Continuing the parade of quotes from press reviews of Streamline Pictures releases. Today more classic anime including Robotech, 3×3 Eyes, Silent Möbius, Space Adventure Cobra, and Space Angel:
“If you’ve been an anime fan for any length of time, you’re no doubt wondering where Robotech, that great science-fiction soap opera of yesteryear, fits into today’s anime landscape.” “Robotech […] is arguably the most sophisticated of them all. Harmony Gold U.S.A., the U.S. producer of Robotech, also distributed the series in France, where it reportedly became an instant hit. In addition to mucho merchandise, the popularity of the series also generated several soundtracks and singles, including a main vocal theme in French.” “Robotech aired on American television screens in the mid to late ’80s and exploded the heads of a generation of fans by not only presenting a continuing storyline, but an interracial romance and (gasp!) the actual on-screen death of a major character! Robotech established a place for itself in the hearts of American fans not only for its soap opera-like elements, but for a winning combination of science fiction and, believe it or not, music.” “The one video you can’t live without this month. Go and find yourself a copy already.”
Trish Ledoux, Combo, #5, June 1995, pg. 154
“For many anime fans, when asked what specific TV show or OAV (original animated video) introduced them to the world of anime, Robotech, without a doubt, would dominate the answers. Yet many don’t know this animated show’s true origin. […] Robotech became more of a sleeper hit among older kids than a craze similar to Power Rangers. With robots that turned into jet-fighters, cars, motorcycles, etc., Robotech was one of the first series to feature transformable robots in Japan, indirectly causing the development of the transformable toy craze that you all probably remember. The reason why it was so popular with older sci-fi fans and comic book readers was because of its mature storyline, which featured intense character development that sometimes finished with endings uncharacteristic of American animation — their deaths. After numerous appearances in the home video market, Robotech is finally going to get the respect it deserves. Streamline Pictures is now releasing the classic series under the Robotech: The Perfect Collection banner, splitting it into the original three parts with each volume or video consisting of two original episodes in a subtitled format, followed by the same two episodes, but done in the original US broadcast format in dubbed form — all for the regular 20 bucks apiece. Robotech: The Perfect Collection: Macross is followed by Southern Cross and finally with Mospeada. The Macross series IS what made Robotech what it is today, featuring characters such as Rick Hunter (Hikaru Ichijo in the Japanese Version), Lisa Hayes (Misa Hayase), and Lynn Min May (Lin Min Mei) all involved in a turbulent love triangle in the midst of an alien invasion! What more could sci-fi fans want?! For the first time, fans of this classic show will be able to see the show’s original story. In addition, each Japanese episode features some of the more violent or adult footage that obviously had to be cut for the American broadcast. So yes, that infamous scene in which Rick Hunter checks out Min May’s bod does indeed exist in the Japanese Macross saga! For those who have seen it, Robotech: The Perfect Collection is a great way to relive one of the greatest anime TV shows ever made. For those who have not, it’s the ‘perfect’ way to introduce oneself to one of the crown jewels of anime.”
Edwin De La Cruz, Overstreet’s FAN, v.1 #6, November 1995, pg. 91
“The only ROBOTECH tapes that are worth owning. It maybe contains only two DIFFERENT episodes per tape, but offers the regular ROBOTECH episodes along with their corresponding subtitled Japanese episodes (for a total of four episodes per tapes: 2 Americans, 2 Japaneses). A chance of a lifetime to see the original SOUTHERN CROSS. For myself, I consider that each ROBOTECH generation has its own charm: MACROSS is the most popular, MASTERS the most original, and MOSPEADA the one with the best action. Those three series (in their original version) should have been translated since a longtime. You thought having seen them? Now they appear to you as an entire new story.”
