Friday, August 31, 2007

Childhood Nostalgia 3 – Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

Like the title suggests, I talk about the nostalgic memory of mine, mainly on the cartoon shows I watched and the few collectibles and toys I played with decades ago for this section. Part 1 and 2 were written many many moons ago, which are among the earliest postings in my blog.

Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was a cartoon series I watched even before there was Power Rangers. I supposed I was about five or six years old back then, and it was almost the same time when Voltron was aired. Every Wednesday or Thursday evening, at 4.30pm, I would definitely be in front of the TV to catch another episode of this cartoon series. When the familiar electric guitar opening theme was played, wow, my mind would be completely off to the world of the Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs :-D and there was no way my parents could ask my to do any chore.

Remember the same old opening? Saber Rider throws his sword, which will land in the middle of the title.

Like Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs originated from Japan, the birthplace of many mecha and giant robots. In Japanese, its title is Star Musketeer Bismarck (星銃士ビスマルク, Seijūshi Bisumaruku). Of course when I was a kid, I never knew anything about that, since the only thing important was the story, the fighting and the robot. Hehe!

The story of Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs is set in a futuristic world with a very Western Cow boyish feel. Even the town and the people looks like they are from some old Clint Eastwood movies, complete with the Cow boy hat and cape. So it was a bit difficult for me to believe it when I found out that the anime actually came from Japan, since the whole setup of the story was very Western-like.

Anyway, it is not a peaceful world, as the people are constantly under attack of the Outriders, lead by a demon-like creature called Nemesis. The character does not make his appearance in most of the earlier episodes actually, as he is always hiding in his lair, vowing his revenge and evil plan at the very end of very episode after his goons are defeated. Typical of every cartoon I suppose :-)

So that's where our heroes and heroine come in. The team is formed rather accidentally in Episode 1. Saber Rider is the leader of the team. With his tall helmet, complete with an English flag symbol on it, as well as his English assent, it's easy telling where his is from. Fireball is a race car Champion from Japan, Colt is a bounty hunter from America, who pilots a mini-plane with a rather cool name: Bronco Buster :-D April is the daughter of the Commander of Calvary Command, the leader of all Star Sheriffs. She seldom joins the team in real combat actually, and is seen ready on the battleship Ramrod most of the time.

Saber Rider is the leader of the team.

He reminds me quite a bit of Quatre Raberba Winner from Wing Gundam :)

One of the beginning scenes of the anime, Fireball with his race car.

Fireball is actually the leader of the team in the Japanese version.

Being a character from America, Colt is the one with the best sense of humor among his team members.

His curly hair kind of reminds me of Amuro Ray from the first Gundam anime :)

April is actually the engineer of the Ramrod Project.

Speaking of Ramrod, now that's where the funs begin. Like most other Japanese sci-fi anime, when the Outriders are losing the battle, they would call upon a giant robot called the Desperado Unit to finish off Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. Of course they have their own giant robot to fight back as well.

The most awaited moment in the whole episode for me ^o^

Press it! And we are going for rock-and-roll!

"Ramrod will now take navigational control~"

"Head 'em up, move 'em out."

"Power stride and ready to ride!"

Ramrod is the most Coy boyish character in the team (if you call him a character). He is designed with a Cow boy hat, a cape and a pistol mounted on his hip.

Ramrod's ultimate weapon is an array of cannons on his chest, which can shower any Renegade Desperado Unit to smithereens.

If you remember the voice character of Ramrod well, you would have no problem recognizing him to be Peter Cullen. Yes, THE Peter Cullen who voiced for Optimus Prime! Peter Cullan also voiced for Commander Eagle, April's father, as well as Nemesis, the ultimate villain of the anime. Talk about being on both extreme ends of good and evil :-D

Anyway, here's a little remedy for those who watched this anime as a kid like me.

If you can't see anything, follow this link to Youtube.