Posts from the ‘JAPANESE ANIME(S) OF MY CHILDHOOD’ Category

CHOUDENSHI BIOMAN

Choudenshi Bioman

Red one! Green two! Blue three! Yellow four! Pink five!

If you’re a boy (living in the 80’s) then you’d want to be Red one (as with other boys your age) and have a crush on the cute Pink five. Girls of the same age all want to be Pink five – never Yellow four. You just have to be fast enough to call who you want to be. I can relate, I was an 80’s kid.

Who isn’t familiar with Bioman?

Bioman is one of the Super Sentai series shown here during the late 80’s, 1987 to be exact. Sentai is a Japanese word which means squadron or task force in English. This is a five man group, three men and two women who battles the Neo Gear Empire who wants to take over the Earth – yup, classic battle between good and evil but with a twist in the end.

Take note that this was shown in English dub – yeah, those were the times when tagalog dubbing did not exist yet.

I have to admit, I had difficulty remembering the characters’ names, as I was only able to recall three of them – namely Kenny, Kimberly and Peebo. I had no idea what their original japanese names were, heck, I had no idea that the show was japanese in the first place! I was a kid; like other kids, I only knew how to watch and it didn’t matter if the show we were watching was japanese.

Peebo - a girl or a boy? Your guess.

THE BIOMEN (please take note that I’m writing what I remember from my childhood days)

  1. Kenny (Go Shiro) as Red 1 – the leader and can talk to animals because of the bio particles in his genes.
  2. Sammy (Takasugi Shingo) as Green 2 – a race car driver. I remember him wearing white pants all the time and it never goes dirty, even after a nasty fight.
  3. Franky (Nanbara Ryuta) as Blue 3 – I really don’t remember much about him; just this one episode where his look alike was a thief and his Super electronic ear.
  4. A. Casey (Koizumi Mika) as the first Yellow 4 – As a kid, I liked this Yellow 4 better. Too bad that she died on the tenth episode. I just know that she’s a photographer.   B. June (Yabuki Jun) as the second Yellow 4 – is an Olympic archer.  Yeah, I don’t like her. But then, who wants to be Yellow 4 when there’s the cute Pink 5?
  5. Every little boy and girl loves Pink Five

    Kimberly (Katsuragi Hikaru) Pink 5 – boys have a crush on her, girls want to be like her. I remember her so well, playing the flute, with that dimpled smile and then the episode where she befriends the enemy computer called ‘Brain’.

I never get tired watching this even if it was a replay and I’ve watched it for more than five times already. Unfortunately though, local networks here (during the last two decades) have this ‘disease’ of never showing the complete series. They just replay certain episodes until the show is taken off the air.

A sentai show will never be complete without the mecha. The Bio Dragon which carries the two Bio Jets to the scene of the battle. Bio Jet 1 is piloted by Red 1 and Pink 5 and forms the upper half of the Bio Robo; Bio Jet 2 is forms the lower half of the Bio Robo and is piloted by Green 2, Blue 3 and Yellow 4.

The Neo Gear Empire

And then there’s the Neo Gear Empire – Dr. Man (very creative and unforgettable name) is the ruler of the Empire, he’s a cyborg with a long white hair, by the way; Prince is Dr. Man’s creation, he only appeared in the later episodes (as a kid I never knew what happened to him) and then there’s the usual foes namely Mason (who killed the first Yellow 4), Farrah and her assistant Farrah Cat and the bald guy with a big body who I actually forgot the name, haha! And let’s not forget the Mecha clones, the foot soldiers of the Empire.

It’s the good guys versus the bad guys. As an 80’s kid we pretended to be these characters, arguing who gets to be Red 1 and Pink 5 (you really have to be fast enough and loud enough to say this: “I want to be Pink 5! There, I said it first, now you’ll be Yellow 4.”) And often, the pretend to be a super hero & arch enemy game end with a real quarrel, because unintentionally, someone gets hit in the face or any part of the body – unintentionally. Admit it, you got into a fight with other kids one time or another because you got hit or you hit someone unintentionally, right?

What else do you remember about this super sentai series? It’s SENTAI and not hentai, alright? There’s a big difference with these two words although it sounds so much alike.

Below is the opening video for Bioman, enjoy!

And Peebo is a girl right? Or will this eternal question about this golden robot’s gender never end? What do you say, a girl or a boy?

SHOUKOUSHI CEDIE

is Little Prince Cedie when translated to English. This is a Japanese anime based on Frances Hodgson Burnett‘s book, Little Lord of Fauntleroy. This series was first aired in local channels and the first one to be dubbed in Tagalog. Yes, as far as I know, this is the very first japanese anime that was dubbed in tagalog and hearing something like that for the first time, it was quite funny for my ‘young ears’ at that time. I am sure that I was in 5th grade when this was aired because I managed to watch this every morning at 10:30, before I go to school in the afternoon.

I still remember the opening song for this anime. I didn’t know the title back then (I didn’t know how to read japanese at that time) but I still remember the melody even now. And because I know how to read Japanese now, I now know the title and can even sing the song with correct lyrics, haha!

Cedie is an American boy, whose real name is Cedric Errol – the sole heir to a British Earldom. When his father died, he leaves New York to live with his grandfather,    the Earl of Dorincourt in his ancestral castle. The Earl does not like Cedie’s middle class mother but softens up in the later episodes. He was taught to play the flute by his father, James Errol. I remember him always playing the piece Annie Laurie; and oh, the scene where played this piece without knowing that his father was already dying – is just heart wrenching. He also loves to play baseball, and even teaches the servants in the castle and even got his grandfather to play too!  Cedie is a nice boy, like all leading characters (what else can I say?)

