This early anime series that helped introduce the genre to the United States in the mid-1980s is a curious hybrid. Harmony Gold bought the rights to the 36-episode Super Dimension Fortress: Macross, in which an alien invas... more »ion was held at bay by the voice of a girl pop star, but executives felt that American viewers wouldn't accept that plot. Producer-story editor Carl Macek intercut sequences from Macross with two similar-looking sci-fi series from Tatsunoko Studios, Genesis Climber Mospeada and Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, creating a sprawling 85-episode space opera with a completely new story line. A gigantic spaceship crashes into the Earth in 1999; after 10 years of analysis and repairs, the Earth forces relaunch the gargantuan flying fortress--just as the 50-foot alien Zentraedi attack hoping to capture it--precipitating an interstellar war. In addition to two discs (12 episodes) of the Macross adventure, this first collection includes the first video release of Codename: Robotech. Made to promote interest in the series before its debut, Codename consists of the first 13 episodes recut as a feature. Captain Gloval's reminiscences about the characters' adventures ties together the rather choppy film. The supplemental disc also offers a commentary by Macek, describing the origins of the Robotech project and the making of the Codename feature; a portfolio of character model sheets; and selected scenes in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. A must-have for Robotech fans. Unrated; "contains mild animated violence." Suitable for ages 8 and up: violence is restricted to spaceship and robot battles. --Charles Solomon« less
"There are a few classic anime series which should never fall out of print- Speed Racer, Star Blazers(Yamato), 8th Man(the english translation) and MACROSS. Carl Macek's mid-eighties adaptation of the original Macross Saga into the Robotech series wasn't flawless, but it allowed American kids a chance to see some creative animation which didn't draw from the same pre-packaged toy pushing corporate garbage animation formula which overpowered American TV in the eighties. For the first and only time in the eighties kids got what they lusted for- space battles, robots, action, hard luck, death, romance, intensity. The Macross portion of Robotech delivered in spades, and nearly everyone who glimpsed an episode of this epic tragedy was changed, influenced by a thoughtful story matched with skilled animation artists creating an awesome milestone in animation history. There were obviously three or more crews of animators and layout artists working on the Macross Saga in Japan. As you watch the episodes you will notice a quarter of the episodes are amazing in every aspect. The layout looked just like Mikimoto's original designs for the characters, the mecha functioned flawless, the animation was superb and the storyboarding was pushing the boundaries of what could happen on an animation camera stand. Another third of the series is very well done, but not quite as stylish as the best episodes, and the remainder was pretty horridly drawn and animated. The difference in drawing styles is very apparent, as are all the old Japanese hallmarks of bad animation(lens flares, cel scratches, inconsistant color, popping layers) which appear more in the lower quality episodes. The story is still quite a fun epic journey culminating in the obliteration of the earth's surface in one of the most unforgettable epiosdes in TV(the episode which got Robotech taken off the air in the later eighties due to explicitly gruesome violence as people fry and obliterate as a million atomic blasts devastate the earth), and then following its reconstruction period afterwards. There are so many unforgettable moments in the Macross saga which I have remembered ever since seeing it as a kid.The worth of this series is incalculable. Currenty I work in the American animation industry and just yesterday I used some Chinese VCDs of Macross as reference for explosions and laserbeams. Every so often I and my artists influenced by this series will harken back to it for animation and storytelling reference because of its artistic strength. Mind you, I haven't seen the DVD edition yet, but if it is the unadulterated adaptation of the Robotech series without bizarre editing or gruesome color correction, 'creative' voice or video alteration then it is a definite 5 star must see for any anime fan who enjoys any genre. Thank you, Carl Macek for finally releasing a true classic. Now, if only you could release 'Porco Rosso' with your translation in tact...."
Finally, The Anime Series That Started It All, on DVD!!!
