They’re the best Anime that 1993 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Shippuu! Iron Leaguer, Dragon League, Aoki Densetsu Shoot!, and more!
3: Shippuu! Iron Leaguer
Japanese: 疾風！ アイアンリーガー
MAL Score: 6.94
The Iron League: a place where teams of robots, under individual “owners”, play various sports and duke it out in tournaments. Mach Windy is a member of Dark Prince, a team that doesn’t play fair and fights dirty to win. Unsatisfied with the actions of his teammates, he defects against the will of Dark Prince’s nefarious owner and joins Silver Prince: the weakest team in the league. Alongside faithful companions such as Magnum Ace and Bull Armor, Mach Windy and Silver Prince will battle against Dark Prince in games of soccer and baseball, and aim for the top!
I feel that fans of this show are crazy fans even if they haven’t seen the show in years. I can only imagine the joy the Japanese fans felt when the show finally got released to DVD 10 years after airing.
This is definitely a special anime. It’s so goood that you can tell in 1993 or 4 or whenever that they’re never going to make something this good again or rather i wish they would! In other words, a true classic! I am calling this a classic because of the QUALITY not because it’s old or the first anime to do x. I wish people would stop calling boring old animes as classic because it’s old. I wish people would stop saying oh it’s the nostalgia or whatever to dismiss 90s/80s anime (it basically depends on the anime). For me i remember I loved watching a bunch of anime as a child and remember they were fun. But then i watched some of those again years later after I forget all the details and then after re-watching i went what ? that’s it? i realized at that point it’s ONLY really fun for children but not for me now. It’s not a bad thing necessarily. Some pass that test, some don’t. it’s pretty obvious whether it does or not. LET ME TELL you that this anime shines now and then. I would guess that when I was a child I wasn’t drawn to this anime… you know robots + sports screams shounen anime. I probably watched on a whim and then realized the show is actually REALLY good. I feel like there’s no such thing as I hate x genre in anime. I think it means you haven’t a seen a good anime in that genre. That’s another reason why I think it’s special. I hate shonen anime and this one is if you try to categorize it from the nature of the show but it’s so gooooooood. Whenever say ugh this anime went all shonen on me I mean that in the worst way possible lol… ie the end of kurenai. despite that there are “shonen” anime that I do like.
I feel like this anime could only be done via anime and that too adds to the specialness of the anime. If it was 26 eps, it wouldn’t be as good, if it was live action that would be really difficult lol… For nodame cantabile I was thinking how the animation is not that anime and so it’s not as expressive as iron leaguer when it comes to facial expression or any type of expression.. they kept the instrument playing animation to a minimum? for obvious reasons. I was thinking what’s the point of making this into an anime?? I thought the drama was better… I REALLY loved the facial expressions and other stuff they did for expression in iron leaguer so it made me think of this.
I love the message of the show. I love how it doesn’t come off forced or cheesy as it has in other anime shows especially the kids shows (wedding peach…) . i love how even though it’s a kids show it can definitely enjoyed by adults. few children’s shows can also be enjoyed by adults and this is one of them. There’s also mystery and surprises. There’s parts that I LOVE… those scenes where x finds about y’s secret or x learns the truth about y. While i was watching i was so curious as to how the character would react and what they would say and now that i’ve seen it, i want to see it again lol.
random thought while I was watching. I was thinking “hey since ryuuken is the karate leaguer he’s like asian so does he have the smallest eyes?” but his eyes looked big in this scene so eh to that silly theory.
