Sunday, April 5, 2015

Robotech II: The Sentinels

by Nathan Stout (of

You know, I'm not fancy... I don't wax eloquently about stuff using 'ten dollar words'. I'm no analyst of content... I'm here to have fun.

In my research for covering The Sentinels I have run across many websites/blogs/etc... where would-be Shakespeares go on about each and every detail of Robotech. They do it good and in depth... well that's not what you are going to find here. You are going to find 'Robotech-lite'... "tastes great, less filling". Quite frankly I begin to read these sites and get overwhelmed and bored quickly. We live in a society of speed and short attention spans and that's what I am trying to do here. I don't give you big synopsis (you already read/watched/listened to it, why do I need to retell?) or in-depth analysis. I give you what I think is funny and/or interesting (and I do it quickly). That's why you will be and out of my each of my blog posts in a matter of a few short minutes.

Carry on...

The Sentinels! Woohoo!

I am using (as my source here) the E3 bonus disc of the original release of the Robotech DVD set. Also on this disc is the bonus 'commentary' by Carl Macek. It really isn't commentary (he is reading a very short book he wrote about the making of The Sentinels). It is very interesting to learn how The Sentinels was made, and how ground breaking it would have been (in the business of Japanese/American animation collaboration) so give it a listen if you can.

On with the fun stuff!

At the beginning of the first episode Jack is in his training module and a new version of the Zentraedi battlepod comes up out of the water. For some reason I never really noticed it (being a different design of battlepod). Refer to the Robotech RPG Sentinels Sourcebook to get a good look.

Edwards is sitting in his quarters watching the press conference, his mask is off. He doesn't look bad at all! Why wear that monstrosity of a mask?! It's just a flesh wound...

Minmei shows up at the dress shop... she looks pretty close to her Macross original design.

I guess they couldn't get the same narrator from the original series. Although the new guy isn't bad at all.

Doesn't the Invid's Inorganics look a bit (ok, a whole lot) like Zillion's baddies?
Ok, why doe the cougar mecha explode on contact with the cliff face when they fall but you can drop a mountain on the Odeon and they are fine? The Invid really short changed the cougars when they made them.
Back on Earth the gang prepares for space travel to head up to the satellite. That sure sounds like Kyle's voice in the control room! And look at that one guy, he looks like old Max! Infact there are a lot of re-used voice actors placed here and there and it can throw you off sometimes.
Now I know they didn't get the rights to use the Macross character designs but somehow they got the rights to use the Macross footage, that is odd.** Ok, so after listening to Carl Macek commentary, it wasn't that they didn't get the rights... apparently Macross is just one of those series you don't touch, a revered show and the designers didn't want anyone to think they were working on a sequel to Macross (they even went so far as to use code names for characters... which doesn't make much sense since the American version had totally different names). That is why everyone looks so different (most of all Breetai and Exedore).

In the flash back that Rick has we see a bit of footage that was cut from the original Robotech cartoon. Rick fires on the Zentraedi solider several times but you never see the shots go in... here we see the full scene!

Rick's memory is very hazy here. Lisa looks dismayed after she is grabbed by the Zentraedi solider (because originally she dropped the video recorder). That important fact is not here. Then after Rick saves her, she is crying and says that she didn't know what she'd do without Rick... uh... that is NOT the way it happened. She was crying because the video evidence was lost when the recorder fell. Rick was just remembering with rose colored glasses I guess...

It is a true pitty they didn't get the original voice actors back for Breetai and Miriya. They 2 new people just don't so the characters justice. Miriya might as well be someone totally different.

When Edwards goes on and on to Benson about Rick Hunter, Benson looks far less naive than in the comics. I was on the fence about him being coherenced into working with Edwards... now, not so much.

Lang (among others) keep saying RDF, not REF. There are a couple of other messed up bits of identification later too (like when Shock Troopers are called Enforcers).

Rick asks Breetai and Exedore about the physical size of the Masters... really? I know it is simply exposition but still...

Rem getting into that Invid Shock Trooper is pretty cool. Where the heck is the Invid who was in it though?

The REF flight helmets are pretty unimpressive. Also, the wings of the Beta look too long.

Was it just me or did the Invid Regent keep changing the number of fingers on his hands (sometimes 4, sometimes 5).

On Jack's wedding invitation is says Lisa's real name is Elizabeth! It also says Rick's middle initial is A.

The Invid invasion of the capital of Tirol is pretty awesome. Great animation and lots of action.

There is a large amount of shamelessly re-used animation from Max and Miriya's wedding during Rick and Lisa's wedding. There is even a shot of the bridge of the SDF-1 from that old footage! For shame!

If The Sentinels had continued and no other source (comic/RPG/books) tipped it, what a cool surprise it would have been to discover Janice was an android!

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