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Roy Focker

Robotech and HG license debates

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Strange. I was doing the same while I was a Star Trek fan. With the time, I became tired of rationalizing those illogical inconsistencies made by lazy writers who did not give a sh*t about it themselves and quit being a Star Trek fan. I think the same fate is waiting many Robotech fans ...

Yeah...I've heard that a lot of stuff created by Star Trek fans eventually becomes canonical, as well.

To me, the whole concept of filling in the seams...well, I don't completely get it. On the one hand, it can be kind of a fun mental exericse, but too often, it seems like fans really want to believe that their favorite fictional universes are somehow REAL, and everything must be accounted for.

Now, I like Macross A LOT. And I've been spending a lot of time with Macross materials, whether it be the SDFM TV series, Macross the First, the SDFM novels, or the drama albums. None of it fits together perfectly (and I haven't even gotten to DYRL yet!), but that's okay by me. It's fiction; it's nice if it's realistic, but there's no necessity for it to be so. As long as there's "truth" (as distinct from "fact") in the human interactions, I'm happy.

(I do, however, wish they hadn't set Macross Zero in late 2008, though...because of Focker's comment (to himself, no less) in SDFM episode 1 that "it's been two years" since he saw combat. (Incidentally, I noticed that that line didn't make it into Macross the First).)

I remember having a conversation in the mid-to-late '80s with a guy at Books Nippan. I was a full-on Macross purist of the most obnoxious sort back then, and he was complaining that the armies of the Southern Cross were never shown putting up any kind of fight against the Invid. I said, "Well, you know that it was three different series jammed together, right? They had no animation that SHOWED the Southern Cross against the Invid."

He said, "I know, but I can't believe they didn't even give them a chance!"

We went back and forth for a while, and then I just let him be.

The whole thing seemed kind of surreal to me, like someone trying to figure out the EXACT flight path Santa Claus could take to cover the globe and deliver all his presents in a single night.

Eventually, as you suggest, you kind of have to accept that you're thinking about it harder than the writers did, and just let it go.

Edited by Gubaba

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You'd hate being big into Gundam, Gubaba. Sunrise and Bandai have filled the One Year War so full of mobile suits that even the combined might of Zeta and Advance of Zeta can't keep up. The problem with Robotech is that its "this is really the same world" schtick didn't even work that well at the time. Even all the various Gundam sidestories fit together better than that. And twenty-something years after the fact, Robotech looks really out of place.

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You'd hate being big into Gundam, Gubaba. Sunrise and Bandai have filled the One Year War so full of mobile suits that even the combined might of Zeta and Advance of Zeta can't keep up. The problem with Robotech is that its "this is really the same world" schtick didn't even work that well at the time. Even all the various Gundam sidestories fit together better than that. And twenty-something years after the fact, Robotech looks really out of place.

Oh I am big into Gundam. But I ignore a lot of it. ^_^

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Anyways, taking in all I was told before, actions afterward, I came to the conclusion that it was in fact really Tommy's, and if you read it and had any concern or dislike for Robotech, after reading it, you were gonna definitely just abandon the series after reading it.

I have heard bits and pieces about what was in the script, and I have to say that personally I while I am not expecting Shadow Rising to be great you can't judge a movie by some leaked script. I made amateur films in college that were directed and written by friends who now go to Professional Film Schools and trust me reading and actually seeing it come to live in a movie can be totally different experiences. The recent Watchmen movie is the best example I can think of to relate to. I for one loved reading the graphic novel over a weekend, but watching a three movie with people narrating about their sad lives as superheros almost made me leave the theater. Besides, its not really fair to label bad writing as fan writing. Great writers write about what they feel passionate about whether they are backed by a paycheck and editor or not.

Why do Robotech fans always refer to it as "THE ORIGINAL 85 EPISODES!"

