Thread: Robotech
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Old December 17 2012, 12:37 AM   #22
Kaijima's Avatar
Location: United States
Re: Robotech

American anime fans, unfortunately, tend to see themselves as (and call themselves) "Otaku" without realizing that in Japan, that word has negative associations. Not exactly a pride label.

The hatred for Robotech is based largely in ignorance and inability to grasp that the anime market in the US didn't exist in the 80s, and that the only way to get serialized cartoons in syndication was to sell a package with at least 65 contiguous episodes already available. No action-oriented anime aimed at teens and young adults really fit the bill, so Robotech was created out of 3 series.

Carl Macek, who has posthumously suffered an insanely exaggerated reputation in American anime fandom, was in fact one of the early underground western anime fans. He was going to anime clubs and watching un-subtitled VHS tapes with the rest of them. He had to write an original story to make Robotech work, but still consulted translation notes from the original series involved and respected the original characters and their personalities. Besides, much of Robotech's plot isn't really changed from the original material that much. Mostly the same, just with world-building details woven in to connect the 3 shows together. It helps that all 3 shows originated from similar creators with similar aesthetic styles - so the mecha in the 3rd act of Robotech, for instance, look like futuristic evolutions of the earlier mecha in act 1. Fate was actually at Robotech's back.

Even though Robotech was a pioneering project, I personally don't think it's aged quite that well - by and large the voice acting direction is pretty grating, even though many of Robotech's cast would go on to gain experience and become noted western voice actors of good ability.
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