Robotech: The New Generation
Studio: Tatsunoko/ Harmony Gold
Publisher: Beyond Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 27, 2012
Price: $23.99 (Buy Here)
Robotech: The New Generation is the third and final series in the Robotech Saga serialisation. For those of you who have not heard of Robotech, the series is essentially a series about Earths conflicts with various alien species after a large unmanned spaceship crashes on the Earth and leading us to access the energy source known as protoculture, which is highly sought after across the cosmos. The show is spread across three seasons, with each covering a different Robotech war. This series covers the third Robotech war.
The invading Invid race have conquered the Earth and her people to gain the Earths protoculture, the universes most powerful energy source. The Invid are a race that thrive on the energy and consume entire worlds in order to satiate their hunger.
The story kicks off with Admiral Rick Hunter’s Expeditionary forces returning to the cosmos to retake the Earth from the Invid invaders. Unfortunately for the fleet, only a small handful of units survive and the main story follows the adventures of one such character, Scott Bernard.
Over the course of the adventure Scott picks up numerous characters to join him in his quest to destroy the Invid’s primary base at Reflex Point. The characters follow some kind of archetype, like a tough as nails warrior woman, an know-it-all simpleton, a promiscuous child and a sensitive tank.
What I particularly enjoyed about the series story was the way it progressed throughout the entire arc. At first it was all a buildup with Scott assembling his team of rebels to take on the Invid invaders, which also had had it’s own level of conflicts and lead into a kind of lull in the story, where everything all started to get worse and worse for the group. For instance, the Invids come up with better units, the team rescue a girl with mental issues and have to take care of her and they even almost seperate at one point. Of course, the story almost comes to a close when the series ends.
The series is closed by the end of the series quite well with a massive battle and Scotts team wiping out Vantage point with the help of Expeditionary forces. This battle is also recapped in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, but from a different perspective. I also believe that the version of the battle presented in this series is the superior version from a story-telling standpoint.
I’d have to say that if you’re new to the Robotech series but was put off by Masters, you should still stick around for The New Generation, as it is a significant improvement in storytelling. And it actually seems like it should fit in the Robotech meta-story, instead of being a different series with the same name.
What I liked about The New Generation is that the visuals closely resembled the familiar visuals of Robotech: The Macross Saga. The Aircraft were very similar to the original Variatech models and you could easily tell that they were upgrades from generations down the line. This is in opposition to the Masters Saga where everything was completely different and nothing seemed to fit.
What was really impressive were the designs of the Invid units. Each enemy mecha looked both dangerous and unique, which is something that I found quite enjoyable. Conversely, all the human characters and devices all seemed to have their own distinctive looks and feels that were reflective of their personalities, which I found to be a nice touch.
Sadly, the one negative with the visuals is that the series hasn’t really progressed all that far in quality. For example, if you were to compare The Macross Saga, The Masters Saga and The New Generation to each other using a generic scene, people would probably all say that they were released in the same year. I would have loved to have seen a significant increase in quality, but I guess the show is a product of its time. Not that it suffers for it, but it’s just something that would have been interesting.
Actually the show did air all at once in one year, so that easily explains it. But on further digging, you learn that the series is three completely unrelated shows spliced together from different years and so it’s still kind of weird to see it all looking so similar.
Ulpio Minucci’s Robotech theme is one of brilliance and as a continuation of the Robotech series, it is no surprise that this amazing rendition is still being played as the opening and ending of this particular season. I don’t know if this theme has won any awards or not, but it damned-well should have. It’s one of the few themes that have stuck with me for as long as I can remember and hearing it play at the beginning of each episode is an integral part of the Robotech experience.
Fortunately, all of the sound effects used in the series are of quality and nothing really sounds out of place. One of the only complaints I have with the audio is that it sounds like it was recorded in the 80s, which it was. It does however beat the dubs of nearly all of its competitors from that era, so props for that.
Now the shows background music is lifted from both The Macross Saga and The Masters Saga. I would have loved to have heard some original composition going on with this season, but what they had seemed to work. However, one of the more common background tracks wears out its welcome rather quickly, and instead of it being one of those catchy turns you hear a few times and love, it turns into an overused sack of balls.
Overall Robotech: The New Generation is easily the second best thing in the Robotech meta-story. It has a feel that reflects The Macross Saga while also carrying itself in a different direction. This is definitely something that you will want to watch, even if you have skipped the second season, Masters, or were put off by its lack of awesomeness. Buy Robotech: The New Generation as soon as you can.