After a long argument about whether the new Sailor Moon reboot is warranted or not, The Gateway’s arts and culture writers started reminiscing about the best anime shows that they watched as children. Here is a compilation of our favourites.
She was fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight and undeniably a childhood favourite. Arguably one of the best installments in the Magical Girl genre of anime, Sailor Moon provided both a highly memorable cast of characters and a stunning visual experience.
The show features a group of middle school to high-school-aged girls who possessed magical powers that were accessed by harnessing the power of the planets. In order to access their powers they enter a sparkly, swirly transformation sequence, which injected an unexpected dose of glamour into the premise of the show. Ultimately, with every enemy they faced, they were tasked with fighting an evil that threatened the earth. However, by day they were normal girls. It was both relatable and otherworldly, sparking the imagination of the kids who watched it. Sailor Moon is an ultimately great series for the generation that was infatuated with it. – Holly Detilleux
Avatar: The Last Airbender
As somebody who grew up without any influence of culture, my introduction to the world of anime came from the American-made Avatar: The Last Airbender. The three-season epic follows the story of a boy who has the power to unite a world that is divided into different kingdoms. With loads of action and cool elemental-based magic, it kept me entertained while also teaching me to question the government. Basically, it stood alone from other cartoons at the time because it had a well-developed plot that combined fantasy with real-world context. Years after the wonderfully put-together finale, the creators released a sequel, Korra, which only further encourages kids to question authority. The Avatar enterprise (excluding the horribly white-washed live action movie) is not only a great introduction to anime, but also helps shape young minds to think freely. – Maggie Schmidt
Digimon: Digital Monsters
In the realm of anime children’s shows about pets that fight battles for their human friends, Digimon: Digital Monsters was the ultimate show. Pokémon saw humans treating their pets like slaves, pitting them against each other in what was essentially glorified dog fights. Not exactly a good lesson to be teaching kids.
This is where Digimon proved it was the best. The kids in the show each had an animal friend that helped them navigate the DigiWorld, where the main characters find various evil Digimon who try to take over the world. With the help of their small DigiFriends, the group overcomes adversity. Each DigiFriend can evolve and devolve when they’re weak or strong, making them a lot more realistic than Pokemon, who just leveled up and then died. Overall, it was the best anime to teach kids about the value of friendship. –Kieran Chrysler
Dragon Ball Z
You know what made the Paranormal Activity movies scary? The waiting. You waited for like an hour and a half and listened to creaks and moans and that weird old computer sound until finally something really crazy happened and you jumped out of your seat, paralyzed in fear. That’s also why Dragon Ball Z was great. Hours upon hours of exposition and dialogue to eventually lead to a couple minutes of really intense buff dude fighting action. There isn’t a better superhero than Goku, either. The guy gave no fucks, but also gave a lot of fucks at the same time, if that makes any sense. He could absolutely destroy Superman. No doubt. – Cam Lewis
Cardcaptors of the Clow
“Wind, Rain, Shadow, Wood, Sword, Thunder, Power, Sleep, Cardcaptors of the Clow, Expect the unexpected now!” There you have just a couple of the lyrics to the Cardcaptors theme song that were stuck in my head for a good five years of my childhood.
The show was about Sakura, a young girl who accidentally opened the Book of Clow, unleashing all the mystical Clow Cards, each with their unique form and ability. Of course, she then had to hunt them down and seal them back into the book.
This show had everything — action, comedy, romance — and can we talk about how absolutely cute Li’s crush for Sakura was?! The whole show was the best. *Sighs* – Christina Varvis