Saturday, May 10, 2014

VOLTRON: Episode 1-Escape From Slave Castle

The legend of Voltron.
Voltron holds a special place in my heart as one of the first anime series I ever watched.  When I was a kid I never even realized this came out of Japan until later on.  All I remember is I thought that this was one of the coolest shows I had ever seen.  I'm just a sucker for giant robots I guess.  Power Rangers, Gundam Wing, Xenogears, the list keeps going.  And I've figured it out, it all started with Voltron.
Let's take the intro sequence for instance.  Whoever came up with that theme song was an absolute genius.  It pretty much pumps you up and gets your adrenaline flowing for some kick-ass robot action.  And the voice of Peter Cullen just makes it that much better.  I don't think I have ever heard a voice as distinct as his.  When I sat down to watch this, being much older now, I didn't think it was still going to have that same effect on me.  
The story is this,  sometime in Earth's future an evil force from the planet Doom is threatening all life in the galaxy.  Led by the evil tyrant King Zarcon, the evil army attacks a planet know as Ares.  On this planet there is a giant robot coded-named Voltron who was suppose to be the planet's defender but was defeated by the evil army's witch Haggar and split into 5 smaller robots.  As Zarcon destroys the planet, Earth decides to send 5 of there best space explorers to the planet to revive the mighty robot to fight the forces of Doom.  But as they close in on the planet they're are boarded and captured by Zarcon and taken to Planet Doom.
So the first episode is nothing but a typical break out and escape movie.  I'm not as impressed with this I think as when I was a kid.  Probably because I've seen this plot device a hundred and fifty thousand times before.  Also the dialog and script is very childish compared to what I remember.  But the voice acting is great.  No other actor could ever play the voice of the leader of the Space Explorers, Keith (Neil Ross).  All other actors do great too except maybe for the bad guys.  I just wish they had better material to work with.  The animation is still excellent even for its time.  The design of Voltron and its separate lions is very well done.  I say if you can be forgiving with some of the toned down violence and overall kiddy tone you will still have a great time with this. 
So go ahead and take a look and comment on what you think.  I'll be watching the entire series and bringing you more reviews on later episodes. 

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