Claude J. Pelletier, Protoculture Addicts, #18, July-August 1992, pg. 25
[#5s] “This review will, in fact, include three tapes: MACROSS, SOUTHERN CROSS, and the NEW GENERATION/MOSPEADA. To those who are not familiar with this collection, each tape contains four episodes, two ROBOTECH episodes and the two same episodes, but in their original versions. This proves to be a incredible treat for any fan of the original series, who have been desperately searching for any way to see them in their original Japanese version. This does not make a lot of difference as far as MACROSS and NEW GENERATION/MOSPEADA is concerned, but this proves to be VERY interesting where SOUTHERN CROSS is concerned. The whole principle of this video tape series is a brilliant idea. It gives the ROBOTECH fans what they want (good copies of their favorite part of the saga) and it does the same for the fans of the original, unmodified work.” “Our reaction to these tapes are very enthusiastic, as it gives us old purists a look at a work which would be unavailable otherwise. The only negative comment is that there are not enough episodes on the tapes! For the rest, it is very satisfying and the quality of the copies is excellent. A very good product and a very good move for Streamline Pictures.
Martin Ouellette, Protoculture Addicts, #34, May-June 1995, pg. 45
“ROBOTECH II: THE SENTINELS is the sequel to the ‘Macross’ segment of the original series and closes the gap with ‘New Generation.’ […] Compared to the original series, ROBOTECH II is rather depressing. […] But the story is refreshing and the characters well developed. If there’s one thing I can’t stand in animation, it’s poorly developed characters. Fortunately, ROBOTECH has always had incredible stories and lovable characterizations.”
Home Movies, May/June 1994, pg. ?
“In the 21st Century, humanity is besieged by trans-dimensional predators led by monstrous Lucifer Hawke. The only hope lies with a bevy of beautiful psionic cops, who combine modern police procedure with arcane firepower to halt the otherworldly threat. When they discover that lovely Katsumi has become the focus of Hawke’s personal ire due to her nascent psychic gifts, the officers induct her into their ranks for the occult fight to the finish. Based on the popular manga by Kia Asamiya, the film delivers the goods despite confusing flashback structure. Diverting enough, even though reminiscent of ‘CHARLIE’S ANGELS Meets ALIENS.’ One problem: heroines are pretty much interchangeable, thanks to near-identical design of pointy, triangular features.”
Todd French, Imagi-Movies, v.2 #4, Summer 1995, pg. 38
“At last! A fully comprehensible version of SILENT MOBIUS! Not that the story was totally incomprehensible in Japanese, but there were some, well, nuances which needed to be clarified.” “Although the manga was not expansive on backgrounds, the animation definitely is, with some of the best animation backgrounds ever seen. The mechanical designs, by Yutaka Izubuchi, are more slick than the manga version as well. All this is backed by an excellent soundtrack, which is probably one of the best ever made (slightly ‘scary’ though), especially the song at the end. Titled ‘Sailing’, it won the prize for Best Animation Song in 1991. Once again, the dubbing job by Streamline is excellent.” “Go buy this one, folks!”
Martin Ouellette, Protoculture Addicts, #27, March-April 1994, pg. 35
Space Adventure Cobra
“Welcome to the zany world of Japanese science fiction animated features, where triplet princesses with Barbie-doll figures team with an insouciant hunk whose left hand turns into a ‘psychogun’ to battle a translucent supervillain who removes his own rib and uses it as a laser sword. Just because ‘Space Adventure Cobra’ took 18 years before it hit the big screen in Boston (in its Japanese-language, subtitled version) doesn’t keep it from being one of the more enjoyable outings in the genre. It’s a superbly animated, moving, comic book that borrows elements from movies such as ‘Barbarella’ and ‘Star Wars’ for its zippy-if-dopey storyline.” “Director Osamu Dezaki brings writer Buichi Terasawa’s manga comic characters to life with meticulous craftsmanship (the multiplane technique is sometimes employed to simulate three dimensions) and rapid-fire pacing, especially during the battle scenes. Both the male and female characters are of idealized proportions, with the women frequently liberated from their clothing. The film’s humor is tongue in cheek. The opening credit sequence simulates a James Bond picture credit sequence, with floating babes. For those into anime entertainment, this one is a ton of fun.”
Betsy Sherman, The Boston Globe, October 20, 1995, pg. ?
“Space Angel, dating from 1962, was created and designed by Alex Toth. This TV science-fiction adventure was straight out of the pulps.” “Great stuff from the golden age of television animation. Kudos to Streamline Pictures for making these available.”
