116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
When Robotech burst onto the American TV scene in the early 1980s, everyone was stunned. This was a wonderfully serious dramatic story, an epic saga about a war spanning generations. People fought, people died--bad decisions had consequences. And the story actually continued from episode to episode, rather than each one being a different story--for children's TV, that was unheard-of!
Of course, we all know now that it was really assembled from three entirely unrelated anime series, but that still doesn't change what Carl Macek accomplished. He created a sweeping story greater than the sum of its parts, a story that we Robotech fans can still enjoy today.
I have not yet seen this series in its entirety, having as I do only the first set of remastered DVDs that are included within this one. However, from watching those episodes, I can say that the sound and video quality is nothing short of amazing. If you have a 5.1 speaker system, you are going to want to use this set as a demonstrator; during the battle sequences, the explosions occur all around you. When the SDF-1 zooms low overhead in the first part of the first episode, you feel like you should duck and cover.
Of course, the remastering isn't without its niggling little annoyances. The opening credits are changed from the credits we remember and love, focusing more on footage from the particular series that you're watching. Some of the new sound effects or the new sound mix are not as good as the ones we remember from our youth. But for all of that, this is still the best that Robotech has ever looked and sounded. Plus, for the first time ever, it now comes bundled with the seven extras DVDs from the Legacy Collection, which include things like The Sentinels, the Codename: Robotech feature movie, and more other stuff than you can shake a stick at.
I do feel the pain of those people who are upset at ADV's "double-dipping," especially given that ADV originally said that a remastered Robotech would be impossible to make, but there is a reason for it. At the time they made that claim, they honestly had no expectation of ever being able to find the original audio elements that they would need to put a new version together. As far as they knew, everything had been destroyed in a flood. However, a year or so later those old elements were discovered and restored after all, and Harmony Gold and ADV felt that fans would probably rather have a remastered version than not.
Despite what others have said, I feel this is likely to be THE penultimate Robotech collection; I just can't think of anything else they can do to the show that they have not already done. Remastered audio and video, check. Extras DVDs, check. Bundle them together, check. That's it, they're done.
There simply isn't any way they could include the original source material on the same discs as Robotech. This isn't a simple matter of a show being redubbed "straight," where they could slap the original voice track onto the same footage. Robotech was edited in large and small ways (especially the Southern Cross segment, which had episodes chopped up and reassembled (including one episode put together entirely from scratch) and the order switched around), so the footage simply does not correspond to the original audio any longer. And there's not room to put those on the same discs as Robotech. In order to put the original shows in, they'd have to include them separately, as was done on the abortive "Perfect Edition" VHS series a while back--and in order to do that they'd have to add still more discs to the set. And why bother? You could go ahead and buy the original sets separately and be just as well-off.
If you've been lucky or prudent enough to hold off on purchasing a Robotech set until now, this is the one you might as well get.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2006
Reviewers who complain that this collection is not complete because it lacks a Japanese audio track or because it does not include all the "original" footage are not entirely correct. The three seasons of Robotech (subtitled Robotech: Macross Saga, Robotech: The Masters, and Robotech: New Generation) were edited from three entirely separate TV series to create a story that is in many ways totally unique. The script for Robotech as a stand-alone series was never written in Japanese--it was a product of American writers who were tasked to create one syndication length series from three unrelated single season Japanese series. If you want to see the series that were rewritten, reedited, and redubbed to create Robotech, then by all means, pursue original, uncut releases of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada--but don't expect them to tell the Robotech story.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
This is what I grew up with (remastered!): Robotech & Transformers were *extremely* popular in the mid-80s. Really, anything featuring transforming robots at the time became a hot commodity, but these 2 properties were easily the best & most popular circa 1986.
...This is the set I currently recommend. Having said that...
-Visuals: Imperfect remastering, but I like it. Decent cleaning up of the grainy picture, with much less visual artifacts & aging. The blue colors seem to be a little too intense at times. Some colors are slightly altered. I manually brighten the screen for better enjoyment. Having watched both this & the unremastered, I think I far prefer this new look. But I wish someone would remaster this again, because I really think it's possible to improve on this current release.
-Sound: Imperfect 5.1 remastering, but it's bearable. The sound effects can be loud, LOUD, L-O-U-D- while sometimes the voices are too soft in comparison. Some sound effects have been changed. I still prefer these remastered discs though, mainly for the visuals.
