My Anime Favorites: Tekkaman Blade (Teknoman, US)

Tekkaman Blade Pose

Summary: During United Earth Year 192, the Earth is under attack from an extraterrestrial enemy known as the Radam; parasites that take other creatures as hosts. The Radam forces are composed of grotesque bug-like monsters that are led by armored soldiers known as the Tekkamen. Surrounding the Earth is an enormous man-made ring-shaped structure known as the Orbital Ring System. The Orbital Ring was a space station that once served as a launch point into space and was constructed well before the arrival of the alien invaders. It was thus the first human structure attacked and occupied by Radam, with its human inhabitants having either fled or been killed. Now it serves merely as a battle ground for the military against the aliens.

Fighting against the Radam and their Tekkamen are the Space Knights. Led by Commander Heinrich von Freeman, the Space Knights are a special defense force and Earth’s last hope for defeating the Radam. The Space Knights consist of Noal, the pilot of the Space Knights’ ship “Blue Earth”; Aki, the Blue Earth navigator; Milly, the communications operator; Levin, computer mechanic; and Honda, mechanic and repairs. The Space Knights have been unsuccessful at repelling the aliens until the arrival of D-Boy, a young man who has the ability to transform into an armored warrior known as Tekkaman Blade.

Why:

While it doesn’t have the strength of the shows above it, it was one of my first Anime (Sailor Moon as well) and as a kid it had the classic “good guy versus bad guy” motif along with a science fiction edge. Plus the opening theme was catchy…

Two decades ago, I was in elementary school and on Saturdays, I wouldn’t simply watch the norm. I channel surf, hunt for the most obscure thing I could find. Teknoman (or Tekkaman Blade) was it.

I have watched both the American and Japanese versions. Surprisingly, there weren’t many differences. For example, in the American rendering, dialogue was choppy and at times, unemotional; it made one sigh at an apparent cheesy one-liners often atrocious in their execution. Granted, I only recognized this distinction when I was older. In the 90’s, most cartoons (or animation) were done this way.

In contrast, the Japanese (or original) had more meaningful dialogue and more dynamic character interactions. The main character’s treatment by the Space Knights is a prime example. In this version, Blade was met with disdain but the fear of his alien nature was expressed clearly. Also Aki was portrayed as a strong, independent woman who didn’t need a man to rescue her. However, America cheapened it by having the Knights act with antagonism after any mistake Slade made. See what I did there. And Aki…poor Aki; she was a damsel in distress and threw her brain out the window when it came to Slade/Blade, not long after their initial meeting.

Outside of those weaknesses Tekkaman Blade is a post apocalyptic, alien invasion romp. An unquestioned attraction… is the action. In practically each episode, there’s a fight. A mano-a-mano slug fest with blades clashing, background explosions, energy expulsions, and tension throughout. It was so exciting to watch!

In addition, in a time when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was electric, elements such as the transformation sequence and the weekly man versus monster battles channelled Sentai Force (or Super Sentai). What 10-year-old boy would like that?!

I’ve seen it multiple times and don’t regret a single viewing. Plus, the armor was sleek and powerful looking… Pegas!

Bye for now, KS.

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5 thoughts on “My Anime Favorites: Tekkaman Blade (Teknoman, US)

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