Macross Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Macross

Macross Vol. #6

By J.J. Matthews     February 07, 2007
Release Date: October 24, 2006


Macross Vol. #6
© ADV Films


What They Say
The battle lines have been drawn, the opposing forces are in place. The Macross is now allied with the same Zentradi fleets they have fought for over a year, but even an armada of a thousand ships is nothing against the overwhelming juggernaut of over four MILLION ships that now oppose them. Yet Mankind has a secret weapon that has thus far repelled every attack against it. Can the force the ancients called "Protoculture" save the Earth from total destruction once again? The answer will be unveiled in the sixth sense-shattering volume of Macross!


The Review!
Audio:
For our main viewing sessions, we listened to the new 5.1 Surround audio, and again, it's nicely done. It's not perfect, but overall, it's a job well done with few flaws. Dialog is clean, as are the effects and ambient sounds. The dub continues to be stellar, with translation and acting that fits well with the feel of the series while giving it a fresh approach that should make the series accessible to new audiences while pleasing existing fans as well.

Video:
Video quality is quite good, especially considering the masters for this series are more than twenty years old. The remastering of this series really was a great job in cleaning up noise, boosting saturation and generally delivering a clean transfer. It's impossible to erase, and debatable if you'd even want to, all the blemishes that come with a hand drawn, twenty year old anime title. I think they found the right balance of enhancements to make the video look fresh, while leaving the charm and obvious hard work that went into the original.

Packaging:
Keeping with the mecha theme for this release, this volume features a shot of the transformed Macross towering over a city, with a white bar across the top and bottom for the title and volume information. The title itself is dressed up with the "O" in Macross replaced by the UNSpacy logo. The back of the case provides information on extra's and staff, some text describing the series, and two small screenshots for each of the episodes.

Menu:
The menus are simple and very easy to navigate. There is a scrolling scene in the top third of the menu and some background music.

Each disk provides access to the individual episodes for the disk on the main menu, along with Language and Extras options, and a trailer for Volume 7. The episodes are broken into chapters, but the menus do not allow selection of those chapters. You need to use the 'Next' button on your DVD player/remote to flip between chapters.

Extras:
After providing comments from some of the male members of the cast in the previous volume, this chapter gives equal time to the ladies, with interview highlights from Monica Rial and Christine Auten. Other extras in this volume include:

- Character Stats, including some trivia and physical stats for the main characters
- Liner notes providing trivia about the making of Macross
- Clean opening animation
- Previews of upcoming ADV titles

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series nears its conclusion, Macross moves into a wind-down phase that is still rather unique for series of this kind, bringing the central conflict between Zentraedi and humans to a climax and then slowing down the pace a bit to allow for a more in-depth payoff on the personal stories that have been the core of the series.

At the end of the previous volume, the Earth was poised on the brink of a final, climactic conflict with the amassed Zentraedi forces, and this plays out in the first episode. Like most of the conflict in this series, there's a nice pacing to the battle as the various players take their shots, but the lynchpin for mankind's survival again turns out to be humanity's "protoculture", as personified by Lynn Minmay. Her songs provide a destabilizing element that allows the Macross to triumph, but not before most of the Earth has been completely decimated, leaving the people of the Macross, their Zentraedi allies, and what few pockets of survivors remain on the planet to rebuild from the ashes.

These events could easily have served as a conclusion to the series - a somewhat open-ended conclusion without some significant threads resolved, but hopeful and uplifting, overall. But Macross has time to expand on that conclusion and takes time to explore what happens next.

Skipping forward a few years, the hopeful dreams of mankind and Zentraedi working side by side for a brighter future have proven to be rather bittersweet, as the tendency towards violence inherent in both species begins to take its toll. Many Zentraedi cannot adapt to lives without warfare, and these rogue elements become an increasing problem for the struggling remnants of civilization with their violence and thieving. They also provide ample recruits for a growing army being formed by the enemy commanders, Kamjin and LaPlamiz, who have survived the destruction of the Zentraedi fleet and have been laying low, waiting for an opportunity to get their own revenge.

In the midst of this growing disillusionment about the future of the human/Zentraedi civilization, the central characters of the series have also not found much of a "happily ever after" in the intervening years. Hikaru and Misa have remained friends, and there is definitely affection between them, but they still seem to be dancing around any real acknowledgement of their feelings for each other. Their relationship is still hampered by Hikaru's unresolved feelings for Minmay, and Minmay herself is starting to pine for simpler days with Hikaru as her life as a pop-star and her relationship with Kaifun go increasingly sour.

The change in all of the characters is really impressive in this final arc, and this volume has really been one of my favorites in the series because of it. The evolution of Minmay's relationship with Kaifun, in particular, takes center stage in several episodes as we see how Kaifun has changed with time - his idealism and hatred of the military having hardened him into a bitter, greedy, controlling jerk using Minmay's popularity for his own gain. And Minmay, for her part, has grown increasingly disillusioned and starting to push back against the demands that Kaifun places on her. The collapse of their relationship contrasts nicely with the steadily growing ties between Hikaru and Misa, who have both followed a much more responsible and steady growth over time... although it's clear that Minmay still has the power to be a wildcard in that relationship.

In Summary:
Despite the slow-down in pacing, this volume still provides plenty of action as the conflict between human and Zentraedi starts to build to another crisis point, but the focus of the episodes the late in the series is solidly on the changes in the characters and their relationships - showcasing how far some have come and how far they still have to go. While, as with previous volumes, there's not a whole lot here to give sub-only viewers a reason to double-dip, this release continues to be an enjoyable way to revisit the series for those who prefer a standard multilingual edition, and the dub continues to be a notable highlight.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Featurette "The Women of Macross",Interview with Monica Rial (Misa) and Christine Auten (Claudia),Liner notes,Character and mecha statistics,Clean opening animation

Review Equipment
Marantz DV4300 Progressive scan DVD player via HD component connection, Marantz VP-12S3 DVI/Component HD DLP Projector, 110" 16:9 Stewart FireHawk Fixed Wall Mount Screen, Marantz SR9300 7.1 A/V Receiver 140 watts/discrete channel (7), DTS/DTS-ES/DTS Neo: 6, DD, D-PLII THX Certified 7.1 speaker system

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