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Anime / Future Robot Daltanious
aka: Mirai Robo Daltanious

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Oh, what could have been...

The Super Robot anime Future Robot Daltanious (未来ロボ ダルタニアス; originally Mirai Robo Daltanious) aired in 1979. It originally aired on TV Asahi, before it made the switch to Tokyo 12. Although Art Director Tadao Nagahama was on the crew, this show was not part of his famous Robot Romance Trilogy. He actually dropped out early during production to focus on directing The Rose of Versailles, so the reins of directing were handed to Katsutoshi Satsuki (佐々木勝利).

In the then far off year of 1995, Earth has been conquered by the evil Zaal Empire. They massacre a large chunk of the Earthlings when they invade, leaving a select number of survivors behind. With all of Earth’s cities reduced to ruins, humans have been living in smaller shantytowns and villages of less-than-ideal conditions. One day, war orphan Kento, his friend Danji and a few others stumble on the secret base of one Dr. Earl. Originally from Helios, a planet conquered by the Zaal, Dr. Earl has with him the Humongous Mecha Daltanious, composed of the humanoid robot Atlaus, the sentient lion robot Beralios, and the spaceship Gunper. With Kento controlling Atlaus and Danji flying Gunper, Daltanious takes charge against the aliens.

On December 14, 2020, Discotek Media revealed they gained the rights to the anime and will be releasing the series stateside in 2021. It was released as Future Robot Daltanious.

If the name didn't give it away, the anime is loosely based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.