-Extras: ALL the extras from the legacy editions are included here. I like the legacy editions too, but they're overly expensive to say the least. Most people will want to skip the legacy editions and go straight to this most recent edition- The Protoculture Collection.
There are 3 main Robotech sets currently available:
1. Robotech - The Macross Saga - Complete Collection. 6 discs- 36 episodes- no extras. It's the cheapest in price & quality; it's exactly what aired in the 80s. Picture quality here is somewhat poor but bearable. The sound isn't 5.1 like the remastered versions. 80s-style episode intros feature scenes from all 3 Robotech storylines. I *only* recommend buying this set if you're on an exceedingly tight budget or you're buying this for kids. There's no nudity (unlike the remastered versions).
2. Robotech - The Macross Saga - Legacy Collection 1. Released in many sets- Expensive considering it's exactly the same as above, with the additions being somewhat OK extras and upgraded, attractive packaging. Currently the ultimate 80s collection- meaning all the 80s imperfections are included: grainy picture with visual artifacts & aging. While I prefer these Legacy editions to the set mentioned above, most people will probably feel the "extras" aren't worth the extra price. I only recommend this to die-hard fans & collectors. There's also no nudity (unlike the remastered versions).
3. Robotech - Protoculture Collection. As already mentioned- This is the set I currently recommend. Digitally remastered extended editions; english & spanish 5.1; 14 discs with 85 episodes plus 7 discs of extra features. All 3 storylines are included (Macross, Masters, New Generation). Episode intros have been reworked: no more splicing together of the 3 storylines like in the 80s. Each intro is focused on the series it came from now. The only potential drawbacks here are the somewhat expensive price, somewhat imperfect remastering, and the addition of extended scenes featuring brief nudity (female undressing & shower scenes). I'm actually okay with these scenes, but some parents may not want this collection for their kids.
Whichever version you choose, I highly recommend this excellent series to anyone & everyone interested!
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2007
C. S. Lewis said, "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
This fits me perfectly. I saw the anime back in the 80's, not only fell in love, but was also converted to the power of art. As usual, in the process of time I moved on and moved up in the world. On lark, I got these DVDs for Christmas.
What a surprise! I relived and more importantly re-experienced what I felt as a teenager. Of course there are flaws, sometimes having to do with the nature of anime, the nature of animation, and also the contorted history of the franchise. ("Big Brother" and "Little Brother" should be "Pops" and "Squirt"; the classic "Old Sourpuss" should be "Old Battleaxe") Yet, it is a good series. As the Bard said, "Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts."
So, to the product:
This is the heart and soul of Robotech, and the best overall of the three. The theme of "relationships within the framework of war" leads me to call this "War and Peace 1999." There are mentoring relationships, inter-species relationships, and the weird love polygon of Minmei-Rick-Lisa-Karl-Lisa-Kyle-Minmei.
Favorite episodes are #11, the "I'd rather do it with you" kiss, #21, Max and Miriya playing the video game, and #35, The plastered Lisa Hayes singing "Miss Macross."ROBOTECH: 20th Anniversary Soundtrack
ROBOTECH II (Extras disc 3). This short focuses on Maj. Gen Hunter and Fleet Admiral Hayes. The animation was done by a different company, so the designs mirror "Battle of the Planets." This abortive project's full story is found in the out-of-print Sentinels (Robotech Omnibus)
SOUTHERN CROSS: (TV-MA)
This series is energetic, but a bit choppy--pay close attention to the narrative which compensates for compressing the information. However, I think this is the weakest of the three series. We see a lot of Dana (sometimes too much), but the other members of the 15 ATACs seldom rise above shadow-puppets. Louis is the brains, Angelo is the antagonist, Leonard is Dolza, jr. The only person with personality is Sean Philips. He was Dana's superior, but when he is busted to buck private, he holds no grudges.
Although this has the weakest characterizations, it paradoxically, has the central character in the saga, Zor. All of the events of every anime, film, novel, and aborted project revolve around what he did by discovering Protoculture and robbing the Invid of the flower of life are due to this atlas. Sadly, we see so little of the majestic side of this man. As McKinney wrote "Just what the Robotech Masters had planned for Zor Prime after he'd let them to the Protoculture matrix is, and forever shall be, open to speculation."Robotech: The Masters Saga: The Southern Cross (Robotech)
The AHEM scenes with Dana explain my TV-MA rating. I'm puzzled over their inclusion. Aside from titillation, they serve no purpose. These scenes are obviously forced, silly, and, from an editor's point of view, not only useless, but a drag on the action. By confusing D(i)ana, the chaste huntress, with the love-goddess Venus, they ignore the sharp-fanged lesson that Diana's hounds taught peeping-tom Acteon. Metamorphoses (Penguin Classics)
If this is being "puritan," remember that the root of puritan is "pure." We should demand that our art be pure in the same way that we demand our food be pure, since art is food for the soul.
