Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #03 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, June 19, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2004
What They Say
The first storyline of Robotech comes to a satisfying but slightly muddled end.
My primary viewing session consisted of the English audio track. Once again, a solid 5.1 track has been bestowed upon this volume. The battle scenes utilize the front and rear soundstages quite well and immerse you in the action. While the final few episodes are driven more by dialogue, there is enough ambient sound in the background providing atmosphere rather than having everything come through the center channel.
The video transfer continues to look spectacular. While the restored footage has its detractors, the series continues to look fabulous to my eyes and shows off a lot of detail and colors. Flaws from the digital transfer appear to be non-existent; the classic series has been given the royal treatment in its video restoration.
Two keep cases come packaged in a sturdy cardboard box; the box features Max and Miriya in their flight suits on one side and Rick Hunter's skull Valkyrie in battroid mode on the other. It is a very well designed box; the images are sharp and have a metallic background that draws the eye to it. The individual cases feature Max and Miriya on the front covers; the back covers contain the requisite episode summaries and disc specifications. Inside is a one-page insert containing the front cover image on one side and an episode listing on the other.
Clean and simple, the main menu has a piece of animation and music looping in the background. The menu options are along the right side of the screen; there are no transition delays switching between menus, and the sub-menus contain a static image and a piece of looping music.
None; move along...
Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Part of the challenge of meshing three distinct stories together into one is managing to bridge the distinct ending of one into the beginning of the other. As the Macross story comes to an end, the writers managed to wedge a bridge into the story, but it makes little sense in the overall story context. Despite this, the ending manages to retain most of its impact.
While the war rages on outside the SDF-1, love is blossoming inside between an unlikely pair. After inviting the micronized warrior Miriya on a date, Max finds himself being attacked, as she seeks revenge for her past losses at his hands. The outcome surprises both of them when Max proposes marriage and she accepts. As the wedding ceremony is viewed by the Zentradi forces, their leader Breetai realizes that they cannot defeat the human spirit.
The two sides call a truce but find their new peace shattered by the imminent arrival of Supreme Commander Dolza and the entire Zentradi strike force. A desperate battle ensues and ends with the SDF-1 defeating the Zentradi but at a terrible cost. Nearly two-thirds of the population of the Earth has been destroyed. The remainder of the series focuses on the rebuilding of the Earth, the difficulties of the Zentradi and human cultures integrating together, and the wrapping up of the various romantic relationships.
Interspersed with the ending are references to the "Robotech Masters"; these Masters show up in clips from Southern Cross that have been spliced at various points into episodes. The clips are few but confusing in their placement and dialogue. At one point, they state they are trying to resurrect a deceased scientist that created robotechnology. However, we are left wondering why they doing this as no further mention is made as to why or how this relates to the events surrounding the Earth and the SDF-1.
The main focus of the ending manages to balance several concepts quite well. What impresses me most is that it does not paint the events of the war and its consequences in black and white. Events are summed up best when one character states that no culture has ever turned its back on war. Neither side's hands are clean, but each one tries to live as best they know how.
What makes the story compelling even today is the honest way it approaches love and war. It does not attempt to moralize or lecture; rather, it shows that both are struggles to conquer the baser portions of our nature to find what is truly good. There is just something honest about the entire story that hits home with me on many levels; even after numerous viewings over the years, this series is still a joy to watch. And the restored video and audio just makes things even better.
Despite the poor fit of the elements that bridge the Macross story to the Southern Cross story, the ending of the first third of Robotech remains satisfying and fitting. It does not have a concrete happy or sad ending; instead, it is colored with the various emotions of the people the war has affected. While the animation may show its age, the story continues to be timeless, its lessons relevant today as they were when it first aired. If I were to compile a list of "Essential" titles, the Macross saga in its original form and its Robotech incarnation would top the list.
English 5.1 Language,Spanish Language
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 300
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2