America. N.A. is a bunch of prudes who thinks they need to water down everything... I totally hate what they did to "Cardcaptors". Ugh... So glad they released the subbed version on DVD.

  9. Only one that I've seen out of this bunch for sure is Ranma. I vaguely remember watching Voltron alongside Transformers as a child, but I guess I didn't get the anime that many people remember. I do however take time to watch old anime if it looks interesting now, and my son and I watch Lupin together quite often.

  10. I have to be honest. I can't stand old school anime. I just can't get used to the mecha, the art style of characters, and the animation. Of course, there are still series I loved from that era though. Ghibli and maybe a few series here and there, but in general, I don't like the stuff you mentioned. :(

    Without those though, we wouldn't have the anime today, so I appreciate old school for that.

  11. @Persocom: I know Voltron as Golion back then. Though I didn't watch the series, I remember this one kid actually have the toy. That was freaking cool! That's a nice father/son bonding with Lupin ^_^

    @Yi: It really depends on what we grew up with. I didn't get a chance to actually see any of the Ghibli work when I was young, so it was nice for me to revisit the old work now. They seem to age better than any of these ones I listed here. But yes, I know a lot of people who don't like these old designs either. It's all the child filter in us that made everything looked cool when we were young ^^;

    Though they weren't all mecha back then... Just seemed like a majority of it though, lol.

  12. You don't really need me to spam TOUHOU HIJACK in full caps to discover why there are Touhous in your everything.

    Oh yes, nostalgia, (one of the) pleasantest of feelings. Unfortunately most of these were past my time, but I did grow watching a bit of Mazinger; my dad was a fan, and got me a few CDs. Man, CDs! Back when discs could only store two episodes at once! This also includes Getter Robo, as the two go hand-in-hand. Still, even back then I was bothered by how once Great was introduced the original Mazinger became a punching bag for all the kikaijuu...

    Mostly though, I suppose I was watching Doraemon.

    Then there was this one really old SRT game I played on the PS1 nearly everyday at some point. Got acquainted with God Sigma and Voltes along with many others there, like Gaiking.

    Ranma as well, but the most I got to know the characters was through a Starcraft campaign - pretty unfortunate. I watched like all of the first three seasons later on, but that was waaay after, in a time I could clearly remember.

    Gordian gives me Gurren Lagann vibes; I guess it was a pioneer.

    But then, none of these actually influenced me to fall in love with anime. It was those Lost Universe tapes my dad got me over from HK that really sparked my interest. No small part due to that scantily-clad lady with the electric whip, methinks.

  13. I remember watching Voltes V as a kid... and yes Megumi was uber hot XD. She made me feel things a kid shouldn't be feeling @__@.LOL Thanks for the nostalgic article. it's awesome

  14. @Ningyo: I'll leave the Touhou part alone for now ^^;

    It really is fun when your parents are fans of stuff that you potentially like. Which means it's kinda easy to get presents for them. Ah you're talking about VCDs I take it? I had some of those, but they were quite bad.

    I never did get to watch Doraemon when I grew up... Tis unfortunate. And I also learned about Gaiking from Super Robot Taisen, lol. LoL at least you got some Ranma viewing other than Starcraft. I watched Ranma when it was dub only... It wasn't bad, but not my preference.

    Haha Gordian = Gurren Lagann? I guess I did have that vibe when I was watching Gurren Lagann. It's too bad not a lot of robot shows follow this concept. Except for G Gundam maybe.

    Oho! I didn't realize Lost Universe was big for you. I haven't watched it yet, but I look forward to it since Megumi Hayashibara is in it ^^

    @K: Hahaha. Megumi was definitely a hottie isn't she? Short skirt, thigh high boots... Ninja skillz! You're welcome! I was planning to do this kind of article one day ^_^ More on Voltes V later on ;)

  15. Does Doraemon count as retro? I still watch it on terrestrial TV every Saturday night:)

  16. @Aprilius20: Oh yeah. Doraemon sure would count :D Another long, but not continuous series. It's been going since how long now??

  17. Ah Ikkyu-san and Ranma. I remember glimpsing a couple of episodes on TV in my childhood, but most of the time it was a watch and forget ^^; Ranma sure was really popular for a very long time though!

    Reading from your post and some comments here it's quite amazing how anime is not too unknown as a media outside Japan in various places as we have managed to watch them in the 80s or 90s. Though compared to many Hongkongers I watch and played relatively few already; many were shocked that I didn't watch Dragon Ball, or sports anime such as Slam Dunk or Captain Tsubasa, or played Super Robot Taisen etc. ^^; It's interesting to see how much robot anime you've watched back then though!

  18. @Q: Ranma had a lot of episodes, so it must've got quite a following, I'm sure ^^

    It seems in the western world, most of the anime that were brought over gets dubbed, so a lot of people didn't know it right away, but when I watched them in Indonesia, they were still in Japanese with some kind of subtitles. Heheh, yea, I think since the first anime was Super Robots, I wanted to see more like it, so I watched a LOT of them back then XD

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