Mr. JKW | Honolulu, Hawai'i | 08/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Robotech Legacy: Macross Saga Collection 1, contains episodes 1 through 12 of the legendary anime series from the mid 1980s. The first two discs contain six episodes each. The third disc contains all the ?Exclusive DVD features? and is only available if you purchase this boxed set.For the uninitiated, Robotech was the most popular of the Americanized Japanese anime series to hit American TV waves during the 1970s and 1980s (along with Star Blazers, Voltron, Transor Z, etc.) Known for its cutting edge animation, thrilling battle scenes, futuristic techonology (planes, tanks, motorcyles that transform into robots), cool alien invaders, and realistic and compelling storylines, Robotech swept an entire generation and helped put Japanese Anime forever on the map of American pop culture.Robotech?s sweeping saga spanned three seasons and weaved together three actual separate storylines based on Japanese anime: Season 1 - The Macross Saga, Season 2 - The Robotech Masters (The Southern Cross in Japan), and Season 3 - The New Generation (Mospeada in Japan). The basic story premise is that the earth became forever changed when a mysterious alien battleship crashed on earth. The people of the world, now knowing that they are not alone in the universe, end all wars and unite to understand and assimilate the advanced technology and prepare for the inevitable alien invasion that is sure to come. As the story unfolds mankind would go on to battle three separate alien races over the next three seasons. The sweeping intergalactic war saga itself though, merely becomes the backdrop of a deeper ?human? saga.This Boxed Set contains 3 DVDs. Here?s a listing of what you?ll find on these discs.Disc 1 ? First Contact, episodes 1 ? 6. 1. Booby Trap: While visiting his friend, Rick Hunter becomes an unwilling fighter pilot in the midst of an alien invasion!!!2. Countdown: As Rick struggles to figure out his strange airplane, the SD-F1 struggles to lift off!!!3. Space Fold: The SD-F1 warps in order to outflank the alien invaders, unknowingly taking Macross Island with it.4. The Long Wait: Rick and Minmei are stuck deep within the depths of the SD-F1.5. Transformation: In order to survive a Zentraedi attack, the SD-F1 must transform, at the potential cost of 70,000 refugee lives!!!6. Blitzkrieg: Rick enlists!!!Disc 2 ? Transformation, contains episodes 7 ? 12. 1. Bye, Bye Mars: Lisa Hayes journeys to Mars hoping to find her long lost fiancé.2. Sweet Sixteen: It?s Minmei?s birthday and Rick just got promoted and assigned two pilots under him!!!3. Miss Macross: Minmei enters the Miss Macross beauty pageant while Rick dogfights it out with a Zentraedi recon ship.4. Blind Game: Vermillion Group is captured by the Zentraedi!!!5. First Contact: While interrogating Vermillion Group the Zentraedi finally reveal WHY they are so interested in the SD-F1. What is protoculture?6. The Big Escape: Vermillion Group makes a break for it!!!Disc 3 ? Extra 1: Elements of Robotechnology This is the ?Special DVD features? disc that contains all the DVD extras. It is only purchasable if you get the Boxed Set. On this disc you?ll find the following:1. Codename Robotech: This is an hour long ?prelude? to the Macross Saga which was limitedly released to certain markets prior to the initial airing of Macross Saga in the mid-80s as an ?introduction? to the series. It contains a summary of the first 13 episodes of the Macross Saga told as a ?flashback? by Captain Gloval.2. Audio Commentary by Carl Macek: Macek was the producer of the Robotech series. Macek does a voiceover commentary over the Codename Robotech feature. It is an invaluable commentary that reveals the series origins, WHY it was produced, HOW the series was produced, etc. It provides a valuable insight into the cartoon industry, both in the US and Japan.3. Character Sketches for all the characters of the Macross Saga. Pretty cool stuff!!4. Clips of Robotech in foreign languages. This is an awesome and cool feature. Robotech was released worldwide and here is a small sampling of how other countries and cultures caught all the action. For our viewing pleasure we can watch the famous clip of Rick and Minmei trapped in the SD-F1 in the following languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian!!!Here?s my rundown:Awesome: Robotech on DVD, ?nuff said!!!Must Listen: Carl Macek?s commentary on the E1 disc. It?s a fascinating look behind the scenes.Pretty Cool: Robotech in foreign languages (found on the E1 disc). Hilarious!!!Bad: Nothing at all!!!If you?ve never seen Robotech, simply put YOU MUST. It is the series that forever set the standard for Japanese anime. If you did grow up with Robotech, give these a watch again. They?re great for a trip down memory lane. Watching it again now, I can honestly say that it?s better than I remember. Give this (and all other current and future releases) a watch. You won?t be disappointed. If you are planning on purchasing these, by all means pick up the Boxed Set. It?s the only way you?ll get the Elements of Robotechnology Disc. Alone, the individual volumes DO NOT come with DVD extras... it?s still a great bargain for all the action and extras. Get the Boxed Set.Highest Recommendation possible."
