Voltron: Defender of the Universe review

Official poster for season two. © Netflix/ Dreamworks Animation

By Cory Taggart

The 80s was a strange time in television. Anything was viable for a cartoon series: talking kung-fu fighting amphibians, shirtless men brandishing swords and even a woman who could transform into a pop star decades before Hannah Montana. With all of the above having been rebooted to varying degrees of success, it only made sense that the Paladins and their lions would return as well.

Voltron: Legendary Defender is a Dreamworks/Netflix collaboration, bringing back the 1984 series Voltron: Defender of the Universe. It premiered on June 10, 2016, with all eleven episodes available for streaming. It features the voices of Steven Yuen (Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead), Jeremy Shada (Finn on Adventure Time), and Kimberly Brooks (Ashley Williams in the Mass Effect games).

The series follows Shiro, Lance, Pidge, Keith and Hunk: five humans taken from Earth and informed that they are the chosen “Paladins of Voltron” which is a massive robot built out of five individual robotic lions. They are guided by Princess Allura from the planet of Altea, and work to stop the evil Galra from taking over the universe. Along the way, they must put aside their differences. Without a stable relationship, Voltron cannot form.

There is a mix of action sequences and humor, but there is a surprising amount of depth to each character as well as plenty of heartbreaking moments. The animation is also top notch, using both CGI and a more anime-inspired style. (It’s made partially by the company behind the Avatar: The Last Airbender.)

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, the second season has been announced for January 20, 2017! An episode has premiered at New York Comic Con, and hype is at an all-time high. Spoiler alert from here on out!

Still with me? Alright.

Prediction 1: Something will happen to Shiro. Takashi Shirogane has been the subject of a lot of debates, ever since the second season trailer first dropped and featured him asking Keith to lead Voltron if something were to happen to him. Given this and his absence from discussions with the show’s crew, it’s almost guaranteed some sort of tragedy will befall the oldest Paladin.

Prediction 2: Pidge will learn something about her family. It’s already been confirmed that Pidge’s mission to find her family remains an important part of her character, but it makes little sense for her to find them in only the second season. It’s more than likely she’ll uncover some sort of secret about them.

Prediction 3: The fandom rejoiced when the popular theory of Lance being Latino was announced to be true (he’s Cuban). With this opening the door, backstories and character histories are more viable than ever.

The countdown for January has already begun, and we have plenty of time to analyze and decode Voltron: Legendary Defender.

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