|Chōdenji Machine Voltes V|
Japanese DVD (2015 release) cover art of the first volume
(Chōdenji Mashīn Borutesu Faibu)
|Genre||Mecha, Drama, Military science fiction|
|Created by||Saburo Yatsude|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tadao Nagahama|
|Produced by||Yoshiyuki Tomino|
|Written by||Yoshitake Suzuki|
|Music by||Hiroshi Tsutsui|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||June 4, 1977 – March 25, 1978|
Chōdenji Machine Voltes V (Japanese: 超電磁マシーン ボルテス
14,000 light-years from Earth in a stellar system in the Scorpio Cluster, lies the planet of Boazan. Their social system revolves around oligopolistic politics by the nobles, with a caste system. Those with horns are considered noble and have high status, while the hornless are treated as slaves. But when La Gour is about to ascend to the throne, he was exposed as hornless by his ambitious bastard cousin Zu Zambajil and enslaved by the empire. La Gour led a rebellion against the empire, but his ragtag troops of former slaves were simply no match against the superior might of the Boazanian military. His desperate comrades sacrificed themselves in order for him to board their last remaining space saucer, leading him to planet Earth. He was found wounded and unconscious near his ship's wreckage by a local woman, Mitsuyo Go, who he later marries. Fearing Zambajil's interplanetary conquest ambitions, La Gour, who now goes by the name Professor Kentaro Go, collaborated with his wife as well as premier Earth scientist Professor Hamaguchi and Earth International Defense Force commander General Oka to design and construct the ultimate defense against the potential incoming Boazanian invasion.
Ten years later, the Boazanians had finally invaded Earth under the orders of Prince Heinel and launches their "beast fighters" all over the world, defeating most of the world's armed forces. In order to fight back and to honor Kentaro's wishes who had vanished, Professor Hamaguchi gathered the three children of Kentaro: Kenichi, Daijiro and Hiyoshi alongside two new members: Ippei and Megumi at the fortress island base "Camp Big Falcon". While not an easy task, they were tasked to pilot Kentaro's latest creation and humanity's final hope: "Voltes V" in order to repel back the impending Boazanian invasion, and for the Go Siblings; to find out the whereabouts and mysteries surrounding their father.
The Voltes Team
- Kenichi Go (剛健一, Gō Ken'ichi)
- Voiced by: Yukinaga Shiraishi
- The Leader of the Voltes Team. Born on June 22, he is an 18 year old marksman, a motocross champion, an ace pilot, and the eldest of the three Go brothers. During his younger years, Kenichi used to behave like a typical playful child and was prone to mischief, but the long absence of his father molded him into a more responsible son and older sibling. Stern and selfless, he is rarely one to indulge in personal pursuits that might be detrimental to their cause and he often decides on the best course of action in most of the team's numerous predicaments. Due to his headstrong temperament and unwavering resolve, Kenichi often clashes with the more cynical Ippei which often results in fierce fisticuffs but the two share no ill will and eventually get along better. Aside from his exceptional marksmanship and formidable barehanded fighting skills, Kenichi is also quite adept with the use of swords (he can hold his own against Heinel, an accomplished swordsman). His uniform is red and he pilots the Volt Crewzer (ボルトクルーザー, Boruto Kurūzā) (Head).
- Ippei Mine (峰一平, Mine Ippei)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Sogabe
- Born on November 24. Ippei is an 18-year-old rodeo champion, who 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 Eiffel (アイフル, Aifuru). The two, man and beast, became inseparable. He won two rodeo championship contests with Eiffel 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 Eiffel were separated. Dr. Hamaguchi has Eiffel brought to Big Falcon early in the series and he has a rivalry with Kenichi. His uniform is blue and he pilots the Volt Bomber (ボルトボンバー, Boruto Bonbā) (Arms).
- Daijiro Go (剛大次郎, Gō Daijirō)
- Voiced by: Tesshō Genda
- Born on November 18, Daijiro is the second oldest of the Go brothers and a 17 year old defense tactician. He was once a playful child, but Daijirou'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, Daijirou was already a master of different hand-to-hand fighting styles. The Bō became his favorite weapon. Together with Kenichi and Hiyoshi, Daijirou started training as a member of the Voltes V Team. His uniform is dark green and he pilots the Volt Panzer (ボルトパンザー, Boruto Panzā) (Body and Chest).
- Hiyoshi Go (剛日吉, Gō Hiyoshi)
- Voiced by: Noriko Ohara
- Born on October 20, Hiyoshi is the youngest of the Go brothers and a 10 year old 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. But to his big brothers, Kenichi and Daijirou, 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 is light green and he pilots the Volt Frigate (ボルトフリゲート, Boruto Furigēto) (Legs).