Great cartoon, but mediocre DVD production.
Ivanhoe | mount laurel, NJ United States | 06/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One thing I can't stand, is people who review a product based upon previous viewings, not upon the quality of the product itself. I picked up a copy of this boxed set yesterday, and have taken a look at most of it. If your a fan of the show, or a fan of Japanese anime generally, you know what you're going to get with Robotech. This is a series that attempts to combine dramatic storytelling with the best elements of science fiction. Based upon the success and popularity of the show, it largely succeeds. The characters have a broad range of emotions and react to the trials and tribulations that they all experience. Love,loss, and sacrifice are all motivations for the characters in this series. Macross, the first series, focuses upon young people who face adversity of first contact with an alien race that is both hostile and militarily superior. Against this backdrop is a love story. The hero, Rick Hunter, struggles to find his place, both as a warrior/military leader while also navigating the hazards of true love. I don't think I need to say too much more in the way of the actual series. The art is gorgeous, having set the standards for anime in the 1980s. The voice actors are excellent. You don't even notice that the language is dubbed. This epic series set the standard for anime in the USA and it continues to survive the test of time.The DVD production is another story. The master print does not appear to have been cleaned up in any way. Compared with other DVDs, the print appears quite grainy. It's a tv cartoon from the 1980s and this is exactly what it looks like. Just don't go in expecting this to be a polished special edition. The extras are not particularly impressive. The art collection is largely duplicative of material that has appeared in printed works. The sound track is rather tinny, and lacks the fullness of most modern productions. This is probably because the original production was designed for mono television via the airwaves, but compared to most modern DVDs it lacks the fullness that you would come to expect. THe two hour movie included on the extra disk is nothing more than a shorter version of the first several episodes. The audio commentary by Carl Macek (the producer) was interesting. It provides a nice historical perspective of the series and insights into the production. However, unlike movie commentaries, it really doesn't track the sequence of scenes on the screen. You can listen to the commentary without watching any of what is taking place on the screen. I must say that my copy of the extras disk has a glitch. One of the tracks continually jams my DVD player. I have not had this problem with any other DVDs. I'll probably look to exchange my set for another copy. I don't know whether this is merely a problem with my set or whether it may be representative of larger manufacturing difficulty. I simply point this out because anyone who buys this product should probably check theirs out as soon as possible. Despite these complaints, this is still the best production of the Robotech series to date. While the quality is comparable to the earlier video tape releases, this is still the nicest production of the Robotech series for home release, and it sure beats my grainy video tapes."
Finally it is coming
imortals | IL | 04/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anybody that watched this as a kid, discovered it recently, or is just discovering it now, Will absolutely love this DVD. It is an exciting adventure that helped bring Anime to America. The story and animation is simply stunning. We have been waiting for this for quite a long time. The boxed set will be coming with 3 DVDs.The first 2 will have 6 episodes a piece giving you a third of the Macross Saga. The third one will be Codename:Robotech. A 90 min. special that helped introduced Robotech to us. If you are a huge fan and would like a lot more about Robotech, then just check out Robotech.com. It has quite a lot about the show as well as a fabulous forum with a lot of friendly people. Have fun with this, the first of quite a few DVDs about Robotech to come. Happy viewing. (I wish I could have given it more than just 5 starts)"
fritzthecat | Pompano Beach, FL USA | 07/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really can't believe some of the recent reviews. It's pretty obvious that some people bought this with unreasonably high expectations. Did you expect it to look like a new big budget Walt Disney production just because it's on DVD? It looks like a mid-80s cartoon because it IS a mid-80's cartoon.It's also AFFORDABLE. To make it look beter, you would have to go through and edit the animation cell-by-cell. Animego is doing just that with the original Japanese Macross series (already a year behind schedule, and still no official release date). You can see stills of the difference this process makes at robotech.com. I just got the first box set last night and watched all 12 episodes in one sitting. I thought it looked and sounded GREAT considering the age of the footage. Is it "state of the art"? Of course not, but if the cost of remastering the animation puts the cost of the set around the cost of my RENT, I'm more than happy with the quality of these discs."