Rewind back to the days when phones didn’t exist, the internet barely existed, and all there was to do as a child was either play outside or enjoy watching cartoons all weekend long.
Remember those days? When options of what to watch didn’t really exist and so everyone would end up watching the same thing on television. For this reason, most Egyptian youth of the time ended up watching most of the same dubbed Spacetoon cartoons, and although a lot of these cartoons may no longer be aired, they hold a very special nostalgic place in the hearts of those who grew up with them.
From the acrobatic football tricks of Captain Maged to the energetic rush of Sabek w Lahek (The Racing Brothers, Let’s and Go), these animated series were greatly loved and highly regarded. Not having much competition at the time when it comes to localized (Arabic-dubbed) cartoons – though there were those who watched the likes of Cartoon Network and the Fun Channel – Spacetoon was the leading cartoon provider in Egypt at the time.
Although it still exists, the channel has lost popularity over the years, most especially given the fact that children these days opt for watching shows online rather than through television channels. The popularity of dubbed anime or manga series has also somewhat subdued over the years.
In any case, these five anime-based cartoons will be sure to bring back a whirlwind of memories of having grown up alongside these squeaky voiced, but greatly loved, cartoon characters.
Originally Captain Tsubasa, Captain Maged is the Arabic counterpart of this Japanese manga series. Although this show was originally created in 1981, it continued to grow in popularity all throughout the 1990s and even well into the early 2000s.
The plot revolves around Captain Maged and his friends who train and play football all day long. The characters tend to always evolve after facing rivals in a match.
Grendizer is a name that any Egyptian millennial will be familiar with. The story is all about evil space robots who try to take over neighboring planets as per the request of tyrannical ruler King Vega – Grendizer is one of these robots.
Duke Fleed however – one of the good guys – manages to steal Grendizer and use him against King Vega.
Another name that most Egyptian millennials will know well is Mazinger. This show also revolves around a giant super robot who fights forces of evil. There’s quite an intricate background story as to how the robot comes to be which involves good people and bad people and secret material excavated to build the robot and so on. Perhaps those who got really into it will remember the very elaborate backstory.
The series was also turned into a popular video game.
Sabek w Lahek (The Racing Brothers, Let’s and Go)
This anime show revolves around competitive twin brothers who take on the world of miniature racing. Most of the episodes revolve around the brothers competing in the Mini 4WD Racing world.
Needless to say that this show inspired many youth at the time to purchase miniature race cars and attempt their own mini races.
Abtal el Digital (Digimon, Digital Monsters)
A little bit more on the contemporary side, this anime series was released in the late 1990s. Digimon revolves around creatures who inhabit a digital parallel universe, and follows the adventures the main characters go through alongside these creatures.