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Anime / Voltes V

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The Voltes team. From left to right: Daijiro, Hiyoshi, Kenichi, Megumi and Ippei.


Voltes V (formally, 超電磁マシーン ボルテスV or Choudenji (Super Electromagnetic) Machine Voltes Five) is the second of Tadao Nagahama's Robot Romance Trilogy of Super Robot series, premiering in 1977. It was preceded by Combattler V and followed by Daimos. As with its predecessor Combattler V, the "V" is for the Combining Mecha's five constituents, their five pilots, and the traditional V for Victory.

Considerably Darker and Edgier than Combattler V, Voltes V chronicles the Voltes Team and Camp Big Falcon's defense of Earth from the invading Boazanian Empire, Beast Fighter by Beast Fighter, as well as a simmering civil war within planet Boazan itself, long under the brutal caste-system rule of Emperor Zu Zambajil, between the horned elite and the hornless commoners.

Because of its popularity in the Philippines, a live-action series adaptation entitled Voltes V: Legacy is produced by GMA Network and Riot Inc. Post Production under the supervision of Toei with a Philippine-wide release on May 8, 2023.note  Any Legacy-related tropes need to be placed on that page.

Has a character sheet that needs to be completed.

Voltes V provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic:
    • Daijirou Gou. Justified, he's a martial artist judoka.
    • General Oka. Justified, he's from a clan of ninjas after all.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Boazanian Flagships, Zeltan and Sugoshin Godor, all of them equiped with formidable weapons and even Deflector Shields.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Boazanians are able to banter with Terrans just fine.
  • Anyone Can Die: Downplayed. With Kill 'Em All Tomino involved as one of the episode directors and producers, there were MANY casualties amongst the good and bad guys alike. But for the most part, the core cast remained intact and while their target of rescue (father) survived, many of their mentor figures died. Most likely because Tomino wasn't in the director's seat... yet.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Horned Boazanian nobilities act like this on the majority, dressing in fancy clothes, uncaring of the plight of the suffering, are Dirty Cowards and generally are irredeemable bastards. There's only a few exceptions, such as Rozalia, LaGour's first wife, who loved him genuinely despite him revealing that he's actually hornless.
  • Arm Cannon: Voltes Bazooka, which flips a hand down to protrude a scaled-up revolver from the forearm.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: The Beast Fighters are really earth animals that the Boazanians turned into giant robots. At least the ones after the first couple of episodes.
  • Award-Bait Song: The end theme "Looking For Father". And we wonder who is the "father" they are searching for.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: An entire episode was devoted to Kenichi learning this technique—called The Butterfly Return—when the eponymous Super Robot was fighting against an enlarged swordsman. He doesn't take very well to the training for the technique, so he decides to modify the process by doing a bullet catch using a pair of rocks. Earlier in that episode, Daijirou (who teaches Kenichi the technique) performs this against Megumi's blade after she had disarmed him of his staff earlier in a sparring session.
  • BFS: TEN KUU KEN! (or LASER SWORD! in the Philippine English dub.) Plus points goes to this BFS for being able to hide its blade into Hammerspace. Its hilt, however, is collapsible. It also doesn't actually have to be unsheathed in order to be used, as when Kenichi commanded its blade to emerge to get out of a Beast Fighter spinning Voltes V around in its arms.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Earth is spared, Boazan is finally freed from Zambajil's iron grip, and the Gou brothers are finally reunited with their father LaGour/Kentaro, but their older half-brother Heinel is dead, their mentor figures were all dead with Sakonji being the last survivor and LaGour chose to stay behind in Boazan, instead of going to Earth with his sons, to help rebuild it from scratch, though it's implied that with the space-warp technology they used to travel to Boazan in the last arc, travel between Earth and Boazan wouldn't take long and the Voltes team can visit their father in the now peaceful Boazan anytime.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Half of Voltes's weaponry works like this.
  • Catchphrase: "LETS... VOLT... IN!!!"
  • Character Development: The characters are somewhat more fleshed-out than in the standard Super Robot show, due it to being part of a trilogy meant to expand the formula beyond being elaborate toy commercials. In particular, Kenichi learned that he and his siblings are all half-Boazanians, and he struggled to keep his morals together and not let his origin of birth affect the reason he fights.
  • Chest Blaster: Voltes Laser and Choudenji Wave. Further down is the Grand Fire. (No, not THAT further down.)
  • Color-Coded Characters: Kenichi wears red, Ippei wears blue, and Megumi wears yellow with pink accents. The other two members of the Voltes Team wear green.
