Chōdenji Machine Voltes V(超電磁マシーン ボルテスＶ,Chōdenji Mashīn Borutesu Faibu?, Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes Five) more popularly known as Voltes V, is a Japaneseanime television series that was first aired on TV Asahi starting June 4, 1977. It was created by Saburo Yatsude (a pseudonym referring to a committee within Toei Company) 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. This super robot along with the other two aforementioned super robots first appeared the USA as a part of Mattel's Shogun Warriors line of import toys, released in the late 1970s.
Voltes V narrates the heroic exploits of the young robot pilots known as The Voltes Team and their trials against alien invaders from the planet Boazan. Armed with the Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V, the five pilots drive back the invaders one Beast Fighter at a time. The series is different from typical super robot anime of the time in that it illustrates human sentimentality and common values, with underlying themes such as the love of family, equality, selfless sacrifice, team work, and patriotism.
Voltes V is a work that has a heavy revolutionary undertone. The series ends with Voltes V's spectacular counterattack on planet Boazan to liberate the slaves from the oppression of a tyrannical ruler, Emperor Zu Zambojil. After Voltes V, Tadao Nagahama directed the TV anime version of Rose of Versailles, which leaves speculation that perhaps Voltes V was influenced by Nagahama's research on the French Revolution for his future project.[original research?] The theme of enslaved population rising up to overthrow an aristocracy lend support to theory.
Voltes V's arsenal consists of variety of missiles, a bazooka, beams, and weapons such as Chōdenji Top (Similar to the Chōdenji Yo-Yo of Combattler V) and Tenkūken (天空剣 Sky Sword, "Laser Sword" in the English dub, "Excalibur" in the Italian dub). With Tenkūken, Voltes V marks the enemy's final moments with a signature "V" slash. This established it as one of the first super robots to use a sword in its finishing attack.
Voltes V deviates from the robotic design of the Combattler V. Voltes V 's plot has a more serious tone than the comedic storyline of Combattler V. Voltes V also follows a formula similar to that of Daimos.
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 by 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, Katharine, Jangal, 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 Belgan 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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The Voltes V Team and Allies
After the disappearance of Professor Gō, the Earth International Defense Force trained five young people to be highly skilled Earth Defense Agents. Resolute and dedicated fighters, these agents act as both special commando units and pilots of the Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V, against the invading Boazanians.
(Note: Bold items in parentheses indicate character names in the Philippines' English, Filipino and Visayan-dubbed versions.)
Ken'ichi Gō (剛健一,Gō Ken'ichi?, Steve Armstrong/Prince Allen) is the Voltes V team leader. He is a marksman, a Motocross champion, an ace pilot, and the eldest of the three Gō brothers. He was a very adventurous child, but the disappearance of his father changed him. He became more responsible, caring for his younger brothers as well as for the people who depended on him. His uniform was red. Voiced by Yukinaga Shiraishi in the original version of Voltes V. He pilots the Volt Cruiser (ボルトクルーザー,Boruto Kurūzā?) (Head).
Ippei Mine (峰一平,Mine Ippei?, Mark Gordon), a rodeo champion, was orphaned while still a young boy. His mother died trying to save him from a pack of wolves. After his mother's death, he grew bitter, aloof, but cool under crisis. He learned how to live in the streets and perform odd jobs. This kind of life strengthened his personality. Upon joining the rodeo, he learned to ride horses and how to use a whip. He found his greatest friend in a white stallion known as Aiful ("Alpha"). The two, man and beast, became inseparable. He won two rodeo championship contests with Aiful as his horse. Then one day, The Earth International Defense Force asked Ippei to join the team. When he refused, he was taken forcibly, so for the first time, Ippei and Aiful were separated. Dr. Hamaguchi has Aiful brought to Big Falcon early in the series. His uniform was blue. Voiced by Kazuyuki Sogabe in the original Voltes V series. He pilots the Volt Bomber (ボルトボンバー,Boruto Bonbā?) (Arms) and has a Maverick and Iceman-like rivalry with Ken'ichi.
Daijirō Gō (剛大次郎,Gō Daijirō?, Robert "Big Bert" Armstrong), the defense tactician, was once a playful child. But Daijirō's outlook in life suddenly changed when his father disappeared. Alarmed by this change in his personality, Mrs. Gō sent him to live in the country where a martial arts master taught him different fighting styles and forms of meditation. Upon rejoining his brothers, Daijirō was already a master of different hand-to-hand fighting styles. The naginata (fighting staff) became his favorite weapon. Together with Ken'ichi and Hiyoshi, Daijirō started training as a member of the Voltes V Team. Unlike in the group portrait above his uniform was dark green, not brown. Voiced by Tesshō Genda in the original Voltes V. He pilots the Volt Panzer (ボルトパンザー,Boruto Panzā?) (Body Chest).