- Megumi Oka (岡めぐみ, Oka Megumi)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Ueda
- Megumi is a 16 year old kunoichi and the 18th heir of the Kōga-ryū ninja. Born on May 17. Megumi received special training during her childhood. By the age of 13, she already possessed extraordinary skills and lightning reflexes. She also learned 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 Kenichi 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 is yellow with pink accents and she pilots the Volt Lander (ボルトランダー, Boruto Randā) (Feet).
- Professor Kentaro Go (剛健太郎, Gō Kentarō) / Prince La Gour (プリンスラゴア, Purinsu Ra Goa)
- Voiced by: Yū Mizushima
- The father of the three Gō brothers and a former Boazanian Royal. Being the son of the emperor's brother, La Gour was born as a royal-blooded Boazanian noble but he was unfortunately born without horns. Due to this abnormality, his parents made him wear fake horns in order to avoid stigma and scandal. The aging current emperor at the time lacked a legitimate male heir, so despite La Gour's undisclosed imperfection, the latter was still groomed to be next in line to the Boazanian throne. The horned elites' extreme prejudice and severe maltreatment of the hornless slaves struck a chord in young La Gour's psyche and he vowed that one day he will bring forth justice and equality between the two classes. Gifted with an extremely brilliant scientific mind, La Gour's academic excellence and unwavering work ethic eventually earned him the title of Boazania's Chief Science Minister; the majority of the planet's technological advancements (particularly in regards to the military sciences) can be attributed to his efforts. He got betrothed to a horned noblewoman named Lozaria and during their honeymoon he revealed his fake horns to her. His wife told him that he was still the man she chose to love and the couple was overjoyed.
- Moments before being crowned as the new emperor, La Gour's secret was finally publicly divulged by his jealous and ambitious bastard cousin, Zu Zambajil. He was branded a traitor, stripped of his title, separated from his wife and imprisoned. Lozaria later dies during childbirth while the helpless La Gour could only weep in mourning behind bars. With the aid of the rebels he was able to escape from prison. He then led a rebellion against the empire, but his ragtag troops, formerly enslaved, were simply no match against the superior might of the Boazanian military. His desperate comrades sacrificed themselves in order for him to board their last remaining space saucer, leading him to planet Earth. He was found wounded and unconscious near his ship's wreckage by a local woman, a scientist named Mitsuyo Go, who he later marries. Fearing Zambajil's interplanetary conquest ambitions, La Gour (who now went by the name Professor Kentaro Go) collaborated with his wife, as well as premier Earth scientist Professor Hamaguchi and Earth International Defense Force commander General Oka to design and construct Voltes V, his greatest creation and the ultimate defense against the potential incoming Boazanian invasion. After the birth of their third and youngest son, Hiyoshi, Professor Kentaro Go tearfully left his newfound home and family; he returned to Boazania as a diplomat in a peaceful effort to put an end to the cruelty and tyranny of the now current reigning emperor, Zambajil. Instead of listening to Professor Go's appeal of non-violence towards other planets, the ruthless monarch offered his long lost cousin a high ranking position as lead designer of Boazania's interplanetary war machine. Disgusted by how vile and despotic Zambajil had become, Professor Go vehemently refused and was therefore incarcerated.
- Throughout the events of the series, his sons are figuring out his disappearance and also his origins, which is also tied to the invasion of the Boazanians on Earth. After the brothers finally found him in Boazan, he and the rebels assisted with the Voltes Team in order to take down Zu Zambajil's rule. Throughout the end of the series, it is revealed that he is also the father of Prince Heinel; making him a half-brother of the three Go brothers. After the rebellion, he is crowned as the new ruler of Boazan.
- Professor Mitsuyo Go (剛光代, Gō Mitsuyo)
- Voiced by: Takako Kondo
- The human wife of Professor Kentaro Go and the mother of the three Go children. She met La Gour when he escaped Boazania and crash-landed on Earth. She later married La Gour 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)
- Voiced by: Seizō Katō
- The former commander of Camp Big Falcon fortress at the beginning of the series. Regarded as planet Earth's top scientist, he helped design and build the Voltes V robot alongside his good friend Professor Kentaro Gō. Due to his friendship with their absentee father, Professor Hamaguchi is somewhat of a father figure to the Voltes team, especially to the three Go brothers. Despite appearing to be an old man, he is very capable of defending himself; Boazanian soldiers who were trying to seize him failed when they were met with his vicious roundhouse kicks. Professor Hamaguchi acted as the commander of Camp Big Falcon on Professor Go's behalf until he was killed after sacrificing his life to save the Voltes team.
- General Oka (岡防衛長官, Oka-chōkan)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Masuoka
- Megumi's father and the 17th heir of the Kōga-ryū ninja. He is one of the co-designers 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.
