Featured Post

3 Cost Effective Ways to Solve Metro Manila's Traffic Problem

The Facebook page of ANC 24/7 is asking for its reader's suggestion on how to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem.

This got me thinking, "what is the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem?" It's easy to make suggestions, what's hard is the implementation and the cost of implementation. So what is the the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem and the most cost effective solution?

Punitive Fines
First of all, any implementation will definitely cost money, a lot of money. The cause of the traffic mess is the people themselves so it's only right that those causing the traffic problem should be fined and the fine should hurt. That way, the fines will pay for the cost of enforcing the law.
The fines should start at P500 and goes up every week if you don't pay it within 15 days. To enforce this and prevent people from ignoring the fine. It will be tied to their driver's license or car registration. They cannot renew their d…

Remembering Voltes V and the 1970s Japanese Robot Cartoons

If you grew up in the late 70s, you probably got your daily dose of afternoon cartoons like the very popular Voltes V, Diamos, Mekanda Robot, U.F.O. Grendaizer and of course Mazinger Z.

These Japanese Robot Cartoons more popular known as Mecha were the daily cartoon fix of kids of the time.

The cartoons are shown Monday to Friday at 6pm and I remember I couldn't wait to get home from school to watch these cartoons. I would not do any homework when I got home until I finish watching these shows.

In fact, they were so popular and their storyline about good vs. evil was so compelling that former President Marcos banned them altogether for fear that it could lead people to be influenced to start a revolt against him.

It worked against him in the end when those young people who never care about martial law before started learning about what it was and learned the horrors of martial law. They in turn saw the Marcos regime as the evil forces of these robot shows which eventually led to the People Power revolt in 1986 which toppled the Marcos regime.

I have to admit, my beef about Marcos and martial law is pretty shallow. Unlike other people who are angry about martial law because they were tortured or know of someone being kidnapped or tortured. None of this happened to me or my friends nor do we know anyone who suffered because of martial law.

In fact, we couldn't care less about it. Not until these shows were cancelled. That's when we hated Marcos. I told you it was shallow. But what would you expect for someone who was 8 years old at the time?

Anyway, here are the daily schedule and synopsis of the shows.

Mekanda Robot - Mondays


Mechander Robot is more popularly known in the Philippines as Mekanda Robot.

The story of Mekanda Robot is about the Doron Empire which came from the Ganymede system went to Earth to conquer it. Earth defenses were no match for the Doron Empire and in just a matter of days, 95% of Earth fell under Doron Occupation.

Doctor Shikishima, a brilliant scientist, places his last hopes for Earth in a robot (Mechander Robo) that he has created. The robot as was the style of the time was to have a jet or ships to dock with the actual robot to activate it.

Three command jets - Mekanda-1, Mekanda-2 and Mekanda-3 - combine to form one larger jet known as Mekanda Max, which then would dock at the back of Mechander Robo.

Some of the trademark weapons include spiked shields, missile pod forearms, chest flame throwers and missiles shaped like sharks. Halfway through the series, Mekanda Robo is severely damaged, but is rebuilt as four component ships combining to form the robot before docking with Mekanda Max.

The production company was plagued with bankruptcy issues, so the main sponsors forced the studios to reuse footage from old episodes to patch newer episodes without redrawing new animation. The final episode was merely a complete recap of the series.

The series only had 35 episodes that were 25 minutes each. Here is the opening intro of Mekanda Robot.

Daimos - Tuesdays


Daimos is probably the most famous of the five robot shows next to Voltes V. Daimos is the third installment of the Robot Romance Trilogy which consists of Combattler V and Voltes V.

The story of Daimos is about Earth being invaded by a race of winged humanoid called the Brahmins after their world home world was destroyed. The survivors of the planet Brahmin head towards Earth to negotiate the purchase of land for emigration. However, during the negotiations, the leader of the Brahmin, Leon is assassinated by his second in command, Olvan and the delegation from Earth was framed for the murder. Professor Hartford of the Earth delegation is shot and killed.

Shortly after, the Brahmins began invading Earth led by King Leon's son Prince Ulrich who has hatred for all Earthlings because of his father's death.

Earth is outmatched but they have hope  in the transforming super-robot, Daimos and its pilot, Richard Hartford the son of Professor Hartford. Richard is a Karate black-belt and champion.

But problems arise when Richard meets a mysterious girl named Erika and falls in love. Later, he found out that she is the Princess of the Brahmin and is the sister of the leader of the invaders, Prince Ulrich.

The story of Daimos is a story of love and of two different people who found out later that their enemies are not all evil.

The Daimos series had a total of 44 episodes. There was also a movie with the pivotal episodes strung together titled Starbirds and was released in the US.

Mazinger Z - Wednesdays


Mazinger Z is an enormous super robot, constructed with a fictitious metal called Super-Alloy Z which is forged from a new element (Japanium) mined from a reservoir found only in the sediment of Mt. Fuji, in Japan. Mazinger Z was built by Professor Juzo Kabuto as a secret weapon against the forces of evil, represented in the series by the Mechanical Beasts of Dr. Hell.

