Anime Review: Robotech: The Macross Saga

Note: This is part one of a three-part review of Robotech.

Genre: Sci-fi

Studio: Tatsunoko

Distributor: Harmony Gold/Manga (also streams on Hulu on Youtube)

No. of Episodes: 36

Suggested Age: 13+

Rating: 7/10

Review: In the distant future, Earth acquires a floating city that’s also a spaceship, which they call Macross Island.  But this attracts the Zentradi, a race of giant aliens.  Now the citizens must defend themselves from the aliens (This was known in Japan as Super Dimensional Fortress Macross).

Review: Back in the 80’s, the Robotech anime was a “gateway” series that showed American children how great anime could be. It was actually a conglomerate of three separate, unconnected programs. The reason they combined the three shows was that if they adapted only one, there wouldn’t be enough episodes to allow for syndication. (A syndicated program must have at least 65 episodes)

The animation is very good for the time. I especially like how well-detailed the aircraft and spacecraft are.

I also liked the characterization, for the most part. Rick Hunter and Roy Fokker were good heroes. I liked how different the two of them were. Roy was flamboyant but Rick was reserved.

The Zentradi were interesting. I thought it was interesting that, unlike us, they are cloned.  Because of this, they have never experienced things we take for granted, namely love and intimacy.  War is all they know.  At one point, they actually decide to pose as humans in order to understand them. This causes conflict with their culture and it was a great twist.

I had two huge problems with the show though: Lynn Minmei and her cousin, Kyle.  Lynn is a pop star, and a horrible one. She can’t sing–AT ALL!  What’s worse, she’s a terrible character, all-around.  She’s incompetent and just a perpetual damsel in distress. She was just plain annoying.

Kyle is even worse (it must run in the family).  He is a pacifist, and an annoying one. He believes that the military is at fault. He refuses to see that the military is the sole reason the Zentradi haven’t enslaved humanity.  These two characters brought down the show a few points.

Other than those things, the show was pretty good. I could easily see why it is so popular.

Violence: (4/10) Believe it or not, they kept some of the violence.  We even get to see a character die!  I was so certain that would’ve been taken out or even worse, rewritten, like what happened when Beast King Golion was brought to America as Voltron.

Nudity: (1/10) That’s not a typo!  There is actually a nude scene! And very detailed!

Sexuality: (0/10)

Religion: (0/10)

Related Media: I will be reviewing the two other shows that made Robotech separately: Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross (known as Robotech: The Masters in US) and Genesis Climber Mospeada (known as Robotech: The New Generation in US). There are also a few movies. During the 90’s, both Antarctic Press and Wildstorm did comic-book spinoffs of the US version.

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by sweetpea616 on August 29, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    “A syndicated program must have at least 65 episodes” – This is no longer true. It was back when Robotech was made, but that’s an outdated requirement.

    • #2 by rocklobsterjwt on September 3, 2012 - 1:08 pm

      Yeah. The advent of the internet helps with that. And the fact that you can get lots of shows on DVD these days.

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