John Koenig, Baby Boomer Collectibles, v.1 #11, August 1994, pg. 59
“I fondly remember this vintage animation from my childhood. However, most of my friends think I hallucinated this show. Discovering the existence of this video, I was relieved to find out that this show was not just a figment of my imagination.” “While you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to follow the plot, this is good, clean fun from back when ray-guns were the height of sci-fi fashion.”
Kyle McCulloch, Wild Cartoon Kingdom, #3, March 1994, pg. 72
The Speed Racer Show
[Laser Disc] “This Jerry Beck-programmed anthology culls two complete stories from the mid-Sixties Speed Racer series, supplemented with four vintage animated TV commercials, and a rarely seen five-minute Colonel Bleep ad-venture from 1956. […] The 22-minute “The Car Hater” is a convincingly-motivated tale of Speed and Trixie’s encounter with an aspiring female racer and her abusive father, who rides a horse and harbors a pathological aversion to motor vehicles. Supercool mystery man/Racer family prodigal son Racer X turns up periodically to set everything straight in “The Mammoth Car,” which is essentially a 43-minute chase sequence (albeit a skillfully paced one). […] As engaging as this look back at Speed Racer is, it can’t compare to the wonder of witnessing the late Jack S[c]hleh’s Colonel Bleep in action. Splashy, abstract backgrounds, Clip Art-influenced character designs, scads of pixie-dust scintillations, an almost psychotically cheerful tone, and the use of held drawings as the cinematic equivalent of exclamation points all reveal Jack S[c]hleh as Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi’s unsung artistic mentor. The Speed Racer and Colonel Bleep sources materials are of impeccable quality […]”
Michael Draine, Animato!, #30, Fall 1994, pg. 5
“You know, when they start packaging a product as kitsch, a funny thing happens to it. It stops being kitsch and becomes marketing. I am grateful to Family Home Entertainment for rescuing this particular sliver of my childhood […] and distributing it on home video, but I resent the fact that they assume a certain wink-wink-nudge-nudge response on the part of the viewer. Yeah, I know it’s not high art, and, sure, MTV ran those episodes last year for camp value alone. But still, I would have liked to have seen Speed Racer played straight, without the techno soundtrack and without the female twenty-nothings gushing about how Speed was their ‘first true love.’ Give it a rest. Let we who grew up with this stuff decide how seriously we want to take its resurrection. On the plus side, this release — a feature-length compilation of four episodes from the original 70’s series — looks great. And they chose some classic episodes. Remember ‘The Car Hater’? How about ‘The Race Against the Mammoth Car’? There’s plenty of fire and mayhem here to warp another generation of impressionable young minds.”
unsigned, Nexus Six, #2, [end of] 1994, pg. 51
[#1-#4 laser disc] “Well, at least this one kept me guessing. For sheer unpredictability, 3 X 3 Eyes had me in its grip for most of its two hours. Of course, most of it is also ludicrous, but if you watch enough Japanimation, one learns to be forgiving.” “3 X 3 Eyes is fast-paced, funny and stylish. The characters are well-drawn and endearing. There are some moments of John Woo-esque violence, and others of the Evil Dead variety (the aforementioned girl-turns-into-a-tree sequence) that make this disc a poor choice for younger viewers, but fans of the genre will eat it up. Sadly, the weakest part of the whole program is the ending, where the climactic encounter between our heroine and her nemesis is practically thrown away, leaving us with a maybe to be continued, maybe not, conclusion. As a disc, this is a joy to watch. The animators used a broad colour scheme that makes most scenes eyecatchers, from bright purple and flowing crimson to evil glowing yellow and reptilian green. The transfer does the material justice, with no readily apparent flaws.
“As for the sound, once again Streamline Pictures and Lumivision have chosen to place the original Japanese recording on the digital tracks, while the dub-bed English version can be heard in analog. As a result; sound effects, music and voices all have more presence in Japanese, which should please purists (and make this disc highly marketable overseas), but will no doubt be an annoyance for those who simply want to follow the story. It should also be noted that contrary to the cover, the Japanese digital track is not only NOT mono, it is digital stereo that provides full separation in Pro-Logic mode, same as the English analog. Tons of action, a bizarre storyline and even a dash of romance make 3 X 3 Eyes a program that stands up to repeat viewing very well (heck, I watched it eight times while writing this) and a prime example of Japanimation for both the experienced fan and the curious beginner. It’s a shame this sort of material couldn’t attain a more widespread audience on these shores, where the mainstream attitude deems animation suitable only for singing animals and doe-eyed heroines.”
