TOKUSOU KIHEI DORVACK (aka
Special Armored Battalion Dorvack)
Episode One: Year 1999 - The Beginning of the
large spaceship travels through the void of space. Aboard it are a race
known as the Idelians. They have been traveling for 200,000 years and
now have encountered energy readings on a nearby planet. Their
mysterious leader determines this planet will suite them perfectly and
orders an immediate attack. The Idelian forces converge on the
easily picking off the interceptors sent to stop them. However, when
they reach the surface they encounter Dorvack Unit--three humans
(Masato Mugen, Pierre Bonaparte and Louise Oberon) that
control Mecha vehicles (called "Variable Machines") and had been
previously engaged in a military drill. Thanks to their machines, the
Idelians they fight are outmatched and quickly destroyed. But the
battle is over--the war is just beginning!
series ran 36 episodes I only had easy access to the first episode
(which is why more of them aren't reviewed here). I got a copy of an
.avi file from the internet (the series apparently had a Japanese
release but no domestic one of which I am aware). Since it was based
off a toyline I presume the overall story was Humans vs. Idelians
anyway. The animation is reasonably good for its time although the plot
is a pretty typical anime theme for that era (aliens invade, only the
best and brightest of Earth with the most advanced technology can stop
them). It's nothing really special or memorable as stories go but it is
a competent series on its own merits. I found the background music to
be a bit annoying in places (I guess it could've been worse though).
Also, the subtitling is iffy in places--like
somebody did a rush job or didn't speak good english themselves. Words
are missing on occasion ("Let's get out of here and report Captain
Takagi" instead of "report TO Captain Takagi"). Another instant early
on has them reporting Earth's atmosphere has "H20, Earth and Argon" in
it which makes it
sound odd. If they said Earth's "environment" had that, it would've
made sense. But the atmosphere has nitrogen, oxygen and other gases in
it...so something got mixed up in the translation.
- 36 episodes total (originally broadcast in Japan, 1983-84)
- Japanese language soundtrack only (with English sub-titles).
(Apparently, the series was dubbed into Portugese at some point but I
could find no evidence of an English dub.)
- This series was created to spotlight a toyline by a company called Takatoku. However, the toyline did
not sell well and the company went out of business.
- The only animated appearances of what would be known as Roadbuster and Whirl in North America's Transformers line (those figures
also appeared in different scale in The
Convertors toyline as well).