Hiyoshi Gō (剛日吉,Gō Hiyoshi?, "Little" John Armstrong) is a genius in inventing automatons. He has been interested in learning mechanics, robotics, and electromagnetism since a very young age. He was considered a genius by many university professors. He even created a funny little octopus-robot called Tako-chan ("Octo-One" in the dubbed version). But to his big brothers, Ken'ichi and Daijirō, Hiyoshi will always be a little brother, a child who never felt the warmth and love of a real father. He also excels in swimming and diving. Because of his exceptional talents, Hiyoshi was asked to join the Voltes V Team as a technical handyman, specifically for repairs during field operations. His uniform was light green. Voiced by Noriko Ohara in the original Voltes V series. Volt Frigate (ボルトフリゲート,Boruto Furigēto?) (Legs) is Hiyoshi's vehicle.
Megumi Oka (岡めぐみ,Ōka Megumi?, Jamie Robinson) is a kunoichi (female ninja) and the 18th heir of the Kōga-ryūninja. Megumi received special training during her childhood. By the age of 13, she already possessed extraordinary skills and lightning reflexes. She also learned the gentle arts from her mother. Through her mother's guidance, Megumi became a person with a calm yet alert disposition. Joining the Voltes V Team, she was the voice of reason among the male members, especially whenever Ken'ichi and Ippei were about to clash during personal conflicts. Her cool demeanor and uncanny skills qualified Megumi as the fifth (and only female) member of the Voltes V team. Her uniform was yellow with pink accents. Voiced by Miyuki Ueda, who also played as the voice of Chizuru Nanbara in Combattler V, as Erika in the Daimos series, and as Marie Antoinette in Rose of Versailles; the latter was another series on which Nagahama, the creator of Voltes V, was one of the contributing directors. She pilots the Volt Lander (ボルトランダー,Boruto Randā?) (Feet).
Professor Kentarō Gō (岡防衛,Gō Kentarō?, Doctor Ned Armstrong)/Prince La Gour (プリンスラゴア,Purinsu Ra Goa?, Baron Hrothgar) is the father of the three Gō brothers and also of the Boazanian attack force leader, Prince Heinel; making Prince Heinel a half-brother of the three Gō brothers. He is a royal-blooded Boazanian born without horns and was next in line to the throne of Boazania. Due to this abnormality, based on Boazanian physical characteristics, he had to wear fake horns in order to avoid stigma and scandal. When his secret was revealed by his jealous and ambitious cousin, Zu Zambajil, he was branded a traitor, stripped of his title and imprisoned, until he was able to escape, leading him to planet Earth. After the birth of his youngest son, Hiyoshi, he left earth with the intention of returning to Boazania and putting an end to the tyrannical rule of, now Emperor, Zambajil. Voiced by Yū Mizushima in the original Voltes V series.
Professor Mitsuyo Gō (剛光代,Gō Mitsuyo?, Doctor Mary Ann Armstrong) is the human wife of Professor Kentarō Gō and the mother of the three Gō children. She met La Gour when he escaped Boazania and crash-landed on Earth. She later married Lagour and, as a scientist herself, assisted him in creating Voltes V. She raised her children on her own when her husband left, and continued to care for them until her death. She sacrificed herself to help Voltes V when it was under the mercy of a beast fighter.
Professor Hamaguchi (浜口博士,Hamaguchi-hakase?, Doctor Richard Smith) is the commander of Camp Big Falcon fortress at the beginning of the Voltes V series. He helped design and build the Voltes V robot and is a good friend of Professor Gō. He is somewhat a father figure to the Voltes team, especially to the Gō brothers due to his relationship with their father. He managed Big Falcon on Professor Gō's behalf until he was killed saving Voltes V. He is voiced in the original Voltes V by Seizō Katō.
General Oka (岡防衛長官,Oka-chōkan?, Commander Robinson) is Megumi Oka's father. He is the 17th heir of the Kōga-ryūninja, a co-designer of Voltes V, and commander of the Earth International Defense Force. On the verge of retirement due to ill health; he dies late in the series saving his daughter from a Boazanian beast fighter that had the power to control people's minds. Voiced in the original by Hiroshi Masuoka.
Professor Sakunji (左近寺博士,Sakunji-hakase?, Doctor Hook) is another commander of Big Falcon. After Hamaguchi's death, Sakunji, a former student of Hamaguchi, is called upon to take over command of Big Falcon. He is a hard-nosed commander who continually pushes the Voltes V Team to their limits during training, sometimes to the point of risking their lives. Voiced in the original by Tamio Ouki, who also played General Miwa in Daimos and Captain Tashiro in Gunbuster. Although he first appeared cruel, he has also shown his soft side as the series went through, especially that he was concerned about the people of the Earth more than anything else.
