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Force Five: Grandizer

In 1980, a short-lived series called “Force Five” emerged, presenting five Toei Doga anime shows packaged together and produced by Jim Terry Productions. One of these anime series was “GRANDIZER,” which undoubtedly stood out as the strongest among the five. However, unlike Sandy Frank, who gained popularity for westernizing the Japanese cartoon “Gatchaman,” Jim Terry didn’t achieve the same level of fame as the world-renowned “GRANDIZER.”

Each of the five shows in “Force Five” had a total of 26 episodes dubbed in English for the Western audience. Unfortunately, during the dubbing process, the episodes underwent significant cuts compared to the original concepts. This was primarily due to the presence of violent content and numerous adult themes prevalent in the Japanese versions. Additionally, the occurrence of death in the show was quite frequent in its original Japanese form.

“GRANDIZER,” with its compelling storyline and robust characters, managed to capture the attention of audiences worldwide. Despite not attaining the same level of popularity as other adaptations of Japanese anime, the show left a lasting impact on those who were fortunate enough to experience its thrilling action and engaging narrative.

The series’ incorporation into “Force Five” allowed it to reach a broader audience in the English-speaking world, offering fans a taste of the vibrant Japanese animation culture. While some modifications were made to adapt the content for a younger audience, the core essence of “GRANDIZER” remained intact, allowing viewers to appreciate its intergalactic battles, mecha action, and deeper themes, albeit in a more censored form.

“Force Five” was a unique venture that brought together several notable anime series, including the powerful and iconic “GRANDIZER.” Despite its relatively short-lived existence, “Force Five” remains a nostalgic gem for fans of classic Japanese animation, showcasing the creativity and innovation of Toei Doga in the 1980s.

Force Five is a captivating American adaptation that brings together five distinct anime television series. While its main broadcast was confined primarily to New England, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in the United States, it did make occasional appearances in other markets, notably in Texas and Northern California on KICU-TV 36. Additionally, the series reached international audiences, finding a spot on the airwaves in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, via CFMT channel 47, and also gaining popularity in Asia on Star Plus during the 1990s.

This compelling show was the brainchild of Jim Terry and his esteemed company, American Way, who took on the task of producing it. The foundation of Force Five was rooted in five imported Japanese giant robot serials, originally crafted by the renowned Toei Animation during the mid-1970s. This ingenious idea was born in response to the soaring demand and craze surrounding the Shogun Warriors toy collection, making the series a prominent phenomenon in its time.

Force Five received invaluable support from Mattel, one of the esteemed sponsors that helped bring thrilling action and adventure to audiences worldwide. By combining elements from various anime series and adapting them for the American audience, Force Five offered a unique and unforgettable viewing experience that captivated the hearts of many. Its success and reach not only solidified its place in the annals of anime history but also left a lasting impact on the global pop culture landscape.