Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why You Should Watch Voltron Legendary Defender

Why the quiznak should I even watch this? 

Because it’s an epic adventure about five teenagers fighting in robotic space lions. I mean, what more could you ask for? Plus, if you enjoyed Avatar the Last Airbender’s humor, then you’re going to love Voltron’s. It has a similar way of balancing its comical moments with its serious ones. It's also gorgeous and is very similar to Legend of Korra's animation (which isn't a surprise since the people who animated Korra headed this project). Even the music is perfect. If you don't believe me, just listen to the Legendary Defender's theme song

Wasn't Voltron originally a 1980's animated TV series?

Yes! It was. But Voltron: Legendary Defender is a Netflix reboot of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. The show surprisingly kept quite a bit of the original's details. The VLD Voltron transformation mirrors VDOU. The reboot also keeps the VDOU cast's weapons and (similar) suit designs. Additionally, it's loaded with mecha anime Easter Eggs. 

The Crew

The five teenagers mentioned above are actually legendary protectors called Paladins. The Paladins are warriors who pilot mecha-lions that form Voltron in order to protect the universe. The most important aspect of the original Voltron was its focus on teamwork. This theme was carried over to VLD nicely. Friendship and teamwork are so important in this show, that it led me to write about all the awesome characters. 

Shiro: Black Lion Pilot

Shiro possess a natural ability to lead and always keeps a level head. He is frequently guiding the other Paladins and helping them grow. As leader, decisiveness comes easy for Shiro. He is usually the one to come up with strategic plans. He easily picks up on things, like when he was the first to fly his lion blind.

What I love about Shiro: Without a doubt, my favorite aspect about Shiro can be summed up in two words: Space Dad. It's a name that the fandom has fondly bestowed upon him, and it rings true! Shiro is someone the team can rely on. 

Keith: Red Lion Pilot

Keith is the wild child of the group. Unpredictable and emotional, he's usually the one who takes the biggest risks. But by relying on his instincts, he's able to react quickly and efficiently, especially when piloting the temperamental Red Lion. Even if he is erratic, he's eager to learn and cares about improving not just himself but the entire universe.

What I love about Keith: Keith is a bundle of emotions. Though he acts on instincts, it's all for the greater good. His intentions are pure and just, and I can't help but love his spirit and dedication to his friends. (He's my favorite!)

Hunk: Yellow Lion Pilot

Hunk is a big ol' teddy bear. He's caring, understanding, and kind. One can't help but notice that his heart is just a mushy mess of feels. Beyond his obvious physical strength, Hunk possess strength of heart, especially when it comes to his friends. He's also a brilliant cook and is constantly perfecting alien goo (not just anyone can do that).

Why I love Hunk: His friendly personality. He's so quick to kindness and hesitates when faced with violence. You don't see that a lot in main characters. It is quite interesting to see how he keeps the team grounded and focused.

Pidge: Green Lion Pilot

Pidge is both intelligent and daring. Ever curious, Pidge constantly has to learn more about the workings of things (especially technology) and is constantly improving the castle's machines and vehicles. A true introvert, Pidge takes a while to warm up to people and needs space to recharge.

Why I love Pidge: The amount of spunk packed into that little body is unbelievable! Both brilliant and physically capable, Pidge consistently proves time and again not to underestimate the "little guy".

Lance: Blue Lion Pilot

Lance provides hilarious one liners and rapid fire comic relief. He's arrogant and oftentimes views himself as a lady's man (*ahem* he's not). I mean, he even tried to pick up Princess Allura the first time they didn't work. But beyond his overconfident attitude, Lance is friendly, adventurous and downright brave, and we get a sense that (deep down) he's sensitive.

Why I love Lance: His comedic timing. Most things Lance says or does make me laugh out loud. And his rivalry with Keith is both hysterical and intriguing! His sporadically timed gibes at Keith are too funny not to laugh at.

Princess Allura: Castle of Lions' Commander

As a princess of Altea, Allura has been raised to be strong-willed, diplomatic, and level-headed. Because of this, she oftentimes has a serious personality (perfect for whipping the team into shape), but she can also be quite playful at times. It's such a delight to see her relax and enjoy herself. Her ultimate goal is peace for all, and she will do anything to fulfill that dream.

Why I love Allura: Far from your typical princess, Allura is one of the strongest characters. Most of her kingdom (her race) has been killed and yet she refuses to lose hope. Instead, she makes it her mission to free all those under the Galra empire's control.

Coran: Castle of Lions' Helmsman 

Coran is (hands down) the silliest of the bunch. (Sorry, Lance.) But, though he is goofy at times, make no mistake, he has years of experience serving the Altean royal family. He takes pride in his customs and oftentimes pushes his traditions onto the Paladins. Though, he's so capricious that sometimes I'm not sure when to take him seriously.

Why I love Coran: His unpredictable behavior makes it for me. He can be serious and knowledgeable one moment and then absolutely amusing the next. He too has made me laugh uncontrollably.

Voltron: Legendary Defender is teeming with impressive action sequences, breathtaking animation, and astounding storytelling, but what makes this series shine lies at its heart--the characters. This colorful cast is individually interesting but is just as compelling as a group. These characters form more than Voltron, they form a family. And Hunk couldn't have put it better:

“I realized when we were in Voltron … we’re brothers, man. You know? We’re totally connected. No secrets, no barriers, no nothing. Brothers, all the way.”

Have you seen Voltron: Legendary Defender? How does it compare to the original Voltron?


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