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Author Topic: Educate me about Robotech/Macross  (Read 2209 times)
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« on: October 23, 2006, 03:38:02 PM »

We were talking about a Robotech game in another thread and it occurred to me that I have no freaking idea what any of this is other than the name and the fact that it's supposed to be awesome.  A quick Google shows that Robotech was the Americanized version of Macross.  Were they the same show but with a different title and dubbing?  Or did they completely redo the show for the US release?

My sons are 7, 9 and 10 and I think they would probably like this.  Is this a good age to watch these?  Naturally dad would want to watch as well...  icon_cool

Most importantly: what do I order from Netflix as that's where I'd most likely be getting them.  They have the 14 disc Robotech series (link - although they are apparently missing two discs) but they also have the 7 disc series of Macross (link).  Obviously there's another part to Macross (7 discs vs 14) I'm not seeing so what is it?

Help me!  Help me!  Help me!
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 03:59:46 PM »

It's a long story:

Robotech itself is broken up into three sectionis:

1) Macross
2) Robotech Masters
3) Invid Invasion

Harmony Gold licensed the rights to the Japanese anime Macross in the early 80s.  However the series was only about 36 episodes (forgot the exact number) and you needed at least 65 or so to get into syndication in the US.  So he bought the rights to two other completely different anime series, Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.  The Macross portion of the US Robotech series is very similar to it's Japanese counterpart.  Some parts were edited, names were changed, etc and the most signficant change was the nature of what Protoculture is (not worth going into here) but by and large Robotech just plays as a sort of dumbed-down, slightly more kid friedly version of the Japanese Macross.

However, extensive story changes had to made with the other two series Harmony Gold purchased since they had absolutely nothing to do with the characters, story, or even "world" of the Japanese Macross saga.  The mash probably works better than it has any right to, but for my money the best parts of Robotech are definitely Macross saga related.

As to your kids- That's the perfect age for them.  I believe I was 9 when I first saw Robotech.  It's still pretty appealing for adults, though you would probably like the translated Macross saga better (ie the original Japanese version), but the subs aren't as friendly for the kids.  I just rewatched the Remastered Macross saga earlier this year and it really holds up well. 

In summary- unless your kids are really into subs, go for the Robotech link, although Dad would probably prefer the 7 disc Macross set. 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 04:06:48 PM by Kevin Grey » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM »

Robotech was slightly different from later Macross sagas which themselves were more of an updating/continuation/oddity thing. Robotech was an imported anime series that aired in the mid-80's and was redubbed by Americans for the US audience. I don't know whether the original Japanese show had that damn narrator or not but in the American version the narrator basically walks you through everything that's happening in an episode, sometimes to the point where it completely detracts from the drama (I'm specifically thinking about Khyron's "fate").

There were three parts to the series. The first part is what we were talking about in the Weekend Recap thread as it involves a massive alien battleship (called the SDF-1), Veritech fighter planes (fighter jets that can transform into giant battle robots), and an alien race called the Zentradei (sp?). The second series dealt was set I think 15 years or so after the events of series 1 and the enemy was the Robotech Masters, the brains behind the Zentradei warriors. The third and final series dealt with the Invid, an alien race the Robotech Masters had long been at war with. 90% of my Robotech memories deal with series 1. I recall parts of series two and series three, but nothing more than individual scenes. I'd have to completely re-watch all of it and even then I probably wouldn't remember it.

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 04:04:17 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 23, 2006, 03:59:46 PM

It's a long story:

Robotech itself is broken up into three sectionis:

1) Macross
2) Southern Cross
3) Invid Invasion

Harmony Gold licensed the rights to the Japanese anime Macross in the early 80s.  However the series was only about 36 episodes (forgot the exact number) and you needed at least 65 or so to get into syndication in the US.  So he bought the rights to two other completely different anime series, Super Dimensional Force Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.  The Macross portion of the US Robotech series is very similar to it's Japanese counterpart.  Some parts were edited, names were changed, etc and the most signficant change was the nature of what Protoculture is (not worth going into here) but by and large Robotech just plays as a sort of dumbed-down, slightly more kid friedly version of the Japanese Macross.

