During my extended unemployment, inbetween hunting down every last lead regarding a new job, I finally got to watch the near-totality of the Voltron Saga. That means all episodes and the special team-up, Lions and Vehicles both, and then---the Japanese originals, Go Lion and Dairugger XV.

I knew that the uncensored versions would be a bit rougher. One of the most infamous scenes in the Lion Voltron involved the brutal whitewashing of the fate of Coran's family. They were supposedly 'taken to another dimension by visiting aliens', this despite the footage showing a spaceship firing on a woman with a baby. It was what it was, but that one stretched even a fan to the breaking point. Did this or that enemy leader get away in the nick of time? Ok, maybe. But when it showed Allura kneeling and praying before the mother and infant's grave saying that bull about the other dimension. At least in DBZ, death really was another dimension.

Nonetheless, the show is a fave, and I looked fwd to seeing around the censorship corners. To my shock, there was a damned good reason it was censored. There were things that no American parent would want their pre-teens seeing, like, ever. Was it bad? No, the story was great. It was bold, and fierce, and seeing it told straight was awesome. Remember when Pidge's homeworld blew up? Well, in Go Lion, that was EARTH, already rendered lifeless by World War Three at the start of the series.

The biggest shock came when I saw the uncensored episode with the Enemy Red Berets. Wow. Elfen Lied fans, if you will watch episode 43 of Go Lion, you will see stuff, and I kid you not, that very closely rivals the first ten minutes of our beloved series for sheer violence and unremitting gore and blood. No joke, and I think you know how much I like EL.

Anyway, it struck me as I finally watch the last episodes of Dairugger (the basis for the Vehicle Voltron), how Voltron became a gateway for large-mecha-based shows here in the US. It also occurred to me that EL is that same kind of gateway for dark anime, meaty stories that step up and don't shy away. So, Lucy vs. the Voltron Forces?

I don't take sucker's bets.

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