  • Combining Mecha: Voltes V is a combining mecha with its own stock footage combination scene and everything. Its inability to combine thanks to a Beast Fighter's special apparatus also becomes a plot point later on.
  • Compilation Movie: The last five episodes which previously went unaired following Ferdinand Marcos' ban were edited and released by GMA Network theatrically as Voltes V: The Liberation, back when the network was hyping about the series' "second coming" in the late 90s.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Choudenji Ball would drain all of Voltes V's energy, making it unable to move after the attack. Later it receives an upgrade to avert this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Combattler V, but not to extremes otherwise prevalent during the Super Robot Boom of the 70s. Interestingly enough, Tomino himself was involved in making this anime. Foreshadowing, perhaps?
  • Dirty Coward: Emperor Zambajil kicked his older brother and legitimate heir, LaGour, out of the throne for simply being a hornless nobleman, held Boazan in an iron grip with a Fantastic Caste System, and manipulated LaGour's first son Heinel into becoming his pawn, yet he's quick to bail out once the Voltes Team finally reach Boazan, the hornless Boazanians are turning the tide of the civil war in their favor, and Heinel discovers his true heritage. It's worth noting that the Big Bads of the other Romantics, for all their vileness, have at least some dignity.
  • Disappeared Dad: Kentaro Gou left his sons when they were young in order to save the slaves in planet Boazan.
  • Energy Ball: Choudenji Ball
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: If anyone is actively involved on the field long enough, chances are that they'll be proficient at close quarters combat. Even Professor Hamaguchi got in on the fun.
  • Expository Theme Tune:
    • The bleak opening theme talks about how the five nakama are rushing forward to the maelstrom of battle to save the earth from certain doom, with the closing line being, "The earth's dawn is already near."note 
    • And the closing theme tune talks about how the Go brothers are searching for their missing father.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Born on Boazan and got horns sticking out? No? Then prepare for a life of pariah-esque slavery supporting the planet's thriving galactic tourism industry. Or exile beyond the ruling class's clutches, as in LaGour/Kentarou Gou's case. Surprisingly, there was a time that both the horned and hornless ones coexisted in peace. But all of the sudden, even before the likes of Zu Zambajil was born, suddenly the caste system got applied and that became the status quo when LaGour was born.)
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the few Super Robot shows of the 70s that deal with this.
  • Flying Brick: Apparently trying to outdo Combattler: "You'll never beat this 600-ton Voltes!"
  • Fusion Dance: The Beast Fighters in Episode 5 merge into one. While they do give Voltes V a harder time, when they eventually get beaten back, it means that once the Finishing Move is delivered, they both go down at once.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Gou brothers. Their father is a Boazanian noble who defected.
  • Hammerspace: Finger Missiles, Voltes Bazooka and Chain Knuckles are too big to have all been stored in Voltes V's arms.
  • Home Base: Camp Big Falcon, which is basically Mission Control set up on a bird-shaped island. It turns out that the whole island is actually a gigantic, bird-shaped Cool Starship in disguise, capable of traveling space warps in order to bring the fight onto Boazan's doorsteps.
  • Honor Before Reason: Heinel continues to fight the Voltes team in the last episode, even though it is obvious his side is about to lose. The only reason for doing so is that he is a noble.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Boazan nobles.
  • Human Aliens: The only real difference is that the privileged of the Boazanians have horns.
  • Humiliation Conga: Let's see... Heinel was betrayed by the emperor he loyally served, his subordinates are killed, finds out he was pitted against his father and brothers, and finally dies. Yeah, serves him right.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: Volt Frigate, the machine forms the legs of Voltes V, also is able to fly and swim.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Only because the Choudenji Tops and the Choudenji Strings that launch them don't quite fit under Killer Yo-Yo.
  • It Can Think: The third Beast Fighter, Bonzarus, is capable of speech, and is the only one known to do so. He also proved too fast to allow the Volt Machines to Volt in, but ingenuity from Kenichi and Ippei involving reflecting missiles gave them the opportunity to do so. However, he was also too overconfident in himself to not retreat once Voltes V was formed.
  • Karmic Death: Zambajil had been manipulating his nephew Heinel into committing atrocities on Earth. Guess who kills him in the end?
  • Mysterious Protector: They were being helped by someone flying in a jet shaped like a hawk (in the Philippines, it was instead referred to as a "Mechanical Eagle") in later episodes. It's a friend of Prof. Gou, General Dange, a Defector from Decadence.
