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Old April 19 2010, 02:39 PM   #1
Mr. Sin
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Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

His filmography:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0532146/


and release from friend Jerry Beck:
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/


Although often a controversial figure for his translations/edits among "Otaku", there's no doubt he really helped bring anime to the United States with not only Robotech but early translations of Miyazaki and other anime films such as Akira.
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Old April 19 2010, 03:15 PM   #2
FordSVT
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

"Otaku" can suck it, without Macek they might not even have their hobby in it's current form, anime might never have taken off in North America the way it did in the 80s and 90s.

A heart attack at 59, shitty....
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Old April 19 2010, 03:32 PM   #3
Leroy
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

First off I'll say RIP Mr. Macek my condolences to his family, 59 is way too young nowadays. I look at it this way I wouldn't be the "Macross purist" I am today without him.
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Old April 19 2010, 04:30 PM   #4
FreezeC77
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

The way I looked at Robotech is that it made the anime fan I am today. Robotech is what got me interested in anime when I found out where it originated from. I have never been able to understand just the pure vitriol and hatred towards him for Robotech.

Robotech created so many anime fans in NA by introducing us to that type of show and style and yes the other two series were bastardized and smushed into Macross, but the vast core of the Macross anime was the same and delivered a storyline unlike anything 'cartoons' were delivering.
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Old April 19 2010, 05:29 PM   #5
firehawk12
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

I missed the whole controversy in my day, but it's kind of funny that he's hated because of Robotech.

But yeah, certainly without him things would be very different.
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Old April 19 2010, 05:48 PM   #6
milo bloom
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

I'm not as big a fan of Robotech as my wife is ( I like, just not as much as her), but it's an enjoyable series, and his work helped bring anime to the masses. He should be recognized for that at least.
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Old April 19 2010, 06:17 PM   #7
Dusty Ayres
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

Now my chance to get my Art Of Robotech book signed will never happen...damn!

This guy helped me to see that cartoons could be so much more, and now he's gone.

See you later, Carl.

(imagines a 21-gun salute, followed by a 'missing man' formation flypast of VF-1's, while the Robotech theme plays.)
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Old April 19 2010, 06:28 PM   #8
Leroy
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

Thing to remember is that people really don't hate Macek so much as Harmony Gold and their stranglehold on the Robotech franchise and their blocking of anything Macross related in the US. Go to the memorial thread at Macross world and you get mostly "so long thanks for the memories" type posts.
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Old April 19 2010, 06:38 PM   #9
Theonethatis
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

Its because of Macek I got to see Macross. Its because of Macek I got to see Mosepeda. Its because of Macek I got to see Akira.

I maybe a Macross purist now, however in 1985 I saw a little show about a aircraft carrier in space and it changed my life forever. In 1985 My mom got hooked on the same show and watched it every day with me. It because of Macek I have these memories.

RIP Carl you were not a perfect man. But I must salute you because you gave the US Anime that retained most of its storylines intact. This was unheard of back then when stuff like battle of the planets and voltron reigned supreme. He could easily cut out stuff like Roy dying or the whole world being destroyed. He did not which is a testament to his love of the show and his respect for its viewers.

Harmony Gold is a whole different kettle of fish all together. Macek shouldn't have died, Harmony Gold is the one that should have died.
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Old April 19 2010, 07:18 PM   #10
Dukhat
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

FreezeC77 wrote: View Post
The way I looked at Robotech is that it made the anime fan I am today. Robotech is what got me interested in anime when I found out where it originated from.
Absolutely. If it weren't for Robotech, I never would have even known the existence of Macross, Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada (all of which I now own).

Thank you, Mr. Macek, and rest in peace.

Theonethatis wrote: View Post
RIP Carl you were not a perfect man. But I must salute you because you gave the US Anime that retained most of its storylines intact. This was unheard of back then when stuff like battle of the planets and voltron reigned supreme. He could easily cut out stuff like Roy dying or the whole world being destroyed. He did not which is a testament to his love of the show and his respect for its viewers.
And also owning the original GoLion DVDs gives me a great perspective of how Voltron basically "kiddie-fied" the original Japanese version of this show. Macek was truly better than that. (although there will always be mystery surrounding the whole "SDF-2" debate...
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Old April 19 2010, 10:19 PM   #11
Kaijima
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

Wow. Here's a tip: try to find the three "Art of Robotech" books published back in the late 80s - Robotech Art 1, 2, and Sentinels (3). Macek wrote most of those and in them, he gives volumes upon volumes of insight on working with Japanese studios. On animated filmmaking. On translating cross-cultural properties. The works.

