If I tell you 1980’s “Warring Demon God GoShogun” is a Japanese name would you believe it? It is and that’s only one translation of Sengoku Majin GōShōgun Wikipedia has to offer. The show follows a group who use a giant robot to fight the strong influence of an evil organization called Dokuga, set in the near future of the 21st century. With three jets that combine into a robot and dock with an even more powerful robot (the latter being the titular GoShogun) they fight the usual Japanese giant monsters.
1983’s Aku Daisakusen Srungle (Mission Outer Space Srungle plus other potential translations) has an asteroid space colony in the 26th century under attack from the evil organization (noticing a theme?) called Crime. Subtle. To fight them the law enforcers come up with a special unit called Gorilla. The names apparently get lamer from there.
What do these two shows have in common? In 1985 Saban Entertainment tried to combine these two shows together to form Macron-1, a show about fighting a you know what by now on two fronts in two different dimensions. The evil organization is called GRIPS (which is still better than Crime), who become aware of us when a test pilot accidentally travels to another dimension. He must come from the same organization as John Blackstar and Queen Marlena of Eternia. In our universe a team is formed using the giant robot MacStar-1 and the test pilot finds allies in the other dimension. The two teams together are codenamed Macron-1. It’s another one of those mash-up shows created to fill a US season length, but how well these shows are together makes Voltron look like Robotech.
To be honest I don’t even remember any full stories using the Srungle team in the alternate universe. But the show aired at like 6:30 on a weekday around here and I had school so I barely saw any of the episodes, so to me it appears the GoShogun spawned adventures with the team in the main universe were dominant. Even the two VHS tapes I have of the episodes features the MacStar team. It also features some of the oddest editing choices ever. Like worse than the “Cybernet Space Cube” from Transformers: Generation Two. They were trying to do some kind of MTV style edit and make it look like a bunch of music videos. See if it works for you in this compilation movie that was release on the aforementioned home videos. I should warn you that the theme song might get stuck in your head.
I’m trying to figure out how “Beta Team” is able to scan them from the other universe better than Macron Base in the same universe as Mac-Star? Also, cigar smoking by the good guys is not something you’d see nowadays. And apparently Nathan is talking to his father’s ghost or something and is a high-tech supergenius. So basically he’s a pre-teen Wesley Crusher who, according to my research, is further tied to the energy source that powers both the teleporter and Mac-Star-1. (Mac-Star is the combined jets, add the -1 and you have the other robot they all link into.) I also noticed that the music comes up the sound effects go down. I wonder if that was a plan, to have to deal with less audio editing. Some episodes even included covers of popular songs. But what really gets me are all the unnecessary transitions. It really ruins the flow of the show rather than helping.
From the research I did, in the European version of Macron-1 there was no sign of David Jance and his team. It was all about GoShogun, with a new intro narrated by Peter Cullen. Meanwhile other countries simply got a proper adaptation of GoShogun. I guess it was easier to use the already existing English dubbing. GoShogun also had sequel movies. As far as Srungle I could find little about it beyond the article I already linked to.
Frankly I don’t think the transitions, music usage, and barely pushing two unrelated shows together without a strong connecting lore benefited this show. (Also the intro isn’t one of Shuki Levi’s best if he did this one. He often did Saban’s intros, but I’ll still put it over Ring Raiders. Still it’s just “Ma ma ma ma ma ma Macron 1/feel the power”. And I just realized how often “feel the power” comes up in themes from the 1980s and 1990s.) They might have been better off-putting GoShogun into a weekend lineup and just used that show as Macron-1. Someday I’d like to see the original version of both shows, but I see why this hasn’t become the nostalgic classic that Voltron did. There does seem to be a good giant robot series hiding in there though.
Macron-1 is an ok show, but it’s not as good as Voltron. As a result, I don’t feel too bad that I missed seeing Macron-1 when it was on local television in the 1980s.
[…] correctly, “hack dub” refers to stuff like Voltron, Robotech, Battle Of The Planets, or Macron-1. These are major alterations of the source material. Harmony Gold had planned to just dub Macross […]