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Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
Distributor Harmony Gold/Revalation
The moon is made of cheese! Modern science would have you believe otherwise but the truth is there’s simply no other explanation for how properties like Robotech manage to squeeze so much of the stuff into their stories. Frankly, there aren’t enough cows, goats and llamas on the planet to supply the amount that Robotech’s writers so obviously rely on.
When I received Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles I admit I was intrigued. Splashed across the back is an award for “Best Animated Sci-Fi Feature 2006” from the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival and I thought “There must be something good in this?” As it turns out, expectation is a terrible, terrible thing! What follows for the next hour and twenty minutes is a shallow, sleep-inducing, cheese-filled saga, the likes of which I hope never to return to again.
It continues the story left off from the original series and carries with it a modern 2006 CG animated flavour. The Invid have occupied earth and the Robotech Expeditionary Force is planning an attempt to re-capture their home planet, starting with an attack on the Invid’s main hive of operations at Reflex Point. The Expeditionary Forces previous attempts at recapturing Earth have failed but this time they come equipped with new “Shadow Technology” that they’ve gained from a mysterious alien ally known as the Haydonites. All is not what it seems though as the Invid aren’t the main bad guys in focus this time. Instead, another alien race referred to as the Children of the Shadow have designs on wiping the human race, and anyone else who uses Protoculture, from existence.
As stories go, this is about as transparent as they come and unfortunately the animation does nothing to alleviate the lack of entertainment. The “cutting-edge CG animation” looks more like it’s been pulled directly from an episode of ReBoot which, as classic as that may be, does not make for a "best animated" sci-fi feature! The story is predictable which, in itself doesn’t have to be a bad thing if it’s entertaining, but it’s not. It’s badly written and the characters are dull clichés that force an involuntary rolling of the eyes. Even the voice talents of Mark Hamill and Chase Masterson aren’t enough to rescue this wholly dire excursion into science fiction hell. You have been warned!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enquire about the prospects of cheese mining on the moon… Goodbye.
Documentary on the making of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Trailers: Beck, Fullmetal Alchemist Movie, Mushi-Shi and Tsubasa. Photo Gallery