Anime DVD Review: Beast King GoLion Volume 2

Beast King GoLion Volume 2 is a three-disc set that contains 18 episodes of the series; this series is the original source material for what ended up becoming Lion Force Voltron in the United States. All of the episodes only have Japanese audio, and you choose whether or not to have subtitles. All three discs of the set include six episodes; however, the third disc also includes trailers releases that Media Blasters was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

Unfortunately, the audio level issue from Volume 1 hasn’t been corrected; the audio is still so soft that you have to turn up the volume quite a bit in order to hear it.

Just like with Volume 1, I could see where changes had been made between Beast King GoLion and Voltron. For example, shots of blood and people obviously being maimed or killed appeared in these versions of the episodes. Some of the most major changes occurred in the episode, “The Prince Imperial’s Dark Love” (“The Sleeping Princess” in the American version). In GoLion, Prince Sincline is dreaming of his mother being attacked by Emperor Daibazaal, and seeing Princess Fala’s face appearing over his mother’s; in Voltron, the woman is only referred to as Allura and no mention is made that the woman is Lotor’s mother. Also, in the English version of this episode, shots of the princess’ aunt fainting were cut.

The mood and information for some of the episodes was also changed. One of the most notable episodes for this was “Goodbye, Earth,” which is known as “Pidge’s Home Planet” in Voltron. In this episode, the four men from Earth see that missiles are being fired on Earth and want to go and see if there’s anything they can do. Raible threatens to have them arrested if they leave, but the four leave anyway in their lions. Raible orders them to be shot down to be prevented from leaving, but they escape. In Voltron, the planet being attacked is Pidge’s home planet of Balto, and when they leave in the lions and the guns are shot at them, Keith says Coran is saluting them.

One other episode of note is “Protect the Soccer Field,” which is known as “Doom Boycotts the Space Olympics” in Voltron. In GoLion, they are simply building a soccer field for the kids to help the planet rebuild after all the attacks by the enemy. However, in Voltron, it was decided they were getting ready for the Space Olympics; since this episode was written in 1984, the writer was trying to tie it in to that year’s Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, the viewer is never truly convinced that any Space Olympics are going on, since all you ever see at the end is a soccer skirmish.

While Voltron would be acceptable for kids to watch, I can’t say the same thing for Beast King GoLion. This set is definitely being targeted at and marketed to the adults who had originally watched Voltron when they were children over 20 years ago; however, teenagers might also find this set to be enjoyable.

Even with the issues I have with the audio levels, I would still recommend this set to any Voltron fan that is curious to see what the series was originally like before it became Lion Force Voltron. However, if you do purchase this set, be sure to watch it when younger children aren’t around or after they’ve gone to bed.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Beast King GoLion Volume 2 that my husband and I purchased.

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