Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #05 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, September 07, 2004
What They Say
As the Southern Cross Defense Corps mount increasingly desperate offensive measures against the attacking Robotech Masters, a smitten Dana Sterling helps Zor Prime - the amnesia-stricken clone of the first Robotech Master - integrate with the rest of the 15th squadron, who are reluctant to accept their former enemy into their ranks. But Zor inadvertently places Dana and her comrades in danger when his creators activate him to serve his true purpose - that of a spy for the Masters! With time running out in the race to recapture the protoculture matrix, both sides of the war pull out all the stops in hopes of achieving victory. But there are worse things in space than the Robotech Masters, and whoever comes out on top will face a much bigger threat in the form of the impending Invid invasion.
The Masters saga comes to muddled close.
The English 5.1 audio track was used for my primary viewing session. The track maintains the solid audio quality seen in the previous three box sets. The action flows across the front and back soundstages giving the battle scenes a lot of energy. Dialogue, music, and sound effects are mixed well with no noticeable dropouts, distortion, or other problems.
Given the age of the source material, a solid digital transfer has been given to this set. Colors are rich and bright, but the source material does contain some grain, scratches, and other minor print defects. There were no noticeable problems from the digital transfer. Overall, the picture is clear and pleasing to the eye.
Two keep cases come packaged in a sturdy cardboard box; the box features Zor and Nova in their uniforms on one side and an armored warrior 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 the shots of Zor and Nova from the box itself; 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)
The end of the Masters saga shows what happens when one writes themselves into a corner; eventually, you have to blow through a load bearing wall and end up with an absolute mess. This is precisely what happens with the final events of this saga. The first half of this set deals with Zor and the attempts to have him regain his memory.
During this quest, Dana and her team discover a mysterious growth of flowers inside the ruins of the SDF-1. The flowers appear to be alive though no one understands their purpose. Meanwhile, the forces of the Earth continue to futilely send wave after wave of troops against the fleet of the Robotech Masters. While the Earth forces do not trouble the Masters, they are concerned about the growing rise of emotions in their populace. And in the middle of all of this is a mysterious Invid sensor cloud.
As the final six episodes open up, the writers do not appear to realize that their backs are rapidly approaching the wall. Dana and her squad are aboard a Masters mothership when the Masters use their mind control device on Zor and capture them all. Musica helps Zor regain some of his humanity in an effort to free Bowie, Dana, and the rest of the squad from execution.
Along the way, we learn that the plants are the Flowers of Life, a source of energy that the Invid require to survive. The flowers have infested the Masters' source of protoculture and are mutating it into an unusable form. They fear that the protoculture on Earth is experiencing the same mutation. Indeed, it is undergoing the mutation and is releasing spores designed to attract the Invid.
Now the backs are firmly against the wall with nowhere to go; suddenly, the Masters now require the flowers to bring them the life and power needed to fight the Invid. Down comes the wall as Zor's original memories come out and reveal that he was once a scientist spreading these spores across the galaxy. That sound you heard was the wall coming down; if the flowers are the source of life for the dreaded Invid, why was the original Zor spreading them across the galaxy? How did these flowers get into the Masters' protoculture? Why are the Masters hanging on to one of these flowers and claim that it is their only hope?
None of the answers are forthcoming, as the writers are only concerned about wrapping up this story arc and move into the final arc. Zor finds that the only way he can atone for his crimes is to destroy the flowers and prevent the Invid from destroying the Earth. He kills the Masters and blows up their remaining mother ship over the flowers growing over the SDF-1 ruins. The plan backfires, and Zor's sacrifice is in vain as it just causes the spores to release more quickly.
Much like Zor's sacrifice, the rewrite of this series goes horribly wrong; the audience is left with too much confusion around most of the key elements of the series. Combine this with lackluster mecha designs and boring characters, and it is more of a chore than entertainment to watch the series.
The only way I can recommend this set is if you invested in the first half of this story. Even then, you might want to consider skipping it; the characters and mecha designs remain boring and uninspired. The rewrite of the story takes too many confusing turns resulting in a boring, nonsensical plot. Unless you have to own everything Robotech, your money would be better spent elsewhere.
English 5.1 Language,Spanish 5.1 Language
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable
Mania Grade: C
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