Season 1, Episode 1: The Blade Raider
We're introduced to the concept of Beyblade and its characters in this pilot episode. Tyson comes across a blader with a bad attitude who likes to steal other kids' blades.
The most important episode in the series: the pilot episode. The show is very much trying to find its own feet at this point. While we’re introduced to a few main characters in this episode, and some particularly memorable supporting characters, you’ll find there are all sorts of teething problems with this episode and the next couple. Mispronounced names, moments lost in translation and people straight up re-introducing themselves as though they hadn’t already been introduced.
I’ve always said that this series is a real slow-starter; it’d be easy to give up on it if you didn’t know what was coming. But that’s kind of what I love about it. I won’t go into too many spoilers for those of you who are watching for the first time, but this episode gives you absolutely zero clue of what’s in store.
The real purpose of this episode is to familiarize the audience with the concept of beyblading itself, a couple of the characters, and the setting. Overall I think this is a reasonable introductory episode that’s actually much more enjoyable to look back on after seeing the series in its entirety than it is to watch the first time.
What I Liked
We really get to know Tyson’s character in this episode. He displays his strong moral compass, showing visible horror that Carlos has been taking other kids’ beyblades. We see him practicing throughout the night to achieve the perfect launch in order to double the speed of his beyblade.
My Favourite Quote
Grandpa: “Now get your little tush back inside, it’s time we had a little rap session.”
Tyson: “Not the birds and bees speech-”
Grandpa: “-No, that’s next week.”
- In the Japanese version of this episode there was an extra moment when Tyson is eating dinner with Grandpa. In the English version, Tyson looks over at the fish in Grandpa’s chopsticks and then gets the idea to double the length of his ripcord. In the Japanese version, Tyson actually visualises multiple fish in single-file during this scene. I have no idea why it was cut out of the English dub.
- When Kenny introduces Dizzy, he explains that she’s a bit beast trapped in his laptop. Tyson replies with “You got a bit beast trapped in your laptop?!” in outrage. However, in a future episode, Tyson doesn’t seem to know what a bit beast is. Maybe he was just pretending to know in this episode…
- Kai introduces himself as the leader of the blade sharks, which Kenny then calls the “bey sharks” in the next line. This is a classic example of a pilot episode teething problem.