Because deep down even the most Robotech fans know that no matter what HG produces it will never EVER live it up to the Original 85. That despite Macek's editing their was still plenty of the spirit and feeling of the original that shined through and captivated them. Honestly, I think Robotech's new theme song may as well be "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" because that is how nostalgic robotechfans feel with the new stuff and Robotech doesn't deserve an original theme song made for it anyway.

I guess part of the problem is that Robotech really doesn't have its own story.

That is THE PROBELM with Robotech. The original 85 were good enough for kids back in 1985, but to continue this hack job continuity built upon 3 unrelated series is absurd. At the very least you would think HG would consider rebooting the franchise like the Superhero comics and shows so that a more natural and believable story could be made from transforming jets and alien bio fuel.

Edited by Freiflug88

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That is THE PROBELM with Robotech. The original 85 were good enough for kids back in 1985, but to continue this hack job continuity built upon 3 unrelated series is absurd. At the very least you would think HG would consider rebooting the franchise like the Superhero comics and shows so that a more natural and believable story could be made from transforming jets and alien bio fuel.

Short answer: Isn't that what the Live-Action Movie is for?

Snarky answer: That would take money and talent, two things in short supply at HG. :p

Thoughtful answer: I think anybody who is complaining that Shadow Chronicles is sub-par would say exactly the same thing, but with more vehemence, about a remake. There's really no good way forward for HG, as far as I can tell. There have been several attempts to continue the Robotech story, and all of them have ended in failure (except the novels, but even then, many would say they were an artistic failure). Unfortunately, that's left plenty of room for the fans to speculate and create their own perfect Robotech in their heads. It's the "interactivity" I mentioned before, which (as VF5SS pointed out) leads to all sorts of troubles for storytelling. Anyone who liked Robotech back in the day has their own idea for how it should have proceeded, and the only way HG could top that would be to make something SO mind-blowingly awesome, SO unexpected-and-yet-somehow-inevitable, that everyone would have to recognize it as authoritative. It would also have to be better than any of the Macross sequels so that no one could compare it to them unfavorably.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure anyone could write that story. Generally, if a writer wants to do something like that, it takes careful planning, and creating a lot of seemingly innocuous (and thus, easily overlooked) loose ends throughout the first stories, which can later be connected and make everything come together in resoundingly triumphant fashion (the works of Stephen R. Donaldson generally work like this, because he comes up with an end first, and then plots backwards...not a bad strategy, really). But there are no such loose ends present in the 85 episodes. "More of the same" would've worked in 1986 or '87, but not now.

Plus, people are used to unfiltered anime these days, and have been for nearly a generation now. I think most people who like anime don't like Robotech (although I've never done a survey) and most people who avoid anime wouldn't look twice at it. Nostalgia is the main appeal of Robotech, and any reboot or sequel must be consciously anti-nostalgic in order to truly succeed...unless they take a cue from Macross F, and make a new series updated and modern enough to catch the attention of teenagers, while throwing in cute homages for the older fans to pick up on.

But again, back to the snarky answer: that would take money and talent.

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I have heard bits and pieces about what was in the script, and I have to say that personally I while I am not expecting Shadow Rising to be great you can't judge a movie by some leaked script.

This wasn't a script, but a breakdown of how the movie would go. While I'm sure it was an early draft, based on when it was written, it had virtually no saving qualities about it. Script can be open to much more interpretation than a treatment. Anyways, the only way to save that treatment was to get rid of it, which when it got leaked, the fact that Tommy didn't stand by his own work may prove that they weren't gonna use it. His most loyal fans trashed his work that he passed off as not his work. There was some other things I heard about the sequel that sounded promising, so when that time comes, we'll see what they produce.

Overall, I think the general consensus here is that HG's biggest problem is that their franchise still hasn't come into it's own, as it's still creating/trying to create a show based off of borrowed or stolen designs (however you wish to perceive it). The predicament is that without those borrowed/stolen designs, robotech has no identity, but in order to come into its own, it needs to move away from the "borrowed/stolen" work. It seems like Robotech had more going for it when they didn't have a new series coming. I think the new stuff really divided their fanbase and hurt their franchise more than help. No matter how many times they'll say they are growing, the facts are telling a different story.

