I only watched a couple episodes of Voltron back in the 1980s. I could never get my head around the idea that five different people controlled one giant robot. Moreover, it was difficult to understand why the team would do anything in their individual lions. I mean, they always got their ass handed to them until they formed Voltron. Then out came the magic sword and slice, slice, slice, big explosion, and dead monster-robot-thing.
I was more into Gaiking and Tranzor Z. Those shows were just as formulaic, but they were a little more believable. Sort of. Ehrm… moving hastily on.
So when I saw Netflix had made a new version I thought, “Eh.” I added it to my increasing long list of things I’ll never get around to watching and went about my business. Then last weekend I was pursuing my list and Voltron’s big face caught my eye. What the hell, I’ll give it a try, I thought. Netflix has a good record with it’s original content.
All things considered Voltron: Legendary Defender was pretty good.
I still don’t get the individual pilots controlling different body parts. It has something to do with intense yelling, pushing levers to the max, and magic. Cocaine may be involved too. Whatever, at some point you just have to unclinch and go for the ride.
There is an obvious American twist, in that Voltron lacks the five-minute superpower charge-up (Dragon Ball Z) and intense jiggly-eye stare (all anime), both of which amount to filler to pad out runtime. At the same time, they do reuse the animation sequence of the five lions forming Voltron. Cheap is cheap no matter who is producing the cartoon.
I loved that each episode was part of an arc, as opposed to the old series which was a constant repeat of monster of the week. There was enough character development and background to engage me in the story while maintaining a decent amount of Voltron stomping ass. Like I wrote earlier, I was not into the original cartoon, so I’m not sure how many liberties they took this time around, but from what I’ve read I think they’ve created a new series that old fans will enjoy.
The season ends with a cliff hanger, of course. I am honestly eager to see where this leads. I have a good idea, but it will still be fun to see the story play out even if I am right.
I’d say Voltron: Legendary Defender is worth a watch. The first episode is one hour, and it gives a good example of what to expect from the rest of the season. I think you’ll agree that it is entertaining and has some potential legs to carry it far.