Animation: Fair
Depth: Good
Design: Fair
Characters: Fair
Story: Good

Type: TV   (23 episodes)

Vintage: 1984

Category:

» mecha
» sci-fi
Verdict: okay
Related:
Robotech
Review:

Southern Cross


Summary: >

Glorie is a colony in a distant solar system which worked hard to build itself up as a habitable planet. A string of strange events precedes an alien battle fleet appearing in orbit around Glorie. The aliens, known as the Zor; aren't clear on their intent, but it's clear humans living on the planet isn't a part of their plans.

Jeanne has just promoted to Lieutenant as the Zor begin their attacks. The Zor bioroids are nearly unstoppable and the Southern Cross Army continues to lose ground. Will Jeanne be able to keep her squad together? Who are the Zor, and what do they want?


Thoughts: >

Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross is better known as the second saga of Robotech in America. I figured the original had potential from my vague recollections of the lobotomized Robotech edit. Oddly enough, my feelings are much as I recall. I didn't like it much at first, but it grew on me the deeper it got. There's little originality in Southern Cross, but it has the good staples of old school sci-fi anime: political intrigue, giant robots fighting, and of course interstellar romance when a guy falls in love with the hottie from outer space.

For an old school mecha anime, it's pretty good. The production is mostly average, aside from some outstanding musical parts. The ideas behind the Zor are pretty cool, and it has some solid sci-fi behind it. The Zor aren't individuals, instead they exist as clone collections (triplets). There are interesting points about the repercussions of individuality in a society with no concept of such a thing. Other parts revolve around (forbidden) romances blooming between some humans and Zor. These points are good, but it takes a long time to get there.

The middle section of Southern Cross is where it really drags. Unfortunately this section is the majority. The struggle between the Zor and Southern Cross Army goes back and forth for many many episodes with no real progress. It's clear neither side will win the battle, nor does anything significant happen. Southern Cross wasn't popular when airing, and was slated to be cut from broadcast early by 3 episodes. In order to wrap things up, the last episodes pick up the pace and it gets much better, even if the conclusion feels rushed. This anime would fair much better using this pace the entire time (perhaps shrinking the series by 10 episodes).

Southern Cross is good, but too long for what it is. There are some great features, but they need to be packed more tightly together. It's good stuff for a mecha sci-fi anime, but requires patience.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2016