ROBOTECH: THE COMPLETE SERIES

  

THE PLOT THUS FAR

ROBOTECH is a sweeping science-fiction anime epic of humans defending their home world against alien domination. The saga is told through the eyes of characters caught up in a series of wars that erupts when a mysterious spacecraft crash-lands on Earth at the turn of the millennium. The secrets of alien knowledge aboard this vessel were unlocked, leading to the development of “Robotechnology” and the creation of a vast arsenal of robotic “mecha” to defend the Earth against the alien threats that would eventually strike to lay claim to the mysterious power source known as “protoculture.”

Carl Macek’s groundbreaking sci fi epic has enthralled audiences since it first appeared on American television in 1985. One of the first-ever anime imports, this saga spans three generations of mankind’s fight for freedom.

ROBOTECH: THE COMPLETE SERIES contains the remastered versions of all 85 episodes from the three Robotech Wars: THE MACROSS SAGA, THE ROBOTECH MASTERS and THE NEW GENERATION.
WHAT WE THOUGHT

Split into three separate season, the creative team headed by the late Carl Macek did a tremendous job of crafting a coherent over-arching tale that links the separate source series together. If one did not already know that they were 3 separate series, one would be hard pressed to actually tell from the way the show was edited. Common themes of interracial conflict, tolerance, friendship, the virtue of peaceful co-existence and the futility of warfare run across the three sagas.

The first series, Macross, is the best of the three, mostly because it has the least changes in plotline to help it match the changed Robotech universe as well as having the most fully realized characters. It also has the most character development of the three. The second part was interesting, especially in how the lead female character was re-written to be Max and Miriya’s daughter, but the series was pretty much a shoot-em-up western using robots and ray guns instead of horses and revolvers. The third involves a guerrilla band trying to free Earth from the Invid invaders.

What made the show so popular then, and still makes it amazingly popular more than 15 years on, is a combination of storyline, mecha, and characters that people connected to. Sure, there were transforming robots, lots of battles and action, but these things did not cause detriment to the storyline. Characters died, grieved, fell in love, bickered, protested, the list goes on. And these aspects made the story, and were never overshadowed by the slick Veritech fighters and alien mecha, but were instead complimented by them.

It took bold steps in the somewhat conservative realm of American cartoon timeslots – major characters died, Earth was annihilated, and characters fought the odds and won. Fans talk of how they cried when Roy Fokker died, how they cheered the RDF on as the SDF-1 and the Zentraedi aligned with them took on 4 million ships and beat them, how they cursed when Rick Hunter was pining over the annoying Lynn Minmei when Lisa Hayes was right under his nose the whole time. Fans related to the characters, the story, their trials and tribulations.

Macross isn’t anymore adult than Robotech is. If you believe that Macross is, then your deluding yourself. The same loss of life, love relationships occur in both series. As a watcher of Robotech and Macross, I wouldn’t say Robotech or Macross is more mature then the other. That would be silly. I do say that Macross isn’t as deep as Robotech is. Carl Macek took three series ranging from good to just OK and made them deeper by linking them together on the common element of Protoculture. Macross would have probably flopped here in America if it was released in 1984.

The DVD comes with all eighty-five episodes of all three series presented uncut and in pristine quality. You get music videos, featurettes and a promo reel from the series launch in China. All of this is new to DVD in North America which leaves a lot of people wondering why this was all being held back. The original pilots and promos are presented for those on a nostalgic kick. But, that’s not the big attraction on the disc.

The alternate version cuts are new to DVD and they show how hard it is to sell a foreign series to the American market. While the original showrunners were editing together three different Japanese shows for American audiences, the result was a mess that had to be carefully stitched together. That mess was explained away as generational differences, but that’s something that could only work once in a blue moon. If that wasn’t enough, you also have an appendix that covers everything related to the Robotech universe. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to all animation fans.

RELEASE DATE: 10/18/2011

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