Voltes V is one of the early Japanese robot cartoons. It is made in the tradition of Mazinger Z and Daimos. I grew up watching this cartoon, dubbed in English.

Voltes V is composed of 5 separate vehicles that would "Volt in!" into a large robot. Sort of a precursor to Voltron. Each vehicle was piloted by a member of the Voltes team namely: Steve Armstrong, Mark Gordon, Big Bert Armstrong, Little John Armstrong, and Jamie Robinson.

The cartoon chronicles the activities of the five, in their fight against the alien Boazanians, who want to take over the Earth, and in their quest to free Dr. Armstrong, father of 3 memebers of the team, and creator of the robot from the Boazanians.

It was a great cartoon for its time. Unlike others cartoons, it deviated from the slapstick comedy of American cartoons, it had a decent plot, and was not afraid to tackle more "mature" topics. In one of the earlier episodes, the mother of the Armstrong brothers died.

While this was not a very popular cartoon in Japan itself, it was a huge hit in the Philippines, and in a sense, the cartoon contributed to the overthrow of the Marcos government.(Marcos had banned Voltes V just a few episodes before the end of the series). Ask any Filipino who was a kid in the late 70's and early 80's, they will be familiar with Voltes V. Last year, it was reissued in the Philippines with some portions dubbed in Filipino, and a whole new generation of Filipino kids have seen the cartoon. Those of us who were old enough to remember the original release were thrilled to finally be able to watch the last episodes of the series.

In terms of the quality of production, Voltes V has been overshadowed by today's crop of Anime, the art is simple, the colors garish, the dubbing horrible. But Voltes V will always be a great cartoon in my mind.

One memorable thing about Voltes V is its distinctive opening theme. English and Japanes lyrics are noded below:

The Japanese version:

        Tatoe arashi ga hukou tomo
        Tatoe oonami areru tomo
        Kogidasou tatakai no umi he
        Tobikomou tatakai no uzu he
        Mitsumeau hitomi to hitomi
        Nukumori wo shinjiau
        Go nin no nakama

        subete wo kakete
        Yaruzo chikara no tsukiru made
        Chikyuu no yoake ha
        mou chikai

        Tatoe ikazuchi hurou tomo
        Tatoe daichi ga yureru tomo
        Tobidasou tatakai no sora he
        Mamorou yo tatakai no niwa wo

        Nigiri au tagai no te to te
        Magokoro wo shinjiau
        Go nin no nakama

        inochi wo kakete
        Yuku zo shouri wo tsukamu made
        Uchuu no yoake ha
        mou chikai 

        Tatoe kemono ga hoeru tomo
        Tatoe yukute wo husagu tomo
        Utaou yo tatakai no uta wo
        Katarou yo tatakai no michi wo 

        Ashinami wo soroete yukou
        Otagai wo shinjiau
        Go nin no nakama 

        Azuketa inochi
        Tobu ze uchuu no hate made mo
        Minna no egao mo
        mou chikai 

Here's the English version (as heard in Philippine TV):

        Someday the sons of light shall
        fill all the earth
        The morning of justice shall have 
        come to its birth
        So we'll all wave our banners 
        high and free through the air
        For the love and glory 
        we then all shall share 

        Soldiers boldly unite to fight
        and fight for peace
        Hand in hand like eagles 
        through the breeze
        Over lands and over seas 

        Voltes V we come to you
        Flashing through with wings of steel
        Fates of foes are what we seal
        With swords of laser light
        And over lands and over seas
        Onwards victory / Voltes V! 

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