Superbook (1981)

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You know it's not a fantasy, Superbook, so real to me!
Superbook, also known as Animated Parent and Child Theatre (アニメ 親子劇場 Anime Oyako Gekijō), is an anime television series from the early 1980s. Initially produced by Tatsunoko Productions in Japan in conjunction with the Christian Broadcasting Network in the United States and more recently solely produced by CBN for global distribution and broadcast.

Plot

The series chronicled the events of the Bible's Old and New Testaments in its 52-episode run.

The first 26 episodes aired from October 1, 1981 to March 25, 1982. The series returned as Superbook II (パソコントラベル探偵団 Pasokon Toraberu Tanteidan, lit. Personal Computer Travel Detective Team) with 26 episodes to air from April 4, 1983 to September 26, 1983. Between both series in the first run was the companion series The Flying House. The Christian Broadcasting Network is producing a new Superbook series and has released 4 seasons. CBN is distributing the entire classic series for free on their Superbook Kid's Website. The series focusing about a boy named Christopher Peeper and his friend Joy who find a magical talking Bible named Superbook. Every episode has them travel through the Bible along with Chris's toy robot Gizmo, who becomes alive.

Why It Rocks

  1. Does a great and accurate job in telling the story of the Bible, without being too shallow.
    1. For example, in the Noah's Ark episode, we actually see the wicked people drown to their deaths, which is quite unseen in many other children's Bible series (this includes the 2011 reboot).
  2. Chris and Joy are likeable and relatable characters, while Gizmo and Ruffles are funny comic relief characters.
  3. Amazing and catchy opening and ending songs, in both Japanese and English.
  4. It doesn't rush to teach kids lessons by being too preachy like some religious shows do.
  5. Great animation, especially the animated sequence when the kids travel to time and go back again.
  6. This series was responsible for spreading Christianity to children around the world in places such as Soviet Russia back in the 80s.
    1. Even Akiko Shimomoto, the character designer for the series, converted later on to Christianity after working on Superbook.

Bad Qualities

  1. Season 2, while not terrible, wasn't as good as the previous season, covering only the Old Testament.
  2. Chris's father can be unlikeable at times.
  3. The New Testament was only covered in four episodes in the first season (it is more detailed in The Flying House.)

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