Friday, June 21, 2013

Day One Hundred and Seventy-two - Voltron: Lion Force - Season 1, Episodes 1& 2, "Save me from my 5 year old self."

If Robotech opened my eyes to the possibilities of Anime as a medium, I have to give a little credit, albeit reluctantly, to Voltron: Defender of the Universe.

I say "reluctantly" because I haven't watched a single episode of it in almost three decades and, going back to it now, I am horribly embarrassed that my four year old self ever enjoyed it.

It... is... terrible.

I've never seen it in its original form, GoLion, but I can tell that it was definitely meant for the kindergarten set in Japan with what looks to be thrilling, young men's adventure with little subtlety and lots of generic violence. The sad thing is, when it was brought over to America, it was certainly edited and dumbed down for our American kiddos of equivalent age.

Everything from the forced narration that is literally repeated by the characters later in the episodes to the unnecessary captions introducing Castle Doom and the laughable dialogue... it all makes me cringe at the naivete of my toddler self. Not even nostalgia can save Voltron from the butchering it got at the hands of its localizing team.

I mean, what were the scriptwriters thinking when they created Voltron as a pastiche of GoLion? Only moments of unintentional comedy allow one to survive the pain induced by the terrible lines. I mean, really? "Kitty is excited?"

I wonder if even riffing can bring it up to watchable. I will certainly have to be drunk the next time I try.

Voltron is one of those franchises that doesn't hold up at all. At least, with Robotech, there was an attempt at making a grand, over-arcing story and they didn't shirk at the violence and death, presenting it with some semblance of realism.

With Voltron? The only dramatic "death" is that of the convenient exit of Sven to make room for the Princess to become a pilot... and by "death" I mean "plot injury" where he is sent off to some other planet for "medical treatment."

Yes, that's right... they send Sven to a farm upstate.

Not for nothing, I cannot recommend Voltron to anyone save as a cautionary tale of how not to localize Anime. At best, it should be kept around for historical value or for Spoon Parties if you're tired of rewatching The Room.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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