The fall television season is finally upon us, and for me, that began already with the second season premiere of “Blindspot” on September 14.
However, before we formally bid adieu to the summer season, and as we begin to take stock of the premiere episodes of our favorite returning shows, and of new shows, I decided to take a look back at some of my two favorite shows of the summer, which coincidentally, both came from Netflix. These are Dreamworks’ “Voltron: Legendary Defender”, and the breakout summer show that is still on everyone’s lips, “Stranger Things”.
Both of these shows are very different from one another. “Voltron”, which is which is based on “Beast King GoLion” and the “Voltron” anime, for me, was a throwback to my childhood, during the days of the Power Rangers, Transformers, and Saturday Morning Cartoons.
On the other hand, “Stranger Things” is a whole tub of nostalgia, and a show which I recently described as a mix of “The Goonies”, “E.T.”, “Stand by Me”, with a dash of “Firestarter” in it. Aside from that, this was Winona Ryder’s comeback, and what a comeback it was.
However, for now, let’s dive into the world of “Voltron”, and I will be doing a follow up post of “Stranger Things” sometime later this week.
WARNING: From here on out, there will be spoilers!
I honestly did not know what to expect from “Voltron: Legendary Defender”. As a child of the ‘90s, the trailer of the series reminded me of a mix between the Power Rangers and Transformers, with maybe a little bit of Voltes V, as I did not know what the old show was about. My biggest push to watch the show came after realizing that the animation was done by the team that did both “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra”. For the entire trailer I was wondering why the animation looked so familiar, and when I discovered that they did it, I made up my mind to watch it. And I can say now that I do not regret it at all, and I am not ashamed to say that I actually binged watched the show, and cannot wait for the second season.
From the get go, I loved the opening sequence that they created. I did not skip it at all in each episode, as it reminded me of the title sequences I was used to in old anime shows and in Saturday Morning Cartoons. The characterization of each of the characters was well- done, and I love how they made sure that each character was highlighted, and one could see their faults and their strengths, at this level, as I am pretty sure that the second season will delve even deeper into their characters.
I love that Princess Allura (Kimberly Brooks) is such a powerful role model for young girls, as she is a powerful woman, yet still very much feminine. Same goes for Pidge Gunderson (Bex Taylor-Klaus), whom, we all discover sometime during season one, is a girl, something which almost everyone, except for Lance (Jeremy Shada), seemed to have caught on earlier on. (This reminded me of “Ouran High School Host Club”, and how everyone but one main character new that Haruhi Fujioka was a girl.) However, this did not diminish the importance of her role in the team, something which I also appreciated.
The voice actors were brilliantly cast, with Josh Keaton as Takashi “Shiro” Shirogane (the Black Paladin),; Steven Yeun as Keith (the Red Paladin); Jeremy Shada as Lance (the Blue Paladin); Bex Taylor-Klaus as Pidge Gunderson or Katie Holt (the Green Paladin); Tyler Labine as Hunk (the Yellow Paladin), Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura of Altea; Rhys Darby as her advisor, Coran; Keith Ferguson as King Alfor of Altea; Cree Summer as Witch Haggar; Jake Eberle as Commander Sendak; and Neil Kaplan as Emperor Zarkon.
I did not expect the fight scenes to be intense and impressive, and each time an epic fight scene went down, I could hardly catch my breath each time.
Some of my favorite moments include when Shiro first goes full Paladin on the Galran soldiers in his way; the first time when Keith discovered that his double edged bayard also works for the full size Voltron; the first time Lance piloted the Blue Lion and managed to damage a Galra ship with his lion’s claws, that fight scene that Keith had with one of the Galra wizards on a particular base station; Pidge’s attempt to wrest control of the Altean Castle from under the hands of Sendak; and that epic fight sequence between Emperor Zarkon and Keith when he tried to take him on single-handedly.
I also must admit that I got chills every time that the five Paladins joined forces and assembled to form Voltron.
All in all, the animation was smooth, the music was great, the acting, and the story line for season one were more than I could have hoped for.
Season two, I am ready for you!