Like I've said before, my biggest hope is that WB decides to take over the franchise, and somehow, that opens up windows for Macross product to come over here. If not, it's no different from where we are today.

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(Not, of course, that Macross doesn't have inconsistencies of its own...but at least no one in Macross ever talked about a gigantic space fortress that wasn't there.)

I LOVE the Robotech SDF-2. I LOVE the way that it was portrayed in the Robotech version of Macross and I especially LOVE the way that it was portrayed in the novels. It was easily one of the worst parts of the 'adaptation'.

Taksraven

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Interactive fandoms are generally the worst kind. Give a fan any kind of inch into the franchise and they'll wank all over it. I prefer to let the people in charge just tell their story.

One of the truest statements that I have ever read on this forum. It seems to be a shame that fandom of many SF and anime programs seems to be degenerating more and more from simple enjoyment of a popular show into a real "I could do better, even though I can't write for crap" amongst fans.

I dunno who really opened the door to this attitude, but it really seems to be spreading and growing. Dr Who fandom is really rife with it at the moment, and it really hurts the show, I think.

Taksraven

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No I'm pretty sure it has no story outside of just being edited version of the original stories. People liked it at the time for the same reason people like Voltron, most of the world just didn't have Japanese space opera shows on TV.

Don't forget Star Blazers! We did have space opera's.

Taksraven

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No, DougBendo (who is more off-balance than most Robotech fans) proposed doing a new Robotech series using Orguss.

For Robotech III, I was referring to this. I saw it years and years ago at a convention (or maybe a C/FO meeting). Wish someone would post it up on the web...I'd like to see it again.

Please Gubaba, if you are going to post links to material that includes some NSFW content, please warn us. (Won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN!!!!) :lol: :lol:

Taksraven

(Actually, I am being half-serious dude, the puritans I work for at the Dept of Education would probably freak out at animated boobage and try to sack me.)

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Overall, I think the general consensus here is that HG's biggest problem is that their franchise still hasn't come into it's own, as it's still creating/trying to create a show based off of borrowed or stolen designs (however you wish to perceive it). The predicament is that without those borrowed/stolen designs, robotech has no identity, but in order to come into its own, it needs to move away from the "borrowed/stolen" work. It seems like Robotech had more going for it when they didn't have a new series coming. I think the new stuff really divided their fanbase and hurt their franchise more than help. No matter how many times they'll say they are growing, the facts are telling a different story.

Don't forget though, HG DID try to create a product with "original" designs and were howled down.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotech_3000

Taksraven

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I really hope this wasn't what people read in the script:

http://robotechflash.blog.com/3175335/ About halfway down the page.

It's like they rolled up the Robotech novels, Gundam, and Macross into a Sci-Fi channel original movie. And a character singing to end the war, riding on Macross's coattails yet again? If this is true, then they probably wanted to market this as DYRL II/III in Japan.

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That's very interesting! What year or years was that published in? Also, does it specifically list Big West as the licensor?

[...]

Here's a scan of the copyright page:

post-1998-1238411650_thumb.jpg

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Lot of good points being made. Personally, I think once Macross II and Plus made their way to our shores, the game was over for Robotech. It's like at that point Macross no longer just the obscure Japanese version of Robotech. but a demonstratively active franchise. Not to belittle the people involved with Robotech at the time, but novels and comic books aren't really the mainstay of the franchise. Look at Star Wars, they pump out hundreds of novels and comics precisely because they're cheap to make and they sell regardless of their quality (even Darksaber was a best seller for Star Wars). And with the advent of the original shows on DVD, people are starting to recommend the originals to newcomers and the things that make Robotech unique are becoming less apparent as time goes on.

