Top positive review
'No guts. No glory!!!'
on 3 January 2016
Galaxy Rangers was one of the many 80's cartoons based on toy franchises, along with the likes of Transformers, G.I Joe, Thundercats, Turtles and so many others who - not satisfied with just selling kids a toy - diversified their product to include lunch boxes, wall paper, comic books, and as is the case here - an animated series.
Of course Galaxy Rangers didnt garner the popularity of any of those other franchises I name (the associated comic book published by Marvel for example lasted just six issue), and this will also be the reason why many people reading this review might never have heard of it, which is a shame because as an example of a 1980's animated series Galaxy Rangers can hold its own along with most others, and stands the test of time better than many.
The story is set in a world where the human race has recently made contact with a benevolant alien species searching for allies against the evil 'Crown Empire', and receive the hyper-drive, allowing them to truely explore space for the first time. The human race flourishes in outer space setting up dozens of colonies, but faces numerous threats, and so creates BETA (Bureau for Extra-Terrestrial Affairs) - including their 'Ranger' division who the heroes of the show belong to.
The main protagonists are Zachery Foxx (a Ranger with advanced bionics that provide him with incredible strength and the ability to launch energy blasts), Shane Gooseman (the last and most successful of the genetic soldiers known as 'super-troopers' with abilities that allow him to adapt to his enviromental conditions making him almost indestructable), Niko (a female Ranger who is a martial arts expert with psyonic abilities), and Walter 'Doc' Hartford (who can control any computer system as well as being a capable sharpshooter, sword fighter and brawler).
Season 1 of the series, collected here on four discs and covering a total of 32 episodes, primarily deals with Zachary Foxx' quest to save his wife whose life force has been stolen by the evil 'Queen of the Crown' who leads the Crown Empire and seeks to use the strong life-force of the human race to fuel powerful beings under her command named 'Slaver Lords'. The Rangers do however encounter numerous other characters - both friends and enemies - such as the smuggler and mercenary with flexible loyalties 'Captain Kidd', the princess of the planet Tarkon 'Maya', the master criminal 'Lazarus Slade', the alien magician 'Mogul', and the time travelling bounty hunter 'Scarecrow'.
The series combines elements of space opera with traditional Wild West-style action, amalgamatic things such as robotics, space craft, laser guns and advanced technology with a universe that stylistically resembles the American frontier, including old fashioned saloons, bandits, shoot outs, prospectors trying to scrape a living, fist fights and all the other staple ingredients of the old West.
Its a rip-roaring series that is a load of fun to watch even now and has become a cult favourite amongst die-hard fans of 80's animated series. Characters are well defined, there is plenty of humour, no shortage of action (with the violence not being as toned down as many series of the same era due to the fact that the main enemies of the Rangers are robots), the animation was done by a Japanese studio and so is typical of the animation of the period, and the show was also quite innovative - including some of the earliest examples of CGI to be used in animation. The theme tune for the show 'No Guts. No Glory' is also perhaps the greatest theme tune of any animated series ever!
This box set as well as including the whole first season of the series also comes with an impressive array of extra features including pilot/demo reels, interview with cast and crew, music video, trailer, storybook slideshow and a glossy booklet with profiles for all of the series prominant characters.
Frankly, if you are a fan of 80's style animation then this is a series not to be missed!