I say Vol you say!....Voltron?
I've been really enjoying Netflix's recent revamped Voltron series and this weekend we were treated to a whole new season.
I'm going to struggle to talk about this without spoilers so I'll start the review but put a warning as to when spoilers will appear.
Why did I start watching? My boyfriend got me into this one. I was a bit sceptical at first on whether I would like it due to the fact I'm normally not that into sci-fi but sentient kitty robots were enough to hook me.
What is it? Netflix's Voltron: Legendary Defender is a remake of an old cartoon of the same name. In this universe, the galaxy had been taken over by an empire of the Galra and the only one who can liberate the galaxy is the legendary Voltron. Sadly, Voltron has gone missing for years only for part of it to be found by space piolets in training, who unite with a former prisoner of the Galra and the last of the race that built Voltron and go on an adventure to save the galaxy.
What are the characters like? The main cast of characters are all loveable. They all sadly fit into some kind of children's hero team stereotype, especially at the start. You have the smart one, the grumpy one, the loveable one, the goofy one and the serious leader. But they mostly start developing out of those stereotypes or at least having their own twist on it.
Anyone particularly cool? Spoilers and this season specific stuff beyond this point This season especially Lance! Oh, my god, Lance shines so much now Shiro is gone. We get to see a side of his character that I don't think we ever would have otherwise. As much as Keith is the one to become leader Lance steps up as the backbone of the team, though reluctant at first he is quick to realise the situation, swallow his pride and become the support Keith sorely needed. It took me completely by surprise but at the same time, I'm happy. In the last season, Lance said he was struggling to find his place in the Voltron team but after this shuffle he seems to have found his role, settling into being Kieth's mediator perfectly.
What's the bad news? The whole season was too short. I really, really wish they took their time with it more. Through the entire series, we have had it told that piloting a Lion and forming Voltron is not easy. In the first season the five of them had to do quite a bit of training to work up to it, so I really wish they took some time out to give Allura time to practice, Lance and Keith time to get used to their new Lions but nooo, they gave Keith some plot stupid pills instead and rushed into battle. Allura managed to get a connection to her Lion but Lance and Keith were still getting used to theirs yet they managed to form Voltron anyway. Just a bit more time with the lions and maybe this wouldn't have annoyed me so much...
But this isn't the only reason I wish they took more time with this. A second is that I would have liked to have more time with Keith actually leading before Shiro returned. With there only being seven episodes, one being a flashback, one being about Shiro and what happened to him, a couple to rearrange the team and one with Keith learning to be the leader, he only got to be a competent leader for maybe 2 episodes before they got Shiro back. It just...wasn't enough time. Especially not to justify the two of them falling over each other trying to both lead once he was back. It really baffles me as to why they didn't take the time with this season.
Last thing is a nitpick really. Just me being fussy but the colour coordination is ruined! Lance is still wearing blue but had the red beyard and is piloting the red lion. Keith is still wearing red despite having a black beyard and piloting the black Lion and Allura is wearing pink! Again, it's a nitpick but I liked that they all matched up before. Allura I'll kind of forgive, they gave a vague plot reason as to why pink but still it makes me sad that the wonderful colour coordination is gone, but I guess they aren't power rangers...
And the good news? Fear not, just because the bad news section was large doesn't mean that there isn't some good news. Lotor, our new villain is scary. He's a wild card causing waves not only for our heroes but for the Galra. I'm honestly not sure what his plan is which is great, I'm happy with how it can keep me guessing. He's a completely different class of villain to his father. He's smart, he's strong, he doesn't seem to suffer from the over inflated ego that most villains do. He's willing to pick his battles, to retreat when needed. I feel like on the chess board of Voltron and the Galra he's not a player but still moving pieces from both sides to suit his needs. I look forward to what he will do in later series.
The second thing I liked about this season is this introduction of...what is basically multiverses. We were vaguely introduced to the concept of multiple realities by professor Slav when Lance and Shiro broke him out of prison. In this season we find out travel between these realities is possible which opens up a whole new can of worms! The possibilities with this plot device are great and I hope to see it used more.
Would you recommend? There is no reason to stop watching Voltron if you are already. As much as this season rushes through things which is a shame, it opens up a lot of interesting things for the future. The simple Voltron VS Galra formula of past seasons has been shaken up and at least we don't have to wait long for the next season.