A few days ago, I was leafing through classic robot combination videos, and managed to stumble upon Daltanious:
The immediate fact that leaped at me was that the lion component of Daltanious had a real mane. This might sound like a most trivial thing, but the lion among super robots, Golion, doesn’t even have a real-looking lion out of its five. GaoGaiGar would later employ a mane on its lion, but Galeon still looks alien and artificial.
I did a bit of research and found out that Daltanious was named after D’Artagnan (of The Three Musketeers fame), and even had the alternate spelling of D’Artagnas. How cool is that? Unfortunately, that seems to be about it for references to literary classics. It turns out to be the first combining super robot with an animal component, and the first one to also feature a lion on its chest. Keeping it real, baby.
The Wikipedia page also reveals that Daltanious was actually slated to appear as part of the Voltron series, but an honest mistake on Toei’s part got them to send tapes of Golion instead, which the American producers preferred. Think about it–how many robot fans would have been affected if the switcheroo never happened? Nevertheless, I do think Golion deserves its place in history, being a very violent super robot anime that needed to be toned down for western sensibilities.
It’s all interesting, really.