Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
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|Armored Fleet Dairugger XV|
Box art from the Bandai Dairugger XV model kit
(Kikō Kantai Dairagā Fifutīn)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kozo Morishita|
|Studio||Toei Animation, Daewon Animation|
|Original run||3 March 1982 – 23 March 1983|
Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊ダイラガーXV (フィフティーン) Kikō Kantai Dairagā Fifutīn?, "XV" read "Fifteen") is a mecha anime series aired in Japan from 1982 to 1983. It is also referred to as Dairugger 15, Dairugger XV, Armored Armada Dairugger XV, Armored Squadron Dairugger XV, or Machine Platoon Dairugger.
In the United States, it was heavily edited to become part of the Voltron series. The Dairugger footage was the primary source for the "Vehicle Voltron" episodes, though various footage was also inserted into the more commonly known "Lion Voltron" episodes (themselves adapted from another, unrelated Japanese series, Beast King GoLion).
The Rugger Team is an exploration, planetary survey, and defensive force. Planet Earth is in a time of prosperity. The president of the Terran League launches a mission to explore the galaxy and build a complete map of the stars. Soon after commencing the mission, the Rugger Team and their starship, the Rugger Guard, are attacked by the Galveston Empire. Dairugger, the super robot, must defend the Rugger Guard and its fleet as they attempt to continue their mission. When Galveston repeatedly refuses to accept peaceful coexistence, their mission turns to finding the Galveston homeworld, liberating its people from their despotic Emperor, and helping them find a new planet before their world collapses.
The Rugger Team is made of three smaller teams of 5 members each: Air, Sea, and Land, referred to alternately as Aki Team, Keats Team, and Walter Team after each team's leader. Aki is the overall leader of the Rugger Team. Each of the 15 parts is referred to as Rugger, and can combine into larger machines as separate teams called Kurugger (Air), Kairugger (Sea), and Rikurugger (Land), as well as together to form the super-robot Dairugger. The 15 separate Rugger units as well as the name come from the sport of rugby, since 15 players are required to form a rugby union team.
- Planning: Susumu Yoshikawa, Yasuo Nobe, Yu Saito
- Original concept: Saburo Yatsude
- Chief Director: Kozo Morishita
- Series Composition: Keisuke Fujikawa
- Script: Keisuke Fujikawa
- Character Design: Shigetaka Aoyama
- Music: Seiji Yokoyama
- Production: Toei, Toei Agency
Aki Team uniforms are dark blue and white.
Keats Team uniforms are black and aqua.
Walter Team uniforms are white and red.
|Function||Pilot Name||Voice actor||Team||Vehicle||Dairugger Body|
|Rugger #1 Pilot||Manabu Aki (安芸 マナブ Aki Manabu?)||Toshio Furukawa||Air Team||Command Jet Explorer||head|
|Rugger #2 Pilot||Shinobu Kai (甲斐 シノブ Kai Shinobu?)||Ryōma Yamamoto||Air Team||Strato Weapons Module||upper torso|
|Rugger #3 Pilot||Shota Kreuz (ショーター・クロイツ Shōtā Kuroitsu?)||Kōzō Shioya||Air Team||Advanced Recon Helicopter||right upper arm|
|Rugger #4 Pilot||Yasuo Mutsu (陸奥 ヤスオ Mutsu Yasuo?)||Satomi Majima||Air Team||Advanced Recon Helicopter||left upper arm|
|Rugger #5 Pilot||Patty Ellington (パティ・エリントン Pati Erinton?)||Keiko Han||Air Team||Falcon VT Fighter||chest plate|
|Rugger #6 Pilot||Miranda Keats (ミランダ・キーツ Miranda Kītsu?)||Hideyuki Hori||Sea Team||Communications Module||torso mid-rif|
|Rugger #7 Pilot||Haruka Kaga (加賀ハルカ Kaga Haruka?)||Harumi Iizuka||Sea Team||Space Prober||right thigh|
|Rugger #8 Pilot||Saruta Katz (サルタ・カッツ Saruta Kattsu?)||Masaharu Satō||Sea Team||Space Prober||left thigh|
|Rugger #9 Pilot||Tatsuo Izumo (出雲タツオ Izumo Tatsuo?)||Shō Hayami||Sea Team||Multi-Wheeled Explorer||right lower leg|
|Rugger #10 Pilot||Baros Karateya (バーロス・カラテヤ Bārosu Karateya?)||Ken Yamaguchi||Sea Team||Multi-Wheeled Explorer||left lower leg|
|Rugger #11 Pilot||Walter Jack (ワルター・ジャック Warutā Jakku?)||Katsuji Mori||Land Team||Jet Radar Station||hips|
|Rugger #12 Pilot||Moya Kirigas (モーヤ・キリガッス Mōya Kirigassu?)||Nana Yamaguchi||Land Team||Rotating Personnel Carrier||right forearm|
|Rugger #13 Pilot||Mack Chakker (マック・チャッカー Makku Chakkā?)||Banjō Ginga||Land Team||Armored Equipment Carrier||left forearm|
|Rugger #14 Pilot||Tasuku Izu (伊豆 タスク Izu Tasuku?)||Shingo Hiromori||Land Team||All-Terrain Space Vehicle||right foot|
|Rugger #15 Pilot||Kazuto Nagato (長門 カズト Nagato Kazuto?)||Hiroshi Ōtake||Land Team||All-Terrain Space Vehicle||left foot|
|Japanese Name||Voice actor|
|Shinji Ise (伊勢 シンジ Ise Shinji?)||Hideyuki Tanaka|
|High Commander Wakasa||Masaharu Satou|
|Supreme Commander Dewa|
|Dick Asimov||Kōji Yada|
|Commander Socrat Teles (テレス司令?)||Kōji Totani|
|Internal Commissioner Socrat Tes||Eiji Kanie|
|Supreme Commander Al Caponero||Banjō Ginga|
Dairugger is made of 15 vehicle parts, and is 60 meters tall.
