The Armored Trooper Votoms Hub

I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in my various exploits, capers, thrills and spills as an anime fan. I found my top two favorites early on and made them a part of my life in ways few others did.

Those two favorites are Space Battleship Yamato and Armored Trooper Votoms.

In both cases, luck and perseverance brought amazing opportunities to me, over and above the joy of absorbing the stuff. I got hired to draw both as actual, for-real comic books (one of my covers is shown at right). I got to participate in bringing both to American audiences on DVD, which involved packaging and support media. I’ve delivered convention panels on both and talked them up on many a podcast.

But only one of these reached the level of a full-up website. I was deputized to run a Yamato site for Voyager Entertainment all the way back in 2002. I took it over and renamed it Cosmo DNA in 2012, and I still update it every month. (Visit it here.) If this had not come to pass, it’s almost certain that I would have dedicated that energy to a Votoms site instead. Since that opportunity was never given to me, I’m now giving it to myself.

This right here is a website-within-a-website: the Votoms Hub, where the tools and resources I developed for Cosmo DNA will be used to dive deeeeep into my other favorite. Glad to have you along for the ride. Keep watching as new content is added!

Posted March 1, 2023:

Kouichi Inoue interview

Among the masterminds who assembled Votoms one layer at a time was Koichi Inoue, whose simple “Concept Advancement” credit represents a lot of complex work.

Read it here

1/12 Toys by Yamato

From 2004-2009, Yamato released nine A.T.s and an equal number of accessory packs, along with action figures. Inspect them all and read an interview with the developer.

See it here

Garage kits by Project Hurricane

See the entire lineup of amazing models by one of the most respected garage kit makers in Votoms world accompanied by an exclusive interview with the developer.

See it here

Defenseless City manga, Act 4

A 1991-1992 side story depicting Kiek Karadyne in a manhunt against a rogue A.T. pilot on a killing spree.

Read it here

Posted February 1, 2023:

Wave Corporation interview

A conversation about Wave, creator of more Votoms model kits than any other company on Earth.

See it here

Wave garage kit catalog

A collection of almost 50 modern-day garage kits released by Wave since the year 2000.

See it here

Wave plamo catalog

Nearly 40 plastic model kits in both 1/24 and 1/35 scales, created and released by Wave since 2000.

See it here

Defenseless City manga, Act 3

A 1991-1992 side story depicting Kiek Karadyne in a manhunt against a rogue A.T. pilot on a killing spree.

Read it here

Posted January 1, 2023:

Character figure catalog

The characters in Votoms, particularly Chirico and Fyana, were appealing enough to break through the worlds of plamo, garage kits, and action figures alike.

See them all here

Bandai model kits, 2007-2008

An overview of all the 1/20 Votoms models released by Bandai, and a talk with Mecha Designer Kunio Okawara on what sets them apart from all the others.

Read it here

Votoms IRL

In case you didn’t know it before, it is my pleasure to inform you that you share a planet with not just one, but TWO life-size Scopedogs. Who made them and why?

Find out here

Defenseless City manga, Act 2

A 1991-1992 side story featuring Kiek Karadyne of Armor Hunter Merowlink in a manhunt against a rogue A.T. pilot on a killing spree.

Read it here

Posted December 1, 2022:

Votoms Roundtable Discussion

A candid 1985 discussion led by directors Ryosuke Takahashi and Takeyuki Kanda about the genesis of Votoms and daily life as anime creators.

Read it here

Defenseless City manga, Act 1

A 1991-1992 side story featuring Kiek Karadyne of Armor Hunter Merowlink in a manhunt against a rogue A.T. pilot on a killing spree.

Read it here

Digital games

A history of Votoms games from their humble PC beginnings through mainstream consoles, CD-ROMs, and even the 1/1 world of VR simulation.

Read it here

Grab-bag art gallery

Over 30 pieces from a variety of high-profile artists including Hidetaka Tenjin, Yoshiyuki Takani, and Junichi Hayama, and others worthy of your eyesight.

See it here

Posted November 1, 2022:

Vintage garage kit catalog

A huge compendium of over 150 models released prior to 2000, accompanied by a round-table discussion by some of the designers who created them.

Read it here

The Ultimate Scopedog

An overview of what it took to create the incredible 1/8 Scopedog garage kit, straight from the engineers with rare video features from 1995.

Read it here


Another apocryphal manga from the pages of Cyber Comix, this time diving into the treacherous world of Battling. Content warning: mature language.

See it here

S. Saeki art gallery

A collection of works from a rare and impressive doujinshi series called Blue Gale, featuring the work of an artist known only as “S. Saeki.”

