Some Chinese Cartoons
One day I’ll add pics and make this actually formal and stuff. But for now…
Summary: Two musically talented, insanely popular high school guys - but that’s about all they have in common. In fact, they hate each other’s guts. And yet, through complicated circumstances, they and two others join to form a four-man band, “OPEN.” Both individually and as a band, they face a variety of problems: financial, academic, familial, romantic, and everything in between, in order to pursue their dreams. (52 eps)
Commentary: This is set in modern(ish) day, real world. Made in 2001, so keep that mind when considering the animation quality. They do have a lot of good songs, since this IS a show about singers and pop bands. Overall the tone is pretty light. Some things are a lot more dramatic than they need to be but that’s fantastic. And a lot of the problems are highly relatable. Development of characters and relationships is def one of the selling points. HUGELY nostalgic for me and a lot of Chinese people it seems haha
Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLkMLYnt73g the second opening.
战龙四驱/Go For Speed:
Summary: Two years ago, the genius high schooler Fei won the minicar (4WD) racing Nationals. But only shortly afterward, he disappeared, with only a short note hinting at why. Now, his younger brother Dragon follows in his footsteps, designing and creating his own minicars to compete in the tournaments and steadily working his way up through the rankings. Along the way, he meets many people, makes friends and enemies, and struggles to find Fei and his reason for leaving. (64 eps)
Commentary: Modern/slightly future-day, real world (Shanghai!!). Okay so this show is based around like the gimmick of “minicar racing” - not sure what to really call it. The races are surprisingly fun to watch actually imo, with the technological abilities of the minicars, interactions between players, and obstacles to pass… but you’d probably have to decide that for yourself. For me, the biggest draw was probably the surprising number of subplots, which explore the complex relationships between all the characters - literally every single side character is well established and developed. Family and familial relationships play a pretty big role. Revenge and forgiveness are there too. I got hooked into this show when it was airing on TV solely because of one character haha. Caveat that it starts slow, I don’t know how much you’d actually like this, there needs to be some suspension of disbelief, and the animation quality isn’t fantastic… rip
Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb0tHRbyaek&index=30&list=PLQukwpGC9a0wfDv0ymEgGX-LydTKbZY_s (a trailer, in english for some reason even though i’ve never found an english dubbed version of this and don’t want to. It mostly focuses on the racing aspect, but as before, don’t let that fool you, it’s surprisingly deep. Come for the races, stay for the chars)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQukwpGC9a0zqrmIGCXOW1QVlfh6svY7y since when was this on youtube?? :o WAIT HOLY SHIT SINCE WHEN DOES THIS HAVE ENGLISH SUBS THIS IS A GAME CHANGER AAAAA NOW LIKE I MIGHT GO REWATCH THIS - just kidding, only the first episode. Man what a letdown
Summary: This is a world where people have Danzhu battles: competitions involving channeling your magic energy into Shooters to launch marble-like Danzhu at targets. These objects have great power, but, so far, no one has decided to take advantage of it… until now. One day, a young boy who has always dreamed of becoming a Danzhu battler is chosen by one of the five Legendary Shooters. He journeys into the mountains to seek training from the Danzhu Master, where he meets the other four Legendary wielders and learns that their job is to stop the evil threatening to take over their world. (52 eps)
Commentary: Fantasy world. So this is like your pretty standard “boy discovers power and works to save the world” story, but still enjoyable in its own right. The gimmick of this are the aforementioned Danzhu. The Guardians are also very important; all Shooters are linked to a spiritual animal/creature/something that’s the basis of power. The battles are all very cool! Quick disclaimer: for various reasons I am more familiar with this show than maybe any other of the ones here. This fact made me appreciate how much potential this story had, but also made me realize all of its flaws. There are a lot of things it could have done better - character development jumps to mind, because aside from the MC and one of the antagonists, most of them don’t change all that much. Also there’s lots of recycled animation. Just keep these caveats in mind. However, I still found the adventure/plot/magic very exciting to watch, a healthy dose of idealism and humor as well as tension/smarts/raw courage, so if you’re interested in that aspect more, I’d recommend this!
