Zoids: Chaotic Century is the first of four Anime series based on the Zoids range of mecha model kits produced by TOMY. The series was animated by XEBEC, and aired from 1999-09-04 to 2000-12-23 on TBS. Although the first series to be produced for the franchise in Japan, Chaotic Century was the second series to be dubbed and aired in Western nations, following Zoids: New Century. In Japan, the anime was simply called Zoids, western nations received it under the name Chaotic Century.
Zoids: Chaotic Century is set in the far reaches of the Milky Way, on Planet Zi. On Zi, there are metallic life-forms known as Zoids, which possess powerful fighting capabilities. Throughout the recent history of the series, Zoids have been used as weapons in an ongoing war between the Helic Republic and Guylos Empire.
The setting of Chaotic Century is a few years after the most recent war between the Helic Republic and the Guylos Empire. The two nations are currently observing a ceasefire, although ambushes and minor assaults are initiated by both sides, and tensions are high after it is revealed that one or both sides may have access to the ancient technology of the Ancient Zoidians.
The series follows the story of Van Flyheight, a teenage boy who discovers a mysterious girl named Fiona (Fine in the Japanese version), and an Organoid named Zeke (Sieg). Van discovers that Zeke has the ability to merge with a Zoid, increasing its fighting power, and with that skill, Van and Fiona set off to discover the secrets of Fiona's past. During their travel, they meet up with a transporter named Moonbay, and a mercenary named Irvine, who initially thwarts their progress, but eventually begins travelling with them. As they travel across the Helic Republic, a new war breaks out, with the group of travellers being caught in the middle of it.
Differences between the storylines
Although there are many similarities between Chaotic Century and the 'New Battle Story' accompanying the New Japanese Release, the two storylines are considered to be inherently different, and are believed to occur in alternate continuities. Listed below are the main differences:
- The Zoidian race, known as the Ancient Zoidians in the anime, were wiped out (except for three) by the creation of the Death Saurer long before human colonists discovered Zi. In the Battle Story, Zi is still inhabited mainly by Zoidians, and the term "Ancient Zoidians" merely refers to Zoidians from the era before the Helic Republic was formed.
- Both the Guylos Empire and the Helic Republic are based on a single continent (shown in Guardian Force to match the Battle Story's Western Continent). No mention of the Zenebas Empire or the Dark Continent of Nyx is made in the anime, although Prozen does imply in passing that other continents exist.
- None of the events in Guardian Force occurred in the Battle Story. In addition, the Zoid Eve, which supplies power to all Zoids in Chaotic Century/Guardian Force, does not exist in the Battle Story.
Prior to the series there was a prolonged war between two factions, the Guylos Empire and the Helic Republic, which ended in a ceasefire. Not much is stated about the war other than that Van's father fought and died in it. The series starts with Van being chased by a group of bandit Zoid pilots and then discovering the organoid Zeke in some ruins. Zeke revives an abandoned Shield Liger, which Van uses to fight off the bandits. After that, he discovers the girl, whom he dubs "Fiona", in the same ruins that he found Zeke in, although she has no memory of who she is. When Van returns to his village, the bandits return and try to capture Zeke. To keep his family and friends safe from the bandits, Van leaves the village and sets out to travel the world with Fiona. During that time in some more ruins, Van hears Fiona mention something called Zoid Eve, which becomes Van's ultimate goal throughout the series.
The war flares up and Van, along with Fiona, the mercenary Irvine and the transporter Moonbay, ends up warding off some Imperial attacks on Republican forces. After that, Van, Fiona, Irvine and Moonbay attempt to stay out of the war. However, Van ends getting involved somewhat when he meets the Guylos ace pilot, Raven, whom he quickly developes a grudge against after witnessing Raven's brutal behaviour and hatred of Zoids. Although he attempts to fight Raven, he proves no match for him in their first battle. Van later challenges Raven again - and loses once more. In this battle, Zeke suffers near-fatal damage, though Van manages to save him. During this time the Imperial Army manages to march farther and farther into Republican territory but are eventually stopped by the deployment of the Republic's new Gojulas. Van and the others eventually reach the Republic's capital in hopes of finding information about Zoid Eve, but only end up getting caught up in the Empire's assault on the city. During the siege, Van is finally able to defeat Raven, the duel ending with the destruction of Raven's Zaber Fang.