- Professor Sakunji (左近寺博士, Sakunji-hakase)
- Voiced by: Tamio Ouki
- The recent commander of Camp 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. 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)
- Voiced by: Hisashi Katsuta
- A Boazanian colleague and ally of Doctor Kentaro Go. A former member of Boazanian nobility, and military general. Believing in Kentaro Go's cause of equality, he broke his horns and joined the rebellion. When Dr. Gō returned to Boazania, he freed him from capture and escaped with him back to Earth, along with a handful of rebels. He assisted Voltes V by piloting the Mecha Hawk (鷹メカ, Taka Mecha, Mechanical Eagle) and installing new weapons upgrade components during 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 Kenichi, Daijirō, and Hiyoshi of their father and their Boazanian origins.
- General Doir (ドイル将軍, Doiru-shōgun)
- Voiced by: Seizō Katō
- 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 assisted Gō in constructing the Solar Falcon, 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 Zambajil and his regime.
The Boazanian Nobility
- Emperor Zu Zambajil (皇帝ズ・ザンバジル, Kōtei Zu Zanbajiru)
- Voiced by: Mikio Terashima
- The series' main antagonist, Zu Zambajil is the emperor of Boazania who is extremely racist, cruel and selfish, but ultimately a coward. The son of the previous emperor and his mistress, he took 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 throne. As time wore on, he sent others to pretend to aid Heinel while spying on him. When Voltes V and the Big Falcon reached Boazania, the people rebelled against him and the remaining 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)
- Voiced by: Osamu Ichikawa
- The half-brother to the Go brothers from their father's side. His mother was Lozaria, the Boazanian wife of La Gour/Kentaro Go, who died after giving birth to him. As a child, he had a rough time being labelled a traitor's son, with no memory of his parents and only loved by his grandparents. He wanted to clean that 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 shown to have 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 failures, his second-degree uncle Zambajil removed him from duty. Prince Heinel sought to restore Boazan to glory; after all, he was only a scapegoat, and he would rather die in battle than die a loser. During his final battle against Kenichi, he realized that he was fighting against his own father and half-siblings, with the proof being the dagger La Gour once owned which carried his coat of arms. When he saw Zambajil try to escape, he threw the dagger to kill the despotic Emperor to redeem himself. In the end, he died a redeemed man, enjoying a few moments of peace having saved his younger half-brother's life.
- Ri Katherine (リー・カザリーン, Rī Kazarīn)
- Voiced by: Noriko Ohara
- Prince Heinel's aide and unrequited lover, born on May 5. Motivated by love, she remained loyal to her prince until the end, when she took a bullet, saving his life. As she died, she confessed her love to him, and he realized that he loved her as well.
- Rui Jangal (ルイ・ジャンギャル, Rui Jangyaru)
- Voiced by: Mikio Terashima
- The three-horned general sent to Earth with Prince Heinel and Katharine. Fiercely loyal to Heinel while also a wise strategist, he was the one who convinced Heinel that the Go Brothers are part-Boazanian. He later chose death over surrender to the Voltes team.
- Zuhl (ズール, Zūru)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Masuoka, Kan Tokumaru (Super Robot Wars)
- A one-horned, aged, hunchback, toothless scientist and one of Prince Heinel's original aides for the Earth invasion force. His invention of the Anti-Super Electromagnetic Device nearly destroyed Voltes V. Cunning and contemptuous, he discreetly captured Professor Gō just before he returned to Earth and attempt to use Go for his plans to kill Heinel and Voltes V. Eventually, his attempt to betray Heinel failed and he was executed.
- Do Bergan (ド・ベルガン, Do Berugan)
- Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi
- 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 have 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 blow up Earth with a Magmite Bomb. During the battle to liberate Boazan, he died when the starship he and Gururu were aboard was destroyed by Voltes V.
- General Gururu (グルル将軍, Gururu shōgun)
- Voiced by: Ryusuke Shiomi, Tomomichi Nishimura (Super Robot Wars)
- The head of the Boazanian military and the last commander sent to Earth. He re-captured Lagour/Professor Gō and betrayed Heinel with Bergan. Overconfident, he was killed during the liberation of Boazan.
- Duke Zaki (ザキ侯爵, Zaki Kōshaku)
- Voiced by: Tamio Oki
- The chief inspector of Emperor Zambajil and one of the few who knew about Zambajil's betrayal of La Gour 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 from 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.
Voltes V was produced by Toei Company, Ltd. with animation from Sunrise and sponsorship from Popy for the toys. During the development of Voltes V, Nagahama originally conceived the series to be a sequel to Chōdenji Robo Combattler V and follows the events of the series after the finale before making it into a separate series. From Nagahama's memo, the series is originally meant to be titled Granbuffer Ace (Japanese: グランバッファーA (エース), Hepburn: Guranbaffā A (ēsu)) or Chōdenji Robo V.Krieger (Japanese: 超電磁ロボ・V・クリーガー, Hepburn: Chōdenji Robo V Kurīgā, lit. Super Electromagnetic Robot V.Krieger). Both names are ultimately scrapped and it was renamed to Voltes V.
