\nSuper Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross \n \n \nSuper Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, also known as the Robotech Masters at first glance, might seem like your run-of-the-mill 80s anime featuring mechas. However, it’s irrefutably unique and features one of the earliest examples of a female protagonist in anime history. By and lo, the most important part of this series is Jeanne, who breaks tradition in ways that I did not expect. Does she being so cool make the series any better, though? I think not.\n \n\n \n \nBased in the year 2120, the series follows humanity after they have successfully colonized near-distant fictional planets after the Earth was destroyed due to the last great world war. A planet called Gloire, one of planet Earth’s most important colonies, is threatened by the arrival of The Zor. The Zor are a group of beings who claim to be the original inhabitants of the planet Gloire and have come to reclaim their world. They had left following some fatal events, same as the ones that occurred on Earth. The series focuses on both sides of the inevitable war as both the humans and the Zor battle it out in an explosive battle that will be terrible for both sides.\n \n\n \nThe story is a bit confusing here, honestly; it contains some really interesting ideas, such as an alien race that is made up of triplets, along with the conflict being a bit morally grey, which was revolutionary at the time. However, the series’ core plot is massacred by the number of flaws it has as well. The love between humans and aliens was featured here, which didn’t work quite well, in my opinion, and felt lacking any development at all.\n \n\n \nThere’s also an abundance of plot holes in this series, feeling a bit like watching a Zack Snyder movie… The main things that bothered me throughout due to plot holes were the connection between the Zor and the flowers never being explained or incentivized in the later episodes and the overpowered squadron that Jeanne had, which held off swarms of hostile aliens. The ending is VERY random; it leaves a lot to desire, a lot to the imagination as well, and not in a good.\n \nThe best part by far is the leading lady here in Southern Cross; Jeanne is an absolute badass and a highly entertaining character to watch from the very start of the series to the very ending. She keeps you entertained either by her funny rhetorics, her charisma, and her actual combat skill. The other characters, such as Claude, Mary, Lana, and Musica, serve a huge role in the series and help further the plot and develop Jeanne significantly. The rivalries between these characters and the relationships nurtured throughout the series play a considerable part. This is a series that depends upon these relations for character growth and motivations.\n \n\n \nIn terms of the overall art direction, this series is quite decent. I loved the heavy usage of color for a series that was created back in the 80s, and it had a decent amount of variation in character designs and aesthetics. The one thing that I would personally have worked on more is the animation. It seems pretty outdated even compared to the other mecha anime and films back in the 1980s, such as Heavy Metal L-Gaim, Bubblegum Crisis, Mobile Police Patlabor: The Early Days, and GunBuster.\n \n\n \nHowever, I want to mention that the fantastic soundtrack makes up for a HUGE amount of this series’s overall quality. This soundtrack does leaps and bounds for the series, ranging from slow piano-based instrumentals to full-out hard rock during some fantastic action scenes to hype you up. The opening song is increasingly catchy the more you watch the series. The ending song is even catchier and can make you think about the “curtains close” on each episode, including the very last one despite the ending being super lackluster. \n \n\n \nI really wanted to like this series, in all honesty; it had everything I thought I’d like in a mecha anime from the 80s. It had a unique main character that I thought was missing from most mecha anime at that time. It had a great art design with a lot of variation and creativity, as well as a STELLAR soundtrack that made up for everything. However, it failed to deliver on its actual story, as well as the morally grey conflict that it was aiming to showcase. \n \nThe most engaging aspects of the series were left up as plot holes, and the ending did not do much to make up for the series’ continuous unfortunate mishaps. The worst part that I think about this series overall is that it genuinely feels like wasted potential. That is something that permanently breaks your heart as a viewer, knowing that this particular anime could have been done differently, and the experience would’ve been drastically better.