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Voltron is a series that adapts Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV into a single universe. It also contains 20 american exclusive lion voltron episodes, and edits some Dairugger characters into GoLion episodes further combining the two into one universe. Blood and gore are removed from this series.

Reptile Emperor Dai Bazal of planet Garla (aka Zarkon of planet Doom in the American version) has built a galaxy-conquering army by transforming kidnapped enemies into fighting monsters. On a mission to Earth his forces kidnap some of its people, including our unsuspecting heroes Akira, Takashi, Tsuyoshi, Isamu, and Hiroshi. They are carried off to a conquered world for transformation. Stealing an enemy ship, they escape and manage to reach the palace of Princess Fara, where they learn that five ancient robot lions can combine to form one mighty robot. Impressed by their courage, the dead emperor (in hologram form) gives them the power to operate the machines, form the robot, and free the galaxy from the forces of evil in just 52 episodes.

In the U.S. version, Earth was the headquarters of the peace-loving planetary federation known as the Galaxy Alliance, and Sven, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk were Space Explorers sent on a mission to planet Arus, recently devastated by Zarkon. Their objective was the Lion Force, Arus's five greatest weapons, which could merge to form the super-robot Voltron. They find that Princess Allura has survived the devastation of her world and is struggling to overthrow Zarkon's evil rule, and they join her as the pilots of the five robot lions that combine to make up Voltron. In the original story Akira is killed in battle (Sven is merely wounded, since American heroes can't die) and Fara/Allura takes his place on the team.

The Golion series was bought for U.S. syndication as Voltron: Defender of the Universe!, with scripts "written" by Jameson Brewer and Howard Albrecht. Presaging the later treatment of Robotech, it was combined with an unrelated show to bulk out the running time. Dairugger XV (1982) was a 56-episode show, also from Toei, renamed Vehicle Team Voltron in the U.S. In the original Japanese version, Earth is enjoying a period of unparalleled prosperity thanks to its alliances with the people of the planets Mila and Sara. The president of the Terran League initiates a mission to explore space beyond our galaxy, and the starship Rugger-Guard sets out on its mission. Attacked by a ship of the Galveston Empire, Rugger-Guard sends out its best line of defense-Dairugger XV, a giant robot made up of 15 different mecha, each with its own pilot. As with Gold Lightan and other shows of the period, there is a far-fetched origin-15 players on a team in rugby, a sport whose only other anime appearance is in Wartime Anime.

In the U.S. version, Voltron technology was brought back to Earth after the struggle with Zarkon in the earlier Lion Force Voltron segment of the series. The Galaxy Alliance used it to build their own, even larger Voltron made up of 15 smaller robots and sent it out of our galaxy on the spaceship Explorer to find habitable new planets. The Drule dictatorship, whose homeworld was dying of pollution, sent ships to tag along behind the Explorer and try to steal any habitable worlds for themselves. The 15 pilots of the Explorer had to do battle both with natural forces like volcanoes on the worlds they discovered and with the Drule. Eventually the Drule population revolted, the planet exploded, and the "good" Drule were rescued by Voltron and relocated to new homes.

The producers intended to refashion Lightspeed Electron Arbegas as the third part of the series, but the show was canceled. However, merchandising by U.S. toy distributors Matchbox further confused matters by including the "stackable" robot hero from Arbegas as "Voltron II." The toy boxes show stills from all three anime, with Dairugger as "Voltron I" and GoLion as "Voltron III," claiming that the Arbegas robot is part of the Voltron story line, though he never appears in the TV show. Riding on the momentum created by Star Wars and sales of space battle toys, Voltron was successfully rerun on U.S. cable TV in the early 1990s. World Events Productions ran a 90-minute special in 1983 then syndicated the series as a half-hour daily show, tied into the merchandising of toy weaponry. Lion Force did better than Vehicle Team Voltron with its new audience, to the extent that new episodes were commissioned from Japan specially for the American market-creating a total run for the combined Voltron series of 125 episodes. In one of these, the "recovered" Sven rejoined the team just in time to help defeat Zarkon. The sequel Voltron: The Third Dimension (1998, aka Voltron 3D) was an all-American 3-D CG motion-capture version made by Babylon 5's effects company Netter Digital. In this version, the team is joined by Zarkon himself, who has seen the error of his ways, and fights to defeat Zarkon's evil son Lotor-you can tell he's evil because he has a scar.
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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Voltron
Romaji: Hyakujuo Go-Lion
Publisher Toei Animation
Start Year 1984
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Aliases Beast Centurion Go-Lion;
Voltron: Defender of the Universe
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