Season 1, Episode 4: The Qualifier Begins
The tournament has begun, and there are a few familiar faces in the runnings.
The regional tournament is set into motion, with Tyson, Max and Kenny all competing together in this battle-heavy episode. This episode also makes the first appearance of two legendary voices who we never see: Brad Best and AJ Topper – and they have some truly hilarious lines right from the get-go!
This also marks one of the rare occasions we see Kenny wielding a launcher and his trusty beyblade: Hopper. As you’d expect from Kenny, it has a somewhat quirky design that plays to Kenny’s great ability to think outside the box, and has the ability to bounce on a spring.
In an easy-to-miss piece of dialogue, the Seaside Dome stadium this tournament is taking place in is revealed to be in “Bey City” or “Bay City”. It’s likely to be “Bey City”, but I personally don’t like when shows name entire cities after the item the show itself focusses on. It makes it seem like this whole universe is dedicated solely to beyblades, and I prefer to think of it being a much more vibrant universe than that. For that reason, I’m pretending it’s “Bay City” because it’s by the water.
This is a fun episode and it serves the important purpose of showing how much in-universe interest there is in the sport. Until now we didn’t know that beyblade battles would draw these huge crowds, TV commentators and more.
What I Liked
I enjoyed the amount of action in this episode and the camaraderie between Tyson, Kenny and Max. The dialogue between AJ Topper and Brad Best is second-to-none.
My Favourite Quote
AJ Topper: “Well if you’d checked your notes Brad, you’d realize Kai has joined the battle.”
Brad Best: “... You have notes?”
- Just like Dizzi, Brad Best and AJ Topper don’t actually appear in the Japanese version of the show and were added in for the English Dub. DJ Jazzman had more dialogue in the original version.
- During the battle between Tyson and the Blade Sharks, Tyson’s beyblade is the last one left spinning but he and Carlos are to face one another in a subsequent round. It isn’t clear why Tyson wasn’t declared the winner immediately in the western dub. In the Japanese dub, Tyson is the winner, but challenges Carlos to a separate one-on-one battle and this is allowed to go ahead.
- In the Japanese dub, it’s made clear that Carlos has hidden a knife blade in his weight disk and that’s why he’s able to slice through his opponent’s beyblades so easily. This was likely removed from the western dub out of fear of children emulating this tactic. You can see the bladed disk in several scenes after Carlos’ defeat however.