On a previous post, I wrote about my Amazon.com shopping experience. You see, I had this sudden itch to track down the DVD box set of one of my favorite cartoon series of all time, Robotech (otherwise known as Macross).
Macross is an anime television series about a giant alien space ship, transforming robots, giant alien invaders, and a love triangle between a young hot shot pilot named Rick Hunter, a young singer called MinMay, and the bridge officer of the huge space fortress named Lisa Hayes. When I was in college, I fell for this cartoon series hook, line and stinker.
The series that was shown on TV back then was the American version. It was only later that I learned about the original Japanese version, which had the title “Super Dimensional Fortress: Macross.” Most of the animation from that series were adapted to make the American version, which was called “Robotech”.
I was going to hunt down the original Japanese version, but I decided to focus on the Robotech version instead since that was the series I was familiar with. Plus, the original version had Japanese dubbing and English subtitles. I am trying to turn my wife into a Macross fan; having her read subtitles might not be a good idea.
After much research on what to get (there were several versions of them), I decided to purchase the “Robotech – Protoculture Collection”:
This DVD box set contains all three of the Robotech sagas: the Macross Saga, the Masters, and the New Generation. The inclusion of the other two sagas made me decide to get this box set and disregard the others.
When my package arrived, movie time began. Popcorn fresh from the microwave, my wife and I went on a Macross movie marathon.
It was Robotech bliss. I was momentarily transported back to my college days. Familiarity with the characters from the series were re-kindled. I loved it!
However, seven or so episodes into the marathon, I started to notice something different with what I am seeing on the TV screen. No matter how I tried to ignore it, more and more of the images appear to be wrong. Some of the scenes looked like they were redrawn! The colors did not look right. In fact, in some scenes, some characters started losing their color; what would appear are white, colorless fills. The secondary tones all but disappeared. They looked like color-less cut outs!
I could not explain it, but the more I watched, the more I got annoyed. I tried to point it out to my wife, but she was non the wiser and could not find anything wrong. Ofcourse, she had no idea what I was talking about because this was the first time she was seeing the movie, hence she could not tell what was wrong with what was being shown on screen.
In my frustration, I blamed all of it to the remastering that supposedly went to the production of the dvd. Did the producers, in their attempt to reconstruct the original animation, redraw some of the scenes and repainted it?
So I went back and browsed Amazon.com for the other version of this box set. I found one and without hesitation placed another order for the “Robotech – Macross Saga – The Complete Collection.
This box set only contains the Macross Saga. It only had mono audio, but it promised to feature the original, unedited, un-retouched version of the Robotech series, the very same version that was originally shown on TV.
The moment my package arrived, I immediately sat down to watch it. The strange images on some scenes that I saw earlier in the other box set were not present in this version. There were no re-mastering here, so the images were not as beautiful as the other box set. My wife and I continued watching the series until I was fully satisfied that there were no faults in the images playing on the TV screen.
Since I wanted to document and write about what happened, I played back some of the scenes on the first dvd box set once more. I wanted to do a screen capture on some of the scenes on the first dvd box that had the strange anomaly I observed and compare it with a screen capture of the same scenes on the other box set.
Lo and behold, I could not duplicate the strange phenomenon! I repeatedly previewed each scene where I remembered seeing the anomaly, but they were not there anymore! What was going on?
Could it be that my DVD player played a trick on me? I could not explain it. I played each scene over and over, hoping that the anomaly would appear and I could screen capture it, but it would not. The images suddenly looked right!
After a few more hours of painstakingly replaying each scene, scanning each episode for the alleged abnormality, I finally gave up. I settled with the conclusion that my DVD player probably did not play the scenes from the first box set right the first time we viewed it, hence the odd images on screen. It was frustrating that I could not reproduce it. It just decided to magically go away when I was about to document it.
My wife and I will watch the whole saga in its entirety, only this time we would do so by playing the remastered version once again. Should the freak images decide to show it’s ugly head, I will make sure that I have everything in hand so I can document it.
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