The late 90's and early 2000's saw the rise of anime on Western television. Many of these were the first glimpse into the world of anime, and the start of a new way of life, for anime lovers. Beyblade, which appeared on American TV in 2001, was and continues to be one of those hallmark gateway anime for many young children.
Beyblade is a unique shonen anime where the battles aren't fought by super strong characters, but instead with beyblades, special top-like toys that house special spirits called bit-beasts. Despite being a game about toys, it still stands strong as a classic anime with engaging battles, great characters and a strong message about friendship and growth.
Here are 6 anime that are similar to Beyblade.
Similar Anime to Bakuten Shoot Beyblade / Similar Anime to Beyblade
- Episodes: 276
- Aired: April 1997 – November 2002
As one of, it not the most popular anime from the turn of the century, Pokémon continues to be one of the most recognized and iconic anime around the world. While the popularity of the trading card game has died off, Pokémon merchandise and games continue to be popular across the world and generations. Pokémon go, anyone?
Pokémon follows Ash Ketchum as he travels around a fictional Japan collecting creatures called Pokémon, in his attempt to become the best Pokémon trainer. Pokémon trainers collect and fight their Pokémon against other Pokémon trainers. Trainers prove their strength by battling against Gym Leaders and earning badges. During Ash's journey, he attempts to beat the gym leaders and earn badges to allow him to compete in official Pokémon tournaments. Throughout his journey, he befriends many Pokémon and humans alike with his tenacity and charisma.
Pokémon and Beyblade both feature naively strong main characters. They often find themselves running head-first into situations without much of a plan, only lead by their desire to do what's right and help others. Both Ash and Tyson from Beyblade gain valuable experiences from their losses and friends from fellow competitors as they strive for their goal of being the best. Despite these losses, with their friends they both continue to participate in tournaments on their road to being the best.
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: April 1998 – October 1990
Another Saturday Morning Cartoon classic, Yu-Gi-Oh! is another show that took over the world by storm. Not too long after the debut of the show, a Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, which still sees international competition, was launched.
Yu-Gi-Oh! follows young Yugi, a game lover, who solves an ancient Egyptian puzzle called the Millennium Puzzle. Upon completion of the puzzle, Yugi's body serves as the vessel for an ancient spirit. With the help of this spirit, Yugi competes in Duel Monsters battles and tournaments to save his friends as well as thwart diabolical plots. Duel Monsters is a card game played out on a holographic field, allowing the creatures on the cards to come to life.
In both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Beyblade there is a strong focus on spirits, which help the characters along their journey and in their battles. In Beyblade, these spirits are represented by the beyblades' bit-beasts; in Yu-Gi-Oh! the spirits are found in the Millennium items. The creatures are brought to life in Yu-Gi-Oh! with the use of a holographic field, while it’s the spirit of the bit beasts that help make the battles come to life.
3. Kidou Tenshi Enjerikku Reiya (Battle Doll Angelic Layer)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2001 – September 2001
Angelic Layer tells the story of Misaki Suzuhara, a seventh grader who moves to Tokyo to live with her aunt. Upon arriving, she learns of the popular game Angelic Layer, in which players mentally control and battle dolls called "angels." As she adjusts to her new life in Tokyo, Misaki also finds herself involved in the competitive Angelic Layer scene, as well as learning about her past.
Angelic Layer is a bit darker and more mature in nature than Beyblades, due in part to it being more of a drama than straight-up shounen. Like Beyblade, it features a young protagonist who finds themselves challenging themselves and beliefs. Likewise, their skills and personalities help them make friends. While Angelic Layer doesn’t feature a journey as in Beyblade, it is at school that Misaki is able to form bonds with her fellow players.
Any Anime Like Beyblade/ Any Anime Like Bakuten Shoot Beyblade?
4. Gekitou! Crush Gear Turbo
- Episodes: 68
- Aired: Oct 2001 – Jan 2003
Crush Gear Turbo follow Kouya Marino, a 5th grade who is an avid fan of gear fighting, an imaginary sport in which players compete with custom built cars called "gears" to battle one another. Kouya has dreams of becoming a World Champion gear fighter, however, he has a lot to learn and big shoes to fill, as his late brother, Yuuya, was a legendary gear fighter. Crush Gear Turbo sees Kouya trying to earn a name for himself as a gear fighter, as well as restore his brother’s gear club to its former glory.
In both Beyblade and Crush Gear Turbo, there's a large focus on teams; the drama revolving the Bladebreakers deals with many of its members and their former teams, while the Tobita Club is the team that loses its members. The battles in Crush Gear Turbo features a lot of 3D and CGI animation, but are just as exciting as those in Beyblade. Those who enjoyed the real-life idea of strengthening and improving your skill through customization will be happy to know that it is just as prominent a part of Crush Gear Turbo.
5. Gundam Build Fighters
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2013 – March 2014
Another series with real life merchandise, this time, one which inspired the show, is Gundam Build Fighters. Inspired by the success of the Mobile Suit Gundam series, Japan saw the rise of Gundam model kits, a.k.a gunpla, in the 1980's. In Gundam Build Fighters, the gunpla makers are able to participate in Gunpla battles with their gunpla.
Sei Iori dreams of becoming a Gunpla Battle World Champion, much like his father. Unfortunately for Sei, his skills lie within making the models, and not with piloting them. As a result, he is never able to take his skills past the first round of tournaments. That is until he meets Reiji, who's piloting abilities may help Sei achieve his dreams of being a Gunpla Battle World Champion.
Due to its source material, Gundam Build Fighters' fights are a bit more exciting and action packed than Beyblade, but the overall theme of the show is the same. If you enjoyed the way that Beyblade made a common household toy into a customizable battle item then, you should definitely check out Gundam Build Fighters.
6. Cardfight!! Vanguard
- Episodes: 65
- Aired: January 2011 – March 2012
Another card based anime Cardfighter Vanguard follows Aichi Sendou, a junior high schooler, who after having his prized Vanguard card, Blaster Blade, stolen is forced into the world of cardfights. Aichi's desire to become stronger and earn his idol Kai's praise has him playing more and more games and eventually joining a local tournament where he forms the team Q4 with Kai and several other fighters. With the team, Aichi travels Japan playing in tournaments with the goal of becoming national champions.
There are a bit more fantasy elements in play in Cardfight!! Vanguard, than Beyblade, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The added fantasy is what helps to separate Cardfight!! Vanguard from all of the other game based anime. Aichi's team like in Beyblade is made of previous fighters he's battled and friends.
Beyblade, and many others on the list, is probably one of the first shows that many anime lovers watched. As a result, it’s a show whose many characteristics, whether conventionally good or not bring a feeling of nostalgia to its viewers. Most of the shows on this list feature the fun and whacky characters, cringeworthy dubs, and lower quality animation. The few on the list that are a bit more modern follow the same fantasy formula that made you want to go out and buy a beyblade of your own, with the hopes that yours had a living bit beast. I'm still looking for where I can buy an angel...
Let us know what you think of the list, and which gaming anime gives you that feeling of adolescent anime watching nostalgia in the comments below!