Macross TV Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, December 28, 2001
Release Date: Thursday, December 20, 2001
What They Say
This set is of the original MACROSS, not the later Robotech adaptation. It will not contain any English-language dubbing. It will contain all the scenes shown on Japanese TV, including scenes edited out during the Robotech adaptation.
The difference between MACROSS and Robotech is this: Robotech was created by using footage and storylines from 3 different Japanese TV series (Macross, Southern Cross and Mospaeda) that were totally unrelated. Macross was the series used to create the first part of Robotech (aka "The Macross Saga"). Some of the plotlines in the original Macross were changed in Robotech to make the 3 series fit together.
ADV Films is releasing the ROBOTECH series on DVD, the first part of which uses the MACROSS footage and an adapted storyline. The ROBOTECH "MACROSS Saga" is dubbed into English, does not have the Japanese soundtrack or subtitles, and uses the original (unrestored) video transfer.
This is the series that set me on the path to being anime fan. For those who got into anime back in the 60's and through the early 90's, there was always a certain show that was considered the defining moment. The late 70's had Starblazers, the early 80's had Robotech and the late 80's had Akira. The early 90's generated a large number of fans with the arrival of multiple companies licensing titles.
For me, I've always been firmly part of the Robotech generation. My first fansub was the Macross movie. The show was something that held a special meaning to me at a time in my life when outside influences weigh heavily upon the kind of person you become. This show definitely influenced me for the better. So I am definitely a fanboy about this and make no bones about it.
For the purpose of our review due to this being a nine disc set, our box set review will talk about the box packaging. After that, we will review the discs individually as listed below, so simply select the cover of the volume you want to read about. Just be forewarned that we'll be covering the content fairly well so there will be spoilers.
After the box sets for Urusei Yatsura came out from AnimEigo, I'd been pretty wary about just what kind of box we'd get with Macross. The UY boxes were definitely the more economical one from a company perspective since they can be shipped flat, but from a fan perspective, it's not even worth the bother. Thankfully though the Macross boxes are more typical of what we see from standard region 2 box sets, with a good sturdy box with one opening. The black glossy box has the logo and SDF symbol in white on the front side, while the back side shows all the covers and the basic information about the discs. The side panel provides a soft technical schematic of the fortress and many many lines worth of technical information about it.
Included as a special bonus with this limited edition box set is a 3d animated lenticular, which is basically a DVD sized card that has several images from the show that change when you move it in front of you. It's a slick little extra that looks great while the box set is wrapped and fits nicely inside the box afterwards without being damaged. I believe these were being produced solely for this box set release and will be the only place to get it.
With a show like this and its twisted history in being released, there will always be comparisons to what resulted as Robotech. Having now finally seen the original unaltered version, I can still firmly say that both hold special places in my heart. I'm supremely grateful to finally be able to see this series as was seen in Japan though.
In some twisted way, I hope for it to be remade, something that's rarely done in the anime world. While the series was indeed groundbreaking for its time and holds up fairly well in many places, I have to wonder what some good script tweaking and today's animation techniques could produce, provided they stayed 99% true to the original script. The closest I have to that is the movie, Macross: Do You Remember Love, which looks gorgeous when compared against most anime movies released today.
Macross is definitely a show of my generation. It's been interesting to listen to my wife's comments on it as it's the first time she's seen it. And that's with her never seeing Robotech. While I know the the focus of the story is on the relationships and love/humanity conquers all, she found the first half of the series to be more tech oriented than she cared for. But as it progressed into the human side of things, she became more interested in it. While it won't hold a special place in her heart, she fully understands why it means so much to so many.
I hope that those who are seeing this for the first time get as much out of it as I do and those like me. It's something many of us have wanted in full for more than fifteen years, and we've finally got it. So please forgive us if we just babble on about it and act giddy. We've earned it.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,"3D" Animated Lenticular Coverplate
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
Running time: 900
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2