Superbook in the Philippines | 90's English-Dubbed Children's Show

Superbook was an English-dubbed animated show for children which aired in the Philippines back in the late 90's about bible stories. Superbook, originally entitled "Animated Parent and Child Theatre" in Japan was initially produced by Tatsunoko Productions in Japan in conjunction with the Christian Broadcasting Network in the United States that originally run from October 1, 1981 to March 29, 1982 on TV Tokyo (in Japan) and on CBN (United States) with a total of 52 episodes; two seeming different season (or series) in terms of the iteration of the story. Let's go down memory lane and remember the original English-dubbed Superbook run in Philippine Television.

Superbook English-Dubbed Religious Children Show 90's  Retro Pilipinas Feature

Superbook - The Story
About Superbook

The first series (season) of Superbook began at the home of a young boy named Christopher Peeper (Sho Azuka in Japanese) who discovers the "Superbook" (Time/Space Travel Book) Bible that speaks and sends him, his friend Joy (Azusa Yamato), and his clockwork toy robot Gizmo (Zenmaijikake) back in time to the early events of the Old Testament. Gizmo can walk and talk, but only for the duration of the adventure and needs to be wound up regularly in order to function. This first series of Superbook featured stories mainly from the Old Testament of the Hebrew Scriptures, although a few episodes dealt with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Superbook original 80's and 90's anime religious show featuring Christopher Chris Peeper, Joy, Uriah Peeper, Gizmo, and Ruffles Superbook classic

In the second series of Superbook II (episode 27 onwards), which took place two years after the first series, the book fell onto a computer keyboard, giving anybody the ability to see into the past from Christopher's home via the monitor. Ruffles, Chris' dog, managed to get lost in time, prompting Gizmo and Chris' cousin Uriah (or "Uri" for short; Hisashi in the original Japanese) to search for her. Chris and Joy kept watch and control of the computer from the present. The older children also had a hard time trying to keep what happened a secret from Chris's parents. Gizmo appeared as a functioning robot in the present day rather than as a toy (first series) in this (second) series, however Gizmo still needs to be wound up on a regular basis. Gizmo also had a built in computer keyboard and a monitor in his chest in order for Gizmo and Uri to stay in contact with Chris and Joy in the present day as well as transporting to other places in time or returning to the present. The Second Season of Superbook focused solely on Old Testament stories; covering some stories featured in Season One (for example, the stories of Abraham, Joseph and King David) in more detail, while also covering and featuring some stories not included in the first series (i.e. the Fall of Sodom and Gomorrah).

Superbook Series 2 US Opening Theme
Superbook Season 2 US Series Intro

Superbook Series 1 Japanese Opening Theme
Superbook Season 1 Japanese Series Intro

You'll notice that the original Japanese intro for Superbook was used as a the closing theme for the US version only translated or dubbed in English.

Superbook Series 2 Japanese Opening Theme
Superbook Season 2 Japanese Series Intro

Superbook Series 1 US Closing Theme
Superbook Season 1 US Series Outro

Superbook Series 2 US Opening Theme
Superbook Season 2 US Series Intro

Superbook Series 1 Japanese Closing Theme
Superbook Series 1 Japanese Series Outro

What can be said about Superbook's run in Philippine television back in the late 90's? Well, looking back at it now it sure brings a lot of nostalgia specially that US opening and closing theme. They are those that will keep ringing in your head when you feel like being nostalgic about it. The concept of kids traveling through time to learn various life lessons and learning about "historical" characters seems to be a great formula; ABS-CBN's Bayani uses this same formula as well. If only there is a computer that allows one be "magically" transported to the world found in the book that falls on it and not be harmed by "some" violent tendencies also featured in that book. What if the characters of Superbook was in the actual Sodom and Gomorrah and while it was being "purged", Superbook would probably be not that too kid-friendly. Oh wait a minute, I remember the story of "Joshua and Walls of Jericho" (also "The Battle of Jericho") which was also featured in Superbook. So that probably answered my question, as long as violence is kept from the eyes of the main protagonists and the young audience, it is all good; but I digress.

Superbook original Japanese 80's anime and Christian Broadcasting Network's English-Dubbed Religious Show for Children in its original Philippine television run in the late 90's

In a majorly Christian (or Catholic) country like the Philippines, the English-dubbed Superbook animated series blends so perfectly well. Who knew that most of us kids growing up during the 90's were already being indoctrinated in teachings of Christianity specifically Old Testament Bible stories through this wonderful anime about "time travel". Now that we are all grown up and have wider views with the world now, we can all see what Superbook is really IS now.

Superbook title card english-dubbed religious show for kids Filipino tv philippine television run in the late 90's

How about you guys? What are your fondest memories with Superbook? Share your thoughts and opinion about the original English-dubbed Superbook Philippine television run in the comments section below.

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