Remember the old days? Times were bloodier, women were meeker, and MANLY men strode across the lands, showing off their toned muscles to one and all. Yes, this was the era of Fist of the North Star, a tale of a post-apocalyptic era where ugly villains seized power over innocent villagers, and where one man fights for justice. That man’s name was Kenshiro, lone inheritor of Hokuto Shinken, the Fist of the North Star, a powerful and deadly martial art that lets one paralyse or kill just by touching certain pressure points on the body.
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It’s a lazy Saturday morning and you can’t be bothered to do anything other than sit and watch whatever crap happens to be on TV. It’s a situation most of us have been at one point or another in our lives, and it is in these weak and lazy moments that the likes of Beyblade creep in. One minute, you’re a respectable anime fan who can hold your head up in the most pretentious of online communities, the next you’re watching a budget series with a cheesy English dub about boys who are so obsessed with spinning tops that they’re prepared to miss school in order to travel around the world entering tournaments. Yes, this is truly the dark side, the place where Beyblade awaits, and it is at this moment that I have to admit that yes, I have seen all 153 episodes of it, god have mercy on my soul.
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Ah, the good old days. Muscular men and bizarre lizard monsters facing off against each other for no good reason, posturing, powering up and trading punches, until a hundred episodes later (if you were lucky), the fight might just have ended. It was brainless, it was fairly ugly, and it was to inspire a near endless stream of copycats, but for many fans, Dragonball Z was to become the secret shame that they would carry with them as their introduction to the anime world.
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Play card games and you too can make hand gestures like this!
Remember back when you were a kid and everyone was into card games that had a direct bearing on the fate of the world? Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, I don’t remember those days either, but I do recall watching a certain anime about it. As the subject of my opening “Those Were the Days?” article, Yu-Gi-Oh will be the first of a handful of series to receive a (reasonably) good-natured grilling as I look back on the early days of my anime fandom.
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