People who undervalue what Macek did to try and take him down since he didn't produce "pure" anime have no clue. Macek really was a true pioneer. He also was a hardcore fan of anime, through and through - he was an expert. The difference is that he wasn't a typical fanboy. He was a realist who also understood that slavish devotion to the original material could hurt things.

One term Macek coined was "ethnic gesture" (I believe he coined it). He used this term frequently to explain /why/ anime looked like anime to western eyes. Ethnic geture was in no way an insulting term; the idea is that ever culture's work have their own ethnic footprint. In the case of Japanese artwork, it's more than just big eyes. One of Maceck's key understandings of localizing Japanese film and television was in knowing what ethnic gestures, such as forms of laughter, hand signs, bows, sight gags, facial expressions, would seem unreadable and nonsensical to the average person. He put a great deal of work into adjusting dialog, voice actor inflection, and in some extreme cases, edited timing, to make films palatable to American viewers without butchering the intent of the original creators. Remember, this was at a time when Japanese animation was unknown to the mainstream. There was no "otaku" community to market at.

Macek said at one point that animation is the ultimate form of filmmaking because the creator has absolute control over what goes on the screen - their imagination is bound by nothing. This was in the age before modern computer effects allowed photorealistic animation to be used in live-action films so freely. The thing about Carl is that he was a rare person who was capable of both having true vision, an instinct on what hazy possibilities would change the world, and simultaneously having the down to earth nose and backbone for hard work to make it happen.

He also was a talented writer in terms of ingenuity. The way that Robotech was woven out of three series could have been a hatchet job like any other poor import of a foreign cartoon. But Macek viewed the original material as inspiration for an original story. And he understood what the animation creators intended for their shows. His Robotech framework respected the original stories and didn't undercut the drama or adult nature of the animation. What's more, the middle section of Robotech was cited by the original Japanese creators as an improvement! The anime show "Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross" was cut short in the Japanese version, forced into a rushed ending. Characters were half-developed. Macek rescued the material by making it the 2nd act of Robotech and giving the characters a better backstory, and a future developed in act 3 (based on Genesis Climber Mospeda. Nothing beats 80's anime series titles - nothing!)

For chrissakes; the man only pulled together one of the most complex sci-fi dramas ever in Western television out of a series of Japanese cartoons which, while well-conceived and well-written, did not have an epic narrative on the scale of Robotech.

In the end, Carl Macek was a rare person; not entirely due to his own abilities, but also do the providence in which he lived. He was the right man, in the right place, at the right time, with the right idea. It isn't just anime fan who owe something to him; but fan of animation of any kind. Robotech demonstrated to westerners something more could be done with the medium, and western cartoons also take cue from it to this day, if not in content (robots and spaceships), then in storytelling structure, character drama, and worldbuilding.
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Old April 19 2010, 11:28 PM   #12
C.E. Evans
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

For me, Macek ranked up right there with Roddenberry and Lucas as true visionaries.

I can honestly say that Carl Macek changed my life. When Robotech first premiered in 1985, it totally redefined not only how I viewed cartoons/anime but dramatic science-fiction shows and movies in general. It was my first true epic--even more so than Star Wars was for me--and that influence has stayed with me all these years.

I owe him a debt of gratitude that he'll never know, and I'm sure I'm not the only one...
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Old April 20 2010, 01:28 AM   #13
Leroy
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

It should also be noted that Carl Macek also did the dub for Aura Battler Dunbine created by Yoshiyuki Tomino of Gundam fame. Dunbine is very much a show worth checking out, it hails from the same era that Robotech/Macross is from.
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Old April 20 2010, 02:33 AM   #14
zakkrusz
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

Robotech was a great series and one of the first examples of Japanese animation I saw. Even if it was a splice and dice job it was still very entertaining and helped spark my interest in the medium, so he will be missed. RIP

Hopefully somebody will carry on his work I'd hate for this to be the end of Robotech. I was looking forward to Shadow Rising.
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Old April 20 2010, 02:47 AM   #15
Leroy
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Re: Anime translation pioneer Carl Macek has died

I'm pretty sure this doesn't mean the end of Robotech since Carl Macek hasn't had anything to do with it for at least a decade. The creative stuff for things like Shadow Rising went to Tommy Yune.
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