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Top 10 US Anime Intros

The one thing I notice is that a lot of people got into Anime when they were younger with all the dubbed anime that aired on TV. Whether it aired on Cartoon Network, Fox Kids, The Kids WB, or where ever anime was huge on TV back in the late 90s early 2000s. Now a days there is less anime on TV especially the way we remember it. The one thing that always stood out to me about these TV dub anime were the intros to the shows and it was a different approach into getting kids into the shows. What we learn is that opening to anime always makes the show captivating to the audience to watch, sometimes the openings are better than the actual show. That is why I am taking a different approach counting down the best dub US anime intros. Now before we begin let me discuss the criteria on how I judged it. The first rule was it had to be on TV (easy enough), second was it had to be all in English (sorry to any intros that aired where it was in Japanese), third it had to be different from the Japanese in terms of translations and the intro had to be different from the Japanese meaning what they showed couldn’t be the same in the Japanese. Also this list is opinion base so if certain intros didn’t make the list or you don’t agree with the order voice your opinions in the comments below. Now let’s sit back and listen to the great Nostalgia of US anime intros in this Top 10 list.

 

#10 Cardcaptors

The intro itself pretty much keeping it short and simple with the basic part of the show being explained a young girl unleash a power and her quest is to find the cards and seal them away. It does do a good job setting up what cards are in the show and creating a very nice hook to the song, mix in with scenes from the show and you are all set.

 

#9 Yu-gi-oh! 5D’S

Now I love Yu-gi-oh! as it is one of my favorite shows growing up, I love all the different incarnations of the show but the weaker points were the intros. With the original and GX intros they were okay but not the greatest and that is until 5D’S. We all know when we first heard of 5D’S we were like “Cardgames on Motorcycles!!??” and to be honest I was like that to. But the show turned to be one of the best in the entire franchise. This intro has great music and great lyrics fitting the subject matter in the series. What makes this special was this was a fan voted intro; back in 2008 when 4Kids got the series they held a contest of 8 different songs that were going to be used as the intro for the show, the fans voted and the one with the most was going to pick and to no surprise this one. So not only we have a great song for a great series but we got a song picked by the fans.

*Set backwards to avoid copyright reasons*

 

#8 Medabots

While doing research for this list I came across the song on youtube and it seems like everyone loves this intro and the show. Now I remember watching Medabots as a kid and enjoying it but the intro never really stick. It me why they love it so much because it is actually really good, it just hits you right away with the announcer saying “MEDABOTS” It hits you with a ton a bricks and you know you are ready for quality. The song is pretty much what you expect from a show like this robots fighting, the Medafighters getting screen time, and of course the Medabots.

 

#7 Digimon Frontier

Like Yu-gi-oh! I loved Digimon it was pretty much the anime where you know this was going to be different from the rest. The story involved regular kids getting connected to digital companions to fight the forces of evil, in dove deeper getting to the emotional side of these characters and it holds up well. Now we all know the classic “Digimon Digital Monsters” intro from the first three seasons, though great I feel there was an intro stronger and it was the intro to the fourth season Digimon Frontier. Frontier tends to be the Black Sheep in the franchise because this time the characters become the Digimon instead of them having them as companions. With the intro it is actually really good, it goes for the different approach then what we were already use to the past 3 seasons. The intro has the sort of tribal feel to it as the characters are in a tribe of legendary Digimon and that this is a task they need to take in becoming them. Mix in a kick ass chorus, great balance of music, and scenes from the show you get the best in a Digimon intro.

 

#6 Shaman King

The best way to describe this intro is epic. If there was anything 4Kids did right with any of there shows was attempting to make them good with the intros. And this is no exception, this opening just says this is going to be good and for what it was it was pretty good. The music is fantastic, the lyrics are just awesome, plus they got Yoh’s voice actor Sebastian Arcelus to sing part of the song. Either way this intro comes out strong.

