Voltron (Golion in Japan) is an old but quite famous mecha adventure. We can say that it’s the series that advertised the mecha genre in America and eventually to the rest of the world. It opened a path for the later more quality series such as Macross, Gundam, and Patlabor to cross with ease. That alone gives it a lot of historical value but beyond that, it’s just another mecha series with repetitive and predictable plot and with a filler episode ratio of 10 to 1. Rewatchability is very low especially if you are aware of who made it and what his older works were. Yatsude Saburo’s works involve one of the most cult mecha titles, Voltes V. In all honesty Voltron is practically a rehash with better visuals, in the same way Voltes V itself was an improved variation of Combattler V.
Anyways, the visuals were very good for their time, they are very crude by today’s standards. The leading mecha design looks silly in my eyes. The main motifs on it are five lions that combine into one, but their cool look gets easily worn off after the ten first times you see it. Why are they even seperated during non-battle time, other than eating up screen time ? Character figures, voice acting and sound effects are plain, special attacks are repetitive and all that matters is the finishing move. And stay away from the American version, by all means. It makes what is already bad, to sound even worse.
The American version watered down the violence a lot, so pay no attention to it. In general, alien “bad guys” attack a human planet and 5 “good guys” of Earth alliance find a powerful mecha and try to stop the invasion. That is the whole story. There is hardly any character development, as in the norm of all old series. There is a thin story continuity but with no interesting plot twists, especially if you have watched Voltes V. At least, there is a fair share of deaths amongst several important characters, making some really “drastic” character maturity.
All the major drawbacks of a childish story are present. A single mecha is able to beat an entire interstellar army. And the ingenious bad guys sent only one big monster at a time, instead of their entire army and end this story in half an episode. Don’t look for deep meanings in here; it is the usual heroic idealism at play here and all that mean very little if it’s just a rehash of an older work. If you have watched any decent mecha series or even a couple of Power Ranger seasons, this title will seem like something you would watch just to appreciate those blurry Gundam graphics you didn’t like at first.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 0/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Historical Value 2/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 1/2, Story 0/3, Characters 1/4