krpalmer: (anime)
Returning to the original Voltron (as distinct from the anime series it was made from) after long years, though the episode at the top of a playlist on Netflix introduced by people working on the new Voltron Legendary Defender, did bring to mind all those old impressions of just how hard the dialogue was trying to claim the animation wasn't showing anyone being killed. Instead of stopping there content in my convictions and moving on to "The Real Ghostbusters" or something else, though, I did keep working my way down the list, and a few more things started striking me. If the episode at the top seemed to have been selected in part because it didn't display a familiar formula, a good number of the episodes just below it were from quite early in the series, often featuring conference-room scenes from Dairugger XV (which became "the other Voltron") cut into them. I could understand this getting to the point where it just couldn't be repeated any more, but it was something to see an effort made to link the two series, even if that effort didn't seem particularly remembered by anyone. More than that, there were moments that didn't quite seem to be followed by "so he was a robot after all" or "they were just knocked out."

For all of that, I was interested when vagaries of schedules brought me straight from the first episode of the original series to the episode that concluded the second set of episodes of Voltron Legendary Defender. There was what did seem like "a final consequence if you can notice it" and "another sudden revelation about a character" that did seem, at last, to tie into the sudden revelation about a different character that had concluded the first set of episodes and left me jumping at a theory. In some ways, Voltron Legendary Defender can be exactly the story it's saying it is, distinct from the suspicious yet amused impressions that had done a lot to keep the original stuck in a small corner of my mind. At the same time, with what new "mecha anime" series do appear these days seeming to have a hard time garnering positive comments from other people, the giant (piloted) robot action the concluding episode got around to was quite satisfying in its own way.
krpalmer: (kill la d'oh)
The episodes of "Star Trek: The Animated Series" were engaging enough to watch while exercising on weekend mornings; I'd been thinking a bit, more or less from the start, that they somehow somewhat dodged the sense of "familiarity" and even "set consensus" that can settle over all of the live-action series, along with "if you are convinced Star Trek 'has' to involve its original characters..." They came to an end, though (with an episode I'd read Alan Dean Foster's novelization, considerable expansion upon, and rationalization many years ago), and I did get to wondering how I'd keep myself occupied on my ski machine from then on.

Right then, however, I saw an announcement the people working on the new Voltron Legendary Defender had selected some of the original Voltron episodes to be streamed on Netflix as an adjunct to their own series. That did get my attention, although I was quite ready to remember that when the original Voltron had had its "nostalgia release" on DVD a decade ago, I'd held out for the anime series it had been made from instead. The thought's occasionally come to me, though, that I just might be dismissive of Voltron because of the accident of having had "the other Voltron" stick in my mind a bit more, and just perhaps that "other" science fiction action had been more vulnerable than the space fantasy it seems just about everyone else remembers better to having all that careful "this is a cartoon; nobody ever dies in a cartoon" redubbing stand out. I went ahead and took a chance on "Voltron '84."
The complications of a single episode )
krpalmer: (anime)
In the raffish pantheon of mid-1980s cartoons, Voltron's niche may be smaller than some but it does seem remembered, its title invoked in the sure expectation of bringing back memories of "five robot lions that combine to form a mighty robot." (That, though, does remind me of the seeming accidents of history that made the other Voltron, the "fifteen flying cars, plane-things, and nondescript aerial bricks that combine to form a mighty robot," stick in my own memory, even if some of that may shape a certain subtle dismissal different from the usual shrugging off...) More than that, in possible place of nostalgic merchandising the title's been applied to new animation (now produced on this side of the Pacific) in just the past few years. I do know the series "Voltron Force" didn't seem very popular among those whose opinions of it I did see, even if they never seemed to articulate specific reasons for that. However, this wasn't the end of things. In its constant push to produce content that can't be taken away by the studios, Netflix announced it would be streaming another new Voltron series, and its staff including some people who'd worked on the Avatar franchise seemed to help some wait for the actual work to judge it. The first preview clips prompting recognition of how Voltron's combination sequence now obviously drew on the well-regarded stock footage of the giant robot anime GaoGaiGar attracted that much more attention, and when "Voltron Legendary Defender" began streaming I started taking it in. I was perhaps still weighted by recent ambivalent thoughts about intellectual property being recycled by corporate owners as if to avoid the risk and effort of coming up with new fundamental ideas, but it's also more than easy to recoil from thoughts of self-proclaimed fans monstrously incapable of conceiving others might like something they don't. I did at least wind up imagining it's possible there could even be parents drawing on their own memories with the thought it's for the sake of their kids, perhaps even connecting two generations (although this not having been the case when those parents were kids themselves can pack its own uncertainties...)
Even after all of that, though... )

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