Anime / Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

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Clockwise from upper left: Saber Rider, Fireball, Colt and April. In the center: Ramrod.
"Can you feel the thunder inside?
Saber Rider!
Make the lightning crack as you ride!
Saber Rider!"
from the lyrics of the American Expository Theme Tune

"Together we've made a commitment to the spirit of the frontier freedom fighters. Wherever danger leads us, wherever the people need us, that's where you'll find . . . the Star Sheriffs!"
Saber Rider, "Star Sheriff Round-Up"

In the future, humanity has spread out across the galaxy, settling various planets which are known as "frontier outposts." Spaceship travel and high technology are common, but many people live simple lives akin to those of settlers in The Wild West. The human dimension is invaded by Outriders, the soldiers of a race of aliens known as Vapor Beings who are bent on conquering our dimension. They are driven back but fifteen years later they return, led by their Galactic Conqueror, Nemesis. They attack using Humongous Mecha called Renegade Units and the only ones who can stop them are Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits consisting of:

Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs is the second attempt made by World Events Productions at dubbing an anime series, done in the same style as their previous (and much more famous) attempt, Voltron. While the general storylines were kept intact, several episodes were removed due to content and American-produced episodes were substituted in (they are notable for their differing character designs and minimal usage of the Transforming Mecha) as well as introducing expanded backstory for one of the main villains, Jesse Blue. The transformation sequences, which differed from episode to episode in the original series, Sei Juushi Bismarck (Space Musketeer Bismarck), were replaced with Stock Footage. The Japanese main character was turned into a secondary character and the British fencer became the titular character in the American version. A love triangle was also introduced with Jesse Blue falling in love with April (and trying to pull both an Attempted Rape and a Murder the Hypotenuse), who was in love with Saber Rider (who was oblivious and embarrassed when she tried to kiss him once) and later with Fireball (who reciprocated her feelings).

Interestingly, the original series was a commercial failure in Japan, but the American version proved VERY popular around the world, especially in Germany, Latin America and Russia where it developed cult status.

This show is also highly notable as one of the first shows a newborn Studio Pierrot did in the early to mid 80s, and Saber Rider was their first major overseas success and the money from that (along with Urusei Yatsura) fueled their later projects. You may have heard of just a few of these.

The series is once again legally available to view on YouTube (why it wasn't for a while, no one knows, though this time around there's only a few episodes to view instead of the whole series) and a long-delayed video game is scheduled for release in 2016. Said game had a successful Kickstarter campaign will be a oldschool style 16-bit shoot-'em-up released on the Nintendo 3DS, Steam (for Windows, Mac, & Linux), the Dreamcast, and PC Turbo Grafx-16. Originally, the game was intended to be a 3D title released by Firehazard Studio for all eighth gen consoles along with iOS and Android, but Firehazard disbanded and their original publisher pulled out, with the current Team Saber Rider eventually ditching the 3D format for the originally intended 2D game. A demo is currently available...for the Dreamcast version.

In 2016, Lion Forge Comics, publisher of titles based on popular 80-90s franchises such as Knight Rider, Miami Vice, Punky Brewster, Airwolf, and Saved by the Bell, announced a new Saber Rider limited comic series written by Mairghread Scott (The Transformers: Windblade) with art by Sendol Arts (artists on Lion Force's original comics Roboy and Trimaxx.)

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