If you get all giddy at the first sign of a mech, then you probably know fine well what Robotech is. It’s the western release of the Japanese anime series, Macross, which started way back in 1982. Robotech played a huge role in bringing anime to western society, despite the fact that it’s technically three entirely different shows merged into one. It’s confusing origins aside, however, Robotech is one of the best examples of animation out there; with its unique art style and story line with mature themes, it changed the way we look at cartoons, with the previous format being set by the likes of He-Man. Despite the fact, the origins of this date back 35 years, new incarnations are still being released. Today we are going to flick through Robotech #1 by Titan Comics, which takes us back to the very beginning of the Macross Saga.
Issue one of this new collection takes us right back to the roots of the original series, introducing us to cast of Robotech and giving us a clue as to what the hell is going on. The story kicks off just like the TV series; a mysterious alien fortress ship crashes on Macross island, which is seized by the human race, leading to the discovery of advanced alien technology. Fast forward 10 years and the island has become the home to ‘Robotechnology’, also known as the science of making super cool fighter jet robots! However, just as repairs to the occupied fortress are complete, the rightful owners manage to track down the location of the crash site, kick starting an alien invasion that results in intergalactic warfare. Fans of the series can enjoy characters such as Minmei and Rick Hunter in this new stylisation of Robotech, whilst still indulging in everything that makes the series great.
The first thing you might notice is that the art within this book has managed to stay true to the likes of the original Macross series all the while appearing to use a higher quality of modern illustration. This, paired with the mesmerising choice of colour pallets and attention to detail is pure eye candy. The artist, Marco Turini, manages to capture the raw eighties essence that the series originates from while adding a layer of realistic grit, in order to give the events of the Macross saga an new edge. This a combination that is sure to please both comic book fans and manga enthusiasts a like, as it seems to blend both perfectly into an action packed package.
The original story of Robotech also receives an overhaul, to match it’s more mature art style. Brian Wood makes sure to wash off some of the Saturday morning cartoon fluff that is closely associated with Robotech, making it more accessible to those easily put off by narratives aimed at kids. That’s not to say that the story has lost its sense of fun and excitement, instead, it just acts as a remedy for some of the more dated aspects of the original anime.
Overall, this fresh attempt at rebooting Robotech is a stylish endeavour that aims at modernising an animated classic. Fans of Robotech and Macross alike may be torn when it comes to some of the changes to the aesthetic, but at its heart, it’s the classic story that we all know and love. It’ll be interesting to see where the series is going to head, especially with changes to the plot. Regardless, it’s great to see that Titan comics managed to get the licence from Harmony Gold, in order to give more Robotech to new readers and enthusiasts alike.