Sunday, December 28, 2014

Robotech Protoculture Collection

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 ThundercatsVoltron, Thundarr the BarbarianSilverHawks, 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.


  1. Minmei is a bitch.

    I hope teh DVD you got is the original series. I have been unable to follow all of the Robotech drama. The US series is a combination of 3 Japanese series. However, it was supposed to be a US plot to make all 3 of them fit together. Now, I know there was all of this talk about redoing it to be the original, but I could never find out exactly what they meant. That is, were they interested in redoing the actual Japanese storylines, or keeping it as Robotech.

    So I never got around to watching any of the DVDs because of that. Not that I am for or against any way they did it. Instead, I am just not sure what Robotech I am watching. Robotech the US series, or Macross Saga the Japanese series.

    1. LOL...I will pay attention to the personality of Minmei.

      I believe I got the "Americanized" Robotech smash up of those 3 series; what was aired in the states. if I recall correctly, the American Macross is an edit and reimagining of Genesis Climber Mospeada. I have watched the first episode of American Robotech followed by the matching episode from Mospeada (or whatever it is) and it was interesting to say the least. Some scenes matched up perfectly while other were vastly different. That might actually make for a more interesting way to do a watch through. I need to double check ADV Films again because they had all 3 of the original Japanese a few years ago....

      (At one time, there was a side by side video comparison on YouTube. Now my curiosity is getting the best of me.)

    2. I had to go verify so...

      ADV Films is no longer in operation; bankruptcy, I believe.

      The Super Dimension Fortress Macross was made into Macross Saga.

      Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross was made into The Masters.

      Genesis Climber Mospeada was made into New Generation.