It’s one of the best and easiest times to be an English-speaking anime fan. Between the now-merged Funimation and Crunchy Roll, you can pretty much find any and all animation from Japan you could want. Dubs or subs, you’ve got access to a whole plethora. Didn’t used to be the case, of course. Until fairly recently, if you came across anime in North America, it was recut, redubbed, and often entirely rewritten versions.
Unfortunately for Macek,
The decision then became, how would these three similar yet disparate shows become one? This necessitated splitting the story of
Part one, “The Macross Saga,” concerns humanity’s discovery of a crashed alien ship and subsequent battle against a race of giant warriors called the Zentraedi. We meet a young pilot named Rick Hunter as he first gets in the cockpit of a strange transforming jet fighter. He soon rescues a young singer named Lynn Minmei and as the fight to save humanity takes off, we get a lot of interpersonal drama between the people as they fight the Zentraedi. The would-be romance between Rick and Minmei hits a snag when Rick meets First Officer Lisa Hayes.
Earth nearly succumbs to the Zentraedi, but as you might expect, the good guys win. In the process, they learn about protoculture and the so-called Robotech Masters. This leads directly into part two of the series, “The Masters Saga,” set 15 years later. Here we see the arrival in Earth orbit of the Robotech Masters, who have come seeking what turns out to be the sole means in the universe of producing protoculture. After some poor diplomacy, the Masters spark a war with humanity. Among the Army of the Southern Cross are 2nd Lts. Dana Sterling and Bowie Grant, who pilot this portion of the story’s signature mechs.
At the end of the Second Robotech War, Earth is covered in the spores of a plant called the Flower of Life. This flower, turns out, is the source of protoculture and a beacon to the mysterious Invid who scour the galaxy for its presence. The Invid eventually land on Earth 12 years later for the final Robotech War. “The New Generation Saga” finds the Invid totally in control of Earth.
This section feels the least connected to the previous two. However, fairly ingeniously, the first two sections have little references that set up how this one starts. We learn many of the heroes of the First Robotech War had left Earth to seek out the Robotech Masters on a preemptive mission. This Robotech Expeditionary Force sends missions back from across the galaxy to attempt a liberation of their homeworld. The storyline follows one group of freedom fighters as they work their way towards the final battle with the Invid.
Obviously, with three separate TV shows all rolled together,
That said, I think the second and third sections have some great characters. Dana and Bowie in “The Masters Saga” are a great one-two, and the mech design is my favorite of the bunch. “The New Generation Saga” has Scott Bernard as its hero and he’s just an overall badass, plus the transforming motorcycle mechs are likewise pretty dope.
The series looks and sounds gorgeous on Blu-ray, and really lets you experience