The war is stopped when the Empire's Crown Prince Rudolph orders a ceasefire, although his advisor, Prozen, refuses to give up on conquering the Republic, and so attempts to assassinate the prince. His attempt is foiled by the bandits Rosso and Viola, who kidnap the prince in an attempt to blackmail the Empire. During this time, Prozen finds the remains of the Death Saurer, attempts to revive it, and also creates the Geno Saurer for Raven to use. Raven uses the Geno Saurer to destroy Van's Shield Liger, but was unaware that Van survived and that Zeke and Fiona revived the Shield Liger as the Blade Liger. During this time it is revealed that Fiona is actually an "Ancient Zoidian", that is, a member of a race that existed long before humans came to the Planet Zi. Rudolph, separated from Rosso and Viola after a fight with Raven, joins Van and his friends who try to take him to the Empire's capital Guygalos to stop Prozen from taking over the Empire and restarting the war. During this time, parts of the Imperial Army (both those loyal to Prozen and those manipulated into fighting) try to stop them. Eventually, Van faces Raven again, with the Blade Liger successfully defeating the Geno Saurer. Although Rudolph is returned to the capital, Prozen attempts to use the revived Death Saurer to take control, which goes on a rampage and almost destroys the capital. Although the forces of the Empire and Republic combined are powerless to stop it, with Van's help, they are able is able to destroy the Death Saurer and (apparently) kill Prozen in the process. Rudolph is then crowned the Emperor and peace finally starts to settle between the Empire and Republic, but Van and Fiona don't take part in the celebration and instead leave to find Zoid Eve.
- For detailed information, see each character's respective pages on the table provided below
|Chaotic Century Characters|
|Van Flyheight | Irvine | Moonbay | "Fiona" Elisi Linette | Zeke| Dr. D | | Rosso | Viola | Stinger | Minor Characters|
|Rob Herman | Krueger | O'Connell | Ford | President Camford|
|Gunther Prozen | Marcus | Karl L. Schubaltz | Rudolph Zeppelin III | Raven|
The most common Zoids seen throughout the series are Van's Shield Liger, Irvine's Command Wolf and Moonbay's Gustav. The Helic Republic is most commonly seen using Command Wolves, Godos, Gordos, Shield Ligers, and Gojulas, while the Guylos Empire seems to favor Zaber Fangs, Redlers, Rev Raptors, Molgas, Iron Kongs and both Red Horns and Dark Horns.
- Main article: Organoids
Organoids are rare types of Zoids that are barely left over from the Ancient Zoidian's reign on Zi. There are only four known to exist by the end of the series, one of which was destroyed and rebuilt.
- Main article: List of Zoids Chaotic Century/Guardian Force episodes
In Japan, there are different censorship laws to English-speaking nations, as such, several scenes present in the Japanese version were not allowed to be broadcast on most foreign TV networks. These scenes were cut out or shortened during localisation, to remove drug references, violent scenes (blood, etc.), and any implied nudity or sexuality.
- Episode 1: Fiona isn't wearing any clothing when Van opens up her pod and wires are shown covering her. In the English dub, this scense is edited and she is instead covered by steam, although in one of the earlier episode's introductions, the scene with the wires is shown.
- Episode 8: Fiona and Moonbay are showering together. In the English Dub, this scene is shortened, with only their legs from the knee down being seen. Fiona also chases Van while she is naked, which is also removed from the English dub.
- Episode 29: Twice, Karl Schubaltz gets a gun pointed directly at him. Prozen steps out of a bath and puts on his robe while talking with Lieutenant Hardin. All of this is removed from the English Dub.
Zoids: Chaotic Century is the only saga of the four anime series which started off as a manga: Kijū Shinseiki Zoids (機獣新世紀ゾイド; lit: New Century of Animal Machines Zoids), authored by Michiro Ueyama (上山道郎; Ueyama Michiro), was first published in April 1999. The series was first broadcasted as an anime a few months later.
Openings and Endings
The original Japanese anime used multiple openings and endings over the course of both seasons. The clips used did not appear in the actual episodes, as they were specifically designed for these openings and endings. Only one opening song was used, although the opening video was updated multiple times to better reflect the events in the episodes. Four different songs were used as endings, each with a different accompanying video. In the English dub, there is only one opening and one ending, both of which use episode clips for the video and modified versions of background tracks ("Destructive Impulse" and "Pursuit", respectively) for the music. The Latino dub uses the Japanese opening and ending videos (not even removing the Japanese credits) but with a Spanish version of Wild Flowers as the music for every opening and ending. In contrast, the Italian dub used a slightly modified version of the American opening (removing clips from the start and end, while adding a clip of Zeke fusing with the Shield Liger) as both opening and ending videos, along with an original theme song by Giorgio Vanni simply titled Zoids.
The following full-voice songs were featured in the Japanese release only.
- Wild Flowers by RAMAR
- Song for... by Dear
- CHASE by DEVELOP=FRAME
- INTO YOURSELF by TRANSTIC NERVE
- Your song by EARTH