  • Noble Demon: While Boazanian nobilities are mostly evil assholes, the named soldiers/warriors are mostly this. There are several Boazanian soldiers that showed honor in their own way, even including Jangal, while Heinel's experience in war and insistence to prove himself granted him some sense of honor. Taken further, it was mostly horned Boazanian soldiers/generals like General Dange or Doir that have a chance to have had enough of the whole Fantastic Caste System's cruelty and eventually break off their horns and become a Defector from Decadence.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Emperor Zambajil just let his minions do all the fighting for him.
  • Once per Episode: Every episode the team yelled "Let's Volt In!" (preceded with Kenichi's initiation of 'V Together!' so everyone gets in formation first) to combine in Voltes V. And every episode they killed the Monster of the Week with the the Tenkuu Ken (most of the time with V Slash, but lesser used moves pop up time to time).
  • Redshirt Army: Camp Big Falcon personnel suffers this as they take heavy casualties whenever the base is under attack.
  • Retirony: General Oka dies in the same episode when he decides to retire.
  • Robeast: The Beast Fighters are this as the vanguard of the Boazanian forces.
    • In the original run, the Boazanians were already using the term Beast Fighter for their Monster of the Week.
  • Robot Buddy: Hiyoshi's "Tako-Chan".
  • Schizo Tech: The Boazanians managed to develop sub-lightspeed spaceship drives but were unable to apply the technology elsewhere, hence the use of Battle Beasts and atomic/nuclear conventional weaponry. They also retain their medieval culture, pimped-out dresses, and a Fantastic Caste System that'd make slavery look humane.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The "spin-fly" technique.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Is the Emperor Zu's last name supposed to be Zambajil, Zambojil or Zambujil?
  • The Starscream: Zuhl. He fails, though, and gets executed for it.
  • Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: In episode 20, Professor Sakonji tells the Voltes Team that he can't authorize a mission to find the missing Kentaro Gou, saying that the odds of their current lead being a trap are too great... and then steps out to use the restroom, specifically declaring that he'll probably take a while. The team naturally launches without him, while a very much not-on-the-toilet Sakonji secretly watches and says to himself that he has no right to stop them.
  • Super Robot Genre: Voltes V has a (relatively) more realistic take on the Super Robot genre, but it still hasn't crossed the threshold of a Real Robot Genre series like Mobile Suit Gundam from 1979.
  • Telescoping Robot: Its belt was in reality two whips, its midsection stored a spinning top, the ornament on its chest hid its sword's blade...
  • Training from Hell:
    • The Spin Fly Formation. It involved surviving centrifugal forces that tortured the Voltes Team.
    • The beginning had the Voltes Team undergo this in their preparation of piloting Voltes V and the Boazan Army arrive, for one whole year. Worth noting that Hiyoshi, the smart kid of the team, is sent to fight off a living shark with nothing but a knife.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: VOOLTEEEESSSS FIIIVEEE!!!!!. Followed by extending arms to form a "V" and an Ass Kicking Pose.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Justified as one Monster of the Week was designed to neutralize Voltes V's super-electro-magnetic shielding during its transformation.
    • Arguably subverted, since several Beast Fighters manage to interrupt their formation before they can properly transform. Once the sequence from the title starts playing, though, it's usually rare for them to pull it off.
  • Villain Episode: Several episodes gave Heinel more screentime than the Voltes Team and actually developed him further as a character. This is one of the unique points of the series during its airing time, where the antagonist was shown to be more than a cackling villain that thinks on how to defeat the heroes, having his own dreams and honor (and outwitting other things aside of the Voltes Team), all while not wholly taking away the fact that he's supposed to be the antagonist.
  • Villainous BSoD: Heinel went through these when he found out LaGour/Kentarou Gou was his real father, the Gou brothers were his younger half-brothers, Zambajil is just an usurping bastard, and one could only guess what happened next.
  • We Have Reserves: Emperor Zambajil does not care if his own troops get within range of his Doomsday Device, as long as Voltes V is defeated.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: In one episode the Boazanians are gobsmacked to find out Earth people have the capacity to love; which was part of their Fantastic Racism.
  • Weapons of Their Trade: Ippei, being an ex-cowboy, has a whip.
  • Worthy Opponent: Prince Heinel; played for all its tragic worth. To a lesser extent, the Boazanian giant Gilligan.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: This happens a lot to Prof. Gou. It's one of the devices that keep the story running.
  • Zorro Mark: Voltes always finishes off a Beast Fighter by slicing a giant V into it with its sword.