Dr. Hell was the German member of a Japanese archeological team, which discovered ruins of a lost pre-Grecian civilization on an island named Bardos; the civilization was loosely based on the ancient Mycenae, and was called the Mycéne Empire in the series. One of their findings was that the Mycene used an army of steel titans about 20 meters in height. Finding prototypes of those titans underground which could be remote-controlled and realizing their immense power on the battlefield, Dr. Hell goes insane and has all the other scientists of his research team killed except for Professor Kabuto, who manages to escape.

Professor Kabuto goes back to Japan and attempts to warn the world of its imminent danger. Meanwhile, Dr. Hell establishes his headquarters on a mobile island, and plans to use the Mechanical Beasts to become the new ruler of the world. To counter this, Kabuto constructs Mazinger Z and manages to finish it just before being killed by a bomb planted by Hell's right-hand person, Baron Ashura, a half-man, half-woman. As he lays dying, he manages to inform his grandson Kouji Kabuto about the robot and its use. Kouji becomes the robot's pilot, and from that point on battles both the continuous mechanical monsters, and the sinister henchmen sent by Doctor Hell.

Of all the Japanese robot cartoons shown, Mazinger Z is probably the most violent and edgy of them all. The hero, Kouji Kabuto is completely different from the typical main character of the time as he was hot-blooded, impulsive, bratty, reckless and usually over-confident to the point of arrogance rather than heroic.

Believing he can beat anyone with the Mazinger, he often got himself into trouble several times during fights with Dr. Hell, which often gets him into several arguments with Sayaka.

Part of the reason it was edgy was the inclusion of the robot Aprhodite piloted by Sayaka Yumi. The robot was original built for geologic research. As a result, it lacked weapons and offensive capabilities. It was later outfitted with the Oppai Missile System allowing breast-like Photo Missiles to be shot out of the chest area.


Mazinger Z was not as popular as Daimos or Voltes V in the Philippines due to the storyline. However, Mazinger Z was one of the highest rated anime series of all time in Japan and spawned several sequels and version. When Mazinger Z was destroyed, a new robot was immediately introduced to succeed it called Great Mazinger.

A sequel in another storyline introduced Grendizer where Kouji Kabuto was included as a supporting character.

Mazinger Z had a total of 92 episodes originally aired in Japan from 1972 to 1974.

UFO Grendizer - Thursdays

UFO Grendizer

UFO Grendizer is the third entry of the Mazinger trilogy.

The story of UFO Grendizer is the Vega homeworld has become unstable due to the exploitation of Vegatron, a powerful radioactive ore. Seeking to expand his militaristic empire and find a substitute planet to settle upon, the ruthless King Vega unleashes his armies—composed of flying saucers and giant robotic monsters—and turns first against neighbors such as Fleed, a highly advanced but peaceful world.

However, instead of successfully invading Fleed, their invasion turns Fleed into a radioactive wasteland killing everyone. The only known survivor of the royal family, the Crown Prince Duke Fleed stole Grendizer usaing a Spazer to escape to Earth.

Duke is adopted by scientist Dr. Genzo Umon, as his own son and is renamed Daisuke Umon. Working on a ranch with his friend Hikaru Makiba and her family, they get a visit from space travel student Koji Kabuto who then goes to meet a swarm of UFOs that have been appearing around Japan, unaware that UFOs are the Vegan Empire. Duke saves Koji with Grendizer and begins a long battle against the Vegan Empire with Koji, Hikaru, and Duke's lost sister Maria Fleed joining him.

UFO Grendizer had a total of 74 episodes and was broadcast on Japanese television from October 5, 1975 to February 27, 1977.

Voltes V - Fridays


Voltes V is the second part of the Robot Romance Trilogy which included Combattler V and Daimos.

The story of Voltes V is that an armada of horned humanoid called the Boazanians invade Earth with the launch of their "Beast Fighers" all over the world. Unbeknownst to them, one of their own (Professor Ned Armstrong) fled to Earth before the invasion and built Voltes V.

Voltes V is no doubt the most popular of all the Japanese robot cartoons. Nothing captured a child's imagination more than Voltes V. What's not to love about this cartoon? Before there were Transformers, this is really the first robot that we saw transform from vehicles to a robot. Nothing excites kids more than when they say "Let's volt...in!"

Voltes V is a story of love of family which resonates closely to the Filipino people. The Armstrong children (Steve, Big Bert and Little Jon) never wavered in looking for their father and the struggles to save Earth from the Boazanians.

The big surprise was when it was revealed that the main antagonist, Prince Zardoz is actually the half-brother of the Armstrong brothers.

The theme song to Voltes V is well known to everyone in the Philippines. Even though no one probably spoke Japanese at that time, a lot of people can sing the song in Japanese

Here is the English version of the theme song.

The ending song is also one of the best anime songs ever.

Fans of the series got a real treat when Horie Mmitsuko, sang the Voltes V theme song live in 2000.

Because of its popularity, Voltes V has embedded itself in the Filipino pop culture. You can see them in art, songs and TV shows referencing Voltes V.

There's even a parody of the song by Tito, Vic and Joey.

Did you like this post? If you did, share it with your friends.


Popular posts from this blog

Manila - The most Beautiful City in Asia 1950's to the mid 1970's

Philippine Business Monopolies

Gretchen Fullido