Links: ALL THE EPISODES ARE ON YOUTUBE ONCE MORE PRAISE this is very helpful for me because when i needed them to be on youtube, someone had like taken all of them down, which was very upsetting, but now they are back again, glorious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvQUvsPwKA0&list=PLZKi4aAqJS8dbVOUrKnDqNU4F4rnm8Ott playlist isn’t in order but you should watch the opening theme to get a feel for it - if you want even more of a feel, watch to 4:50, which is kinda like a prologue and a better summary of what I said above lol
Summary: Just read what’s on tvtropes tbh haha (link below) (Ongoing,
10 seasons, 52 eps each (except season 8 which was 40 eps)
Commentary: Imo the best seasons were 3, 5, 6, and 8. After 8 the animation style changed a bit and the humor quality kinda went down…well, that might just be me, though. Either way, though, there are so many amazing earlier episodes, and I’ve gotten really attached to all the characters. It being a kids show, there’s no super deep plot or lasting impact of anything (aside from the last arc of season 7, heh. I remember watching when it came out in 2014 and flipping out bc I did NOT expect that, knowing HH) but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable. There are also two movies: the second movie is kinda confusing and meh but the first movie is pretty good and I think you can find it on youtube. In fact I believe all the episodes are on youtube, but I imagine you have those links already
Links: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKA3CuHXUxHflv9KAgEJyKQ is the channel with everything. Watch the trailer for season 8! It’s v epic and got me hyped when it released.
Movie 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUiA3nue22Y. (there are english subs too! haha)
Movie 2 isn’t worth watching trust me
Summary: Years ago, a man dressed in all red made a declaration to the universe: behind the largest black hole was a mysterious place called Rainbow Sea, a place where any dream could be fulfilled. Enchanted by the stories, people from across the universe joined the man in red in his journey. Unfortunately, no one ever returned. Rainbow Sea was scoffed at as a myth and a lie. The man in red was cursed, nicknamed by people as the Red Demon. The sinister organization known as the Galactic Eyes quietly gained control of the Solar System and numerous other star systems, sealing off the planet where the Red Demon had come from, Earth, and forbidding any ships from entering or leaving. Now, ten years later, the Red Demon’s son Maidang has reached adolescence and is determined to fulfill the pinky promise made to his father before he left: to reunite with him at Rainbow Sea.
Commentary: Quality stuff right here. Best part is the backstories of all these characters, there’s some really moving stuff. The characters are p great - Maidang is so inspiring, Gudong is highly relatable, Diya is awesome… The art style (esp for their eyes) is really nice. …Not much else to say off the top of my head, esp since the story is far from over, but even if it starts off slow, this is definitely worth your time!
Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiB_oZBdi7k&list=PLF068DA90359EDE0D all the episodes. The opening theme/sequence was what got me hooked, you should def watch it (up to like 1:20 or whatever, then if you want like a prologue watch to like 3:07)
26 eps so far. Season 2 and after are apparently going to be “web movies” instead of episodes, something like 60 minutes each, and will cost money (rip) but I’m sure they’ll show up for free somewhere eventually. Fingers crossed this’ll be soon. Wanna join me in hiatus hell :DD
Summary: Kan is happily chatting with his closest friend on an ordinary school day when, all of a sudden, he finds himself pulled into an alternate fantasy world. This world is filled with Zinba, large and powerful creatures that may form bonds with select humans, called Linkers, for immense battle power. After becoming a Linker with one of the strongest Zinba ever to exist, Kan joins the peacekeeping Dux force of the kingdom of Toria and fights against the various evils threatening the land, all while trying to find his way back to his own world. (52 eps)
Commentary: Okay, so you know, I wouldn’t recommend this as much as some of the others on this list, esp since it’s the most recent Chinese show I actually watched, but it made enough of an impact on me to have it worth talking about. I started watching bc a) it showed up as recommended for me on youtube, b) the opening is SICK as HECK, and c) the protag of this is voiced by the same person as the protag of DZL, and generally looks/acts kinda similar haha. Anyway, overall thoughts: basically, it had a lot of unrealized potential. The world and the character designs are AMAZING. I liked the animation. The plot is interesting, with a surprising number of plot twists as to who’s the real ultimate villain. But there could have been So Much More development – we could’ve gotten more thorough backstories for the main crew, for example, or seen more of the world/magic/tech, but instead a lot of the people as well as Zinba just… exist, as static and boring entities. There were like two interesting characters total (Kan’s aforementioned “normal” friend being one of them heh). Kan himself was suuuuper annoying, esp at the beginning. (can you tell I really appreciate/prioritize the characters of a show?) However, some moments were quite well done and epic, and I wrote some fanfiction and commentary on basically every episode, so it holds a place in my heart. Also, there is a full English dub lmaooo (the voices suck but the translations for names/places/etc are interesting) (episode 1 has 318k views??? That’s a TON for a chinese cartoon)
Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G83STZ9xcc the opening which is good and worth watching, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQukwpGC9a0xatMI-KGO9SILZ5sSWfWXX full playlist, syncogon.tumblr.com/tagged/zinba lol