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Screenshot of Acrobunch from the television series
(Makyō Densetsu Akurobanchi)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masakazu Yasumura, Takashi Hisaoka|
|Produced by||Juzo Tsubota, Kokusai Eiga-sha|
|Written by||Yu Yamamoto|
|Music by||Masahito Maruyama|
|Studio||Kokusai Eiga-sha (Movie International), Tokyo Movie Shinsha|
|Original network||Nippon Television|
|Original run||May 5, 1982 – December 24, 1982|
Acrobunch (魔境伝説アクロバンチ Makyō Densetsu Akurobanchi, lit. "Acrobunch: The Legend of the Demon Lands") is a mecha anime series aired in 1982. There were 24 episodes. It is also referred to as "Demon Region Legendary Acrobunch", "'Demon Regions Legend Acrobunch", "'Ruins Legend Acrobunch", "'Acrobanch".
Led by scientist Tatsuya Randou, the Randou family undertakes a journey around the globe in order to search out ancient ruins to uncover the legend of Quetzalcoatl, which unlocks the key to a fabulous treasure. However, tailing the Randou family is Goblin, an evil organisation that covets the legendary treasure for itself. The Randou family has the secret weapon of super robot Acrobunch. It becomes a race around the world of who finds the treasure first.
Acrobanch was an anime pushed out to capitalise on the archeological adventure craze that was occurring in Hollywood at the time. The art for this series was impressive and the combination sequence of Acrobunch still remains exceptional to this day, setting the benchmark for the rest of the 1980s. Five separate vehicles combine to form the super robot Acrobunch. The parts contain 2 motorcycles which form the arm, 2 racecars form the legs, 1 plane form the body.
There is as of yet no official English release, but the series achieved some popularity in France, where it debuted on TV in 1985 and is known by differing titles including L'Empire des Cinq and Askadis - La Légende de l'empire perdu. The French dubbed version changed the names of the lead characters as well as the Acrobunch robot itself (becoming "Thorn-Rock"), and also changed the setting of the series from Japan to Canada.
Original Work: Yu Yamamoto
Art: Toshikazu Yamagushi (2nd half of series)
Music: Masahito Maruyama
|Japanese Name||Voiced by|
|Jun Randou (蘭堂 ジュン Randō Jun)||Shigeru Nakahara|
|Tatsuya Randou (蘭堂 タツヤ Randō Tatsuya)||Hidekatsu Shibata|
|Reika Randou (蘭堂 レイカ Randō Reika)||Kazuko Sugiyama|
|Ryou Randou (蘭堂 リョウ Randō Ryō)||Akio Nojima (episodes 1-9, 13, 16 -24)
Hideyuki Tanaka (episodes 10-12, 14-15)
|Miki Randou (蘭堂 ミキ Randō Miki)||Katsue Miwa|
|Hiro Randou (蘭堂 ヒロ Randō Hiro)||Norio Wakamoto|
|King Deros||Seizō Katō|
Shigeru Nakahara made his debut as a voice actor with this series, in the role of the youngest Randou child, Jun.
Enoki Films gave the main character the name David Owen. In the French version, Tatsuya Randou is known as Professor Kossig and his five children's names are also changed, to sons Quentin (Ryo), Antoine (Jun) and Mathieu (Hiro) and daughters Ulrich (Reika) and Jill (Miki).
The Acrobunch robot was released as "Acrobunch Kyoui Gatti 5 DX" / "Acrobunch Wonder Combo 5 DX" by Poplar and Royal Condor. It is built with diecast metals, and the package comes with a number of pieces including motorcycle stops, plane landing gears, airfoils, guns, swords, stickers, missiles, fists. The US and Taiwan release is especially rare since it was considered 20% smaller, and the label for the toy was "Pentabot" instead of "Acrobunch". It may have been sold outside Japan as such due to lack of licensing of the anime name title.
Due to the popularity of the anime in France, the Acrobunch robot was also released there under the name "Thorn-Rock," the same name given the robot in the French dub of the anime.