11.04.2017

The Walk of Shame: 5 TV series and anime from my childhood I should be ashamed of

Hello shag!
Today I was taking a look back at the old times when I was just an elementary/middle school student.
Back then, when internet and Netflix where just a mirage (no, seriously, I got my very first internet connection during my second year of high school), I used to watch a pain lot of television.
Especially on channel 2 and channel 6 starting from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. teen dramas and anime were broadcast.
Among those ones some great series like Dragon Ball Z, Digimon and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer were on plan, however I have to admit I also happened to watch (and actually like) some programs I would have never started watching by now.

Below you will find a list of the 5 TV series and anime that I actually don't like at the moment but I used to love as a kid.

Hamtaro (Trotting Hamutaro)

Hamtaro is a japanese children's manga, later adapted into an anime, which tells the adventures of a group of hamsters who run out of their cages while their owners are at school or somewhere else.
The title's name refelcts the one fo the main character, the red and white hamster named, precisely "Hamtaro".
Eating sunflower seeds before it was mainstream
How these hamsters manage to get all the way out of their safe spaces and, more importantly, come back safe and sound after is still unknown to me.
These band of punks met up in a secret hideout run by a stray hamster who walked around with an helmet and a shovel called "Boss".
Set aside the fact that I didn't even know the existence of stray hamsters, they were actually engineers masterminds. Jeez, not even Bill Gates lives in such a luxurious and funny house with slides and tunnels...
The weirdest junk of this whole show are the hamsters looks. Let's not forget that those little animals actually belonged to some humans who, aside from not knowing what their pets are up to during the whole day they also find time to fix their hair and make-up.
Now, you thought the big Boss and his shovel were weird, let's analyze some other hamsters belonging to the Ham-Ham friends community.

Bijou

A French female hamster (She actually speaks with a French accent the whole time). She's one of the prettiest female hamsters of the block with a shiny white fur and cute pigtails laced up in blue ribbons.
Pigtails. Laced up in blue ribbons.

Now, I don't know if you have ever own an hamster. If you haven't, well you should know their fur is too freaking short to tie any kind of pigtail... let's figure out adding the ribbons!

Jingle

The punk scum must be everywhere. Similarly to Bijou, he has some hair issues and has a monohawk on his head, A freaking monohawk. Did the authors ever seen a IRL hamster before the show?


Penelope

If the first two were weird, this beats them all. Penelope looks like a carbon copy of the Pokèmon Mimikyu. This hamster wears a blanket over her face, leaving just the ears and eyes out.
Again, have you ever took a proper look at a hamster? They are freaking tiny, you can't just dress them up, with a damn blanket to say the least!

Nevertheless I really enjoyed this anime back then. So much I got myself two hamsters, male and female who did plenty of little hamsters little later. Too bad the mother ate them all.
That's right. True hamsters don't go to party with their Ham-Ham Friends, they just eat their children alive.

The Sleepover Club

Okay, if I didn't throw myself off a cliff after the previous paragraph I can't guarantee I won't do it by now.

Flying straight from Japan to Australia here comes one of my early-teen series crush: The Sleepover Club, an Australian live action series about a group of girls (actually two groups of girls, since in the second season characters are gonna change) which, once per week, hold a themed sleepover party in one of their respective houses. They keep a log in what resembles a hotel guestbook in which they write all their secrets down.

Useless to say, the girls were constantly struggling with daily school problems made up of mean boys and envious girls who were trying to make their way into this exclusive club made of PJs and candy floss.

Each sleepover party had a specific topic being it the Hawaii or Halloween, it didn't matter, these girls would literally set up their whole room to match the theme. Just like that time they settled an Hawaiian party up.
I don't know but my parents back at their age wouldn't let me sleep out one day per week, nor they would ever allow to buy decorations and settle up my room as a princess castle or a tropical beach once per week (who's gonna clean then?).

One episode every two is about either the M&M's members (Seriously. the dudes gang goes by this name since their first names all start with an "M") or one of the sassy bitch trying to snatch the secret book from them.
And, why the heck are you bringing it to school? Leave it at home, you genius!

I remember this one episode in the first season in which the girl on duty, who happened to be sibling with one of the M&M's, had to keep the book and guess what? Her brother snatched it.
"Awake"wasn't exactly their middle name.

