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ADV Films presents
Robotech #2: The Macross Saga: Transformation (1985)

"They were wearing these little military costumes..."
"And looking at them gave me these strange feelings I can't explain."

- Konda, Bon

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: June 19, 2001

Stars: Greg Snow, Reba West, Jonathan Alexander, Drew Thomas
Other Stars: Deanna Morris, Thomas Wyner, Brittany Harlow, Donn Warner, Alex Roberts, Tony Oliver, A. Gregory, Noel McGrath, Sandra Snow
Director: Robert Barron, Ippei Kuri

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (Mild animated violence)
Run Time: 02h:22m:29s
Release Date: June 19, 2001
UPC: 702727022029
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ BCC+ D+

DVD Review

The Macross universe is pretty vast, even counting out the whole Robotech series. The original, The Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, ran 36 episodes, and was created in 1980 by Studio Nue with character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto and mecha designs by Shoji Kawamori. It was followed in 1984 by a feature film reworking the SDF storyline, Macross: Do You Remember Love?. A 30 minute music compilation, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012, was released in 1987 containing new animation blended with footage from the series and movie, and in 1992, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers, Again OVA was released as a sequel to the movie, with the four part Macross Plus OVA and movie versions following in 1994 along with the Macross 7 TV series and movie. Got all that (I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something...)?

As I noted in my review of disc one, the first section of Robotech covers The Macross Saga, a rewritten and edited version of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, using the original Japanese animation.

With the second disc in the series, the crew of the SDF-1 find themselves nearing Mars, still facing a relentless assault from the Zentraedi armada. General Breetai, the Zentraedi leader of the mission, calls in the young and reckless Lord Khyron's fleet to continue the assault against the SDF-1, hoping the Earthlings will surrender the vessel, though the new captain would rather destroy it.

Meanwhile Rick Hunter, the civilian pilot who was drafted into the fighter squadron is getting increasingly frustrated with his relationship with Minmay, since both of them are pretty busy these days, her working at the restaurant, and him fighting aliens. Things will only get worse as the mayor of the newly rebuilt Macross City enters the now 16-year-old Minmay in the Miss Macross pageant, and with Rick's promotion to squadron leader, his new responsibilities will keep him even busier. He is also still in conflict with the woman he rescued that was the cause of his promotion, the lovely First Officer, Lisa Hayes, who can't believe this rude young pilot has been given his new position. Despite her feelings, she will have to learn to rely on this young pilot, as she and the rest of her crew continue their battle against the marauding Zentraedi forces, and begin to learn what the conflict is all about.

While I continue to have a hard time watching anime in English, I am still enjoying the series. There is ample action and plenty of humor, though it's not as in your face as some other series. The animation is pretty funky, though some of the edits for this Robotech version are pretty obvious, especially the reframings, which exhibit a much lower quality image. Overall, with the caveats about its origins in mind, this is a good series so far, and I'm looking forward to more.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: As with the first disc, video quality is fairly marginal here. Colors are somewhat faded, contrast is limited in some spots, whites get blown out in several shots, and there is a general inconsistency between scenes. There is some resolution loss where they have obviously zoomed in, I'm assuming for dramatic effect. Black levels are okay for the most part, though the opening is pretty washed out. The look is also unnaturally grainy, with more of a digital noise look than film grain. Frame damage and dirt are also present throughout, and cell work pretty apparent due to the contrast settings. This probably sounds worse than it is, this is a passable presentation, but nothing to rave about.

Image Transfer Grade: C


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is somewhat edgy, with a tendency for mild distortion on several voices. The frequency spectrum is pretty much anchored in the midrange, with little bass extention. This sounds like TV.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Generator Gawl, Lost Universe, Princess Nine, Arc The Lad, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, The Sorcerer Hunters
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Like the first disc, extras are limited to trailers for Generator Gawl, Lost Universe, Princess Nine, Arc The Lad, Bubblegum Crisis 2040 and The Sorcerer Hunters, which are accessable from the trailers submenu. There are 5 chapter stops per episode which include the commercial eye catches from the original broadcasts. Again, since this series is English dub only, no subtitles or other languages are available.

The Amaray case includes the wrong insert card, which is actually the contents listing for the bonus disc found in the first box set. Oops...

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Six more episodes from the Americanized adaptation of Macross. The animation is cool, the story is interesting, though the source elements leave a bit to be desired. Purists will definitely prefer the original.


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