UFO Warrior Dai Apolon (UFO戦士ダイアポロン?) was a Japanese anime series aired from 1976 in Japan. There were 47 episodes aired at 25 minutes each. It is also known as "UFO Senshi Dai Apolon", "UFO Soldier Dai Apolon", "UFO Robo Dai Apolon", "Dai Apolon", "Shadow World".
The story is about 16 years old boy Takeshi who recently formed an American football team at the Blue Sky orphanage. One day the game is interrupted by a light in the sky. Takeshi discovers he is the son of the king of the planet Apolon, spirited away to Earth by his father's retainer Rabi to avoid death at the hands of General Dazaan. He turns out to have special energy abilities which can control UFO saucers and the robots that form Dai Apolon from a base under the ocean floor. His friends Miki, Matsuo and Goro also become pilots. They magically change into their uniforms every time they yell U! F! O!. With the robots they attempt to save the world.
The story adds American football into the setting backdrop as an element. Though the original concept is derived from manga "Shōnen King" by creator Tetsu Kariya and Shigeru Tsuchiyama. That manga featured a 15-year-old orphan called Akira. The story did not have the American football or UFO robot elements, and the enemies were demons. It was unusual for the football element to be added, since the sport was barely even recognized as an amateur sport in Japan in the mid 1970s. It may just be a coincidental blend to add variety to the super robot genre. The robot also carries a football-shaped blade. The main robot is formed from the three components Edda (Head), Trangu (Trunk), Legga (Leg).
Five episodes were combined and dubbed in English to create a re-edited movie called Shadow World. The setting was changed to California and the names of the protagonists were changed to American ones, although Dai Apolon and some of the villains kept their names. This movie was released on video in 1986.
- Clements, Jonatha. McCarthy Helen.  (2006). The Anime Encyclopedia: Revised & Expanded Edition. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5
- The show was aired Tuesday 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
- Apolon has also been spelled "Apollon" interchangeably.
- The show aired at a time when major changes were occurring at TBS and halfway through the series the channels changed and what remained of DaiApolon is sometimes known as DaiApolon 2.