However, extensive story changes had to made with the other two series Harmony Gold purchased since they had absolutely nothing to do with the characters, story, or even "world" of the Japanese Macross saga.  The mash probably works better than it has any right to, but for my money the best parts of Robotech are definitely Macross saga related.

As to your kids- That's the perfect age for them.  I believe I was 9 when I first saw Robotech.  It's still pretty appealing for adults, though you would probably like the translated Macross saga better (ie the original Japanese version), but the subs aren't as friendly for the kids.  I just rewatched the Remastered Macross saga earlier this year and it really holds up well. 

In summary- unless your kids are really into subs, go for the Robotech link, although Dad would probably prefer the 7 disc Macross set. 

Beat me to the punch, but I concur.  I own all of those box sets and I have to admit that US version is far more 'kid friendly'.
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2006, 04:04:29 PM »

Also, the Japanese Macross saga stands completely on its own.  The US Robotech Macross saga (first six disks of the Netflix set), stands alone almost as well but Harmony Gold inserted a few connections to tie it into the two other series but you could watch just those first six disks and "get" what most people thin of when they talk about Robotech. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2006, 04:13:26 PM »

Okay, thinking some more (I love me some Macross), there may be a better option for you and your kids, though I don't think Netflix carries it:

ADV has released (or is in the process of releasing) new dubs of Macross.  To be clear, this is the first time that Macross itself (ie the more adult Japanese original version) has been released in America with dubs.  Previous versions have been subtitled only.  Now, I can't speak to the quality of the dub because I haven't seen this version but it would be more kid friendly.  I believe it also contains the footage that was edited from the original American version (I'm not postive though) so you might want to preview it yourself before showing your kids but I don't remember anything particularly objectionable about even the unedited Macross other than perhaps Minmei's bare butt (in a completely non-sexual scene). 
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2006, 04:42:01 PM »

Get the American version. A new obsession will begin in your house.

I still can't shake the impacts of that show in my life and it is 20 year later.
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 04:43:24 PM »

Hmm... so I'm looking at the Macross DVD's Netflix has and they might be the ones you are talking about Kevin.  They mention both English and Japanese language options.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2006, 04:49:24 PM »

Quote from: warning on October 23, 2006, 04:43:24 PM

Hmm... so I'm looking at the Macross DVD's Netflix has and they might be the ones you are talking about Kevin.  They mention both English and Japanese language options.

I think you're right.  It can be hard to tell sometimes since I couldn't begin to count the number of different DVD releases that both Robotech and Macross have received.  But the covers Netflix show seem to match the same thing on The Right Stuff's website (reputable anime seller) and they also indicate the English language track.  The only potential issue (depending on how fast you watch them) is that it looks like the final disc, Disc 7, doesn't come out until December. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2006, 06:54:25 PM »

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 04:42:01 PM

Get the American version. A new obsession will begin in your house.

I still can't shake the impacts of that show in my life and it is 20 year later.

Apparently not. icon_cool

Breetai FTW, yo. thumbsup
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2006, 07:07:45 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.

I know that "To Be In Love" song can get stuck in your head after a while, but you're a brave man to admit being blown away by it...
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2006, 07:09:30 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.


Is this it?

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roy Fokker dying?
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2006, 07:14:17 PM »

No, I think it's the part where Rick Hunter rips Minmei's arms off and beats her to death with them. Because that part pwns. icon_twisted
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2006, 07:22:26 PM »

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 07:09:30 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.


Is this it?

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roy Fokker dying?

Nope, think later and more global...

Although, the event you mentioned was surprising as well.
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2006, 07:36:54 PM »

Some of these suggestions are horrendous when it comes to anime.