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Please Gubaba, if you are going to post links to material that includes some NSFW content, please warn us. (Won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN!!!!) :lol: :lol:

Taksraven

(Actually, I am being half-serious dude, the puritans I work for at the Dept of Education would probably freak out at animated boobage and try to sack me.)

Sorry...I haen't read the whole page in a long time, and I forgot that was there... :o

Here's a scan of the copyright page:

My Spidey-Sense tells me the 1998 copyright date is key...possibly.

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One hard fact I can give you, and I already mentionned it pages ago in this thread (it was 3 or 4 years ago though, so many of you may not have read it...), well, there's no reference at all to HG in the french edition of M7 Trash by Glénat (which is not exactly a small publisher in Euro, actually it's one of the biggest comics editor around): I own every volume and none of them have HG written anywhere

It seems to me that these so-called worldwide rights actually are limited to the US... :p

Yeah, I believe that the M7 Trash volumes were translated and released in Italy as well.

Edited by Renato

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Here's a scan of the copyright page:

Thanks for the scan!

Hmm, I was actually hoping that it would've been published post 2004. Though it is nice to see that it was officially licensed from Big West and Haruhiko Mikimoto.

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Yeah, I believe that the M7 Trash volumes were translated and released in Italy as well.

Aye, Planet Manga which part of Pannini publishing released both a German and Italian edition.

Just wondering where does this idea of world wide rights for HG come from?

As far as I can tell HG has at the most:

1) a sub-license from Tatsunoko: this gives HG rights to distribute SDFM and worldwide merchandising rights for SDFM outside of Japan. Hgs rights connot exceed Tatsunoko's unless there is a seperate deal between HG and BW that we don't know about.

Note: If I have read this thread correctly it is not even sure that Tatsunoko has any authorship rights just ownership of the footage is confirmed.

2) HG has acquired trademarks on Macross in several countries, ones I know of are the USA, Canada, Germany, the UK and France.

3) HG supposedly aquired the license for DYRL (unconfirmed). Unknown if this is a worldwide license or USA only.

Gubaba noticed that the copyright posted on the page from Gui predates the Trademark of HG in France.

Even if HG wanted Pannini and Glenat to stop publishing M7 trash, they can't enforce it as the use of Macross predates HGs trademark. Also regulations on trademarks require that they are actively used for them to be enforcable.

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3) HG supposedly aquired the license for DYRL (unconfirmed). Unknown if this is a worldwide license or USA only.

I believe that everything you posted above is accurate, except for this quotation. I've never seen Harmony Gold claim that they have the IP or film distribution rights to DYRL, just the international merchadising rights.

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Like I've said before, my biggest hope is that WB decides to take over the franchise, and somehow, that opens up windows for Macross product to come over here. If not, it's no different from where we are today.

I have been hoping for the same thing more or less. Since WB has been given full creative control for the movie according to Tommy Yune, I can only hope that some how they make a case to Big West to film the Robotech movie as a kind of live action DYRL only with Robotech's names. It would be great if they used the original Japanese songs or made English versions of them. As far as Protoculture goes I honestly, believe that could be scrapped. In Macross and Robotech the actual drama is much more important then the fuel or ancient civilization.

3) HG supposedly aquired the license for DYRL (unconfirmed). Unknown if this is a worldwide license or USA only.

I have seen HG selling Macross DYRL figures on Robotech.com for several months now, so they do have merchandising rights for toys. Hopefully this could lead to an American release of DYRL.

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As Einhejar pointed out on the previous page, that is the exact treatment. From what I gathered from Tommy's friends and from the way the whole incident went down, that is the real deal that they probably tried, or are pushing for the sequel. I guess by the reaction of the fanboys, they won't be using those ideas.

In anycase, I just wanna see more Macross, and see it come over here. Imagine how much bigger it'd be if it was able to be brought over here with no half-assed co. to inadvertently keep it from coming over?

