As a kid, I always loved seeing She-Ra transform. I don’t remember much from the series because it was already dying out as I grew up in the nineties. When the show's reboot came to light, I loved the new direction the series took: a lot more color, vibrancy, and inclusiveness.
I discovered She-Ra on Netflix only when season 3 was released. What can I say? My bandwidth for TV shows is pretty thin at age 32, and I mostly followed Dragon Ball over the years.
Well, I just finished watching season five and the show's conclusion. I think you should watch it and I want to talk to you about why without spoiling it.
The show takes inclusiveness to heart. And while there are heterosexual romantic relationships, there are also same-sex relationships represented. There is a non-binary guest character as well.
That non-binary character — Double Trouble — had appeared first in season four. Double Trouble is an alien who can shapeshift into other people. This idea of an alien person whose gender identity is foreign to humans is fascinating to me both as a lover of Sci-Fi and Fantasy and as a writer with a pet peeve for exploring human relationships.
The only other time I’ve seen gender equality introduced subtly was when I read the book Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. The vibe is similar. Spensa, the protagonist of that book, is in most aspects a lot like Adora: brave, idealistic to a fault, and a fighter. She meets a race of alien people whose gender identity is difficult to discern in human terms, so she uses they/them pronouns to refer to them. It’s also not a big deal, which I like a lot.
Overall, the show's creators do not rub representation in our faces. They weave it into the story subtly, making people — especially children — understand that this is normal.
When I grew up, homo was a curse word. It’s sad to see many LGBT+ creators I’ve befriended over the years deal with pain for who they are or for discovering their true selves.
The original She-Ra was the perfect example of “a product of its time.” All the girls wore short skirts, and all the men looked the same — and white. Now, She-Ra is again a product of its time, but at least it’s inclusive now.
There is something so satisfying to me to watch the magic happen in TV shows. Whether Goku transformed into Super Saiyan, Adora Transformed into She-Ra, Digievolutions, Card Captor Sakura unlocked her wand, or Yugi used the pyramid to transform into Yami — they all excited me equally.
This season, though, Adora faces some trouble with her magic. The journey to solve it — which I don’t want to spoil for you — is even more satisfying. If you followed the seasons and watched season 4, you’ll know that something happened to Adora’s sword at the end of that season.
In this season, Adora needs to face that change. And it’s exciting to see!
What I love about this show is how much they invested in the special effects. I don’t know how much work it is in practical terms, but the magical scenes look beautiful. Adora’s transformations, the scenery, magical places in Etheria — all look stunning!
last but not least — the storytelling. I like the people who write this show because they know what they’re doing. As a writer myself, I watched this show as an avid fan of it and as a writer who criticizes other writers’ work in my own head.
There wasn’t a moment where I said, “this is useless.” Of course, there were hooks in this show that don’t get explored beyond the minimal level. In a show with such a vast cast, it’s understandable. We primarily follow Adora, Catra, Bow, Glimmer, and the season's villain. The other princesses' storylines’ are woven between them.
Each princess felt like a real person to me. They all had their personalities and unique character. It’s hard work doing it with so many characters in the show, so kudos to the writers!
Now that the show is over, I think that the character development that the writers built over time could easily merit novelization or even just comics or short stories in the world of Etheria. It doesn’t have to focus on Adora. Each princess has her own exciting life we can follow.
Conclusion: Go Watch Season 5!
If you watched up to and including season 4 — why are you even considering it? Go Watch Season 5 now!
However, if you’ve never watched She-Ra, Season 5 wraps up the show nicely, so there was never a better time to get in on the fun. It's on Netflix, so you can stream it on demand.