Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Based on a line of popular spinning-top toys, Beyblade (originally Bakuten Shoot Beyblade) was transformed into a Japanese manga, or comic magazine, by Takao Aoki, before graduating to animated-series status. Telecast on TV Tokyo from January 8 to December 24, 2001, the series features a group of youthful "BeyBlade Masters" who practice for participation in a world championship. Like the original BeyBlade toy itself, the group is subdivided into specialties, with one cluster of kids specializing in attack rings, another in weight disks, and still another in blade bases (bought separately, these components could be put together into an infinite number of combinations--a fact of course exploited on the cartoon counterpart). After Canada's Nelvana animation firm picked up the North American rights to Beyblade, the 51-episode series premiered on the ABC Family cable channel on July 6, 2002.