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Macross 1: Upon the Shoulders of Giants [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Arihiro Hase , Mari Iijima , Noboru Ishiguro    Universal, suitable for all   DVD

Price: 16.25
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are inaccurate reviews here 22 Feb 2006
By Isoquant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As a long-time Robotech fan that has recently purchased and viewed this release, I'd like to give it a balanced review and clear up some obvious mistakes made by other reviewers.

First off, this is NOT a censored DVD. I'm not certain why this claim has been made by another reviewer, but rest assured, it simply is not true. The reviewer "Peter Payne" claims that the Minmei shower scene has been edited. It has not been. My only guess is that he really hasn't seen this release and is quoting hearsay. From what I've seen thus far, every scene from the AnimEigo release is included here (with the same outstanding picture quality).

Secondly, I've heard several others state that the sound FX are exactly the same as the revamped 5.1 sounds used in Robotech Remastered. This also is NOT true. Yes, there have been some alterations to various FX to make them 5.1 compatible, but the changes are not as widesweeping as those in RT remastered. I have that entire series, and I directly compared episodes 1-6 of it to this new Macross release (I know... I'm sick), and the latter clearly retains more of the original sounds (although, be warned, not all of them). Overall I think the 5.1 in this new Macross is an acceptable balance between the completely original mono sounds and the overly augmented sounds from RT remastered. Here again, I can only assume that those making the claims have not made a direct comparison. It is correct that the 2.0 Japanese track has all original sounds (although the quality is awful).

Many viewers have stated their disappointment concerning the subs. Overall I would have to say that the subs are mostly a success. The only voice that really grates on me is Roy's (too over the top), although it is true that Hikaru sounds too much like a SoCal dude at times, and Minmei's accent is quite heavy throughout. But in comparison to the original RT voices of Rick (too wimpy), and Minmei (too childish and annoying) I'd say there's been improvement, albeit not perfect. And, of course, Mari Iijima's vocals are vastly superior to those of Reba West, although you won't hear much of it until disc 2 comes out.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with this release and will be purchasing the rest. It's certainly not perfect, but where else are you going to be able to see the original Macross and be able to devote your full attention to the restored visuals? If you're not one of the devout "anti-subs" types, then this advantage is for you. The music also sounds spectacular in 5.1, which is a huge bonus for those who love the original Macross soundtrack. There are enough of the original sounds to be excited about, and there are some interesting extras on the discs (unlike the AnimEigo releases).

So it's not for everyone, but there's certainly enough here to even make some finicky fans happy.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ADV vs. Animeigo 11 Mar 2006
By Visor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Okay, here's the low-down comparing the ADV and Animeigo versions:

Picture Quality

Contrary to popular belief, ADV Films did NOT simply obtain and use Animeigo's telecine transfer. While it's quite possible that ADV obtained the same FILM masters that Animeigo used, it's apparent that ADV created another (and inferior) telecine transfer for this release. The issue here is with 3:2 pull-down cadence - you know, where a set of interlaced fields are supposed to be weaved together to form one clean frame. The Animeigo version had excellent cadence, but ADV's version appears to have foregone proper cadence altogether. This is most easily detected with a software DVD player, such as WinDVD. The Animeigo version plays back flawlessly, with straight, smooth lines. The ADV version exhibits aliasing throughout (ie. jagged lines) and other artifacts involved with incorrectly mixing interlaced fields into a single progressive frame. Fortunately, my Faroudja-based Denon DVD player is able to sucessfully reconstruct the frames, but most other DVD players out there will be in for a struggle.

Sound Quality

I was quite impressed with the 5.1 English mix. I was worried that the re-mix would sound a lot like the horrible Transformers box sets that Rhino released. However, I was quite impressed with the fact that they didn't overblow anything or add blatant sound effects. I can't confirm if this sound mix the same as the Robotech version released last year.

The Japenese track is very grainy compared to the Animeigo version. Along with the video issues mentioned above, this further leads me to believe that ADV did not receive anything from Animeigo's archives, and had to obtain everything themselves from different sources.

Voices

Most voices are performed at average to very well levels, with the exception of two characters: Misa Hayase (Monica Rial) and Captain Global (John Swasey). I think the other reviews on this site already go into the problems with Monica's rendition of Misa. I will admit that I did start to sympathize with Monica after I listened to her on the audio commentary for episode 4, and how supportive she was for Mari Iijima (Lynn Minmay). You can hear a sample of Misa's voice in a trailer at the ADV site: [...]

As for Cpt. Global, well, I think it's partly to do with the fact that I was so used to hearing him previously with a Russian accent, and that this almost-no-accent Italian version is quite the change. Also, he tends to yell and overact too much on the bridge.

Value

I have to say that ADV should've spent more time planning this entire set. Volume 1 is a set of 2 DVDs. The first disc is dual-layered, includes the first 4 episodes, the commentaries, and the interview with Mari Iijima. The second disc is single-layered, includes 2 more episodes, a restoration comparison, "liner notes", and an interview with translator Javier Lopez.

This leaves me scratching my head. Why not have both discs dual-layered, and release more episodes per volume? Also, why is the upcoming Vol. 2 set only releasing 5 more epsiodes, forcing the set to have to run over 7 volumes?

In comparison, Animeigo only released 4 episodes per disc, but that was because the discs were SINGLE-layered. A dual-layer disc can easily fit 8 episodes. My dream set would feature 9 episodes per disc, allowing the entire 36-episode series to nicely fit on 4 dual-layered DVDs. Considering the strives in MPEG-2 encoding since the birth of DVD 9 years ago, I see this as a very viable option. Most of the special feautres could be placed on a 5th disc, and the entire set could be released in one relatively inexpensive box.

