Personally, I’m not a fan of shows or movies that center around giant fighting robots. When I first heard about Netflix’s new show Voltron: Legendary Defender, I wasn’t very hyped or as egar to check it out as most. However, I decided to give it a shot for several reasons:
- The online popularity for the show was sky rocketing
- It’s the first reboot of the orginal Voltron anime from the 80’s
- And finally, one of the main characters is voiced by Jeremy Shada, who many Adventure Time fans will recognize as the voice of Finn the Human.
Despite my skepticism I gave Voltron a shot. My reaction after the first episode left me surprisingly intrigued and wanting to watch more.
The story takes place in a distant future where the sinister Galra Empire has spent centuries conquering planets across the universe and will soon set their sights on Earth. The only force that can stop the alien threat is Voltron, a powerful robot operated by five destined paladins. After having been recently discovered by a group of teenagers from Earth, Lance, Pidge, Hunk, Shiro, and Keith, must all work together in order to stop the Galra empire and save the universe.
With the help of Princess Allura and her advisor Coran, these five paladins must learn to master their respective lions needed to form Voltron and free the planets that have fallen under the control of Emperor Zarkon .
Throughout my time watching the show I noticed a lot of similarities to Avatar: The Last Air Bender. The two correlate in terms of design, humor, and world building.To my surprise, it turns out that several writers and directors who work on Voltron also used to produce content for Avatar & the Legend of Kora. A few of these individuals are Tim Hedrick, Joshua Hamilton, May Chan, Joaquim Dos Santos, Lauren Montgomery, and many more. I really enjoyed how they were able to blend the same humor and tonality fans loved about Avatar into Voltron.
Right off the bat I have to commend the show for it’s comedic dominance. Just about every episode is filled with entertaining jokes and well thought out comedic relief, bringing a good balance to all the action. In all honesty, I’d recommend watching the show just for its humor alone, you’re bound to enjoy it.
During my watch, I found myself struggling to find a favorite character because of how good they all are. The heroes of the show are very well written and likeable, each one standing out in their own way. There were moments where I thought certain characters would annoy me or their antics would get old, but I was proven wrong. They work well off of each other making a believable team and group of friends.
The show also has some pretty good world building with the various planets that the team explores and the unique alien species that are incorporated. When watching, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself mistaking one world for another. The show mixes traditional animation along with CGI for the robots. It does a decent job so the difference in art isn’t jarring or off-putting.
There were a few plot points that were a little too convenient but I managed to let them slide as they were just nitpicks. As for the villains, all things considered they are pretty bland . They’re represented as being very two dimensional antagonists that have no remorse for anyone and are evil for the sake of being evil, although their designs aren’t half bad. Graphically they are unique and there is a hint of mystery behind the leader, Emperor Zarkon. We might get more development in future seasons but for now they’re just “alright.”
The first season has eleven episodes and is up on Netflix with a second season in progress. Fair warning – the first season does end on a cliffhanger so you will have to wait until season two for answers. Otherwise, this is a wonderful show that I recommend watching. It may be aimed at a younger audience yet I believe that this is a show that children and adults alike will enjoy.