FLINT THE TIME DETECTIVE/FLINT HAMMERHEAD (1998)
known in Japan as Jikū Tantei Genshi-kun (時空探偵ゲンシクン, Space-Time Detective Genshi-kun), is an animated Japanese television series directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi and developed by Sanrio. It was based on a manga by Hideki Sonoda and Akira Yamauchi and was published by Kodansha in Japan.
Why was it forgotten?: IT AIRED ON A LARGELY UNKNOWN PROGRAMMING BLOCK
The first anime on the Good Forgotten Cartoon segment is one that I remember fondly from when I was younger.
It was produced by Sanrio of all people; the folks that make all kinds of cutesy things and plaster Hello Kitty on everything.
It was a nifty little time traveling action-adventure series about a little cave boy named Flint Hammerhead who travels throughout time, meeting famous and very anime historical figures, and helping them with their most historically relevant problem.
Flint and his small team mainly roll through time to rescue little creatures called Time Shifters whom through in-universe explanations are supposed to help keep the time stream intact.
They also double as cute characters that look like they just stepped off the Sanrio production line.
Shame that I’ve never actually come across any toys, or apparel, or any kind of merchandise in America or Japan for this series. It’s weird, considering the company that will slap a character on anything and plop it down in stores.\
Anyway, that’s the show. It’s very formulaic but like most time traveling stories it has such a variety of locations in history that it stays interesting and you can enjoy it if you’re young, old, a boy, or a girl.
So what happened? Why did this series kind of drop off the face of the earth?
I can’t say for the rest of the world but in America it kind of landed in an inconvenient time slot. It was on waaaaaay early in the morning on Sunday on Fox Family. It was part of a programming block called Made In Japan which featured Digimon, and for some reason also ran the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon.
Of course, I got up to watch Digimon but this was on and I couldn’t help but watch this as well, and I found I enjoyed it for like, the… 8 or so months that it was on television.
- Viewers says that Flint resembles Son Goku from Dragon Ball and his weakness is when his stomach runs on empty.
- Saban Entertainment licensed & did the English adaptation for Flint, which is very different from the original Japanese version.
- All the original Japanese music score is replaced with a new American-made soundtrack; all the sound effects are changed as well. Traditional Japanese cultural music is heard in the American dub, but because the music and sound effects are changed, it sounds a lot different in the dub than in the original Japanese version.
- All the dialogue is completely changed and rewritten to be a lot different from that of the original Japanese dialogue, in which puns, jokes, and humor are added.
- Even though the character names are changed to more Americanized full names, the setting of the country is still kept as in Japan, and much of the Japanese culture are kept as well as much of the Japanese text, left out untouched and untranslated.
- In the Japanese version, many Time Shifters say only their own names whereas in the English version they are capable of speaking in English.
It’s a good series if you ask me, and definitely something I’d recommend if you have a young relative or someone like that who wants to get into anime. There isn’t much continuity, it has cute character designs, and it’s got plenty of action so they’ll probably like it.
Good thing that somebody else feels the same because the series is on youtube.