In our second Space Dandy interview, Mike talks to Bahi JD, an animator who started with animated GIFs and wound up working on Kids on the Slope!
Reviewby Chris Shepard, Feb 10th 2002
DVD Vol. 10
Victory in the second Robotech War will be decided not by superior strength, but rather by a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice. Once the secrets of the protoculture are revealed, the tough decisions that must be made, on both sides, will ultimately determine the fate of the two civilizations. The manner in which the various characters choose to accept their fate forms a dramatic backdrop to the powerful conclusion of the second act of the epic, multi-generational Robotech saga.
Here it is, Robotech volume 10, the fourth and final volume of the Robotech Masters saga. And with this last volume of the series once known as Southern Cross in Japan, a climatic and exciting ending has been presented.
As with all previous Robotech releases, ADV has dressed up the packaging and DVD aspects fairly well. The cover design looks as illustrious and classic as ever and the menu system is exactly the same. Easy to use and precise. And once again, there are no extras available on this DVD. And yes, the animation quality is still horrible with tons of grain and washed out color.
These last six episodes contain some of the most interesting and exciting material found in the series. The disc starts off with Dana and her crew aboard the Robotech Masters ship, once again scouting around trying to find a way to foil the enemies' plans. This is some of the most intriguing content available because as with the last time, the ship is totally unknown and the crew is constantly treading new grounds. It is always unknown what they will uncover next. The mysteries and the strange way in which these aliens live should be most interesting to the captivated viewer. It's a shame that so very few episodes feature the cast aboard the Robotech Masters' ship like this.
Most likely due to its very short budgets, Southern Cross (the original name for this series) was canceled and forced to end midway through what it originally intended. Though thankfully the series was still able to end in a respectable way, it was also forced to move at a very fast pace. This is good in that there are no “filler” or tacked on episodes to churn out useless content but at the same time the series never seems to be able to become quite as epic as it wanted to be. More episodes could have been used to delve deeper into the character relationships as well as to discovering the secrets of the Robotech Masters. In one way this is a shame but in another, it kept the series from running stale.
Fans of the series thus far will surely agree that the ending was indeed entertaining. However, there is a little dissatisfaction as it ended right after giving the climatic conclusion, giving no real word as to how the future lives of the characters turned out. With all the time spent on establishing the relationships throughout the series, a few extra minutes dedicated to showing this would have been appreciated.
Though extended climatic battles do take place, the animation quality is still the same as always. With a tight budget and being spoiled on today's great animation feats, there's no real eyecandy to be found here.
Robotech was definitely one of the best shows on TV during its time. It dealt with themes very rarely expressed in U.S. animation, including love, lose, infatuation, death, and the true meanings of war. And even though The Masters was the least popular of the three Robotech sagas, it still stands high above its competitors that were also of the early 80's. While no longer considered first tier today in comparison to what's available now, it's still a good series. Robotech fans that grew up watching and loving the show should definitely check these DVD's out. Newbies who enjoy retro animation: though this is a fairly well done interpretation of The Southern Cross series, you might want to wait until ADV releases its subtitled version, which is inevitably coming. The quality of the animation should be slightly improved and you'll be able to watch the way the series was originally intended.
Overall (dub) : B
Animation : C-
Art : B
Music : B
+ A nice ending to a good series.
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