I further confirmed the specialness of the anime when I read the interviews by the producers on the official site and how they had all this inspiration from real baseball players and more and were having fun and working hard to make it (like the animators). Also one of them said that this show is for children but they also want people of other ages to watch… he went on to say that overly making it from a child’s pov isn’t a children’s anime. rather, anime that can be enjoyed by adults and old people and children are true children anime. They had no CG back then 😦 but i wonder if the show would look like shit if they used CG…After i finished watching it i really wanted to read interviews. there’s interviews on the official website but I want more. I was thinking if they had interviews or something in anime magazines in the 90s… like i want to read those tooooo. also I felt like reading other fans thoughts… well the japanese fans.
there’s no romance but there’s bromance. in fact you could watch it from a a dirty yaoi fangirl pov lol. there are scenes or lines that could be interpreted like that. I definitely watched from that point of view from time to time lol. i also watched from a serious pov too. Magnum x windy forever ❤ ! lol. IRON LEAUGER is so much more moe than the anime nowadays that try so hard… AND FAIL. It reminds me of some of the realllly trashy american singers that think they’re “sexy” or they think they have to be trashy or almost naked (naked as possible) to be sexy.. they don’t seem to understand that that’s not necessary. I’ve seen time it and time again on immotral song or even in k-pop that it’s possible to be classy and sexy at the same time. it’s so oversexualized in america.
there’s comedy too. it’s smidge of comedy but when they put it in here and there with the animation or situation or a line that put a smile on my face or made me chuckle. it’s so well done because of the characters/character designs and the whole set-up. there isn’t a lot of comedy, BUT none of the comedy fails. the point of the show isn’t comedy anyway but the comedy in it is 5/5 lol. The just completes the show~
so in that way there’s cuteness and moe ( I moed out sometimes lol). the animes now a days try way too hard to the point where the show is boring as hell unless you’re a creepy otaku or they have NO class or it’s so obvious they’re trying so hard. I really want those otakus to watch this anime. for this show that kind of stuff is effortless and those little moments of moe and cuteness is to die for. I LOVED it when magnum winked lol. nowadays the moe is getting really creepy or boring or way too maniac or plain tasteless or too… much ie borderline softcore porno/hentai/whatever you call it. i feel like the moe here occurred naturally or it came off naturally as a result of all the hard-work they put into show rather than like using moe to cover their asses which is a noticeable trend in anime right now. I like the word bromance more than yaoi and i don’t know what yaoi really means anyways (how far do they go lol). they’re robots anyhooooo. so i feel like the bromance is all innocent and fun and if you want to think all twisted and whatnot draw weird fanart go ahead~
I love the animation. the character designs kick ass. For example, the inning on magnum’s back is so CUTE lol. I gotta pause and stare at everyone’s designs lol. one time they zoomed into their shoes/feet. they were all so unique and cute lolz. no seriously i need to inundate this post with the ADORABLE CHARACTER DEISGNS. some of them are BADASS of course but I can still see the cuteness in the badass designs tooooooooo. that’s another reason why this show is so awesome. It has so much going on for it.
The human character designs are good. i was reading in the interview somebody drew the humans asked the producer or somebody is this alright. whaddya think? so i could tell they were being
particular with it. if you think ruri is ugly or whatever then i guess you can since she’s a normal girl. they show a movie star in one ep and that movie star was really pretty. so i think it’s fine ruri isn’t as pretty as the movi star. i dont’ tihnk ruri ugly though personally. I think the girl designs that are overly moed up are ugly actually if anything… .not to mention not a smidge of originality. it reminds me of south korean plastic surgery epidemic. NOSE, EYES, JAW-LINE, FAT-DISTRIBUTION. wtf
The action/animation was intense and exciting and they definitely planned it out well. The beginning of the series was sorta normal but as things progressed the animation got more intense. I really mean it as intense and exciting. that’s the only way I can describe it. don’t worry it’s not a mediocre sports/shonen (no seriously what is up with the crap people proclaim as epic being the boring shit in the world?) anime. the games are exciting, i was saying they’re screwed every other episode lol. that’s what makes it interesting. plus the episodes where the game should be most exciting really is exciting… you don’t have to worry about quality when it comes to that. It was awesome. I had a blast watching those episodes because there’s moments where I’m like omg what’s gonna happen/omg i can’t believe this happened/omg how’s it gonna end/omg i can’t believe it’s ending like this/ lol. it’s a lot of omg’s like every couple minutes??? I found it fun and enjoyable to watch… and that’s what makes someone want to recommend a certain anime to another person because you want to pass on your enjoyment and hope or think that they’ll enjoy it as well.