 

#5 Mew Mew Power

Okay another song from the 4Kid variety, I’ll guiltily admit I did watch this show when it first came out and it wasn’t all that bad even though I lost interest after half way into the series. But for whatever reason the theme song always stuck with me, and could not stop loving it. The song is just that good, I know it gets criticism for sounding like a Hannah Montana song but you cannot blame it for sounding like it after all the show is about teenage girls. The song was written and sung by musician Bree Sharp whose music has been use for shows like Dawson Creek, Charmed, Roswell and various others. This intro is no exception to being made with heart the song has a sweet innocent feel to it, tells you what to expect about five girls fighting space aliens with magic animal powers, and the best use of rhyme scheme like especially at 0:40 into the song if you don’t agree that is the best use of rhyming I don’t know what will. It is just a song that always puts a smile on your face every time I hear it.

 

#4 Beyblade

OH HELL YEAH THIS INTRO ROCKS. If there was anything that made show about spinning battle tops possess by animal spirit awesome it was this intro. Everything about this song rocks the music, the lyrics, the clips shown it merges together to make an epic sandwich that will always be awesome. This intro was use in all three seasons of Beyblade and it gets better every time you hear it. Now I do now of the reboot Metal Fusion series and there song they use it is okay but doesn’t hold up compare to the original. Metal Fusion does add a lot of sound effects to the later season intro which are cool but it distracts too much from the music. Still the original holds up much better and anyone will tell you that.

 

#3 Sailor Moon

I think anyone would put this in the top of best songs use in anime for TV. As this was one of the first anime I remember watching as a kid when it first came out. Yes I do know they sampled the original intro and you could say this is a translation but it really isn’t. The lyrics are different, the mood is different for the song, plus one thing that separates it from the Japanese is two words “Guitar Solo” and that alone separates it from the original. Mix in memorable lyrics plus beautiful images from the show you get one of the finest in anime intros. PS I do know they are rebooting it in 2013. HOORAY!!


#2 DRAGONBALL Z

OH YEAH YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. If there was anything that made Dragonball Z seem like a Testosterone driving, action pack, kick ass show it was this intro. Right away you are pumped you know this was going to rock. The heavy rock music amplifies the show’s level, the fighting in the intro makes it even more sweeter, throw in memorable lyrics which is just “Dragon Dragon rock the Dragon, Dragon Ball Z, come come get ready” you get yourself set for one of the best intros out there.

Now I am sure you can guess what number 1 is going to be but I want to throw an honorable mention an opening I would of put on the list; however, it was never use despite actually really good and that is the 4Kids We Are English version for One Piece. Believe or not 4Kids actually translated an English version of the first One Piece opening and marketed at a tradeshow. I am not sure why it wasn’t pick but I think it had to do with something about being too long or thinking kids won’t like it. Which is a shame because I love it and it should have been used over the you know what.

 

Anyways here is Number 1

 

#1. Pokemon

Okay no surprise here why this is number one. This intro is the definition of a great anime intro. Right away you hear it you know you are going to love this show and the song. From I want to be the very best to Gotta to Catch em all you feel complete. The adventure of a 10 year boy trying to be the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer is convey perfectly in the song and showing what Pokemon are and telling about the key elements of friendship on how you teach me and I’ll teach you. This intro will always be a testament of great intros in anime. Its memorable, everyone that watch it knows this song by heart, and will always have a great sense of nostalgia when they hear it.

 

That is my Top 10 list of US intros and if you like this list or feel there were intros missed or some should be higher than other voice your thoughts in the comments below.

Things That Annoy Snotsnit Issue 5: Mass Effect 3 Pain Is Temporary But Nostalgia Is Permanent

While conveniently titled as a “Things That Annoy Snotsnit” article, this is really just a chance for me to rant. I know I’ve written an article or two in the past about nostalgia, it’s pretty much my THANG (yes THANG), so don’t get on my case about it.

If you hadn’t noticed, the hot topic these days when it comes to video game journalism is debating/arguing with indignation over the ending to Mass Effect 3. I have yet to play Mass Effect 3 or even Mass Effect 2, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on it.

My opinion follows as such: YOU’LL GET OVER IT! Hence the title of my article “Mass Effect 3 Pain Is Temporary But Nostalgia Is Permanent”. Nostalgia is pretty permanent; years later we can remember the most random things from our past and just be in awe and reverence about them.

Like this for example:

Hey remember those Zelda CDI games? Or a better question is: do yo want to remember those Zelda CDI games? I do just for their sheer value in terms youtube poops, but most people do not. There is both joyful and painful nostalgia, and for most, the Zelda CDI games offer painful nostalgia.

