Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Voltron

While at work, my fellow half Gen X-half Millenial generation coworkers and I contemplate many things that add no value to our job. I would say that maybe 1.5 hours a day is wasted discussing stupid things. We Americans are way too consumed by our entertainment culture, but the identification between people through a cartoon from their childhood is an acceptable form of nostalgia. One thing that came up recently and was discussed at great length but with few details was Voltron.

Voltron was the coolest of the Japanese cartoons to ever make it over to the States. Voltron, in our eyes, was at its peak with the lions coming together to form the giant Voltron mecha-robot. When created through the lion fusion, Voltron was a sentient being. I don't care what you say, he knew what was going on. Voltron was piloted by people who looked an awful lot like the Speed Racer characters. Here's a question: How come Japanese animators make people all lookt he same for a couple of decades at a time? It's 2007 and Japan is still in the "giant eyes" phase.

What really struck everyone was how Voltron was such a violent cartoon. Voltron would normally slice villains in half with his awesome sword. This usually happened after a Robo-beast would appear and the Lions could not take the bad guy down by themselves. They had to unite to form Voltron to take him down. One would think that after maybe 3 or 4 battles, the human pilots would find a way to work together as true pack animals do to take down a bad guy. Maybe they could even learn that they will never take a bad guy down by themself and just unite to form Voltron right off the bat. Just once, I wanted to see a Lion fight versus the bad guy that would work. Was it too much to ask for? Yes, because Voltron's appetite for destruction must be satisfied. Voltron's fucking hand was in the form of a Lion's mouth. If he bit you, teeth would pierce your metal robo-skin.

As a fan of the villains on shows and in movies, I did wonder why the bad guys did not just find a way to kill the pilots of the Lions. With no pilots, the mighty Voltron could not form. Take the pilots down, and Voltron can not unite. Here's the other rub: why not build multiple Robo-beasts to attack Voltron at the same time? Why did the moment a bad guy could make a giant Robo-beast, he unleashed it on Voltron. Stockpile Robo-beasts and unleash them on Voltron when you have superior firepower. In the arc of the hero's storyline, Voltron never really got beaten down so he could have a comeback and vanquish his foes. The role of the beaten down hero avening a setback was taken by the lame Lions who would foolishly take on the evil Robo-beasts by themselves.

Voltron had the requisite chick and small kid as part of their pilot force. One thing that was missing was a heavy handed, lame-ass P.C. message. Voltron was just about killing mechanical beasts and saving the universe. Save the deep, sociological storylines for dramatic movies.

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