Science Fiction Saiyuki Starzinger (SF西遊記スタージンガー Esu Efu Saiyūki Sutājingā?) was an anime series aired in Japan from 1978 to 1979. It translates literally to "Science Fiction Journey to the West Starzinger". In the US it is referred to as Spaceketeers and is part of Jim Terry's Force Five series. In the UK, it is referred to as Sci-Bots.
The story revolves around the Princess of the Moon, Aurora and her three cyborg companions (Kugo, Djorgo, Haka) who must travel to the Great King planet and restore the Galaxy Energy. The universe is becoming more and more unbalanced as the Queen of the great Planet grows older. Their adventure includes battling the starmen who are transformed from the unbalanced minerals and planets.
Starzinger is essentially a Sci-fi space opera retelling of the Journey to the West from the Ming Dynasty. The Sci-fi twists were designed by Leiji Matsumoto based on the Terebi Magazine manga  with art by Gosaku Ohta.
Creator: Leiji Matsumoto
Design: Masaki Suda
Music: Shunsuke Kikuchi
|Japanese Name||English Name||Italian Name||Spanish Name||French Name||Swedish Name||Voiced by||Power||Vehicle||Description|
|Princess Aurora (オーロラ姫 Orora Hime?)||Aurora||Principessa Aurora||Princesa Aurora||Princesse Aurora||Prinsessan Aurora||Kazuko Sugiyama||Telepathy and psychic abilities, can channel Galaxy energy||The only human among the main four characters. She is the last of the Moon people. Based on Xuanzang.|
|Jan Kugo (ジャン・クーゴ?)||Jesse Dart||Yan Coog||Galáctico||Yann Kougar||Jan Cogo||Hiroya Ishimaru||Wield Astro-lance that change size, shoot laser; in the second season he can become giant or tiny at will||Starcrow||A red suited cyborg. Has bad temper. Based on the monkey-demon, Sun Wukong.|
|Sir Djorgo (サー・ジョーゴ Sa Jogo?)||Arimos||Sir Gorgo||Giorgio||Sir Jorgo||Kei Tomiyama||Wield Laser-trident with freeze abilities; occasionally shot missiles from his shoulders||Starcopper/Sea Wasp||A blue suited cyborg. The most intelligent of the three. When in doubt he asks his portable computer (which often displays TOEI logo while elaborating a problem). Based on the water-demon, Sha Wujing.|
|Don Haka (ドン・ハッカ?)||Porkos||Don Acca||Glotín||Don Hakka||Kousei Tomita||Swing mace that turns into a flail, shoots rocket from his feet.||Starbood/Space Hog||A green suited cyborg, cheerful, hungry and the comedian. Based on the pig-demon, Zhu Bajie.|
|Prof. Kitty||Empress||Dottoressa Kitty||Doctora Sandra||Doktor Kitty||Eiko Masuyama||A scientist. She reared Aurora after the death of Aurora's parents. Based on Guanyin|
|Assistant Prof.Dodge||Prof.Schnitzel||Dottor Dodge||Profesor Jorquel||Professor Dodge||Jouji Yanami||An intelligent Professor, He made Kugo into the cyborg he is|
|Prince Gaima||Keiichi Noda||Based on the son of Bull Demon King, Red Boy.|
|Gingin Man & Kinkin Man||Kinkin e Gingin||Guinguiriano||Kenichi Ogata||Monster Brothers. Based on King of Gold Horn & King of Silver Horn|
|Beramis||Belamis||Capitana Balamia||Noriko Ohara||Electronic sword||A female cyborg. A captain of Queen Lacets.|
|King (キングギューマ kinku gyuma?)||Rey Guyima||Takashi Tanaka||Based on Bull Demon King.|
|Queen Lacets||Reina Zarcanda||Yumi Nakatani, Nana Yamaguchi||Based on princess iron fan.|
The movie was aired in March 1979 by reusing footages from the first segment of the series. It was more or less a summary.
The last 9 episode of the actual series was rebranded as "SF Saiyuki Starzinger II", though when shown outside Japan it is treated as one continuous series. It was never intended to be anything more than remarketing the last few episodes, since it was aired immediately after the first 64 episodes were shown in June 1979. The 65th episode began instantly in July 1979 with all the galactic energy restored in the storyline.
Starzinger was aired in early 1980s in Latin America with the name of "El Galáctico" (The Galactic), as part of the four-series show "El Festival de los Robots" which translate to "Festival of Robots". The other shows were "Steel Jeeg", "Gaiking", and "Magne Robo Gakeen".
In North America, it was aired as "Spaceketeers" as part of the package show Force Five. As the "Journey to the West story" is not well known in the region, the characters were renamed to reference the Three Musketeers. To also fit into the Force Five time slot, the show had to be edit-squeezed into 26 episodes. The US version puts them on a mission to the Dekos Star System which contained evil powers changing peaceful creatures to evil mutants. It should be noted that the Force Five version not only just produced 26 episodes, but this English Version of the series never reached their conclusion.
24 episodes of the original 73 also aired in Scandinavia (mainly in Sweden) under the original name Starzinger.
List of what episodes were cut out can be found at: Warfists Starzinger site in the episode section
- It was aired every week Sunday 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
- Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy Helen.  (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5
- Scan of a page from the Starzinger manga, with Matsumoto and Ohta in the credits (Japanese).
- Official Page of Starzinger I
- Review of Sci-bots UK version of Spaceketeers
- SF Saiyuki Starzinger Fan Club Starzinger Japanese fan club site (Written in Japanese)
- Thought on Starzinger A Japanese fan site with episode guides (Written in Japanese)