Movies & TV

Voltes V Facts: How Well Do You Know the Anime Series?

Here are some facts about Voltes V you might have missed growing up.
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Very few pop culture icons achieve cross-generational popularity such as Voltes V, whose fans were kids who grew up in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s—periods in which the beloved robot series was aired and re-aired. Many will claim they are avid fans, but how well do they know the popular anime series? Here are a few Voltes V facts many people will be surprised to know.

Voltes V was largely influenced by the French Revolution.

Voltes V’s themes of oppression by a dominant authority and the people’s rebellion against it are inspired by the French Revolution. Rebellion was a dominant theme across all its episodes. Funnily, the Marcos dictatorship only realized this when Voltes V only had four episodes left and decided to ban it in the Philippines.

Those last four episodes showed how the Armstrong family triumphantly overthrew an evil empire and restored peace and democracy on earth.

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In 2014, a protest art was installed at the U.P. Palma Hall by celebrated sculptor Toym Imao titled “Last, Lost, Lust for Four Episodes.” Imao was 11 when the last four episodes were banned by Marcos, fueling lifelong angst. His sculpture was again exhibited by the Ayala Museum in 2015.

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“I felt so bad when Voltes V was banned. For the first time, the reality of martial law was felt by children my age. As a child, I knew what it was but I had a vague idea about it. But when he banned Voltes V, Marcos became the villain in our lives,” said Imao in a report by the Inquirer.

The sculpture features Ferdinand Marcos as a Boazanian skull ship and a depiction of St. Michael the Archangel wearing armor similar to the design of Voltes V.

 

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Voltes V was widely popular in dictator-ruled countries.

Although Voltes V saw moderate global success when it launched in the 1970s, it had popular appeal in dictator-ruled countries, Cuba, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Cuba was ruled by Fidel Castro from 1976 to 2008, while Indonesia was ruled by Suharto from 1968 to 1998. Meanwhile, Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986.

Of course, this could be just mere coincidence, especially since its audience who were mostly children had no idea that the series was potentially inciting revolution to topple down authoritarian regimes.

Voltes V is the second installment in a robot trilogy.

Voltes V is part of the Robot Romance Trilogy, whose first series was Combattler V (pronounced as “vee,” not “five”) and the last one was Daimos. All three were created by Saburo Yatsude and produced by Sunrise and Toei Company.

But of the three in the Robot Romance Trilogy, you probably remember Daimos as the most romantic, because it focused on the love story between its characters Richard and Erika.

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There was a movie in the U.S. called Voltus 5.

In 1983, Voltes V was released in the U.S. as a movie called Voltus 5. According to Anime News Network, this version suffered from horrible editing and had an English dub that was inferior to the Philippine English version. It was 75 minutes long and consisted of condensed scenes from various episodes of the series.

Voltes V’s weapons system inspired an Eraserheads album.

Voltes V has at least 10 weapons at his disposal, a favorite being the Ultra Electromagnetic Top, which was the inspiration behind Eraserheads’ album Ultraelectromagneticpop! The following are other weapons of Voltes V:

Ultra Electromagnetic Beam: An energy beam that is projected out of the giant robot’s chest

Ultra Electromagnetic Wave: A blast of energy that emanates from Voltes V, typically used to repel enemies when they get too close

Ultra Electromagnetic Whip: A highly charged golden whip that Voltes V pulls out from his belt

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Finger Missiles: Voltes V’s fingers are retracted and replaced by missiles, which he fires simultaneously

Voltes Bazooka: A bazooka barrel that comes out of Voltes V’s right hand

Ground Fire: A gunfire that comes out of the robot’s waist

Chain Knuckle: A harpoon-type weapon fired from the robot’s hand

Choudenji Ball: The rarest weapon ever used, this ball of electricity from the laser sword disables the enemy

Laser Sword: In case everything else fails, Voltes V employs his most powerful weapon, a sword that is often used as his finishing move by slicing the enemy in a V-shape motion

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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