General Dange (ダンゲ将軍,Dange-shōgun?, General Watson) is a Boazanian colleague and ally of Doctor Kentarō Gō. He was a member of Boazanian nobility, and military general until he deliberately broke his horns, because he "..believed in equality and decided to fight for it" and joined the rebellion against Emperor Zambajil. When Dr. Gō returned to Boazania, he broke him from capture and escaped with him to earth, along with a handful of rebels. He assisted Voltes V by piloting the "Mechanical Eagle" and installing new weapons upgrade components during Mid-battle. En route to Camp Big Falcon, he was attacked by a beast fighter and was mortally injured. However, just before he died he managed to tell Ken'ichi, Daijirō, and Hiyoshi of their father and their Boazanian origins.
General Doir (ドイル将軍,Doiru-shōgun?, Commander Garth) is another Boazanian colleague and ally of Doctor Kentarō Gō who escaped with him to earth. He is the leader of the Boazanian refugees/rebels on earth and helped Gō construct the Solar Bird, a giant spaceship that is designed to be the partner for space travel for Camp Big Falcon. After Gō was re-captured by General Gururu, he led the Voltes team and Camp Big Falcon to Boazania to launch the final attack on Emperor Zambojil and his regime.
The Boazanian Nobility
This is the dictatorial regime under Emperor Zu Zambajil, the most despotic emperor in history. During the reign of Emperor Zambajil, the main headquarters was called the Celestial Tower, the symbol of Zambajil's might.
Emperor Zu Zambajil (皇帝ズザンバジル,Kōtei Zu Zanbajiru?) The emperor of Boazania. He was extremely racist, cruel, and selfish, but ultimately a coward, typical characteristics of super robot villains of the time. The bastard son of the previous emperor and his mistress, he overtook the throne when he revealed the "hornlessness" of his cousin, La Gour. Driven by greed and the desire for conquests, he ordered his people to create beast fighters as a tool to expand his empire further. His ambition knew no bounds: Under his rule, horned and hornless alike who dared oppose him were imprisoned, enslaved, and executed. He sent Prince Heinel, the son of La Gour, to Earth, as a means of removing a perceived threat to his rule. As time wore on, he sent others to pretend to aid Heinel while spying on him. When Voltes V and the Big Falcon reached Boazan, the people rebelled against him and the few still loyal to him turned against him and fled. He met his end when, while trying to escape with a wagonload of riches, he was found by Prince Heinel, who killed him in repayment for betraying his planet and people.
Prince Heinel (プリンスハイネル,Purinsu Haineru?, Prince Zardoz) The half-brother to the Gō brothers at their father's side. He was born the son of a traitor, bitter and more of the noble villain. As a child, he had a rough time being called a traitor's son, with no memory of his parents and only loved by his grandparents. He wanted to clean the stain, but being a possible heir makes his second-degree uncle Zambajil hate him secretly and was hesitant to appoint him. Though first shown as a villain and using dirty tactics, he is later seen to be having noble qualities like playing fair at times in contrast to most of his comrades who prefer to use cheating methods like most super robot princes that would eventually succeed him. Graduating as best student at the Institute of Military Science and Warfare, He has a high sense of honor, like most warriors and regards himself more of a soldier than a prince. Due to his repeated failure, his second degree uncle Zambajil removed him from duty. Prince Heinel sought to restore Boazania to glory; after all, he was only a scapegoat. He would rather die in battle than die a loser. He later realized that he was fighting against his own father and his own half-siblings. His mother was Lozaria, the Boazanian wife of La Gour/Kentaro Gō who died after giving birth to him. When he saw Zambajil try to escape, he threw a dagger (which came from his mother) to kill the despotic Emperor to redeem himself. In the end, he died a redeemed man, peaceful, enjoying a few moments of peace having saved his younger half-brother Kenichi's life.
Katherine Rii (リーカザリーン,Rī Kazarīn?, Zandra) Prince Heinel's aide and would-be lover. Motivated by love, she remained loyal to her prince until the end, when she took a sniper's bullet, saving his life. As she died, she confessed her love to him, and he realized that he loved her, too.
Jangal Rui (ルイジャンギャル,Rui Jangyaru?, Draco) The three-horned General sent to Earth with Prince Heinel and Katharine. Fiercely loyal to Heinel while also a wise strategist, he is the one who convinced Heinel, and himself, that the Gō Brothers are actually part Boazanian. He later chose death over surrender to the Voltes team.
