Robotech Remastered Extended Edition Vol. #3 -

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Mania Grade: B-

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: Manga UK
  • MSRP: £14.99
  • 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. #3

By Bryan Morton     January 30, 2006
Release Date: January 23, 2006

Robotech Remastered Extended Edition Vol. #3
© Manga UK

What They Say
The final 12 episodes in the Macross Saga narrative, remastered and restored with extended footage, released on DVD for the first time ever!

In the year 2009 A.D. Earth is attacked by the Zentraedi, a vast armada of giant alien humanoids intent on recapturing the mysterious alien starship that crash landed on Macross Island ten years previously. The United Earth Defence Force launches the mysterious Super Dimensional Battle Fortress also known as the SDF-1 to defend the Earth. And so begins the amazing story of the first Robotech war.

Following several years of intergalactic war, the survivors are left to pick up the pieces amongst a battle-scarred planet. As factions on both sides struggle to find common ground and a peaceful resolution to the conflict others are hell bent on the Earth's complete destruction. Meanwhile, an even more deadly menace looms on the edge of the solar system ready to reclaim the Robotechnology for themselves...

Episodes Comprise
25 - Wedding Bells
26 - The Messenger
27 - Force Of Arms
28 - Reconstruction Blues
29 - The Robotech Masters
30 - Viva Miriya
31 - Khyron's Revenge
32 - Broken Heart
33 - A Rainy Night
34 - Private Time
35 - Season's Greetings
36 - To The Stars

The Review!
Robotech closes out the Macross Saga with a batch of episodes that can't quite decide if they're going to be action-adventure stories or heartstring-tugging romance.

The audio on this release is provided in English-only, and has been remastered into 5.1 surround, helping to add some depth and direction to the show's sound effects. Unfortunately, the background effects are sometimes boosted to the point where you can't hear much else, while the dialogue has been left rooted to the centre channel – more could probably have been done with the soundtrack to bring the series alive, and this is something of a missed opportunity.

Robotech Remastered uses the restored masters created by Animeigo for their release of Macross & is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The restoration work done means the show is free of any of the usual signs of old age, while the DVD transfer is clean, with no signs of any encoding problems. The animation style clearly shows its early 80's origins, although the animation quality in some areas (particularly the battle scenes) seems to be better than it was earlier in the series.

No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Strangely in 16:9 format when the rest of the disc is in 4:3, the menus here are very simple. An image of one of the main characters is projected on the walls of the 'room' used by the menus, while a video clip runs on a table in the centre of the room. There are only two options, Play All and Episode Selection, with the camera's point of view shifting depending on which option you choose. The opening theme plays throughout. There are short transition animations when selecting options which slow things down a bit, but the menus are clear and easy to use.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
There are really two story arcs on this volume. Episodes 25-27 close out the first war with the Zentraedi – with his men defecting in droves, Breetai opts to try for a peaceful solution to the conflict and sends Exedore to negotiate with the humans, who are still trying to decide what to do with the Zentraedi who are now asking for asylum. The most noticeable defection is that of Miriya, as the former Zentraedi ace marries Max and becomes the most visible proof that it is possible for humans and Zentraedi to live together peacefully. All this outrages the Zentraedi leader Dolza, who thinks of this only as the tainting of his race, so he orders his main fleet – almost 5 million ships, all told – to attack Earth and completely eliminate both the Micronians and the Zentraedi who have come into contact with them.

With Exedore having a picture of humanity that’s almost completely formed by what he’s seen on human TV, there’s some fun to be had watching Gloval trying to explain the difference between fact & fiction, and that humans aren’t really the all-powerful creatures he’s seen on TV. It’s another example of the culture gap between the two races that has been one of the plus points of Robotech. The whirlwind romance between Max and Miriya felt a little unlikely (as was Rick’s rapid about-face from being completely against the idea to thinking it was great, based on nothing more than finding out she was a looker), but it’s not the most unlikely happening here – that award goes to the SDF-1’s solo battle against 5,000,000 Zentraedi ships, with nothing more than a single shot from Earth’s high-power Grand Cannon as back-up. As with some events back on the first volume, this really stretched the suspension of disbelief a bit.

With the war finally over, rebuilding begins on what’s left of the planet – Dolza’s attack has left the surface almost completely devastated, and with most of the world’s leaders having been killed in the attack, Gloval and the SDF-1 take on the job of maintaining order and leading the reconstruction efforts. The Zentraedi are still a threat, however – Khyron survived the destruction of the fleet and has set himself up as a rebel warlord, and has been gaining followers from the remaining Zentraedi. While most have embraced the human style of life (with Exedore and Breetai having become important allies of the humans), for many the urge to fight is just too much, so Rick and his fellow Veritech fighters are still kept busy keeping the rebels under control. Not that this stops him from taking time out to find romance, as the love triangle between Minmei, Rick and Lisa really comes to the fore. As Khyron launches a raid that could prove to be humanity’s final stand, Rick is finally forced to confront his feelings for both women and make a choice.

For a few episodes after Dolza’s fleet was dealt with, it really felt like Robotech had peaked too soon – watching Earth rebuild was a real comedown after the end of the war, and it took Khyron’s rebellion a while to build to the point where it became a threat. The Robotech Masters were first introduced during this lull, and although they’re portrayed as being a major threat, their appearance was really just scene-setting for the next story arc. The way they were introduced also made it hard to see them as being a serious problem just yet. The scenes with the Masters also look a bit out-of-place here – the Masters arc of Robotech is based on the series Southern Cross, and there’s a noticeable difference in style between that show and the Macross footage that the majority of this disc comes from.

By the time Khyron launched what he hoped would be his killing blow, though, events had really kicked into high gear again, with Khyron’s forces causing a huge amount of destruction. It’s while all this is going on that both Minmei and Lisa finally confess their feelings to Rick, putting him in the no-win situation of having to choose which one of them he really wants to be with. The scenes centring on Rick and Minmei highlight how in some ways they really haven’t grown much over the course of the series, and while it was good to finally see the issue resolved, my own feelings for the characters had me wishing they would just get on with it when the scenes were probably meant to be quite touching.

In Summary:
Robotech has had good moments and bad throughout the series, and this volume is no different. On the one hand, it’s done a good job of portraying the war and its effects in a way that will keep action fans happy while giving those who like to look a bit deeper into the storyline something to think about. On the other hand, its portrayal of the lives and loves of the major characters has been hampered by some genuinely unlikeable personalities, while at some points the story has really stretched the limits of believability. Fortunately, the good on this volume outweighs the bad, bringing the Macross Saga to a close in a way that is enjoyable to watch despite some frustrating moments.

English Language 5.1

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.


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