The first of Tadao Nagahama's Romance Super Robot Trilogy. (#2: Chou Denji Machine Voltes V, #3: Toushou Daimos)
Thousands of years ago, the people of the planet Campbell decided to leave their planet and seek out new worlds to inhabit. One group, lead by the scientist Oreana, landed on Earth, but was delayed from their mission. In the early 21st century, Oreana's group reawakens and begins their plan to conquer the Earth. The only effective defense against the Campbellians' giant biomechanical slave beasts is the super-electromagnetic robot, Combattler V and its pilots.
Choudenji Robo Combattler V, older brother to the slightly more popular Voltes V, and featured multiple times in the Super Robot Wars franchise.
I'll start off with the pretty blunt statement, that this show is rather basic no matter how you look at it. It isn't groundbreaking, its very similar to Voltes V, and isn't too thrilling in any particular department.
Heck, both the mech and the pilots seem like clones of Voltes V's own in many aspects.
But it has one thing going for it. Its fun to watch. In that charismatic way Super Robot series are. That no matter how repetitive the series is, no matter
how bland the villains or heroes are, you always want to cheer them on as they fight the monster of the week, and finish them off with the finishing blow, CHOUDENJI SPIIIIIN. Its in this Super Robot kind of excitement that keeps me returning episode after episode to watch Garuda and the Campbellians resurrect a new monster and attempt to "finally take down Combattler!"
Its fun, it enjoyable, most certainly retro, and will make you feel like you're 10 years old again. From the hotshot speed demon Hyouma, gun loving ace Juuzou, token girl member Chizuru, obese Daisaku, and kid genius Kosuke, they each have episodes devoted to their own characters. And to be honest, I think these episodes are probably some of the most well done in the show, since they actually put a lot of background into the individual pilots. These episodes also help keep it from being straight "Monster of the Week" all in a row, by helping spice it up a bit. Not to mention Garuda, who suddenly turns from the spoiled prince into a complex villain of conflicting values later on.
Now, halfway through the series, it reaches the climax of the entire story. I'm not naming anything, but it really reaches the meat of the story, and then for the second half changes completely and goes back to how it was for the first half, but with different cast of villains. This really hurt its story, since all the work they put into making the spectacular half point went to waste with the new villains.
Overall, if you enjoy catchy theme songs, absurd weapons (C'mon, who doesn't love the Electromagnetic Yo-yo?), stereotypical villains, and are a sucker for Super Robots, then this is right up your alley. Otherwise, you may find it looking out of date, boring, and just downright childish. Thats alright, but when it comes to Combattler, it holds much more nostalgia and entertainment than first meets the eye.