ROBOTECH: THE MOVIE (Extras disc 5) Inasmuch as this product is supposed to be the be-all, end-all of Robotech, should have been included. We just get the trailer and character sheets. What a gyp.
NEXT GENERATION: (TV-14)
Overall, this is my favorite of the three. It has a killer (pun intended) beginning. Like Southern Cross, this has stronger individual episodes, and also handles the ensemble cast better than the other two series. They devote full episodes to the backgrounds of the various charters. In fact, many of the episodes remind me of Mission: Impossible - The Complete First TV Season with each person having a small part to play in the overall events.
The stand-alone episodes are like the old, old TV show Ark II: The Complete Series or The White Mountains, about a fellowship going around writing wrongs and riding off into the sunset.
The best episode is 65, "Curtain Call." In fact, if I wanted to convert anyone to Robotech, I'd show them this one.
You also need to buy Robotech - The Shadow Chronicles Movie. It is not a stand-alone movie, but Episode 86.
Personally, I enjoy the novels, and there is a crying need to republish all 21 in seven 3-in-1 omnibi.
PARENTAL ADVISORY: This is not the "edited for television" version. Episodes 4, 33, 38, 39, 43, 46, 48, 51, 72, 73, 80) all have about 5-second female AHEM scenes. The Southern Cross has so many, I rate it a TV-MA. Billed as "the special extended version," there is nothing special about the reintegrated AHEM scenes, and they are certainly over-extending our patience. Moreover, scenes that do not convey distinct information are not advancing the plot. Remember the slime massage from Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete First Season? Furthermore, they present a purchasing barrier. I will not be buying copies of this DVD collection for my nephews.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2006
I'd give this collection 5 stars, but for some insane reason they decided to change many of the mecha sound effects from the originals when they redid the sound, so now instead of the old school, sometimes strange, sounds I grew up with stuff has crappy half hearted "modern" sound effects. I just can't figure out what reason they would have to screw up the original sound other then pure lazyness. If you are a true diehard try waiting a bit longer and maybe they will release a even newer version with the original sound effects redone in Dolby 5.1 or higher.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2007
I remember the sheer depth of this program. Say what you will about it being a "bastardization" of all its source material (an argument I'd agree with, looking at the "Masters" part of the saga), Macek and his merry crew kept as much of the emotional "oomph" of the Japanese originals as he could. I truly loved "Robotech" and consider it - as well as "Star Blazers"/"Ushu Senkan Yamato" - as the reasons for why I like anime as much as I do. Now we have the complete run, all cleaned up and retooled for the die-hard purists like me. What I mean by this is that they reinserted as much of the footage they clipped out as possible, giving the dyed-in-the-wool fan as close a look at the original Japanese as possible, while maintaining the whole "protoculture" angle written in by necessity.
Yes, it'd be nice to have the original cuts as well, but the restoration was much needed. To see the color-corrected restored episodes is a treat beyond measure, and with all the original voice-actor glory. I know of yet another sequel that's coming down the pike, and there have been replacements in favor of celebrity, but I hope they maintain the integrity that Carl Macek, Tommy Yune (yeah, I know HE'S working on the sequel), et. al. put into bringing back "Robotech" as it should be.
I won't retread the storyline, but fans of the original will love it, and it's also a way for the next gen of anime fans to see a good example of storytelling over arcane references to other media items noone else will get. Not fair, true, and it sounds like more of my "old man" grousing, but you really can't compare this and the other "old school" series - even the "giant robot type - to what passes for anime these days. Really, what would you rather watch as someone just starting to look for good story and deep material - mysterious "card/video game" references and editing or something with just a good plot, well told, which also has some of the best character designers (Haruhiko Mikimoto) bringing the folks to life?
The extras, well, they're a trove of great additional material not used in the shows, as well as tantalising glimpses of what might have (or should've) been. Including old pilots that were attempts to bring anime to the masses 20-odd years ahead of the current boom, we get to see all things Robotech, all bundled up with a bit of the new and exciting.
