What is a Beyblade?
Beyblade refers to the manga series in Japan or the toys that came along with it as merchandise. This particular manga or comic book series has 14 volumes and became widely popular among Japanese kids since the first release in 1999. By 2001, Beyblade became an anime series on television. The tv series lasted until 2003 with a total of 3 seasons. In 2004, the Beyblade movie was released in Japan.
The main feature of Beyblade stories involves teams of children playing with spinning tops or “beyblades”. These beyblades battle each other out through some sort of powerful spirits that reside in them. Popular teams that appeared on the series include the Bladebreakers, All Starz, Saint Shields, Shadowbladers, BEGA League, and Demolition Boys among others. The main character of the series is Takao Kinomiya, which is renamed to Tyson Granger for the American market. He has a beyblade named Dragoon and a sidekick named Kyonuju, which is Kenny in the Amercian version. In the early part of the story, Takao/Tyson’s dream is to become the best beyblader in the world and he strives hard to achieve this goal all throughout the series.
In the US, all three seasons of the anime series were also shown. But the names of the characters were changed to fit to the American audience. One important change is to the phrase “Go shoot” when playing with beyblades. This phrase has been replaced with “Let it rip”. The original Japanese sound was also changed to a more punk and rock tune. The Beyblade movie also became a hit in the US through its DVD release in 2005.
Beyblade’s huge popularity among the young generation has made it evolve from the comic books to the tv and movie screen. Beyblade toys and merchandise also became a big hit for die-hard “beyblading” fans. There are also online communities and fan sites to interact with other beybladers around the globe and to play the online version of the game.