It’s Saturday morning. You wake up early despite not having school. You pour an enormous bowl of cereal. You plop yourself down in front of your television ready to partake in some animated greatness that is Saturday morning cartoons. There is quite a large selection of anime and you hum along happily to the English tunes.
Millennials have had such a wide variety of shared experiences from childhood. The wonderful feeling of anime that played on Saturday mornings in the late 90s and early 2000s is enough to sustain a sense of nostalgia when it is mentioned. At the time some of us didn’t know what we were watching was considered anime, but we loved it all the same. To this day we all love our anime openings and endings, but the catchy brilliance that were the English openings of these nostalgic anime will have you humming (or singing full out) to the tunes.
Here are 5 tunes you may have forgotten about.
Monster Rancher (Monster Farmer in Japan) aired on Fox Kids back in the day as apart of their Saturday morning block of animated shows. There were 73 episodes, several video games, and immense nostalgia. The anime followed a boy named Genki who was essentially today’s equivalent of a Monster Rancher esports professional. After winning a tournament, he wins a CD which eventually transports him into a world where the monsters in the game are real. Imagine being sucked into Kanto after you win the Pokemon World Tournament Championships!
Medabots (Medarot in Japan) aired on the Fox Kids from September 1, 2001 through November 2, 2002. It was also highly successful franchise in both Japan and America with a video game, manga and several spin off anime series. It follows a boy named Ikki who wants to become the champion of the fictional World Robattle Tournament (there is certainly a theme amongst early 2000s anime). He gets enough money to purchase an outdated model named Metabee who was pretty cool, honestly.
Beyblade (Explosive Shoot Beyblade in Japan) is another franchise that transcended across platforms. From manga to anime to toys, Beyblade had a lot of spin offs. The original anime followed Tyson who entered, you guessed it, a tournament called the Japan Regional Beyblade Qualifying Tournament. He then organizes a team with a cast of characters he meets at the tournament called the Bladebreakers who tour around the world competing in Beyblade tournaments.
Cardcaptors (Cardcaptor Sakura in Japan) may be the only magical girl anime listed here, but it was big for Saturday morning anime where Sailor Moon dominated as one of the few “girl” anime present on the mostly shonen scene. Adapted from a manga, the anime series followed a ten-year old girl named Sakura who releases a set of magical cards that she needs to retrieve. And who doesn’t remember singing the card names in the English opening!
Shaman King followed Yoh who is trying to train for the Shaman Fight so he can become Shaman King. Shamans are mediums between the world of the living and the dead. This is the one anime where the English opening is nostalgic, but the Japanese opening slaps hard as well.