Robotech Legacy Set 2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 44.98
  • Running time: 375
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Robotech

Robotech Legacy Set 2

By Chris Beveridge     August 07, 2001
Release Date: August 07, 2001


Robotech Legacy Set 2
© ADV Films


What They Say
A special 3-disc collector's edition which includes Volume 3: Homecoming, Volume 4: Battlefront and a the second installment in the Elements of Robotechnology extras series available only in this collection.

After battling their way back to Earth, the crew of the SDF-1 must learn to cope with a new set of rules imposed by a bureaucracy with little understanding of the grave threat that faces the entire world. Eventually, the horrors of war are brutally realized as heroes are forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.... Add to this the growing tensions, romantic and otherwise, between several key characters and therein lays the makings of classic science fiction melodrama that defines ROBOTECH.

In the wake of Roy Fokker's death, the crew of the SDF-1 must face the bitter realities of war in the most personal of ways. Add to this the growing dissatisfaction with the Earth's primitive defense forces, and it all points to eminent defeat at the hands of a massive alien armada. But as the battle to save their planet seems out of their reach, a series of lucky breaks give these besieged heroes of the massive space battle fortress a small glimmer of hope.

The Review!
The second batch of Robotech DVD's basically continues what's come before, with the show progressing nicely, and the discs essentially the same for quality as the first release.

Audio:
For our primary reviewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of English. And with English being the only audio track available on the disc it wasn't a hard choice. The series and extras are presented in a straightforward stereo mix, though it's essentially a mono mix across the front soundstage with very little in the way of directionality, but that's really expected for a show this age. There were a few moments on the first disc where things sounded a bit low, but not an actual dropout or anything. Other than that, the audio track on all three discs is what one would expect and serves the material well.

Video:
The video transfer here suffers from the same amount of graininess as the first volume, as well as the expected bits of nicks, dust and dirt throughout the episodes. The show does look fairly washed out and somewhat dull looking, but it's also again a fair representation of what was broadcast originally and what we've seen in previous video releases. There aren't any surprises here, but as we mentioned in our review of the first box set, your setup is going to either hide a lot of the grain or really make it strong.

Packaging:
The second mini box set follows the first one perfectly, with the same color, same style and same spine design. The listing of the episode numbers on the side is a big plus, and the general literal feel of the box is quite nice. The individual keepcases are again white with the painted looking covers that continue to be a great change from the covers seen on all prior VHS/LD releases. The back covers and the inserts all look good, and the design in general works well. Very nice packaging job here.

Menus:
The menus used here definitely fall under the simple and straightforward category. The main screen is basically a clip of animation playing and the episode selections on the right as well as the trailers section. Moving about is pretty fast and the look works well for this release. I'm not sure if doing a bit CG style menu would have worked well, since it wouldn't fit quite right with the age of the materials.

Extras:
While not as densely packed as the first extras disc, this second extras disc contains a number of neat items. One of the main draws is to finally see all of the commercials for Robotech toys that Matchbox had done back in the day. These commercials are sooo hokey, they're classic. Take a dose of Robotech animation, show kids playing with toys, show an American style piece of animation of various characters or mecha shooting, show more of the toy, and then close with Robotech animation. The American added animation is just sooo bad. The toy ads themselves are pretty much standard fare for the day, but the ones I hadn't seen before was for the "Women of Robotech", which are the larger Barbie-like dolls that were done for Minmay, Rick and Lisa. Man, poor Rick... that big head of hair and the fact he's openly dating both women.. and looks bad in a suit. Hilarious stuff.

There's a sweet section that's a 36 page gallery of all the Macross Saga Comico comic book covers (and yes, I have a complete collection of those as well). There's also 49 pages worth of black and white line art, most of which looks like it came out of some of those big Macross artbooks.

One brief video, that runs for just under two minutes, is from the Galaxy of Stars promotion that was done back in 1986, to promote the show and the toys, and it looks like the fan club as well (I wasn't a charter member, but I did join up with the RDF!). The video shows a lot of kids that are just really into the whole thing and it looks like they had a lot of fun with it.

The final interesting piece is a 15 minute interview with Carl Macek done as part of a Dallas/FW area program called Point of View. It was done just before the initial release of the Robotech movie in that area (appearing on 25 screens), and for a lot of fans, provides their first view of Carl back in the mid 80's. While it's not the most revealing piece in the world, the part I found fascinating was in just how well Mr. Macek managed to avoid saying that the 85 episode series was made up from three different programs from Japan. He does talk about how the animation is from Japan, but is said in such a way that it makes Harmony Gold to be the ones who came up with the entire idea and then had some Japanese animate it. It's things like this that have annoyed fans for so long, but it's an interesting look into the historical side of domestic anime releases.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As with any block of twelve episodes, there's a lot going on here. The main thrust early on for this set of episodes though is rather interesting. With the SDF-1 now back at Earth, the civilians begin to celebrate and even many of the military folks are joyous about being back on the homeworld. Much to the confusion of many though, the upper Earth command insists that the ship stay out in the ocean and away from everyone.

Lisa and Gloval head off to meet with the Earth command in the Alaskan headquarters, a rather deep and interestingly laid out command center that's buried deep underground. The two deliver their report, and begin to be scrutinized by those in charge via video consoles, and are stunned to learn that the civilians must be kept on the ship. Apparently, and rightly so, when the attack on the SDF-1 occurred back on Macross Island, and the ship disappeared into Pluto orbit, the world government created a media cover-up and listed all residents and crew as dead. The Earth still doesn't know about the aliens.

This meeting is also timed with Rick piloting Minmay back home to Japan to visit her parents. Her star status gave her the privilege of being the only civilian allowed off the ship, and she gets Rick to be her guard and pilot. Rick finds himself into more than he expected though, as Minmay's cousin Kyle is living there with her parents, and his strong anti-war and anti-military views are very strong, heavy-handed and generally pretty blunt.

Things get even more uncomfortable for Rick as Minmay is very affectionate with her favorite cousin, and he manages to worm his way into coming back with them onto the SDF-1. And their return is also heralded by Lisa and Gloval's return, with the information that the civilians will not be allowed to leave. Tensions start rising from this news, and with the Zentraedi once again pursuing them, things get even more interesting now that there's a strong anti-war presence pushing everyone's buttons on the ship.

What really thrills me with this set of episodes is the introduction of the female Zentraedi, specifically the ace of aces among them, Miria. Miria has for the longest time been my favorite character of the show, to the point where if I have another baby girl, that'll be her name. The character is just one that really struck a chord with me, both in design and attitude. Through the episodes, comics and novels, she's just been a real draw. And now you know why Divi-Chan has green hair!

This set is a solid follow-up to the first set. What you got there, you simply get more of here. And if you were like me and just really got into the feel of Robotech, you'll be just as happy and enjoy this set just as much. Recommended.

Features
English Language,Animation designs featuring mecha from Macross
Character bios newly adapted from Harmony Gold's original production bible by series producer Carl Macek,Robotech International clips,Gallery of vintage comic book covers from Comico featuring an episode- by-episode adaptation of Robotech: The Macross Saga,Promotional films from 1986 never before seen by the general public,Vintage television commercials produced by Matchbox Toys for the launch of their Robotech toy line

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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