Anime DVD Review: Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 3

Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 3 is a three-disc DVD set that contains the final 16 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. The first two discs contain six episodes, while the third disc contains three episodes.

Armored Fleet Dairugger XV Volume 3
English Publisher: Media Blasters
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 26, 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 the sound.

As with the previous two sets, I really appreciated being able to see what happened in the original series. With this final set of episodes, a lot more editing and cover-ups were being done in the English dub than there had been on the previous sets. The final two episodes of the series really ended up having to be hacked quite a bit, since these episodes included the deaths of prominent characters in the series. However, when these changes were made in the English dub, these episodes lost the visual and emotional intensity included in the original version; I feel this was a major detriment to Vehicle Voltron.

Since there is an overarching storyline in this series that was destroyed in the English dub, it was nice to see how various pieces that were introduced in Dairugger XV all came together at the end of the series to tie everything together. When compared to the corresponding episodes of Vehicle Voltron, the Dairugger XV episodes are a lot stronger and make much more sense.

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 20 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 3 that my husband and I purchased.

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