See it here

Posted October 1, 2022:

Commando Vorct overview

All about a fascinating 2006-07 side story told in novel form with plenty of art, merch and modeling to give it that visual Votoms punch.

Read it here

Blue Songs

An apocryphal 1988 manga by Kouji Akimoto about an AT scouting unit on a combat test that turns out to be anything but routine, translated into English.

Read it here

Shin Ueda Art Gallery

A rare example of a professional painter who floats between the worlds of packaging and fanzine art with an appealing 20th century vintage style.

See it here

Vintage toys and products

From stickers and school supplies all the way up to the legendary Dual Model Scopedog, here’s everything you could get in the vintage years of 1983-84.

See it here

Posted August 1, 2022:

Excellent A.T.

An apocryphal 1988 manga by Kouji Akimoto speculating on the very first use of an Armored Trooper in battle, translated into English.

Read it here

Vintage model kits

A complete overview of the plastic models released in multiple scales for the TV series from Takara, Union, and Kabaya with commentary from fans who were there.

Read it here

Takuhito Kusanagi Art Gallery

A collection of illustrations from the Planet of Vengeance Shido game book and mecha art from Blue Knight Berserga, all created in 1987.

See it here

Analog games

Every paper-based game from 1983 to 2018, including cards, books, and multi-component strategy games that all bring Votoms to your tabletop.

See it here

Posted July 1, 2022:

Writer/Producer Interviews

Soji Yoshikawa and Toru Hasegawa talk about their involvement in the series and OVAs with many an anecdote of the early days.

Read it here

Blue Knight Berserga

An extensive profile of the first Votoms spinoff story (launched in fall 1984) and the surprising number of products it spawned.

Read it here

Naochika Morishita Art Gallery

Morishita is the most prolific 21st century Votoms artist with intricate paintings on DVD sleeves, model boxes, and more.

See it here

Votoms Video Catalog

Every video release from VHS to Blu-ray with all their gorgeous packaging, including American releases that I was lucky enough to work on.

See it here

Posted June 1, 2022:

Armor Hunter Merowlink

Ryosuke Takahashi interviews

Takahashi talks about the genesis and production of the 1988-89 Votoms spinoff about a boy and his gun.

Read it here

Armor Hunter Merowlink

Staff interviews

The making of the series told through interviews with the director, character designer, writer, and producer.

Read it here

Armor Hunter Merowlink

Merchandise catalog

All the products I’ve found in decades of searching, including some I discovered while putting this together.

Read it here

Votoms Music Catalog

Every Votoms music release from the first single in 1983 all the way up to the latest reissue in 2021 with lots of links for instant listening.

See it here

Posted May 1, 2022:

Designer interviews, 1997

Mecha Designer Kunio Okawara and Character Designer Norio Shioyama discuss their creative process in depth with anecdotes and insights on Votoms’ place in history.

Read it here

Votoms Bibliography, Part 3

This third and final dive into the book world examines magazine coverage and fan-made doujinshis from the very beginning all the way up to the present.

See it here

1985 side story by Ryosuke Takahashi

The first side stories appeared the year after the TV series ended, including this fascinating “missing link” by Ryosuke Takahashi, published in Votoms Odyssey.

Read it here

Takara box art, 1983-84

Some of the finest artwork in the entire Votoms archive appeared on the first line of model kit boxes. Browse the complete collection and a few related bonus pieces.

See it here

Posted April 1, 2022:

Ryosuke Takahashi interview, 1997

This interview, published in Armored Trooper Votoms Digital Memorials (1998), caught up with the creator of the series in the wake of Shining Heresy and looked back on everything that brought us to that point.

Read it here

Votoms Bibliography, Part 2

In Part 1, I covered books specifically devoted to the anime series, its spinoffs, and merchandising. This time I’ll dig into three separate categories: manga, novels, and “related books” for my fellow psycho-fans.

See it here

Complete Media Index

Since its beginning as a TV anime series, the world of Votoms has expanded across a wide array of media including books, comics, games, and more anime. This comprehensive index rounds everything up in one place (and there’s more than you think).

See it here

Kunio Okawara Art Gallery

Mr. Okawara was the undisputed king of mecha design in the early 80s, and Votoms was arguably his most iconic creation, withstanding the test of time ever since. This collection of 39 paintings covers decades of work for promotion and products.

See it here

Posted March 1, 2022:

All About Votoms

So what is it about this show? What lucky charm allowed it to escape the obscurity that settled in over so many of its contemporaries? What am I even talking about? Here’s an introduction to the series and a making-of article with quotes from all the primary staff members to explain how the magic spells were cast.