There is one thing though that is still vivid in my memory – the dubber. Not the original Japanese dubber, but the tagalog one. She had a very unique voice that cannot be mistaken anywhere! At first, I couldn’t really tell if Cedie was a boy or a girl and the tagalog dubber’s voice did not help at all. It’s just one of those voices that’s in between a boy and a girl’s voice (check out the tagalog dub video below) The tagalog dubber name is Ollie de Guzman and she also dubbed Tsukino Usagi / Sailormoon – but I’ll get to that part very sooooon!

Knowing that the anime was now dubbed in Tagalog, it was funny and irritating at the same time. I remember thinking that time, ‘why didn’t they just show the English dub?’ (Oh, wait. Now I just realized, was there even an English dub to begin with?) I didn’t know that this was the start of dubbing Japanese animations to tagalog dubs. I know, I’ll be writing about what I can remember.  I kind of got used to the tagalong dubs, but since it was a first here, you can really hear the redundancies of the dialogs from time to time. You want a sample?

“Ang Wing Gundam ang pinakamalakas sa lahat ng Gundam, sapagkat sa lahat ng Gundam, ito ang pinakamalakas.” –  Heero Yuy’s tagalog dubbed line from Gundam Wing series shown in GMA7

And when translated to English:

“The Wing Gundam is the strongest of all Gundams because of all Gundams, it is the strongest.”

Doesn’t make sense right? It was slightly unnoticeable, but I did get a kick out of it when I heard it again and it is literally stuck in my head even after more than 10 years now. Got to blame the scriptwriters for the dub here.

Above is the opening for the anime.

This show got so famous that it had reruns and even got producers to make a movie – starring Tom Taus. And what is equally famous as well? Princess Sarah! But I’ll get to that part soooooon, as well!

(I should have written about some sentai series that were shown here during the 80’s, it’s not anime but it was part of my childhood – I’ll have to write about it next)

TETSUWAN ATOM (ASTROBOY)

Fly, Astro, fly!

Soaring high in the sky, he may be small but only in size

Astroboy, Astroboy

He is brave and gentle and wise!

Kids of the 80’s out there, do you still remember this song? I think I can hear you singing it now 😉

Astroboy or Tetsuwan Atom is the very first Japanese animation I watched as a kid. I remember asking my dad to wake me up in the afternoon – I think it was three or four in the afternoon so I can watch this anime in our fourteen inch black and white TV (yes, those were the days when most television sets had no remote controls, had three dials for the brightness, contrast and the on and off switch / volume control, and oh, no cable channels yet, so there was only up to channel 13 back then, to switch channels you have to stand and walk up to the TV set and turn the big channel dial) and I can still remember the names of the other characters aside from Astroboy. And no, I am NOT referring to the 2003 version, I am referring to the 1980’s version of Tetsuwan Atom.

No changes for the 60's 80's and 2003 anime version - good!

Astroboy is originally a manga created by Osamu Tezuka, published in 1952 and aired in 1963. It was remade for TV as Shin Tetsuwan Atom in 1980 and again in 2003. It was said that Osamu created Astroboy when he was seventeen years old and it became one of his most famous creations. His other work that I got to watch as a kid (I think I was in high school then) was Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Taitei in Japanese, taitei meaning emperor) and just a few years back, Black Jack.

The machine gun from his...

In the anime, Astroboy is created /built by Dr. Boynton (or Dr. Tenma in Japanese) after his son, Tobio died in a car accident. This is a robot with emotions, different from all the other robots. He is also super strong (if 100,000 horsepower isn’t strong for you, I don’t know what is), can fly and equipped with lasers and machine guns. Oh, yeah! I remember the lasers from his finger and the machine gun on his butt – is there any other way to say it? Kind of weird to put a weapon there but this feature was not present in the 2003 remake of the anime – a bit disappointing, but it’s still Astro, minus the machine gun.

Uran or Zoran, she's Astro's little sister

URAN – (Zoran in the 2003 version) Astro’s little sister who was built by Dr. Ochanomizu. She has half of Astro’s strength (50,000 hp) but that is still inhumanly strong. She gets into a bit of trouble every now and then; a bit tomboyish but cute, naïve but determined who is attached to her big brother Astro.

Dr. Ochanomizu is a robot rights advocate in the series and created the ‘Robot Bill of Rights’. He rescued Astro from the robot circus and like I said, created Uran, as well as a mother and father for Astro. He is known as Dr. Elefun in the American dub.

A lot of difference there, huh?

ATLAS – I don’t remember much about Atlas’ history. I just know that he is Astro’s brother and arch enemy. They have equal strengths, so when they battle, I never really remember anyone winning, it was always a draw. But I clearly remember him always riding a robot horse and wielding an electric sword and cares for Livian so much.

If I'm correct, she was not present in the 2003 remake

LIVIAN – like Atlas, I don’t know much about Livian’s history. I  just know that she is always with Atlas, looks like a (galactic) princess and lives in a crystal castle with Atlas. I’m writing all of this from what I remember in my childhood days, just in case you’re wondering. I just know that Livian always warns Astro about Atlas’ plans.

From a kid’s (mind) memories, the other characters names are Daddy Walrus (Astro’s teacher), Jump (the dog), Astro’s Mama and Papa. And now the names of the minor characters that I forgot – Astro’s classmates and the detectives in the series.

There are differences in the story and additional characters between the 1980’s and the 2003 version, sadly, I wasn’t able to watch the 2003 version – I was busy being an adult. In 2009, a computer animated film of the same title was released. The truth is, I didn’t get to watch this too. It didn’t catch my attention that much, but I guess it’s never too late to buy a DVD and relive the memories again.

Below are the videos for the 1980’s opening both english and the original japanese version, as well as the 2003 version.

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