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Episode 1: Booby Trap

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: May 1, 2000

New Review: January 13, 2002

 

Summary

 

In 1999, a damaged alien battleship de-folds near Earth and falls into the planet's atmosphere. It destroys buildings in its uncontrolled flight which ultimately causes it to crash in South Ataria Island in the Pacific Ocean. With the threat of possible alien invasion, humanity forms the Earth United Nations Government and their military, the U.N. Spacy. However, wars spring up all over the world, and it eight years pass before the Unification Wars end. In the meantime, the alien battleship is renamed Macross and is reconstructed. By February 2009, the ship is completed, and a large city has sprung up around it. A limo drives by carrying a UN government representative and Bruno J. Global, the new captain of the Macross. On the bridge of the Macross, operator Misa Hayase arrives and wonders when Global will show up. Operator Claudia LaSalle believes he was probably out drinking all night, and Misa comments that Claudia spent the entire night out with Major Roy Focker. Claudia jokes that Misa can have him, and bridge officers Shammy Milliome, Vanessa Laird and Kim Kabirov joke that Misa only loves the ship. Misa detects an unidentified Fan Racer belonging to Hikaru Ichijyo, a guest of Roy. A flight demonstration of the new Valkyrie fighters is held, and the show is interrupted when Hikaru flies through them and uses his booster to fly as high as they do. When Hikaru lands they have a drink, and Roy stares at a young Chinese girl named Lynn Minmay and her little friend Yoshio. In space, a fleet of Zentradi warships de-folds, headed by a Nupetiet-Vergnitzs class ship captained by Vrlitwhai Kridanik. His archivist Exsedol Folmo informs him that the de-fold was traced to Earth. Vrlitwhai orders Exsedol to send a recon ship to investigate. Roy shows Hikaru a VF-1D Valkyrie and offers to let him fly it. As the UN government official gives a speech, Global is informed that space carrier ARMD-I has detected several ships de-folding in lunar orbit. Global leaves the stage just as he is supposed to give a speech. On the Macross, Claudia notices that the ship's original systems are preparing to fire the main gun.

 

The main gun fires and sends a wave of energy out into space that destroys two Zentradi ships. Global begins to laugh like a madman and explains to Claudia and Misa that the ship was booby trapped. He explains that the Germans did the same thing in World War II when they planted explosives in items likely to be found. He figures the aliens who sent the ship to Earth planted an automatic system to attack when their enemy approached. Vrlitwhai sees that the ship was hiding on the planet, and he orders his ships to advance. The ARMD carriers begin firing missiles and send out their Lancer II fighters to attack. The U.N. Spacy fleet destroys several Zentradi ships, but it is heavily damaged. Vrlitwhai sees they aren't part of the Supervision Army, and he asks Exsedol what kind of weapons they are using. Exsedol believes it might be the lost reaction weaponry. On the Macross, Misa reports to Global that the ARMD carriers have been damaged. Roy gets into his VF-1S Valkyrie and launches with his team. A dogfight between Valkyries and Zentradi Gnerl fighters begins. Vrlitwhai looks at a map of South Ataria Island and thinks that it is disorganized and primitive. He sees the Macross and identifies it as a Supervision Army ship. Back on Earth, Hikaru has fallen asleep in the Valkyrie and is woken up by a call from Misa. She tells him to launch immediately, and he decides to go up in the air. Once he reaches the skies he finds himself in the middle of a fierce battle. He contacts Roy and speaks to him, but the line is cut when he is attacked. Roy comes to his rescue and tells Hikaru to stick close to him. Hikaru follows, but his Valkyrie is damaged by a Gnerl and begins a nosedive towards the Macross. Misa tells him to switch to B-configuration, and when he does that the Valkyrie transforms as it crashes into Macross City. Hikaru is glad he's alive, but his Valkyrie has transformed into a large mecha.

 

Commentary

 

I must say that it is quite pleasing to see the original series uncut again after so many years. It really is quite different from Robotech not only in terms of story, but also maturity. Things like Roy staring at Minmay's legs wouldn't fly in Robotech, nor would the crude flight jock talk between him and Hikaru. So here we are introduced to a world that is united by the threat of alien attacks, and that alien attack comes on the inauguration of the Macross. War begins almost instantly with the Zentradi, but not through their own fault. The Zentradi are at war with the Supervision Army, which the Macross apparently belongs to. The booby trap was laid down by the Supervision Army, and that one acts draws humanity into war. That war gets off to a good start in brilliant restored glory. This is the best the series has looked as far as I'm concerned.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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