I discovered the Robotech animated series some time in the mid 1980's if I recall correctly; of course, there might be a few years leeway on both sides of that time because it has been that long ago. I know people out there like to kick the corpse of the 80's around but it was a great time for cartoons. Shows like Thundercats, Voltron, Thundarr the Barbarian, SilverHawks, Transformers, and The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers all serve as great examples of the available shows.
I fondly remember my buddies and I making sure we put aside time to watch all of these shows. Then one of us stumbled across Robotech after school one day. I do not remember exactly where in the series we started watching but it was not the beginning. I do remember quickly walking home to catch new episodes because only a few minutes would be missed that way; riding the bus would cut into a large chunk of the episode so that was out. Other than feeling like it was a cartoon that treated kids as serious viewers instead of babying them I can not recall a lot of information from the show except for the following.
- The names Rick Hunter, Lisa Hunter, and Max Sterling. (I think?)
- The Veritech fighter jets that could transform into a robot form and another form.
- The bad guys were called the Zentraedi. I believe they had a giant and a micro form.
- There was another Robotech series that had motorcycles?
I know that does not sound like much but it really has been that many years. I know all of us watched it and enjoyed it quite a bit and I would think about it many times over the years. I have seen some of the sequel shows and the Robotech Role-Playing Game was the very first licensed role-playing game that I purchased.
I have always maintained an interest in the show and was surprised when I ran across some episodes at Wal-Mart during a visit. It was obvious that they were somewhere in the middle but I bought them anyway. I watched them and decided to get some more but I needed a place that stocked the earlier episodes so I could catch up. I did a little bit of digging and then visited Best Buy and ran across the Robotech Protoculture Collection boxed set. The collection includes all three series - Macross Saga, Masters, and New Generation - spread over 14 DVDs. Typically, there are 6 episodes on each disc with the exception of the first disc of New Generation containing 7 episodes. That makes a grand total of 85 episodes. There is also a 7 disc collection of Extras related to each series plus toy lines, commercials, and other items of interest.
I was lucky because it was the first weekend that the Digitally Remastered Extended Edition was available for sale and Best Buy had it deeply discounted. I know I paid $29.99 when it sold for something like $79.99! I hurried out to the car and read the following summary on the box before heading home.
"1999: A massive alien battlecruiser crash lands on Earth in the midst of a bloody global war. With the possibility of a more perilous threat looming, the human race puts aside their differences and collectively undertakes the arduous task of rebuilding the spacecraft, redubbed the SDF-1, to defend the Earth should its extraterrestrial masters come to reclaim it. Eventually, the alien Zentraedi invade Earth to collect the SDF-1 and the technology it contains, forcing the inexperienced crew, including hotshot pilot Rick Hunter and war hero mentor Roy Fokker, to launch the battlecruiser into war - a war that will cross generations, stretch across the farthest reaches of the universe and turn ordinary soldiers into extraordinary heroes."
Of course, I started immediately viewing when I got home and have watched it several times since, right? Actually, that did not happen. I got distracted and threw it up on the DVD shelf and there it has sat for years. Oh, I have loaned it out a few times and received some feedback from others but I have never sat down to watch it all until now. I am going to watch it from start to finish taking it one DVD at a time. The plan is for each DVD to get a post in reaction and recollection. The next post will begin with the Macross Saga DVD 1: Episodes 1-6. Stay tuned.
For anyone that has not seen it, here is a video of the opening Robotech sequence.