December 2, 2020
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Life & Culture

Review: Animated series emphasizes compelling characters

She-Ra and the Princess of Power

Netflix

Netflix released the fantastical fifth and final season of “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.” The animated series, first released in 2018, is a reboot of the show “She-Ra: Princess of Power” created in the 1980s. Though the titles are similar, the series are different. The 2018 reboot shows that there is more to She-Ra than just her power.

The story of the 2018 reboot begins on the planet Etheria, where magic is the most powerful force. The newer show has a fully formed world, and viewers learn more about this magical world with every episode. 

Every good animated series has two characters who foil each other well. Adora (Aimee Carrero) and Catra (AJ Michalka), the main characters of the show, grew up together in the Horde, a military-like group whose main agenda is to end the princesses’ rebellion. When Adora realizes not everything about the Horde is as it seems, she leaves. Her abandoning Catra causes a rift in their friendship that gets worse over the seasons. The story is split between the different paths Catra and Adora take and how they grow over the five seasons. Adora is working hard on becoming a better She-Ra, while Catra ascends the ranks within the Horde. When they cross paths, they fight, providing intensity and drama to the show.

Season five had a lot of explaining to do, especially after the cliffhanger at the end of season four. In season four, Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara), a childish princess who always wants to have reckless fun, makes a few drastic and careless decisions. Glimmer as a character is filled with flaws, and she is a compelling character in the new season.

The animation in “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” is beautiful. With every princess and kingdom seen, there is an emphasis on the differences in colors, aesthetics and even ethnic backgrounds. The Horde’s angry red and green colors are a stark contrast to Etheria’s magical and vibrant aesthetic.

Having a show like “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” is a wonderful way for people to feel more represented and identify with characters they are similar to. Not only does the show focus on women, but it gives them depth. The representation “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” has is outmatched. It is exciting to have an animated series that is so heavily female-led because it is important for young girls to see women in positions of power. 

There is representation of different races and the LGBTQ community as well. It is so neatly weaved into the show that it did not seem like the creators did it just to be relatable. There was an emphasis on being fluid and having no labels, and all body types are showcased in the show. There were also characters that did not identify with a gender, and no one judged them for it.

Season five shows growth in characters and that forgiveness is a powerful weapon. “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” is one of those shows that emphasizes love and friendship being the answer, and the finale shows that too.