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Customer Review

38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Test of Time---Passed!, June 15, 2007
This review is from: Robotech - Protoculture Collection (DVD)
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:

MACROSS: (TV-14)

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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 14, 2009 1:39:21 AM PDT
J. Saul says:
"AHEM" scenes?

You sound like you've been assimilated by The Borg. Or maybe some other cult...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2009 1:32:03 PM PST
yeah... i'm don't really get this "AHEM" stuff. we're all enough of adults here, i think, to cope.

Posted on May 28, 2010 9:15:41 AM PDT
dudesimon says:
I third the motion. Thanks for the warning (I guess) but most of us can handle an ahem moment just fine. You are 29, right?

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 8:19:36 PM PDT
pattic says:
Thanks a bunch for the extremely helpful review. Most of these commentators are evidently college students and not parents ;)

I have an elementary school-age daughter who has fallen in love with the anime art style, but the content histories of many of these series can be very complex and hard to track down without a little help and guidance from a thoughtful reviewer. Thanks again :)
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