Filipino millennials’ favorite anime series


Our childhood days wouldn’t be as nostalgic without the anime series that dominated our TV screens when we were growing up. After all, they inspired a lot of our antics with our playmates in the streets – such as performing our favorite character’s rituals, doing our slam dunks or Rei Guns, or trading teks cards printed with our favorite anime characters’ faces.

While there’s no going back to those good old times, we can always rewatch these classic animes on the web especially now that more streaming sites are available. Here are 10 anime series that are always worth a rewatch for Filipino millennials spending their quarantine days at home. 


1. Hunter x Hunter – Gon’s quest to become a Hunter


Hunter x Hunter
Image credit: Goomba Stomp 

Admit it, you probably googled Keno’s Ohayou, the opening theme song of Hunter x Hunter before to relive the good times. Hearing this OST ringing in your ears long after your parents turned off the TV in the past really explains what we call LSS, or last song syndrome.

The show is as addictive as its soundtracks are, centering on Gon Freecss who left his home to follow the footsteps of his Hunter father. Hunters in the show were considered licensed elites as they possess exclusive capabilities such as tracking down secret treasures and rare beasts. Along the way, he met Kurapika, Leorio, and Killua, fellow applicants each motivated to be a Hunter too due to their personal backstories. 

Where to stream: Netflix
Seasons available: 6


2. Yu-Gi-Oh – Duel Monsters that we would mimic in real life


Yu Gi Oh
Image credit: Looper 

Yu-Gi-Oh probably launched our card-collecting hobbies with the cards’ various characters and spells along with each card’s familiar dark hole print on the back. We would trade these cards with friends, flaunt our newly-acquired cards, and play an imaginary Duel Monsters card game ourselves. 

The anime is about the adventure of Yugi Muto, who discovered the spirit of a Pharaoh after unlocking an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle. As the two eventually work together to discover the secrets of the Pharaoh’s past as the King of Egypt, while stopping the dark forces who want the king’s power, they meet a motley of characters including Joey Wheeler, Tea Gardner, Tristan Taylor, the Kaiba brothers Seto and Mokuba, and Bakura. 

Where to stream: Yugioh
Seasons available: 5


3. Sailor Moon – schoolgirl Usagi as Sailor Moon


Sailor Moon
Image credit: Anime Herald 

Former schoolgirls were not immune from the charms of Sailor Moon, probably role-playing the Sailor Soldiers transformation with our fellow classmates after school hours. The anime follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a middle school girl granted the power to become Sailor Moon by a talking cat named Luna. 

Together with other Sailor Soldiers, Sailor Moon would work to defend the Earth against various evils, often supported by Tuxedo Mask or Mamoru Chiba, the college student she romantically yearns for. 

Where to stream: Hulu
Seasons available:


4. Bleach – soul reapers


Bleach
Image credit: Manga Thrill 

We were all hyped by the coming of Bleach in our local shores in 2007 when it was first dubbed in Tagalog by our favorite Kapuso stars. The anime centers around Ichigo Kurosaki who was destined to become a Soul Reaper after obtaining the powers of another reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. In the show, Soul Reapers are spirits who keep order among souls travelling in between the world of the living and the afterlife.

Hesitant at first to substitute for Rukia in eliminating Hollows, who are souls that failed to cross over the afterlife and stayed in the human world, he eventually accepted the responsibility bestowed on him while discovering friends and classmates who also possess powers of their own. 

Where to stream: Netflix
Seasons available: 8


5. Princess Sarah – a classic orphan tale 


Princess Sarah
Image credit: Alchetron 

We Filipinos can’t get enough of orphan stories, a recurring theme in some of the most popular dramas we have followed through the years. Even a Japanese anime Princess Sarah has been so instilled in our local culture that we have created meme after meme of the lovely orphan. 

Princess Sarah meme
Image credit: Joy Maria Delos Reyes 

Sarah’s story is a quintessential depiction of how a young orphan endures the loss of a parent. In her case, she was forced to be a maid in her school by the headmistress after her wealthy father’s death that left her family bankrupt. Her hardships are counterbalanced by the help of her true friends, such as another maid named Becky. 

Watch a cut of the Tagalog live action film here. 


6. Slam Dunk – Sakuragi and Shohoku basketball team


Slam DunkImage credit: Just Watch 

We probably attempted several slam dunks to show off our basketball prowess to our friends, inspired by this classic basketball anime. The lead character Hanamichi Sakuragi, although a reckless troublemaker, tries out for the Shohoku High School Basketball team despite not liking basketball with the hopes of finally getting himself a girlfriend

He eventually develops a love for the sport, while meeting exciting teammates such as Takenori Akagi, the captain of Shohoku, and Kaede Rukawa, his rival for Haruko’s heart. 

