Anime: Super Dimension Fortress Macross Volume 1: Upon The Shoulders of Giants Preview

Vandemar

imageThe original Macross is back, spiffed up, shined and polished, and given the royal treatment one of anime’s most influential series (Stateside, at least) deserves. While my preview copy was lacking in features-such is the price of being on the cutting edge of retro anime-they’re promising Dolby 5.1, good dubs, interviews, commentaries, and more. It’s going to be a must-own for the series fan, of course, but anyone interested in taking a look at the history of anime needs a copy on their shelves, too. Besides, after rigorous testing, I found that it is still an awesome series to watch on a Saturday morning with a big bowl of sugary cereal and the sound up obnoxiously loud. Even if you haven’t seen Macross, you’ll swear you have. It’s part of our collective unconscious. There were only three episodes on my disc (there should be six on the released one), and those were…

Episode 1: Booby Trap

A giant space battleship fell from the sky years ago and crashed to Earth. Panicked by the unexpected realization that there was other life out there and it wasn’t friendly, Earth’s governments united to restore the battleship, triggering worldwide rebellion. Still, the planet united and the Macross took shape. When we arrive in 2008 (weird, I know), it’s time for her launch. What should be an occasion for celebration turns dire when the aliens come looking for the ship.

imageEpisode 2: Countdown

Episode 2 is the calm before the storm, as alien ships pull into orbit and-forgive the spoiler-battle breaks out between the alien and earth forces. Soon enough, Earth is under attack on all sides and the Macross’ crew is drawn into the fighting.

Episode 3: Space Fold
The battleship Macross roars into space and the war continues, as the ship and her crew make a desperate gamble to save themselves and the planet. The space fold drive is entirely untested, but it’s their one chance to break away from a swarming alien fleet.

With only three episodes and an imcomplete disc, I can’t tell you how awesome the extras are and everything. The series looks great, though, especially for one as old as this one. The voice tracks have a lamentable level of 80sness to them, but I suspect that’s more being old than anything they could’ve fixed. The rest of the series sounds good and rumbled in a satisfying way when I cranked up the subwoofer.

Just as a random note, I just love the aesthetic, where space fighters look suspiciously like pimped-out F-14s and sexy X-29s. Macross is seriously one of the coolest series I’ve seen in a long time, breaking through the limitations of early anime by putting together a very cool sci-fi story. If you’re itching to take it back to the anime old school, Macross Volume 1 is one to pick up the instant it appears on shelves.

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