Review

by Ken Cross

ROBOTECH

Screener

Synopsis:
ROBOTECH Screener
When a mysterious battleship crashes onto Macross Island in the South Pacific, the future of mankind is changed forever. Realizing that there are hostile forces in the universe, the people of Earth race to rebuild the SDF-1 as their first line of defense against a possible alien attack. But even as they struggle to master the science of Robotechnology, the vengeful Zentraedi armada is approaching the Earth!
Review:
ROBOTECH . . . everyone knows the name. Nearly every anime fan's at least seen the legendary series, whether on syndicated television in 1985 when it debuted, or in the early 90's on the Sci Fi Channel, or perhaps even when Cartoon Network's Toonami re-broadcast it again in 1998. Everyone's sounded off about it too. And whether you praised Carl Macek's name and genius for initially exposing you to anime, or damned him to the deepest depths of Hades for DARING to slice up 3 anime shows no matter WHAT the excuse, (one of these said shows happened to be a blockbuster hit in Japan known as Superdimensional Fortress Macross) won't matter because EVERYONE should want this in their collection! There are a few minuses, but ADV's gone to great lengths to make it up to you!

This first DVD re-introduces us all to the story of Rick Hunter and the crew of the SDF-1 (in America, the SDF-1 wasn't given the codename Macross. The name was reserved for the island which launched the battleship.) as they experienced the sudden and unrelenting onslaught of invading aliens known as the Zentraedi. The story had it all, and raised more than a few eyebrows with it's hard-hitting topics of war, death, love, interracial relations, and dare I say interstellar relations! For kids my age when I first saw it there was nothing like it on TV, and to this day there still hasn't been for kids in America! Look at most of the shows on TV for kids nowadays (The Toonami line-up excluded) and ROBOTECH would probably still kick a lot of collective butt if not for the aged video and voice acting.

Speaking of aged video, this is where the DVD takes the hardest hit. When compared to any other anime DVD in terms of video quality ROBOTECH is WAAY behind the times. The age of the show is clearly written all over the place. Grainy visuals permeate every scene in the show, but this can be overlooked as the source was originally created in the early 1980's. It should be noted that video restoration might've proved a bit costly for ADV as an option, but for those of you looking for a cleaner, more vibrant ROBOTECH, you needn't look any further than AnimEigo's eventual release of Superdimensional Fortress Macross on DVD later this year. That'll at least cover the Macross Saga of ROBOTECH . . . anyone looking for a restored Southern Cross and Mospeada (the other two series that complete the ROBOTECH saga) might want to start searching for some Dragonballs to wish it up, cuz it ain't happenin! The voice acting is pretty good, but never really was the greatest example of voice acting in the first place. C'mon people! This show's nearly 20 years old! It's bound to show it's age everywhere!

The tradeoffs for these miniscule minuses is an abundance of content! 6 entire episodes on EACH disc! Plus if you're buying the collector's edition 3-disc set then the second disc is FULL of extras for you. It has the English version of Codename: Robotech, an audio commentary track by Carl Macek and abundant production sketches. Plus a myraid of extras all for less than $50! So that's 12 episodes PLUS an extras disc!

If you haven't experienced ROBOTECH before and can't get your hands on the Jack McKinney ROBOTECH novels (a damn good read if I say so myself, preferrable even to the show itself!) then you owe it to the anime fan inside of you to see what the whole fuss is about! Besides, you don't want to be left in the dark when ROBOTECH 3000 comes out, do you?
Grade:
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Robotech (U.S. TV)

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