Macross TV Vol. #7 (of 9) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Sunday, January 06, 2002
Release Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001



What They Say


The Review!
It's good. It's all good here.

Audio:
Originally recorded back in the early 80's, anyone expecting much from this mono soundtrack is going to be disappointed. The Japanese language soundtrack is pretty good overall. There's no noticeable hiss on our system even with it cranked up. Everything feels pretty center channel based and the sound does a good job of filling up the forward soundstage. Dialogue is clear and undistorted though some segments, such as the next episode preview, are curiously louder than the main program itself.

Video:
In some respects, this is a really hard to grade section. Having seen the evolution of the transfer over the past couple of years at conventions and image images posted to their company site, the overall look and feel of the show practically surpasses its origins. When it was released, it was truly a state of the art piece of animation. Those who've seen Otaku no Video will remember how the fans there (who were essentially animated versions of the people who founded Gainax) were going through the shows animation frame by frame with awe and reverence at the skill used to create it and to make it seem so real. It falls short of today's animation expectations of course, but the job done here to make it come alive again is amazing. The only thing I can really see people having an issue with is the grain throughout it, but I have to say, on our HDTV with a progressive scan player, I've fallen in love again with the look of this show. With all the restoration and color correction efforts that have gone into it, this is a superb looking transfer of a classic.

Packaging:
It's been interesting to see the reactions to the cover art used for the series. Since there have been so many releases of the Robotech version of the years from different companies and on different formats, the artwork that had been used really became old and tired. The completely black covers with neon-like sketches of the characters gives the show to me something of a real collectors style image, something that's unique in that it's not trying to sell itself to the market in general, but just standing there for the person who knows what they're getting into. The cover contains an orange lined image of Misa Hayase in her overcoat and civilian clothes.. The back cover provides a few animation shots and summaries for the four episodes. Production credits are pretty minimal overall though. Also included is a set of liner notes that provide even more song lyrics. Considering that we usually only hear My Boyfriend is Pilot, it's surprising how many song lyrics there are.

Menus:
Nicely laid out, the menus are done up as the interior to a Valkyrie cockpit. Episode numbers are listed along the right with the episode title showing in the main screen as you scroll down (with no discernable lag thankfully). The buttons along the bottom bring up a play-all feature, disc settings and translation video of the end credits for each disc.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This set of episodes just gives me goose bumps. The show continues to push its storyline forward and does things that are still rarely done in anime twenty years later.

After their amusing meeting at the game center, Max finally gets to take Milia on a date. The date takes a nasty turn though when she's come to have revenge for his dishonoring her in combat twice and she attempts to plunge a blade into his chest. Though rather poorly animated (and the knife blade fight is a joke with little stars flying around them), the way it ends with him besting her again is perfect. So what to do with a Zentradi ace pilot whose also a spy on board the ship?

Let's get married!

And it's a most amusing marriage in space between species, done anime style with Valkyries standing shooting beams over the walkway as Max and Milia fly their own fighter down the path. It's comical in enough places, but it works well enough in others to balance it all out.

But things aren't all happiness here. Word has come down in the Zentradi fleet from Bodolza that the Macross is to be eliminated and that Earth is to be destroyed. Contact with the Miclone race has caused the problems feared by the ancient texts, so the high commander will be done with it all. Britai and his fleets begin the attack, but as things get more intense, more and more Zentradi do the unbelievable and refuse to fight. Their culture shock is hitting them hard and they can't bring themselves to destroy something that's affecting them so strongly.

It's with this that Britai comes to grips with what's going to happen. He knows his fleet, as well as Lap'lmiz and Kamjin's, are infected. Boldoza is going to bring the entire Zentradi military fleet to Earth and eliminate them all to safeguard against further contamination. But rather than simply die, he sends Exedol to the Macross to begin peace negotiations as well as to alert the humans as to what's coming.

And when it comes, it's breathtaking. The image of 5 million warships surrounding the planet is stunning... the only thing more so is the battle that then commences. There's a ton of great stuff going on here with everyone from the Macross to the Zentradi characters to those down in the Alaskan Grand Cannon base. This is a real highlight episode, and one that I have to wonder how much of it was the original ending of the series.

It's been a number of years since I've seen an uncut version of this show for a variety of reasons, and now being able to go back to it after so long, I'm again rediscovering my love of this cast and their performances. Macross is the show that set me on the path to being an anime fan and with it being nearly twenty years since its original release, I'm finding it to hold up very well against today's shows. Highly recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Macross