Stephen Cooke, Animato!, #32, Spring 1995, pg. 52-53
[#1-#4] “Reviews by the Animation Committee. [N.b.: The editor provides copies of videos to a 14-person committee, then writes a composite review combining their individual comments.] ‘Intricate’ ‘top-notch’ occult ‘very Japanese’ story about a 300-year-old teeny-bopper, the last of her Triclops race, who wants to be human. So a dying anthropologist sends her on a quest to find his son, a transvestite waiter who helps lead her to the statue which will transform her. Their ‘utterly confusing’ journey involves battles with zombies, flying monsters and dinosaurs. ‘The always intriguing writing has exotic locales, mysticism, the supernatural, action and drama that keeps a good sense of humor throughout.’ ‘I feel like a little kid watching it. Cool City. But it makes about as much sense as Naked Lunch.’ ‘There is one scene, very life-threatening and terrifying, drawn so as not to comprehend the nature or even form of the attacker — pure visual graphic genius.’ ‘The writing carries the story much better than the so-so animation.’ Two dead bodies. Three motor vehicle chases. Seven explosions. […] Overall rating: 86.” [Rating scale: 94-89 Classic; 88-84 Excellent.]
Joe Bob Briggs, The Joe Bob Report, v.XI no.2, January 23, 1995, pg. 9
[#2] “3 x 3 EYES is an excellent horror story with a human twist, definitely worth viewing.”
Stephane Pierre, Protoculture Addicts, #23, May-June 1993, pg. 38
[#1] “To those not familiar with the original OAV or manga series, 3X3 Eyes by Yuzo Takada is the story of Yakumo Fujii, an orphaned Tokyo high school student who takes up his father’s quest to transform Pai, the last survivor of a three-eyed race of immortal supernatural beings called the Sanjiyyan, into a normal human. The original video series was released by Kodansha Video, and is a big favorite among anime fans on both sides of the Pacific. I was impressed with the audio quality of the Streamline dub.” “3X3 Eyes from Streamline is a good product that deserves a look-see by anime fans.”
James Matsuzaki, V.MAX, v.1 #8, , pg. 26
[#1] [“Top 10 Anime” #5]: “This 30 minute tape is a true action pleasure. Pai uses her third eye and the power she possesses to combat the demons who plan to take over the world.”
R. J. Matthews, Video Focus, #5, November/December 1994, pg. 
[Perfect Collection] “This would have gotten a higher rating if it didn’t end on a cliffhanger note. This supposedly ‘perfect’ collection is a compilation of the 3 X 3 Eyes serial originally on four videos. It is the ‘complete story’ — so its cliffhanger conclusion arrives as an unpleasant surprise. (The sequel hasn’t been released here yet.) It’s aggravating because this is an otherwise enjoyable hodgepodge of humor and horror. Yakumo’s a Tokyo teen whose archaeologist father had disappeared in the Himalayas. Into his life comes Pai, a cute ragamuffin. She says that his dying father sent her to complete her transition from a three-eyed demoness into a real human being. Yakumo is still picking his jaw up off the floor when the nasty demons attack, proving that Pai is for real. The McGuffin needed for her transformation is a supernatural statuette of immense power, which could make its possessor the master of the world. Yakumo and Pai soon find everyone from Yakuza-type mobsters to eldritch tentacled demons gunning for them. Pai seems like a helpless waif until she opens her invisible third eye, then wham! The monsters had better duck for cover. Humor and teen angst are provided by Yakumo’s gradual transition from disbelief, through naïve enthusiasm at getting involved in actual superhero action, to genuine concern for Pai and her problems. If you don’t mind waiting for 3 X 3 Eyes 2 to arrive, this imperfect collection supplies its fair share of fun.”
Walt James, The Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope, v.3 #15, Summer 1995, pg. 36.
TO BE CONTINUED…