The series features the 25th New Macross-class Colonial Fleet, dubbed the Macross Frontier, en route to the galactic center. This heavily-populated interstellar fleet (consisting of numerous civilian vessels and their military escorts) contains a makeup of both human occupants and their Zentradi allies. As such, many of the Macross Frontier's companion vessels appear to merge more metallic Human designs with organic Zentradi aesthetics. On the Macross timeline, the story is set in the year 2059, 47 years after the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross and 19 years after Macross Plus.
During a mission to an unexplored asteroid belt, a reconnaissance New U.N. Spacy (N.U.N.S.) VF-171 is destroyed by extremely powerful and fast insectoid biomechanical alien mecha known as the "Vajra", which immediately begin their attack on the rest of the fleet. Not being able to stop the new enemy threat, the N.U.N.S. Colonial Defense Forces authorize the deployment of a Civilian Military Provider organization called S.M.S. which utilizes the new VF-25 Messiah variable fighter to destroy the alien menace.
This series celebrates the 25th anniversary of its original Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series (1982-1983), and is chronologically subsequent to Macross 7 (1994-1996). OMG is it 25 years since the original Macross? (Ow, I think I just broke my hip) Thanks for making me feel old!
While I can't say I'm in love with the character designs this time around, the mecha is exactly what we've all come to expect from any Macross series... totally kick-ass, and easily the best out there. Never let it be said that Macross didn't come through on the "variable mecha making mincemeat out of any who oppose them" forefront.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, September 2008
Macross Song Collection
Anime Audio CD Review
This reviewer considers it the height of irony that, with the plethora of anime that has made it to these American shores, Macross: Do You Remember Love? (AKA Macross: The Movie) has never successfully made the transition to English.
It could be the fact that Macross relied HEAVILY on music as a crucial plot point. While the songs produced for Robotech were almost tolerable, they just don't hold up against Lynn Minmei in Japanese. Of all the pop-music idols that have come and gone since Macross, Mari Ijima's vocals are *still* simply astounding in their clarity and beauty and this song collection contains music that'll literally bring tears to your eyes.
Of course, us old-timers will get misty-eyed regardless, thinking back to the glory days of Macross, but newcomers have much to learn from this song collection. Songs in anime films really never got any better than this.
With this CD you get her best songs (as well as the original opening and endings) from Macross and Macross The Movie: Do You Remember Love? as well as tracks from Macross II: Lovers Again. For fans of Mari Ijima, this CD is a steal at any price.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, April 2007
Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
Anime DVD Review
Looking kind of like "Macross Plus" meets "Babylon 5", Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles celebrates the 20th anniversary of Robotech in the USA with a '86th' episode, that does, for all intents and purposes, pick up where the last episode ended off...
The year is 2044. The people of Earth are finally free from the Invid occupiers and the human race has reached out to the stars. A heroic cast of returning characters led by Scott Bernard and Vince Grant prepare to search for Admiral Rick Hunter's missing fleet. But a deadly new adversary threatens to test the limits of the Expeditionary Force's use of Shadow Technology, bringing intergalactic war upon the Earth itself, and unfolding in a treacherous mystery that could threaten their very survival!
Featuring the voices of Mark Hamill (Star Wars) voicing Commander Taylor & Shadow Dude, and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space 9) voicing Janice Em (who looks just a little bit too much like JEM), Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles features cutting edge CG animation beautifully composited with vibrant anime characters. Created for theatrical release, the DVD's heightened production values showcase anamorphic widescreen video, 5.1 digital surround sound, and an incredible musical score performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Definitely the strongest aspect of this movie is the numerous large-scale space battles. Rather than simply showing endless loops of ships blowing up, the makers of Robotech ensure their audience is aware of the tactical events in each battle, as well as how each space cruiser loss or military advantage relates to the overall story. In a franchise that has historically been driven by plot rather than explosions, this was excellently done.
The bonus features include a 45 making of the film and discusses in a very detailed manner how the whole process came about. We get to see some of the voice actors such as Mark Hamill, Chase Masterson, Yuri Rowenthal (Marcus Rush) and more.
Everything about this film seems just like a classic Robotech episode, but updated for today's standards. There's romance, action, betrayal, struggles, and tragedy. It's a nice piece of work to have in your DVD Collection.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2007
Macross Set 1 (Vols 1-3)
Anime DVD Review
It's a good bet you know what Robotech is. We're sure you've seen or heard of Macross Plus. Here's your chance to experience Macross, the original series, *before* it was chopped up to become Robotech. Not to disparage the Americanized show, but you really NEED to see what you've been missing. Macross, with the original plot, the original music and the original voices! Yes, this is subtitled, and the subtitles are good, the transfer is extra crisp and vibrant, and it is oh, so much better that it may produce fits of euphoria.
Minmei's songs are much better in Japanese, and the violence a bit more extreme, as well as the story being more mature and adult-oriented. If this gets you excited (and you'd have to be dead not to get excited over this), Volume 2 and Volume 3 finish up the series, in all it's original, uncut glory. Yes!
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, August 2004
Robotech Macross Saga Legacy Boxed Set
Anime DVD Review
Robotech exploded onto the American scene and inducted entire legions of anime fans into our ranks. Next to Star Blazers, it may be the single most relevant TV series in terms of how many people call it the first "true" anime they ever experienced. Combined from three different TV series in Japan, given a makeover in terms of script and a whole new soundtrack, the producers at Harmony Gold blended together some of the best anime had to offer at the time.
And included in this set is the best of the best - Macross, which spawned imitations, sequels, and really gave us the entire 'transformer' craze in the first place (thanks to the ever-popular transforming Valkyrie mecha - still one of the most convincing concepts ever designed). And then there's the Macross itself, certainly the most giant of giant robots, using aircraft carriers as arms and holding an entire city inside of it. Macross proves that excess is success, and very few have ever done it this well on this scale.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, Summer 2002
Macross - Complete Soundtrack Set (1984)
Anime Soundtrack Review
In 1983, a TV series premiered in Japan that almost equaled the punch of Starblazers, and that series was Macross - and then they topped themselves with the 1984 movie. Once again, what attracted many fans to Macross was the incredible music - you can't not drive fast while listening to the battle music, nor be taken to tears with the tender melodies. And Pop-Singer Lynn Minmei's tunes are dance-o-rific!
This CD set is the entire soundtrack to the 1984 Movie, and it just rocks. You'll listen to it over and over again, wishing you owned an actual Valkyrie Fighter. It's particularly impressive is that the music for the Zhentraedi forces actually sound ... *big*. There's no way to describe it with mere words. You just have to hear it.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, March 2003
Robotech Art I
Anime Book Review
Why we didn't review this book earlier is beyond us. Maybe we thought it was out of print, but apparently not! Co-authored by plastic-horse-lovin' Ardith Carlton (of early anime fandom fame), this book is the definitive guide to have if you're a Robotech maniac. Starting with well-written and detailed synopses of all 85 episodes, the book is literally littered with very high quality art from actual animation cels of the series, not just screenshots.
Also included are character bios set against the model sheets (much like a roman album), and a history of anime released in the US (up to the time of publication). In all, a great book from the co-creator of Space Fanzine Yamato and a must-have guide to the series.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, September 2003