Anyone who hasn't purchased any of the previous collections would be well verses, if they can, to spend the money for this one. An arm-breaker in heft, but priceless in bringing back old memories.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2007
Most of the criticisms of this set are valid, but that doesn't make it not worth buying. As for those who tell you to wait until the real "ultimate" collection comes out, never mind that. If you looked at how long it took them to get the series out in the first place, never mind remastered and extended, you'll be waiting quite a while. Besides which, no edition can be "ultimate" until they're finished with the series, and if the new movie coming out is halfway successful, that may not be for a while.
To return to the merits of the set itself, with this one set you get the remastered, extended versions together that were previously available only in separate sets (thus gaining the ire of some hard-core fans who bought one or the other, or both). There are a lot of extras, including The Sentinels, that you might not have gotten a chance to see. However, not all of the extras are worth having, such as the old toy commercials that show little boys running around playing with the Veritechs. The "Women of Robotech" commercials are definitely worth watching once, just to see how bad they are. I was laughing plenty hard at those.
The sound and picture quality is better than you can expect from a show created over 20 years ago in analog media. But you can't really compare it to a modern anime or movie. It wasn't recorded in 5.1, so all the 5.1 really does is take the existing 2-channel sound and expand it. That's alright if you want loud and bass, but just to listen it's about the same on either a 5.1 surround-sound system or a simple 2-channel stereo system. As another reviewer noted, the picture quality was indeed grainy when it was first on tv. They've done an admirable job cleaning it up, although a few scratches and flakes are obvious here and there. But again, it was made 20 years ago and it looks like it. If you haven't ever watched Robotech and are thinking it's of some quality like Fullmetal Alchemist, no. It's just not going to be that good.
Also, if you're expecting to get exactly the original sound effect, caveat emptor. As others have pointed out, they have made some slight changes that aren't, in many buyers' opinions, better, or even slightly worse. Why did they change the credits, both graphics and soundwise? It didn't improve the series. They also altered the commercial break graphics. I don't care about any of that and I didn't spend the money to watch credits or commercial breaks either. That leads into one of my main complaints about this series: there is no play all option, and you see the "cards" for the commercial breaks every time! This is not to say that you can't skip from the end of one episode to the beginning of the next because you can, it's just that you always start at the beginning of the credits, not the next episode. Now I have seen this done on plenty of dvds such as Scrubs, but on Robotech you can skip again to the beginning of the episode, so they're not trying to force you to watch the credits. And if they're not trying to do that, I'd rather just have it keep rolling from episode to episode. But that's not a major problem, just a very minor inconvenience.
Amazon is offering it at a truly remarkable price for the amount you're getting. It's a dang 20-disc set! I say, even if you already bought one of the other sets, go pawn it for whatever you can get and then pay the extra for this. It's worth it. Robotech isn't a series you watch for the animation (or music). It's just a good story with some characters you can really like (or not). That's good enough for me.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2007
Basically Robotech is the adaptation of three completely unrelated Japanese animes into a continuous saga. As such, great and frequently clumsy lengths are made to link the three stories.
Giant robots alone carry a lot of weight with me and Macross (the Japanese series that the first Robotech series lifts from) broke some major ground both in the US and Japan and the first series is certainly the strongest but it wasn't as phenomenal as I remembered it.
Southern Cross (adapted to chapter 2) and Mospeda (adapted to chapter 3) aren't held in particularly high regard by anime fans and as such are pretty weak as rehashed addons to a story that had a perfectly satisfying end.
Southern Cross in particular is pretty weak and even as a kid I considered it to be sloppy seconds compared to the other series. Even the giant robot designs are rather dull and uninspired and the action leaves much to be desired. I couldn't care less about the characters and the plot is forgettable.
Loved the design of Mospeda but the story occasionally had me bored to tears even though it had me totally enthralled as a teenager. In fact I think it may have been my favorite at the time.
Basically it comes down to this. If you can reread something like Dragonlance's Chronicles as an adult and not want to throw it against a wall, you're going to freaking love watching Robotech again especially given the sheer viewing hours you get for the price.
But as an adult gamer, anime watcher, and continued speculative fiction devotee, my tastes have grown and I'm pretty much over it. Now if somebody could finally manage to make a truly awesome Robotech GAME, that would be exciting.
