Robotech - The Macross Saga - Complete Collection Review by our robot masters
Producers at Harmony Gold combined the series Super Dimension Fortress: Macross, Genesis Climber Mospeada, and Super-dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross to create a sprawling space opera with a new plot: Robotech (1985), which helped to build an audience for anime in the U.S. The story begins in 1999, when a gigantic spaceship strikes the Earth. Ten years later, Earth forces relaunch the ship as the alien Zentraedi attack, hoping to recapture it. The seesaw warfare is played against a vague romantic triangle involving brash pilot Rick Hunter, straight-laced officer Lisa Hayes, and aspiring singer Minmei. The Zentraedi have somehow lost the secret of biological reproduction, but the two races are virtually identical biochemically. The similarity is sealed by the marriage of Earth pilot Max and Zentraedi spy Miriya. Minmei's performances become a key element in the ongoing war, as the Zentraedi consider her bubblegum pop songs a form of "psychological assault." (They have a point.) Although humanity emerges victorious, much of the Earth is devastated. Lisa and Rick discover their true feelings as the new threat of the Robotech Masters appears--which leads into the second continuity. Gen-X-ers who grew up on Robotech will delight in retracing the coy romances and crude space battles; viewers accustomed to the faster pacing, snazzier effects, and more dramatic conflicts of more recent anime will grow impatient with the endless shilly-shallying. It's a classic of sorts. (Suitable for all ages; appropriate for ages 8 and up: mild violence restricted to spaceship and robot battles) --Charles Solomon
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