1990’s TV Anime – Tekkaman Blade Episode 1 (1992)

tekkaman blade

Humanity is trapped on Earth by the alien Radam who have taken over the Orbital Ring System space station that surrounds it. A chance for hope arrives in the form of an amnesiac who can turn into the armoured warrior, Tekkaman Blade.

An updating of the original Tatsunoko Pro series Tekkaman (1975) it aired in an “adapted” English form from Saban as “Teknoman”.

This caught me off guard a little, particularly at the start, when they introduce the Space Knight characters. There was more attempts at goofy humour than I was expecting, such as the pilot Noal getting told off for eating snacks on the bridge, rather than for his aggressive flirting/sexual harassment of his navigator Aki.

This can all be explained when you see that Satoru Akahori & Hiroshi Negishi worked on this, along with frequent collaborator (maybe mentor, does anyone know?) Mayori Sekijima. Akahori had his fingers in a lot of pies throughout the 90s into the 00s, whether as screenwriter, or from having his manga/novels adapted. Or writing novels/manga based on anime.

Akahori & Negishi’s main work together was the 2 Letter Alphabet Series between 1990-99:

  • NG Knight Ramune & 40 (1990 – 1991)
  • KO Beast Century (1992 – 1993)
  • SM Girls Saber Marionette (1995 – 1999)
  • VS Knight Ramune & 40 Fire (1996)

Akahori & Sekijima had previously written Legendary Ninja Cats (aka Samurai Pizza Cats) together for Tatsunoko Pro. Sekijima would write the various Saber Marionette J series that were based Akahori & Negishi’s original concept. Negishi was also involved in Akahori’s Heretical Hour Love Game (yes, Akahori had a series with his own name in the title) and co-created the Master Mosquiton concept with him. 

I’m sure there are others I’ve missed, and I’ve not touched on all the work they did without the others’ direct involvement. They certainly kept themselves busy.

Anyway, the point is, if you see these names working together, you are going to expect something goofier than the you get here, and so some attempt at comedy shouldn’t be unexpected. It’s brief though, and the majority of the episode features Tekkaman Blade tearing up aliens. As you might expect and/or want from such a show.

Looking at what ratings I could find for the time, it fell short of what Scramble Saver Kids, the Monkey Punch tribute to Thunderbirds, was doing in it’s slot previously. Though to give you some perspective, if it got the same ratings today, it would be a top ten anime in Japan. 

From this episode my first thought is that the concept might have been better served with a different creative team behind it. If you’ve seen enough of their other work, you can tell it’s them working on it, but at the same time it feels a watered down version of the work they created themselves. And if you want a serious remake of the 70s show, do you really want to use guys who normally amuse themselves by naming characters after food?