Voltron (百獣王ゴライオン) is a shape-changing giant mecha robot first featured in the 1980s animated television series Voltron, Defender of the Universe. There has since been a second series, made in the 1990s using CGI techniques. more...
The 1980s Voltron series was based on two vaguely-related Japanese anime series (both originally produced by Toei Animation & Bandai, who also produced the popular Super Sentai series in Japan). The anime was dubbed and strung together by North American television production and distribution company World Events. The series was not a straight dub, however, as much of the violence of the original Japanese series was removed (among other things).
Lion Voltron (Voltron of the Far Universe)
The first episodes were based on the 1981 series Hundred Beast King FiveLion (百獣王ゴライオン - Hyakujūō Goraion), and featured a team of five young pilots commanding five robot lions, which could be combined to form Voltron. In this era, the Voltron force was in charge of protecting the planet Arus (ruled by Princess Allura) from the evil King Zarkon, his son Lotor, and the witch Hagar, who would create huge Robeasts to terrorise the people of Arus. (This storyline is similar to those of the Toei Super Sentai shows, which formed the basis for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.) Despite being the first of the two robots to appear on American television, Golion's version of Voltron was regarded as Voltron III in the toyline, most likely because of it's distance from Earth.
Vehicle Voltron (Voltron of the Near Universe)
Later episodes were based on the 1982 series Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊 ダイラガーXV - Kikō Kantai Dairagā XV), and changed the storyline considerably. In this iteration of Voltron, the Galaxy Alliance's home planets have been overcrowded, and a fleet of Explorers have been sent to look for new planets to colonise. Along the way, they attract the attention of the evil Drule, who proceeds to interfere with the explorers and the colonists. Since the Voltron of Planet Arus was too far away to help the explorers, a new Voltron is constructed to battle the Drule threat.
This Voltron team consisted of 15 members and were divided into three teams of five, known respectively as the Land, Sea and Air Teams. Each team was specialized in gathering data or fighting in their area of expertise. Each team could also combine their vehicles into a bigger machine, with each combined vehicle differing amongst the three teams. These fighters were..
- The Aqua Fighter (Sea Team)
- The Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)
- The Strato Fighter (Air Team)
When necessary, all 15 vehicles combine to form the mighty Voltron. This Voltron in the toyline was referred to as Voltron I and also called the Vehicle Team, most likely due to it being closer to Earth than the more popular Voltron III which was also called the Lion Force.
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