Chōdenji Machine Voltes V is a Japanese anime television series which first aired on TV Asahi on June 4, 1977. It was created by Saburo Yatsude and directed by Tadao Nagahama. Voltes V is the second part of the Robot Romance Trilogy of the Super Robot genre which includes Chōdenji Robo Combattler V and Tōshō Daimos. Like Combattler V, the series was animated by Sunrise and produced by Toei Company. The series was animated by Sunrise on Toei’s behalf.
Voltes V was broadcast in Japan by TV Asahi from June 4, 1977 to March 25, 1978.
In the Philippines, since May 5, 1978, an English-language dub of Voltes V was first aired on GMA-7, which was shown every Friday (6:00 pm) and lasted for a year until 1979.In 1979, shortly before the series finale, then-president Ferdinand Marcos issued a directive banning Voltes V and other similarly-themed anime series due to concerns about “excessive violence“. The directive also led to speculations at the time that the series was also taken off the air due to its aforementioned revolutionary undertones.In 2012, Marcos’ son Bongbong defended his father’s decision to ban Voltes V, stating that parents before were worried about the excessive violence in the show, so Marcos pulled the show and other robot-based animated series from television to appease their demands.
In 1986, the series was aired in PTV-4 then on ABS-CBN from 1986–1987 then on RPN-9 from 1988–1989 and on IBC-13 from 1989 (brief Tagalog dub Episodes 1 -11) and 1994 (English reruns Episodes 1 – 31), and on GMA in 1999 which was shown in English & later in Tagalog and Cebuano.The latter’s popularity spurred numerous homages and pastiches, namely the Ang Dating Doon parody religion sketch in Bubble Gang.In 2005, the cable channel Hero, owned by the ABS-CBN Corporation, released Voltes V as Voltes V Evolution.However, the voice cast was different from the GMA version. In an attempt to promote the show to a younger audience, the network had Jett Pangan, Sandara Park, Dennis Trillo and other Filipino celebrities re-dub the characters’ voices.
In the Philippines, Voltes V has embedded itself in Filipino pop culture.The debut album of the Filipino rock band Eraserheads is titled Ultraelectromagneticpop!, a reference to the “Ultraelectromagnetic Top” used in the series. A thirteen-foot sculpture made by Toym Leon Imao called at the time Last, Lost, Lust for Four Episodes was displayed in front of the Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines Diliman from September 20 to 28, 2014, consisting of brass, fiberglass, and galvanized iron. The sculpture was made to represent “the anger felt as a 10-year-old when Voltes V and the other robots were summarily removed from television.
An armada of horned humanoid aliens known as Boazanians invade earth and launch their “beast fighters” all over the world, defeating most of the world’s armed forces including the US military. Their first humiliating defeat from the hands of Super Electromagnetic Machine, Voltes V brings the invaders to focus their attacks on Japan. Voltes V was designed by Professor Kentaro Gō (Doctor Ned Armstrong), his wife Professor Mitsuyo Gō (Doctor Mary Ann Armstrong) and their trusted colleague, Professor Hamaguchi (Doctor Richard Smith) and built by large scale construction effort backed by United Nations Earth Defense Force and General Oka (Commander Robinson). Voltes V is a robot composed of five “Volt Machines”, and each are themselves formidable weapons. Each machine is piloted by Ken’ichi (Steve), Daijiro (Big Bert), and Hiyoshi (Little John): the three sons of Kentaro and Mitsuyo Gō, along with the only daughter of General Oka; Megumi (Jaime Robinson), and Ippei Mine (Mark Gordon), an orphan cowboy.
Voltes V’s home base is Camp Big Falcon, a fortress situated on a bird-shaped island along the coast of Japan. Voltes V’s enemies are the Boazanians; namely Prince Heinell (Prince Zardoz), Katharine (Zandra), Jangal (Draco), and Zuhl. The series focuses on the struggle against the Boazanian invaders, and the Gō brothers’ search for their long-lost father, Kentarō Gō. As the series progresses, four major characters — Professor Mitsuyo Gō, Zuhl, General Oka and Professor Hamaguchi — die. Zuhl and Hamaguchi are replaced by General Bergan and Professor Sakunji (Doctor Hook), respectively. Later in the series, the brothers learn of their unique heritage of being half Boazanian. The characters deal with their identity’s impact on their own lives and that on both their close friends and bitter enemies.
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