For the robot itself, please see Combattler V (mecha)
The series (along with the later two shows) was created by Saburo Yatsude, who would later go on to create Go Lion (best familiar to American viewers as the "Lion Force" half of Voltron). "Saburo Yatsude" is not a real person, but a pseudonym which refers to the collective staff at Toei (the main office, rather than the animation studio; the series was animated by Nippon Sunrise and produced by Toei Co. Ltd).
Thousands of years ago, the people of the planet Campbell decided to leave their planet and seek out new worlds to inhabit. One group, lead by the scientist Oreana, landed on Earth, but was delayed from their mission. In the early 21st century, Oreana's group reawakens and begins their plan to conquer the Earth. The only effective defense against the Campbellians' giant bio-mechanical slave beasts is the super-electromagnetic robot, Combattler V and its pilots. The entire series follows the then-standard Monster of the Week format, with the first season featuring Garuda sending various mecha to defeat Combattler V. His tactics range from brute force to cunningness and taking hostages. At one point he even duels Hyouma in a sword fight with their feet chained together. As the series moves on, his trust for Oreana lessens. Garuda eventually discovers that he is in fact a cyborg after chancing on a room containing numerous failed attempts at creating him. In the final episode of the first season, he defeats Oreana, and then duels Combattler V, which eventually leads to his defeat.
The second season features Empress Janera and her generals Dungele and Warchimedes. Eventually, the entire base of the Campbellian empress is deployed, and only through the help of the airborne Nanbara Connection Base is Combattler V able to destroy it. However, Janera manages to deploy an Earth Bomb which is supposed to destroy the Earth. Notably, the team is not dispirited, but are quite calm and instead happy for having the chance to fight to protect Earth. Just as it looks as though Earth will be destroyed, the "true" leader of the Campbellians, Deus, riding in a golden wagon, informs the team of the coup d'etat at Campbell, and stops the bomb seconds before it reaches the Earth.
The series was brought over to the US in a fashion... As part of a toyline called Shogun Warriors that also included other super Robots such as Raideen and Great Mazinger In 1979 Marvel Comics licensed it as part of the 20-part miniseries Shogun Warriors, along with Reideen and Danguard Ace, under the name Combattra. One of the latter issues in the series even featured the standard "Heroic misunderstanding" with the Fantastic Four.
In 2012, a pachinko game (basically the lovechild of a pinball table and a slot machine) depicting a new opening and the anime in a kick-ass modernized art style debuted.
- Hyouma Aoi (葵豹馬 Aoi Hyōma )
The hot-blooded leader of the team, dressed in red. Hyouma is an avid motorcyclist and speed freak. He pilots the Battle Jet, which forms the head of Combattler V. After Garuda destroys his arms, he gets cybernetic replacements. He is voiced by Yūji Mitsuya, who debuted with this role. He is known as Glen Hyoma in the Philippines, dubbed in Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.
- Juzo Naniwa (浪花十三 Naniwa Jūzō )
The second member of the team, dressed in blue. Juzo is a cool, level-headed Olympic-class marksman. He pilots the Battle Crusher, which forms the chest and arms of Combattler V. He is the only member of the team whose birthdate is revealed: April 1, 1958. He is voiced by Keaton Yamada, who was well known in the 70s and 80s for playing a variety of similar roles. He is known as Jason Juzo in the Philippines, dubbed in Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.
- Daisaku Nishikawa (西川大作 Nishikawa Daisaku )
The third member, dressed in brown. Daisaku is a judo master who also enjoys sketching. He pilots the Battle Tank, which forms the torso of Combattler V, and the Battle Tank is also the only Battle Machine that cannot fly under its own power. He is voiced by Kazuya Tatekabe. He is known as Bob Nishikawa in the Philippines, dubbed in Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.
- Chizuru Nanbara (南原ちずる Nanbara Chizuru )
The fourth member, and only female member of the team, dressed in pink. Chizuru is also the granddaughter of Doctor Nanbara. She pilots the Battle Marine, which forms the legs of Combattler V. Upon learning that she has valvular heart disease, she tries to hide it until it disables her in the middle of a battle. Afterwards, she undergoes surgery to correct the condition and returns to continue the fight against the Campbellians. Eventually, she falls in love with Hyouma. She is voiced by Miyuki Ueda, who also voiced the female leads in the other two Romantic series, and is the only cast member to appear in all three. She is known as Stephanie Nambarra in the Philippines, dubbed in Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.
- Kosuke Kita (北小介 Kita Kosuke )
The fifth member, dressed in green. Kosuke is a child genius and inventor. He pilots the Battle Craft, which forms Combattler V's feet. He is voiced by Sachiko Chijimatsu. He is known as Kevin Kosuke in the Philippines, dubbed in Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.
