It doesn’t matter what they do to us. You know, you look out for me and I look out for you. Nothing really bad can happen as long as we have each other. – Adora
You Promise? – Cathra
This is a spoiler-free review!
Surprisingly I was never super into cartoons after growing up. Anime, very much so, but not western cartoons. I saw that She-Ra had gotten a re-boot on Netflix and heard a lot of good things about it, so I figured I would give it a try. That try turned into me binge-watching the whole season in a single day. With 13 episodes that run at 24 minutes a piece that is definitely doable as well.
The series feels very modern when it comes to the characters and story. Adora, the main character, doesn’t read like the typical lost heroine and the characters deal with problems that feel normal for the age group the series is aimed for. The story grabs you very quickly and keeps you hooked all the way to the end of the season straight through, and I was very tense by the end of the season, wondering what would happen. The series doesn’t feel too simple or childish either and I am quite sure there is a character everyone can relate to, even as an adult. The characters are also very diverse and well-written with a lot of development very quickly (with space for more in, hopefully, more seasons to come).
So what is this series about then? It follows Adora, an orphan adopted by the Horde Army and a promising cadet as she finds a mysterious sword in the woods and discovers that she is She-Ra, a legendary heroine of Etheria. What follows is a painful realization that the goals of the army she has served are very different compared to what she has been told. Finding a new home with the Rebellion comes at a price though and Adora often struggles with her new identity. With her new friends, she starts to rebuild old alliances that fell long ago in order to stop the Horde Army and their nefarious plans. This summary might sound pretty boring, but the interactions with all the other characters are the key in this series. The main plot might be simple and typical, but the way it is done and told is what really makes the series so good.
Out of all the characters in the series I absolutely adore Cathra. Especially since she and Adora share a close relationship it creates a great and heart-breaking dynamic. She might be the tough bad-girl on the outside, but on the inside, she is as vulnerable as any of the other characters. Specifically, because we get to see her struggles and soft side she makes an amazing addition to the antagonist grey-zone. We get to see a lot of development on the Horde Army side of the story as well, instead of the creators delivering a simple “here’s the bad guys and they are bad” kind of story. There are people on both sides of the war being waged on Etheria and we get to see it escalate from both sides.
So what rating would I give this series? A Solid 5 out of 5 without a doubt. It’s fresh, modern and has several great messages to everyone who watches it. If you haven’t already seen it: Go do it now.