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Voltron: Defender of the Universe is an American animated television series that features a team of astronauts who pilot a giant Super Robot known as "Voltron". Initially produced as a joint venture between World Events Productions and Toei Animation, the original television series aired in syndication from September 10, 1984 to November 18, 1985.

Dubbing History

Voltron was created by Peter Keefe and John Teichmann, founding partners of World Events Productions, in 1984 using material that they had licensed from the Japanese animated series Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. But since they had no means of translating the Japanese series into English, Keefe and Teichman surmised the plots, commissioned writer Jameson Brewer to write all-new dialogue, edited out the more violent scenes, and remixed the audio into stereo format. The series was an immediate hit in the United States, topping the syndication market for children's programs in the mid-1980s.

The Japanese Future Robot Daltanious series from 1979-1980 was originally planned to be adapted by World Events Productions as part of Voltron. When requesting master tapes from Toei Animation for translation purposes, the World Events Productions producers requested "[the] ones with the lion." Mistakenly, Toei then proceeded to ship World Events copies of Beast King GoLion, another "combining-robot" cartoon which featured lion-shaped fighting robot starships. Because the World Events producers greatly preferred GoLion to Daltanious, the GoLion episodes were adapted instead, going on to become the most popular portion of the original Voltron run. A third version/series of Voltron based on yet another Japanese series, Lightspeed Electroid Albegas (1983-1984), was also in progress, but dropped when World Events Productions joined with Toei to make new GoLion-based shows, due to that show's popularity over the Dairugger run.

Lion Force Voltron (Season 1)

Lion Force Voltron is an edited adaptation of Beast King GoLion (機甲艦隊百獣王ゴライオン Hyaku Jūō Goraion) from 1981-1982, as the first generation of the Voltron series.

Synopsis

Five young pilots from the Galaxy Alliance, Keith, Lance, Sven, Hunk, and Pidge, crash on the planet Arus when they're attacked by the minions of the evil King Zarkon. In the ruins of an ancient castle, they learn the secret of recreating Voltron, the ancient robot "loved by the good and hated by the evil." Each of them must pilot one of five lion-mecha that link to form Voltron. They also befriend Princess Allura, who pilots of one of the lions after Sven is wounded in battle. Together, they fight Zarkon's robots and "ro-beasts," the witch Haggar and Zarkon's son Lotor.


Cast

Image Character Original Name Seiyū Voice Actor
Voltron Keith Kogane.png Keith Kogane Akira Kogane Kazuhiko Inoue Neil Ross
Voltron Lance.png Lance Isamu Kurogane Yū Mizushima Michael Bell
Voltron Pidge.png Pidge Hiroshi Suzuishi Masako Nozawa Neil Ross
Voltron Sven.png Sven Takashi Shirogane Ryūsei Nakao Michael Bell
Voltron Hunk.png Hunk Tsuyoshi Seidō Tesshō Genda Lennie Weinrib
Voltron Princess Allura.png Princess Allura Princess Fala Rumiko Ukai B.J. Ward
Voltron Coran.png Coran Raible Yūji Fujishiro Peter Cullen
Voltron King Alfor.png King Alfor King Raimon Mahito Tsujimura
Voltron Nanny.png Nanny Hys Kazuyo Aoki B.J. Ward
Voltron Princess Romelle.png Princess Romelle Princess Amue
Voltron Prince Bandor.png Prince Bandor Prince Alor Mari Shimizu Neil Ross
Voltron King Zarkon.png King Zarkon Emperor Daibazaal Kōsei Tomita Jack Angel
Voltron Haggar.png Witch Haggar Honerva Masako Nozawa B.J. Ward
Voltron Prince Lotor.png Prince Lotor Prince Sincline Akira Kamiya Lennie Weinrib
Voltron Merla.png Queen Merla Tress MacNeille
Voltron Commander Yurak.png Commander Yurak Commander Sadak Kenichi Ogata Jack Angel
Voltron Logo.png Narration Kōsei Tomita Peter Cullen

