Harmony Gold USA/Lionsgate
178 min., dir. by Tommy Yune, Dong-Wook Lee, and Gregory Snegoff
Following San Diego’s International Comic-Con 2013, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Collector’s Edition (originally released in 2006) was re-released alongside a brand new Robotech film, Love Live Alive, on a two-disc DVD set.
Love Live Alive is a story created to bring the average viewer, a rusty fan, or new viewers up to speed on Scott Bernard and his story up until we meet up with him in the The Shadow Chronicles, and is essentially made up of scenes from the Third Robotech War section of the TV series (episodes 61 through 85). Aside from some new mech animation, there is nothing new here, and while there are quite a few episodes missing (such as the fan favorite “Annie’s Wedding”) from the storytelling, it is quite enjoyable. I found myself reliving some of my favorite scenes and themes from within Scott Bernard and crew’s fight against the Invid Invasion. Who am I kidding, this was my favorite cast of characters in the show’s entire collection of episodes!
Instead of just rehashing the experience, the producers dress Love Live Alive as a retelling of the story through Lancer’s eyes by way of an interview he gives to a reporter just before one of his grand concerts. Seeing the events through his perspective gives the story a new life, even if you religiously watched every episode of the Third Robotech War over and over again. We see how Bernard’s team find each other and ultimately fight and defeat the Invid, which is chronologically followed by The Shadow Chronicles.
The Shadow Chronicles starts off with a retelling of the events fleshed out in Love Live Alive through different viewpoints. This establishes the characters, and then the action begins. The action sequences in this film are more technical and strategically planned out than they were in the TV series, and that’s a breath of fresh air.
They brought Gregory Snegoff back to voice Scott Bernard, and ended up nabbing Mark Hamill, Yuri Lowenthal, and Kari Wahlgren, all amazing voice actors in their own right. Some super Robotech fans will (and probably already have) pointed out details they wished would have been handled differently, but overall the Shadow Chronicles is very well-done and quite enjoyable.