On Robotech: Minmay X Minmei

julio 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm (Animation, Anime, Commentary, Sacred Cows, Tropes that annoy) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Content Note: Depression

Note: For the uninitiated, here’s a quick and dirty (and severely abriged) Macross-to-Robotech dictionary.  Japanese terms to the left, with Harmony Gold’s names at the right . 

Super Dimension Fortress Macross –> Robotech

Hikaru Ichijou –> Rick Hunter

Misa Hayase –> Lisa Hayes

Lynn Minmay –> Lynn Minmei

Lynn Kaifun –> Lynn Kyle

In case it wasn’t obvious from my previous post on the subject, I’ve been thinking a lot about Robotech lately, rewatching the entire series on DVD and consuming whatever additional material the internet machine can provide, including material from its source material.  Among that is Macross Flashback 2012, the charming OVA featuring Lynn Minmay’s final concert before her departure from Earth in the SDF-2 Megaroad 01.  It’s cheery and optimistic, and it presents some interesting contrasts between the approaches Tatsunoko/Studio Nue and Harmony Gold’s took to the character. 

While Macross and Robotech both tell the same basic story, the come at it from different places, and both take different things from it.  While determining these differences presents some difficulties when they both share the same footage (although not impossible—see “protoculture”) it becomes a bit clearer when you look at what each company produced afterwards, particularly as they relate to the character of Minmei. 

For the bulk of both series, Minmei is characterized is the brave, cheerful, inspiring woman whose spirit proves to be greatest single factor in the transformation of the SDF-1’s civilian population from a collection of refugees to a vibrant community, and whose fame helps bridge civilizations and end the war between the human and the Zentraedi.    Without firing a single shot, Minmei became as great a war hero as Max Sterling, Lisa Hayes, or Henry Gloval.

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Sacred Cows: “Robotech” (Part 1)

junio 17, 2012 at 1:35 am (Animation, Anime, Sacred Cows, sexism) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Back in MY day we localized the hell out of Japanese stuff. We took three different shows, jammed them together, called it “Robotech”, and we LIKED it!Youtube commenter TheGreatLordZedd

Robotech is easy to appreciate but hard to like.  On one hand, it’s a decade ahead of its time, featuring a level of complexity, realism, and ambition that Western Animation wouldn’t even begin replicating until Batman: TAS and which still hasn’t been equaled in some aspects.  On the other hand, it’s hard to deny that it’s held together by nothing but duct tape and passion, and a level of amateurishness permeates the whole production, which prevents me from calling a lot of it “well-made” a lot of the time.

But damn if I don’t love it anyway.  It’s got charm and guts and heart, and the way it came about was so unlikely that I can’t help but be impressed.  Here’s a story composed out of three completely different–yet thematically similar–anime, stitched together to form an overarching narrative.  And it works.  Oh, sure, you don’t need to look very hard to find the (many, many) seams, but if you squint just right, it’s a fantastic story.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

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