Notes

  • In addition to the original 52 episodes of Beast King GoLion, 20 additional episodes were commissioned by World Event Productions featuring original animation by Toei Animation. These new episodes featured the new villain Queen Merla.
  • Several instances of violence and character deaths are written out:
    • In GoLion, the initial scenes are actually of Earth; the pilots have returned from their mission (in the then-futuristic year of 1999) to find that the entire population of Earth has been killed in a nuclear war. They are then captured and taken to Planet Galra, where the plot proceeds similarly. In the Voltron version, some footage of the pilots' arrival on Arus was taken from Armored Fleet Dairugger XV.
    • Scenes of torture and atrocities inflicted by the alien conquerors on their slaves (such as a "contest" where alien soldiers would be rewarded according to how many prisoners they managed to decapitate in a given time) and some shots of corpses were removed.
    • Sven's GoLion counterpart is actually made out of two characters; Takashi Shirogane and his identical twin Ryō Shirogane. Takashi dies in the sixth episode, while Sven is just critically injured. Due to negative fan reception to the character's death, Takashi is replaced with Ryō, his identical twin (played by the same voice actor). In Voltron, the characters are just treated as the same.
    • Nanny's GoLion counterpart (Hys) is fatally shot in the heart while protecting Raible (Coran) toward the end of the series. This scene was completely removed from Voltron, and later episodes used stock footage from earlier in the series to insert the character into scenes that took place after her original death.

Vehicle Team Voltron (Season 2)

Vehicle Team Voltron is an edited adaptation of Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊ダイラガーXV Kikō Kantai Dairagā Fifutīn) from 1982-1983, as the second generation of the Voltron series.

Synopsis

The Galaxy Alliance's home planets are now overcrowded, and a fleet of explorers are sent to search for new planets to colonize. Along the way, they attract the attention of the evil Drule Empire, long engaged in an ongoing war against the Alliance, and the Drules proceed to interfere with the mission of the explorers and the colonists. Since the Arusian Voltron is too far away to help these explorers, a totally new Voltron has to be constructed to battle the Drule threat.


Cast

Image Character Original Name Seiyū Voice Actor
Voltron Jeff Dukane.png Jeff Dukane Aki Manabu Toshio Furukawa Neil Ross
Voltron Rocky.png Rocky Kai Shinobu Ryōma Yamamoto Lennie Weinrib
Voltron Wolo.png Wolo Shota Kreutz Kōzō Shioya
Voltron Chip Stoker.png Chip Stoker Yasuo Mutsu Satomi Majima Neil Ross
Voltron Ginger.png Ginger Patty Ellington Keiko Han B.J. Ward
Voltron Cric.png Cric Miranda Keats Hideyuki Hori Michael Bell
Voltron Lisa.png Lisa Haruka Kaga Harumi Iizuka B.J. Ward
Voltron Tangor.png Tangor Salta Katz Masaharu Satō
Voltron Shannon.png Shannon Tatsuo Izumo Shō Hayami Michael Bell
Voltron Zandee.png Zandee Barros Carateja Ken Yamaguchi
Voltron Cliff.png Cliff Walter Jack Katsuji Mori Lennie Weinrib
Voltron Cinda.png Cinda Moya Qiligasz Nana Yamaguchi B.J. Ward
Voltron Modoch.png Modoch Mack Chacker Banjō Ginga Michael Bell
Voltron Marvin.png Marvin Tasque Izu Shingo Hiromori
Voltron Hutch.png Hutch Casto Nagato Hiroshi Ōtake Peter Cullen
Voltron Commander Hawkins.png Commander Hawkins Commander
Shinji Ise
Hideyuki Tanaka
Graham-LV.jpg Space Marshal Graham High Commander Wakasa Masaharu Satō Jack Angel
Steel-VV.jpg Commander Steele Supreme
Commander
Dewa
Hiroshi Ōtake Neil Ross
Voltron Captain Newley.png Captain Newley Dick Asimov Kōji Yada Lennie Weinrib
Professer-Page-VV.jpg Professor Page Doctor Search Kōji Totani Jack Angel
Voltron Commander Hazar.png Commander Hazar Commander
Socrat Teles
Voltron Commander Quark.png Commander Quark Commander
Rackal
Banjō Ginga
Mongo-VV.jpg Captain Mongo Commander
Drake
Ryōma Yamamoto
Brack-VV.jpg Captain Brack Commander
Barataria
Masaharu Satō
Mozak-VV.jpg Chancellor Mozak Commissioner
Socret Tes
Eiji Kanie
Dorma VV.jpg Dorma Sirk Satomi Majima B.J. Ward
Nerok-VV.jpg Captain Nerok Laffite Ikuya Sawaki Michael Bell
Keezor-VV.jpg Mariscal Keezor Luciano Masaharu Satō
Zabar-VV.jpg Captain Zabar Commander
Gramont
Banjō Ginga Lennie Weinrib
Throk17.jpg Viceroy Throk Al Caponero Peter Cullen
Zeppo.png Emperor Zeppo Emperor
Corsair
Kazuhiko Kishino Michael Bell

