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Let's GoLion!

One!... Plus one!... Plus one!... Plus one!... Plus one!... GoLion!!
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Beast King GoLion (百獣王ゴライオン, Hyaku Jūō Goraion) is a Combining Mecha from Toei Animation that aired in 1981. Since shows like this were a dime a dozen in Japan, it unfortunately got overlooked. But elsewhere, including the US, where Humongous Mecha shows were still practically unheard of, it got recognition as the lion robot of Voltron.

The show takes place in the then-future year of 1999, and Earth has just been hit by World War III, and all the cities are nuked. Five space academy students come across the ruins, and before they even have time to grieve, they are taken as slaves by ships of the Galra Empire. They manage to escape, are nearly shot down, but are pulled in by a mysterious force from the planet Altea.

Stumbling across a ruined castle, they meet Princess Fala, the last survivor of the planet's royal family after the Galra empire ravaged the planet, and her advisor Raible. They determine that the explorers are there to pilot Golion, a robot that was unrivaled in battle thousands of years ago, but split into five lions after he tried to take on a goddess.

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So the pilots form Golion, and become the protectors of Altea (including Fala herself after one of the pilots is killed), and eventually overthrow the Galra empire.

Even though the series never took off in Japan as well as Voltron elsewhere, it does have a cult following, and GoLion appeared in Super Robot Wars W.

See also Dairugger XV.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.


This anime provides examples of:

