Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
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|Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs|
Screenshot of the title screen from Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
(Sei Jūshi Bisumaruku)
|Genre||Space western, Mecha|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Franklin Cofod|
World Events Productions
|Original run||September 14, 1987 – September 2, 1988|
|Episodes||52 (46 of 51-original episodes + 6 extra episodes)|
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs is an animated television space western, similar to the series The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and BraveStarr. The series premiered in the United States in 1987 and had a run of 52 episodes.
The show was based on Star Musketeer Bismarck (星銃士ビスマルク Seijūshi Bisumaruku?), a Japanese anime series created by Studio Pierrot that achieved moderate success in Japan. The English language rights to the series was purchased by World Events Productions (WEP), the same company behind the English-language version of Voltron, in 1986. WEP reorganized and rewrote the series, incorporating the original episodes and creating 6 new ones, before releasing it under the name Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs.
The series is set in the distant future. Humans have spread beyond Earth and colonized planets across the universe, creating a New Frontier of man. In order to protect these new settlers and maintain laws and regulations in the New Frontier, Earth's Cavalry Command was created. Cavalry Command is a military organization, maintaining an army and fleet of ships to protect the New Frontier. Within Cavalry Command is a unit of special operatives known as Star Sheriffs that function as field agents, investigating crimes and plots against the security of the New Frontier.
The main foe of Cavalry Command and the Star Sheriffs is a race of non-human creatures known as Vapor Beings (also sometimes called Outriders) that jumped into our dimension in order to conquer it. They attack the settlers, destroy settlements, and kidnap humans, in order to mine various metals or crystals from the soil.
Outriders are superior to humans in battle technology. They control a legion of gigantic robots with weapons greatly superior to the weapons and defenses of the space-going fleets of Cavalry Command. In response to the threat, Cavalry Command developed a prototype ship known as the "Ramrod Equalizer Unit" (or just Ramrod) that has the ability to turn from a spaceship into a powerful robot that can fight the Outriders on equal terms.
- Saber Rider
- Original name: Richard Lancelot
- The title character in the American version of the series, Saber Rider is the captain of the Ramrod Equalizer Unit. He is occasionally referred to by the nickname "Top Sword". He is a young man, yet is described as having "legendary" skills and marksmanship. Saber Rider hails from the Scottish Highlands, and is an expert with both swords and horses. He is generally depicted as being a gentleman, with a cool head for tactics and decisions. In Sei Jūshi Bismarck, the character is of British nationality. The American version retained the British Union Jack on the upper arm and the helmet of Saber Rider's uniform.
- Saber Rider often rides a robotic horse named Steed, who has high–powered thrusters, and the ability to fly, run, and function in space. However, he is not capable of long–range space travel, so Steed is kept stored in Ramrod's cargo bay, during journeys. He is used mainly to travel to planets from orbit, or utilized on a planet's surface. Steed is almost sentient; he is capable of recognizing his master's voice, and working independently when Saber Rider is in danger.
- Fireball Hikari
- Original name: Shinji Hikari
- Fireball, a former race car driver, was the youngest champion driver in history. He now serves as the pilot of the Ramrod Unit, and also controls the chest cannons and heavy weaponry located in Ramrod's chest region. He drives the Red Fury Racer/Turbo, a race car armed with an extensive arsenal of weapons. He has a somewhat quick temper, and at one time boasted of having a perfect memory. In the original Sei Jūshi Bismarck, Fireball is the Japanese leader of the crew. The Japanese flag is on his sleeve and his helmet.
- During the course of the series, he discovers that his father was a fighter pilot who fought alongside King Jaray of the Legendary Kingdom of Jarr when the Outriders first attacked, fifteen years ago. Sacrificing himself, Fireball's father sent his ship into Nemesis's command ship, robbing Nemesis of his body and sending them both into the Outrider dimension where he is still lost to this day.
- Colt Willcox
- Original name: Bill Willcox
- Colt is introduced in the series as a bounty hunter on the trail of Vanquo, an Outrider spy. Colt has an almost infallible accuracy with firearms, and serves as the gunner on board Ramrod. His character is depicted as somewhat of a loner, but also as an outrageous flirt; he makes flirts with nearly every woman he meets. His parents were attacked and presumably killed by Outriders just after Colt left to join a traveling rodeo. This event prompted him to become a bounty hunter.
