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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rewind: Voltes V

03/08/2016 05:54:57 PM
Photo credit: ghostlightning.wordpress.com
The year was 1999. Every Friday night (at around 7:30 or 8:00), I would sit at the couch in front of my TV and watch this cartoon series airing once again—after numerous times since its inception 22 years ago.

During those times, I had no idea how the story rolls (on a deeper aspect). All I know is that Choudenji Voltes V rolls on a structured stereotype plot: for like every episode you will notice the following: It was a bit of a happy scene, then conflict starts to come out. It arises to even more complicated structure that Price Zardoz and company are plotting on.

Then, these five characters namely Steve, Mark, Big Bert, Little John, and Jamie will ride vehicles (one that looks like an airplace while the other looks like a freakin' bulldozer, and the others? Much structural than those aircrafts and flying saucers, hahahaha!) and will volt altogether; and presto, a robot is born and was doing a bit of stretching. Then came the battle between gigantic giants. Villain will strike the second blood and eventually falls and Voltes V will be victorious, thanks to that laser sword who pierces through his opponent. (Though I quite wonder, is it really laser at all, or does it only have a very bright shade?) 

And...yes, that reversed angle cone will ignite a light (much brighter than a lightning) and explodes to out of nowhere (but hey, if you noticed, it's always the same banana, err, explosion caricatured scene). Thus, a resolution will be shown regardless if it's a happy ending or a tragical one.

Well, that's how I used to see Voltes V way back then. It was such a good thing they hadn't romanticized romance on this.

Thirteen years later, its closing theme song is something I could described as the most melodramatic soundtrack anyone has ever made. It's not about being romantic; but rather a quest for a long-lost love—the “father.”

It was 25 March 1978 when this phenomenal anime series reached its end at TV Asahi. After forty episodes and nine months of having their exposure on Japanese national television, Voltes V is not just an ordinary robot-versus-alien/beast story. It wasn't just the tale of the Bozanians and Armstrong brothers.

It was in fact, a war for the loving—and protecting the sake of humanity, as well as the quest for the seeking family; thus seeing a bunch of revelations, twist, and counter-twists unravelling right before every Anime viewer's eyes.

More than that, this Super-electromagnetic anime program wasn't also an Anime program whose extraordinary-drawn figures used to fascinate every generation (or for instance, serving like a scapegoat from reality). It was tells the accounts depicting tyranny, warfare, conspiracy theories; and even left an impact on both political and popular cultures in the Philippines. Indeed, a product of those Super Robot shows where they convey subliminally political and philosophical messages to the world.

Even if I wasn't born on the era where Martial Law was portrayed like a cassette tape, it surely left a two-sided image in the eyes of the Filipino. Good for the youngsters who watches TV as their past time, while at the other side, a total bad taste in their mouth. Legacy and controversy at its finest. Youngsters who found VV and comprehended its sublimity ignited a revolt in their minds; in contrast to the parents who complained about the medium as President Ferdinand's son would say.

In case you guys don't know, Voltes V was nearing its culmination when the Marcos Administration directed a ban against them, as well as the other programs for portraying excessive violence. Upon stating the effect, it must be either the clash of the values (which violence became more evident), or just being plain, selective judgment on the society's fourth estate.

After the regime was finally brunt into pieces in 1986, such storified programs came back to life; thus, sending back the Voltes V legacy back to life thanks to the TV networks; having numerous re-runs around the channels PTV-4, IBC-13 and ABS-CBN. And when GMA-7 picked up the series at the late 90s, it was the same vibrant of 1978. More than hearing the Motown Pop of Michael Jackson and seeing foreign programs and those crafts made by the rebellious filmmakers of Manila.

In fact, in 1993, a band called The Eraserheads had named an album inspired by the popular TV series. And true enough, Ultraelectromagnetic Pop spawned three massive hit singles. Thus, signalling the first of the numerous achievements during the so-called "second wave of Manila band invasions."

In the world of Philippine television, Voltes V became a stellar part of comedy and the venture of turning popular TV actors in doing character voices. First, it became part of one of the popular segments in Bubble Gang titled Ang Dating Doon. In addition, the installment produced two versions of Filipino dubbed series featuring stellar actors like Dennis Trillo, Michael De Mesa, Jett Pangan, Sandara Park, Joonee Gamboa and even Kim Atienza.

Heck, there were even speculations that GMA Films will do a remake of the said robot series. Sans complaints about having a potential "romanticized" Voltes V flick, the film-making firm already denied of creating such project.

And by this year, there's a possibility that millennials will get a taste of Voltes V (together with other similar Anime series), the way it happened—and at the same time, on Filipino language. There were even reports that Alden Richards will be voicing Richard Hartford, the lead character for Daimos; only to be denied at the end.

You can argue what you think about Voltes V about being “excessively violent” to the people of the Bagong Lipunan. You can side on Bongbong Marcos who defended his father's decision of its ban. You can take part on how you the E-heads used the U word for its popularity, and even how Isko Salvador (popularly known as Brod Pete), took advantage for the Ang Dating Daan parody.

But even for the 90s kid—and part of the fifth generation fanbase (well, technically), Voltes V will leave a very colorful taste in everyone's mouth.

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