Robotech: The Complete Series

| October 25, 2011

Robotech is a classic science-fiction anime that was brought to America by Carl Macek and Harmony Gold USA, Inc. The Robotech series is split into three Robotech Wars, which chronicles the struggles of the people from three different generations as they defended the Earth from hostile invading aliens. In the Robotech box set, each saga, The Macross Saga, The Masters Saga, and The New Generation are packaged in their own DVD case. Also included in the box set, is a fourth special features case.
The First Robotech War also known as The Macross Saga, finds the people of Earth defending themselves against a race of gigantic aliens called the Zintraedi. Before the arrival of the Zintraedi, a huge spaceship crashed on Earth. The scientific and military communities banded together to research the technology on the ship and see if it can be adapted to their advantage. What is created is called “Robotechnology” which includes spaceships as well as individually piloted “mecha” which can transform from fighter jet into robot. In The Macross Saga we follow characters that get caught up in the war, and their struggles to reconcile their lack of preparation and experience to fight for the Earth. The Macross Saga is thirty-six episodes which span over fourteen hours on five discs.
The Second Robotech War, also known as The Masters Saga, takes place fifteen years after the end of the first war. The Earth has been devastated from the war with the Zintraedi and while the people are working on rebuilding, along come the Robotech Masters, who want to finish what he Zintraedi started—the destruction of the Earth and all its inhabitants. A new squadron, led by Dana Sterling, must fend off the aliens in an attempt to give Earth the ability to finish the rebuilding. The Masters Saga is twenty-four episodes on four discs spanning more than nine hours.
The Third Robotech War, also known as The New Generation, is the conclusion of the Robotech story, in this box set. This story sees the alien race known as the Invid arriving on Earth at a time when humans are destroyed from the two previous wars. Much of the infrastructures of the governments and military have fallen apart and the humans of Earth are no longer in a position to defend themselves. This is where the fighters of the Robotech Expeditionary Force comes in, led by characters that were born in space and have never seen the Earth. It is up to these fighters to drive the Invid from the Earth once and for all. The New Generation is a twenty-five episode series running over nine hours on four discs.
Robotech is a series that was put together from three unrelated Japanese anime series; The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. In order to put a cartoon series on the television in America in the 1980’s there had to be enough episodes to fill a thirty minute slot five days a week for sixteen weeks. None of the anime series had enough episodes to fill that amount of time because in Japan the series were only shown once a week. Carl Macek looked at the three different series and envisioned a way to bring anime to the American audience. It would not be easy. He had to take the three different anime series and create a storyline that would combine them into one overall story arch. This would entail rewriting, new editing of the episodes, renaming the characters and creating back stories the American audience could relate to, as well as creating transitional episodes that would help to link one individual story line to another. The one thing that Macek did not want to do was to take away the edginess of the Japanese animation and storytelling which did not exist in many of the cartoons available on American television. He did not create a series where each episode was a separate story but a series more like the original animes, where each episode was just a section of the overall story. Creating this kind of story line for a daily cartoon is essential in helping the American audience to eventually embrace the Japanese anime as it is today, where anime can be watched on various television networks.
Along with the three Robotech saga discs, there is over ten hours of special features on a four-disc set entitled Robotech: The Robotech Archives. The amount of special features included could be a stand-alone release. One of the stand-out features of The Robotech Archives is the never-before-seen documentary, Carl Macek’s Robotech Universe, chronicling how Robotech was brought to America and the work that went into creating it. Unfortunately, right before this documentary was filmed Carl Macek, the man who brought the anime to America, died. Despite this, the passion that Macek had for bringing over Japanese animation in the 1980’s is still apparent in the way in which the other people involved in the documentary talk of him and his work. As well as this new feature, there are many other features that have never been released on DVD before including: Robotech music videos, alternate versions of several Robotech episodes, a promotional reel for the Robotech launch in China, the original pilots of Macross which includes a 70 minutes extended version, and a Robotech overview. Other special features include international clips from The Macross Saga, The Masters, and New Generation. Original toy commercials from the 80’s, deleted scenes from the original Japanese series, and supplemental material for Robotech: The Movie (1986), as well as much more. The extensive material on The Robotech Archives will bring a whole new life into the series which is considered one of the reasons for anime’s success in the American culture.

About the Author:

Amber is an Early Childhood Education Professional in Chicago . She is also a part of an All Female Anime Circle, Kichi Gi. This circle explores anime, manga, and Japanese culture, while also trying to make an impact within the community. Amber is also a great lover of history and has worked hard over the years to study history and all it has to teach us.
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