DVD
Robotech
The Macross Saga - Complete Box Set

Starring (voice): Larry Abraham, Robert Axelrod and Bill Capeze
Manga
RRP: 24.99
MANG7004
Certificate: PG
Available 16 October 2006


It's the year 1999, and the Earth is embroiled in a Global War. The international conflict is brought to a sudden end when a giant alien spaceship crash-lands on the South Pacific island of Macross. Soon the world's leading scientists are united in trying to understand the complex Robotech technology.
Ten years later, the alien ship has been restored and is preparing for its maiden flight amidst great global celebration. But another huge alien vessel appears in Earth's orbit. It is part of a fleet of ships belonging to the warrior race of the Zentraedi, intent on destroying Earth. But, with their newly found understanding of Robotech, a small group of human pilots are prepared to fight back against the seemingly superior alien firepower...

Robotech was a series that totally escaped me in the '80s. I wasn't aware of its existence until recently. Now, I'm wishing that I had seen it when it was originally shown.

According to the press release this was the first transforming robot series. It's a lot better than Transformers - mainly due to the fact that the whole storyline seems a lot more believable. Robotech is a show that I can see adults and children enjoying, whereas I very much doubt many adults (other than those that grew up on it) will really be able to sit through an entire episode of Transformers. So it's a shame that Transformers went on to be the most popular transforming robot franchise, leaving Robotech behind.

The animation is not overly special - it's certainly on a par with the standard manga animation. But it's the script that really sets this show head and shoulders above your standard animated series. The relationships between the show's main characters is something that slowly grows on you as the series progresses.

This box set features all 36-episode in the Macross series - digitally remastered and featuring extended, never-before-seen footage and outtakes. The only slight complaint I had was that we are not given the option of watching the show with the original Japanese soundtrack and reading English subtitles - something I much prefer to do with foreign language films. These discs were originally released by Manga in three volumes on DVD, and this box set sees them all packaged together in an attractive cardboard sleeve and at a much lower price tag.

This is certainly a collection you should pick up if you remember it from your childhood - no doubt you'll see it in a different light now you are a little older. And if you've never experienced this series before you are strongly advised to give it a look - it's incredibly well written for an '80s kids series.

Nick Smithson

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