Legend of the Demon Lands (Makyou Densetsu) Acrobunch is an anime that aired in 1982 on Nippon TV. Led by scientist Tatsuya Randou, the Randou family undertakes a journey around the globe in order to search out ancient ruins to uncover the legend of Quetzalcoatl, which unlocks the key to a fabulous treasure. However, tailing the Randou family is Gopurin, an evil organisation that covets the legendary treasure for itself. The Randou family has the secret weapon of super robot Acrobunch. It becomes a race around the world of who finds the treasure first.
An MIC (Kokusai Eigasha) production with animation by Toei Animation note , the series was an early job for ace female animator and character designer Mutsumi Inomata (whose future credits would include Plawres Sanshiro, Genmu Senki Leda,Brain Powerd, Future GPX Cyber Formula and multiple Tales Series games) and the debut role for seiyuu Shigeru Nakahara as Jun (the youngest of the five Randou children). The show also aired in France in 1985 under the title L'Empire des Cinq.
Compare to the same production company's Honey Honey no Suteki na Bouken, which also features globetrotting adventurers, and the same year's The Mysterious Cities of Gold, which is also centered around a hunt for a mysterious treasure with Latin American roots (in this case, El Dorado).
Contains examples of:
- Badass Family: The Randou family. All of which are accomplished explorers and pilot the title mech.
- Big Bad: Deros, leader of the Gopurin.
- Combining Mecha: Acrobunch is formed from a jet, two motorcycles and two cars.
- Dub Name Change: The French dub changes the name of the family (from Randou to Cossyg), the five children (from Hiro, Ryo, Reika, Miki and Jun to Quentin, Mathieu, Ulrich, Jill, and Antoine), and the Acrobunch robot itself (to Thorn-Rock). It also changes the setting from the Japanese Alps to the Canadian Rockies.
- Follow the Leader: The anime was made after seeing how successful Raiders of the Lost Ark was.
- Monumental Damage: Episode 7 has Stonehenge being destroyed by some fire column...thing.
- Recycled In Space: Indiana Jones WITH GIANT ROBOTS!
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The sisters Reika (tomboy) and Miki (girly-girl). The French dub even gives Reika a masculine-sounding name ("Ulrich").