Kinomiya Takao is a young boy whose passion is Beyblade. A game in which players compete against each other using spinning discs. Takao dreams of becoming a Beyblade champion and together with his friends forms a team called BBA. Together they travel around the world, taking part in various tournaments where they face various challenges. During their adventure, they meet another talented player called Hiwatari Kai, who later joins BBA. As the series progresses, Takao and his team develop their skills, learn values such as friendship and aiming for goals, as well as face increasingly powerful opponents.
Table of Content
- Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Audiovisual Design
- Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Plot and Characters
- Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Evaluation and Summary
- Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Gallery
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Audiovisual Design
As for the visual quality, it was quite good for me. Especially if you take into account that this was one of the first series produced using digital composition and coloring. The battle scenes involving disks were enjoyable to watch. A lot of tricks were used here to give dynamics, which worked wonders. The level of detail of the whole thing was satisfactory. Plus the strongly distinctive character design.
There were episodes where you could see a significant drop in detail and animation quality. However where it mattered, care was taken to ensure that everything looked reasonably high-quality. It’s certainly not the prettiest series of those years that I’ve seen, but the visuals were really pleasing to the eye.
In the main roles, basically the veteran actresses themselves (whom newer fans are unlikely to recognize). Takano Urara, Hisakawa Aya, Kumai Motoko and Orikasa Ai. All in male roles, which is nothing new, as it is common to use women in the roles of young boys. In my opinion, this is a very good solution. Fighting Spirits, the opening track performed by system-B gave the atmosphere. The soundtrack, on the other hand, consisted of orchestral arrangements straight out of space battles in the mecha series. I’m not some big fan of soundtracks in this style. I also can’t say that something like this didn’t fit Beyblade though.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Plot and Characters
Beyblade was actually the only anime I watched on TV back in the days when I had not yet gotten into the subject more seriously. Of course, on Polish TV there was a version butchered, censored and cut by the Americans. The consequence of this was only visual censorship. The entire translation was massacred twice, along with the names of the characters or the completely changed opening and ending. Nostalgia is nostalgia, but I myself am not one of those people who are blinded by it. I have been planning to do a rewatch for some time now. Especially since I only remembered minor details from my childhood. Therefore, this time I saw no other option than to watch the original. It was a strongly different, way better experience.
A quick look at the plot
Kinomiya Takao is a young boy whose passion is Beyblade, a game in which players compete against each other using spinning discs. Takao dreams of becoming a Beyblade champion, and after some incidents in his immediate neighborhood, he forms a team with his friends with the goal of winning a world tournament. They start by qualifying in an Asian tournament held in China.
Takao, meanwhile, discovers that his disc has a certain part where Seiryuu resides. One of the four mythical beasts, guardians of the heavens. It quickly becomes apparent that he is not the only one. Kai has Suzaku, Rei has Byakko, while Max has Genbu. This motif is also used in other series or games – I wrote about it in my Xenoblade 2 review. Of course, I probably don’t need to mention the fact that all this has been censored and changed in the version we knew from television. Anyway, this is not only a problem with this particular series.
These beasts play a key role in battles and contribute strongly in terms of character development.
What the series is about
BBA team begins their adventure in Japan, but they quickly travel to China, then to the US. The next step was a tour through Europe. The finale of their journey is Russia. In each country, in addition to fighting in tournaments, there are situations in which the characters have to face their own weaknesses. There is no shortage of episodes with everyday situations that strengthen the bonds between the characters.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Characters
Takao is a typical shounen hero who acts first, thinks later. However, this does not mean that he doesn’t learn from his own and others’ mistakes. The situation is similar with the other BBA members. Manabu (Kyouju/Professor) is the brains behind the entire technical side of the team. Kai is a typical shounen tsundere, while Rei is the character showing the most sense and balance.
Each location they go to – or rather, the events taking place there result in noticeable character development. The diametrically different attitudes to the sport of the players from different parts of the world help them understand themselves more. They also reaffirm their belief that strength lies in the team, not the individual. Beyblade is, after all, the quintessential nakama power series. The Japanese and Chinese players are characterized by a commitment to traditional values and a spiritual connection to their beasts and friends. Americans bet everything on technology and statistics. Europeans fight exclusively solo while continuing the traditions of their families. Any way you look at it, the creators had accurate observations.
Bakuten Shoot Beyblade (2001) – Evaluation and Summary
Despite the fact that, generally, I’m not fond of this type of series, a lot of naivety or strongly stretched some plots – the whole thing was surprisingly pleasant to watch. It was nice to return to it, but I would rather not be able to recommend it to a person who had nothing to do with Beyblade before. I myself re-watched the whole thing solely out of nostalgia and the fact that I was served a maximally damaged version when I was a kid. If you have good memories of this title and are wondering whether it is worth watching – go ahead and watch. Especially since you now have the opportunity to watch the original.
Which translation do I recommend to watch (2001)
- SquareSubs – A good translation, which I can, however, complain about in a few places. The first episodes are clearly not as good. From about episode eight onward, the level of translation improves. In later episodes there are a few inconsistencies. For example, in one sentence Byakko Team is used in another White Tigers. Obviously, given the overall translation, Byakko Team should be used everywhere. There were also typos in names in a few places. But this is more nitpicking about details.