TV Show Review: Voltron: Legendary Defender, Seasons 1 Through 7

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Score: 6.8/10

Voltron: Legendary Defender is the newest reboot of a popular decades old cartoon. Originally from Japan, subsequent reboots have been American produced with animation often happening in Asia somewhere. This is still the case with this new series. Legendary Defender is a good show that, as is often the case, gets progressively better in terms of narrative and animation quality with each subsequent season.

Legendary Defender takes place sometime in the future on Earth (there are hints in later seasons that World War III had already taken place). Humanity has advanced to a point where space travel within our solar system is possible. One day, an astronaut that had been missing in space returns, shouting about an imminent alien threat and that the only thing that can save them is a super weapon that had been hidden on Earth. Enter some unknowing space academy cadets who break out the astronaut and help him find the super weapon: a massive robotic lion/tiger. Now the cadets and astronaut find themselves dragged into an interstellar war with the vicious Galra Empire, their only hope being the robotic lion/tiger they found and four others. Combined, these robots form Voltron, the most powerful weapon in the universe.

It’s kind of convoluted, but Voltron is a well-known enough property in the United States that I think most people can just hop on board the story. It’s kind of like Power Rangers in many ways.

As with most shows, the first few seasons are okay. They are mostly setup and kind of goofy in tone. Things get much better starting in season three, when the episodes per season were lowered to the single digits. You can definitely feel an increase in story and animation quality in these fewer episode seasons. They feel less dragged out and more focused story wise.

Generally, the story is okay. While still a cartoon with a lot of goofiness, there are some more serious moments. Some made me care about the show, most were predictable and cliche and did not. I feel seasons three through six were especially good. Season seven is thirteen episodes again and is okay, but less focused and with way too much going on. I feel like characters weren’t given enough room to breath and develop. There are a lot of funny moments and funny episodes through all the seasons.

Animation is generally pretty good. Obviously, the shorter episode seasons have better animation and better choreographed fight scenes because less episodes mean better management of the show’s budget and employee hours.

Voice acting is fine. Music is fine.

Overall, the show’s all right. It doesn’t explore a lot of new territory that other contemporary cartoons have not already explored. It lightly grazes more serious topics like racism and homosexuality, but not remotely in depth. The highlight of this show is likely the fight scenes in the later seasons of the show, which are well animated and  choreographed. Personally, I enjoyed fight scenes between actual individuals, but I didn’t enjoy fight scenes with space ships and Voltron. Those kind of bored me because it felt less personal and solutions were generally all ass-pull, Deus Ex Machina narrative devices.

Score: 6.8/10

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