This show features Examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The series (published 1979) is set in 1995, and depicts inter-planetary travel as something normalized by the era.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: Earl's Adalus Base is this, which incidentally, is discovered by Manabu, the team's resident Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: The literal translation of the show's title (未来ロボ ダルタニアス) is "Future Robot Daltanious".
  • Aerith and Bob: The aliens usually have Western-style names, except Kabuto and Mizuka.
  • After the End: The series is set in a Bad Future where Earth has been mostly taken over by an Alien Invasion and cities have been left in ruins. Most humans live in makeshift villages and our hero has to steal food to survive.
  • Africa Is a Country: According to Earl, Beralios and Meralion were brought "from Africa" to Helios at the behest of the Emperor and in an early episode, Kento offers to take Ochame to Africa so that she can see all their exotic animals. Keep in mind the anime also mentions Japan and America as countries, so they don't have an excuse here.
  • Alien Invasion: Somewhat successful this time, though this is later defied when the planets under the Zaal Empire begin rebelling after Daltanious's feats give them newfound hope.
  • All There in the Manual: Tadao Nagahama: Robot Romance Animation Chronicle Infobook has many behind the scenes details about the show.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Kento, Earl, Tanosuke and Kumagoro easily fall for women. Though, there are some like Catine who are so terrible they drive all their potential admirers away.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: The Zaal Empire develop Robeasts known as "Bemborgs" that frequently try to tear down Daltanious. They also have surevillance robots that are made to eliminate any form of resistance on the planets they conquer. The surveillance robots appear to be towers on the outside, but actually have roots embedded into the core of the Earth and are automatically programmed to rise and attack once they sense something amiss.
  • Anyone Can Die: Played with. Kento believed Sanae to be dead in episode 26, but she was later found out to be alive. Harlin is also on the verge of death after falling to an enemy trap, but he gets better. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Kloppen and Dolmen.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The series doesn't shy away from showing that even "the good guys" aren't safe from being bigots and suck-ups to those in higher positions of power. In the Grand Finale, Harlin even concedes that the villain had a point by refusing to bring back the Helios Empire, and uses his regency creates a new empire where oppression is outlawed.
  • Call-Back: Many to Nagahama's Robot Romance Trilogy.
    • Hayato Tate/ Prince Harlin is one of Kentaro Go/Prince Gohl from Voltes V. Though Harlin was blind to the suffering of his people for most of his life, Gohl wasn't, and dedicated his life to helping them. And they both suffered as a result of trying to right the wrongs of a corrupt empire.
    • Kloppen is one of Garuda from Combattler V. They take pride in being Conquering Alien Princes that play a key part in overtaking planets for the Big Bad, and have an Arch-Enemy in the form of a Combining Mecha. Even as their constantly punished by their Abusive Parents, they do their best to win their approval. If you know the plot twist of Garuda's origin, you can probably predict Supreme Commander Kloppen's as well.
    • A comedic example with Catine and Judela who are parodies of Erika and Margarete from Tosho Daimos. Their behaviour is more in line with Dhar Mann's depictions of gold diggers and Bastard Girlfriends.
  • Coming of Age Story: The anime begins with a young Kento struggling with Parental Abandonment and anger at the world for how he's been treated, and explores how he comes to terms with it.
  • Cue the Shooting Star: When Kaori bemoans that she'll never see her missing brother again, Tanosuke tells her to have hope. Just then, a shooting star passes, and Kaori takes this as a sign he's right. The next day, the two travel to it's location. It turns out the "shooting star" is actually a Zaal Bemborg sent by General Mizuka.
  • Dancing Theme: The ending theme, "Kento Otokogi."
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-zagged. The tone of Daltanious is of a darker nature than most of Nagahama's robot works, with the Zaal Empire actually successfully taking over Earth and the main character even being Driven to Suicide by Kloppen. The atrocities the Helios Empire commits are also much crueler than anything the Demon Empire, the Campbellians, the Boazanians and the Baam Empire have ever done, their brutal treatment of the clones eventuallty driving one mad and causing him to turn into the series' Big Bad. On the other hand, Kento's Idiot Hero antics are Played for Laughs and the series has a good chunk of slice-of-life episodes.note 
  • Denser and Wackier: Than most Nagahama works. A good amount of the show is dedicated to slapstick and Kento is an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. This also applies to the villains, who, while threatening, have several moments of idiocy and arrogance.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The crosses on Daltanious resemble the ones used by the Templar order.
    • The way the Heliosian Empire treats clones. They're confined to prison cells, have to wear uniforms, relentlessly tortured and killed once they can no longer serve the Empire. It's not so different from what Jewish prisoners had to endure in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
    • The war depicted in the anime is eerily similar to The Cold War. As explained on their character pages, Helios has parallels to the United States and Zaal has parallels to the Soviet Union. Both conflicts are explicitly stated to take place after (and be affected by) World War II, involve the competitions of space/arms development, involve both sides using propaganda/censorship to soften their image and use other nations (in this case, Earth) to fight their proxy wars.
  • Doomed Hometown: Earth, merely for being a planet within the Zaal's vicinity.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Part of earning his happy ending involves Kento making peace with his father who abandoned him when he was young after repeated tragedies, and having empathy for his actions. Likewise, Harlin admits he's been a horrible dad to Kento.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Kloppen towers over his generals, Kento and the very man he's a clone of, and all the Zaal's Bemborgs are Humongous Mecha.
  • First Contact: Several aliens make this with Earth - Hayato Tate in 1945 with Earl and then the Zaal Empire in 1995. Not to mention Catine, Judela, Gascon, Cicero, Ramus, Melipole and the various Heliosians and Mariosians.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: A variant. Clones look exactly like their prototypes, but there's a simple trick to tell them apart - their skin discolours when exposed to UV radiation.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Is it Daltanious, Daltanias, Dartanias or Daltanius? There's never been an official English dub.note 
  • Merchandise-Driven: The series was made to sell toys and aimed at children. Here's a commercial, if you're interested.
  • Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: Almost every female character is either a love interest to a male one (with the exception of Ochame), and are very pretty.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The Earthern military certainly is, but the Zaal's is brutal and decimates civilians en masse.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: "Cross In!"
  • Our Clones Are Different: In the world of Daltanious, clones are reviled for being "copies" and seen as an insult to those who's DNA they're born from. Almost everyone universally hates them, and they're oppressed everywhere. The only reason they're tolerated is because they can serve extra organs to the injured. The Heliosian Empire took this one step further and genetically bred clones as a shadow army for political purposes, abusing them ever since they were born and killing them once they outlived their purpose.
  • Phenotype Stereotype:
    • All the Japanese characters have dark black and brown hair, and dark eyes.
    • Subverted with Ochame. She lives in Japan, but has blue eyes and red hair. It's stated that she never knew her parents as they died when she was young. She was then found by Sanae, who raised her ever since. "Ochame" isn't even her real name, it's a nickname she was given because she couldn't remember her own name. Added with her unnatural way of speaking Japanese, the possibility of her being half-foreigner is out there.
  • Shout-Out: The robot is named after D'Artagnan of The Three Musketeers, and the whole plot is loosely inspired by the novel.
  • Succession Crisis: The clones were made to specifically avert this. However, years of maltreatment turns them vicious and incites them to rebel, kicking off the events of the series.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: "Daltaaaanious!"
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: Averted. The townspeople thank Kento & Co. in the form of food and other gifts for keeping them safe.
  • World War II: When Earl and Harlin arrived to Earth, a war was occuring in the country they took refuge in, Japan. Thus Earl set their cryo-sleep devices to awaken them in fifty years.
  • War Is Hell:
    • The anime focuses on a group of orphans surviving after their planet was wrecked by an Alien Invasion. It's also shown that while most of the victims of the war were innocents, the few people who's lives weren't ruined by it were the top brass who benefited from the war.
    • When fellow orphan Kaori tells Tanosuke her brother is probably deceased, he has a surprisingly profound observation.
    Tanosuke: "You must've lost hope. War destroys it all."
  • Wham Episode: Episode 41 reveals that Kloppen isn't the Prince of Helios - he's his clone.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Mirai Robo Daltanious, Daltanious

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Dr. Earl's Unxpected Fanbase

Ever since his home planet of Helios was destroyed by the evil Zaal Empire, Earl has lived on Planet Earth. Before Earl was forced to flee, he constructed the Super Robot Daltanious. Earl is surprised to find out that the humans of Earth, specifically the children, adore him for creating the robot since it protects the Earth and look at him as an inspiration.

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