They’re cats who are also samurai and they like pizza. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, racism and a bunch of other issues stopped Samurai Pizza Cats from being greater than the premise was and Dan Larson tells the story of its history.
If you want to see what all the fuss was about, you can stream it for free on Peacock or Amazon Prime.
Last September, Toy Galaxy discussed the history of Toonami and how a block of cartoons became an evening staple for children and adults alike to enjoy anime.
Toonami—a portmanteau of the words “cartoon” and “tsunami”—started in 1997 as a weekday afternoon cartoon block hosted by Space Ghost villain Moltar. From there, it took on many iterations, eras, new hosts, cancellations, revivals, and programming changes.
It also helped to popularise shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing, and Samurai Jack, and influenced a slew of artists and gamers.
Today, in its current form, it lives as a late-night block on Adult Swim, airing mostly mature Japanese animation.
I once had a collection of Pokémon cards donated to me by my cousin. 2 years later, I sold them all for £20. I’ve made worse decisions since but that was a pretty bad one.
However, Dan Larson of Toy Galaxy had a clear mind when he sold his toy collection back in 2018.
Who is Dan Larson?
Dan Larson is a content creator, graphic artist, writer and host of Toy Galaxy, a YouTube channel dedicated to toys, comics, and all related media. (And he is awesome.)
At present, Toy Galaxy boasts over 165,000 subscribers and covers a wide range of topics, mostly in the form of top 10s and historical overviews. (And it is awesome.)
Gone but not forgotten
In a video, titled “Why I Sold My Collection“, Dan discussed his reasons for selling and how a need to “collect everything” got quickly out of hand. In his own words, he sold his toy collection to save it and gave some sage advice on how he managed to take control.
“If I’ve learned one thing from 24 years on the internet, it’s that if a thing exists, someone is out there collecting it.”
But collecting things can turn into an obsession as Dan mentioned in the video intro:
“[…] part of being a collector – any kind of collector – is knowing when it’s time to step away from the collection, from the neverending pursuit of the next piece, and reassess what you’re doing and why. What are you collecting? Is it even the same thing you set out to collect when you started? How far away from the original idea have you strayed? How far will you go to justify that something should be a part of your collection just to be able to add to your collection?
Dan’s story transcends the collection of toys, or any paraphernalia for that matter. Unless you’re one of those minimalists, you’ll have collected items, consciously or otherwise, and you’ve avoided getting rid of the things you don’t need. Then you’ll continue collecting until you have the “moment of clarity” as Dan put it in the video.
Stream the video below and hopefully, you’ll find your own moment of clarity.
TigerSharks was an animated series created by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass of Rankin/Bass in 1987. As you might have guessed from the intro and the names I just mentioned, the production company were also responsible for ThunderCats and SilverHawks.
The series featured a team of human hybrid heroes that transformed into different marine animals. The main characters were:
Mako – A scuba diver and unofficial leader of the TigerSharks. He transformed into a mako shark hybrid and his superpower was super speed underwater. He could also slice through metal.
Walro – A STEM (science, tech, engineering, mathematics) genius who created the Fish Tank (the device used to make everyone transform). He transformed into a walrus hybrid.
Dolph – A scuba diver and second-in-command. Dolph transformed into a dolphin hybrid, which gave him super agility underwater.
Octavia – The captain of the SARK (their ship). Octavia transformed into an octopus hybrid.
Lorca – A mechanic. Lorca transformed into an orca hybrid.
Bronc – A teenage assistant in the SARK. He transformed into a seahorse hybrid.
Angel – An assistant in the SARK and Bronc’s sister. She transformed into an angelfish hybrid.
Gupp – The TigerSharks’ pet dog. He transformed into a… seal? Sealion? I dunno.
The story was that the TigerSharks were humans who transformed into human/marine animal super hybrids using a device called the Fish Tank. Their base was a spaceship called the SARK and it also contained the Fish Tank as well as other facilities used for marine research.
This all took place on a planet called Water-O (pronounced Wah-tare-oh) which sounded very similar to the post-apocalyptic version of Earth in Waterworld (spoiler alert: Kevin Costner was a human/marine animal mutant hybrid in the film).
While on a research mission, the Tigersharks became defenders of Water-O against the evil T-Ray and a handful of other villains that appear on the show.
A damp squib of a series
Unfortunately, the show only lasted for one series of 26 episodes. It aired as part of a cartoon anthology show called The Comic Strip alongside equally-forgotten titles such as Street Frogs, The Mini-Monsters, and Karate Kat.
Its short run meant there was hardly any merch to go with it and the toys you can find on eBay today are rare and expensive. The show did make a cameo appearance in the ThunderCats reboot in 2011 which suggests it could technically come back if rights owners Warner Bros lost their minds and brought it back. Not likely – it’s WB after all.
Where you can watch TigerSharks
Due to its lack of popularity, the series was never released on VHS (at least not in full – two episodes came out as part of a Comic Strip series), DVD (but there are some bootlegs), or Blu-Ray (although the naming ideas write themselves for the latter). But someone on YouTube has made a playlist of episodes and other related videos to enjoy, including reviews, podcasts, the other cartoons from The Comic Strip, and a video about actual tiger sharks.
I strongly recommend you stream the Toy Galaxy episode below because it’s very funny and Dan Larson is awesome.