Starzinger / Spaceketeers

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“SF Saiyuki Starzinger” (a.k.a. “Spaceketeers“) is a 73-episode TV series released from 1978 to 1979. As the original title suggests, the work is a Sci-Fi adaptation of the 14th century masterwork of Asian literature, “Journey to the West” (a.k.a. “Saiyuki”, or “Legend of the Monkey King”). Planning for the series was credited to Godfather of Anime and Manga, Osamu Tezuka (original creator of “Tetsuwan Atom” / “Astro Boy”, “Dororo”, “The Phoenix Saga”, and “Black Jack”), and it featured writing by Leiji Matsumoto (original creator of “Captain Harlock”, “Galaxy Express 999”, and “Queen Millennia”). Although Matsumoto is only credited as a writer, Princess Aurora’s willowy character design looks very much like his work. “Starzinger” was later dubbed into English and released as “Spaceketeers”, part of “Force Five”, a weekday cartoon show made up of five different Japanese cartoons. Unlike the more well-known anime compilation, “Robotech”, “Force Five” kept each series separate; each with its own storyline.

Space has become unbalanced. The good energy from the planet of the Great King in the center of the universe has weakened. This imbalance has caused the once peaceful flora and fauna within our galaxy to change and become vicious monsters that seek to subjugate humanity. Mankind’s only hope is Moon born Princess Aurora (stand-in for Saiyuki’s Monk, Genjo/Xuanzang). Tasked by her mentor, Dr. Kitty (instead of Kannon/Guan Yin), she must travel to the Great King and replace the now wizened Empress of the Universe. To aid her in her quest, she is given a cyborg protector, Jan Kugo (Monkey King, Son Goku/Sun Wukong), and along the way they team up with Don Haka (Pig, Cho Hakkai/Zhu Bajie) and Sir Djorgo (Water-Sand Demon, Sha Gyojo/Sha Wujing). In “Spaceketeers”, Princess Aurora is charged by the Empress with traveling to the Decos Star system in the middle of the universe to discover the source of an evil energy which is transforming plants and animals into monstrous mutants, vegimoids and animoids; and her three traditional companions are named Three Musketeer evocative: Jesse Dart(anian), Porkos, and Arimos.

My favorite of the “Force Five” lineup. I always enjoyed the wacky dubbing; and, in particular, the fun-loving characterization and hi-jinks of “Monkey King” Jesse Dart -- The Invincible!

 Starzinger 01

 Starzinger 02

 Starzinger 03

 Starzinger 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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