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Superbook is a Japanese anime series by Tatsunoko (Speed Racer, Gatchaman and its heavily edited version Battle of the Planets, Macross, Samurai Pizza Cats) created by CBN to spread Christianity to the heathen country and brainwash Japanese children into believing in the Bible.[notes 1] In true anime style, its full Japanese title is Animated Parent and Child Theatre (Anime Oyako Gekijō).
The premise of the series is that a young boy (Chris Peepers/Sho Azuka), his friend (Joy Quantum/Azusa Yamato), and his robot (Gizmo/Zenmaijikake)[notes 2] discover a magical talking "Superbook" that takes them back in time to witness Biblical events. The series is considered an unprecedented success by CBN, with over 4 million viewers weekly, and is credited with making the Bible the best-selling book in Japan. They also suggest that Superbook was one of the first animes ever made.[notes 3]
In the second season, Ruffles, Chris' Yorkshire terrier, jumps onto Chris' computer keyboard after Superbook has fallen onto it, causing the two to fuse. Ruffles is then transported to a computer-generated Biblical times. Chris' little brother, Uri, and the robot Gizmo have to find the dog. When Ruffles is found she is in near-perfect condition, which is highly unlikely for a toy-breed dog that has been lost for weeks in a hot climate, having to fend for itself without human intervention.[notes 4]
The series has been criticized for inserting contemporary children (and a robot) into the Bible, which might confuse young viewers who "cannot readily separate fiction from
slightly older fiction reality."[notes 5]
Like all your favourite (or not) childhood memories. Superbook is undergoing a revival and reimagining. This time, instead of cheap hand-drawn animation, it's going to be in full bombastic 3D CGI.[notes 6] CBN is currently undergoing preparations for the media campaign to promote it by soliciting donations from fans. The first episode "Let My People Go", based on the story of Moses, was released in 2011.
- Official website
- A retrospective on Superbook and its sister series The Flying House by noted old school anime fan Dave Merrill
- A review of an episode by the website Anime Bargain Bin.
- According to CBN, research showed that children were the most receptive audience.
- You can't have a Tatsunoko anime without a comic relief robot
- How it all began, History, Official Superbook Fan Site. (Note that Gordon Robertson says that it was 1981 and anime was just getting started. Obviously, he's never heard of Speed Racer, which was also made by Tatsunoko and debuted fifteen years earlier (in 1966, when Gordon was eight years old). While this may resemble the claims made by the North Korean government about its leaders, considering that he's the son of Pat Robertson, it's a depressing likelihood that he was prohibited from watching anything as cool as Speed Racer when he was a kid.)
- After all, it's just a anime.
- We're not making this up
- Which, in fairness, doesn't look half bad.