Childhood is a magical time in a person's life. A time far removed from the responsibilities, burdens, and other troubles of adulthood. A time, where some of the biggest problems you probably had are things like whether or not mom is making fried chicken for dinner, if you're gonna get one of those cool shoes that have wheels in their soles for your birthday, whether you'll be able to beat your friends in hide and seek and show them who's boss, and for the purposes of this post, fussing about anime shows that we all used to watch! I remember being in first grade, and being heavily invested this little unknown show called "Dragon Ball Z" and having arguments with my classmates during recess as to who is the show's most powerful character, and stupidly re-enacting their super-powered fights as our teacher scolds us and tell us to stop and listen to her discussion about nouns and vowels are or something. My point being, is that there were plenty of shows like these that were localized and came out in local channels during mornings and afternoons for kids to watch and unbeknownst at the time, absorb them into their memories of those blissfully innocent, and carefree times. There are quite a lot of shows that just managed to become part of our childhood, and for this post, I will be listing off some that personally stuck with me through the years.

A quick disclaimer though, this is far from being a "best of" list as I'm aware that there will be some pretty significant shows that came out in that time period of the 90's-2000's which aren't gonna be included. That's because as I've mentioned above, the shows included are shows I watched during those formative ages. Since then, I've managed to catch up on those shows, but I will refrain from including them as this post will revolve more around the nostalgic factor. But don't worry, I will for sure be making other content relating to that matter. So to kick things off, let's start with the first one on the list...

21. Ranma 1/2

"A girl is involuntarily engaged to a boy who turns female when hit with cold water and male when hit with hot."

Looking back at it now, this show probably asked a lot of gender-related self-inquiries that were just too complex for my young mind to fully comprehend. It pulled me in to the point where at times, I was kinda hesitant to bathe in cold water because I might turn into a girl...and also because I used to wake up at around five or six in the morning back then because school was a bit far away so I kinda always had to take a bath in hot or lukewarm water because I couldn't handle the cold back then. I remember it being pretty fun though, and was definitely one of my favorite shows to tune into.

20. Sailor Moon

"The magical action-adventures of a teenage girl who learns of her destiny as the legendary warrior Sailor Moon and must band together with the other Sailor Soldiers to defend the Earth and Galaxy."

I never really actively watched this show because well, it was just a little too girly for me, but I was still quite exposed to it because it was the favorite show of my sister, girl cousins, and pretty much every girl I was friends with back then, so it was practically impossible to avoid it. Not that I'm complaining though, as it was never really that bad. It's just that as a little boy, you would rather much stick with the badass, and hype-filled shows than the I guess, more fabulous and feminine ones. Although I've definitely learned to be more open-minded towards stuff, just so long as it's of good quality of course and will not leave me feeling like I just wasted my time watching it.

19. Mojacko

"The life of an ordinary boy named Sarao completely changes after he meets and makes friends with two stranded aliens who find themselves lost on planet earth. Sarao helps the two aliens to find a way back to their home known as the planet Moja only to find himself in a journey full of new adventures and an unseen world that is completely new to him."

You know what...I barely even remember what this show is all about, and pretty much couldn't recall its entire plot synopsis before looking it up on IMDB so I could paste that line of text above its image. But, I do remember being fond of Mojacko and his buddies because of how round and adorable they were. Even looking at that image alone sends some solid nostalgic waves through me. Their silly adventures were more than enough for me to enjoy a weekday morning or afternoon.

18. Fushigi Yuugi

"A girl named Miaka Yuuki and her friend Yui Hongo are taken into the book called The Universe of the Four Gods. There they battle many hardships including each other in order to become the priestess of Suzaku and Seiryuu and summon them. What they didn't expect was to fall in love and watch their comrades die."

I recall having a crush on this show's main character, Miaka. Which I guess isn't really that surprising when you're a young kid who's still in his formative years. I bet you've had your fair share of those during those years. This show happened to be quite decent though, it's filled with some interesting characters, and the Alice In Wonderland-esque premise, although is kinda played out, or doesn't seem that special now, it was compelling enough at the time, which did help give the show a unique charm.

17. Hunter X Hunter

"The history of Gon Freecs, a boy who left home alone to become a Hunter. In the hard test, Gon meets Leorio, Kurapika and Killua."

