Voltron: Legendary Defender—Season 1

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun action and animation

Might not be for everyone

 
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Guess who’s back?

The Galra and their leader Emperor Zarkon have divided and conquered the galaxy for years.  Now, Earth is in the Galra’s targets and a team must assemble to restore a mythical warrior known as Voltron.  Assembling the five Lions of Voltron might end up being the easiest part of the mission for Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk…but surviving in battle against the forces of Zarkon might be impossible!

Voltron:  Legendary Defender—Season 1 was released on Netflix on June 10, 2016.  The series is comprised on eleven episodes with the first episode being an extended length episode.  The series is a reimagining of Voltron:  Defender of the Universe from 1984 which in turn was based on the Japanese series Beast King GoLion from 1981.  The series is produced by DreamWorks Animation Television.

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Go, go Voltron Rangers Go!

I must admit that I wasn’t a big Voltron guy when I was younger.  I liked The Transformers and even watched Go-Bots, but Voltron generally wasn’t on my radar.  It probably was because the Voltron toys were frustrating.  Everyone it seemed had a Voltron Lions, but hardly anyone had a complete set…if you and your friends could get a whole set together at school, playtime was generally limited…plus, once you built Voltron, he had no one to fight except Transformers and Go-Bots.

Despite this, I was excited about the premise for a new Voltron show with nice, slick animation (and possibly take the bitter taste of the Transformer movies out of my mouth)…and Voltron:  Legendary Defender delivered.  The series has a nice plot that keeps moving.  The story actually has character development (like many anime shows) and the short eleven episode season leaves you wanting the next season as soon as possible (especially since it ends on a cliffhanger).

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Voltron’s coming for you!!!

The visuals for the series also are strong.  The designs are very much in line with Japanese animation, but there seems to be an American spin on the animation that makes it a bit of an amalgam.  The villains (the Galra) might have a bit of a generic design, but I hope that they improve upon that in future seasons (plus, those druids are pretty cool…more of those please).

Voltron:  Legendary Defender will probably please both new viewers (like myself) and old fans of the show.  People who maybe haven’t watched much anime might also enjoy the series though it could invoke old G-Force flashbacks due to similarities.  I look forward to seeing where Voltron goes next!

Voltron:  Legendary Defender—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“The Rise of Voltron”

1.1       The Rise of Voltron—Part 1 Release Date:  06/10/16

A mission to Kerberos is lost with the attack of aliens.  On Earth, one year later, the Galaxy Garrison continues to train cadets.  Lance, Pidge, and Hunk find they are failures as cadets, but their luck could be changing when a ship carrying Shiro (one of the missing crew) crashes back to Earth on a ship.  Lance, Pidge, and Hunk are joined by a cadet dropout named Keith in rescuing Shiro…but the quest to find a mystery named Voltron could bring them all together to save the universe.

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“Some Assembly Required”

1.2       Some Assembly Required Release Date:  06/10/16

Hunk, Pidge, Lance, Shiro, and Keith have formed Voltron in battle, but their mission is just beginning.  As they work to figure out how Voltron works and work together as a team, Earth is threatened by Emperor Zarkon and the Galra Empire.

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“Return of the Gladiator”

1.3       Return of the Gladiator Release Date:  06/10/16

Pidge tries to get information on his missing brother and father but questioning the rescued aliens leads Pidge and Shiro to learn about Shiro’s missing years as a prisoner.  An attempt to amend things with the Arusians while the Castle of Lions is repaired but the attack of a Galra robot called Robeast could threaten the Arusians.  Shiro uncovers Pidge’s secret as his memories return.

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“The Fall of the Castle of Lions”

1.4       The Fall of the Castle of Lions Release Date:  06/10/16

As team celebrates the victory over the Robeast and show the Arusians the palace, the team begins to fall apart as they all plan their future…leaving the perfect opportunity for an attack by Sendak and his agent Haxus.

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“Tears of the Balmera”

1.5       Tears of the Balmera Release Date:  06/10/16

With the Castle of Lions under the control of Galra, Team Voltron must find a way to regain control before the Castle is launched.  With Pidge inside the Castle trying to free Keith and Lance, she remembers how she infiltrated the Galaxy Garrison to rescue her family.  Hunk tries to find a means to save Shiro and bring Voltron together again, and he discovers how the Galra Empire enslaves through a prisoner named Shay.

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“Taking Flight”

1.6       Taking Flight Release Date:  06/10/16

The Castle of Lions is setting off for space, and Hunk has vowed to free Shay.  When the team is forced to respond to a distress signal, Hunk is convinced they are walking into a trap.

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“Return to the Balmera”

1.7       Return to the Balmera Release Date:  06/10/16

The Lions are making a raid on the living planet known as the Balmera.  With the Balmera in danger of being killed by the Galra, Shay is held as bait and saving her might be impossible

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“Rebirth”

1.8       Rebirth Release Date:  06/10/16

The Balmera is dying and the attacks of Galrans are weakening it even more.  As Allura and Coran try to evacuate the Balmerans, Voltron must deal with a new Robeast that could be too strong to defeat.

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“Crystal Venom”

1.9       Crystal Venom Release Date:  06/10/16

Things are wrong in the Castle of the Lions.  Hunk, Lance, Pidge, Shiro, and Keith find that the Castle seems to be trying to kill them…and Sendak could be the key!

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“Collection and Extraction”

1.10     Collection and Extraction Release Date:  06/10/16

Probing Sendak’s memories, the Paladins learn of a means to gain access to the Galrans computers and technology.  Shiro and Allura go on a dangerous undercover mission and discover the source of Zarkon’s powers…at a high cost.

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“The Black Paladin”

1.11     The Black Paladin Release Date:  06/10/16

Allura’s sacrifice to help Shiro escape has left her in the hands of Zarkon.  Now, the Paladins are risking everything to go on a rescue mission which will put them in direct battle with Zarkon…and Zarkon wants the Black Lion back!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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