I love the facial expressions they did with the robots. it’s so expressive. When I was reading the interview, they had separate people for separate things like a person was in charge of facial expression, another for posing etc etc. so I totally LOVED that when I watched. It’s so well done and i could tell they put effort into minuscule stuff like that even before i read the interview. there’s stuff I notice or feel or whatever while watch and reading the interview just affirms that or explains what I was feeling and love how it goes both ways like that. i really really feel what the creators put in to this … their sweats, tears, soul, love for sports, etc,etc. going back to what i was saying i loved what they did with their eyes. I thought it was interesting how their mouths are pink inside like humans lol. Not to mention SUPER CUTE!!! one aspect of the show that seems sorta contradicting is what makes it so good and special and unique. that is how the robots are metal so they shouldn’t be humanly but actually they’re more human than the humans lol.
I also love how the thicklines add to the menace(?) /intensity/impact
The people who made this anime mentioned in the interview on the official website how they had trouble with consistently drawing the characters and robots the same in terms of their relative heights/size. I think they argued about it and got frustrated lol. I think it’s cute and it’s anime so it’s all GOOD. it adds to the enjoyment in my opinion.. spot the quirks!
I wonder if there’s a main character? Is it Magnum Ace? I mean everything is connected to him. If he’s not, then there’s no main character. Anyways I loved all the characters. They’re ALL likable and have their cute character designs. I loved the way top joy talked with the nes and the intonation. not sure if english speakers can tell that his intonation is a little off because i remember when i was wtaching lovely complex with zero japanese studying i couldn’t really hear a significant difference from the way these characters talked vs characters in any other anime but if i were to watch it now i would be like oh it’s so kansai-ben lol. Anyways I loved SEAGULL… the voice acting, the way they drew him, the angle, the pose, etc, and his story or whatever scene with him had me glued me to the screen. THEY utilized the side characters really well.
I loved all the voice acting. everyone fitted the character. MAGNUM’s voice is PERFECTTTTTTTT. I liked all the voice actor’s voices… like i gotta look up what other anime they’re in. I loved the recycling of the Voice actors too lol. like the voice actor of someone on silver castle ends up voicing the baddie’s ___ voice. it’s interesting. actually out of the gold brothers i liked gold mask the best because of his voice… but i like all of ’em so much! sometimes i wanted to know the voice actor of some really minor person in the episode but then when i chcked out the credits they credit main and minor but they don’t include e single character that was in the episode. so i asked on chiebukuro who did mihaeru’s voice because i loved her voice and they were like…well one person replied that it was this voice actor who plays another characteron iron leaguer… so maybe that’s why they don’t credit a character because they recycle the voice actors and we’re supposed to know which one did that minor character (sometimes the va is reall ygood at changing their voices to play different characters so it’s sorta hard. do they still do this practice now a days ? lol.
and of course i LOVEd THE BGM. when i saw them use the bgm in the first ep I was scared they might overuse it but they didn’t overuse it at all imo… and i watched eps in a row etc etc… you know how some tv dramas have something special going on for it especially the bgm like hanazakari no kimtiachi e or JIN or this… you can tell they’re putting their all into it the shows.
