Macross TV Vol. #9 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A

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Info:

  • 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. #9

By Chris Beveridge     January 07, 2002
Release Date: December 20, 2001


Macross TV Vol. #9
© AnimEigo


What They Say


The Review!
The final volume of Macross to some will seem anticlimactic after the explosive episode 27. To others, it ends the epilogue segment of the series perfectly. And I just have to fall into that category.

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 gray lined image of of the SDF-1 in transformed mode in all its glory. The back cover provides a few animation shots and summaries for the four episodes. Production credits are pretty minimal overall though. As mentioned in the 8th volume, this volume does not contain any liner notes.

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)
Wow just sums up this final batch of episodes for me.

With the show still firmly planted in epilogue mode, showing the world as it recovers from the Zentradi fleets assault on it and the assimilation of thousands of Zentradi into what remains of human culture. These are the stories that are rarely shown since many tend to find them somewhat boring or anticlimactic after the big battles are done. Myself, I find them more engaging at times than the main storyline and find myself enjoying the few series and novels that do show things afterwards.

One of the biggest draws here is that things take the time to slow down and let the relationships play out more. The triangle between Misa, Hikaru and Minmay becomes much stronger as things go here, with Minmay leaving Kaifun after she feels she can no longer sing. This leads her back to the one person who saw through all the flash and glitz to see the young girl that she really is. So it's little surprise to the viewer when she shows up at Hikaru's door, and no surprise that he lets her stay there, even though his relationship with Misa is really just ready to get rolling.

The story between Misa and Hikaru is still my favorite though, since it focuses on a young man whose been through very harrowing moments in the past three years since the start of Space War 1 as it's termed. His almost world weary view is tempered by things such as finding a field fully of dandelions where there should be none on the scarred earth. Watching the time he spends together with Misa, even in the work environment, is very telling of just how much he's changed. So much so that he knows subconsciously that he can't go back to Minmay.

With the slowdown, we get one of the best stories of the bunch in Rainy Night. In trying to make amends with each other in their own way, Misa and Hikaru engage in a serious of miscommunications that causes Misa to end up at Claudia's. While there, Claudia regales her with the story of her relationship with Roy Focker from when they first met to when they were both assigned to South Ataria. The added level of depth to their relationship show after the events serves the story much better than being shown before, because it works you into caring for the character even more.

That's not to say these episodes are all entirely character driven of course. With Kamjin and Lap'Lamiz still running about, now transplanted to some South American jungle, they begin their planned attacks and acquire more technology needed to get one of their gunships battle ready. With a series of attacks that culminate in a brutal Christmas Eve fight in Macross City, the people who live there are treated to one disaster after another. Kamjin truly proves himself to be a villain through these things.

And with the final episode coming to a close with all its revelations and finalities, I found myself simply grinning like an idiot. It's series like this that continually restore my faith in anime and keep me watching and looking for the next thing that will make me feel this way.

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.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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