Today, I’m turning over the blog to colleague and fellow geek Ursula Watson, who was practically jumping up and down with excitement when I gave her A&E’s recent “Robotech: The Complete Original Series” DVD set. She’s a much bigger fan than I ever was of that particular series, so I was glad to let her offer her take to readers.
Unfortunately, life intervened, and she’s had to sit on the set for a little while. But she finally had time to do a write-up for me — and you. Come back Friday, when I’ll be giving away a set.
When I was young I would run, practically kicking up concrete, after school trying to get home in time to see the ’80s animated sci-fi series “Robotech.” The series about humans fighting against alien domination is one of the first and biggest anime imports. But as a kid, all I knew was that it was my kind of soap opera.
It had it all. Teen angst, humor (albeit corny), romance, break-ups and the constant struggle for survival against a relentless, technologically advanced foe. I was enthralled, completely vested in the lives of its characters. And yes, I even cried when one of the main characters (sniffle) died!
Over the years, I thought fondly back to the show, wishing that I could own it, at one point on VHS and now DVD. Imagine my glee when the gods listened and answered the pleas of “Robotech” fans like myself.
Last October, A&E Networks Home Entertainment, working in conjunction with original “Robotech” producer Harmony Gold, released a sweeping 17-disc collector’s set featuring all 85 half-hour, re-mastered episodes of the anime classic.
“Robotech: The Complete Original Series” is broken down into four sections: “The Macross Saga” or ‘The First Robotech War,” which covers 36 episodes, equaling 15 hours captured on five DVDs. Then there’s “The Robotech Masters Saga” (24 episodes) and “The New Generation” (25 episodes). As the first, these two discs are also referred to as “The Second Robotech War” and “The Third Robotech War” respectively. Plus there’s a fourth disc, “The Robotech Archives” which offers 10 hours of extra goodness, including a documentary on the making of “Robotech” and over an hour of deleted scenes.
Why am I writing about this now? It’s a case of be-careful-what-you-wish-for. When I was a fleet-footed youth, I had time. Now as a wizened, busy adult, um, not so much.
Inevitably I dove in and at first, it felt as if I was being reacquainted with childhood friends such as young flying-ace Rick Hunter and his playboy buddy Roy Fokker; serious, all-business Lisa Hayes; the funny, yet tough, Claudia Grant; and of course the vapid, coquettish fame-hound Minmei, who does mature as time goes on.
After watching the fifth episode, I began to truly understand the meaning of “to see life through the eyes of a child.” As a child, I wasn’t critiquing the anemic dialogue, the impossible scenarios or the sexist overtones. Nor were my eyes prone to crossing from overexertion.
But then I mentally slapped myself and remembered something— it’s anime from the ’80s! Everything can’t be “Akira” or “Ghost in the Shell.” And “Robotech” was just fine before I saw those other high-brow anime offerings. So, I soldiered on with a glass of wine (one of the benefits of being an adult) and allowed my mind to go on the adventure.
One great thing about getting the collection almost five months after everyone else is that it’s cheaper. It was $99.95 but now you can find it online at A&E Television Networks website for $79.99 or at Amazon.com for even less. And you can buy each installment individually.
Not a bad price for a little piece of your childhood.