- For personal transportation and solo battles he uses a blue and white one-man spaceship he calls the Bronco Buster. In Sei Jūshi Bismarck, the character comes from the United States, therefore a US flag is seen as a patch on his uniform.
- Commander Eagle
- Original name: Charles Louvre
- Commander Eagle is the leader of Cavalry Command, which includes all of the fleets and armies that protect the United Star Systems, including the Star Sheriffs. Eagle takes his responsibilities seriously, but underneath has a warm heart and caring nature.
- April Eagle
- Original name: Marianne Louvre
- April Eagle is the daughter of Commander Eagle. She is the engineer who designed, and was in charge of, Project Ramrod. Before joining the Star Sheriffs, she was a professional tennis player. She was trained at Cavalry Command under General Whitehawk. April has a robotic horse named Nova with the abilities of Saber Rider's Steed.
- April is the subject of several romantic plot arcs. In early episodes of the series, April had an unrequited crush on Saber Rider. In later episodes, Jesse Blue had an unrequited love interest in Eagle. Finally, April and Fireball did begin a romantic relationship. Unlike most similar series, in Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs the heroine does not end up in a romantic relationship with the main hero. This is because her eventual love interest, Fireball, was the hero in the original Japanese version.
- In the Japanese version, April is French, which is why her uniform bears the French tricolor.
- Original name: Bismark
- Ramrod (voiced by Peter Cullen) was developed by April Eagle as the technological "miracle weapon" that would allow humans to oppose the Outriders. Although it can be flown by one person, the ship is designed to be operated by four people, each sitting in separate units that control specific functions: navigation (April), gunner unit (Colt), pilot (Fireball) and the commander/tactician (Saber Rider).
- A highlight of every episode is Ramrod's transformation from an airborne battleship into a giant robot. When the Ramrod Equalizer Unit undergoes the "Challenge Phase" it calls out its rallying cry in a heavy Western drawl, "Head 'em up, move 'em out...power stride, and ready to ride." The Ramrod vehicle will transform into a giant robot packing an oversized six-shooter at the hip, and appears to be wearing a cowboy hat and a cape. The battle conversion to robot form is used mainly when the Star Sheriffs encounter the Outriders's form of giant robot, which is known as a Renegade or Desperado Unit. In "Maverick Quick-draw" mode, an array of assorted cannons will be deployed at Ramrod's chest, delivering the final blow to send an Outrider "Renegade Unit" back to the Vapor Zone. The Star Sheriffs sometimes refer to Ramrod's robot form as the "Big Sheriff."
- Ramrod was named Bismarck in the Japanese version, hence the series' name Sei Jūshi Bismarck. The Americanized name for the battleship possibly originates from a cowboy slang referring to the person-in-charge of an outfit, the leader of the pack, or the person who gets the job done.
- The Ramrod Equalizer Unit Challenge Phase is essentially the sequence in which Saber Rider And The Star Sheriffs becomes similar to a "monster-fighter series"; otherwise the series' American form, is mainly Western-oriented.
The main antagonists are called the Outriders who are humanoids from the Vapor Zone, an alternate dimension. They do not require oxygen, but do require great quantities of water. They have the ability to disguise themselves as human beings, to the point where even a medical examination will not reveal their true identities.
Their personal existence is bleak, as is their home dimension. They have squandered all the resources on their home planet, forcing them to move to an artificial planet. The Outriders' goal is to conquer mankind and control the universe unhindered—they think the human dimension has much more to offer than their own. When an Outrider is shot or wounded, they do not die, but rather dimension jump, a process where they vanish and return to their home dimension. After dimension jumping, a wisp of poisonous, green gas, and a smudge where the Outrider stood remain. A self-initiated dimension jump leaves no trace at all. Outriders who are shot or killed in the vapor dimension will turn to human. Under unique circumstances an Outrider, while in the human dimension, is in a situation that prevents them from making a dimension jump may also turn to human.
- Original name: Hyuza
- Nemesis, a huge, darkly clad, masked being, is the evil genius in charge of the renegade Outriders. He created the Vapor Trail that allows the Outriders to cross from their dimension into the human dimension. In the last episodes of the series it is revealed Nemesis is a cyborg, and his consciousness also existed as the Nth Degree, a powerful computer on the Outrider's artificial homeworld.
