Robotech Perfect Collection: Macross

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Type: duel series
Genre: Science fiction
Dub/Sub: Subtitles/Dubbed
Length: ~25 minutes per episode, ~100 minutes per tape
Copyright date: 1982/1985
Animation quality: 4 to 6
Why: [Macross series] al, n
General overall quality: 8
Distributed by:Streamline Pictures

This tape set is a rather odd one. It contains episodes of the original Super Dimensional Fortress: Macross series as broadcast in Japan in 1982 and the equivalent Robotech episodes as broadcast in the U.S. in 1985.

The basic premise of the Macross series is in the year 1999 an object fell to Earth. This object turned out to be an alien spaceship. In the following ten years, mankind systematically decoded the alien technology and, in the end, made the ship into a battle fortress. On the day that the new Macross fortress was to launch on its maiden trip, a group of aliens from the same race, which made the ship in the first place, show up and attack.

The aliens are known as the Zentraedi. They look to be reasonably human in appearance, except that they are 50 feet tall. They are also dedicated to war.

In to evade the enemy, the Macross fortress executes a space fold operation. This operation places them near the orbit of Pluto.

This probably would have work out, except that the captain of the Macross executed the fold much too close to the ground, so that a small island and some of the ocean also ended up getting transported along with the battle fortress. Further, the fold system disappeared after the fold operation.

Several persons of note are:

The Robotech series premise is similar to the series in which it was lifted. As expected, some of the names of some of the persons, places, and things are different between the two series. The main difference, in my opinion, is that the makers of the Robotech series choose to give a name to the alien technology. They called it Robotech. Further, it seemed that they choose to emphasis the actual physical battles more then the original series. They also seemed to play down the romantic parts of the story that were clearly present in the Macross series. Also, as expected, all adult language and nudity was removed from the Robotech series.

Even given the age of this anime, it has some fairly impressive animation in it, especially in the space battle scenes. Some of the foregrounds and face lack resolution, however.

Some notable mappings between the Macross and Robotech series:

Macross			Robotech		Who?/What?

Commander Misa Hayase	Commander Lisa Hayase	One of the bridge crew of
						the battle fortress

Commander Fakker	Commander Roy Fakker	One of the main characters,
						a fighter pilot

Hikaru Ichijo		Rick Hunter		Another main character,
						one of the young heros of
						the series

Yotchan			Jason			Lin Minmei's younger brother

Macross Fortress	SDF1			The name of the battle fortress

South Atalia Island	Macross Island		The name of the island that
						the battle fortress was
						rebuilt upon

Valkyrie fighter	Varatech fighter	The name of the transforming
						fighters used by Earth

50,000 survivors	70,000 survivors	The number of survivers which
						were added after the fold

Streamline Pictures choose to only make 18 of the Macross episodes available in this form, the other 20 or so are available only as Robotech episodes. In most ways, this is a shame. I personally liked the original Macross episodes better then the adapted Robotech episodes, but must acknowledge that it was a rather clever reuse of animation.

It appears that 4 more Macross volumes in this form are going to be released. When released, this should provide at least 8 more episodes. The release date, however, is unknown at this time.

Like the Orguss series, a number of interesting things were done with the various view screens in this series. On one occasion, the partial contents of a library card catalogue was presented on a view screen, on another the old text adventure game Star Trek, which ran on a number of Unix boxes and has been ported to any number of languages over the years, was on another screen.

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