What was the very first anime you’ve watched?
An avid anime fan should have more than one in mind by now that excludes those animation created by the west.
You’ve heard of this more than once but it’s still worth mentioning: Anime is not cartoons.
And for those who grew up spending a lot of time watching anime (like me), spotting the difference comes in naturally.
Cartoons are the animation produced by westerners while anime is a term exclusively used for Japanese animation.
Our childhood cartoon experience may have involved the cute and bubbly Powerpuff Girls, Extreme Ghost busters, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while anime are those which this post is all about.
Below are 11 of the oldest anime that has invaded and succeeded in Philippine television. Let’s take a short break and look back to those who started the anime revolution in the Philippines!
1. Voltes V
Enemies know they run out of luck when the five robots of Voltes V start to combine to form one magnanimous, awesome robot that kicks off all of its enemies.
Prior to the rise of the modern day mecha anime series like the Gundam series (i.e. Gundam 00) there’s Voltes V and the Armstrong family who first set the bar of what it’s like to pilot a robot.
The comparison between Daimos and Voltes V is inevitable as they belong to the same anime genre. But while while Voltes V has the family issue as one of its story’s fuel, Daimos has its love-against-all-odds story between Richard and Erica.
And who doesn’t watch love stories? (I like the tragic ones. You?)
You can call it the typical hero-villain story. Just like Justice League fighting against those monstrous evil antagonists set on destroying planet earth.
But compared to our hunks and badass Justice League heroes, Sailormoon’s got a group of lovely, innocent-looking high school girls who wears skimpy tops and skirts and don’t even know basic karate!
…and still wins anyway…
Oh! And don’t forget Mamoru and the guys…..they’re among the reasons why Sailormoon’s got a solid female fanbase.
4. Ghost Fighter
Even before we get to love our modern day anime detectives like Conan Akutagawa, there was this group of supernatural detectives who covered areas of investigation related to the supernatural world (i.e. ghosts and demons).
If Taiwan’s Meteor Garden series brought the first popular male group in Philippine T.V. in the person of F4, Ghost Fighter owned the anime realm when it comes to anime male favorites.
So, who’s your bet? Eugene (Yusuke Urameshi), Alfred (Kazuma Kuwabara), Vincent (Hiei) or Dennis (Kurama)?
5. Dragon Ball
The longest-running series among the ones included here on the list and perhaps the most unforgettable one up until the present…
Dragon Ball is the anime that introduced villains after villains who turns out to be stronger and more deadly than the one before them. And there’s our favorite Goku who’s the epitome of kindness and serenity contrast to Vegeta who set the standards of the above average villain in the anime kingdom.
Actually….it’s so hard not to get piqued by Dragon Ball’s plot – no matter how supernatural and out of the universe it may be….anime fans will understand..(and even those who belong to the not-so-fan category but watched the series..)
6. Shoukoushi Cedie
Or locally known as Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe is ABS-CBN’s first attempt to introduce anime on Philippine T.V. and one which received very good feedback from the viewers.
Cedie’s life as a kid before and after he went to England to live with his grandfather touched human emotions like no other anime did. It’s a highly relatable story loved both by kids and their nannies.
7. Princess Sarah
Filipinos, though not all, just love rags to riches story. It’s apparent on our local teleseryes (Filipino television series).
Princess Sarah captured the full cycle of a rick kid who went broke and then who ended up rich again by the help of some relative who was looking for her all those years.
Princess Sarah’s also became a good role model of character – especially of kindness and humility among kids. The anime was so popular that a local live adaptation was even filmed – and became a hit eventually.
8. Fushigi Yugi
I can’t forget that moment when I first saw Hotohori with his hair drawn loose. Like Miyaka, I also thought he was a girl.
That was the first experience I’ve had with anime. Though not really for kids (which I never realized before), Fushigi Yugi contains a nice, gripping story about friendship, love and betrayal that makes fans empathize with the characters.
And for teens, nothing beats a love triangle (or square, or irregular) story among two normal teenage girls (who happen to be best friends) and a kind, handsome guy like Tamahome.
And don’t forget Hotohori on the recipe….and Nuriko….and well, the story just gets interesting second after second.
9. Hunter X Hunter
A grand anime treat about friendship and adventure is what makes Hunter X Hunter a sweetheart for anime fans of all ages.
If Ghost Fighter have a group of cool teenage, half-demon male detectives, Hunter X Hunter has a group of mixed personalities and ages – the cute adventurous Gon who’s in search of his father; the killer prodigy of the Zoldik clan; Killua, the lone survivor of the massacred ‘red eye’ tribe; Kurapika and the aspiring doctor/surgeon, Leorio.
In fact, the series became a hit that GMA 7 gave it a time slot on evening shows in between major drama series.
10. Flame of Recca
Magical fire dragons, weapons, and series of battle competitions, are trademarks to the anime series Flame of Recca.
Who would forget the century-old brotherly feud between Recca and Korei and the former’s servant-like devotion to protect Ms. Yanagi? And who would dare miss Recca’s friends Aira, Max, Deilan, and Ana?
The story might be linear – gearing towards a single goal. But the battles and revelations along the way are awesome,and fans love it!
Before Dear Boys and the recent anime basketball installment Kuroko no Basket (Basuke) wowed fans on its awesome basketball play and extraordinary skills of its players, even before Seirin and the Generation of Miracles are garnering more and more attention from the public, there was Shohoku and Sakuragi and his epic fail basketball moves to impress the love of his life, Haruko.
It was Slamdunk who first introduced the beauty of sports in anime. And since Philippines is known to be a country who loves basketball, it’s not a surprise that Slamdunk received warm welcome even from those non-anime superfans.
The variety of characters and teams that the series offered attracted a lot of fans who have their own teams to root for.
I’m a solid team Rukawa (Shohoku). How about you?
There are a lot of old anime series that I missed on this list and I hope Filipinos who happen to bump on this post will be kind enough to share their own list of old anime series.
I’m born in 1993 so I’m not so acquainted with the anime that come prior to that. If you’re a Filipino (and older than I am) I challenge you to bare your list on our comments below!
If you’re living on a different country (other than the Philippines) bare your own list as well and let’s take a glimpse of how anime invaded your country!
I’m excited to hear from you guys so go ahead and drop your list on our comments! (and of course, don’t forget to indicate your country!)