Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #06 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, January 09, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, November 02, 2004
What They Say
In the aftermath of the war with the Robotech Masters, the Invid arrive on Earth to lay waste to the already battle-weary armies of the Southern Cross. Led by the Regis, their supreme ruler, the protoplasmic Invid turn Earth into a massive slave colony. Admiral Rick Hunter, leading an expeditionary force in search of the Robotech Masters' homeworld, sends reinforcements to help reclaim the Earth. After a spectacular battle, the expedition force is decimated, forcing Lt. Scott Bernard to assemble a ragtag squad of insurrectionists to liberate the Earth.
A new generation of Robotech fighters attempt to save humanity and Earth from the Invid invasion.
The English 5.1 audio track was used for my primary viewing session. The track maintains the solid audio quality seen in the previous Remastered 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. The Spanish soundtrack fares equally well with the voices coming decently close to their English counterparts.
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 Scott and Rook in their Cyclone suits on one side and a Cyclone armored warrior on the other. The images are sharp and have a metallic background that draws the eye to it.
The individual cases feature the shots of Scott and Rook 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)
As the capstone series, Robotech the New Generation has quite a bit to live up to, especially after the lackluster Masters middle act. With two series worth of build-up, it has to not only develop another villainous race but must also tie up the plot threads that brought them on the scene in the first place. The year is 2031, and the Invid have finally followed the siren song of the flower of life and arrived at Earth.
They quickly conquer the entire planet and turn humanity into their slaves; mankind is forced to cultivate Protoculture for the mysterious Invid. In 2042, Admiral Rick Hunter dispatches a fleet from Mars to reclaim the Earth; we are introduced to Scott Bernard and his fiancée Marlene, both members of the arriving fleet. Upon their arrival, the Invid dispatch their crab-like mecha warriors to destroy the fleet.
Scott leads the human forces in their Veritechs but quickly finds himself in a losing battle. Scott and the last battleship attempt to land on Earth, but the Invid overwhelm them destroying the battleship and Marlene. As the only survivor of the fleet, Scott takes it upon himself to finish the mission and destroy Reflex Point, the heart of the Invid forces.
With the mission firmly established, Scott takes off on his Cyclone, a motorcycle that also can transform into a powerful battle suit. As the story progresses, Scott picks up a number of comrades to aid him in his mission -- Rand, the brash young freedom fighter; Annie, the token annoying little girl with a fondness for mints and marriage; Rook, the street punk turned fighter; Lunk, the aptly named rotund mechanic; and Lancer, a.k.a. Yellow Dancer, the cross dressing rock star.
The bulk of the initial episodes introduce us to these characters, their background, and the state of the world after the Invid invasion. Earth has become home to a broken people; there are those that work with the Invid to maintain the illusion of peace in their town. Most of the Earth though resembles the lawless frontiers of the "Old West", as gangs prey on the weak and rule by use of force.
We do not get into the meat of the story until the last six episodes of the set; in these episodes, we begin to learn about why the Invid have invaded Earth and what they are doing. In a series of Genesis Pits, they are recreating life from various periods of Earth's history; they are looking for the perfect life form in order to manipulate its genetics and merge with themselves. In this way, they will become even stronger and renew their species.
The Invid become concerned with Scott and his band of rebels and decide to place a spy in their midst. They use a Simulagent in the form of an attractive, young woman. Per the Invid's plan, the group finds her in an abandoned town and quickly makes her part of the group. However, she has no memory of who she is and seems to suffer from voices in her head whenever the Invid are around. The group quickly dubs her Marlene, thus ensuring that she will play a prominent part in the resolution of the story.
The New Generation is definitely a step up from the Masters saga. One disappointing aspect of the middle act was the lack of interesting mecha designs. This new generation of Robotech warriors has come equipped with much better mecha; the Veritech fighters look similar to the original Macross designs but have some unique twists of their own. The Cyclone battle suits are also impressive, as the crew continually switch between the motorcycle and battle suit modes. The Invid mecha are crab-like and well suited to the concept that they are a parasitic race.
What impressed me the most about the series was the way it plays fair with the world and characters it has created. Scott and his crew must continually scavenge for food and fuel; they do not have an inexhaustible supply of Protoculture to keep them going. They face realistic supply problems every step of the way; however, they do cheat a small bit, as their mecha do seem to have an inexhaustible supply of missiles.
Despite the interesting mecha designs and realistic world, there is just something missing from the plot to make the series enjoyable. While not boring, it just does not find a way to make the connection with the audience that the Macross saga did. It just does not do anything to distinguish it from the host of other mecha series. The characters fall into the standard stereotypes, and the plot is straightforward and by the numbers.
Robotech the New Generation is a definite step up from the Masters saga. It features great mecha designs and a well crafted world for the characters to play in. Yet, it cannot rise to the level of the Macross saga that started the series. The series is entertaining enough to watch but does little to differentiate it from the standard mecha series. It is worth watching once, but the start of the series does not have enough in it to warrant repeated viewings.
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: B
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: 325
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2