In a social media-filled Internet, an argument could be made that fan websites — or personal websites of any kind — are obsolete. Since I created Lions and Pilots and Bots… Dot Com in January 2017, I’m of the mind that fan websites still have a place in cyberspace.
This article is a Fan Website Spotlight — an examination of a Voltron fan website that has piqued my interest.
In this Fan Website Spotlight, we’ll take a look at three related websites which were created by SGB. I’ve known SGB for years by way of the legacy Voltron.com forums, where I have posted as Dudley Drule Right.
Voltron Image Archive
First is the Voltron Image Archive. This website offers a unique look at the Voltron phenomenon.
The site hasn’t been updated in about five years, but I can vouch for how difficult it can be to update a website when a pesky thing called real life keeps getting in the way. It doesn’t matter much that the site hasn’t been updated lately, because the content is solid, informative, and entertaining.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice when you visit the Voltron Image Archive is that SGB collects animation cels from Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Collecting these cels is a challenge. Voltron is over three decades old, and it was animated in Japan. For those who don’t already know, 104 of the 125 episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe were adapted from one of two anime programs: Beast King Golion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, both of which were animated by Toei Animation. The remaining 21 episodes were also animated by Toei, but they were newly animated for Voltron, rather than reused from prior anime productions.
The Image Gallery page contains links to:
- Lion Voltron: That is, the 52 Lion Force episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe that had been adapted from Beast King Golion
- Vehicle Voltron: That is, the 52 Vehicle Team episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe that had been adapted from Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
- Voltron Force: The 26-episode Voltron program that premiered in 2011
All three links lead to screen captures organized by episode. The Lion Voltron link also has screen captures organized by character — meaning character, Lion, Robeast, or Voltron himself. Here is a screen capture of the page that highlights the Yellow Lion:
(Incidentally, from my online interactions with SGB, I can tell you that he has unparalleled knowledge of the visuals of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. From a single screen capture, he can often identify the episode that featured it.)
This section of the site offers an incredibly detail-oriented look at the Lion Force and Vehicle Team episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. For each set of episodes, you can access series notes, a voice cast list, and — the best part — a deep dive into individual episodes. Each episode page contains a brief synopsis of the episode, writing credits, a handful of screen captures, trivia, deleted scenes and dialogue, and dialogue that changed between when the script was written and when the voice actors were recorded.
There’s a page for each of the first 20 Lion Force episodes, and a page for each of the first 20 Vehicle Team episodes. Detailed analysis of television episodes is incredibly time-consuming, so I appreciate the work that SGB has put into each page.
This section of the Voltron Image Archive covers the numerous Voltron DVD releases from around the globe. Each DVD release has a dedicate page which describes technical details, special features, menus, screen captures, and other notes.
This section covers many Voltron comic books, with the strongest focus on the short-lived but fan-loved releases by Devil’s Due Publishing.
The special features section includes images of SGB’s impressive collection of Voltron animation cels, video clips, wallpapers, scans, and much more. You could spend hours browsing this great content. The Dairugger XV stickers are a favorite of mine.
The links page is a bit outdated, as over the years, many Voltron websites have come and gone.
Hundred Beast King Golion and SGB’s Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV Site
SGB’s other two Voltron-related fan websites are Hundred Beast King Golion and SGB’s Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV Site. These sites focus on, respectively, Beast King Golion, the 1981 anime program that became the basis for the first 52 Lion Force episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe, and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, the 1982 anime program that became the basis for the 52 Vehicle Team episodes of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
As much as I love the Voltron Image Archive site, I actually prefer SGB’s Golion and Dairugger sites, because they cover in depth many aspects of these programs, neither of which is well known to many Voltron fans.
Each of these sites is organized into the same sections:
This section of each site has a page for each examined episode, with well described images of scenes that were cut from the anime program when it was adapted into Voltron: Defender of the Universe. If you’re familiar with Voltron: Defender of the Universe, but unfamiliar with Golion and Dairugger, then you would be amazed by what was shown in Japan. Some of the imagery could be quite disturbing to younger viewers.
Differences, Episode Guide, Multimedia
These sections were taken down at some point for overhauls that have not yet been completed. As I’ve said previously, real life has a knack for getting in the way of maintaining and updating a fan website.
This section of each site covers a handful of basic questions about Golion and Dairugger.
SGB’s Voltron Image Archive, Golion, and Dairugger fan websites are among my favorite Voltron-related websites. It’s my hope that SGB will someday complete the Voltron Shows section of the Voltron site, and the Cut Pics sections of the Golion and Dairugger sites. The sites are entertaining sources of information that you won’t find anywhere else.