No, there isn’t some YouTube meme about turning every 70s giant robot from Japan into Voltron (that I’m aware of). However, there are two shows that were intended to become a Voltron but for different reasons did not. Last time we looked at Albegas, the intended second Voltron, but there is one more forgotten chapter of the legend that you may have heard nothing about. He never got a toy. He may never be homaged. But Future Robot Daltanious was intended to be a Voltron. Specifically the Lion Voltron of the Far Universe.
It’s the 1980s and World Events Productions has chosen three giant robot shows to create their “Voltron Trilogy”. We already know about DaiRugger and Albegas, but why did Daltanious fail to make the grade? Well, blame a translation error in ordering. When whomever at World Events ordered the series did their asking they requested “the one with the lion” and Toei ended up sending them Beast King GoLion. The Voltron producers preferred that one over the one they first saw and the rest is history. So what was it about Daltanious that initially inspired them and did World Events Productions make the right move?
Airing from 1979-1980, Future Robot Daltanious (taking the name from D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers) takes place in the far-off year of 1995. The Earth has been conquered by the Zaar Empire, the people now living in poverty, struggling to survive. A group of orphans are stealing food just to survive, but while running from the vendors they stole from they come up a hidden spaceship, accidentally revealing it and its owner, Doctor Earl. Earl is also an alien, from the planet Helian, which is another world the Zaar have conquered. He gives two of the orphans, Kento and Danji, control of the giant robot Atlas and jet Gumper respectively. Kento is also revealed to be a Helian himself, a prince hidden on Earth, who can call the third robot, a mechanical lion called Beralios. Together the three mecha combine into the mighty robot Daltanious, with the goal of freeing the universe from Zaar control.
Was the show any good? I came across two untranslated episodes…at least translated into English. (There are Italian and Spanish language clips and episodes online that I found, so it must have had some fan base outside of Japan.) One was the first and I think the other was the last but I’m not sure. And the show does look pretty good. The “RoBeast” designs are okay. The other orphans actually help out from what I’ve heard. And it has an interesting backstory to work with, although if this was originally the far universe Voltron the story would be changed. I see why it was initially chosen.
Which leads to also be asked: if this was the show World Events gave us, would it have fit in with the other two shows and would it have captured fans as strongly as GoLion did, and I’m not convinced it would. It does have its own “blazing sword” and “RoBeasts”, but that it. One of the other connecting elements were the Drule empire. Zarkon was said to be part of that empire and with a little editing the Drule hierarchy takes Zarkon off of the throne and puts Lotor in charge near the end of the series due to Zarkon’s failure to stop the Lion Voltron. However, all but one of the enemies I’ve seen in clips and the two episodes look nothing like the aliens in DaiRugger, GoLion, or even Albegas. No blue or purple-skinned aliens in this show, but we got a large variety of alien designs that would have been cool to the kiddies but I don’t think they had the staying power of Zarkon’s bunch or the Drule Empire. And neat as Daltanious is, he just doesn’t hold a candle to GoLion or DaiRugger. Even Albegas has him beat at design, and he at least got a Voltron toy. I see this show getting a small group of nostalgia fans but not having the cultural impact as the Lion Force Voltron we ended up with. GoLion was just a better show and I think World Events Productions made the right move.
And we are fresh out of forgotten Voltron robots. I hope you enjoyed this two-part look at the Voltrons we never got to have. The Voltronathon continues this weekend and the Devil’s Due comics will continue for a while longer, so we aren’t done with Defenders Of The Universe just yet.