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2005
Robotech is simply one of the original and best animes to be imported from Japan to the States in the mid-80s. With an amazing storyline, enthralling characters, and a great musical score to go with it. While it is one of the best animes to come out in the 80s, the animation appears to be pretty dated by today's standard. It is, after all, over 20 years old now. But even so, it stands up fairly well.
For those new to Robotech, here's a brief history: Robotech is actually a compilation of three completely separate Japanese cartoons mashed together and marketed in the U.S. as three separate generations.
Here's a brief history of the different packages that Robotech has come out on, so you know your options:
- First came the "Legacy Collection", Robotech was released ith a 3-DVD package, 2 of the DVDs contained 6 episodes each, and the 3rd DVD was an "extras DVD. There were 7 of these sets at $40 each (all prices from Amazon, of course).
- Second, they repackaged the above by removing the extra DVDs, thus creating the "Complete Collection." These were split by generations. The Macross Saga = 1st Gen ($63), Robotech Masters = 2nd Gen ($40), New Generation = 3rd Generation ($35).
- Then came the "Remastered" DVDs, which was supposed to contain extras and better sound and video quality at the cost of $26 per set, 7 sets total (Sets 1-3 = 1st Gen, 4-5 = 2nd Gen, 6-7 = 3rd Gen).
And finally, we now have this particular DVD edition, which is the complete "Remastered" collection with all three generations combined.
I have to say Harmony Gold's really pissing me off with the way they sold the DVDs. First, they come out with the "original" 3-DVD packs with an extra DVD packaged for every 2 6-episode DVDs. Then they package these original DVDs together by generation. THEN, they announce "Remastered" DVDs only a year or so later which includes supposedly improved sounds and video quality. I personally don't know because I didn't bother spending another couple $100s buying the Remastered version after spending as much on the original. Personally, I also mostly enjoyed the First Generation and thus would only get the DVD for that, so this package with all three Generations is not of much value to me.
If you've never watched Robotech before, I'd recommend just buying the First Generation on DVD. If the 1st Generation isn't to your liking, you probably won't like the other two.
If you like that, then get the 2nd and then the 3rd Generation. Of course, given that the complete cost of this package is only $20 more than just buying the 1st Generation set, it might make sense to just buy this box set. Personally, I own the original "Legacy Collection" DVDs and don't plan on "upgrading" to these DVDs. If I was to by any more Robotech-related DVDs, I would actually buy the "Macross Set", which contains the original Japanese cartoon Macross that Robotech is based off of. At least there, I'd feel like I'm paying for something that's worth my money rather than DVDs that I already own, but somehow repackaged.
Although Robotech is great and all, I don't see much value in buying these again since I already own the original DVDs. The 5-stars is obviously for the Robotech Series and not for this package.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2010
I'd just recieved this set and was extremely disapointed. I purchased this set as a packaging upgrade from the original release. This set from ADV no longer comes in a 22 disc format, they changed it to 18 disc. It still has the same artbox and covers per season, but instead of the book type fold out plastic trays each season is a 27mm black spindle case. The cases have styrofoam where an insert would normaly be. I'm guessing this is to keep the discs from coming off the spindle or moving. However 3 of the 4 boxes only have 4 dvds each and the padding does not keep them in place. The Masters, New Generation and Extras discs all move freely on the spindles. The 6 disc Macross season is the only case where the discs are held in place. The artwork on the individual season cases is not reverseable. I contacted rightstuf and they said that all of the new Robotech Protoculture Collections from Section 23 will be in stack pack form. So if you want the nice looking set pictured you're going to want an older used copy and good luck finding a decent copy. If you do decide to go that route I'd be sure to get confirmation on the condition/version they are selling. This was to be my ultimate Robotech Collection and since I already owned the series I kinda feel ripped off. I'll be buying 4 new 27mm multi disc cases with trays to replace these cheap spindle cases. u.s. plastic has some nice 27mm M-lock dvd cases. I've purchased from them before. The cases there may cost more, but you get what you pay for and that's high quality. Cases are about 2 bucks each shipping will cost you 5 up to 13 cases. So if you looking for a cheap way to watch this series and don't care about packaging then this is the set for you. However if your like me and care about packaging you might want to factor in the cost to replace the four 27mm cases, before you purchase this set. Still 13 dollars isn't bad to replace the cases it's just a shame that the manufacturer didn't package them like that in the first place.