Last Thursday, the new Voltron Force cartoon debuted on NickToons. I apologize for forgetting to remind you guys, but at least I remembered to record it myself and watch it last weekend. And, although many of you might think me mad, I actually liked it.
Now, let me be perfectly clear that Voltron has always been one of my favorite childhood series, up there with He-Man and Robotech and the like. And yes, while the animation is exceedingly rough, as a Voltron fan there’s still a lot of like about the show. First of all, it’s a direct sequel to the original cartoon, where Keith, Lance, Hunk, Allura and Pidge are older, wiser, and a bit more well-defined (also, Pidge doesn’t talk like a mutant). There’s more than just fighting the resurrected Prince Lotor’s Ro-Beasts, as the Earth Alliance and its mysteriously-Voltron-hating general have declared the Voltron pilots criminals (after someone sabotaged the Lions to destroy a city several years ago). The Voltron robot animation, while still not great, is much better than the character animation, but the fights are still pretty cool anyways — (spoiler) one Ro-Beast is taken out when the Black Lion falls onto its head from orbit, instantly decapitating it, and later Voltron fights a new, bigger faux-Voltron made by the evil general, which is ballsy enough to stick in the third episode that I’m genuinely excited to see what’s coming next.
The three kids/cadets are admittedly a mixed-bag; they do tend to the rambunctious boy/spunky girl/quiet-smart boy archetypes pretty hard — the main kid’s constant talking about “speed” and “going fast” is particularly obnoxious — but that’s only part of the time, and the rest of the time they’re reasonably fleshed out, thanks to some excellent voice acting. Actually, all the voice acting is pretty excellent.
Overall, if you’re a Voltron fan, I do recommend it. There are enough nods to the original and new mysteries — particularly with cadet Vince, and his odd connection to both Voltron and Castle Arus’ past — that I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode (at 8:30pm, FYI). If you’re kind of person who gets excited seeing a giant space coffin land on a planet, and a Ro-Beast pop out — it’s definitely worth giving a try.