Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross is better known to American audiences as the second portion of the Robotech anime series. In 2003, ADV Films released a five disc box set for Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross, and an informational booklet was included with the set. The booklet has profiles of the director and the character designer, Southern Cross keywords, information on the characters and mecha for both the Southern Cross Army and the Zor, and a Southern Cross Army Organizational Chart.
There are some rather notable differences between Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross and what ultimately appeared as part of Robotech. Most notably was the reworking of the basic premise to make the series fit into the Robotech universe. Instead of being the Robotech Masters coming to Earth and trying to reclaim the last Protoculture matrix from the ruins of the SDF-1, they are the Zor alien race coming to reclaim their homeland of Glorie. The implications of these differences don't become apparent until you get near the end of the series, and the storylines and motivations for the characters diverge greatly between the two versions.
There were also some episodes where, instead of simply cutting scenes for content, that the order of the scenes was changed. The most noticeable of these instances is how the scenes of the first episode of Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross (which is the second episode in the Robotech Masters section of Robotech) were rearranged. In the Japanese, we open with Jeanne (known as Dana Sterling to American audiences) in the brig, and pleading to be released. In the American version, this scene is moved to later in the story, after Dana's squad is in trouble for being part of a brawl while on patrol.
Ultimately, I have to say that after seeing both the Japanese and American versions of these episodes, that I prefer the Japanese versions. The Japanese versions make so much more sense than what we saw in Robotech. There were times in Robotech that story elements and ideas weren't kept consistent. For example, there were times that the American writers seemed to forget something they had a character say in a previous episode, and then that character would say or do something that contradicted the original dialogue.
I have to give ADV Films credit for only putting trailers on the first disc of the set (which are for Anime Network and Newtype USA). The main menu on each disc has a reddish-background, and there is either a picture of a Southern Cross Army member or mecha, or a picture of the Zor's mecha. There is no "Play All" feature on the disc; however, if you select an episode and watch it all the way through, then it will automatically move on to the next episode. The first three discs contain five episodes, and the final two discs only have four episodes.
The last disc of the set actually has some bonus features, but they are ultimately rather minimal. There is a production portfolio, which is basically a slideshow of the production art; however, there is no way to skip ahead in the slideshow. There are also textless versions of the opening and closing credits included.
While the box set for Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross may not be an impressive box set, it's worth it simply to see the original Japanese version of the series. This set is now out of print, but I would definitely recommend picking it up if you come across a used copy of the set.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that my husband and I purchased.