And for some reason, I would have blue hair

Friday, 18 July 2003 — 10:58am | Television

There is a veritable plethora of cartoons I watched as a child whose titles I don’t remember. This is mostly due to the fact that in addition to your standard repertoire of Inspector Gadget, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toon Adventures and Darkwing Duck – not to mention Golden Age relics like Rocky and Bullwinkle – a good number of them were Japanese productions overdubbed in Cantonese.

Naturally, through the power of the Internet, I managed to dig some up. Some of them were relatively easy to find, most notably Doraemon, which, as it turns out, is pretty much the biggest hit in the history of Japanimation. However, the majority of them are more obscure than a zyzzyva, which is why I was pleasantly surprised today when I actually found one of the shows I followed most closely.

As I discovered, its title is Pro Golfer Saru, and there also exists a video game of it for the Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the NES) which is still busy preserving its legacy.

Now this was one heck of a show. The entire plot revolved around a golfer kid who marginally resembled a monkey, and whose quest was to become the best golfer in the world, by way of entering the most ridiculous tournaments – waylaid, of course, by some evil shadowy bad guy I can’t remember whose raison d’être was to set him back. Naturally, he was also aided by the assistance of his trusty caddy crew, about which I remember nothing except how among them there was one kid with swirly glasses.

The courses made the show, as they featured the most exotic and imaginative locations. This was a matter of avoiding not sand traps, but bottomless chasms shrouded with fog. At least one episode found our hero making his way across a narrow land bridge over the billowing plumes of fire of an erupting volcanic plain. Every chapter of this story culminated in a grand climax where he wound up for his Super Shot, and the best way to describe it is this: think of the fiery shot in Shaolin Soccer that rips the pitch to shreds. Now imagine that with a golf ball, and you’ve got it.

Japanese cartoons are weird, man.

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