So I didn’t watch the previews till after i saw the episode because I want to be as surprised as much as possible. But after certain episodes I was thinking even if i watched the preview i couldn’t have predicted this lol. there’s some good surprises
The opening is awesome. it totally matches the show. It’s definitely good enough to be used throughout the whole run. as you watch the show you realize how amazing the opening song is. I was wondering for the part where they sing IRON LEAGUER with japanese pronounciation of aian riiiiiiiii gaaaaaaaaaa….it sounds like they’re saying eiennnnn leaguer. it doe snot sound like aiannnnnn riiiiiiii gaaaaaaaaaa like it should. in the show they say iron leaguer a lot and they aian riii gaaa. maybe they’re doing that on purpose cause you know eien means forever,eternal. I never reallllllly got why he’s saying it like eiennnnnn riiiiii gaaa.
the ending song is really goood, i love the message. i love hearing the seiyuu’s of characters sing the song. here it is ruri’s seiyuu.
the second ending song is silly lol. the lyrics are simple and fitting. i was gonna watch it once then i realized that they’re changing the lyrics up for the song. it’s so funny hearing magnum ace sing such a silly song.
they changed the animation for the op and let me say that the second opening is rather intense. in fact i couldn’t even tell wtf was going on at some parts because of the credits so i definitely gotta go check out the creditles version. yes they deserve their credit but we can’t see the animator’s work… thank god for creditless opening.
If I HAD to bring up the weakness it would be this certain arc … one reason is because after it was right after a couple REALLY REALLY interesting/INTENSE/EXCITING eps (it literally makes me go omg who knew sports anime could get this good……. ) . the eps were sorta filler-type but then they technically aren’t… and the way that arc ended was kickass AMAZING so that’s why i wrote if i HAD To bring up a ~~ but I still liked that arc as a whole. in this arc there’s eps that are better than others. another thing is towards the end, you’ve seen all the tricks they pull and whatever so it’s not as fresh as in the beginning… but you know the last game was exciting so.. no complaints. I never felt like the games were ever stretched out… perfect ratio of action/dialogue/announcer”s dialogue/talking to self time/robots communicating to each other via telepathy or technology or whatever.. stuff became more big and intense as it went on… i guess that’s the shonen factor but i LOVED IT. like i said before i hate shonen anime b.c. i instinctively hate shonen anime because i ain’t a shonen. but if it’s a really well-done shonen like this I’m all for it, i feel it.
but you know something i wished happened was there was more character development in the last 10-15 episodes as in OTHER characters but then i’m not sure if that would’ve taken away from the character they were developing during those episodes. But you know what i also wish they developed the character they were developing during those eps more like his _____s (I’m not gonna fill that in, those who watched know what comes before the s, hint PLURAL). they gave us something but i wish it was more. that’s selfish request that will never come true lolz.
a fine 52-episode anime that is WELL-DONE.!!! it makes me lament the animes now-a-days that are 13-eps and are suckfest from beginning to end or it could’ve been better if it was longer or try to “move” the audience even though they didn’t develop the characters etc etc. but i loved zetsubou sensei and i think 13 eps was fine for that since the second season was not as interesting and the third season was unwatchable. it all depends on the show and how well done it is etc etc etc.
so it’s completely subbed for chinese and korean (thank god for these lol). it’s done partially for english. This anime has HEART… It’s very HEART-WARMING.
oh and the ova is not good. i don’t know it has holes… i don’t understand the point of it.are ovas that are released after the tv series always bad…??