Those CDI games had horrible plot, hilarious to some, horrible voice acting, hilarious to some, horrible gameplay, hilarious to some, horrible replay value, hilarious to some, horrible graphics, hilarious to some, basically everything is an example of the “your mileage may vary” trope. But you know what? We look at all the horrible stuff in these games, AND WE GET OVER IT.

Many are complaining about the ending to Mass Effect 3 making the other games in the series pointless, or at least contradicting the other games, to the point where articles upon articles upon articles are being devoted to this subject. There are other interesting things happening in gaming right now besides the ending to Mass Effect 3! FOR EXAMPLE, Xenoblade Chronicles just got released in America, you should all be playing that right now.

Again, you’ll all get over it. Soon there will be another game for you to praise/bitch about while someone else you know bitches about it/praises it and you will temporarily think them a hick who knows NOTHING about anything in life due to their opinion on this one narrow subject which you both happen to have an opinion on. Maybe you can both talk about the new Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter! That’s a great topic! Fun for all ages, NOT REALLY.

Specifically I speak to two people here at Ogeeku who I LOVE the crap out of:

Adam Thomas (His Grace Adam Thomas Of Nostalgialand, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm).


ADAM THOMAS

and

Jordan Groves (Lord Jordan Groves Of House Awesome).


JORDAN GROVES

These two guys have been fighting it out over this game for a little while now and they are both very passionate about it. I for one have had a discussion with Adam about it, one-sided mind you considering my general lack of any knowledge concerning the subject, and was surprised by the amount of thought he had invested into it. With Jordan Groves (who shall never be referred to as just “Jordan”), he invested the time into writing a 5,000 word article on the subject.

Never have people been so polarized over a subject! Oh wait…nevermind. People are always this polarized over subjects. Actually in the case of Mass Effect 3 it’s not really that polarized, most are claiming to be dissatisfied. But hey, welcome to entertainment! Entertainment sometimes lets you down! Duke Nukem Forever is a good example of that. There a lots of TV shows too that look to be great and then become POOP. Need examples? The Event, The River, Alcatraz, Whitney (not really), The Paul Riser Show (of course not), Outsourced (okay come on, just a few more so I can sustain this laugh I am currently having), Joey (okay I’ll stop).

The point is people will get over their dissatisfaction with the ending to Mass Effect 3 and move on to something else. It’s entirely possible that a Mass Effect 4 will be made! Maybe it won’t! If not, move on to something different. In the case of Adam may I suggest Xenoblade Chronicles to fill your numerous hours that would have been spent doing nothing now with countless hours wandering, fighting monsters, leveling up, doing side quests, and critiquing the odd British accents prevalent in the game. In the case of Jordan Groves may I suggest the hottest new game on the market: “Jordan Groves”. It’s like Alan Wake but staring Jordan Groves, a whole lot better, a whole lot less darker because nothing bad ever happens to Jordan Groves because he’s Jordan Groves, and a soundtrack done by Zombie Miles Davis because he owes Jordan Groves a few favors and is paying him back by doing a sprawling jazz soundtrack to this game featuring one chapter where Jordan Groves is required to complete the task, which reviewers have called: SPRAWLING, INNOVATIVE, and EXHILARATING, of finding the remote (btw another chapter involves Jordan Groves fighting off gun wielding IRS agents using his mastery of Gunkata also known as Gun Fu).

Moral of this article: Michael Eisen desperately wants the love of Adam Thomas and Jordan Groves. PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR LOVE *cries*

Nature vs. Nostalgia

Back when I was a young lad, everyone around me always seemed to be in a hurry to grow up. They all had such visions of a grand adulthood where nobody is your boss and the entire world is your sandbox. But I knew the truth – we kids had it good. Why would anyone want to grow up? “But Chris,” they’d say. “We’ll be able to stay up as late as we want!” “Yeah,” I’d reply, “in order to work a soul-crushing job to bring in a meager income.” “We’d be free to do whatever we want!” they’d argue.” “Yeah,” I’d retort, “and have a complex series of laws and social norms inhibiting our every move, coupled with the ever-present burden of responsibilities.” This would go on for a while, they they’d steal my juice box and I’d sit alone in the playground, wondering why I didn’t have any friends.