Where to stream: Amazon Prime
Episodes available: 14


7. Voltes V – Voltes V versus the Boazan forces


Voltes V
Image credit: Anime News Network 

“Tatoe arashi ga futou tomo / Tatoe oonami areru tomo” – when these lyrics chimed from our TV screens, it was a sign that we had to pause whatever we were doing for a while to focus on watching this beloved anime. 

GMA is adapting this beloved anime into a live action version this year, a testament of our long-lasting fascination over this anime that introduced us to the alien race of the planet Boazan, thousands of light years away from the Earth, alongside the pilots of Chō Denji Machine Voltes V (5), Earth’s defense against this dark force. 

Available soon on the official Toei YouTube channel 


8. Fushigi Yuugi – anime set in ancient China


Fushigi Yuugi
Image credit: Fushigi Yuugi Fandom

Along with other mega popular anime series in the early 2000s, our fondest memories of Fushigi Yuugi might be printed on the teks cards with Miaka’s and Tamahome’s faces we used to trade with our kalaro. It tells the story of two teenage girls, Miaya Yuki and Yui Hongo, who were both transported to The Universe of the Four Gods, a universe in ancient China, after finding a mysterious book at a library

Miaka soon found herself becoming a Priestess in the alternate universe while falling in love with Celestial Warrior Tamahome and dealing with the jealousy of her former best friend Yui. 

Where to stream: Amazon Prime
Episodes available: 52


9. Flame of Recca – Hokage ninjas


Flame of Recca
Image credit: @dbz_best_anime 

Like with Hunter x Hunter’s theme song, we also reminisce about Flame of Recca with its catchy opening song. The story, mainly revolving around Recca Hanabishi who can wield and control flames, focuses on Hokage ninjas who own mystical artifacts called madogu, each with its own superpower. Kurei Mori, the anime’s antagonist, is in search of these artifacts that can grant him eternal life. 

Where to stream: Amazon Prime
Episodes available: All 42


10. Ghost Fighter (Yu Yu Hakusho) – Eugene’s adventure with Alfred, Dennis, and Vincent


Ghost Fighter
Image credit: Allan Amisola 

Of course, Ghost Fighter (or Yu Yu Hakusho) is one of the all-time anime favorites among Filipino millennials. Our fond memories of this show go beyond our homes to performing Eugene’s (or Yusuke Urameshi) Rei Gun with our playmates in the streets, alongside our super saiyans.

The story starts with Eugene was killed in a car accident while attempting to save a boy. Earning the title “Underworld Detective”, he returns to the human world to investigate its supernatural phenomena, eventually making friends with Dennis (Kurama), Alfred (Kuwabara), and Vincent (Hiei). 

Where to stream: Hulu
Seasons available: 4


Bonus – shows coming to Netflix soon



Cardcaptor Sakura – Sakura and her magical wand


Cardcaptor Sakura
Image credit: Anime News Network 

Like Yu-Gi-Oh, Cardcaptor Sakura fuelled our card-collecting pursuits – because who doesn’t take pleasure in sealing magical card creatures like Sakura does with her wand? After accidentally finding and releasing magical cards known as Clow Cards from a book, Sakura Kinomoto was destined as a cardcaptor by the guardian of the cards, ordering her to retrieve the missing cards and defeat the creatures behind them. 

For superfans of the cardcaptor, you might have to wait a little longer for your nostalgia will be awakened once again as Netflix in neighboring countries such as Japan, Singapore, and Thailand is already streaming the show. It’s also going live on Netflix US and Canada on 1st June, so ready yourself any time soon and begin dusting off your wands. 


One Piece – Monkey D. Luffy’s quest to find the One Piece


One Piece
Image credit: Next Episode 

Perhaps the most sprawling anime series of our time, the long-standing One Piece series that started in 1997 is here to grip us with its grand storyline, beginning with Monkey D. Luffy’s quest to retrieve Gol D Roger’s treasure or the One Piece hidden at the Grand Line. 

While sailing the sea, he meets his crewmates along the way: Roronoa Zoro, who wants to become a great swordsman, Usopp, buoyed by his pursuit to become a warrior of the sea, Sanji, enamored by the hidden All Blue sea, and Nami, engulfed by her desire to make a map of the world. 

Like Cardcaptor Sakura, the anime series of One Piece, specifically the East Blue and Alabasta Sagas, will be arriving in June in the US and Canada. No news yet when it will arrive in the Philippines, but we can expect it to happen anytime soon as Filipinos are known as one of the most avid fans of this anime. 


Anime series that Filipino millenials love


From Hunter x Hunter to One Piece, these anime series have stretched our imaginations as children with relatable characters, who like us, also set out to pursue their dreams despite all odds. 

While we can no longer return to our days growing up with them, trust that the Internet is and will always be a repository of our favorite episodes when nostalgia strikes. 

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from top left): Goomba Stomp, Fushigi Yuugi Fandom, Alchetron, Just Watch