I was so sad when i finished watching the series. the ending is good and satisfying but i’m sad that’ it’s over. no i donn’t want to it to go on endlessly like naruto. that would make the show turn into 1/10… I sorta confirmed this with the OVA. The only thing positive about the ova I can say is they came up with some interesting robots with the designs (creative stuff… ) and animation of course. I think that’s how one feels after being absorbed and watching something really fun and significant. plus i can’t un-watch this. I gotta wait many years before rewatching lol…. i already know the story and surprises etc but like I said I LOVED some of those scenes. I don’t understand what’s the point of OVAs. i was thinking of the word masturbation with OVAs… because the only people who are going to watch it are FANS not people who you are trying to hoook on the show like with anime tv series. so the people making it know you want to see it or buy it and they know that you loved the series. so they probably can tell what you loved about the series and try to include it in the OVA but it’s not the same thing because that stuff was happening in the series while it was going on (in that atmosphere that was built from past eps and whatnot), while now in the OVA it’s happening after the series “concluded” so… it’s like… novelty effect is worn off and it’s NOT the same thing. as much as i love the characters and the world the anime is set in, I enjoyd it in the ANIME series and i’ll re-live it by re-watching the episodes instead of some weird OVA that’s trying to recreate that??? I want to enjoy the real deal 100% iron leaguer world, not some half-bajed iron leaguer world. but the thing is if the series is really good, usually a good story is told and the ends are tied. so if you gotta something afterwards, you gotta create some friction, and problems or introduce something new etc. otherwise it’s a filler episode of the series ?? so basically the OVA has the potential to destroy what the tv series has done because of what an ova is… something that concluded beautifully gets unconcluded with whatever new thing they come up with. but anyways i loved the series and i dont’ want to talk shit about the iron leaguer ovas. i’m saying, i loved the SERIES but i didn’t like the ovas. I was thinking after i watched the series or the OVAs of stuff I want to know more about with characters and whatnot… so I was thinking maybe the OVA could’ve been better if they told us about the details that fans want to know about the iron leaguers and the story. BUT THEN I READ that there’s some LD (what is that?) that was released and how they wrote the robot’s biography or something on it for all 7 main robots.
The story it takes place in a future where all the sports are played by a team of robots. in this context there is the Silver Castle the worst team in the soccer league, but the fate of the team changes drastically when Magnum Ace, a misterious leaguer, join the team and recruites other strong leaguers to battle Dark Prince, the strongest team in the series.
The story sounds simple and cliché, the pace of the series is very unstable and one of the critics that i have is that 52 episodes is a lot for a simple plot. Aside this the plot have some of misteries that is revealed at bits, the story is divided in 3 arcs the inicial arc that introduces the world the teams and the characters, the second is the stray league arc that goes on another story that it gives the show a nice breath of fresh air and the third arc the world cup tournament.
Its the typical 90’s artstyle and for me its was good but it isn’t anything groundbreaking. Some episodes is really good and others is fine at is best, in general there’s consistency.
The sound is mediocre at is best, there just 2 or 3 song that i can say that i like aside from the opening, the rest is very forgetful.
First the VA/Seiyuus the cast is really good, famous names and voices that are remarkable. saying that most of the characters have their own personality specially the main characters but there are a little to none development, this the classic what you see is what you get. All that aside every characters have their moments and their time to shine with all of then being likeable.
I can say that i enjoy this anime, mostly because i feel attracted to this 80’s/90’s obscure animes. But i can pointed that this is a decent and well built show and if you want to watch a light, simple and fun anime this a excellent choice.
Iron Leaguer is definitely not going to be a show for everyone. You have to be very open-minded to old-school animes. You have to be patient because some episodes don’t advance much to the plot. The theme can represent what the 90’s was for the anime industry (a decade very experimental for anime plots). It may get a bit repetitive and be far from perfect, but the solid characters and a fun and easygoing feeling can turn this show a very fun and pleasant gem.
This is my first review in the MAL so i expected to make a decent job.
It’s probably fair to say that at no point in its life was this show a chart-topper. From its.. interesting robot designs and continually subpar animation to its repetitive and often limited soundtrack and aggressively corny plot beats, Iron Leaguer is clearly not the cream the of the crop. It never received an English release, so the vast majority of its English-speaking viewers have been given the opportunity to see it thanks to the efforts of fansubbers Alpha Numbers and Silver Castle. I think it’s pretty telling, then, that most reviews here from those that have watched the whole show have given it a better score than those elements perhaps deserve.
On a surface level, this is a weird combination of a half-assed sports anime that’s more about sportsmanship than actually playing sport, and a sentient mecha show that dips into the ethics of robotics. Kinda. If you like the talking, feeling kind of robots, this is going to be very up your alley.
