The Eighties. It’s brought us so many cool things, Nintendo, Megaman, Ghostbusters, Nickelodeon, weird fashion, Weird Al, TGIF and, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But one of the things that it brought us was Anime, but not just any anime the best kind of anime: the Super Robot sub-genre. from Transformers to Voltron, it had some of the best shows, one of the shows is the lesser known series: Mighty Orbots.
The series ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from September 8 to December 15 1984 the series was a joint venture between MGM Televison and TMS Entertainment. The idea of the show came from the series producer Fred Silverman who saw the popularity of robot-related cartoons, like the aforementioned Transformers and Voltron.
The series ran for 13 episodes for an entire season thanks to a lawsuit from Tonka, but we’ll get to that shortly.
So here’s the story: In the 23rd Century the Earth is populated by humans, aliens and, robots. The people of Earth have banned together with other alien races to form the United Platnets and put together a law-enforcement organization called the Galactic Patrol.
Elsewhere in the galaxy an evil organization called SHADOW is out to destroy the Galactic Patrol. Led by a massive cyborg/computer called Umbra, SHADOW sends out its monsterous agents to attack and rule over all corners of the galaxy.
The only thing stopping Umbra and SHADOW is a young inventor named Rob Simmons secretly a member of the Galactic Patrol built six powerful robots (Ohno, Tor, Bort, Bo, Boo and Crunch) that uses their powers to battle the forces of evil. Together these robots unite to form the powerful machine Mighty Orbots!
One thing that made Mighty Orbots stand out from most Saturday morning cartoons is that, when the show ended it really ended. In the finale, SHADOW’s base of operations, the Shadow Star and everyone inside (with the exception of the Orbots) were destroyed and the main villain was defeated as well (Though he did say he would return, while desintigrating).
The series was cancelled after one season due to a lawsuit by Tonka, for accusing the creators of the series for basing the cartoon on their Go-Bots toyline (which I find a little strange that their the ones filing any lawsuits), but I don’t see it.
This series was outstanding I’ve seen every episode I could find (that was in english) and I loved every minute of it. The animation was amazing, TMS Entertainment did an outstanding job working on the show’s animation. The movements, the action sequences, were just gorgeous to look at. The series was released on VHS, sadly there are no plans to release the shows on DVD.
Here’s hoping we’ll see a Blu-ray and/or DVD release someday. If not than at least remake the series. Nowadays American-made anime is a pretty popular thing right now so yeah, why not?
UPDATE: Mighty Orbots is finally getting a DVD release thru Warner Archive. The video quality might be iffy, and the DVD artwork is lazy (in that, they just took one of the VHS covers, and used that), but yes you can finally see it first hand. The series will be available on April 17th. I still haven’t bought anything from Warner Archive, so like SWAT Kats’ DVD release, your mileage will vary.
RANK: 5 out of 5