Otaku Corner: Robotech Remastered Vol. 2

Robotech Remastered Vol. 2 continues classic trend

Brandon-2012-cutoutWelcome back to another installment of Otaku Corner. Instead of manga reviews this time, we’re going to the movies to relax with another review of the space anime series Robotech. Robotech is considered by most anime aficionados as one of the great space anime series not only because of its groundbreaking mecha designs, but also because of its universal appeal in presenting various issues in the backdrop of war.

As an anime viewer, I give high praise to series like Robotech that can keep action and comedic elements while presenting mature subject matter to its audience. Robotech Remastered: The Macross Saga, Vol. 2 continues this trend.

When we last left the Earth battleship SDF-1, Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes and their companions Ben Dixon and Max Sterling were captured by Zentradi forces seeking to obtain knowledge of the energy source known as protoculture. However, they were able to escape back to the SDF-1 and returned to a hero’s welcome, which caused Rick to have feelings for Lynn-Minmei and Lisa that were more than friendship. At this time, the battle fortress was able to land on Earth and was ordered by the United Earth Government to prohibit the civilians of Macross City from leaving the ship.

Robotech Remastered Vol 2-fixed
Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

As the battle between aliens and Micronians continued, life aboard the SDF-1 did became more normal with the release of the first martial arts movie filmed on the ship. This begins to bring Rick and Lisa closer, and also catches the eye of Miriya, a Zentradi ace pilot who was reduced to Micronian size to get revenge against Max, who unknowingly defeated her twice. Elsewhere, Lynn-Minmei faces a dilemma of her own when Lynn-Kyle asks for her hand in marriage. Despite being at war, the SDF-1 and its inhabitants still face battles, battles that require different strategies to fight.

Robotech Vol. 2 has kept the mixture of action, comedy and mature subject matter together. You will become emotional when you see Claudia Grant’s and Rick’s simultaneous grief at Roy’s death. At the same time, a funny moment comes when the three Zentradi spies Bron, Rico and Konda travel back to the Zentradi fleet and reveal various smuggled objects such as a refrigerator and become street vendors sharing and trading their loot with other Zentradi soldiers.

There is plenty of action with the SDF-1, and the Veritech fighters mix it up with Zentradi ships in a way that will make viewers feel as if they have front-row seats in an intergalactic dog fight. The voice acting is top-notch since Robotech has launched the careers of voiceactors such as Tony Oliver, Barbra Goodson, Richard Epcar, Robert Axelrod and Dan Green to name a few. Overall, Robotech Vol. 2 is a great way to spend a lazy weekend, rain or shine, with a classic anime that will never get old.

Robotech is a masterpiece. I say this despite other great anime space series such as Gundam that are more well-known; Robotech is in a class by itself with a good mix that does not dumb down its audience. Producer Carl Macek left the world with a classic series that continues to be relevant and will remain for years to come. I encourage you, fellow otaku, to pick up this series.

Brandon Beatty is editor-at-large of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com

Otaku #06: Robotech

Mech drama in space brings back memories

Brandon Beatty, contributing editor

I decided to follow in my GI comrades’ footsteps and begin a new segment where I review animated properties, but with a little anime flavor. While I will continue to review great manga that reaches our shores, I hope that all of you will like this new addition to Otaku. For now, I give a big hearty welcome to Otaku Corner Theater where the motto is “reviewing great anime for, by, and worthy of the otaku.” (patent pending).

To celebrate OCT’s grand opening, I’m starting off with a legendary anime series that is undisputedly considered not only as essential to an otaku’s collection, but also a required piece to introduce those who are new to the wonderful world of anime. This series has not only launched the careers of well-known voice acting veterans in the anime industry, but also is well known among sci-fi anime series such as “Starblazers” and “Mobile Suit Gundam.” It’s none other than “Robotech” from ADV films.

For those who are unfamiliar with this series, a bit of background information is in order. “Robotech” is an 85-episode series produced in the 1980s by Harmony Gold USA and Tasunoko Productions, also known for Karas, G-Force, Tasunoko All-Stars vs. Capcom.

Consisting of a rich story that spans three generations, “Robotech” has mankind engaged in battle with alien space forces for control of the “Protoculture,” a mysterious and powerful energy source. The first chapter of the series focuses on the “Macross Saga,” in which Earth, recovering from a brutal global civil war finds in its possession a highly advanced warship called the SDF-I, sent from space. Upon finding the SDF-I, humanity must defend its self from the Zentradi, a warlike race whose main goal to reclaim said ship by using SDF-I’s advanced technology. In addition to this great space opera, you are introduced to the exploits of amateur pilot Rick Hunter and his mentor Roy Fokker as they and the rest of the SDF-I’s human crew battle the Zentradi through space to protect the restored battleship, but also its innocent inhabitants and Earth itself.

As an anime fan growing up in the ’80s, “Robotech” met my needs for any great space-based anime. It had heroic characters and cunning villains, and it was the first, in my opinion, to boldly fuse concept designs of vehicles and mecha. For instance, the SDF-I and Veritech fighter jets took on actual designs of a naval carrier and its fighter jets and combined them with the designs of a fighting mecha, resulting in futuristic war machines of which my favorite hero Juggie would give his “custom made” seal of approval. The Zentradi’s ship design, also impressive despite their cucumber-shaped look, displays incredible speed and firepower that is also reflected through their “battle pods” design, which consists of a cross between a metal ostrich and a gattling gun.

While ADV and Harmony Gold did do a outstanding job in remastering this series, they do deserve credit for retaining renowned voice actors. Tony Oliver and Dan Woren to reprise their original roles as Rick and Roy, respectively. I also give ADV and Harmony Gold credit for not only keeping the storyline intact, but also keeping the original music and sound effects refreshed using Dolby Digital. There’s also unseen bonus footage, ensuring that “Robotech” stands the test of time as an anime series. This means a lot to me because during my first time viewing Robotech when it was released on VHS, the tape cut off mid-play, leaving me with unanswered questions about the SDF-I and how Earth played a critical part in regard to Protoculture. However, watching Robotech Vol. 1 got me caught up, and I give ADV and Harmony Gold my highest praise for doing so. Although the “Shadow Chronicles” saga has revived “Robotech” for a new generation of otaku, the original will show its viewers how the saga started and, without fail, show the brilliance of a world-renowned animation studio.

If you would like more info on Robotech, visit the official website at www.robotech.com.

Brandon Beatty is the contributing editor of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com