April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Voltron Watch-Along: S1E1 “The Rise Of Voltron”

Ryan and Jimmy are watching the new Voltron series on Netflix. Come join them on the series! First up is the pilot episode, "The Rise of Voltron"

Ryan: I remember growing up with Voltron but not too many details.  I remember the theme song.  I remember the five lions.  I remember the same canned animation when they formed Voltron (“And I’ll form the head!“).  I remember a bad guy sending big robots after Voltron and Voltron would start by fighting small robots as lions, then form Voltron, then fight a bit, then form its blazing sword and it would win.  It was all rather repetitive, but it was awesome because it was Voltron.

Let’s not talk about the 45 cars that formed the other Voltron.  Ever.

So there wasn’t a high bar to clear for this first episode, but it was still fun.  It had some modern touches with a few 3D animations (mostly their computer images) but otherwise had a very old school feel to the episode.  It felt like I was watching an 80s cartoon.

The story was decent and it was as expected for an initial team-up.  I was surprised that all five pilots were male.  Was the 80s version actually more progressive than 2016?  Unless that picture of Pidge and a girl was actually Pidge’s brother and Pidge is the girl, but we’ll see.

A lot of open threads that hopefully get resolved this season.  Where are Pidge’s family?  What happened to the black weapon?  Shiro has that cool arm–and it also seems like he may have been forced to be some kind of gladiator while a captive, but does this mean we’ll eventually discover the former black paladin?

The humor was simple but a few jokes were actually funny.  Although I missed the standard “And I’ll form the head!” when they finally formed Voltron, Hunk yelling out “I’m a leg!” was pretty good.  And the overall arc of the first episode–pairing with lions, forming Voltron, had more of a story than any episode I can recall.  So I’m looking forward to seeing how this resolves.

Jimmy: I’m glad I read Ryan’s thoughts before putting my fingers to keyboard.  He echos them pretty well.  I too grew up on Voltron, but barely remember it these days.  It aired when I was around 9 or 10 and if you’ve read some of my other articles you know that my memory isn’t the greatest.  Of course I remember the lions and the canned animation that was the same every episode they turned into Voltron.  I don’t remember the theme song though, let’s check it out…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uS5b8aQ6z8

Ummm…was there a theme song in there?  At least they tacked on the canned “I’ll form the head” animation so you know what we’re talking about.

The first thing that stood out to me, as Ryan alludes to was that there were no female pilots.  Though a little Google-ing tells me that in the original show all the pilots were male and Princess Allura became a pilot at a later time.  I realized the all male squad after a long time thinking and then wondering if Pidge was a girl.  I’m pretty sure that they refer to Pidge as “he” or “him” at some point.  I guess it is just a weak character design that makes him so ambiguous.

Itispat

Pidge’s design aside, they did a great job giving each of the pilots a unique look, backstory and personality.  Befitting of the differing personalities of the lions themselves.  All of the characters are intriguing and none thankfully are annoying.

As for the show itself, I enjoyed it.  The animation was top notch and there were definitely some laugh out loud moments.  That said, I don’t know that if we weren’t doing this as a “thing” at Gabbing Geek that I would continue watching.  Not that it was bad and turned me off, but it didn’t fully hook me into committing to another 10 episodes.  But I will be watching them anyway, so that point is moo.  (That’s a Friends joke.)

I look forward to subsequent episodes to see if it falls into the mold of the old show that Ryan mentions above and if they routinely use the same “creation of Voltron” animation over and over again.