While they're a bit of an unsung hero to more casual fans, Toei Animation has been behind some of the biggest and best anime to ever premiere, both in Japan or internationally as well. Now, fans can enjoy more of their shows than ever before -- all for free.
The recent deal between Toei and Tubi TV is bringing many more classic anime series and OVAs to the streaming service. From One Piece TV specials to the other big series by the creator of Dragon Ball, Tubi is now host to anime that no other service provides. Here's a primer on some of the best Toei programming that the service has to offer.
One Piece TV Specials
The ever-popular One Piece franchise has spawned countless movies and TV specials over the years, many of which are now available on Tubi. Many of those specials were retellings of anime arcs, though some are original stories.
These episodes are "3D2Y," "Episode of Sabo," "Adventure of Nebulandia," "Heart of Gold," "Episode of East Blue," and "Episode of Skypiea." These retell some of the anime's most pivotal later arcs in a more succinct fashion, focusing on the origins of characters like Sabo and featuring returning foes like the Foxy Pirates.
Dr. Slump was made by none other than Akira Toriyama, creator of the inarguably more iconic Dragon Ball franchise. It's set on Penguin Village, where the quirky scientist Senbei Norimaki resides. He builds the super robot girl Arale, who has both bad eyesight and incredible strength. From there, the duo go on numerous adventurous, most of them stemming from Arale's naive misunderstanding of basic facts of the world.
Though it never got nearly as popular as Toriyama's other series, it was still a huge success in its own right. The original series, which can now be viewed on Tubi, runs for over 250 episodes of wacky, zany fun.
The Toriko anime is based off of Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro's manga of the same name, running from 2011-2014 for 147 episodes. The series' world is divided between the section inhabited by humans and the Gourmet World, where gigantic beasts live amidst inhumanly harsh conditions. Throughout the world lives a class of people called Gourmet Hunters, who train to face the fiercest monsters in order to obtain ingredients for the world's greatest meals.
One such Gourmet Hunter is the eponymous Toriko, who embarks on a a series of quests to obtain the best ingredients alongside timid chef Komatsu. Facing them is the Gourmet Corps., who seek to maintain a monopoly on the world's food supplies. The series was somewhat criticized by manga fans for its censoring of the original material, but it's generally well-liked. Sadly, discussion of the series is somewhat marred by the creator's less than savory reputation.
Two entries in the vast Saint Seiya franchise are being added to Tubi. One is Saintia Sho, a 10-episode OVA based off of a preceding manga. The premise has the Greek goddess Athena returning to Earth to defend it against evil, employing the aid of female Saints called Saintia. One is the eponymous Sho, who acts as one of the goddess's bodyguards. The Saintia are all from different countries, including Singapore, Belgium and Chile. The female cast essentially restructures the series from a mere Sentai/Tokusatsu series into a Magical Girl show.
The second entry in the series to hit the streaming service is the Hades OVA. This adapts the Hades Arc of the manga, where the god of the underworld resurrects his own group of Saints to battle Athena's.
Ge-Ge-Ge no Kitaro
GeGeGe no Kitaro as a franchise has been around since the 1960s, with its enduring popularity earning it several adaptations. It follows Kitaro, the last yokai, as he hopes to unite the human and yokai worlds. His adventures see him facing international monsters such as Chinese vampires and even Dracula himself.
There have been seven different adaptations of the original manga, with the most recent concluding last April. There's no word on which versions will be available on Tubi, though it's likely the latest, which was also made available on Crunchyroll.
Adapting the hit manga, the late 1990s Slam Dunk anime was also a huge international success story. It stars Sakuragi, a high school delinquent gang member who grows weary of his terrifying reputation. He joins the school basketball team at the behest of his crush, gaining a rival as well as a general appreciation for the sport. Despite his fiery temper and attitude toward teammates, he helps to reshape his small school's basketball team into a Japanese contender.
Airing for 101 episodes, the anime's popularity helped usher in a wave of popularity for basketball in general among Japanese youth in the 1990s. The show adapted most of the manga sans one arc, making it a perfect way to get into the classic series.