- Saber Rider is the only member of the Star Sheriffs to meet Nemesis one-on-one. In the episode "Stampede", the two faced each other in a laser sword duel after Saber crossed into the Vapor Zone in the wake of an Outrider ship travelling along the Vapor Trail. When Saber Rider was on the verge of winning the duel, Nemesis saved himself by emptying the oxygen from the chamber where they were fighting, rendering Saber Rider unconscious.
- Jesse Blue
- Original name: Perios
- Jesse Blue is a man with odd traits; he has blue-green hair and a sarcastic streak. He was a promising cadet at Cavalry Command, until he fell in love with April Eagle during a training exercise. When April rejected his advances and inadvertently embarrassed him in front of the other cadets, he turned against the Star Sheriffs.
- Jesse cultivated a personal grudge against Saber Rider because he thought it was April's affection for Saber Rider that made her refuse his love. He planted a bomb aboard Ramrod, in an attempt to kill Saber Rider. When he learned April would be aboard at the time it would detonate, he panicked and confessed what he'd done to Saber. While it was too late to stop the bomb from exploding, Saber Rider was able to reach Ramrod in time to prevent the ship from being destroyed. Jesse Blue escaped and became a fugitive, turning his back on Cavalry Command and joining forces with the Outriders. He became obsessed with defeating the Star Sheriffs and conquering the New Frontier.
- Original name: Zatora
- Gattler (occasionally referred to as Gattler the Rattler) wears a foreboding, fanged space mask. When his mask is removed, his form is revealed to be a glowering, dark villain. He is heavy-handed with a heart of stone, and answers only to Nemesis.
- Vanquo is a ghostly Outrider with vacant eyes and a long pale face. He is a sinister character with a chilling laugh. Dressed in a serape and sombrero, he is an incredibly fast draw.
- Vanquo ultimately had a strange fate for an Outrider: he became human. He was confronted by Saber Rider in the Vapor Zone shortly after Saber Rider's duel with Nemesis in the episode "Stampede". Vanquo presented a rather piteous figure, abandoned by Nemesis and knowing he was defeated, he was at Saber Rider's mercy. Saber Rider reasoned that if he shot Vanquo inside the Vapor Zone, he would not be able to dimension jump and reform anew since he was already in his own dimension. This meant that shooting Vanquo would make him a solid being. Saber Rider consoled Vanquo by telling him he might like being a human. Afterwards, Vanquo looked down at his new human body and said, in somewhat teary happiness, "I think I might."
The series' music was scored by Dale Schacker. Schacker was given complete artistic freedom in the composition of the whole score. The score features guitar based music in a fast, rhythmic, yet very fashionable Country Western style. Despite the fact that the music uses synthpop elements, it's predominant instrument is the electric guitar, not a synthesizer, creating a unique sound. Just like a Western movie score, the music is sometimes enriched by whip cracks, rattle snake, harmonica or similar Western sound effects. The music is also intentionally composed with a recurring musical theme, so that the show can be easily recognized, adding a sense of familiarity each time the show is viewed. Despite this aspect, the music does not sound repetitious, since only key elements of the composition are repeated. The opening and closing credits vocals were also sung by Dale Schacker.
Two soundtrack compilations are available, each containing 2 CDs.
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - Soundtrack I
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - Soundtrack II
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - The Game is an upcoming game developed by a German group called the "Saber Rider Game Team", under license from both World Events Productions and Studio Pierrot. The game is planned for multiple platforms, and is targeting a 2015 release.
Originally announced in 2010, the game's development faced several problems, including the shuttering of the original developer Firehazard Studio. Whilst development continues at a slower pace, the future of the game remains dubious. The head of development, Chris Strauss, originally worked on an earlier video game adaptation project, a 2D side-scrolling shooter initially planned for the Game Boy Advance, and later the Nintendo DS. However, the original game was then scrapped due to notions that more "casual" games sold better on the Nintendo DS.
