“She-Ra and the Princess of Power” Episode 1 Review

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I am a child of the 1980’s. I remember Saturday morning cartoons, breakfast with lots of sugary cereal and the awesome action figures. One of the shows I missed out on, and really didn’t have much of a desire to watch, was He-Man.

Maybe because it ended before I was able to start watching cartoons on my own or maybe watching Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and pro wrestling interested me more. One of the spin offs of He-Man was She-Ra. She was a female equivalent to He-Man and uses a similar weapon, a sword which transforms into a mighty warrior.

That’s the cliff-notes in my head that I remember of the original show. Netflix has relaunched She-Ra with new animation and hopefully some fun and original stories. With that in mind, I figured I should give the show a try. See if it makes me crave nostalgia of yesteryear or does it stand on its own two feet as a modern hit that both men and women could even enjoy. This will have spoilers. I will be breaking down what happens in the episode, my overall feelings of how the episode was and whether it is worth the recommendation.

The opening episode of She-Ra is very reminiscent of the Captain Marvel movie. Adora is training in a simulation room with some soldiers of the Horde, where they practice killing princesses because they have uncontrollable powers and society needs order. Adora was found as a baby by the teacher of the Horde, who has trained her to fight and serve Lord Hordak. Adora is pretty skilled as a tactician. With one of her best friends Catra, she is promoted up the ranks which will let her see actual battles. To celebrate the promotion, Adora and Catra sneak out of their training facility and ride into the woods. There are many stories about them, so they try to be careful, but end up being reckless.

Adora ends up falling off and while she is calling for Catra, she finds this glowing sword. When she touches it, a spirit calls for her and tells her to defend Etheria and Greyskull. Without any understanding, she ends up getting woken up by Catra. Adora is confused but goes back with Catra to their facility. After some nightmares, Adora sneaks back out to go look for the sword. In the woods, as she sees the light glowing, she runs into Princess Glimmer and her best friend Bow (a Green Arrow like archer).

They scuffle and as Adora becomes captive, Bow tries to make sense as to why Adora thinks what she is doing is good. Bow even makes the joke ‘have you even met a princess before’ to which Adora says she hasn’t. Like I said in the beginning, it has a very Captain Marvel feeling. You have a brainwashed or amnesic character, who is trained to be a fighter for what they perceive to be good, only to discover they have been manipulated or tricked.

While Adora hasn’t gotten that far yet, and doesn’t in the first episode, it really is foreshadowing the conflict of interest plot line. While they are all lost in the woods, a giant spider-like creature attacks Bow and Glitter. Adora grabs the sword and when she tries to save them, the spirit of the sword asks Adora once again if she will fight, Adora agrees. She then transforms into She-Ra, which ends the episode.

So, this is a nice way to start a show. Though Princess Glitter is kind of annoying with her trope of proving she is indeed a great fighter against the Horde, she is still immature and is slightly grating. Bow is a nice balance to Glimmer’s immaturity, grounded and has some nice lines that give him some personality as well. Adora is a nice character. She has some humor, but can turn on the seriousness when she needs to. She is that nice stock-heroine character type that is familiar but, over the season, will make it unique to her.

Overall, this series started off pretty promising with some background of the setting, some of the characters and the conflict that has been plaguing the area. I think this is a show made for both men and women. It doesn’t pander to any specific gender and the comedy and action can be enjoyed by everyone.