Reviewby Allen Divers, Apr 24th 2002
10 years ago, a mysterious alien vessel crashed into the Earth. This event triggered the need for humanity to unite and face the new threat of alien invaders. Now, the alien vessel has been rebuilt as the Macross, a flagship for humanity.
During the ceremony of its maiden voyage, the Macross initiates a pre-programmed booby trap, destroying an incoming alien fleet. Now humanity is in a desperate battle with the invading Zentradi forces.
Among the crew of the Macross are a young man and a young girl from very different backgrounds. The war for them is a way to find the path they must follow in life, while struggling with the emotions they have for each other.
The Macross TV boxset released by AnimEigo collects all 36 episodes of this groundbreaking series that inspired the Robotech trilogy released by Harmony Gold during the 1980s in North America. Using the latest technology, AnimEigo has created a new set of digital masters, added a basic stereo mix and created a new translation for this series. Fully restored, Macross shows why it's considered a classic in the world of Anime.
The original Macross TV series is nearly 20 years old. AnimEigo went to great pains to restore the video to its original state. Colors are once again bright and film scratches have been removed. In many respects, the picture is actually better than when the series was originally released. Reports from AnimEigo state they had some conflicts in terms of wanting to go beyond the restoration and fixing some of the errors in terms of the original animation. Luckily they decided against this, leaving it in its original form. The appeal here is obviously one of nostalgia and to correct these original errors would border on blasphemy. The animation and character designs do show their age, albeit, considering when this show was released, are groundbreaking in many respects.
The new soundtrack was remastered from the original Japanese soundtrack. The mix is a basic mono mix with some effects pushed out to stereo speakers. The sound is strong and clear and holds up well with the restored picture. For the majority of the North American audience, this is the first time the original Japanese voices have been heard. For those fans that grew up with Robotech, the Japanese voice actors provide a much different performance and feelings towards all the characters in the series. Also, very different from the English are the songs sung throughout the series. The overall feel with the soundtrack is very mature, providing a completely different perspective on everything in this series.
In complement to the soundtrack is a new set of English subtitles. When Harmony Gold licensed this restoration project to AnimEigo, they set some rules. To avoid confusion with Robotech, Harmony Gold had AnimEigo use certain spellings for character names. This actually turns into a minor inconvenience since Harmony Gold had gone out of its way to use more Americanized names for the characters in their dub. For the most part, the subtitles stayed very true to the Japanese soundtrack providing a welcome change to the English dub of Robotech. However, some fans were upset over AnimEigo's policy of using movie quotes when the translation could be interpreted in that way. This only shows up in 2 or 3 of the episodes, and doesn't really pull away from the overall meaning of what is being said. To a certain extent, given the Easter eggs placed by the original creators, this seemed very appropriate for this show.
The original Japanese story of Macross is very different from the version presented to North American audiences during the 1980s. Macross comes across as a social commentary on life and the arrogance of man. The idea of accepting people despite their origins sits at the heart of the story, motivating the characters as they move through the series. Macross is also a coming of age story as the two main protagonists work their ways through their roles on the ship and each other's lives. This story is very engaging and very deep considering its unusual place in Anime Fandom.
AnimEigo does justice to the original story that is Macross. The box set comes across as a true labor of love in the attention to detail with the soundtrack and the animation. The original story comes to life for a whole new generation of fans in this spectacular restoration. Those who loved this story as Robotech: The Macross Legacy will find a whole new reason to fall in love with this epic saga.
Overall (dub) : NA
Overall (sub) : A
Story : A
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : A
+ The original version is back in all its glory
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