The run-of-the-mill sports championship content of this show is underpinned by a deeper, weirdly darker narrative about old robots being retired and used for war. Perhaps inadvertently, this intrigue is coupled with a surprisingly effective framing of our enigmatic protagonist Magnum Ace that starts suspenseful, turns into something deeply interesting, and is concluded with an arc that breaks open the consequences of that mystery and interrogates his character, using him as a metaphor for the moral basis of the show. Iron Leaguer is not well written on a moment-to-moment basis, but over its 52-episode run this throughline is bewilderingly well-executed.
The rest of the main cast, for the most part, spend their focus episodes being interesting and endearing and then fade into the background as soon as they’re over. The plots often alternate between being cheesy and outright ridiculous, and so much of this show is unintentionally funny that it makes an amazing drinking game.
The show sucks. But it has a driving plot that works, enough interesting characters at any given time to support it, and most of all – elevating it above other lackluster old animes, imo – it has heart. Give it a chance and if it’s for you, you’ll see what I mean.
2: Dragon League
English: Dragon League
MAL Score: 7.00
Tokio and his father Amon go to the soccer country of Elevenia where they see a parade of the strongest soccer team of that country, the Winners. Amon challenges the team captain Leon to a soccer battle and, when Amon loses, Leon turns him into a miniature dragon. Tokio sees the fight and decides to challenge against Leon so that Amon can become human again.
The story itself is your typical adventure story with overpowered skills in this case their soccer skills.
In my opinion, the story could have been developed in fewer chapters and given a better emphasis to the final soccer game. The end of the series, which I saw when I was 6 years old, did seem good to me.
As a curious fact, this anime was only broadcast once on Peruvian television and there were no repetitions, as it usually happens with other animation series.
1: Aoki Densetsu Shoot!
English: Blue Legend Shoot!
Japanese: 蒼き伝説 シュート！
MAL Score: 7.40
Inspired by Yoshiharu Kubo’s phenomenal performance that led Kakegawa High School to a miraculous victory in a soccer tournament, Toshihiko Tanaka decides to enter the same school as his idol and join the soccer club, hoping to become as successful as Kubo.
Now a high school freshman, Tanaka is devastated as his expectations suddenly start falling apart. Kubo—the captain of the club—is absent due to illness. To make matters worse, the freshmen are not allowed to practice alongside the sophomores or become regulars on the team. The final nail in the coffin is the reluctance of Tanaka’s friends, Kenji Shiraishi and Kazuhiro Hiramatsu, to join him in the club. Although Tanaka and his friends were once known as a deadly soccer trio in their junior high school days, Kenji and Kazuhiro have both quit soccer for personal reasons.
When Tanaka starts to lose hope, an encounter with Kazumi Endo—a girl from his childhood—becomes the unexpected key to his freedom from despair. The disappointed Kazumi wants to see the trio reunite, so she takes matters into her own hands in her mischievous way. Thus, Tanaka’s high school soccer career prepares for the kickoff.
Which if you didn’t know is probably the greatest sports anime ever. That aside, if you’re into friendship, teamwork, dramatic love for both a person and sports this is one roller coaster ride you wouldn’t want to sit back and watch other people ride.
Onto the actual review: Story possibly 9 gonna say 8 though some parts are very cliche and predictable, but that’s what makes it normal, but it has it’s moments where it absolutely shines and just tugs on your heartstrings.
Sound: 10 I love every single song from the anime *spoiler* the best being the Kazumi Endo Ending, my god it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Character: 10 Toshi who is the main character not only as a futbol/soccer player does he level up, but as a man and person but he helps everyone around him to grow aswell.
Additionally, the visuals are while standard of 90s anime, charming with the painted backgrounds and manner of how the characters are designed, an aesthetic that gets more endearing/nostalgic as time goes on. To end on this, the soundtrack is banging and one I feel I can listen to many a time over.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Aoki Densetsu Shoot!
2. Dragon League
3. Shippuu! Iron Leaguer