For quite a while I've been trying to identify the name of an old cartoon / anime I used to watch as a kid during the 1980s (Canada / US).

I've tagged this as both and because I'm not certain whether it was of Japanese or American origins, but the various images I have seem to indicate it may have been at least an American adaptation of a Japanese show.

From what I can recall, the show seemed to revolve around the crew of a spaceship that could transform into a bipedal robot (à la Macross). In what I believe may have been the pilot, or at least an early episode, the crew encounters a couple of people who join the crew.

One of these people, I recall, asks excitedly whether they would receive shiny sheriff badges, to which the crew member replies that they wouldn't, but would receive something that looked like military service ribbons (something that looked like this). Also, I seem to recall the show had a somewhat "western" aspect to it (the sheriff badge, for example, and I recall seeing at least one character with a cowboy hat).

In a later episode, I recall the war which was apparently going on during the run of the show was over (which later turned out to be a ploy I believe). I have an image of the ship/robot being decommissioned. In this image, the ship is being held in a bay, "standing" upright (meaning the cockpit would be facing towards towards the sky), but it is still in its "ship" form (not robot form). Its "breast" plates are being forced open.

I also seem to think the ship was blue (if that makes any difference).

After looking around on Youtube and Wikipedia, I am beginning to think this show might be Robotech, and I've looked at various intro videos and episodes, but none of them ring a bell, and I cannot find the "decommissioning" episode either.

Does any of this sound familiar? If it is indeed Robotech, does anyone know of the "decommissioning" episode I mentioned?

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    It did sound like Robotech to me when I started to read your description. There was a point in the 1st Generation (The Macross Saga) in which the SDF-1 comes back to Earth and is forbidden entry to any country, so it's sitting in the ocean with an unclear future looming for the ship and her crew. That could be thought of as a decommission since nothing really happens for awhile... I am interested in what it could be if not Robotech as it sounds like something I might find interesting. Robotech is on Hulu if you want to watch it, it's an excellent series so you won't lose anything by watching. May 14, 2014 at 4:55
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    @22ndCenturyFza Cool thanks for the tip. I watched some more episodes, and I'm thinking less and less that it was Robotech, as nothing seems to match up, other than the robot / ship thing. Definitely something I wouldn't mind watch either though. May 14, 2014 at 15:46

4 Answers 4


Sounds like Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. From Wikipedia:

The series is set in the distant future. Humans have spread beyond Earth and colonized planets across the universe, creating a New Frontier of man. In order to protect these new settlers and maintain laws and regulations in the New Frontier, Earth's Cavalry Command was created. Cavalry Command is a military organization, maintaining an army and fleet of ships to protect the New Frontier. Within Cavalry Command is a unit of special operatives known as Star Sheriffs that function as field agents, investigating crimes and plots against the security of the New Frontier.

The main foe of Cavalry Command and the Star Sheriffs is a race of non-human creatures known as Vapor Beings (also sometimes called Outriders) that jumped into our dimension in order to conquer it. They attack the settlers, destroy settlements, and kidnap humans, in order to mine various metals or crystals from the soil.

Outriders are superior to humans in battle technology. They control a legion of gigantic robots with weapons greatly superior to the weapons and defenses of the space-going fleets of Cavalry Command. In response to the threat, Cavalry Command developed a prototype ship known as the "Ramrod Equalizer Unit" (or just Ramrod) that has the ability to turn from a spaceship into a powerful robot that can fight the Outriders on equal terms.

  • Hot damn, that might be it. Let me investigate further, and see if I can find anything that matches my memory. Thank you for this. May 14, 2014 at 15:50
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    Yup, that was it! This is the part where the character asks about the shiny sheriff badge, and I guess it wasn't just the "breast" covering that opens, but the entire dorsal plate. I can't find the "decommissioning" episode, but I'm sure its somewhere in the series (I'll have to go through the episodes). This is definitely the correct series though. Thank you muchly. This has been nagging me for years. May 14, 2014 at 16:10
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    @PaulRichter - I just started watching Saber Riders and I love the voice actors in this =] May 15, 2014 at 18:21
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    @22ndCenturyFza Yeah, they're great aren't they. And the dialog is so realistic; not cheesy at all. :p No wonder I liked it as a kid. May 15, 2014 at 18:23
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    wow. i had seen this when i was 3-4. just remembered some scenes. have been searching for the name for years. finally found it! :D
    – ghostCoder
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:04

This sounds like it could be anything from Gundam Wing to Bravestarr. There were a large amount of cartoons that had similar elements.

I'm thinking that it could be:

  • Bravestarr
  • Transformers
  • Challenge of the Gobots
  • Fantastic Max
  • Ninja Robots
  • Tekkaman
  • Mighty Orbots
  • Mazinger Z

There are plenty of others from that time, but I hope that this list helps to jog your memory.

  • Cool thank you. I thought of bravestarr as well, but there doesn't seem to be any robot ship, which I recall was the central setting of the show. Definitely not transformers either (great show though). The others don't ring a bell so I'll check them out and see if any of them match. May 14, 2014 at 15:45
  • Let us know when you find out which, if any, it is.
    – Urdungo
    May 16, 2014 at 12:58
  • check out Michael Itzoe's answer; it turned out to be Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. I appreciate your help though; thanks you! May 16, 2014 at 13:25
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    Oh, all right then. I didn't see it because my browser skipped over his response. Thanks, I'm glad.
    – Urdungo
    May 16, 2014 at 13:26

I'm willing to put money on it being this Cartoon, Saber Rider. This was the American adaptation of a Japanese anime series. From the description of the episodes you remember, it couldn't have been Ninja Robots or Robotech. Here's a visual:

enter image description here


"For quite a while I've been trying to identify the name of an old cartoon / anime I used to watch as a kid during the 1980s (Canada / US).

I've tagged this as both cartoon and anime because I'm not certain whether it was of Japanese or American origins, but the various images I have seem to indicate it may have been at least an American adaptation of a Japanese show."

I remember this it is called Robotech macross :


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    The person who asked the question already accepted a different answer over six years ago. Feb 25, 2021 at 2:27
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    If you are going to propose an alternate answer you need to provide details from the show that match the points of the question. Just providing a link isn't a very good answer; please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Feb 25, 2021 at 2:56
  • Note that the question itself cites Robotech as a series having some similarities with the one to be identified.
    – lfurini
    Feb 25, 2021 at 6:03
  • @DeadMouse While I appreciate people still coming to this question years later, it has indeed already been answered. I believe you may have mistaken this site for a typical forum. It is a question-answer site. You might want to take a look at the help section Feb 27, 2021 at 1:22

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