Tekkaman Blade / Teknoman

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"Tekkaman Blade" is a 49 episode TV series from 1992-93. Twenty-nine of these episodes were dubbed and adapted by Saban (of "Power Rangers" fame) for US television, and shown on American TV in 1994 under the title: "Teknoman". It’s loosely based on the classic 1970s Tatsunoko cartoon, "Tekkaman the Space Knight", and was later followed by a few one shot OVAs and an OVA series, "Tekkaman Blade 2".

As the Saban dub opening states:
"At the end of the 21st century (United Global Year 193, if you’re a Tekkaman Purist), the Earth was invaded by a horde of mutant Spider Crabs (Radam, for the TP), under the control of the Venamoid (also Radam, TP) warlord, Darkon (Tekkaman Omega, TP). “When I descend upon the Earth, darkness will unfurl it’s banner across yet another region of the cosmos.” Even the heroic men and women of the Space Knights cannot defend the Earth without the help of a mysterious young man named Slade (Dangerous Boy or D-Boy, TP), who has the ability to transform into the super hero known as… TEK-NO-MAN (Tekkaman Blade, you know who)! And now, the continuing saga of… Teknoman."

It really was the never-ending saga of Teknoman, because the "last episode" ended with the destruction of the Space Knight’s command center, and Slade’s girlfriend, Star/Aki telling the story of Teknoman, which leads into the first episode of the series.

"Teknoman" is a lot of fun, and in many cases I consider it to be better than the Japanese original, especially in the opening. I like the two original Japanese openings, but it was nice that the Saban one told the viewer the basic story of the series, and integrated the telling with animation from the show. This meant if you were new to the show, you could start at almost any episode and know immediately what the basic story was, and who the bad guys were; information that would be important to you if you were a kid watching.

The more violent scenes, deaths of unimportant side characters, some references to drinking, name adaptations, and a few other things, were cut or changed in the American release. But the basic story was the same. The Teknomen/Tekkamen are still Slade’s/D-Boy’s family turned into inhuman monsters by aliens, and Slade still loses control of himself and attacks his own friends if he remains a Teknoman/Tekkaman for more than 30 minutes (kind of like a more badass version of "The Ultraman", complete with flashing crystals). While not quite as violent and inappropriate for small children as the original, the show was still pretty angsty, mean, and, even though they died off screen, a few important characters (e.g., Slade’s sister, Shara/Miyuki) still died.

The English dub was really good most of the time, with liberal translations, and fairly natural English word phrasing. I was, and still am, disappointed that the show didn’t go on longer and reach the Japanese version’s conclusion. There’s apparently another international English dub that was released, but I haven’t seen it. Like “Robotech”, when I watched the original Japanese version of the cut English episodes, while some of the scenes were nice, I was struck more by how most of the cut scenes were unimportant to the story. It’s interesting to watch both "Teknoman" and "Tekkaman Blade", to compare their differences, and enjoy the story.


 Tekkaman Blade 01

 Tekkaman Blade 02

 Tekkaman Blade 03

 Tekkaman Blade 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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