Thumbelina

Not a series but a cartoon movie that needed to be plastered on the wall of shame.

Set aside the fact that this is one of the most sexist and clichèd cartoons I have ever seen, even the characters design are an eyesore.
In the first scenes, before Thumbelina decides to take a ride with a complete stranger, the fairy prince Cornelius, her beloved "mother" as old as the Roman Empire, instructs her on which are the priorities in her life.

Find a good job?
No. 

Studying?
No.

Travel around the world?
No.

Open your own candy shop?
No. 

Find a good man, marry him and get him served and reserved. 
This cartoon came out in 1994 in the USA, but since I was in Italy I watched it for the first time in 1995-96 when I was three-four years old so don't blame me, I wasn't really able to understand a fuck back then.
By the way, everywhere Thumbelina goes she meets creatures willing to marry her and since she has the spine made of chalk she constantly needs to be saved.

She falls in love at first sight with the fairy prince Cornelius, who apparently has some kind of problems with his wings since he is first seen riding a bumblebee. He shows up at her window and offers her a ride on the bumblebee.
Every sane and conscious girl would have declined, if not sued him but our Thumbelina is too in love to decline.
No need to mention this whole rebellious night ride ends up with her falling off the bumblebee and starting her search for her beloved prince Cornelius (who didn't even bothered to save her in the first place).
Kids, don't go out with strangers, it can end pretty badly.

If the story isn't trash enough as it is, it's not even helped by the character designs. Thumbelina and Cornelius aside, the other characters are a literal eyesore. Let me give you some examples:

Jacquimo, the swollen-wings swallow


Jacquimo is Thumbelina's best friend and the only male character in the whole movie who is not willing to marry her.
What I actually can't understand about his character design are his wings. They are incredibly swollen and surely not suited for a proper fly.
Okay, this is an animated cartoon, but please leave a bit of coherence here!

Mrs. Toad and Grundel Toad 

I see that they are part of the evil team, actually by looking at them they look anything but villains.
They don't even look like toads , if you ask me, they resemble ducks raised up in an uranium pond.
Besides Mama Toad's look resembles the one of a 2000s pop star which is completely out of era for the movie.

Berkeley Beetle

Second villain who enters this chart.
He looks like the result of a fusion experiment between Disney's Jafar and Dr. N. Tropy from the Crash Bandicoot games!
He doesn't even resemble a damn beetle. The antennas as mustache is a big no. What the hell does he have in common with a beetle? Nothing.
The only appreciable feature of this character is that unlike his rivals Grundel Toad and Mr. Mole, he doesn't have a mommy figure in his life planning his wedding.

Mr. Mole 

Last character of this ride of horror and another Thumbelina's pretender.
He's got the eyes of a crazy creature, he looks like the missed abortion of Ripper Roo (Crash Bandicoot) and Moneybag (Spyro the Dragon). 

Despite the horrid character designing and the insane plot, I sued to love this cartoon when I was a kid. I would have always turned the TV on when the movie was aired or pray my mom to bring me to the Blockbuster to rent the VHS.
I guess I wasn't that smart as a kid, or maybe, I was just a kid.

Mc. Leod's Daughters

Let's move back to Australia and sink the last glimpse of self-respect I have into the toilet!
Mc. Leod's Daughters is an Australian TV drama featuring the stories of a group of sisters, daughters of Jack Mc. Leod who run a farm called Drovers run.

Differently from the previously described shows, this is not a kids show, actually its target is represented by adult women. Despite this, I used to watch it in middle school when I was around 12-14 years old.

Mc Leod's Daughters general theme is not really distant from the one of Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives the only difference is that in here, among a hot date and the other, the girls have to cope with escaping cattle and broken fences. 

This TV series counts a total of 224 episodes spread through eight seasons and useless to say, no one of the original cast is maintained until the end. Some of the characters leave to live in the city (general term used to define god-knows-which Australian city. Is it Sydney? Melbourne? who knows) and other die.
The fun stuff here are the choices of characters deaths. They are a bunch of farmers living in the Australian countryside, that country which is best known from the huge amount of poisonous animals. Despite this, most of the characters die for car accidents or fire.