They are but ignorant fools, unaware that they scrabble about hopelessly, rushing towards a demise lacking in purpose or self-awareness. But, man, I was gonna drink that juice box.

I maintain that I was right, however, and as my generation uniformly enters its 20-somethings, it seems more and more people are agreeing with me. We had it good when we were kids. Everything was just *better.* The video games were more fun, the TV shows were more entertaining, and quandaries of a psycho-philosophical nature were few and far between. College kids all over the country play Pokemon emulators, and the outcry for 90s Nickelodeon was so strong, they finally caved and devoted an entire block of programming to it, rife with more ‘adult’ interludes pointing out the more PG aspects that we never understood as children. I unashamedly love every moment of it. My childhood is great, and I want to cling onto every video-game and TV show from that era as I can, because they are, in my mind, the absolute height of perfection. No amount of modern technology will be able to topple Ocarina of Time and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon from their pedestal within my heart, and no amount of writing and acting will ever push Hey Arnold, Keenan and Kel, Duck Tales and the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon to the sidelines.


Modern Warfare 3? No, sorry, I’m too busy blowing the dust out of my Goldeneye 64 cartridge.

Recently I was struck with a horrifying moment, however. While at my girlfriend’s house, we passed through the living room where one of her roommates was watching iCarly with her 10 year old son. Both son and mother were laughing, and exclaiming their enjoyment of the show, while I quirked my eyebrow in confusion – this trite wasn’t amusing at all. It was nauseating. This snobby girl goes around being arrogant and getting her way all the time while the most contrived and forced attempts at situational comedy got outbursts from the laugh track? It was at this point that the mother turned to me and said, “What show was she in before this? Drake and Josh, right? You must’ve been 10 yourself when that was on.” I had to explain, awkwardly, that the shows I watched when I was 10 have been off the air since before her son was born. Which, in turn, made me wonder – in another 10 years, would her son be lamenting the current generation of television shows, and watching bootleg episodes of iCarly on his holo-computer, cracking up at the marvelous reliving of his childhood? Were these old shows only wonderful to me because I watched them when I was 10, and all 10 year old kids are kind of morons? How much was legitimate entertainment value, and how much was Nostalgia, clogging my senses like a dense fog made out of gushers and Dunk-a-roos?



Thanks to these things, I can’t do math anymore.

I will attempt to present some arguments and counter-arguments on the matter. I hope you chime in with your own!

Argument: There was more at stake

There seems to be an extreme lack, to my knowledge, of children’s shows in which there is something major at stake these days. We had shows like Power Rangers, Transformers, and Sonic satAM in which there were clearly defined heroes and villains, and severe consequences if the heroes failed to overcome adversity. Ideas such as virtue, selflessness and sacrifice were explored in-depth, and tones often dipped much darker than anything we see nowadays. I couldn’t say exactly why this is, though perhaps it signifies a trend to shield our children from anything too ‘distasteful’ like failure or even the fear/threat of failure. The stakes are also much shallower; far more emphasis seems to be put on romantic relationships – which, in shows aimed at 10-15 year old kids, seems hardly relevant. More pressing childhood issues, such as social acceptance and genuine friendship, seem to be downplayed, with idolized characters like Hannah Montana being beautiful and popular, despite being consistently unpleasant to everyone around her in every episode I’ve seen of her show. Even old shows like Hey Arnold which never featured anything quite so important as the end of the world still managed to portray a feeling of grandeur and meaning, be it from escaping through the city while being chased by massive 5th graders seeking to stuff them into trash cans, or befriending a homeless war veteran who has achieved Batman-like myth status.

Counter-Argument: Who cares?

A lot of shows can still be funny without there having to be some impending threat or greater story-arc hanging over the heads of the characters. Keenan and Kel were never exactly paragons of society, nor did they do much of importance other than try to meet girls, get some quick cash, and partake in a veritable bounty of hijinks. They represent a comedic duality that has been around for ages and will likely continue to flourish for many generations to come. In a similar vein, shows like Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time are capable of tacking into that wacky and inane entertainment value that is truly humorous without worrying too much about making you think. It all comes down to the idea that there is no objective definition of art, and you have to take into account what the artist was actually aiming to accomplish – you can’t judge someone negatively for lack of plot continuity when that was never something they were aiming to have in the first place. In other words, don’t be a tool, they’re just kids shows. They don’t need to tap into the soul, they need to keep middle schoolers entertained enough that they don’t start dumpster fires instead.