Dubbing?  American version?  Egads.

Warning, my advice to you would be to rent the real deal Japanese version, watch some of it yourself, and decide if your children could handle it.  If they could, go with that.  If not, then maybe consider the American version.

There's no reason to bastardize anime as some have suggested in this thread!
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2006, 07:38:13 PM »

One other thing:

Never, under any circumstances, watch dubbed anime if it can be avoided.  Dubbed anime sucks sucks sucks.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2006, 07:42:12 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on October 23, 2006, 07:38:13 PM

One other thing:

Never, under any circumstances, watch dubbed anime if it can be avoided.  Dubbed anime sucks sucks sucks.

Dude, it's for his kids!  I'm as anal about this stuff as the next guy, but when you are trying to get kids interested in something I'm not sure trying to get a seven year old to read subtitles with a bunch of bizarre Japanese names is the best bet.  At least try and wait until they are teenagers before getting all otaku on their ass. 
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2006, 07:44:47 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 23, 2006, 07:42:12 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on October 23, 2006, 07:38:13 PM

One other thing:

Never, under any circumstances, watch dubbed anime if it can be avoided.  Dubbed anime sucks sucks sucks.

Dude, it's for his kids!  I'm as anal about this stuff as the next guy, but when you are trying to get kids interested in something I'm not sure trying to get a seven year old to read subtitles with a bunch of bizarre Japanese names is the best bet.  At least try and wait until they are teenagers before getting all otaku on their ass. 

Haha.  Point taken.

I never had problem reading subtitles for stuff growing up, but then again, I'm weird.
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2006, 07:56:03 PM »

Heh.  I did make them read the subtitles for My Neighbor Totoro until they released the "proper" DVD earlier this year.  They groaned at first but then didn't mind.  But several DVD's full of shows?  Nah...

But true anime I'm right there with you except for Cowboy Bebop.  I loved the English voice-overs in that.

I'm pretty much leaning toward the Macross version just because Netflix doesn't have discs missing in the middle of the series.  One question: the Robotech and Macross versions are pretty much the same animation right?  They didn't actually redo the animation for the Robotech version did they?  They just edited it and dubbed it right?
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2006, 08:03:04 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:22:26 PM

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 07:09:30 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.


Is this it?

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roy Fokker dying?

Nope, think later and more global...

Although, the event you mentioned was surprising as well.

Then just tell me.
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2006, 08:08:26 PM »

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 08:03:04 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:22:26 PM

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 07:09:30 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.


Is this it?

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roy Fokker dying?

Nope, think later and more global...

Although, the event you mentioned was surprising as well.

Then just tell me.

Spoiler for Hiden:
At a guess I'd say what happens when Dolza's fleet shows up and obliterates the majority of the earth's surface causing untold devestation and death.
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2006, 08:18:31 PM »

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 08:08:26 PM

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 08:03:04 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:22:26 PM

Quote from: ATB on October 23, 2006, 07:09:30 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on October 23, 2006, 07:02:06 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on October 23, 2006, 04:03:42 PM

The series introduced anime into the American mainstream with its popularity. It wasn't the first anime to make an impression on America, but it made arguably the strongest impression. Also, if your kids don't think cartoon characters can die then Robotech will introduce them to the concept very, very quickly.

Speaking of which, in the Macross part of the Robotech saga, there is a MAJOR event about 2/3 of the way into the story that will leave an impression. It did back in 1985 when I first saw it. Blew me away actually.


Is this it?

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roy Fokker dying?

Nope, think later and more global...

Although, the event you mentioned was surprising as well.

Then just tell me.

Spoiler for Hiden:
At a guess I'd say what happens when Dolza's fleet shows up and obliterates the majority of the earth's surface causing untold devestation and death.

