Special Armored Battalion Dorvack
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|Special Armored Battalion Dorvack|
Promotional artwork for Special Armored Battalion Dorvack
(Tokusō Kihei Dorubakku)
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Mecha anime, Real robot, Military science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hisatarou Ooba|
|Written by||Kazumi Koide
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original run||October 7, 1983 – July 6, 1984|
Special Armored Battalion Dorvack (Japanese: 特装機兵ドルバック Hepburn: Tokusō Kihei Dorubakku) is an anime series aired from 1983 to 1984 in Japan and also aired in Hong Kong roughly at the same time. There were 36 episodes. Other loosely translated names are "Dorvack", "Dolbuk", "Special Powered Armor Troop Dorvack", "Special Machine Army Dorvack", "Machine Corps Dorvack", "Armored Trooper Dorvack", "Tokusou Kihei Dorvack", "Comando Dolbuck" (Brazil), "Dolbuk, Defensores de la Tierra" (Latin America).
The year is 1999. The Idelians, whose colony-ship has been wandering space for tens of thousands of years, are nearing exhaustion. Their sole hope is to settle on the nearest habitable planet, Earth. Soon after their arrival in orbit, they launch an invasion, landing a large attack force in the Alps.
The Earth Defense Forces valiantly fight in their powered armor against the enemy, but with little success. Only one unit is able to inflict significant damage, the Special Armored Battalion Dorvack. Under the command of Colonel Takagi, Masato Mugen, Pierre Bonaparte and Louise Oberon fight to defeat the invaders. They are equipped with special variable mecha that are able to convert from rugged all-terrain vehicles to humanoid forms.
The show was essentially a showcase for the toyline released by Takatoku. The mecha designs were created by Katsumi Itabashi and Nobuyoshi Habara, while the models were made by the model company Gunze Sangyo. The plot was kept simple, but filled with high levels of animation and action.
- Planning, Production: Ashi Productions, Yomiuri
- Director: Masami Annou
- Original creator: Takeshi Shudo
- Character Design: Osamu Kamijo
- Mechanic design: Katsumi Itabashi, Nobuyoshi Habara
- Opening Theme: "Chikyuu Ni I Love You" by WELCOME
- Ending Theme: "Kimi Ni Okuru Lullaby" by WELCOME
|Name||Japanese Name||Voiced by|
|Masato Mugen||無限真人||Tōru Furuya|
|Louie Oberon||ルイ・オベロン||Hiromi Tsuru|
|Pierre Bonaparte||ピエール・ボナパルト||Sukekiyo Kameyama|
|Stanley Hilton||スタンレー・ヒルトン||Hirotaka Suzuoki|
|Col. Yōichi Takagi||高木洋一||Kiyoshi Kobayashi|
|Bob Floyd||ボブ・フロイド||Yutaka Shimaka|
|Jackie Frank||ジャッキー・フランク||Asami Mukaidono|
The series featured some solid mechanical designs, but the slow-moving storyline failed to move fans. The line of 1/24, 1/72 and 1/100 scale toys and models sat on Japanese toy store shelves. Toymaker Takatoku Toys, already suffering from the poor performances of the merchandise lines from the previous Super Dimension Century Orguss and Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger series, went under as a result.
American toy company Hasbro acquired the molds for two of the deluxe toys, the Mugen Calibur and the Oberon Gazzette. They were re-released in North America as part of the Transformers line as "Deluxe Autobots", under the names "Roadbuster" and "Whirl", respectively. The Bonaparte Tulcas mold was also slated for release in the line, preliminarily named "Landfire", but was ultimately cancelled, likely due to its unconvincing robot mode. The Tulcas design later appeared in the Wings Universe story "Hoist the Flag", and was later named "Headcannon" by the "Ask Vector Prime" feature on Facebook. While both Roadbuster and Whirl featured heavily in British-written stories for Marvel UK's Transformers comics (even though, ironically, their toys were never released in the UK) neither character appeared in the American animated series or in U.S. Marvel stories. Due to their fame in the English stories, Dreamwave Productions made use of them in their Transformers comics, produced some 16–17 years later.
The American firm Select also repackaged two color variations each of the smaller Variable Machine Collection toys under the name "Convertors". Mugen Calibur became "Wheels", Oberon Gazzette became "Chopper", and Bonaparte Tulcas became "Tanker".
- 1985 Transformers Scan. "Autobot Deluxe Vehicles, in Upper Left corner." Transformers Scan. Retrieved on 2006-11-15.