Mania Grade: A
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- 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
Macross TV Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
January 03, 2002
Release Date: December 20, 2001
Macross TV Vol. #3
What They SayThe Review!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 red lined image of Misa Hayase in her officers uniform. 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 character profiles for the first six main characters of the series as well as some line art of each.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)
Things take some rather odd turns here. With the ship now being in space for around eight months, the local TV station is coming back online and their first order of business is to... stage a beauty contest?
That's right, the Miss Macross contest is the big event. And this big event causes quite a stir for things in general, going beyond being just fanservice of some sort. The Zentraedi are using these new broadcasts as a way to learn about their enemy and it provides them with some information that just can't be understood. Are those bathing suits really combat suits of some kind? They just can't think outside of the military formula that they know. Humans on the other hand aren't thinking that when they see the 23 assorted ladies, including Minmay.
The events that the Zentraedi witness here do cause them to start more serious investigations into what the humans on the Macross are doing. Their major attempt is to use a large scale beam weapon attack to disable their radar, causing them to send out some scout craft that they can capture and bring inside to investigate. The attack goes fairly rough on the Macross and once the radar is out, they do indeed send out a Cats Eye craft.
Though slightly irregular, the ship is headed by Misa Hayase, who had recently been berated by Hikaru for not really understanding the dangers the pilots face constantly and their needs. So she tries to put herself in their place and ends up with Hikaru and his Vermillion squadron as an escort. But the Zentraedi's plan works all too well and they quickly find themselves too far from the Macross and too far outnumbered. With the exception of Max who makes an escape elsewhere into the ship, the rest are captured by Britai in hand to hand combat - which was a truly great sequence, showcasing how different he is from a regular Zentraedi.
There's a lot of revelations once we get the small segment of the cast onboard Britiai's ship and it heads off into the heart of the overall Zentraedi fleet. A sizeable amount of information about the history of the Zentraedi starts to become known and we get to learn a lot about how their race works in general. While warlike races have been portrayed in many shows, the Zentraedi continue to have something different about them.
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.
Japanese Language, English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.