Compare And Contrast: New VOLTRON vs RWBY
This is gonna be a short one because despite many people lauding the new Voltron series on Netflix, I just couldn’t get into it. Five minutes in and my interest failed to engage. Technically proficient, good character and mecha design, but man, the dialog and plotting were just gears slipping. Not a fresh idea in the bunch and all hammered home with sledgehammer intensity.
I watched the first two scenes, skipped ahead about 20 minutes, watched some more, tried the opening of the next episode, said fuggedaboutit.
Not saying it’s bad, not saying you can’t enjoy it.Just saying for me it failed to grab my attention.
Conversely, RWBY sparked my interest immediately despite a lengthy deadly dull narrated opening and clearly derivative anime tropes.
Perhaps that’s why it attracted my attention: When you start a faux-anime story with rip-offs homages of Alex and his droogs raiding what looks like a candy or bubble bath shop, well, you’ve got my attention enough to want to see what happens next.
And when one of the pseudo-droogs points his sword a young female customer in a red riding hood and she looks at him innocently and asks, “Are you threatening me?” we all know what’s going to happen next, the question is how well and with how much panache?
And sunnuvagun, they pull it off. Frankly the video-game quality animation is far from perfect, but the character designs are fun and the character interactions and dialog keep the more familiar parts of the show from working against it.
RWBY is available online but Netflix has edited all of the first season into a single feature length story. It’s episodic but fast moving.
Comparing the two shows -- even as briefly as I did with Voltron -- sparked some critical thinking regarding media for kids then and now, and what quality of writing is to be found among them.
And to do that I’m going to need to invoke Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, and John Wayne…but that will require another post.