- Dairugger Sword
- Dairugger Cutters or Spin Cutters or Spin Kilders
- Electromagnetic Whip
- Electromagnetic Beam or Miracle Beam
- Laser Beams
- Laser Spear or Dairugger Lancer
- Electromagnetic Cross
- Shot Arrow
- Wing Beam
- Dairugger Kick
- Dairugger Typhoon (Spin Cutters on Dairuggers' shoulders spin to create a violent wind, first appears in the episode Eldoras Plea)
- Galactic Clash
- The Isolated Regiment
- Farewell, Achilles
- Rescue Mission To Hell
- Battle of the Experiment Planet
- Fall to the Meteor Shower
- Annihilation of the Reinforcement Fleet
- Specters of the Binary System
- The Glorious Suicide Corps
- Sneak Attack on the Space Fortress
- A Momentary Truce
- Legend of the Space Forest
- The Enemy Within the Mind
- The Earth Fleet's Counterattack
- Breakdown of the Space Talks
- The Two Rebellions
- Orders For Asimov's Return
- A Touch and Go Situation
- Red Moon Rising
- Desperate Struggle for Planet K
- Arise Galaxy Garrison
- Ex-Commander Teles
- The Mission to Recapture Planet K
- Riot on Galveston
- Bitter Struggle on the Planet of Light
- The Snare of the Hell Planet
- Storming the Space Fortress
- Eldora's Plea
- Uprising of the Space Fort
- Earth's State of Emergency
- Locate Enemy Headquarters
- Destruction of the Front Line Base
- The New Allied Fleet to the Rescue
- Planet of the Burning Cave
- Get Yourself Together, Mutsu
- A Desperate Undersea Combining
- Air Rugger Vanishes
- Emma, the Female Captain
- The Tears of a Rugby Player
- The Boy Denon and the Elk
- Discovery of the New World
- Impending Crisis on the Inhabitable Planet
- Teles and Asimov
- Aki Team Gets Caught
- Defend the Third Planet
- The Fall of the Survey Base
- The Invisible Super Weapon
- Get Past the Tenth Planet
- Entering the Final Zone of Defense
- The Struggle for Galveston
- Fierce Battle in the Underground City
- Galactic Dawn
In the early 1980s, the original ST Dairugger toys were released by Popy Pleasure under the toy release number of GB-72, as part of the Chogokin label, and constructed of high-quality die-cast materials. A GB-73 would follow, with a transforming DX Dairugger, which could separate only into the three larger combined vehicles. A larger version of Dairugger XV was also released, which did not contain die-cast materials, as the metal content was too heavy for the design and for the friction motors installed in many of the vehicles. The smallest non-transforming ST Dairugger and the fully transforming plastic Dairugger XV would be resold in the US as part of the Voltron series by Matchbox, entirely under the Voltron name. However, the Popy version came with a sword, missiles, and stickers that the Matchbox version did not.
Because Dairugger had 15 pieces, and was a highly playable figure compared to many of the other fixed-state super robots of the early '80s, there were many imitations and bootlegs of Dairugger. Some are cheap plastics, some do not assemble well, some have neon-glowing colors dissimilar to the show. Even approved brands such as Big Bear were spawned to rejuvenate the toyline. However, no version is identical in quality, packaging, or comes with all the pieces as does the Japanese original.
The entire series, in 3 volumes, has been released on DVD in region 1. Collection 1 was released on February 23, 2010, Collection 2 on May 25, 2010, and Collection 3 on January 4, 2011. All three volumes are now out-of-print.
Changes for Voltron version
- Dairugger XV and GoLion are not related in any way, in contrast to the U.S. version (the coincidental similarities in design, most notably in the face, are due to having the same mechanical designer and a significant portion of the same animation staff).
- Scenes of Earth and Galaxy Garrison were edited into Lion Voltron episodes, but do not exist in GoLion (the Lion Voltron source material), only in Dairugger XV, since Earth in GoLion has been destroyed in a thermonuclear war.
- Many allied and enemy soldiers and commanding officers die in Dairugger, as opposed to disappearing without any explanation in the U.S. Voltron series (Voltron omitted almost all blood and death). 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.
Note: names in parentheses are Voltron names
Appearances in other media
The show was spoofed on an episode of Robot Chicken.
- "Armored Fleet Dairugger Collection 1 DVD Review". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
- "Armored Fleet Dairugger Collection 2 DVD Review". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
- Clements, Jonathan. McCarthy Helen.  (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5
- BigBear Dairugger. "BigBear Info." Dairugger Toy Re-release. Retrieved on 2006-11-06.
- "Media Blasters & Kitty Media February Solicitations". Mania.com. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- "Voltron -Anime News Network". Anime News Network. 2002-03-14. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- Dairugger XV Uncut Scenes and Comparison
- Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Armored Fleet Dairugger XV at the Internet Movie Database