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. #6
By Chris Beveridge
January 06, 2002
Release Date: December 20, 2001
Macross TV Vol. #6
What They SayThe Review!
After the couple of past really excellent episodes, things take a slower turn here as the stories focus a bit more inward and set up the relationships to change and move forward a bit.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 a purple lined image of Exedol in his Zentradi outfit.. 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 some more song lyrics as well as more episode notations.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)
There's a couple of really good events during these episodes, but as an overall episode piece, there's nothing as stand out as the previous disc or future episodes. But we do get a lot of good character development going on here, so that's the important stuff.
The big event here is the completion of Minmay's movie, Shao Pai Lin. Better known as Little White Dragon, it's an amusing little action/drama set back in time a bit with Kaifun being the hero kung-fu fighter who defends Minmay's character. We don't get to see a ton of footage from the movie, but we do get a new song (Yay!) and some good clips. The part that makes it truly amusing is that we see Britai getting a feed of the movie. When Kaifun uses his "super lightning beam" power from his fingertips, the reaction of the Zentradi is great. Entertainment just doesn't count as a word in their language. This display and others from the movie send them into a near panic as they try to reconcile what they've seen.
While this is all good stuff for Minmay and her career, Hikaru can't bring himself to stay for the entire movie after a romantic kissing scene between Kaifun and Minmay comes along. He heads out only to stumble and grab Misa's posterior. This leads them off into a situation where they get stuck together for awhile and take the time to actually talk with each other instead of at each other. After the Phantasm episode recently, things are again given a nice push in the new direction.
One of the other underlying arcs of these episodes deals with the return of the three Zentradi spies to their regular stations, though promoted. Their continual interactions with the rest of the crew only serves to bring more Zentradi interest in Minmay and the "culture" aboard the Macross. It's like a spreading sickness of people who want to listen to the song and to see the items that were brought back. And reports of this infection don't go unnoticed either, which raises fears among the command about what will happen to them, based on the historical texts that they have.
The "Good-bye Girl" episode is probably my favorite though for two reasons. The first is the plot to get Misa back on Earth by delivering information about the connections between humans and Zentradi. It's not terribly forced, though having her ship attacked after a period of quiet is, but the way she and Hikaru danced around saying goodbye and then finally did worked rather well and added another layer to their relationship.
What really works for me in this episode though is the entire game-room sequence. Seeing that Hikaru's somewhat down in the dumps, Max takes him to a local arcade to cheer him up. Max's piloting skills translate perfectly to flight/combat sim games and he racks up massive amounts of tokens. It's here that he sees Milia playing the same kind of game, and she's got twice as many tokens lined up. It even looks like she uses her earnings from here to support herself during her investigations.
Max falls instantly for her. He challenges her to a game, which attracts practically everyone in the arcade. The battle is played out quite well, and as it goes along, the moves from their own fighter combat missions become evident and the animation is mixed between the game footage and the last encounter by the two. It's a really slick way of doing it and works really well here. With Milia being by far my favorite character of the series, I'm glad to see her finally getting more screen time now that we're getting deeper into things.
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.