Podzilla 1985

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Live Love...Disappointment

In the year 1999 an alien space craft crashed on a small island in the Pacific ocean and would change the coarse of human history. Sadly this didn't happen in real life but anyone who was a fan of Robotech was waiting for it to come true when the fateful year rolled around.

Robotech aired in 1985, back when most animated shows were required to have at least 65 episodes in order to air. This 85 episode series was a collaborative project that reworked three preexisting Japanese cartoons into one series. Each of these cartoons would serve as a separate, but linear story for the over all series.

Despite being out of the spot light for many years, most anime fans of the 80's and 90's will know what it is if you say it's name. For some it can start a conversation that could go on for days. Granted I was a child of the 80's but Robotech didn't hit my radar until I was in high school. Cartoon Network was just starting to plan anime regularly in their new Toonami line up. With Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z already being popular hits in the line up they brought out Robotech to fill another genre of the medium. I watched the first episode, that they had a special airing of one Saturday night, and to be honest I wasn't really interested. I watched it off and on for a few episodes and still nothing really grabbed me.

Then "Bye Bye Mars" aired. The back story of, cranky first mate, Commander Lisa Hayse made me see her in a new light. There was a reason she was so damn by the book and hard. From there the episodes just got better. I wasn't disappointed again until the end of The Robotech Masters saga when rather than started the third story arch, The New Generation, Cartoon Network started back over at the episode one. What the hell? what about the new threat to Earth? Who are these Inivd? I needed to know. I wouldn't get to know. Cartoon Network never aired the final arch.

Once I started college Robotech was being released on dvd. Finally I was able to see the end of the series. I enjoyed it but like many fans I was left with questions. What happened to Rick Hunter and the rest of the SDF-3's crew? Where were the first generation Robotech fighters when all this chaos was going on back on Earth? Granted I had discovered the novels that retold the series and beyond, but as much as I liked reading them it wasn't the same as getting to watch.

In 2005, Robotech:Shadow Chronicles, was announced. It had been twenty years since the show was produced and fans were excited about the new project. The new story took place right where the series ended, brought back old familiar faces as well as some new ones. Most of the original cast returned as well, which own them big points in my book. It was amazing and got fans pumped back up about the older series. Remastered versions of the show were put out, as well as releases of the books and RPG resources. Hints of new projects were flying around, including more animated films and shorts, and the big news a live action film. Not much has been heard of the live action film in a while but just this past week a new animated feature was released; Robotech: Live Love Alive.

I was psyched, finally something new from Roboetch. Granted to see it I was going to have to buy Shadow Chronicles again, since they came bundled together, but I was willing to do that. While out doing some necessary errand running for the week, I tracked down a copy. DVD in hand it was only a matter of time now before the viewing goodness.

Live Love Alive, goes back to the Freedom Fighters of The New generation. This tale takes a closer look at Lancer "Yellow Dancer" Belmont and his role in the war. I love Lancer, he's an awesome character. An injured soldier running form the Invid, who's only chance at survival is to cross dress as a girl to go undetected. Then take that same female disguise and add a need for musical performance and Yellow Dancer is born. I love how Lancer's comfort level, be it as himself or as yellow, tends to make people awkward in one way or another. All and all this should have been a good movie, but I feel cheated.

Remember when Itchy and Scratchy got their own movie? There was that little tag at the end, what was it....

53% new footage.

In Live Love Alive, it's closer to 15% new animation and that's being generous. It's one over inflated recap episode. Basically they condensed the 3rd arch in 89 min. and added a some out of place CG of the mechs in space.

There was a small scene at the beginning, while they explained about the arrival of the Invid, that they showed some cool new footage of the Southern Cross Army and we get an updated design for Dana Sterling of the 15th squadron. Of the new footage it was by far the best looking.

Other wise the only other "new" animation was at the very end. It was of Lancer and Sera showing that they did end up together. That's all good and fine, but if you've read "The End of the Circle" (vol. 18 of the Robotech novel series) you already knew this. Plus they hinted at it pretty good at the end of the series as it was. It wasn't even done that well. I enjoyed the old reused animation better.

All I can say is that "Shadows Raising", the long delayed sequel to Shadow Chronicles, had better be freaking amazing to make up for this sad excuse for a feature. Maybe I'm at fault for not researching it enough first, but I was disappointed with what I got.


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