Ranma ½, Time Quest, and Other Old-School Anime Series Only Hardcore Fans Would Know
How many of these do you remember?
Anyone who has ever grown up in the ‘90s knows Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Ghost Fighter, but there are other titles that deserve to be remembered with great fondness as well. Here are some of them:
The series revolves around Hayato and Yumi, two ordinary students who are transported back to centuries old Baghdad through a talking-kettle-slash-time-machine. There, they end up meeting a crazy cast of characters, including Abdullah, a sorcerer determined to kidnap the beautiful Princess Shalala, Prince Dandarn, and Aladdin. If these names don’t sound familiar, at the very least, the show’s catchphrase, “Lilipad, lilipad, takureeee!” is sure to jog your memory.
“Vajura on! Vajura on!” No one had any clue what these lyrics in the show’s opening really meant, but they were enough to get every ‘90s kid racing home. When shrine maiden Chiaki is attacked at her family’s shrine, she ends up using the Bracelet of Protection to unseal a demon god called Zenki from his sepulcher. While their relationship doesn’t exactly get off to the right start -- it was Chiaki’s ancestor who sealed Zenki in in the first place -- they do find themselves working together to save people from the “binhi ng kadiliman,” fruits of possession that attach themselves to hosts with strong desires.
Magic Knight Rayearth
Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi were just three regular girls on a field trip to Tokyo Tower when a blinding flash of light transports them to the magical land of Cephiro. There, they find out that they have been summoned by Princess Emeraude to save the land from High Priest Zagato. Clef, a mage, acts as their welcome committee, bestowing upon the trio elemental powers they can use to battle their enemies along the way. Despite the fact that many of the names in the series are names of car models -- Cephiro (Cefiro), Zagato, Clef -- it became one of the most popular shows in the Philippines. P.S. If the artwork looks a bit familiar, that’s because the anime was created by CLAMP, the same group that produced another Pinoy favorite: Cardcaptor Sakura.
When Colleen saves magical pig Binky Arnold III on her way to school, he grants her the power to transform into a superhero. The catch: Instead of turning into a pretty magical girl, she turns into a magical pig. Still, not all hope is lost. For every good deed Colleen commits, she earns a pearl, and if she manages to collect 108 pearls, she gets to become the pretty magical girl she’s always wanted to be.
All Yaiba has ever known is samurai training so when he is sent to modern Japan for the first time, he doesn’t waste time getting into trouble. He gets into a duel with Takeshi, a high school student who, after stumbling across an ancient artifact called the Devil Wind Sword, becomes the Devil Wind Incarnate. Joining Yaiba in his fight against Takeshi is Sayaka, a high school student, and Kagetora, his tiger companion.
While training in the mountains of China, Ranma and his father, Genma, fall down the cursed springs of Jusenkyo, each of which transforms them into the form of the creature who once drowned in said spring when they’re doused with cold water. The effect is reversed when they are drenched with hot water. Ranma, as the name implies, ends up falling in the spring of a drowned girl, while his father falls in the spring of a drowned panda. And if that isn’t complicated enough as it is, Ranma finds himself betrothed to Akane, one of the daughters of his father’s friend. With a rich storyline and an interesting cast of characters, it’s no surprise that Ranma ½ is still a favorite after all these years.
Omi, Aya, Ken, and Youji are florists by day and trained assassins by night. They serve under the command of an underground organization called Kritiker that aims to stop organized crime in Tokyo. While each one has his own motivation for joining the group, it is Omi, the youngest of them all, who has deeper connections to the organization, although he doesn’t discover that well until halfway through the series.
Back in the day, it was quite easy to get sucked into a series even without having seen the first episode. While most of them had an overarching plot, the characters’ day-to-day adventures were usually enough entertainment, as was the case for Slayers. The series follows a powerful sorceress named Lina Inverse on her journey to accumulate more money and treasure. Things take a different turn when she encounters an artifact that could potentially revive a demon lord. She is accompanied by Gourry, a wandering swordsman, Zelgadis, a sorcerer, and Amelia, a priestess as well as a princess.
Main photo by Marlo Adriatico.