Reviewby Chris Shepard, Mar 27th 2002
Robotech New Generation
DVD Vol. 11: New Wave
The powerful third act of Robotech begins as the RDF, exhausted by years of intergalactic warfare, is finally defeated by mysterious aliens known as Invid. The fate of mankind rests in the hands of a few brave resistance fighters who will stop at nothing until the Earth is free once again.
Here it is, New Generation, the third and final Robotech saga. For those who aren't in the know, Robotech is actually three different unrelated anime series taken from Japan that were smushed together into one and dubbed for an American release, shown on TV during the mid-80's. This third saga was also once known as Mospedia and it does differ a little bit from Robotech's previous sagas.
ADV's first volume of the “New Generation” saga is packed to the brim in episodes, 7 in total. Though there are unfortunately no extras on this disc, as with the previous Robotech DVD volumes, special discs are being released within their respective two-disc boxsets. The packaging and menus still remain top quality though you can't dress up the fact that the actual video quality on this disc is utterly horrible. It looks like an old rental tape, with tons of grain and no vibrant colors. True, no better source for this series exists, but it still may take a little time getting used to and can be a detriment to one's enjoyment of the series.
Despite the fact that it was combined into the Robotech series, the Robotech sagas barely relate to each other. While occasionally the narrator sneaks in ways to drop in names of characters from the “past”, New Generation is still basically its own series, even while in Robotech form.
New Generation is definitely the most adventurous of the three. Instead of the characters operating from some sort of a home base and fighting off enemies from it, New Generation takes a much different approach. Within the first five minutes of the series you are plunged in and told to accept the fact that the Earth has finally lost a battle with some mysterious alien race. Pilot Scott is one of the last people enrolled in Earth's resistance to the alien enemy and sets off for a deep space battle. But Scott doesn't have the best of luck as his jet gets shot down and crash-lands onto the Earth. Also, this just happens to be the first time he's ever set foot on the Earth as well. Though he still tries to carry out his mission, he wanders from town to town, meeting new people that join up with him, while fighting off the occasional alien Invid attack. The heroes of this series have yet to stay in a single place and are exploring new lands each and every episode, giving the series its grand adventurous feel.
Though this isn't saying much, New Generation also contains better animation than the past two Robotech sagas. Battles are slightly more dynamic and exciting though people spoiled on current anime and its luscious animation will still end up a little disappointed. However, speed freaks: take notice. New Generation is packed with many futuristic crotch rockets and I'm sure some people are bound to love that.
Though the series has plenty of time to become more fleshed out, I've been a little disappointed with the lack of character development thus far. Scott has picked up five different people to join his gang yet most of them have yet to develop true personalities, half of them barely even being interesting. Hopefully things will improve as time goes on. I just wish the series had chosen to work with a much smaller cast, at least in the very beginning.
As far as the aliens go, we've yet been given just a single clue as to whom the heck these Invid things are. So far so little is known about them other than the fact that the travel around mecha bug suits and like to mess shit up. I look forward to seeing just who these aliens are and what their true purpose is as the series continues.
Finally, the music must be noted. It is very 80's pop sounding, especially the vocal tunes that are sung by one of the cast members. While the 80's definitely did rock, I haven't really been feelin' this music too well. Opinions on this are bound to differ person to person, though. The regular background music is 80's sounding as well, reminiscent of the second Robotech saga, and provides a good backdrop for the action and drama of the series.
Fans of 80's mecha series, such as the other Robotech series (including their original Japanese counterparts) or even fans of the different Gundam series would probably be interested in this. It's been fun and entertaining so far, not truly great but nicely involving. Hopefully more of the series mysteries will unravel as New Generation progresses on. If you're into this genre of animation and can get past the fact that the disc's dubbed only and the video quality sucks, it's actually a pretty decent buy. New Generation has been very promising so far.
Overall (dub) : B
Story : B
Animation : C
Art : B
Music : B
+ Has a fun adventurous feel.
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