Anime DVD Review: Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 2

Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 2 is a three-disc DVD set that contains 18 episodes of the series; this series is the original source material for what ended up becoming Vehicle Voltron in the United States. All of the episodes only have Japanese audio, and you choose whether or not to have subtitles. All three discs of the set include six episodes; however, the third disc also includes trailers for releases that Media Blasters was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 2
English Publisher: Media Blasters
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 25, 2010

My biggest disappointment with this DVD set is the audio levels. The volume level on all three discs is rather soft, so you have to turn the volume up quite a bit in order to hear anything.

What I enjoyed best about this set was being able to see what happened in the original series. In Vehicle Voltron, shots of violence and death were edited out. In these episodes, a number of Galveston commanders are killed while fighting with Dairugger. In Vehicle Voltron, instead of being killed, it is said in dialogue that they managed to make it to their escape pods; however, these characters are never seen again in the series. Also, any shots that show human pilots in any of the fighter planes were removed in Vehicle Voltron; this is due to the fact that in Vehicle Voltron, these fighter planes are “robot fighters,” so death can be covered up when the fighter planes are shot down.

When compared to the corresponding episodes of Vehicle Voltron, the Dairugger XV episodes are a lot stronger and make much more sense. You can tell in Dairugger XV that there is an overarching story to the series, and it’s easy to follow what is going on. In Vehicle Voltron, however, the overarching story is lost, because the English dub tried to treat the series as an episodic show instead of having one big storyline. However, by dubbing the show this way, it introduced a lot of inconsistencies to Vehicle Voltron.

While Voltron would be acceptable for kids to watch, I can’t say the same thing about Dairugger XV. Between the violence and the politics, it really isn’t being aimed at a young audience. This set is definitely being targeted at and marketed to the adults who had watched Voltron when they were children over twenty years ago; however, older teenagers might also get some enjoyment out of this set.

Even with the audio level issues, I would still recommend this set to a Voltron fan who is interested to see what this series was like before it became Vehicle Voltron. However, if you do purchase this set, be sure to watch it when younger children aren’t around or after they’ve gone to bed.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 2 that my husband and I purchased.

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