Dairugger, it means love...tough love.

Armored Fleet Dairugger XV is a classic super-robot anime made by Toei Productions. It is the basis for the so-called Vehicle Team featured in the Americanized anime, Voltron, Defender Of The Universe. Just as with Go Lion as to Lion Force Voltron, Dairugger XV is often a more brutal and lethal affair, with allies and enemies alike meeting sad ends. The comparison has been made that Go Lion/Lion Voltron is Star Wars, while Dairugger/Vehicle Voltron is Star Trek. Indeed, Dairugger is a more gritty and political show, with politicians and ambitious military leaders pushing events far more than any secret plots or spells. The very name Dairugger and the fact of its fifteen members is meant to evoke the idea of a rugby team, which often has fifteen members, and in fact, one episode has the team playing rugby against the enemy on a field of peace, which sadly does not last. Besides edits made for content and dialogue, the American version also reversed the command structure, perhaps owing to the character of Ise/Hawkins being voiced by Peter 'Optimus Prime' Cullen, who also narrated the memorable intros for the American versions. Dairugger is a progressive storyline, and character growth is a very real and noticeable thing as the complex story moves along.

Dairugger XV has no connections at all with Go Lion, except for being made by the same studio and likely the same set of animators, and the fact that the ostensible team leaders in both cases are named Akira, a very common Japanese name. Even in this, the Go Lion leader is usually called Kogane or Chief, while the Dairugger leader is usually called Aki. The two series are set two centuries apart, and while the Earth in Go Lion is destroyed by the year 2000, in Dairugger it is alive and well in 2200. Two of the shows' characters, Go Lion's Suzuishi Hiroshi and Dairugger's Kreuz Shota, were made brothers by the American Voltron edit, but have no connection in their respective original Japanese series.

In the year 2200, an Earth exploration force under the command of Dick Asimov and Ise Shinji first encountered the Galveston Empire, also performing such exploration, and the two forces began to clash immediately. The Galvestons' super-robot weapons were ably countered by a force known as Dairugger, fifteen tough and fast ships that had various more powerful combinations, the mightiest of these being the super-robot Dairugger. Three teams of five pilots apiece handled the specialized craft; these were the Air, Sea, and Land teams, alternately named for their team leaders, Aki, Keats, and Walter. In the series, Dairugger and the main exploration force had as much trouble with items political and personal as they did with any tactic of their opponents, who they tried and mostly failed to make full contact and peace with. Unknown to the Earth-based Galaxy Alliance, the Galvestons faced extinction as their world's environment failed them and their leaders wasted time with war.

All the fifteen ships of the Dairugger Force have the capability of flying in space. There seems to be no reason the sea and land vehicles cannot drive on land, and the air and land teams can venture into a water environment. But each is in fact more specialized and designed to thrive in the element their team is named for. The crew's primary mission is not to find inhabitable planets, but to construct a galactic star map. More than once, the exploration mission is forced to bypass worlds that they judge the Galvestons as having better claim to. A lack of direction from their leaders plus the curious behavior of these 'aggressors' . This caused certain Galveston leaders to take notice and become open to peace talks, an effort forever frustrated by those loyal to Emperor Corsair. An emerging leader of his people's opposition was Commander Socrat Teles, who became a Gorbachev-like figure, hiding his reformist views behind a facade of nationalistic loyalty to the Emperor. Dairugger would increasingly find an ally in this man who walked a dangerous line out of love of his people.

As time went by, a repetitive, tedious and even a draining cycle of combat over planets emerged between the two sides, with efforts at peace repeatedly thwarted by warlike forces within the Galveston Empire, and opportunities blown by indifference on Earth. This came to a harsh end when Galveston forces attacked Earth itself, an attack that was very nearly not turned back. Whole planets were lost as Galveston frequently destroyed worlds rather than let the Galaxy Alliance have them. Dairugger and the exploration force served with brilliance and distinction, and eventually Captain Asimov was promoted to Admiral, with Commander Ise moving up in his place. As the Galveston homeworld continued to decay and shake apart, the position of Teles and his allies declined as their loyalties became suspect for advocating peace.

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