There are quite a few things in this list that I dreamed of becoming when I grew up back then, and becoming a "Hunter" was definitely one of them. The prospect of being a skilled badass is something every little boy would give anything to become. After watching some of it years later, I felt like I was remembering the show to be way better than it actually is, which is the case for a lot of shows that we saw when we were little. That being said, it's still nostalgic for me overall, from the characters, to the openings. I'm still quite fond of it after all these years.

16. Inuyasha

"Inuyasha is a half-demon who was trapped in the Legendary Tree and was set free by Kagome, a girl who traveled 500 years through time. This time, both of them will have to face Menomaru, a Chinese demon whose father, known as Hyoga, came 300 years ago to invade Japan, but was stopped by InuYasha's Father. InuYasha and Kagome, along with Sango, Miroku, Shippou, Kaede and Myoga, will try to stop Menomaru in his becoming the most powerful demon ever."

The world which this anime was set in was something I've definitely never seen before in a show at the time, and was the biggest reason why I got into it. The characters, like Kagome and Inuyasha were interesting and endearing. The show itself was okay, but at times got kinda boring to be honest, but again, this list is more about the sheer nostalgic factor of the shows than its quality, which with this show, happens to still be strong for me personally. Which is why I chose to include it.

15. Crayon Shin-chan

"It follows the adventures of the five-year-old Shinnosuke 'Shin' Nohara and his parents, baby sister, dog, neighbours, and friends."

I remember this show being controversial back then because of its crass qualities and how some of my friends actually got told by some of their parents to stop watching it. It was quite hilarious though and even looking at some episodes now, it's still entertaining. Specially with one of my favorite local rappers at the time, Andrew E. voicing the show's focal character.

14. Cyborg Kuro-chan

"Kuro is a cat who looks his elderly owners. One day he is captured by a scientist who turns him into a cyborg to be used in an army. Kuro leaves and returns home to continue living as a normal cat despite his new appearance and abilities."

Listing this one after "Crayon Shin-chan" is intentional because these two shows came out around the same time and I recall being really confused and always mixing the two shows up because of how similar their names were. Although in terms of what they are about and how they look, they are quite different from each other. I used to draw Kuro-chan and his robotic buddy Mii all the time and had it down perfectly because of how simple, yet memorable their designs were. The Filipino dub that it came out with was also pretty wacky, and added a ton of fun to it.

13.  Doraemon

"About Doraemon, a future cat like robot who come to change the life of Nobita with his extraordinary item."

Back then, I used to wish I was in Nobita's place or had a Doraemon of my own so we could go on adventures using whatever gadgets he would conjure out of his magical front-pouch. I would also show those kids who always bully Nobita who's the man and actually stand up to them--preferably with the help of Doraemon and his devices. Hahaha.

12.  Detective Conan

"The cases of a detective whose physical age was chemically reversed to that of a prepubescent boy but must hide his true mental development."

Another one of those "Oh wow, that kid is so cool! I wanna be just like him!" shows. It's hilarious, and suspenseful at times. It also happens to be quite thought-provoking, and had a great feel of giving its viewers time to think about the mysteries along with its main characters. Fantastic stuff.

11.  Cardcaptor Sakura

"Sakura stumbled upon the book of Clow Cards in a library. Accidentally setting the magical cards loose, it's now up to Sakura to catch them all with her best friend Tomoyo, and Kerberos, the guardian of the cards."

Okay, so this one I actually followed for a little bit. Not because of the enchanting and magical sequences that were a staple all throughout the show, although those were admittedly a treat to watch, but because I was intrigued by the concept of having cards that contained magical powers which one could manifest and put into use. And also the scavenger-hunt aspect of it that also made me love the next show I will be listing off so much...

10.  Digimon

"A group of young teens is unexpectedly sent to the mysterious Digital World and paired up with their own powerful, morphing monster called the Digimon. Together the entire group set out on an adventure to fight evil and save the world."

Although dubbed as being a ABS-CBN's weak answer to GMA's "Pokemon", I still found this show and its character designs totally cool. Looking at its designs still evokes some strong feelings of nostalgia. I used to have some figures of the monsters, with my favorite being Agumon, which I guess, is this show's Pikachu, but was never really as adorable or iconic. And unfortunately, it's one of those shows you'd be better off not revisiting when you're grown up.