- Doctor Nanbara (南原博士 Nanbara-hakase )
The founder and director of the Nanbara Connection, the Battle Team's base of operations, and creator of Combattler V. He dies shortly into the series, after naming Professor Yotsuya his successor. He is voiced by Gorou Naiya.
- Professor Yotsuya (四ッ谷博士 Yotsuya-hakase )
After the death of Professor Nanbara, Yotsuya takes over the operation of the Nanbara Connection. A drunkard and misanthrope, he nevertheless vows to defend the earth from the alien invaders. He is voiced by Kousei Tomita.
- Ropet (ロペット Ropetto )
A red robot that monitors the emotional state of the Battle Team, and authorizes combination by shouting "Combine, okay!" He is voiced by Masako Nozawa.
- Kinta and Chie Ichinoki (一木金太 & 一木知恵)
The children of Nanbara Connection's cook, who show up after the midpoint of the series. They played the role of comic relief, giving the latter half of the series a much more comedic tone than the serious first half. Along with their pet frog, Keroppe, they sometimes pilot the sidekick machine Kerott into battle. They are voiced by Masako Nozawa and Noriko Tsukase, respectively.
Garuda's "Mother," Oreana orders him to attack the earth. The Campbellians' greatest scientist, she built a giant statue to house her mind in before coming to earth in search of a new home for her people. After her dismissal of Garuda and his discovery of the truth behind his existence, she reveals a mechanical body housed within the statue and attempts to attack Combattler using a 'Null Electromagnetc Ray' from her forehead to drain the robot of its power, but she is ultimately destroyed by Garuda. She is voiced by Masako Nozawa.
- Great General Garuda (大将軍ガルーダ Dai Shogun Garūda )
The ostensible leader of the Campbellian's attacks on earthling cities, Garuda oversees the deployment of the Slave Monsters (monster of the week). He is able to change his appearance at will from a blue-skinned, blonde-haired human to a humanoid eagle. After numerous failures to destroy Combattler V and the Nanbara Connection, he is stripped of his rank by Oreana. Soon after, he learns the truth of his origin: That he is actually the last in a line of androids created by Oreana to be her perfect son and the leader of the invasion force. Consumed by revenge, he finishes building the incomplete slave beast Big Garuda and uses it to destroy Oreana. He is voiced by Osamu Ichikawa.
One of Garuda's android assistants. She is secretly in love with Garuda, but he is oblivious to her feelings. In a gambit to save Garuda after he is dismissed, she sacrifices her life piloting the slave beast Demon against Combattler V. She is voiced by Sachiko Chizimatsu.
Another of Garuda's subordinates, he is in charge of training and activating the slave beasts that fight Combattler V. He is voiced by Kazuya Tatekabe.
Garuda's strategic advisor. After Garuda's dismissal, he is given command of Oreana's forces, only to be killed by Combattler V during the latter's confrontation with Oreana. He is voiced by Ken'ichi Ogata.
- Empress Janera(女帝ジャネラ)
The final enemy of Combattler V and a very powerful sorceress. She can transform from a beautiful woman into a snakelike creature. In the penultimate episode, she attempts to destroy the Nanbara Connection and Combattler V with a bomb attached to Combattler's foot. Professor Yotsuya discovers the bomb in time to separate the foot from the rest of Combattler and raise the Choudenji Barrier, sacrificing the Connection and saving Combattler. Upon hearing of the revolt on Campbell, she makes a final attack on the forces of the Earth, but is defeated by Combattler. As her final revenge, she attempts to destroy the earth by sending a thermonuclear explosive into the planet's core. As she attempts to escape earth, Warchimedes confronts her and destroys himself to kill her. She is voiced by Noriko Tsukase.
Janera's scientific and strategic advisor, and Dungele's older brother. He coordinates the building and selection of the Magma Beasts that are sent to fight Combattler V. After the death of Dungele, he pilots a Magma Beast into battle, attacking Combattler V and giving Janera the opportunity to destroy the Nanbara Connection. When he is defeated, his brain is transferred into a robot body, which he then self-destructs to kill Janera. His name, pronounced "Warukimedesu" in Japanese, rather than being partly based on the English word "war", may be better regarded as a portmanteau formed from "waru" (meaning "evil") and "Arukimedesu" (Archimedes), thus epitomising the classic sci-fi concept of a great but evil scientist. He is voiced by Osamu Ichikawa.
- General Dungele(ダンゲル将軍)
Janera's other subordinate, and Warchimedes's younger brother. He pilots the Magma Beasts against Combattler V and the Nanbara Connection. One of his hands is an oversized lobster-like pincer. After numerous defeats at the hands of Combattler V, Janera kills him by detonating a bomb inside his helmet. He is voiced by Ken'ichi Ogata.
The true leader of the Campbellians. After the coup d'etat which overthrew Janera's supporters on Campbell, he came to Earth to help rebuild the cities damaged by Janera's attacks.