|This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Voice actors should be integrated into the character section.. (September 2012)|
- Rob Paulsen - Saber Rider, Jesse Blue
- Pat Fraley - Fireball
- Pat Musick - April Eagle
- Townsend Coleman - Colt
- Peter Cullen - Narrator, Commander Eagle, Nemesis, Ramrod
- B.J. Ward - Emily Wyeth, Sincia
- Cam Clarke - Philip
- Lennie Weinrib - Colonel Wyatt
- Neil Ross - Buck, Grimmer
- Tress MacNeille - Robin
- Michael Bell - Snake Eyes
|US#||JP#||Title||Japanese title||Original US airdate|
|01.||01.||"Star Sheriff Round Up"||宇宙の冒険野郎 Uchū no Bōkenyarō||September 14, 1987|
|02.||X||"Cavalry Command"||(no Japanese version)||September 15, 1987|
|03.||X||"Jesse's Revenge"||(no Japanese version)||September 16, 1987|
|04.||02.||"Iguana Get To Know You"||俺とあいつとあの野郎 Ore to Aitsu to Ano Yarō||September 17, 1987|
|05.||14.||"Little Hombre"||ラスト・シューティング Rasuto Shuutingu||September 18, 1987|
|06.||21.||"Greatest Show On The New Frontier"||恐怖のロボット・ショー Kyōfu no Robotto Shoo||September 21, 1987|
|07.||03.||"Little Pardner"||小さな名保安官 Chiisana Nahoankan||September 22, 1987|
|08.||04.||"Brawling Is My Calling"||デスキュラ・スパイを撃て! Desukyuura Supai wo Utte!||September 23, 1987|
|09.||08.||"Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away"||謎のスペース・ホース Nazo no Supeesu Hoosu||September 24, 1987|
|10.||16.||"The Castle Of The Mountain Haze"||よみがえる騎士道 Yomigaeru Kishido||September 25, 1987|
|11.||41.||"Oh Boy! Dinosaurs!"||恐竜の星 Kyōryu no Sei||September 28, 1987|
|12.||24.||"Four Leaf Clover"||四つ葉のクローバー Yotsuyō no Kuroobaa||September 29, 1987|
|13.||X||"The Highlanders"||(no Japanese version)||September 30, 1987|
|14.||29.||"What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?"||再会、そして旅立ち Saikai, Soshite Tabidachi||October 1, 1987|
|15.||31.||"Jesse Blue"||アンドロメダから来た男 Andoromeda Kara Kita Otoko||October 2, 1987|
|16.||05.||"Show Down At Cimarron Pass"||激突!! 荒野の決戦 Gekitotsu! Kouya no Kessen||October 5, 1987|
|17.||X||"The Saber And The Tomahawk"||(no Japanese version)||October 6, 1987|
|18.||X||"All That Glitters"||(no Japanese version)||October 7, 1987|
|19.||06.||"Sole Survivor"||美少女エリスの秘密 Bishōjo Erisu no Himitsu||October 8, 1987|
|20.||07.||"Legend Of The Santa Fe Express"||小さな愛の物語 Chiisana Ai no Monogatari||October 9, 1987|
|21.||13.||"Snake Eyes"||死神キッド Shinigami Kiddo||October 12, 1987|
|22.||10.||"Famous Last Words"||ガニメデの鬼将軍 Ganimede no Kishogun||October 13, 1987|
|23.||11.||"Sharpshooter"||老いたる不死鳥 Oitaru Fushicho||October 14, 1987|
|24.||12.||"The Monarch Supreme"||星空のクリスマスカロル Hoshizora no Kurisumasu Karoru||October 15, 1987|
|25.||26.||"Gattler's Last Stand"||ガニメデ最後の決戦 Ganimede Saigo no Kessen||October 16, 1987|
|26.||32.||"Dooley"||デスキュラ・ハンター Desukyuuran Hantaa||October 19, 1987|
|27.||09.||"The Hole In The Wall Gang"||明日への戦い Ashita He no Takakai||October 20, 1987|
|28.||22.||"The All Galaxy Grand Prix"||爆発!! 死のレース Bakuhatsu!! Shi no Reesu||October 21, 1987|
|29.||15.||"Snow-Blind"||白銀の決闘 Hagukin no Kettō||October 26, 1987|
|30.||17.||"Tranquility"||君の手で村を守れ Kimi no Te De Mura wo Mamore||October 27, 1987|
|31.||33.||"Bad Day At Dry Gulch"||幽霊戦隊を叩け! Yūrei Sentai o Takate!||October 28, 1987|
|32.||39.||"Snowcone"||真心が見えた時 Magokoro ga mieta toki||November 2, 1987|
|33.||40.||"Sneaky Spies"||魔のレト星フィールド Ma no Reto Sei Fiirudo||November 3, 1987|
|34.||X||"Stampede"||(no Japanese version)||November 4, 1987|
|35.||27.||"The Challenge (1)"||新たなる決意 ACT-1 Atanaru Ketsui Akuto Wan||November 9, 1987|
|36.||28.||"The Challenge (2)"||新たなる決意 ACT-2 Atanaru Ketsui Akuto Tsuu||November 10, 1987|
|37.||25.||"Born on the Bayou"||猛撃! ブラスター・パルス Mōbaku! Burasutaa Purusu||November 11, 1987|
|38.||37.||"April Rides"||50%の賭け Go-juu Paasento no Kake||November 16, 1987|
|39.||38.||"The Walls Of Red Wing"||わんぱくWARS! Wampaku Woosu!||November 17, 1987|
