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Starzinger screenshot
SF西遊記 スタージンガー
(Esu Efu Saiyuki Sutājingā)
Genre Science fiction
Anime television series
Directed by Yugo Serikawa
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Studio Toei Animation
Network Fuji TV
Original run April 2, 1978August 24, 1979
Episodes 73
Anime film
Directed by Yugo Serikawa
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Studio Toei Animation
Released March 17, 1979
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Published by Wonder Comix
Original run 19791980
Volumes 3
Anime and Manga portal

Starzinger (SF西遊記スタージンガー Esu Efu Saiyūki Sutājingā?, lit. Sci-Fi West Saga Starzinger) is an anime series that aired in Japan from 1978 to 1979. In the United States, it was referred to as Spaceketeers and was part of Jim Terry's Force Five series. In the United Kingdom, it was referred to as Sci-Bots on VHS releases. In Latin America, it was known as El Galáctico.

In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced three, all-new, English dubbed movie versions edited from the original series. Producer William Winckler, known for Tekkaman the Space Knight, wrote, produced, and directed the films, which were seen on broadband in Japan. An English dubbed movie version was made and released to DVD in America in 2011, and it was also directed by Winckler. A new U.S. DVD release of the Winckler films by Shout! Factory was released on August 20, 2013.


The story revolves around the Princess of the Moon, Aurora and her three cyborg companions (Kugo, Djorgo, and Hakka) who must travel to the Great King planet and restore the Galaxy Energy in the year 2072. The universe was becoming more and more unbalanced as the Queen of the Great Planet grows older. Their adventure includes battling the starmen who are transformed from the unbalanced minerals and planets.


Starzinger was essentially a sci-fi space opera retelling of the shenmo fantasy novel Journey to the West, a Chinese literary classic written by the Ming dynasty novelist Wu Cheng'en. The sci-fi twists were designed by Leiji Matsumoto based on the Terebi Magazine manga [1] with art by Gosaku Ohta.[2]



Japanese Name English Name Italian Name Spanish Name French Name Swedish Name Voiced by Power Vehicle Description
Princess Aurora (オーロラ姫 Orora Hime?) Aurora Principessa Aurora Princesa Aurora Princesse Aurora Prinsessan Aurora Kazuko Sugiyama Telepathy & psychic abilities and can channel Galaxy energy. The only human among the main four characters. She is the last of the Moon people. Based on Xuanzang.
Jan Kugo (ジャン・クーゴ?) Jesse Dart Yan Coog Galáctico Yann Kougar Jan Cogo Hiroya Ishimaru Wields an Astro-lance that changes size and shoots lasers; in the second season, he can become larger or smaller at will. Starcrow A red suited cyborg. Became a cyborg to benefit and help humanity: demoted to menial jobs, he gained a bad temper. Based on the monkey-demon, Sun Wukong, of which "Kugo" is an anagram.
Sir Djorgo (サー・ジョーゴ Sa Jogo?) Arimos Sir Gorgo Giorgio Sir Jorgo Kei Tomiyama Wields a Laser-trident with freeze abilities; occasionally shot missiles from his shoulders. Starcopper/Sea Wasp A blue suited cyborg. The most intelligent of the three. When in doubt, he asks his portable computer (which often displays a TOEI logo while elaborating a problem). Based on the water-demon, Sha Wujing, as Gojyo was the Japanese name of Wujing.
Don Hakka (ドン・ハッカ?) Porkos Don Acca Glotín Don Hakka Kousei Tomita Swings a mace that turns into a flail and shoots rockets from his feet. Starbood/Space Hog A green suited cyborg, cheerful, hungry and the comedian. Based on the pig-demon, Zhu Bajie, as Hakkai is the Japanese name of Bajie and Porkos may refer to pork, as in pig.
Prof. Kitty Empress Dottoressa Kitty Doctora Sandra Doktor Kitty Eiko Masuyama A scientist. She reared Aurora after the death of Aurora's parents. Based on Guanyin.
Assistant Prof. Dodge Prof. Schnitzel Dottor Dodge Professor Jorquel Professor Dodge Jouji Yanami An intelligent Professor; He made Kugo into the cyborg that he is.
Prince Gaima Keiichi Noda Based on the son of the Bull Demon King, Red Boy.
Gingin Man & Kinkin Man Kinkin e Gingin Guinguiriano Kenichi Ogata Monster Brothers. Based on King of Gold Horn & King of Silver Horn.
Beramis Belamis Capitana Balamia Noriko Ohara Electronic sword A female cyborg. A captain of Queen Lacets, later became a friend and ally of Jan Kugo.
Captain Satomi Majima
King (キングギューマ kinku gyuma?) Rey Guyima Takashi Tanaka Based on the Bull Demon King.
Queen Lacets Reina Zarcanda Yumi Nakatani, Nana Yamaguchi Based on the Princess Iron Fan.


In March 1979, a movie was aired reusing footage from the first segment of the series. The movie was more or less a summary.

The last nine episodes of the actual series was re-branded as "SF Saiyuki Starzinger II", though when shown outside Japan it was treated as one continuous series. It was never intended to be anything more than re-marketing of the last few episodes, since it was aired immediately after the first sixty-four episodes were shown in June 1979. The 65th episode began instantly in July 1979 with all the galactic energy restored in the storyline.


Starzinger was aired in the early 1980s in Latin America under the name of "El Galáctico" (The Galactic), as part of the four-series show "Festival de Robots", which translates to "Festival of Robots". The other shows were "Steel Jeeg", "Gaiking", and "Magne Robo Gakeen".

VHS cover of the U.S. version of the show.

In North America, it was aired as "Spaceketeers" as part of the package show Force Five. As the "Journey to the West story" is not well known in the region, the characters were renamed to reference the Three Musketeers. To also fit into the Force Five time slot, the show had to be edit-squeezed into 26 episodes. The U.S. version puts them on a mission to the Dekos Star System, which contained evil powers changing peaceful creatures to evil mutants. The Force Five version not only just produced 26 episodes, but this English language version of the series never reached their conclusion.[citation needed]

Twenty-four episodes of the original 73 also aired in Scandinavia (mainly in Sweden) under the original name Starzinger. A listing of what episodes were cut out can be found at: Warfists Starzinger site in the episode section.

Home Media[edit]



Release name
Release date
Language Subtitles Notes
SCI-BOTS 1 Conflict Unknown U Krypton Force Ltd. PAL English None Run time: 56 min. 5 sec. [3]
SCI-BOTS 2 Strike Back Unknown U Krypton Force Ltd. PAL English None Run time: 46 min. [4]
SCI-BOTS 3 Battle of the Flame Dragon Unknown U Krypton Force Ltd. PAL English None Run time: 43 min. [5]
SCI-BOTS 4 Betrayal Unknown U Krypton Force Ltd. PAL English None [6]



  1. ^ Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy Helen. [2006] (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5
  2. ^ Scan of a page from the Starzinger manga, with Matsumoto and Ohta in the credits (Japanese).
  3. ^ "Sci-Bots 1 - The mutants lighting strike - conflict". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "SCI BOTS 2 - Krypton Force - Sci Bots Fight Back - Strike Back - UK VHS PAL VIDEO". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "KRYPTON FORCE -SCI-BOTS 3-BATTLE OF THE FLAME DRAGON". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "KRYPTON FORCE- SCI-BOTS 4-BETRAYAL". Retrieved 20 March 2012. 

External links[edit]