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Voltron: Defender of the Universe

voltron_by_gyrfalcon65-d3rhtejVoltron: Defender of the Universe is an animated television series that features a team of space explorers that pilot a giant super robot known as Voltron.

Initially produced as a joint venture between World Events Productions and Toei Animation, the original television series aired in syndication from September 10, 1984 to November 18, 1985.

The first season of Voltron, featuring the “Lion Force Voltron”, was adapted from the Japanese anime television series Beast King GoLion.

The second season, featuring the “Vehicle Voltron”, was adapted from the unrelated anime series Armoured Fleet Dairugger XV.

Characters (Original Japanese names in parentheses)

Commander Keith (Akira Kogane) – Voiced by Neil Ross in the ’80s and ’90s series; Giles Panton in the 2011 series. Commander and leader of the Voltron Force, who pilots the Black Lion that forms the bulk and head of Voltron. Keith wears a red uniform in the original series and a black uniform in Voltron: The Third Dimension.

Lance (Isamu Kurogane) – voiced by Michael Bell in the ’80s and ’90s series; Andrew Francis in the 2011 series. Lance is Second-in-command of Voltron, who pilots the Red Lion that forms the right arm of Voltron. Lance wears a blue uniform in the original series and a metallic red uniform in Voltron: The Third Dimension.

Pidge (Hiroshi Suzuishi) – voiced by Neil Ross in the ’80s series; Billy West in the ’90s series and Samuel Vincent in the 2011 series. Pidge is the youngest, smartest, and smallest of the group; he pilots the Green Lion that forms the left arm of Voltron, and wears a green uniform. His home planet Balto (Earth in the Japanese version) was destroyed by nuclear missiles from King Zarkon. Pidge has a twin brother, Chip, who is a member of the Vehicle Voltron Air Team.

Sven (Takashi Shirogane) – voiced by Michael Bell in the ’80s series and Alan Marriott in the 2011 series. Sven, a Norwegian pilot, was the original second-in-command. He piloted the Blue Lion and wore a black uniform at the very beginning of the series. In Episode 6, he was badly injured (killed in the Japanese version) during an attack by Haggar, in which he was bitten by her cat, and was sent away to the planet Ebb for medical treatment. Ebb was attacked and raided by Lotor’s forces, and Sven was captured. The prison ship on which he was transferred accidentally crashed on Planet Doom where Sven went into hiding becoming a hermit within the caves. He eventually encountered Allura’s cousin from the Planet Pollux, Princess Romelle, who had been thrown into the Pit of Skulls after she rejected Lotor’s advances. During Sven’s time on Planet Doom he witnessed Zarkon and Lotor’s cruelty to their slaves, which drove him to the point of madness. He recovered thanks to Romelle’s emotional support and helped her escape Doom. Sven was later reassigned to the Planet Pollux with Romelle and her brother Prince Bandor. Sven helps lead trh ground attack in the final episode.

Princess Allura (Princess Fala) – voiced by B.J. Ward in the ’80s and ’90s series; Ashleigh Ball in the 2011 series. Princess Allura of the planet Arus is the ruler of the Kingdom of Arus (Altea), as well as de facto ruler of the entire planet, and is also the object of Lotor’s affections. Daughter of the late King Alfor, Allura inherited her father’s authority on his death and is commander in chief and head of state for the planet Arus, and thus Commander Keith’s superior. However, later she takes over for Sven as the pilot of the Blue Lion that forms Voltron’s right leg, and defers to Keith during operational engagements. Allura wears a pink uniform in the original series and a metallic blue uniform in Voltron: The Third Dimension.

Hunk (Tsuyoshi Seidou) – voiced by Lennie Weinrib in the ’80s series, Kevin Michael Richardson in the ’90s series and Ty Olsson in the 2011 series. Hunk is the strong-man of the group, piloting the Yellow Lion that forms Voltron’s left leg. He is shown wearing an orange uniform in the original series and a metallic yellow uniform in Voltron: The Third Dimension.

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