Notes

  • Various differences between Vehicle Team Voltron and Armored Dairugger XV:
    • Many allied and enemy soldiers and commanding officers die in Dairugger, as opposed to disappearing without any explanation in the Voltron series. The finale of Dairugger XV was different in its Voltron form — the U.S. footage had no depiction of Emperor Corsair's (Zeppo's) true fate, which left a lot of questions for U.S. viewers (although one shot of Corsair dead on the throne remained intact). The scene of Emperor Corsair's death, perishing in an assassination attempt by Teles (Hazar) and the resistance, who want freedom for their people, was cut due to violence.
    • In Dairugger, Teles (Hazar) dies a martyr, and there is a sad scene where his body is left to die on Galveston at his request. In Voltron, he becomes the new leader of his people.
    • Sirk (Dorma) is Teles's adjutant, not his sister as in Voltron.
    • Aki (Jeff) and Haruka (Lisa) have a closer relationship, which is not clearly shown in Voltron. The lucky charm that Haruka gives to Aki is left with Teles (Hazar) after his death on Galveston.
    • Dick Asimov (Captain Newley) was Shinji Ise's (Commander Hawkins) superior officer in the original series. The dialogue was rewritten in Voltron to suggest that Hawkins was Newley's superior. There were inconsistencies, however that reveal the original ranks of the two officers.

Overall Notes

  • Voltron was one of the first television programs to be produced and broadcast in stereophonic sound. Around the time of the show's production, the Federal Communications Commission was in the process of approving stereo broadcasting, yet most programs and cartoons back then were still being broadcast in monaural sound. World Events Productions took notice of this and decided to make the stereo sound of the series a big selling point: almost every store selling stereo television sets in the mid 80's used Voltron as a highlight of what stereo sound could deliver versus mono.

Transmission

Date(s) Channel Country
1984-1985 Syndication United States United States
1997-2003 Cartoon Network
2006-2007 Cartoon Network
(Adult Swim)
2008-2009 Boomerang

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Contents Region Country
Madman Entertainment 2004-2005 DVD.jpg The Complete Series 4
PAL
Australia Australia
8 Volumes
Media Blasters 2006-2009 The Complete Series 1
NTSC
United States United States
8 Volumes
Manga Entertainment 2008 Episodes 1-15 2
PAL
United Kingdom United Kingdom
1 Volume
Madman Entertainment 2009 The Complete Series 4
PAL
Australia Australia
24 Discs
Beyond Home Entertainment 2011-2013 The Complete Series
2 Volumes
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 2019 The Complete Series 1
NTSC
United States United States
14 Discs

See Also

External Links

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