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Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs: Complete Series

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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(Oct 20, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

The Original Outer Space Western Anime is back! From the creators of Voltron come Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs! Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was a 1980's animated space western following a similar theme of The Galaxy Rangers and Bravestarr. Originally a 1984 Japanese anime series known as Star Musketeer Bismarck created by Studio Pierrot. The series is set in the future, where the Star Sheriffs are duly-deputized special operatives of Cavalry Command, Earth's space-going law enforcement arm and defense patrol organization out in space, and along the New Frontier. Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs main assignment is to protect the Galaxy from the growing threat of the Outriders. With the help of April Eagle and RAMROD (voiced by Peter Cullen who voiced Optimus Prime in the 80s cartoon series Transformers), a battleship that can transform into a giant robot. When RAMROD undergoes the "Challenge Phase" transformation it calls out its rallying cry in a heavy Western drawl, "Head 'em up, move 'em out. Power stride and ready to ride!" Other than their wits, their courage, and their standard issue equipment, such as their blaster pistols, and RAMROD's array of electronics, they have no superpowers, just each other. When they do battle with the Outriders, it's a futuristic version of the code of the Old West. Volume Two consist of episodes 18-33 from the hit TV series, as well as never before seen extras and production art. Don t miss the chance to add an exclusive piece of animation history to your collection. Bonus Features: Audio interview with musical composer Dale Schacker, Original Japanese Opening, Ending and Transformation Sequence from Star Musketeer Bismarck, Image Gallery, Saber Rider Commercials, Bios. Product Specs: 6-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 1200 minutes; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA-G; Year - 1984; SRP - $39.99.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Cullen, Rob Paulsen, Pat Fraley, Pat Musick, Townsend Coleman
  • Directors: Franklin Cofod
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 1200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002CIP012
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,093 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 2, 2009
VCI Entertainment presents "SABER RIDER & THE STAR SHERIFFS:COMPLETE SERIES" (14 September 1987) (30 min - 52 episodes on Six DVD's) ) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- In the late 21st Century (or early 22nd Century), humankind has reached the stars --- Many outposts and settlements have been made for several planets, and the modern space-age has merged with the legacy of Old West --- There are villans, outlaws, bounty hunters...and sheriffs --- The Star Sheriffs are the special operatives of Cavalry Command, Earth's law enforcement and defense patrol out in space, and along the New Frontier --- They are also ambassadors of good will to other planets in space --- But the main assignment of the Star Sheriffs is to protect the Galaxy from the growing threat of the Outriders.

This is the long awaited classic Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was an animated TV series, aired from 1986 to 1989 --- During it's 52 episodes, it introduced us to another possible future for mankind --- Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs explore the new frontier, the wide-open ranges of outer space, where the legendary honor and virtue of the Wild West combine with vibrant extraterrestrial adventure --- Saber Rider is the dashing leader of the Star Sheriffs --- Their mission is to establish peace and unity against the Outriders, mysterious vapor beings led by the powerful Nemesis --- Joined by assorted rustlers and desperadoes, the Outriders challenge the Star Sheriffs to action-packed attacks --- Independently, the Star Sheriffs' efforts to maintain justice are admirable -- but when united, they are invincible.
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The 80s were an interesting time for anime in the US. Anime often featured scenes that could not be shown in the US, and there were concerns about showing off certain iconography, so major edits had to be made. Enter Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, from the people who brought you Voltron. It's a recut version of Star Musketeer Bismark, with additional animation commissioned by World Entertainment Productions and an English voice cast. So bad guys aren't killed, destroyed ships were all automated, and the story's been changed. You probably wouldn't even notice that it was "April," not "Saber Rider" who was the leader in Bismark.

The show is similar to Voltron in a lot of ways: it revolves around a team of peacekeepers set to protect frontier planets from invasion by Vapor Beings, who conveniently comply with Wild West criminal stereotypes. Each member of the Star Sheriffs brings their own skill set to the table, though the most notable are the bounty hunter/cowboy Colt and the hotheaded racer Fireball. Saber's defining trait is being British (though he's actually Scottish, he sounds like Cary Elwes as Robin Hood), but he's good with a sword and rides a mechanical horse. When their enemies send in Desperado units (the equivalent to Robeasts), the four employ their spaceship, which transforms into a giant robot cowboy.

This was one of my favourite shows growing up, and unlike many other series, it largely holds up. It's not brilliant, and it's still very obviously aimed at kids--there are morals both in the stories themselves and clearly stated at the end of the show--but the animation is solid, the voice acting's pretty good, and the soundtrack is awesome. It's a fun show that was more than just a 22 minute toy commercial.
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Like so many other kids of the early 1980s, my very introduction to anime took place (without me even realizing it) thanks to the nation's obsession with robots. You may remember that period in time when Transformers (the first time), GoBots, and Turbo Teen but it turns out many of the "other" robot shows of the era were actually Japanese anime series that were spliced up, dubbed into English and packaged under a whole new name. Among these: Robotech, the Voltrons, Macron One and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs.

I remember noting even at the time that there was something very different about the Japanese originated shows though it would be years before I would learn the true stories behind the shows and for that matter, come to appreciate these so much over the American trite I cherished at the time.

Anyway, these shows were actually hybrids, not simply anime dubbed into English as changes were made to the characters and material to "Americanize"/ remove all of the more adult-friendly aspects of the source material. To purests, these hybrids are worthless- calling them American productions isn't accurate but at the same time nor do they do the Japanese source material credit either.

Of course being a kid at the time, I was astonished at the increased character depth, the ongoing story thread idea, and the realism these shows contained when compared to our American Transformers & GoBots cartoons. By the time Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs came on the scene in 1987 (based on Japan's 1984 series Star Musketeer Bismarck) by World Event Productions (same guys who brought us the two Voltron shows a few years earlier), I had bailed out on robots altogether.
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