Oh I thought he might have meant:

Spoiler for Hiden:
When Rick chooses Lisa over Minmei  Tongue
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2006, 08:25:56 PM »

Dude, that was never a shocker unless you were stupid. :slywink:
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2006, 08:27:47 PM »

Quote from: warning on October 23, 2006, 07:56:03 PM

I'm pretty much leaning toward the Macross version just because Netflix doesn't have discs missing in the middle of the series.  One question: the Robotech and Macross versions are pretty much the same animation right?  They didn't actually redo the animation for the Robotech version did they?  They just edited it and dubbed it right?

Yep same animation (which is very dated but still pretty well done and effective IMO).  The only ones to avoid are the very first set of Robotech that ADV released like six years ago since they weren't remastered.  After that, a company called Animeigo did a very nice remastering/restoration project on Macross and those remasters have been used on pretty much all subsequent Robotech/Macross releases IIRC.  The new dubbed version is also in 5.1, I believe, and the sound effects may have been redone in the process, so that portion of the show might have changed. 
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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2006, 09:11:58 PM »

Macross Plus is awesome. 

Probably not for the kids though, what with the boobs.
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« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2006, 09:51:03 PM »

Quote from: SuperHiro on October 23, 2006, 09:11:58 PM

Macross Plus is awesome. 

Probably not for the kids though, what with the boobs.

Plus or Zero?  Don't recall any boobs in Plus but seem to remember some in Zero. 
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« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2006, 09:56:51 PM »

Quote from: warning on October 23, 2006, 07:56:03 PM

Heh.  I did make them read the subtitles for My Neighbor Totoro until they released the "proper" DVD earlier this year.  They groaned at first but then didn't mind.  But several DVD's full of shows?  Nah...

But true anime I'm right there with you except for Cowboy Bebop.  I loved the English voice-overs in that.

I'm pretty much leaning toward the Macross version just because Netflix doesn't have discs missing in the middle of the series.  One question: the Robotech and Macross versions are pretty much the same animation right?  They didn't actually redo the animation for the Robotech version did they?  They just edited it and dubbed it right?

Warning, i would stick with the Robotech version for your kids...the Macross version is a little too much "adult" (IMHO).  Its funny, I was just in my closet this weekend and found Macross on VHS..HEH!
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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2006, 07:35:52 AM »

Robotech may be a bastardized version of anime, but I enjoyed the heck out of it when I saw it at 9+ years old. It was a great story and was very compelling. I couldn't wait to come home from school and see the next episode. I own a few of the DVDs and still enjoy watching them from time to time. I have yet to watch the Japanese versions, but someday soon I will. Maybe that'll make me hate Robotech, but I kind of doubt it.

And yeah, some of the episodes blew me away.
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2006, 02:06:15 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on October 23, 2006, 07:44:47 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 23, 2006, 07:42:12 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on October 23, 2006, 07:38:13 PM

One other thing:

Never, under any circumstances, watch dubbed anime if it can be avoided.  Dubbed anime sucks sucks sucks.

Dude, it's for his kids!  I'm as anal about this stuff as the next guy, but when you are trying to get kids interested in something I'm not sure trying to get a seven year old to read subtitles with a bunch of bizarre Japanese names is the best bet.  At least try and wait until they are teenagers before getting all otaku on their ass. 

Haha.  Point taken.

I never had problem reading subtitles for stuff growing up, but then again, I'm weird.

I'm picky whenever I watch anime with the subtitles on. Cowboy Bebop, for example, I've never watched without listening to the American voice track. Ditto for Outlaw Star. But the recent Appleseed movie (which kicks nine kinds of ass btw) I only watch with the subtitles on. Go figure.
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2006, 03:15:25 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 23, 2006, 09:51:03 PM

Quote from: SuperHiro on October 23, 2006, 09:11:58 PM

Macross Plus is awesome. 

Probably not for the kids though, what with the boobs.

Plus or Zero?  Don't recall any boobs in Plus but seem to remember some in Zero. 

