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Anime / Tekkaman

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Tekkaman the Space Knight is an anime TV series produced by Tatsunoko Production. Set in the distant future of the 21st century, the Earth is polluted and nearly depleted of resources. Mankind is forced to find a new home which they dub "Second Earth". But just as they are set to launch the mission, the evil alien alliance known as the Waldastar attack to impede their efforts.

After his father is killed in the first Waldastar attack, Jouji Minami hijacks the highly advanced robot Pegas. Using the robot's built in "Tek-Set" system, he transforms into the armored Space Knight, Tekkaman. Together with his girlfriend Hiromi and the mysterious Andro Umeda, the three of them search for a new world while fending off the Waldarian menace.

Dubbed in English by William Winckler Productions, the series is better known in America for its almost Adam West-like tone than Japan's version.

In the early 1990s, a revamped version, Tekkaman Blade, was made. Tekkaman was also one of the featured characters in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

The original series is legally available to watch on Anime Sols, where you can also pledge money to keep the series afloat in the United States and Canada in exchange for physical goods, such as stickers, posters and DVD box sets. However, the first DVD box set was unable to meet its funding goal, and as a result, no further episodes are being uploaded.

Tropes exhibited by this series:

  • Alien Invasion: The Waldarians and their mutant creations, complete with flying saucers.
  • Bowdlerization: The dub, according to William Winckler himself in this interview. To be fair, as few cuts as possible were made to the action scenes, with most of the censorship occurring in the dialogue (Tekkaman "deactivating" the robots, for instance).
  • Calling Your Attacks: Tekkaman usually doesn't call out his attacks unless it's Voltekka, but he occasionally did call out 'Tek-Lancer' or 'Tek-Win'. The dub, on the other hand, uses this all the frickin' time.
  • Cliffhanger: The Earth Defense Force is nearly wiped out by a Waldarstar invasion force, Hiromi and Andro use the completed Leap Flight Engine to search for Second Earth in a new galaxy, leaving Jouji to buy them time by facing down an entire Waldarian army. Exhausted, he orders Pegas to charge towards Rambos' fortress to settle the score once and for all, ending on a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame. Done because....
  • Cut Short: The show was meant to be a 52-episode series. The show's original Japanese airing was a complete ratings failure however, and resulted the show to be cut down to 26.
    • Also applies to English version, in which only 13 of those 26 episodes were dubbed. William Winckler wanted to dub the rest of the series, but the lack of a toyline or a network picking the series up caused that idea to fizzle out.
  • The Dragon: Rambos.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Waldarians steal blueprints and make an evil Tekkaman in one episode, though the original Tekkaman and Pegas note the poor construction.
  • Filling the Silence: In Japanese, Tekkaman is pretty much The Quiet One. This didn't quite stick in the dub.
  • The Lancer: Andro is a typical example of the trope for a 70's show, he always plays the Commander Contrarian to Jouji and always butts heads against him and going solo. However, he always had his heart in the right place even if he has issues in expressing it, and he's still Jouji's best buds.
  • Mecha Show: Tekkaman is less humongous than the rest, but he fought spaceships bigger than his size like he's some sort of mini-mecha.
  • No Indoor Voice: Dub!Tekkaman isn't content with just stating the obvious all the time. He also has to say it as loudly as possible.
  • Power at a Price: The Tek-Set system is a tremendous strain on the user. Never mind that the transformation is painful, Jouji is more often than not completely exhausted after every battle, doubly so if he uses the Voltekka. No wonder why Hiromi is constantly worried sick whenever he goes out to fight.
  • Punny Name: Andro Umeda, his name feels like evoking the term 'Andromeda', signifying that he's an alien.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mutan, who actually proves quite useful.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The robot army in episode 13 give up their lives by using their circuits to form a bomb to free Pegas from a trap.
  • Shapeshifter: Various Waldestar underlings and occasionally Rambos himself.
  • Status Quo Is God: Meta example. Only the first 13 episodes were dubbed when the series aired on American TV in the mid-1980s. The Anime Sols release was only able to make it to episode 13 before the first DVD boxset passed its deadline without being funded. As a result, anyone who saw the English dub and wanted to get the original Japanese version on DVD are no closer to seeing the rest of the series then they were when the dub first aired.
  • You Killed My Father: Jouji's father was killed by the Waldastars right in the first episode, which set him on Roaring Rampage of Revenge, getting a bit too gung-ho on kicking the crap out of the Waldastars. He has to be talked down by Hiromi and Prof. Amachi and realize that the strength of Tekkaman come not from just physical but also mentality and he has to set it on 'protecting the people of Earth selflessly' instead of 'selfishly pursuing revenge because they killed my father'.