Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All my memories are in HD

As I've gotten older and looked back on things that I enjoyed as a kid I've had the bittersweet realization that they benefit heavily from the haze of time making them seem so much cooler and detailed than what they really were. Anyone who's gone back and watched Robotech or GI Joe as an adult probably has asked themself was it really this dated looking?

The animation is scratchy, there's often lots of film grain and rough spots, but the reality with these shows is that they weren't made with a very high production budget even back then and they don't look any better after 30 years. But Bandai video has finally released a Blu Ray version of Macross that does justice to how cool I remember the show being in my head.

Blu Ray Opening Scene

VS old Macross Movie version

Screenshots of the cleaned up animation

This isn't the most recent of news as the release has been around for several months but being a simple white boy living in the US who doesn't speak japanese I'm a bit slow on keeping up with all the Utaku/fanboy updates. It's available only in Japan but it's region free (it can be picked up on Amazon Japan). It's in Japanese language only with no subtitles... but who needs subtitles for MECHA ACTION!  Besides we all know the story anyways Minmei sings, Lisa cries, mecha fight and shit blows up.

The downside is that when in Japan they charge by the pixel when you are getting anything in Blu Ray and the boxed set sets you back between $400-$600 depending on if you get the standard set or the limited edition one. One nice thing though is that it includes discs for Do You Remember Love?  (DYRL) and an extra 100 minutes of special footage all of which has gone through the same amazing upgrade to Blu Ray format. The limited edition also comes with several reprints the Perfect Memory animation reference books.

It also includes video footage for a game by Pachinko that from what I understand is supposedly compatible with japanese PS2 system (wtf?) but I'm not 100% sure on that so don't rely on me for that info. No idea why on earth they'd do it as PS2 format being that those systems have been dead for 7 years and counting.

Clips of additional Bonus Material

Who ever thought a 30 year old cartoon would look so good? With the price tag sadly it'll be a pipe dream for a while and I'll have to make due with You Tube footage. But damn does it look sexy.

Now if only I could somehow scrub my eye balls clean from the horror of recently re-watching the Kung Fu series, so many fond memories forever destroyed... somehow I suspect there's no amount of HD filtering that can repair that part of my childhood. Sigh, at least I'll always have Macross/Robotech.

This is totally unrelated to the boxed set but if you want a good laugh at some super deformed stuff I also found this.


  1. WOW! I've been so away from the anime scene the last few years I hadn't heard anything about this! Rose tinted glasses or not, the vast majority of shows coming out recently have not interested me at all and I keep pining for the old greats. The animation has gone way up, the voice acting is generally better (especially for english dubs) and the actual storytelling & dialogue is often better, but the stories themselves just aren't as good and I'm sick to death of all the same old tired tropes. Every anime has all the main characters still in high school taking classes in the middle of a war, and they're never in the military anymore but in a peace-proclaiming paramilitary group fighting to stop the fighting (somehow they think that makes sense). Everything from the newer Gundams to Macross frontier, the otherwise good shows are almost ruined by the same old song and dance.

    Unfortunately I've gone back and watched enough old shows in recent years that I already knew exactly how poorly they hold up. Whether it's just bad animation or bad voice acting or terrible dialogue, many of them are simply hard to watch now. One of my major "if I ever get a billion dollars" dreams has always been to remake Robotech and a few other old cartoons with modern animation. Fantastic to see people with the money and capacity to make that happen are actually making it happen!

    Southern Cross and MOSPEADA are probably never gonna be done, but Macross WAS the most popular of the 3 even for most Robotech fans and it also needed updating the most, especially the low quality scenes that were done by the student animators. At least SC and MOSPEADA were consistently animated throughout their respective runs.

    I wonder how long until somebody edits this new Macross to match the Robotech audio.

  2. The blu-ray animation is great and I agree there are many movies that I watch now and say, "that was much better when I was 12" Though there are still some amazing shows that have lasted the test of time. Robotech for me has been one of my guilty pleasures and I have gotten my kids to watch it.. They like Macross and New generation (mospeada) more than masters.. Nice find!!