It's got one shot of some very well drawn anime boobs.  pretty incidental, but you know... well drawn anime boobs.
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2006, 09:38:23 PM »

When I was young (<10) I read the books.  Didn't see the show until I was about 12 or so and it was the Japanese version.  I played the Palladium version of Robotech RPG heavily when it came out.
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2007, 04:39:45 AM »

So we finally finished the 7th and final volume of Macross tonight.  We decided to go with the ADV version of the original series and I was surprised by both the animation and the excellent English dub.  And both myself and my sons were very impressed by the show itself!  They are 8, 10 and 11 and they loved every minute of the show!  My older two were speculating tonight on what happened after the last episode with Hikaru and Misa and whether they stayed together, etc.

I was expecting to be bored or embarrassed and while there were some moments for that, I really enjoyed it for the most part.  Yeah the songs are beyond cheesy and we never want to hear My Boyfriend Is a Pilot again.  But the action, characters and the story were all excellent.

So I have to say this was a great recommendation!  Thanks guys!
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2007, 05:16:05 AM »

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the show has held up.  Nostalgia can be a very dangerous thing sometimes but Macross has managed to stand the test of time far better than many of my other childhood favorites from that era. 

Check out Macross Plus if you get the chance- it's a short series (just four episodes) and it's connections with the original Macross are tenuous but the animation and action sequences are superb and the soundtrack is pretty damn amazing. 
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SkyLander
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2007, 07:21:09 AM »

If anyone cares the Sci Fi channel is playing the english dubbed version of the Macross Plus miniseries. It's on Mondays, they already played Macross Plus 1 last monday I don't know if it will be replayed or not.
From what I understand Macross Plus is supposed to be on the better miniseries/half movie Macross....thing. Sorry I don't know Macross heh smile just what I've read. Or what Kevin just said heh.

Macross Zero is all on youtube actually watched it with subtitle and thought it was really good. From what I understand I don't know if the DVDs have been released in the US?
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2007, 01:39:48 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on June 22, 2007, 07:21:09 AM

If anyone cares the Sci Fi channel is playing the english dubbed version of the Macross Plus miniseries. It's on Mondays, they already played Macross Plus 1 last monday I don't know if it will be replayed or not.
From what I understand Macross Plus is supposed to be on the better miniseries/half movie Macross....thing. Sorry I don't know Macross heh smile just what I've read. Or what Kevin just said heh.

Macross Zero is all on youtube actually watched it with subtitle and thought it was really good. From what I understand I don't know if the DVDs have been released in the US?

Oooh...set my TiVo to stun!  Thanks SkyLander!
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2007, 03:12:35 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on June 22, 2007, 07:21:09 AM

Macross Zero is all on youtube actually watched it with subtitle and thought it was really good. From what I understand I don't know if the DVDs have been released in the US?

To my knowledge they haven't been released- IIRC it has to do with the complex rights issues that still remain with Harmony Gold and Robotech.

It gets a mixed reaction but I enjoyed Macross Zero a lot. 
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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2007, 03:15:48 PM »

Macross Zero was actually the first one I saw.  It was great (but had a less-than-stellar ending) and then I tried to watch Macross Plus and could find no connection between the two so I gave up.

I'll probably try both again now that I've seen the original series.
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2007, 05:27:37 PM »

Do NOT get a translation of Macross.  You ALWAYS want the "Robotech" version of it.  Unless hearing people talking about the power of their singers is your kinda thing, of course.  But it seems too much like a Michael Jackson, Beat-It style dance fight to me.

IMO, Robotech is one of the best of the "Giant Robot" series.  The second one (Southern Cross) was the weakest, but still worth watching since it actually does the most to describe the back-story to the events occurring in the Robotech universe.

My favorite is the final series (New Generation).
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2007, 06:07:58 PM »

I'm confuzzled.  I thought Robotech was basically a translation of the original Japanese Macross?
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