Not sure why, but lately I’ve been on a tv nostagia trip. Cartoons from my childhood to be exact. I recently spotted a few various shows online as well as seeing a few on late night tv. Some I look back on with fond memories of hurrying into the living room after school or on a Saturday morning to watch my favorites be it colorful ponies or giant robots or super heroes. Sure many of them were usually geared towards pushing toys onto the children of the 80s, but I knew at an early age that my parents were not about to run out to buy the latest toy so I merely watched and enjoyed without thinking about the toy lines. Some of these are still watchable.
Others I have caught though, I admittedly cringe and wonder how I ever thought they were entertaining. In the 80s, many cartoons fell victim to the watchdog groups of the time who complained that cartoons were too violent and offer no educational value. Why can’t a kid just be entertained without their heroes at the end spewing out stuff their parents should be teaching them anyways. Sometimes it was the whole show that got sanitized. And some cartoons have such transparent plots or just make no sense whatsoever when you look at it as an adult and can see why sometimes parents would have to roll their eyes as they stroll past their kid who has their eyes fixated on the boob tube. Funny thing is, sometimes these things made sense to a kid.
And speaking of sanitizing cartoons, I found a few original versions of some cartoons I watched religiously. These were the ones imported from Japan like Voltron, Robotech, Battle of the Planets, etc. Thanks to the internet, the sanitizing of the 80s is all too clear. While I still find these watchable in the versions I watched as a child, the original Japanese versions are a whole new dimension and shows just how crazy protective the American companies were. Take Voltron for instance. The other night I watched an episode first in the Japanese version with subtitles, and then the American edited version. The difference is like night and day. Not only was the Japanese version a bit more violent, and yes people actually died which doesn’t happen in the American version, but the whole dialogue got changed, totally changing the reasons the characters had for doing what they were doing. Not to mention a couple nonessential scenes added into the American version probably done to pad the scenes they had to take out due to violence. Changes the whole story. And while the main bad guy of the show was pretty no nonsense badass in the American version, he is still a wuss compared to the Japanese version. But nonetheless, I still like the show.