Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 300
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Robotech

Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #02

By Luis Cruz     May 28, 2004
Release Date: March 23, 2004


Robotech Remastered: Extended Edition Vol. #02
© ADV Films


What They Say
After battling their way back to Earth, Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes and 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.

Unfortunately, the horrors of war hit close to home as heroes are forced to make the ultimate sacrifice... And the survivors must face the bitter realities of the conflict in the most personal of ways. 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!
This monitor will now return to Robotech.

Audio:
My primary viewing session consisted of the English audio track. Once again, a solid 5.1 track has been bestowed upon this volume. While some do not care for the updated sound effects, I find them very rich and expansive, but they still manage to capture the mid-1980s feel of the series. The Spanish audio track performs equally well and features a voice for Minmei that is significantly less annoying than her English counterpart. The battle scenes give the front and rear soundstages quite a workout, but you will also be impressed by the small audio touches introduced in the quieter scenes.

Video:
Obtaining the footage restored by Shin Kurokawa for AnimEigo's Macross release was a wise move on the part of Harmony Gold. The material continues to look spectacular and is vastly superior to the TV broadcasts over the years. While the restored footage has its detractors, the series continues to look fabulous to my eyes and shows off a lot of detail and colors.

Packaging:
Two keep cases come packaged in a sturdy cardboard box; the box features Lisa Hayes in the cockpit of the scout plane on one side and Roy Fokker in his flight uniform on the other. It is a very well designed box; the images are sharp and have a metallic background that draws the eye to it. The individual cases have a picture of Roy Fokker and Ben Dixon on the front covers; the back covers contain the requisite episode summaries and disc specifications. Inside is a one-page insert containing the front cover image on one side and an episode listing on the other.

Menu:
Clean and simple, the main menu has a piece of animation and music looping in the background. The menu options are along the right side of the screen; there are no transition delays switching between menus, and the sub-menus contain a static image and a piece of looping music.

Extras:
None; move along...

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In its original form, the middle act of the Macross saga contains some very powerful moments; the Robotech version keeps these moments intact but does tone down the immensity of one of them. We open up this set with the SDF-1 managing to punch through the Zentradi forces and land safely in the Earth's ocean. Captain Gloval's main concern now is the off-loading of the civilian population. However, the Earth government has declared all of them dead as part of an elaborate cover story to hide the existence of the alien forces.

Meanwhile, Rick flies the burgeoning superstar Minmei to her family in Japan. There she meets up with her pacifist cousin Kyle. While Kyle hates war and all those who practice it, he agrees to return to the SDF-1 with Minmei in order to be with his parents. The close relationship between Kyle and Minmei confuses Rick and makes the rift between him and Minmei wider.

Portions of the Zentradi fleet have no desire to let the SDF-1 forces rest comfortably and continue to launch attacks against it. One attack leaves Rick injured and delusional; his dreams further confuse him as he realizes that he is beginning to have feelings for Lisa. While he recovers in the hospital, tragedy befalls our intrepid crew.

In a fierce dogfight, Roy Fokker is mortally wounded; knowing that the end is near, he tells no one and returns to his quarters to spend his last moments in peace and quiet with Claudia. He strums his guitar as Claudia fixes dinner, blissfully unaware of Roy's condition. The music stops, and Claudia turns to find Roy has passed away silently. It is a hauntingly beautiful moment, subtle but very powerful. Moments like these are what separates the first Robotech saga from other series; it is not about the war but about how the people in it are affected.

While the crew and particularly Rick and Claudia attempt to deal with this tremendous loss, Captain Gloval decides to break orders and flies over the Earth in an attempt to find a home for the civilians. A city in Canada agrees to take them in, but the Zentradi attack before Gloval can offload the civilians. This time, the SDF-1 is well-prepared for the attack. They have created a barrier that covers the whole ship.

As the battle rages on, the generators for the barrier begin to collapse under the strain. The barrier undergoes a huge chain reaction, one that kills Rick's wingman Ben Dixon and also destroys the entire city below the SDF-1. Sadly, the writers did not capture the immensity of the destruction in their rewrite of the series. The city is destroyed, but the overwhelming sense of loss, especially the loss of innocent civilians, does not come through in the dialogue or the acting.

Quickly after that, the SDF-1 is forced back out into space. There, the relationships begin to churn; Rick and Lisa begin to grow close though Rick still pines for Minmei. Meanwhile, Creepy Cousin Kyle is getting a bit more than family friendly with Minmei. The Zentradi are also beginning to feel the effects of Minmei as the spies that returned from the SDF-1 bring her music to the masses. Eventually, enough of them are captivated by the life of the SDF-1's crew that they shrink themselves down and seek political asylum on-board.

The middle act ends with Rick and Lisa growing very close just as Lisa departs for Earth. She attempts to take the knowledge that the Zentradi and humans are nearly identical genetically and use it to get the Earth government to open peace talks. However, they have their own dangerous plans to get the Zentradi to talk peace.

The series continues to be a delightful, nostalgic trip; however, not everything is golden about the series. At times, the dialogue just becomes a bit too corny or forced, especially during some of the more relationship oriented moments between Rick and Lisa. Also, the same two songs are used over and over for Minmei; while this mirrors the original material to an extent, the songs are flat and unappealing making it difficult to hear them over and over again.

However, the writers and producers do have to be commended for leaving in Roy's death scene. It is a powerful moment but one that could have easily been left on the cutting room floor in the name of TV standards and practices. Few animated shows before or after dealt directly and honestly with death; part of the Macross saga's morale is that war carries a personal price for everyone involved.

It is a shame that the writers glossed over the destruction of the city though; it is another powerful moment that hammers home the morale of the story. However, enough of the original morale is still communicated very well. This is definitely a series every fan should watch, and while I am not a big fan of dubs, I can easily recommend this Robotech version for all.

In Summary:
Though toned down a bit from the original material, the middle arc of the Macross saga continues to strike a powerful cord. It takes all the characters through a tempest of emotions and puts a human face on the events that surround a war. Great stuff that still holds up well even if the dialogue and songs are a bit corny at times.

Features
English 5.1 Language,Spanish Language

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable

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