The way ADV is currently releasing the series, I'm looking at spending a lot of money if I want to collect this entire series. I wonder if ADV plans to continue releasing the other volumes in 2-disc sets. Considering Vol. 2 will only include 5 more episodes, this seems like an extreme waste of space.

So you do you need this set? Well, I would recommend renting it first if possible. If you can't find it at the local Blockbuster, check out Netflix. I rented it through Zip.ca, which is the Canadian equivalent of Netflix. If you can endure the English dub, then go ahead and start shelling out your cash for what will eventually be a 7 disc collection. I sat on the fence about this for a few weeks but finally decided to pick up Vol. 1. Will I pick up the other sets? Who knows...
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Return to Macross 12 Jan 2006
By indyindiemusicfan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First, I will say that I have been a fan of both Macross and the better-known state-side series that encompassed it from the mid-80's until now, Robotech. It should be noted that this series is an anime CLASSIC - one of the best EVER. That alone makes it worth seeing if you haven't. But the real question at hand is "Does this particular product live up to the expectations?" - a new English dub of Macross (and the first ever direct translation into English). I will say that having watched the Robotech version of the story (as well as the previously availabled subtitled versions), it's nearly impossible to approach this set with an open mind, but I gave it a shot.

I'm sorry to say that this new dub is pretty disappointing. It's great that the original Japanese voice actress for Minmay reprised her role for this new English version, but her accent is actually a bit distracting from the story. The other major problem with this dub is that the voices of Hikaru and Misa (the other two main characters) don't fit their characters very well. (Hikaru's voice actor previously appeared in the newer dubs of the Megazone 23 series, and he didn't fit into those either.) Most of the supporting cast members fare much better, with voices that at least work. Roy Fokker, Henry Grobal, the bridge crew, Breetai & Exedore all have appropriate voices, if a little less character than the Robotech voice actor counterparts had.

One good point about this series is that the script is much closer to the original Japanese series than it's better known Robotech counterpart. The cheesy 80's dialog of Harmony Gold's Robotech is not present here, and that is actually a big plus. The story is much simpler and more clearly presented, primarily due to the fact that this is a direct translation and not a re-writing as Robotech was. Unfortunately, it's not enough to save the new dub.

So if you don't have any Macross series dvds, this might be worth getting, as it is a CLASSIC. Even if you have the Robotech dvds and are interested in seeing the original Macross, it may be worth getting. However, if you have the subtitled version of this series already, you'll want to pass this one up.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It All Comes Full Circle 7 Feb 2006
By KnightVoyager - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I first watched Macross as "Clash of the Bionoids" - a travesty if I ever saw one. The first Harmony Gold reissue appealed to the kids, but it was not as good as it could have been. Mari is the original Minmay (something she fought long and hard to separate herself from before, but has now re-embraced the part, keeping it fresh), and no one could be Minmay quite like her.

The clean-up from the older tracks comes through nice and clean, and the dialogue was a whole lot better than the previous versions! It's great that this will expose Macross to a whole new generation.

Also, if you are a fan of Mari Iijima, there is a nice interview on the first disc where she goes into how the whole "becoming Minmay" got started!

If you haven't seen Macross before, now is your chance. If you have seen Macross before, now's your chance to experience it again....for the first time.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cowabunga dudes! 23 Jan 2006
By Arc Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Seriously, was anybody else waiting for the the character voicing Hikaru Ichijyo to say this? Maybe he will yet...I just can't believe how over the top this actor gets sometimes.
I have mixed feelings about this release (as you can tell).

First off, I have the animeigo set and love them, but something about this translation just doesn't sit right.
The positive: The visuals of the english release are just as amazing as the japanese, and without having to glance to catch subtitles, I really SAW a lot more of the restoration work than I'd ever seen before. I have seen these first episodes 40 times over in various formats, and I saw things with this I have NEVER seen before. That's great and if you have the japanese release, just turn off the subtitles and you'll get the same effect.

On the other hand the voice acting was uneven at best. I was delighted by some characters and frustrated by others. As I aluded to above the actor who did Hikaru sounded like he last did the Teenage mutant ninja turtles and was have trouble getting out of charater. Misa also gave me fits as it sounded like she was possessed by a 16 year old at times. Focker was done very well, and most of the others did well too. Minmay was sometimes jarring to listen to. She at times sounded older than she did before, which is expected, but it still...The actress gets points for coming back to do the role. If it wasn't her, and this character sounded the was she does, I think alot more people would have a problem with the performance. It may be that these actors will come into form as they progress through these roles, but they aren't there yet.

Sound: The sound effects for the english track, while in 5.1, are the same as that for Robotech Remastered. In this Robotech Remastered release old sound effects from Robotech were replaced with new. There were varying reactions to these changed effects, but overall it's not bad if you're not looking for them. The old sound effects are still there but on the Japanese track, which is not, I believe, in 5.1.

Packaging: Looks great for the box set. The box is quality and the art is very nice on the dvd case too.

Extras: include commentary tracks by the actresses for Misa and Minmay and another by someone involved in the production, which I have not listened to yet. Also there is the original pilot, "Space Fortress Macross", (staring rick yamata) which has some of the actors from Robotech in their Robotech Roles. This is kinda fun to watch.

Overall, it sounds like I'm being critical of this release. I'm not, I liked it, but honestly it fell short of my expectations. It's a good price for what you get, but if you're at all doubtful, rent it first to check it out.
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