My Favourite Childhood “Cartoons”
Get out your nostalgia hats people we are gonna take a trip back to the past, how far you ask? not too far for most of you I hope.
The year is 1995 and I’m on my way back from kindergarten eagerly awaiting my afternoon snack and TV time. Back then we only had one channel ONE! and it closed at midnight and opened at 5pm oh ZNBC (Zambia National Broadcasting Service). Anyway, I remember tuning in eagerly to watch my favourite weekly cartoons.
The First show I can remember drooling over was..
I’m gonna tell you what the story is about without using Google just for comic effect. All I can remember is the main character Esteban (I believe) was on a quest with his friends to this “treasure city” for what purpose? I couldn’t tell you to save my life. All I remember is that it was amazing, especially the last couple of episodes. The animation execution done in those scenes is firmly embedded in my mind forever. The only drawback with watching this back then is that the national television station aired the shows jumbled up (Non chronologically). I only discovered this after the last couple of episodes aired, the show had an episodic feel to it prior to this so it really didn’t bother me but after those last two episodes I felt betrayed. With this show probably getting screened at this years AVCon (http://www.avcon.org.au/2011/ ) I’m hoping to ride that nostalgia wave once again and would like to see the reaction from new fans.
Fast forward a few years later and in between He-man and She-Ra I remember religiously following this certain super Robot show called..
Hoooo Boy. This was my first giant robot cartoon and it was pretty good. I remember being blown away by the animation of each individual lion transforming and then combining to create “The Defender of the Universe!” It was very very episodic with a new monster being introduced and explosively destroyed every episode, every now then you would get that one strong Monster that lasted two or even three episodes. This show was extremely popular and ZNBC did not hesitate to air its “second season” the Vehicle Edition which I personally did not enjoy as much. Also I would often mistake “vehicle edition” show for another one that aired around the same time because the character designs looked so familiar..
Another Giant robot show about vehicles. I preferred this one to the Voltron :Vehicle Edition because the characters were cooler, much much cooler. This is the first cartoon i watched solely for the interaction between the characters. There was even a hint of a subtle romantic subplot in there sometimes. What you’re surprises an 8 year old noticed this? well I guess I had an eye for these sorts of things because my Dad was a movie nerd and at this point I’m sure I had seen more movies than your average 8 year old. The episodes were very episodic and were aired non chronologically as well so I really couldn’t pin point a proper plot. All I remember is that these pilots had unique vehicles ranging from Space shuttles to jet fighters to submarines, some of them combined to make different vehicles so that kept the show fresh.
TV for the next 5 years or so was pretty good, a lot re runs and cartoons like Clyde, Bob Morane and Duck Tales. the early 2000’s was good for cartoon fans back home and I remember being extremely excited when…
…Was announced. I had just entered high school at this point and a lot of guys my age were making the shift from cartoons to going out and having parties. Me being the nerd I am was still into cartoons and at this point I knew it would take a lot to make me let go of this medium. This particular show excited me a lot because i missed the Pokemon train (it only aired on Satellite TV) so this was advertised as being similar to that. It was good, I got through half of the series and then the time slot was shifted to noon. This made it impossible for me to continue watching it. This show was your classic boy gets toy robot, toy robot kicks ass, boy has rivals. It must have been very popular because right around this time they also started airing the very very popular…
I remember every Sunday morning taking really cold breakfast because I would be so engrossed watching each race and getting shocked to find out Racer X is Speeds’ brother!! :O Despite being popular it never had a re run but is still fondly remembered by its fans. At this time Dragon Ball Z and Digimon were already airing on digital TV that I had no access to. I could catch one or two episodes here and there and knew i would like to watch them sometime.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I had no idea these shows were anime at the time but I knew they were different. Mostly because they weren’t episodic and had an actual plot to follow through to the end. My favourite cartoon to date is still Bob Morane and theres the cartoon network classics like Dexters Lab and Power Puff Girls and more recently shows like Samurai Jack and Fosters home for Imaginary Friends. I still love western animation, but I believe the fact that the above shows i mentioned stand out to me to this day is testament to my inclination to Anime. It was fate I say…
What are some of your first anime/cartoon memories?