9.  Voltes V

"Chronicles the Voltes Team and Camp Big Falcon's defense of Earth from the invading Boazanian Empire, Beast Fighter by Beast Fighter, as well as a simmering civil war within planet Boazan itself, long under the brutal caste-system rule of Emperor Zu Zambajil, between the horned elite and the hornless commoners."

Probably the most iconic anime to ever come out in our country. Because while it left quite an impression on young kids like me and others from my generation, it also did so towards those much older than us years, maybe even decades before, as we werre actually watching reruns at the time. The show came out originally around the late 70's or early 80's, which happened to be the middle of Marcos' rule and did you know? That it was actually banned during those times because of how it was perceived as a national symbol of resistance against the isolationist Marcos regime? I just learned that while looking this show up, really fascinating stuff, and glad that in the end, we were all able to still watch it after overcoming those challenging times.

8.  Hajime No Ippo

"Makunouchi Ippo is an ordinary high school student in Japan. Always a target for bullying at school, Ippo's life is one of hardship. One of these after-school bullying sessions turns Ippo's life around for the better, as he is saved by a boxer named Takamura. He decides to follow in Takamura's footsteps and train to become a boxer, giving his life direction and purpose. Ippo's path to perfecting his pugilistic prowess is just beginning."

Now, this is a show that I actually re-watched recently, and ended up even loving it more! It does get a bit repetitive though the more you watch it as the show tends to follow a routine comprised of Ippo getting a new opponent, him having to study and learn that guy's strength and weaknesses and how to adjust or learn something new to defeat that guy. Rinse, and repeat. But that being said, it is still rather good and does offer something special and with each arc. Ippo and the show's supporting cast of characters are a likeable and interesting bunch, and get nicely developed as the show goes on, specially our main guy, as it is after all a coming-of-age tale as well. Its plot doesn't really deviate that much from what might be your standard sports anime, but where it truly shines is in its script that for some reason, manages to pull something new and fresh each time to the point that as I've said, each arc still feels quite special and exceptional. Truly a good show, and most definitely one of the greatest sports anime's of all time.

7.  Rurouni Kenshin

"The adventures of a young wandering swordsman who stumbles upon a struggling martial arts school in Meiji era Japan."

"Rurouni Kenshin" or locally known as "Samurai X" was always a favorite of mine, while I haven't really seen it in my adult life, I still remember it quite fondly and how massive of a fan I used to be of it. I remember liking it so much because of how good I found its storyline and characters to be, at least back then. It has a good mix of story, romance, mystery, romance, and of course, action, all rolled into one series!  Each character has a history and the show takes time to actually show their background and develop them nicely, making them all the more interesting. I look forward to watching it again in the near future. I just hope I was right about it being good.

6. Flame of Recca

"In modern Japan where the way of ninja is still practiced secretly, Recca discovers that he has a power to manipulate fire. Eventually he meets people who also has strange power, and he soon has to overcome his past and face his destiny."

Not only does it have one of my favorite opening songs of all time, its martial arts, fantasy elements and its cast of compelling characters was a pretty good mix. Plus it had a great storyline to back, which had so much history going for it going back hundreds of years. It's a top-notch show, albeit it never really got finished unlike its manga counterpart.

5.  Slam Dunk

"About Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman of Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team because of the girl he has a crush on, Haruko. Although he is newbie in this sport, he is no ordinary basketball player."

My favorite sports anime of all time, "Slam Dunk" not only because this show helped in developing my love for basketball as a whole, but also because it is such a damn good show! Each character has a different background which show wonderfully portrays, and does a great lead-up towards them working together and learning how to finally play on the same team and beat everyone on the court with incredible plays and moves and learning about one another. It has a lot of heart, it's hilarious, and quite certainly entertaining.

4. Yu Yu Hakusho

"One day, 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi suddenly finds himself dead, having died pushing a child out of the way of oncoming traffic. Since he has such a bad personality, even the Spirit World was caught by surprise that he would sacrifice himself. Yusuke soon finds out he wasn't supposed to die and has a chance for resurrection and bringing his body back to life. After being resurrected, Yusuke becomes a Spirit Detective, along with his comrades, and one adventure after another happens, whether it be an investigation or a fighting tournament."