Zuhl (ズール,Zūru?) The one-horned, aged, hunchback, toothless scientist, one of Prince Heinel's original aides. His invention of the Anti-Super Electromagnetic Device nearly destroyed Voltes V. Cunning and contemptuous, he discreetly captured Prof Go just before he returned to Earth and attempt to use him for his plans to kill Heinel and Voltes V. Eventually, his attempt to betray Heinel failed and he was executed.
Bergan (ベルガン,Berugan?, General Oslack) The second general sent by the Emperor, sent by Emperor Zambojil to keep an eye on Prince Heinel and kill him if necessary. He kept his identity concealed most of the time with a blank mask. Upon arrival, he created a combat beast with a special alloy called Maxingal, the same alloy used for his armor, which was supposedly impervious to Voltes V's weapons and sword. Using this alloy, he intended to defeat Voltes V and take over Heinel's position, but lost and became Zuhl's replacement under Heinel. Since his arrival, all beast fighters constructed has Maxingal as standard armor but they're still no match when Voltes V upgraded its sword with the Chōdenji/Superelectromagnetic Ball. Along with Gururu, he betrayed Heinel and attempted to blew up Earth with a Magmite Bomb. During the battle to liberate Boazan, he died when the starship he and Gururu were on was destroyed by Voltes V.
Gururu (グルル,Gururu?, Baron Zander) The head of the Boazanian Military and the last commander sent to Earth. He re-captured Lagour/Prof Gō and betrayed Heinel with Bergan. Overconfident, he was killed during the liberation of Boazan.
Duke Zaki (ザキ侯爵,Zaki Kōshaku?) The chief inspector of Emperor Zambajil, and one of few who knew about Zamabajil's betrayal to Lagour and the Boazanian throne. He is well known to deliver bad news to the emperor from his scouting, thus many executions ordered by the Emperor was a result of his reports. Zambajil sent him to Earth to report on Heinel's progress, but discreetly wanted him to ensure Heinel's death at the hands of Voltes V. He plotted with Zuhl to have Heinel pilot a beast fighter, while at the same time leaked information to Big Falcon about the beast fighter's weak points. His plan backfired when Katharine overheard the plot. Heinel ordered Zuhl to reinforce the weak points, and in mid battle the beast fighter destroyed Zaki's nearby ship with him inside.
Notable: Kim Atienza revealed in a TV show in GMA 7, that he was Steve Armstrong's second dubber when Voltes V was dubbed for the first time in Filipino. He was still a councillor of Manila at the time he did work on the series.
Voltes 5 Evolution Cast (redubbed Tagalog version in 2005)
The following names replaced the original voice actors in the redub version on Hero TV.
During the series' run, Popy released a diecast metal toy of Voltes V. The toy was available either with the five Volt Machines sold separately or in a gift set known as the "Volt In Box". Aside from the Volt Machines combining to form Voltes V, the toy also transformed into Voltank mode (an alternate vehicle mode wherein the robot lied down face-first with the Volt Panzer and Volt Lander's wheels on the ground). Voltank mode never appeared in the series, but was a unique feature of the toy. The boxed set was re-released in 1982 before being repackaged as part of Bandai's Godaikin line for the international market in 1983.
Popy also released a Jumbo Machinder version of Voltes V. Standing at over 24 inches in height, the toy featured firing projectile fists and could transform into Voltank mode, which small children could ride on.
In 2006, Bandai released a newer, smaller Voltes V toy as part of their Soul of Chogokin line. This toy is more detailed and more poseable than its Popy diecast predecessor. In 2008, the toy was re-released as a special edition called "Respect for Volt In Box", which pays homage to the original toy in both color scheme and packaging. In addition, this version has been retooled to transform into Voltank mode.
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 animé 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 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. This decision alienated older, loyal fans[who?] who claimed the new voice actors lack effort in portraying their characters, or altogether miscast: however, the redub did somehow manage to pull though its whole run and had gone though at least one rerun in the said channel.
An American English dubbed version was released in North America in 1983 by 3B Productions as Voltus 5. It was a condensed version of the first three episodes of the series. The English dub used the character names of the Philippine English version and had the theme song replaced with a generic instrumental.
In the Philippines, Voltes V was followed by a comic single, Camp Big V, in which Big Falcon was converted into a school for both humans and Boazanians.
The opening theme song of Voltes V is used on the Bubble Gang sketch Ang Dating Doon, a parody of the religious program Ang Dating Daan. During its first run from 1998–99, it displayed a toy Voltes V model in most sketches as a way to promote the said program.