What You Should Be Watching: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Posted on May 28, 2018 Posted by Athena Scalzi 18 Comments
Hello, everyone! I’ve decided to do a running thing called “What You Should Be Watching” and it’ll be me telling you about a show I think you should watch. To kick it off, I’m going to recommend one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Voltron: Legendary Defender. This more recent cartoon made by Dreamworks and Netflix currently has five seasons, and the sixth one is coming out June 15th, so you have about two weeks to watch the previous five if you want to watch the new season when it comes out.
Voltron has had many TV series and originated in the 80s. If you Google it, you’ll see many different versions. The version I’m talking about came out on Netflix in 2016 and looks like this:
Okay, now that we’ve cleared up which one I’m talking about, let me tell you all the reasons I love it!
Voltron: Legendary Defender is about a rag-tag group of teens (the middle one is an adult) that stumble upon a pilot-able robot lion that takes them to a faraway planet, where they find themselves in the middle of a universal war against aliens known as the Galra. Each one has their own robot lion and together they form Voltron, a super awesome robot capable of mass destruction.
This is a sci-fi show that features diverse characters that are all unique and interesting in their own ways. There’s the classic comedian that always smiles and loves to flirt (blue one), the moody badass with a side of mystery (red one), the sarcastic tech genius (green one), the super kind one who loves to bake (yellow one), and the strong, dependable leader (center). Not pictured is Princess Allura, an awesome royal whose father made the lions thousands of years ago. I can assure you, you will love every single one of these characters. In every TV show I’ve ever seen, there’s always one character I don’t like or I think is bad for the group. In this cartoon, I can attest to the fact that each one of these characters is so amazing and lovable in their own ways, and though I’m sure you’ll like them all, I’m also sure you’ll have a favorite.
Voltron, though it is a kids’ show, is also something adults can watch without feeling weird about. If you’ve seen Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra, you know just how deep a kid’s show can get. With themes like war, dictatorship, and even genocide, Avatar and Voltron manage to be kid-friendly and dark at the same time, pushing that boundary between mature and family-orientated that makes them so outstanding.
Speaking of Avatar and Korra, Voltron has the same animators! So if you’re a fan of that drawing style, you’ll love the amazing shots Voltron has to offer, like these:
More seriously, though, this show really does have some spectacular animation moments that I’m sure would make for good screensavers.
Moving on, the voice acting in Voltron is spectacular. Jeremy Shada plays my favorite character, and also plays the ever-so-popular Finn in Adventure Time. This show has other great actors, like Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn in The Walking Dead, and Josh Keaton, who has played in tons of other animated series. Every voice fits the character they play perfectly, and it always matches their mouth movements perfectly.
The humor in this show is quick and witty, and has made me bust out laughing on a number of occasions. The combat scenes always have great movement. It’s all drawn very smoothly and is fun and exciting. The whole concept is unique and interesting, and I hope you all like it as much as I do. If you’ve seen it before, let me know what you think and who your favorite character is!
And remember the new season comes out in two weeks, so binge away!
I’ve seen all five seasons and can’t wait for six. Though it is annoying that seasons 3-5 have only been half-length (6 episodes or so).
I was telling a friend about it and they said that Dreamworks is doing for Voltron what Beast Wars did for Transformers. It’s an apt comparison.
I loved the original 80s Voltron as a kid, but later reflected it was a pretty milquetoast adaptation of a mostly forgotten formulaic anime (I’m pretty sure Voltron is far more fondly remembered in North America than its source material is in Japan). I gave the late-90s CGI version a shot, and it was definitely better written, but also definitely aimed at an audience much younger than I was at the time, and I couldn’t really get into it. Legendary Defender is great though. I regret I’ve only had time to watch the first season, but really liked it. I’m frankly impressed this series continues to churn out high-quality episodes so quickly.
Ok, you pass; having seen and loved this particular version, I now trust your judgment. I will add the shows you recommend to my watch list :)
Rural Ireland here and when we got a VCR in the 80’s (Showing my age here) one of the first tapes we borrowed was a copy of Space Battleship Yamamoto and I have been in love with Anime style animation ever since. Now as a 42 year old child in a mans body I am loving the new run of Voltron.
Do yourself a favour and check out the soundtrack on spotify etc as the music used in the show is great to listen to.
P.S. loving the posts and have to say you are fitting in very well here.
Athena, you mentioned there’s always one character in the group you don’t like. Did you ever watch Samurai Jack? There was no group.
That sounds really cool. Athena, since you watch Adventure Time, are you also a fan of Steven Universe? It’s grown to be one of my favorite shows, and I just got caught up with the latest episodes.
That was Space Battleship Yamato (Uchuu Senkan Yamato), not Yamamoto, who was the top Japanese admiral in WWII and was shot down by a couple P-38s late in the war.
If you haven’t seen it, you really need to see the Yamato reboot from 2012 called Space Battleship Yamato 2199. CGI, produced by Xebec (of Nadesico and Stellvia fame), updated story, expanded cast, the whole shebang. Crunchyroll just finished up the first season (Iscandar) and is starting the second (2202).
You didn’t mention Rhys Darby as Coran! <3 He's my favorite! This show was definitely a surprise for me, since I never watched the original series at all. Can't wait for June 15th! New Voltron AND Queer Eye! (now there is a missed opportunity in crossover marketing!)
Wondertwin powers activate!
Thanks for this review! I am an adult who enjoys smart, satirical anime–i.e. One Punch Man–but, as you note, some series are a bit weird for adults to watch. Your assurance that Voltron works for all ages will inspire me to check it out.
I can’t wait for the next season to start, I love the new show and I was sceptical at first. I knew it wasn’t going to be my Voltron but the new show took Voltron and all the characters and gave them all deep background stories and beginnings that we never really got from the 80s and leads to a better story full of history for all the characters and I know this show only has 70 some episodes total but it has become a better Voltron show in many ways than the past and deserves to have 70 plus more or at least link them to the other 2 Voltrons Albegas and Dierugger in some way, even if it was through alternate dimensions and then finish it off with all three Voltrons for a movie release.
@Mike DeSimone: Curse my ageing student addled brain. I haven’t had a chance to watch the reboot but it is now on my summer to watch list along with rewatching Ulysses 31
Definitely have to check it out!
I have subbed to Netflix for some time and just started on Clone Wars after catching bits here and there when my son was in his SW phase. Thanks for the recommend! I’ll have to check Voltron out!
This is a show, like A:TLA, MLP: FIM, and Steven Universe , that I only saw because my kids wanted to watch it, and I really enjoyed what I’ve seen! Summer vacation might be a good time for all of us to catch up with it.
Someone mentioned Samurai Jack (cartoon) not being in a group. I guess that’s because he’s an adult, and therefore not at the developmental stage of wanting a group to belong to.
The only “loner” teen cartoon I know of, at least from Japan, is Serial Experiments Lain where Lain has a cold, detached mother which partly explains how Lain has no friends. 13 episodes.
The show is rated for 16 and up although Lain is only 13 or 14.
I love the Netflix series. One of the things I really like is how they have taken elements of King of Beasts Go-Lion (the original anime) and added them to the original Voltron: Defender of the Universe to make it greater than it was on either incarnation.
My only issue, and I admit is a very minor one, is that I would have liked to hear the original theme at least once.
Not yet available in Netflix Spain, alas.