Read it here

The Votoms Viewer’s Guide, 1985-91

This passion project is – and I say this with all possible modesty – one of the most impactful ‘zines to come out of anime fandom in the USA. When I started it, I had no idea how far it would travel or what the results would be. I just wanted to tell everyone about an awesome show. The rewards that came back to me were literally beyond my imagination.

See it from cover to cover here

Votoms Bibliography, Part 1

Part 1 of the Votoms bibliography covers what I’ll call “primary books,” which focus on the anime and various products. Manga, game books, novels, and other categories will fill up later parts. As far as I know, nothing is missing from my collection. But I would love to be wrong about that.

See it here

Norio Shioyama Art Gallery

A collection of over 50 pieces, both illustrated and painted, by the original character designer for the series. He was called upon over and over to return to this world and render his characters again for video releases and multiple spinoff projects, giving us the chance to watch his style evolve over multiple decades.

See it here

This entry was posted in Anime World , What’s New

18 thoughts on “The Armored Trooper Votoms Hub

  1. Doug Rice says:

    Thank you for singling out and acknowledging Armored Trooper VOTOMS, which was a ground-breaking gamble in creating an entire series of ‘mecha’ that was in NO way ‘kiddy audience dependent’. The focus and overall scope of the warafare was on an ‘adult’ level. And it is my observation that the studio was going for their original fan base of young boys with VOTOMS…kids who had since grown into teens and young adults yet still had the ‘armored trooper Jones’ but only now had money to burn. The studio’s gamble had paid off leading to other such ‘adult mecha’ titles…and, even though there have been no new VOTOMS animes in some years, the modeling and gaming enthusiasm remains to this day.

    • A big thank you to both you Tim Eldred and Doug Rice. I loved both of your works back in the day.

      VOTOMs is my go to anime show, and without it and Dynamo Joe I would never have been inspired to write my own homage the Gate Walker trilogy, which starts with Bad Dog.

    • Richard Rae says:

      I hope you get the right to publish some of the official short fiction stories I saw last year; I believe they were webisodes.

      • TimEldred says:

        If you mean the online novellas written by Takahashi, I wouldn’t need to secure any rights to them unless I wanted to profit from them (which I don’t). It’s within my plans to translate some of the Votoms prose fiction that exists. The only hard part is picking one to start with.

        • Joe Flag says:

          Thanks Tim for this hub dedicated to the best mecha show ever. It could be great to read a translation of the newest story Child of God one of these days because, to be honest, Phantom Chapter was not exactly the perfect ending.

  2. Nagi says:

    I was thinking of translating it as less people know about Votoms outside of Japan. but it will take time as I am a recovering addict with other issues. I wish Child of God will be in anime format.

  3. Joe Flag says:

    Thanks for the update !
    Very nice interviews about Mellowlink. This website’s becoming the ultimate Votoms memento.

  4. Joe Flag says:

    Great to see the passion you put in all these new materials and translations.
    It’s already become a big stuffed Votoms compendium.

  5. David says:

    Hi, Tim,

    Are you aware of the officially licensed, full-size, Armor Magnum watergun from Fullcock?

    I received one today and the quality is amazing. Fullcock’s Deckard M2019 Blaster waterguns are also great.

    • TimEldred says:

      You mean the one that’s sitting about four feet away from me as I type this? Ayup. It’s awesome, but it seems a bit oversized to me. I got the Deckard guns a few years ago, also super cool.

      • David says:

        Hahaha! I like that It’s basically 12GA caliber- it couldn’t be any smaller! It reminds me of my AR pistol grip Mossberg 500 (which, coincidentally, has almost the exactly the same front sight).

  6. David says:

    In the spirit of Ro-Warrior.

    Butt-ugly Martians (00’s CG cartoon) 2T Fru-T with Swamp Clogs:

    Remco Robot Defender with GAT-22:

    Remco Robot Renegade with Scopedog shoulders and arm Solid Shooter:

  7. David says:

    Are you aware of this?

    Shiraishi Zakkan 1983: Complete Memories III (MacLeod Publishing)

    Released during November 2022 but currently unavailable. I don’t have Kindle so I couldn’t view it anyway. I imagine it’s more text than pictures.

    There’s also ‘Child of God’ coming out during February 2023:

    • TimEldred says:

      Thanks! Those were unknown to me. All have been ordered. (The ’83 book is apparently available on paper only from the publisher’s website.)

  8. David says:

    I look forward to your report of Shiraishi Zakkan 1983: Complete Memories III (can the Takatoku 1/55 Armored Valkyrie actually be Armored in Gerwalk mode?). Can you possibly post pictures of the exclusive Blue Knight art from the novels, Dual Magazine, or Hobby Japans? For example, I know there’s a Hobby Japan that has a seemingly Octova variant called Apache Terror.

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