|40.||35.||"Jesse's Girl"||女戦士チルカ Jōsenshi Chiruka||November 18, 1987|
|41.||18.||"The Amazing Lazardo"||地獄から来た聖者 Jigoku Kara Kita Seija||August 18, 1988|
|42.||19.||"I Forgot"||秘密暗殺計画を暴け Himitsu Ansatsukeikaku o Abake||August 19, 1988|
|43.||34.||"Lend Me Your Ears"||虹に願いを! Niji ni Negai o!||August 22, 1988|
|44.||43.||"Born To Run"||デスキュラの秘密 Desukyuura no Himitsu||August 23, 1988|
|45.||44.||"The Legend Of The Lost World"||星の神話 Hoshi no Shinwa||August 24, 1988|
|46.||45.||"The Rescue"||奪回! ルヴェール博士 Dakkai! Ruveeru Hakushi||August 25, 1988|
|47.||46.||"Eagle Has Landed"||ビスマルク解体! Bisumaruku Kaitai||August 26, 1988|
|48.||47.||"Cease Fire"||戦士の復活 Senshi no Fukkatsu||August 29, 1988|
|49.||48.||"Alamo Moon"||ハイパーフォトン砲発射! Haipaafoton Pōhassha||August 30, 1988|
|50.||49.||"The Nth Degree"||ヘルペリデスを撃破せよ! Heruperidesu wo Gekihaseyo!||August 31, 1988|
|51.||50.||"Who is Nemesis?"||ヘルペリデス脱出 Heruperidesu Dasshutsu||September 1, 1988|
|52.||51.||"Happy Trails"||夢銀河 Yume Ginga||September 2, 1988|
|X||20.||(no US version)||危険な来訪者 Kiken na Raihousha|
|X||23.||(no US version)||キャプテン・ホリデー Kyaputen Horidee|
|X||30.||(no US version)||戦え! 平和のために Tatakae! Heiwa no Tame ni|
|X||36.||(no US version)||ジュノー星救出作戦 Junoo Sei Kyūshutsu Sakusen|
|X||42.||(no US version)||大要塞接近! Daiyōsai Sekkin|
Ten episodes of "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs" were released in America on DVD. by the U.S. rights-holders, World Events Productions. Several episodes were also released on VHS. At Otakon 2008, WEP announced that the entire series would be released on DVD through VCI Entertainment. The first of three DVD sets was released on November 18, 2008. The second DVD set was released on August 25, 2009. The complete Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs DVD boxset was released on October 20, 2009.
In the UK, one DVD, titled Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - Volume 1, has been released by Anchor Bay Entertainment. Two additional DVDs have been released under their Kids Entertainment label. The entire series has been released in German by Anime House on 10 DVDs. Special Editions of Volumes 5 and 10 featured a slipcase to hold 5 DVDs each. A limited-edition box featuring the complete series as well as three tin figures was also released. Anime House planned to release the original Japanese series subtitled in German, but the release was canceled due to copyright problems. Recently[when?], Anime House offered single episodes via T-Online VOD in Germany at the price of €0.95 each.
- "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs". Otaku USA. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2014-03-21). "Here’s What’s Going On With The Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs Game". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (2012-04-15). "Here’s What’s Going On With The Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs Game". Siliconera. Retrieved 2014-03-22.
- 'The Best of Saber Rider vol. 1'
- "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs DVD news: Announcement for Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
- "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - Vol.2 - Set for the Series from the makers of Voltron". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs - Complete 6 - DVD Release: Date, Price, Art, Extras & More". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- World Events Productions - Saber Rider and the Star Sherriffs
- Studio Pierrot
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs at YouTube
- Official Saber Rider video game site
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs at the Internet Movie Database
- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs at TV.com