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ADV Films presents
Robotech #14: New Generation: Hollow Victory (1985)

"The people of this planet must be exterminated."
- Corg

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: March 17, 2002

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: JVC
MPAA Rating: G for (animated violence, implied nudity)
Run Time: 02h:14m:39s
Release Date: March 19, 2002
UPC: 702727023422
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B-B D

DVD Review

The six episodes on disc fourteen of Robotech bring both the New Generation segment and the entire epic series to a close, in total, over thirty-one hours of entertainment and 85 episodes, encompassing source animation from the original Japanese series Superdimensional Fortress Macross (released on DVD by AnimEigo), Southern Cross and Mospeada (both coming from ADV). Robotech is responsible for introducing a generation of US audiences to anime, despite its auspicious origins as an edited conglomeration of three unrelated series. This triumvirate works fairly well together as a whole, however the English dialogue often has a forced feel to it, since, unlike the Japanese, it was scripted to follow the mouth flaps in the animation.

Our final episodes focus on the deciding confrontation between the invading Invid and the Earth's resistance forces. The Invid have followed their quest and necessity for the last protoculture stores in the universe to Earth, following in the footsteps of the Zentraedi and Robotech Masters before them. Their mission to create the ultimate lifeform has seen them dabbling in evolution, which has led to the realization that the human form is best suited for their purposes. The ragtag group of rebel fighters, led by Scott Bernard, make a roundabout tour (through most of the major US cities) to their destination at Reflex Point, where the Invid stronghold lies.

As the group moves toward an abandoned town, Annie is suffering from the Birthday Blues. Recalling her childhood, she realizes she has never had a chance to celebrate the occasion, and this looks like it will follow a long line of disappointments, as her friends are deeply involved in fending off the Invid, with no time for her acknowledgement.

Then, on a desert plain, a rebel cowboy is gunning down other humans, and the team is engaged to track down the killer. When Rand and Rook meet up with an injured man who they save from the Invid, little do they know his true identity, or the story behind his actions.

A fierce battle is in store in The Big Apple, as orders come down through the Invid command chain to exterminate all the human occupants in the city. With the newly instated Corg in charge, the humans face heavy resistance while trying to avert a massacre. Yellow Dancer makes a return.

Nearing their destination, the crew come across the site of a huge battle, and wreckage from the Expeditionary Force in Reflex Point. While checking for survivors, they find Sue Graham, a member of the 36th Squadron Intelligence Department, Jupiter Section, who has been capturing the melee on video for Admiral Rick Hunter. Tension mounts as the Invid return to claim a vital piece of equipment brought back by the humans.

The concluding episodes, Dark Finale and Symphony of Light find our team rendezvousing with the returning armies of Earth's Expeditionary Forces, and the final showdown between the Invid and Earth's defenders. The alien and human relationships are put to rest in the segment climax.

Robotech has had its ups and downs for this reviewer. Parts were extremely enjoyable, while others had elements that were annoying. A few episodes just felt too contrived in the writing, wrapping up too neatly for my liking, or having abrupt shifts in personality—the end of Reflex Point on this disc being a prime example. The New Generation segment had likeable characters, but the forced continuity detracted from it on occasion, as the team is supposed to be making straight for their rendezvous point, but manage to hit Denver, New York and a number of other places on the way. That aside, there is plenty of action, and each episode has at least one major battle, from which out heros emerge unscathed. The conclusion was suitable and not unexpected, but did leave something to be desired as a wrap up for the whole series. However, Robotech has whetted my appetite for the original Japanese versions, and it will be interesting to see how the hold up as they were intended to be seen.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: If you have been watching the series up until now, there is nothing new to note in the transfer quality, which is consistent with the rest of the New Generation segment. Colors are fine if somewhat muted, and do shift fairly regularly within scenes. Unnatural grain is still present, worse in some places than others. There are some defects in the source in the way of scratches or flecks of dust, and a bit of ringing on edges. I'd chock most of the problems up to the elements, with only a few compression issues the fault of the transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio, like the video, is on par with previous releases. Slight edginess on dialogue, reasonable, but not full frequency spectrum coverage, a moderate amount of hiss in places, but no major defects otherwise. I don't know that I could expect much more from a series of this era.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Soul Hunter, Nadia of Blue Water, Farscape Legend of Crystania: Ring of Chaos, Orphen, A.D. Police
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Trailers are the only extras. Included here are Soul Hunter, Nadia of Blue Water, Farscape Legend of Crystania: Ring of Chaos, Orphen and A.D. Police.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Disc 14 brings the story to a close with the concluding six episodes of the Robotech series. The action is elevated, the character's fates are resolved, and the epic that has been Robotech is reborn. Those who experienced the show when it first aired in the 1980s have the complete collection now, and those just discovering it can soon compare it to its origins. While I hope we never see another of its kind again, this combined assembly did have a major role in exposing the US to Japanese animation, and deserves credit for that at least. Goodbye Robotech, it's been a slice.

 


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