What is "Fang of the Sun Dougram"?
This was a "real robot" animated television series aired on Japanese airwaves from October 23, 1981 to March 25,1983 and was developed by Nippon Sunrise studio with the mecha designed by Kunio Okawara and the series created by Ryosuke Takahashi. This series following in the footsteps of Macross and Mobile Suit Gundam. The odd name in the original Japanese is: "Taiyō (Sun) no Kiba (Fang) Daguramu (I cannot find what this word means in Japanese)" and is referring to the guerrilla group and the experimental mecha that they use. Despite the odd name, the series at its heart is about the rebelling Earth colony of Deloyer and the factions involved in the struggle, both on the battlefield and in the backrooms of politics over 75 episodes. Some series based around mecha often make the mecha the center of the series, Fang of the Sun Dougram more considered with the story and the different sides to the event rather than just the mecha. There is just as much time devoted to tactics as to mecha combat scenes. Unlike many of the other mecha anime series from this time, Fang of the Sun Dougram was never exported to the Western TV markets nor has it appeared on home media in America.
The Plot and Setting of Fang of the Sun Dougram
What the Hell is "DOUGRAM" Anyways?
The Historical Context of Fang of the Sun Dougram
Fang of the Sun Dougram in the West (AKA: Why do these Mechs Look So Familiar?!)
And it was just wasn't contain to Fang of the Sun Dougram. FASA would deliberately harvested from Macross as well without permission. Revell would license other Japanese model kits from Crusher Joe, Macross, and the also relatively unknown Orguss as well. On top of this, DC Comics and Revell would partner, for some strangle reason, on an limited series ROBOTECH Defender comic series explaining the backstory of the model line. This added to the confusion among kids like me at the time, especially when the Harmony Gold TV series came onto American airwaves. I originally thought that the ROBOTECH TV show was connected to the models...sad, I know. This only muddied the waters when it came to the original sources of the mecha models...there was no mention of Fang of the Sun Dougram and it would remain that way for years to the general public. . Few hobby and comic stores carried the original Takara company models due to the Japanese print and the confusing slogans from the TV show. It was not really until the age of the internet that people like me understood where those very cool mecha models came from that we saw in hoddy and comic stores or how the DC Comic was related to this unholy mess or why these mecha crossed over into the battlefield of Battletech and MechWarrior. It was not until to around the time I founded FWS that I learned that Fang of the Sun Dougram even existed embarrassingly.
Why Wasn't Fang of the Sun Dougram Imported to the West?
At the time that Fang of the Sun Dougram was airing in Japan, American companies were importing anime series for translation, including one called Harmony Gold. Three separate anime series unified by artistic similarities and production staff that had their original Japanese dialog thrown out to unite all three series under a common storyline. ROBOTECH was wildly successful and forged new fans for both anime and military science fiction (like me). So, what the hell happened to Fang of the Sun Dougram? Why wasn't it the next ROBOTECH or Mobile Suit Gundam? Why wasn't it exported to the States? After all, the mecha was imported to the US via model kits by Revell and the designs were lifted for Battletech. While a number of anime series and movies were released in the USA that were nowhere near the caliber of Fang of the Sun Dougram, but even to this day, it has never been released. Why? The story is told over 75 long episodes and it is a slow boil with lumbering pacing with as much screen-time devoted to tactics, interplanetary politics, and colonial racism as to mech-on-mech battles. It does not have a happy ending, nor is the war of colonial liberation presented as glorious or glamorous. War is hell in Dougram.
Why is Fang of the Sun Dougram Considered Military Sci-Fi?
Fang of the Sun Dougram Impact and Legacy
Is This Series Worth Tracking Down and Watching?
click here and to watch the series, click here and finally, to watch the deformed oddball race short film , click here.
Next Time on FWS...