The legend of the heroic Japanese super robot lives on in Voltes V: Legacy, the Philippine adaptation that promises an adventure of epic proportions.
You know what we know much to be true? A good classic can never be beaten down, no matter how hard one tries or dismisses it amid an inane obsession with what’s new, now, and next. It isn’t even an oversimplified case of a perceived inability to let go of the past, because if it really matters, it will find its way to make sense even beyond the demarcation of generations. Take, the legendary Japanese anime that is Voltes V for example. It may have been over 40 years since the world first got acquainted with the Lazer Sword-wielding, larger-than-life super robot with an epic theme song to boot, but to this day, people are not only referencing it in a nostalgic sense, but revisiting it for that good dose of v-shaped swashbuckling across space.
What is essentially a story of the battle between good and evil, as well as of the real-life struggles that surround its dichotomy, Voltes V has endured and carved out a legacy since its GMA telecast on May 5, 1978. From then on, Fridays at 6:00 PM became some sort of religious experience for children who would camp out in front of the television and sit there for nearly 30 minutes to witness the battle between the Boazanian Forces and the Voltes V team led by Steve Armstrong together with his brothers, Big Bert and Little Jon, as well as of Mark Gordon and the lone-female, Jamie Robinson.
The Legacy of Voltes V
However, as with anything progressive and irreverent, its perceived violence was deemed threatening by the disgraced government then. Undeserving of its impact on the youth that had found solace in the story of Voltes V, the series was unceremoniously pulled off the air by the fascist implements and dictatorial efforts of the late Ferdinand Marcos. Unfounded as its assumption to corrupt the impressionable minds of the young generation was, the series rallied for the good fight. “Borute su faibu ni, subete wo kakete,” and so goes the lingering soundtrack of the show, which translated means, “Voltes V, we risk everything.”
Following the successful overturn of power with the People Power Revolution of 1986, Voltes V was re-aired, much to the delight of a culture-craved audience. Even after all this time, the anime still rings relevant in every way possible. With the enduring lure of mechanized warriors in the same vein as Mekanda Robot, Daimos, Mazinger-Z, Grendizer, and even Transformers, GMA Network was compelled to bring back the king of it all, Voltes V. This time, however, the show was getting the live-action treatment with a committed production in the Philippines with its deep well of creative talents.
Let’s Volt In
A surprise at the beginning of 2020, it was announced that Voltes V: Legacy was in the works by GMA Network with Director Mark Reyes (Encantadia, Etheria, Atlantika) at the helm. Without much information, except a hair-raising trailer that immediately sparked curiosity and conversation, the Filipino adaptation was clearly off to an interesting start. Since then, details were scarce, with the rumor mill actively churning out possibilities and wishful thinking to tide us over. Now, a little over a full year later, more light is being shed into Voltes V: Legacy. Naturally, the anticipation is shooting high up than ever before, because now, we really can’t wait for this updated undertaking to scream the words: “Let’s volt in!”
With the details far and in between, we scoured the internet for all the possible information on Voltes V: Legacy so you won’ have to. Here’s what we know so far.
7 Years In The Making
“It has been a seven-year journey for me to make Voltes V a reality,” reveals Director Mark Reyes in an interview following the praise for the then-released teaser trailer. “This is a passion project from someone who is a true fan. Someone who grew up believing in the overall theme of Voltes V, which is family, love, and fighting for good. And without GMA, this would still remain a pipe dream.”
There Are 2 Trailers So Far
Jumping things off with an impressive showing of Filipino skill, the first trailer employed the familiar audio of Voltes V relaying news of hostile otherworldly attacks. “The hero of generations returns…” it flashed, which was then followed by an orchestra-like instrumentation to the theme song. Snippets of what appeared to be a Philippine Eagle landing on a sepia-washed Camp Big Falcon flashed, before revealing fragments of the updated Voltes V. Sleek, shiny, and striking in full force, a head-to-head was alluded, before cutting to the mechanized hero leaping to cut a fired up letter V onscreen to reveal the title, Voltes V: Legacy.
With the bar set considerably high, a second trailer was recently released, this time showing the ominous oppression of the Boazanian Forces on Earth. This time, however, we not only see Voltes V in action again, but we also hear a more audible, “Let’s volt in!” from a pilot in a reworked suit obscured by his helmet. Since its release, the teaser has racked up to over a million views on YouTube.
“It’s very heart-warming that most are accepting of the hard work we have put in it. They have also noticed the upgrades we have made on the designs from the first teaser trailer. We are very thankful,” says Director Mark Reyes.
It Will Shoot Hollywood-Style
To ensure the top-notch quality and closely guarded consistency of this much-awaited project, reports and research shows that Voltes V: Legacy will shoot the show like they do in Hollywood. Meaning, taping and production will fully wrap up before it is aired. This way, every concern and detail is tended to, offering only the best for the Filipino audience.
Voltes V: Legacy Will Work Closely With Japanese Studio Behind The OG Series
Acquiring the rights to the Philippine adaptation of the beloved Japanese animated series through Telesuccess Productions, Voltes V: Legacy will also be working with TOEI Animation, the company behind the original anime. All the tweaks and updates go through them for approval, ensuring that the quality is not only top-notch, but also parallel to the celebrated canon.
Despite tracing its roots to the Japanese legacy, the new live-action television show will naturally hero Filipino talents. The CGI and live action elements will be done by Riot Inc. Post Production and GMA Post Video Graphic Team. If the trailers were any indication of what it so to come, then we can certainly expect something world-class that run in the same league as the best of the best.
The Voltes V Legacy Cast Is Complete
Perhaps the most sought after piece of the puzzle, there was much fanfare on who would eventually suit up for Voltes V: Legacy and pilot their respective focus of flights. With names fielded in, auditions were set up for those who were most deserving of taking up the mantle of Voltes V and taking it into the future.
In a week-long revelation on social media and on 24 Oras, the cast was revealed in parts, beginning with Raphael Landicho as Little Jon, Matt Lozano as Big Bert, and Radson Flores as Mark Gordon. A few days later, Ysabel Ortega was unveiled as Jamie Robinson and Miguel Tanfelix as the leader of the five-some, Steve Robinson.
With the Voltes V: Legacy team complete, it was time to meet their fierce foes of the Boazanian Force. Stepping in as Zandra, the loyal top aide of their legion’s leader is Liezel Lopez, along with Epy Quizon as the advisor Zuhl, and Carlo Gonzalez as the aide, Draco. Finally, the bringing to life Prinsipe Zardos, the menacing villain hell bent on taking over planet Earth with brute force, is Martin Del Rosario.
“Makining kayong lahat: Panahon na upang mapalawak natin ang kaharian ng Boazania, ang may pinakamataas na uri ng pamumuhay sa buong sansinukob,” the draconian figure unflinchingly declares in the first episode of the Voltes V anime. “Patayin ang sino mang humadlang sa atin. Wasakin ang lahat ng pwersang sandatahan sa buong daigdig, lusob!”
Will he be echoing the same threats in Voltes V: Legacy? Well, all we can do now is wait. But so far, while it is made up of a mostly fresh-faced young cast, it is shaping up to be a most interesting take on the lore and legend of Voltes V.