I don't know if this was the first show I've ever seen, but I recall it being one of the very first things to introduce me to the world of anime and how years and years later, I would've watched hundreds, maybe thousands of hours comprised of various different shows. I'm actually even watching this right now while writing this post and it turns out to be rather decent which is nice! It packs a lot of action, humor, drama and even hints of romantic elements.

3.  Pokemon

"The adventures of Ash Ketchum and his partner Pikachu, who travel across many regions in hopes of being regarded as a Pokemon master."

Who didn't want to be the very best like no one ever was? Who didn't want to catch them because it's your real test, and because to train them is your cause?? Pokémon, is most certainly one of the biggest entities of all time and have been in most people's attention span for more a little over thirty years now. From the original Gameboy games which started it all, to the show that I've included in this list, to the almost countless amounts of other games, shows, and other forms of media that just never ceases to come out either annually or even every few months or so and just continue to sell like hotcakes. Hell, I haven't even mentioned the phenomenon that was "Pokémon Go" that took over everyone who had a smartphone for a while. That being said. The show, or at least, the original series was such an integral part of introducing the Pokémon brand to kids back in the early 2000's. It's such an iconic franchise that if you just randomly played the original show's theme song, chances are, people will recognize it. Maybe even sing along to it.

2.  Naruto

"Follows the struggles of three young ninjas - Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno - as they go through their training."

Number two on this list is the show that chronicles the story of Naruto and his quest towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a great Hokage, along with his other ninja friends as they go through countless obstacles and challenges in order to defeat their enemies for the greater good. But of course, not everything is that black and white and there is definitely more to it than that.

The show is comprised with a lot of characters, most of which get their time on the spotlight and receive some development, while others, do not. The story is compelling enough with the amount of history and depth it has going for it, although in practice, there are some parts later on that suffer from severe pacing issues, a part of the reason why I stopped near the beginning of "Naruto Shippuuden" and why I'm only listing the original series in this post. A lot of its appeal I believe, has always sprung from its characters, their relationship towards each other and how they progress through time, as well as the cool powers and how it at times, lead to some pretty epic scenes. There is also the overarching plotline of each nation's relations regarding their respective history with each other and politics which was also interesting. Overall, it's still a pretty decent show. At least I can say that much for the original series as I haven't seen a single episode in about six or seven years. I am thinking about looking for some fan-cuts of it that just removes all filler content because that might be a better watch. After all, not only is this show about ninjas doing ninja stuff number take the second spot in this list, being a ninja of my own also happens to be in second place of what I've always wanted to be when I was a kid. Of course, with number one being the final, and first place on the list...

1. Dragon Ball Z

"After learning that he is from another planet, a warrior named Goku and his friends are prompted to defend it from an onslaught of extraterrestrial enemies."

The definition of classic, badass anime for a lot of folks, "Dragon Ball Z" was probably the single anime to introduce the concept of your standard shonen show as well as lay the foundation for it. And without the slightest hint of a doubt, my number one anime for this list. As I've just said, I've always, always wanted to become a Super Saiyan. I mean, who didn't?! To be able to fly around, teleport towards places in the blink of an eye, have a sickass hair that just evolves the more I powered up, and of course, to be able to release tremendous amounts of glowing energy from my hands in order to protect the world and defeat the enemy!

The show although relatively good in a lot of parts, is quite notorious for its horrible pacing. In fact, when I tried re-watching some of it a couple of years back, I just found it quite boring and quit watching almost immediately. Every fight lasts about twenty episodes where multiple of those are just characters looking over a dead character's body and having conversations that drag on for too long, it took Goku like, three of four episodes just to charge the Spirit Bomb for fuck's sake. How ridiculous is that? Hahaha. I'm kind of wondering now how I ever sat through this show back then. But then again, this isn't a list about quality. It's about nostalgia. And "Dragon Ball Z" is the strongest in that department.

And with that folks! This post draws to and end! This was probably the most difficult one to make so far because of how challenging it was to recall what would've been included in the list in the first place, plus to track down images from each show, research them for a bit, and then come up with those brief thoughts I included after listing down each show. That being said! This has also been tons of fun to make, I really hope you enjoyed reading along and maybe even taking a trip down memory lane! This is a subjective list so I'm aware there might be shows you love that I've omitted from the list. Let me know what they are!

Check out my social-network accounts for more cool stuff!