Literally, during the entire series the few times someones gets bitten by a spider makes it out alive, safe and sound but will soon die after the decision of taking a ride (or a flight, let's not forget that).
I mean, in an American TV series located in Boston, New York or Chicago I would expect people to die for shooting, car accidents or simply stabbed by a knife in a secondary suburban street. Americans are really coherent about this. So why in here I don't get a good death by a venomous snake?

The love stories here are just the same as others in similar TV series: there's the prohibited love, the best friend-lover tension, extra-marriage relationship and so on... all stuff that right now makes me bored if not written properly and of course this is not the case.

So why was I so addicted with this series?
Simple, you have to know that I was always a horse and countryside lover and as I watched the show I felt like I really wanted to follow the path of Farming for my life.
I was so excited I wanted to move all the way to Australia and open a ranch there.
I changed my mind when I learnt that their grasshoppers are as big as a kitten.

Ojamajo Doremi

Here it goes. I saved this series for left because I actually have a lot to say about it and I was peculiarly addicted with this.

Ojamajo Doremi is a magical girls anime aired in Italy in the early 2000s. It is the story of the witch apprentices Doremi, Melody, Lullaby, Mindy and Simphony.
The anime features four seasons (but I just fully watched the first two-three)  and two movies.

The story starts with the main character, Doremi Harukaze enters the magical tools shop (MAHO) run by the witch Majo Rika. After the revelations of the owner being a witch, Majo Rika turns into a frog (because that's what happens to witches found out by humans). Majo Rika then decides to make Doremi her apprentice to help her break the spell and turn back to her original form.
When Doremi is discovered using her powers by her two best friends Melody and Symphony, Majo Rika decides to turn them into apprentices as well. Apparently the frog-shaping rule doesn't apply to apprentice witches.


Doremi and her friends will have to undergo some difficult tests in order to become actual witches.
Differently from similar anime like Tokyo Mew Mew or Sailor Moon in which the main characters have to face the dark forces, having to meet up with monsters more than once, Doremi and the other witches mostly use their magic to come through daily problems. 
The reason is that this cartoon has a rather younger target than the aforementioned ones.
In fact, in the whole anime there wouldn't be a single sexual embarrassing moment or inappropriate scene.
This feature is even displayed by the fact that people older than me would love series like Mermaid Melody or Tokyo Mew Mew which aired a couple of years later rather than this one.

Even the character design, which is almost a chibi style, just like Hamtaro, makes it more appealing for a younger public.


The nicest feature of this anime is that the witches used the magical power of music, in fact their magical tools could be used thanks to colored balls called "musical notes", and even the main characters' name are somehow linked to music.
Has mentioned before, this is a show designed for kids, so there isn't all that breath-taking action someone would expect from such an animation made for an older audience.

Nevertheless I used to insanely love this anime. It was like my elementary school's Kuroko no Basket. 
I collected a lot of gadgets, raging from stationery to action figures and stickers.
Here, I'd like to open a painful bracket. I collected a whole bunch of action figures either bought in shop or found in those Kinder Surprise like chocolate eggs.
During my last year of elementary school I brought them along during a school trip and forgot them into the bus. I am still bloody crying for that, especially after seeing their price nowadays.
Parents, don't ever let you children go away with a full action figures collection if you care for their mental sanity.


Of course, I wasn't the only one obsessed with this anime, during elementary school I have my bunch of nerdy friends who wouldn't miss an episode as well. When we gathered together to play, each one of us played the role of one of the apprentice witches, I was Melody (I didn't like Doremi's hairstyle to be honest).
I even wrote something like a fanfiction on printing papers that I later stapled together, even drawing a book cover, featuring me and my friends as apprentice witches who used our magic to strike on a young schoolmate who liked being mean to us. I should still have them hidden somewhere at my mother's house.
I drew them a lot, like ninety percent of my drawings back then had Magical Doremi as the main subject. I even wanted to wear a Melody costume for carnival, unfortunately I was too tall at time and the costumes available in stores wouldn't suit me.

As for now, I am planning to watch the whole anime again, just in memories of good old times. Among others, this is one that pretty signed my career as a fangirl and obsessive collector. Hoping not to fall in the deep pond of extreme fangirling once again.

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