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Anime Profile: Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

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USA Info
Japanese Info
Image
Title
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs Sei Jushi Bismarck("Bismarck the Star Musketeers") Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
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  Bismarck the Star Musketeers
Released
52 TV episodes  
Dates
1986–1989 1984
Company
Colico/World Events Studio Pierrot
Creator
   
Director
   
Genre
   
Characters
April Eagle Marian Ruwell
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Colt Bill Wilcox
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Fireball Shinji Hikari
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Jesse Blue Perios
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Nemesis Hyuza
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Saber Rider Richard Lancelot
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Cavalry Command Troop  
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-- more listed below -- -- more listed below --

Last I checked, this anime was available on VHS at Amazon.

Anime Characters: Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
April Eagle Marian Ruwell Commander Eagle --?--
Colt Bill Wilcox Gattler --?--
Fireball Shinji Hikari General Whitehawk --?--
Jesse Blue Perios Nova --?--
Nemesis Hyuza Outriders --?--
Saber Rider Richard Lancelot Steed --?--
Cavalry Command Troop --?-- Vanquo --?--

Anime Description: Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

The series is set in the late 21st or early 22nd century. There are many "outpost"/settlement worlds in the galaxy, with heavy western influenced names, such as "Planet Uma" and "Planet Durango". Oddly enough, most of these worlds have only humanoid lifeforms on them. Not many aliens encountered.

It's not often that two themes are melded together so perfectly. In "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs", the themes of the Old West, and the new themes of Science Fiction and Space Travel are combined together so smoothly, so consistently, so special, that you wonder why can't all the newer animated TV series today be this good? The music even fits the western overtone theme and the mood of the stories, so there is the real feeling of the Old Frontier West (think Clint Eastwood), even though the series is set in the future, but not-that-distant end of the 21st century.

Marc Handler, the animated TV series writer behind both "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs", as well as "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" (the immediate predecessor to this newer series), cleaned up all the weak flaws in the look and style of that story format, and imbued it with even better characters and story plot elements than ever before. In the arc of the stories for "Saber Rider", the events are more character driven, and less dependent on what the enemy wants to do next. Unlike the characters in "Voltron", who were pretty much left to fend for themselves, the Star Sheriffs in "Saber Rider" are more mobile across the galaxy, and have ample logistical support, and provide a wide range of superb interaction with each other, in each of their stories. A sense of teamwork, family, and unity for a cause, that of defending the New Frontier, so that mankind can settle and explore space in peace.

Throughout the length of the series, you get the feeling that Saber Rider himself, is relaying his log of events to the us, the viewer audience. Each episode begins with the title being displayed, and Saber doing an opening monologue, talking about their whereabouts and current assignments given to them from Cavalry Command. The wrap up for each episode has Saber summing up whatever valuable lesson can be learned from the danger they just faced.

Star Sheriffs are duly-deputized special operatives of Cavalry Command, Earth's space-going law enforcement arm and defense patrol organization out in space, and along the New Frontier. They are in essence,pan- galactic government marshalls, with broad powers of authority, as well as having to serve as galactic frontier ambassadors of goodwill to other sovereign worlds out there in space. The open handed gesture of forming an alliance with other worlds is always extended, perhaps much like counties the Old West. Other than their wits, their courage, and their standard issue equipment, such as their blaster pistols, and RAMROD's array of electronics, they have no superpowers unto themselves. When they do battle with the Outriders, it's a futuristic version of the code of the Old West.

It must be noted that the Star Sheriffs wear futuristic protective suits, since they traverse space (as easy as we drive around town), and have a few space-aged land rovers and air vehicles with them at all times. In fact, Saber Rider's own personal horse Steed, is actually a highly advanced mechanical robot horse that can fly, like a mythical pegasus, only mechanized. There is also no lack of space vessels or computers in this series, and the city architecture that is shown on the developed human Frontier worlds is truly excellent.

The RAMROD was created to be Cavalry Command's answer to combat the growing threat from giant enemy Renegade Units being used by certain cells of the Outriders. RAMROD is primarily our heroes' large starship, but can convert into a giant 250' high robot weapon that can fist-fight even better than "John Wayne" (with his voice too), whenever it's required, or whenever an Outrider Renegade Unit pops up, practically out of nowhere, looking for a real knock-down drag-out fight.

It's really outstanding to see the Star Sheriffs work as a team, to operate RAMROD, the actual star of "Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs".

However, 90% of the time, RAMROD is utilized in his "Vehicle mode", and not in his "Challenge Phase mode". If you value the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, you'll appreciate RAMROD just as much! RAMROD is not a sentient robot, anymore than the USS Enterprise is sentient starship. RAMROD fights almost all of his battles on land, and there was even one underwater!

Much of RAMROD's armament consists of lethal high energy beam weapons, designed to engage the enemy Renegade Unit long enough, until the trusty "Maverick Quick-Draw" disintegrator beam/weapons array can be brought to bear against the hopefully, weakened enemy unit. It's not always he same outcome though, because these Renegade Units are getting tougher, and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. "The good, the bad, and the ugly". The question of whether or not Cavalry Command plans to build anymore RAMROD equalizer units is never explored, and it certainly begs to be answered.

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