Classic Toonami – [Bri] Geeks Out

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Today is the 20th anniversary of the premier of Reboot! I was a child in the late 90s and early aughts and I raced home every day to watch Toonami with my brother. Toonami has changed a lot in the last couple of decades, switching hosts a handful of times and moving from an afternoon, after-school block to the more mature, evening Adult Swim block. Now, with the magic of streaming web services, we have access to all of the old shows that used to (and still do) make me GEEK OUT.

5. Tenchi Muyo

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I can’t even begin to describe how much time I spent watching Tenchi Muyo, and I’m still not sure what on earth flipping even happened. It’s is a classic harem anime where Tenchi is surrounded by a bevy of women with wildly different personalities, and yet somehow every single one of them is in love with him. It’s like Love Hina, but with SPACE and ALIENS and PEOPLE MADE OF WOOD BARRELS. I’ve seen the DVDs, and let me tell you: the Toonami version was heavily edited due to mature content. So proceed with caution.

If you want to facepalm while being thoroughly entertained, this is the anime for you.

 

4. Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT…

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Hi. Yes. Duh. Do you even Dragonball, bro?

The Dragonball saga(s) span a couple generations of characters, we’ve got dads meeting moms having kids who have more kids and sometimes there’s time travel. And every single one of these character kicks some serious butt. You can bet your boots that over 9,000 hours of my youth were spent watching multi-episode-long battles. I especially loved when they dropped all pretense and just had characters duke it out in a tournament . And, seriously, there are more episodes than you can shake a monkey tail at.

Want it dubbed? Want it subbed? Both are available on Hulu for streaming.

 

3. Reboot

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This computer-animated series is such a bizarre concept and makes me so uncomfortable about beating computer games. Sentient beings populate your computer, and they take on the roles of NPCs when you play a game. And if you kill or beat an NPC these sentient computer beings DIE. Or have their code erased, I suppose.

My favorite story arch involves the lead characters getting lost in the internet and growing older while hopping from game to game.

Reboot was the first regularly scheduled computer-animated show. The fact that it’s now twenty years old completely blows my mind. It feels appropriate to call this show revolutionary.

 

2. Batman: The Animated Series

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This is easily the best animated series to come out of America in the 90s. Well, at least the best one intended for kids. Batman: The Animated Series is good enough to hold up years after its run completed. The voice acting and writing is top-notch. I mean, Mark Hamill as The Joker. Film noir storytelling.

Just try and tell me that the intro alone doesn’t give you FEELINGS.

 

There’s this theory that most actors are great at playing Bruce Wayne or great at playing Batman, but no one is great at both. The animated series definitely proves that there’s at least one exception to the rule.

 

1.  Cowboy BeBop

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How do I love Spike Spiegel? Let me count the ways…

Jazz music, intrigue, thieves, bad dudes, complicated crazy relationships and ramen. Cowboy Bebop has something for everyone. Sure, Faye’s outfit makes me think of horrible PVC chaffing, but this show was the besssssssst.

See you, Space Cowboy…

 

Three, two, one, let’s jam.