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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Shaider at 40 - Still Unforgettable

Space Sheriff Shaider is a tokusatsu television show that originally aired in Japan from March 2, 1984, to March 8, 1985. It is amazing to think that the debut of the original series marks its fortieth anniversary this year. Let us have another trip down memory lane to find out how the series has remained ingrained in the memories of millions of children who watched the Filipino-dubbed version. 

It was in 1988 when ABS-CBN introduced the series to local audiences as Shaider.  Apparently in line with the newly-reopened network's aim to reach more Filipino audiences, the original Japanese series was dubbed in Tagalog. If I remember correctly, it aired from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday. In later years, the series was also broadcast on other networks, including IBC and GMA. 

Promotional Material
Shaider follows the story of Alexis Del Mundo, an archaeology student who deciphers the symbols of the Nazca Lines in Peru. The Galaxy Federal Police tasked him to be the Earth's third Space Sheriff, code named Shaider. Twelve thousand years ago, a namesake warrior had brought down the Mu Empire of Fuuma Lei-Ar. The mission of the present-day Shaider is to protect the Earth from Fuuma Lei-Ar and his minions. I will not delve further into the plot, focusing instead on some aspects of the series that are probably ingrained in the collective psyche of children who grew up in the Nineties (better known as the Batang 90s).

Annie and Alexis aboard the Vavilos

-The mesmerizing sight of how Annie, Shaider's companion, fought Fuuma Lei-Ar's underlings would linger in the shared consciousness of the young viewers, particularly the Batang 90s boys. Annie usually dons a white shirt, vest and mini skirt. Whenever she attacks the villains with a jump kick, those boys would know what to see on their television screens. The splendid glimpse of Annie would remain in the minds of those boys, now adults. Not a few of those men still name the pretty Annie as their childhood crush.

Villains are always getting distracted with Annie's legendary kick.

Annie is a kick-ass character who never fails to amaze fans with mind-blowing moves like this one.

Shaider and Annie getting ready to fight

- In every episode, I was one of those who wondered whether the Vavilos would transform into a robot. In most episodes, the Vavilos transforms into a giant gun. On a personal note, my curiosity about the Nazca Lines prompted me to visit the school library. I then found out that the Nazca Lines existed in real life, and my interest in geography started. My classmates and I also nicknamed our teacher's motorcycle as the Blue Hawk. Shaider uses the Blue Hawk to pursue Fuuma Lei-Ar's into the "Time Space Warp."

- "Time Space Warp ... ngayon din!" It is the line often recited by Babaylan Ida to summon the alternate universe that would allow Fuuma Lei-Ar's beast to gain the upper hand against Shaider. I have always thought that this memorable line has etched its status in Philippine pop culture history. However, my assumption was recently cast into doubt one day in October 2023. During the Pot Luck segment of the noontime variety show It's Your Lucky Day, one of the questions was "Madalas sabihin ni Babaylan Ida ang linyang, "Time Space Warp … ngayon din!" sa anong Tagalized TV series?" None of the contestants gave the correct answer. As a televiewer, I am puzzled with this outcome.

(NOTE: Images Courtesy of Toei Company Ltd.)


Sino siya?
Kidlat na galing sa kalangitan
Sino siya?
Matatag na punongkahoy sa ... bagyo
Ikaw na galing sa langit
Pumukaw ng kadiliman
Banayad na hanging bumabalot sa daigdig
Magpakilala ka!
Sino siya? Tularan natin siya
Magaling siyang pulis, matapang na pulis
Kahanga-hanga, bilib lahat
Ng tao sa kanya (Blue Flash!)
Shaider ... Siya ay si Shaider!
Idolo ng mga tao, alagad ng batas


Who is he?
Lightning from the sky
Who is he?
Strong tree in ... storm
You who is from heaven
Aroused the darkness
Light wind enveloping the earth
Introduce yourself!
Who is he? Let us emulate him
He's a good cop, a tough cop
Impressive! Everyone admires him (Blue Flash!)
Shaider ... He is Shaider!
Idol of the people, servant of the law

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