Voltes V: Legacy is a homage to childhood long gone

Only at the end of Voltes V: Legacy’s second episode does one finally get to hear that old familiar end theme: “Chichi Wo Motomete” which means searching for father.

There is a lot of pathos in that song – a nice touch on the instrumental version, by the way – playing as the characters are shown like you’re rifling through a scrapbook from your youth.

For somebody who watched the original back in the late 70s (it was created in 1978 and probably released here a year after), watching GMA Network’s recreation is like revisiting the old neighborhood you grew up in.

So you reserve judgment for the things they did differently here and there. Change is inevitable all these years, after all.

But why did they have to put the “filler episodes” right on the first week? Episodes that introduced characters that didn’t play much in the original but would probably help the network extend the series and employ actors in its stable.

It quickly became a teleserye wrapped in the Voltes V universe. When in the original series, drama unfolded as the action heated up.

Like when Dr. Mary Ann Armstrong, mom of Steve, Big Bert, and Little Jon, sacrificed herself, harakiri-style, to help Voltes V burst from the Beast Fighter’s chains.

Moments before that, Steve was in a dilemma whether to help their wounded mom (and risk the enemy breaching the Big Falcon force field) or continue fighting the lion-headed Baizanga.

That kind of big drama, squeezed in between the action, was the subtlety missing in Voltes V: Legacy. At least in the first few episodes.

Yet you cut it some slack. Hey, when you walk down memory lane, you look for the good things instead of the bad. As the 5th Dimension said: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It’ll never be the same.”

And some things indeed were different in a good way. Like the graphics. It’s got the Transformers vibe. The effects were a vast improvement, too. It makes you feel proud of how far the local TV has gone in that respect.

The main theme song, sung this time by the network’s superbly talented princess Julie Anne San Jose, sounded too thin and lacked the fluffy, reverberating quality of the original.

But somehow it worked. It almost brought the same feeling it did back then.

I always relate that rousing main theme “Voltes V No Uta” (or song of Voltes V) to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” every time Manny Pacquiao climbed the ring. Both songs, from the intro alone, tell you that your hero is on his way to save the day.

The volt-in sequence is polished to near perfection. It evokes a sense of urgency and anticipation for this 70s kid whose highlight of the week was flashing before him from the screen of a black and white TV.

Let’s just hope the writers take liberties from the original in trying to make it better. Because one complaint I had back then was why the Boazanian Empire – depicted as evil and wicked – deployed just one Beast Fighter at a time.

Imagine the nemesis that gave Voltes V serious trouble, like Garus the dog or Bonzarus the butterfly. Why not unleash both of them and add a few more for good measure. That would truly achieve Prince Zardoz’s goal of global invasion in one day, as Zuhl wrongfully predicted.

But of course that would require a little bit of work and imagination, which is the price you pay when you try to recreate a classic.