Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊ダイラガーXV 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). 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.