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Anime DVD Review

The year 1984 saw the arrival of one of the most influential franchises ever to hit the toy stores. Voltron: Defender of the Universe paved the way for such mega-hits as Robotech, and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

World Events Productions took not one, but two anime shows from Toei Productions. They were both made at roughly the same time. They both featured giant robots. The character designs were very similar. Go-Lion and Dairugger XV were bashed together to form Voltron (that is, the TV series).

It's not easy to explain why this sort of thing needed to be done to a cartoon series back in the eighties. You who are reading me now are a new breed. You get your cartoons on DVD or on the Cartoon Network. Back in the old days, the only thing you could do with a cartoon series like this was to sell it to syndication. The only way to interest independent stations was to come up with a package of episodes that was large enough to be "stripped" (shown every weekday). By themselves, Go-Lion and Dairugger XV couldn't fill the bill. Together, they were an animated force to be reckoned with.

The task of re-working these two show into something that looked like one show fell to producer Franklin Cofod and writer Jameson Brewer. Their previous work in anime included the fantasy series, The Little Prince, and the show that first brought the celebrated Gatchaman to America — Battle of the Planets.

According to the series, Voltron was a giant robot of legend restored to greatness by a team of Space Explorers. It wasn't easy to restore the TV show itself to its original greatness for the DVD collection. Apparently, the original negatives were too far-gone. All that could be saved was the soundtrack. It was necessary to edit together new versions of the episodes from the original prints of Go-Lion and Dairugger XIV. The result is the best-looking Voltron you can get. Watch Blazing Swords slice through robeasts as robot lions roar on DVD.

Reviewed by Laurence Sufrin, April 2007

Below: Scenes from Voltron.







Voltron Website Links:

Madman Entertainment's
Official Voltron Homepage

Voltron on DVD from Media-Blasters

The Unofficial Voltron Force Homepage

Voltron (TV) Entry at Anime News Network

Dairugger XV (TV) Entry at Anime News Network

Wikipedia Entry for Voltron

Wikipedia Entry for Go-Lion

Voltron Toy Website Links:

Super Toy Archive Collectible Store: Voltron

Voltron: The toy set that kicked...

Voltron Collection Page

Virtual Toy Chest's Voltron Archive

Below: A vintage Voltron toy commercial from 1984.

Below: Half the fun of Voltron were the amazing toys!

Half the fun of Voltron were the amazing toys!

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