For a big, and ever growing, segment of the population, anime is a totally normal thing, a part of pop culture and not a big deal. But to an even bigger (though, logic demands, ever shrinking) segment of the population, it’s referred to as things like “Japanime” or “Japanese cartoons”. However, there is some anime that is so ingrained in popular culture that people may not know it’s called “anime”, but they know what it is. Here now, after much careful (hahaha) research, are 8 Anime That Average People Are Most Likely Familiar With:
This was my jam! Combining three different pieces of anime (Macross, which became the first series, being the most enduring popular) into one series with three “chapters”, Robotec was on in the 80s and was beloved by young boys despite (also, because of) it’s stories very much focusing on the melodrama that is so prominent in so much anime. But the main characters drove jets/tanks/motorcycles that turned into mechs that they fought aliens with. So, that could really get you to look past even the cheesiest of love stories.
A late-night staple for years on channels that predominantly/entirely featured cartoon programming, there was a reason this was a “late-night” staple. It was one of the most graphically violent and sexual things most people who were staying up late, yet still watching a network dedicated to animated programming (teenagers), had ever seen. Bootlegged copies of this were passed around my high school every year I went, which was annoying because I never got my copy back.
Dragon Ball Z
Do you like watching characters scream with the expectation that they will eventually shoot balls of energy at each other? Than brother, this was the series for you and millions of other Americans. Even though it had all the references to death and sex taken out for the American localization, it still managed to be a big hit with the youngsters here.
The first huge success of the current generation of anime, Akira is not only well known in America, but is also considered hugely important and influential in Japan. It’s so good you can pretty easily get past the fact that it kind of doesn’t make sense. Also, after seeing it with friends you will spend weeks screaming “TETSUO!!!!!” and “KANAEDA!!!!!” at each other.
Pretty much everyone is familiar with idea of robot lions turning into a giant robot person, but that is about the end of their knowledge of Voltron. Which is good, because the show has aged about as well as mayonnaise left out in the sun.
The common theme with most of these shows is that the easiest way to reach a broad spectrum of pop culture is by making your product a Saturday morning cartoon. Also, I think Yu-Gi-Oh! had a promotional deal with Burger King, or something. As a show about characters battling each other with cards, it was pretty much thought up as a way to sell as much crap as possible to kids. And guess what? It worked!
Samurai Pizza Cats
Okay, fine. This one was a cult hit during it’s day, but it’s hardly a recognizable property for anyone who wasn’t obsessed with it in the early 90s (and if they weren’t familiar with it, they probably thought you were making fun of them by making up fake television shows). But this was the best. THE BEST! It actually had a sense of humor, a good one, not just loud and obnoxious. Think of this as the “Bonus” entry before the final, and most obvious, one…
Seriously, if you thought this final entry would be anything but Pokemon, you are on all the drugs. This show was such a hit when it came over the North America, my parents know what it is. MY PARENTS. I don’t think they know who Michael Jordan is, but they can correctly identify at least a few entries in the pokedex. Not that I has to point out what a giant success this show has been, you ding-dongs eat this stuff up.
Seriously, Samurai Pizza Cats, the best right? Let us know in the comments!