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ArmoredFleet Dairugger (機甲艦隊ダイラガーXV, Kikou Kantai Dairaffa Fifteen) is a Combining Mecha from Toei that aired in 1982. Since shows like this were a dime a dozen in Japan, it unfortunately got overlooked. But elsewhere, including America, where Humongous Mecha shows were still practically unheard of, it got recognition as the vehicle robot of Voltron.
Dairugger is a peacekeeping and exploration robot during the days of space exploration. More exactly, there are 15 vehicles that can assemble into three robots, and when it's needed they can form one with all of them. Their leaders, the Terran League, decides to explore beyond the galaxy and see what's there. But the first mission runs into the Galbeston Empire, who decide to attack Earth: Dairugger is sent to defend, but eventually learns that the Galbeston are actually desperate for a new home, as their planet is doomed...
Like GoLion, Dairugger XV has been released in it's original form on DVD in R1.
- The Battlestar -- The Rugger Guard, the space carrier from which the vehicles launched before combining
- Combining Mecha -- Two ways! 15 small vehicles could combine into three larger ones, and if that didn't get the job done, could re-combine into the titular Super Robot.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy -- One episode hade Galveston try to stop the pilots from forming Dairugger. Of course, they were able to combine anyway...
- Genre Blindness -- At least two of the Galveston captains tried to ram Dairugger instead of retreating. Guess how both played out...
- Fighter Launching Sequence
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Walter Jack is Go Mifune (as he was called in the Japanese version)
- To say nothing of Kazuto Nagano, who happens to be Boss.
- Humongous Mecha
- If It Swims, It Flies
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Dairugger itself has fifteen pilots, who are sorted in three Teams: Air Team (Manabu, Shinobu, Shouta, Yasuo and Patty), Sea Team (Miranda, Haruka, Saruka, Tatsuo and Barros) and Land Team (Walter, Moya, Mack, Tasuku and Kazuto).
- Old School Dogfighting: the air team vehicles got to do a bit of this before the need to form Dairugger arose.
- The Short Guy with Glasses -- Yasuo
- Space Opera
- Stock Footage
- Super Robot
- Transformation Is a Free Action -- Often averted or subverted.
- Wagon Train to the Stars