  • After the End: The series is set after a nuclear war in 1999 between "the East and the West" wiped out all humans on Earth.
  • Alien Invasion: Done by the Galra empire to just about everywhere else.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: There doesn't seem to be a single decent member of the alien species that makes up the Galra Empire. They're smart enough to know when to give up though.
  • All Your Colors Combined: Red, Blue, Breen, Yellow and Black Lions combine to make a super robot.
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  • Animal Mecha: The series is called Beast King GoLion. What'd you expect?
  • Animal Motifs: Guess.
  • Anyone Can Die: Lots of characters die, often in quite gruesome ways. World Events Productions had its work cut out for it when it adapted the show to the more kid-friendly Voltron.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: GoLion does several of these when he transforms.
  • Backup Twin: Ryoh Shirogane for his elder brother.
  • Big Bad: Daibazaal. That is, until Sincline ends up usurping him.
  • Bishounen: Prince Sincline is a pretty man.
  • The Big Guy: Tsuyoshi.
  • By the Power of Grayskull! "Let's GoLion!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: Naturally. King's Sword Jyuoken (the "Blazing Sword" in the Voltron adaptation) is the most famous.
  • Cats Are Mean: Honerva's Right-Hand Cat, Jaga.
  • Chest Insignia: The Altean royal family's crest appears on GoLion itself, as well as on the pilots' suits.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Averted. The pilots' uniform color doesn't correspond to their respective lions, a pilot wearing red might own a black lion for example. In fact, only Shorty and Hothead wear uniforms that match their lion's color.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: When our heroes escape their initial captivity on the Galra capital world, and their space ship gets shot and damaged by their pursuers, they "fall" onto the planet Altea within what must be 10 minutes of launching. Luckily for them there's a castle and 5 lion robots there.
  • Combining Mecha: One of many in Japan, but the quintessential example in other countries.
  • Darker and Edgier: It never quite matches the works of Go Nagai or Yoshiyuki Tomino, but it's still a fair bit more brutal than most kid-friendly Super Robot shows of its day and downright shocking to anybody who's more familiar with Voltron. It's particularly notable the way the director seems to take perverse delight in causing secondary or unnamed characters to drop like flies, most notably the entire population of Earth in the first episode.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • At the end of a two-parter where GoLion is trapped by a hyper-gravity planetoid, the space goddess shows up out of nowhere to free him.
    • King Raimon appears out of nowhere several times to help the GoLion team.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Takashi Shirogane is quickly killed by Honerva, her cat, and a Beastman.
  • The Empire: The Galran empire is even called the enemy of the universe.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: Even when not fancied up, even in uniform, Fala still wears her tiara.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The team are introduced returning to Earth only to find the rest of humanity has nuked itself into oblivion. Naturally this part was edited away for Voltron...
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Fala, and her cousin Amue.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Fala does sparkle sometimes.
  • Evolving Credits: Afternote  she replaces Shirogane, Fala also takes his place in the opening. However, she's always there in the end credits, while Shirogane isn't.
  • Eye Beams: GoLion's Eye Flash. It also shows up as a monster attack from time to time.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: A dress made for Fala to wear on her possible future wedding.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Why the censoring on Voltron isn't considered outright Bowdlerization. Indeed. The Earth itself even blows up in one episode; something WEP really couldn't show.
  • Faux Action Girl: Fala when she isn't piloting the blue lion.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: There's Stock Footage of the team getting in their Lions.
  • First Church of Mecha: Golion is worshiped as a god on Altea, but isn't actually one. When he went up against an actual Goddess, he got a major lesson in humility.
  • Five-Man Band: One of the Ur-Examples.
  • For Great Justice: The opening song implores the heroes to "Defeat them in the name of justice!"
  • Friend to All Living Things: Fala and the mice. She even knows their language.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The Mecha Beastmen were named for Greek letters.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: World War III, when the US and USSR launch their missiles at each other, happens eight years after the USSR fell.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ryou, who stabs Prince Sincline in the heart before tackling him off the top of his exploding fortress.
  • Hidden Backup Princess: Princess Fala, who is the only survivor of her family- Galra hadn't realized that the queen had just had a baby when they attacked.
  • High-Pressure Blood: The episode with the Red Beret fighters from Galra/Doom. While GoLion in general has a harder edge than Voltron, this episode rivals even the infamous first ten minutes of Elfen Lied. This is one instance where the edits made perfect sense for a syndie kids cartoon.
  • Homage:
    • It could be unintentional, but Fala's grand dress bears a resemblance to Princess Aurora's.
    • Right after the title card in the first episode, a Galran ship flies past the screen in a way reminiscent of the Star Destroyer at the beginning of A New Hope.
  • Humongous Mecha: Next to the original Megazord, it's one of the first things people think of when they picture "humongous mecha" - except in Japan, when it was neither the first nor the most memorable.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Princess Fala receives this from the Earth pilots when pledging to fight for Altea, except for one guy who gets interrupted by an alarm.
  • Infant Immortality: Horrifically averted. We even get a Lovely still of Raible's Toddler son getting shot to death in episode 49.
  • Kick the Dog: Sincline has many.
  • King of Beasts: Golion is called a King at several points, fitting this trope.
  • The Lancer: Isamu.
  • Latex Space Suit: All of the pilot suits.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Everyone has exactly two outfits - a uniform, and one set of civvies, save for Fala, who also has a dress.
  • Meditating Under a Waterfall: Mentioned as a possibility in episode 10, when Fala is lured out to a waterfall by a Beastman (pretending to be the reincarnation of her mother as a lion), and Fala thinks she's going to be trained to be a better fighter.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • Averted with Raible, who survived the series.
    • Played straight with Hys
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Amue, after she gets rescued and gets involved in the final battle.
  • Modest Royalty: Once Fala is a pilot, she usually wears her pink jumpsuit instead of her fancy dress.
  • Monster of the Week: GoLion's gotta fight something, doesn't he?
  • Oedipus Complex: The half-Galran, half-Altean Sincline has a lot of daddy and mommy issues, especially with Fala resembling his long dead mother.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Fala, although the way they are drawn makes them easy to mistake for sideburns.
  • One, Two, Three, Four, Go!: Hence the name; "Go-Lion."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The original five Golion pilots usually called each other by nickname: "Chief", "Quiet", "Moody", "Hothead", and "Shorty". They were otherwise only known by their last names. (The "Princess" manages to fit into the scheme later.)
  • Overlord Jr.: Sincline, he's very much his father's son, perhaps even worse!
  • Parental Abandonment: Fala's parents and sibilings were killed when she was still a baby. Raible raised her since then.
  • Pimped-Out Dress:
    • Fala's princess dress.
    • Amue's princess dress isn't that fancy, but when she wears her battle mini dress, it fits this trope better.
    • The wedding dress Hys made for Fala to wear for her eventual wedding.
  • Pride: As mentioned, GoLion was originally a single robot who thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread; when he tried to fight a space goddess, she split him into the five lions to teach him some humility.
  • Princess Classic: Even as a pilot, Fala is like this.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Fala wears pink with nearly everything, even her uniform.
  • Robeast: The Deathblack Beastmen which have various origins: pre-existing creatures, enhanced animals, or captured prisoners. A group of more powerful, robot monsters called the Mechablack Beastmen were introduced later on.
  • Rocket Punch: GoLion's Four Lion Attack has it launch the lion heads on its four limbs at the enemy.
  • Rock Theme Naming: The original five pilots have the names of metals as their surnames.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Fala as one of the pilots.
    • Sincline is an example, though in most cases it would have been better for Daibazaal and Galra if he was a Royal Who Did Not Do Anything.
  • Spanner in the Works: Honerva's plan to take down Altea by killing Shirogane falls victim to two spanners- one was Kurogane in Red Lion coming up with the idea to push the Deathblack Beastman Galcia into some magma, and when Galra attacks again before Altea could train a replacement, Fala takes Blue Lion.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Before Media Blasters' official spelling, "Fala" was usually romanized as "Farla".
  • Spoiler Title: Episode 6 is titled "Death of Shirogane the Hero".
  • The Short Guy with Glasses: Hiroshi.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Happens once to Princess Fala. A high dive while wearing a bikini leads to her top surfacing before she does.
  • Standardized Leader: Akira.
  • The Starscream: Prince Sincline wants his father's throne.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The way Fala's guardians, Raible, and Hys treat her some of the time.
  • Stock Footage: The footage of the Golion team entering their vehicles, as well as Golion being formed.
  • Super Robot: Again, just another one of many at the time in Japan, although GoLion would receive worldwide fame when adapted into Voltron.
  • Theme Naming: The original team all have metals for their names: Kogane (Gold), Shirogane (Silver), Kurogane (Steel), Seidou (Bronze), and Suzuishi (Tin).
  • Theme Song: See here.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted oh so many times, that's what happens when you get clever villains.
  • Transforming Mecha: Mecha Beastman Delta went from robot to Drill Tank.
  • True Blue Femininity: Amue's main dress.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Amue.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Sincline goes crazy and kills Honerva when he finds out that his mother was Altean.
  • Villainous Crush: Sincline has it bad for Fala.
  • Warrior Princess: Sincline is a very powerful, and skilled fighter who spent years conquering planets. Fala is a Warrior Princess after she becomes, and even Amue becomes this near the end.
  • Was Once a Man: Several of the beastmen were prisoners transformed into monsters. They're sometimes called ''Half beast men.''
  • Wicked Witch: Honerva wouldn't be out of place in a Disney Film.
  • The Worf Effect: Every encounter the titular robot has with a beastman who is a physical threat to GoLion is an example of this.


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