Counter-Counter-Argument: Shows are afraid to be truly funny these days

One great thing about a lot of these old shows was that there was something for adults as well as for kids. In some cases, looking back as an adult, it seems mind-boggling that any part was considered for kids. Look at Ren and Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life – in any given episode, watched as 20-something as opposed to a pre-teen, there will be at least a handful of jokes that will make you spit out your tea, drop your monocle in shock, and exclaim, “egad, I watched this as a kid? How did I not see how perverse this was?” But that is what worked so beautifully: we DIDN’T notice, we weren’t horribly scarred, our minds weren’t warped into irreparable messes, and we (by and large) grew up just fine. There seems to be a lot of fear in the past decade or so – for a lot of justifiable reasons, I’m sure – that has led to parents wanting to shield their kids from any harm. Anything that can be construed as sexual is horrifying, especially to us Americans, even though it can be really, really funny. Truly deep humour will always require people to push the envelope a little bit, and explore with the edgy. Otherwise it’s going to be stale and contrived, and fall into a never-ending vortex where Leave it to Beaver is the height of zaniness.

Mac and Me

I received a call early yesterday afternoon from Justin, my good friend and partner in BrenMark. Usually when he calls, its either regarding something with our nonprofit or to relay a combination of nonsensical words – “Skittle puss meatloaf” being a common combination.


Basically indistinguishable.

However, he didn’t call to talk about our school program or kittens with blended meat products. Instead he said four words:


“Steve Jobs passed away.”

My heart wrenched.

‘Another great man had lost his bout with cancer’ was my first thought. Then I looked at my work desk – A Macbook Pro resting on a raised platform; a Mac Mini in front of me; and in my hand was an iPhone. The phone call ended and I began to reflect.

I hadn’t gone through a series of emotions so overwhelming and so fast in years.

If the man who had passed away hadn’t done what he had done, this website might not have been built, my filmmaking career may have never happened, and some of my earliest memories with my own father would have been drastically different.


Between the ages of 4 and 11, I would spend countless hours in my father’s office (he was an elementary school principal) playing on an Apple II while he buried himself in paperwork. I remember pulling out extra large and funny looking disks after being told to be extremely careful with them, and inserting them into a clunky slot.

“Swashbuckler”, “Oregon Trail” and designing things in “Print Shop” took up the majority of my days then, not only because they were fun to play, but because it had become my method of bonding with my father. We shared a common language. He would help me if I got stuck in a game, encourage me to create dirty/funny tombstones in Oregon Trail, and teach me design techniques for printing. It was summertimes spent in his office on an Apple II that to this day remain my most memorable childhood moments.


Together we made the most kick-ass banners you'd ever seen.

But there was a stronger common thread that was causing the news to hit me harder than most.

Both Steve and my father, Frank, passed away far too soon due to cancer. My father was 45 when he lost his battle with brain cancer – I was 19 at the time.


One of the last memories I have of him (before the cancer took full effect) was as I helped sort/pack up his office as he prepared to take his permanent leave to undergo treatments. I remember distinctly in the corner was his Apple II – a device neither of us had used in years. I remember thinking in that moment on the many days spent in the office stabbing pirates, traversing long distances, and designing cards for Mom. I realized that those days were long gone. We left the computer there.

And then I began to cry.

If it weren’t for Apple, I would have missed out on those moments I was able to have with my father. I would have never landed my first job in LA (“Macbook Pro required”). I would not be able to connect daily with my family, friends, fans, and loved ones in the way that I do now.

I wish that I could have thanked Steve Jobs for everything he had started and inspired while he was here. Thank him for perfecting a device that not only made work easier, but brought families (including mine) together.


In honor of Steve’s work, and to go down nostalgia lane as a means of saluting my father, I ran an Apple II emulator this past evening and broadcasted some “Swashbuckler” and “Oregon Trail” action. Thank you to everyone who joined me live and shared the moment with me.



Watch live video from Ogeeku Live! on Justin.tv

Do you have any Apple II memories? How has Apple impacted your life? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!