During the time of its development, NET TV transitioned its name to TV Asahi during 1977. In a proposal from Popy in 1976, Voltes V was meant to have a gun-like finishing attack but Sunrise and Toei wanted the actual attack for the toys to be changed. As such, the gun was changed to a sword, which is carried over to the mecha's Heaven's Blade/Laser Blade attack. At that time also in 1976, Nagahama was given creative direction on the series and used Stage combat as reference for the titular mecha's combat moves. As describing the story itself, the plot of the Go brothers' search for their father were inspired from Taiga dramas, as explained by Shoichi Taguchi, one of the animes that inspired him for the plot was 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother and that he wanted the heroes to search for their father instead of a mother.
Akinori Watanabe, the previous director of Toei's Television Business Division, was worried that the plot will be too depressing to viewers and wanted to avoid viewers crying all the time. In response to Watanabe's request, he created the rival character, Prince Heinel, who was based on one of the actors in the world-famous Takarazuka Revue. According to Kei Iijima, one of Toei's producers, the Go brothers and Heinel will be rivals throughout the series until the final episode, in which Heinel will be revealed to be related to them by blood but have a tragic end and redemption. He stated also that "This is because I wanted viewers to strongly elicit anger against various discriminations around them and to hate discrimination through this work and think about correcting them."
The final draft of the series was completed in March 1977, with the first episode was broadcast on June 4 of the same year. Shinya Sadamitsu and Yoshiyuki Tomino were brought to the staff by Nagahama for their roles as producer and art director. Kazuo Tomizawa was also brought in as one of the staff until he decided to focus more on Invincible Super Man Zambot 3.
Voltes V was broadcast in Japan by TV Asahi from June 4, 1977 to March 25, 1978, replacing Chōdenji Robo Combattler V in its initial timeslot. The series' opening theme is titled "Voltes V no Uta" (ボルテスVの歌, Borutesu Faibu no Uta, "The Song of Voltes V") by Mitsuko Horie, Koorogi '73, and Columbia Yurikago-kai with the ending theme titled "Chichi wo Motomete" (父をもとめて, "In Search of My Father.") by Ichiro Mizuki. The lyrics to the opening theme were written by Toei staff with music written by Asei Kobayashi, and arranged by the series' composer, Hiroshi Takada, while the lyrics to the ending theme were penned by Akira Aoi (Tadao Nagahama), with music written by Asei Kobayashi, and arranged by Hiroshi Tsutsui.
Another English dub, written and directed by William Ross, was produced in Tokyo, Japan by Frontier Enterprises, later released in North America in 1983 by 3B Productions as Voltus 5. The anime was made available both in English and Tagalog in Southeast Asia through video-on-demand service iflix in September 2016.
Telesuccess Productions (formerly known as Questor International) holds the Philippine rights to the anime series since its premiere on GMA in 1978. At the Otakon 2018 convention on August 13, 2018, Discotek Media announced that they licensed the series for its DVD and Blu-ray release in North America.
Voltes V will be adapted as a live action television series in the Philippines. Voltes V Legacy will be produced by GMA Network with Filipino actors. The production will be licensed from the Toei Company through its Philippine licensor Telesuccess Productions, Inc. Mark A. Reyes is the director who leads the production of the series, which will involve close supervision from Toei. Riot Inc. was hired to do the special effects alongside GMA's video-graphic department.
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). This mode never appeared in the series, but was a unique feature of the toy. The boxed set was re-released in the United States in 1978 by Mattel as part of the Shogun Warriors line of imported toys. Later it was re-released in 1982 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.
In 2018, Bandai released the Soul of Chogokin Voltes V F.A. (Full Action) figure. The figure sacrifices its combination gimmick in favor of more anime-accurate proportions and dynamic articulation. In 2020, Bandai announced that the titular mecha will also be released under the DX Soul of Chogokin line.
Voltes V is notable for its cultural impact around the world and particularly in several countries like Indonesia, Cuba, and the Philippines, where it had a major impact in the country during the period of Martial Law under President Ferdinand Marcos after it was banned by on August 27, 1979. Officially the anime was banned for it's "harmful effects on children" but popular speculation was that the show was banned because of the anime's underlying themes of rebellion and revolution. The last fourteen episodes were never aired and Filipino children angered by the sudden ban have sometimes been referred to as the "Voltes V generation". After the success of the 1986 People Power Revolution, Voltes V was re-aired on Philippine television from 1990-2010s with a Tagalog dub.
Toym Imao, the son of a national artist, who was a child at the time has incorporated elements of Voltes V in his art exhibitions including the 2014 art installation entitled "Super Robot - Suffer Reboot" which was displayed at the entrance of Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines.
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