Super Starship Odyssey 5


“In the far-off and futuristic year of 1999, the survivors of mankind have fled from their home on planet earth. Rocketing across the Milky Way galaxy, the Super-Star Ship Odyssey-5 is humanity’s last hope against the fiendish evil of the star-killing XODIAC.”

                                                              Opening narration from Super Star-Ship Odyssey (1982)


     The anime series Sūpāchīmu eto batoru (スーパーチーム干支バトル)AKA Super Team Zodiac Battle, debuted in Japan in 1979 and was edited and translated for American audiences in 1982. Re-released by infamous American television producer Sandy Frank under the name Super-Star Ship Odyssey 5, the revised version of the show removed most of the overt sexual content and violence that had initially made it popular with viewers. The series was known for its psychedelic opening credits sequence, set to rock & roll Theremin music and a strong pro-equal rights message.

     In 1999 Adult Swim began airing the original cut of Super Team Zodiac Battle as part of its “Midnight Run” block of shows including Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, and Gundam Wing. This introduced the show to an entire new generation of fans, but created a schism between them and the audience who grew up on the more sanitized version from the 1980’s. New merchandise was released to stores like Hot Topic, while the original action figures became sought-after collectibles.

     A computer animated remake was originally planned for 2004, but was delayed for several years due to rights issues for the show’s many songs. In late 2014, a new digitally remastered version of the complete series was released, and the long-rumored live-action update has been officially announced for the summer of 2017 from Disney.

Background information:

  •          It is the year 1999 AD
  •          Robots, or “Clangers” as they were derogatorily referred to by American soldiers, were used by the Russians as mindless shock troops during World War III.
  •          A massive spherical star-ship crashed into the Pacific Ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii on July 25th, 1989. Aboard the ship was a mortally wounded scientist named Yorba who warned that hostile forces were on their way to conquer the Earth. The sudden proof of Alien life and the subsequent fear of invasion brought about the immediate end of World War III.
  • ·         Radiation from the Starship Odyssey’s massive engines caused some odd mutations among Hawaiian wild-life, giving many indigenous animals the ability to speak. The military stopped the radiation leak, and seized the affected animals for study. In the ensuing decade, many of those animals have been used for military purposes.
  •          After the Treaty of Kyoto officially ended hostilities in 1989, the use of robots in warfare was strictly outlawed by the United Nations. Their advanced technology was adapted to serve man.
  •          Every year the Tesla Corporation releases two new Androids for personal and home use, a man and a woman. These lifelike automatons are programmed with an obsolescence protocol that causes them to shut down a year later, when the new models hits the markets. This is thought to prevent them from developing a fully aware sentience.
  •          Countless other non-human looking Robots are available for purchase. They tend to work in industrial settings, while the human-like Androids interact more directly with people.
  •          Due to advances in technology, the Tesla Corporation manages to keep the cost of Androids and Robots down low enough that virtually any citizen can afford to buy them.
  •          The town of Yorba has quickly spread around the Star-Ship crash site, known locally as the Crater. It is a thriving community that exists to support the countless soldiers and scientists who have spent the past decade studying the crashed ship and reverse-engineering the alien technology.
  •          Alien technology found aboard the Starship Odyssey is discovered to be psychoactive, controlled by a neural-link with its user.  Scientists from the Global Defense League begin to reverse-engineer this found science.
  •          A tiny fraction of humanity is born able to psychically interact with the alien technology. Actives, as the United Nations of Earth refer to them, are in desperate short supply and are recruited at any and all costs.
  •          Many of the world’s old capitols were destroyed during World War III. The United Nations of Earth are a new single world government, based out of Rio de Janeiro near the Earth’s equator. They are heavily militarized, and obsessed with preparing the world for the impending alien threat. Their army, the Global Defense League, has access to advanced alien technology that they have reverse-engineered.
  •          The crown jewel of the reverse-engineered technology are the Celestial Knights, Actives are inserted into a cylinder of living liquid metal that then reshapes itself into a Mecha based on the Active’s Astrological sign. They become bonded to the new vehicle, able to pilot and command it in ways that seem impossible to Earth science. The Mecha can even combine with four others into a gestalt entity called a Titan. It is though that the Celestial Knights will be Earth’s last line of defense when the alien menace arrives.