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I have seen HG selling Macross DYRL figures on Robotech.com for several months now, so they do have merchandising rights for toys. Hopefully this could lead to an American release of DYRL.

I would also love to see DYRL released in the USA again, but I doubt it's going to happen. Celebrity's Just For Kids released DYRL in the US under a license from Toho International Co. Ltd.; meanwhile Best Film & Video Corp. released DYRL in the US under a license from Big West. In retrospect, it looks like Big West licensed the film distributions rights to DYRL to a couple of different companies worldwide and now no one knows who owns what. I've given up trying to sort it out. :wacko:

Edited by TheLoneWolf

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I would also love to see DYRL released in the USA again, but I doubt it's going to happen. Celebrity's Just For Kids released DYRL in the US under a license from Toho International Co. Ltd.; meanwhile Best Film & Video Corp. released DYRL in the US under a license from Big West. In retrospect, it looks like Big West licensed the film distributions rights to DYRL to a couple of different companies worldwide and now no one knows who owns what. I've given up trying to sort it out. :wacko:

So (IIRC) did AnimEigo. I remember hearing that they tried to acquire the rights to the movie, but no one had any idea who owned it in which country, since many of the companies that released it went out of business and sold all their holdings.

Of course, I can't verify any of this, so take it for what it's worth.

But if that IS the case, the solution is simple. Before they even started working on the first Friday the 13th movie, the producers bought a full-page ad in Variety, announcing the film. Partially this was done to gain interest in the movie among investors, but mostly it was to see if anyone else held the rights to the name. When no one came forward, claiming that the name was theirs, the producers went ahead with the movie.

Really, would it be too difficult for someone who wanted to release DYRL to do the same? Just put a vague ad for it in the anime magazines, and see who crawls out of the woodwork. Deals and pay-offs could be made (or not) afterwards.

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As Einhejar pointed out on the previous page, that is the exact treatment. From what I gathered from Tommy's friends and from the way the whole incident went down, that is the real deal that they probably tried, or are pushing for the sequel. I guess by the reaction of the fanboys, they won't be using those ideas.

Even if the treatment was never leaked how were they supposed to pull it off without people noticing the blatant similarities? If it's true that they have the rights to DYRL? but still pushing for this version, that's just messed up and counterproductive. Can't complain now though, with Frontier out they wouldn't dare release anything with those ideas without being called out for plagiarism or something.

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Fact is, no one knows who owns the rights to the DYRL animated outside of Japan. I do recall HG making some vague comments about it, but I am fairly certain they don't have them.

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So (IIRC) did AnimEigo. I remember hearing that they tried to acquire the rights to the movie, but no one had any idea who owned it in which country, since many of the companies that released it went out of business and sold all their holdings.

Of course, I can't verify any of this, so take it for what it's worth.

That's pretty accurate. At Acen 2001, Robert Woodhead was asked about DYRL and here's what he had to say. And this was said long after he closed the deal with Harmony Gold for SDFM, so I think it's safe to assume that HG does not have the film distribution rights to DYRL.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.mac...8d7b68df79d?lnk

3) Will Animeigo release DYRL?

What Robert had to say: Nobody knows who owns the license. Really, he

said something along those lines. Not a good sign for those hoping for

a Stateside release.

I like your Variety idea, it's so crazy that it might even work. Got enough money for a full-page ad? :p

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Really, would it be too difficult for someone who wanted to release DYRL to do the same? Just put a vague ad for it in the anime magazines, and see who crawls out of the woodwork. Deals and pay-offs could be made (or not) afterwards.

Are you kidding me? That would be a ton of work for the fatcats over at ADV and Manga, as if working with HG wasn't hard enough for them. :lol:

Joking aside ads like that have worked plenty of times in the past such as when Alex Ross worked with Wizard magazine on finding the Gatchaman copyright owners in the US. Thttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhGYL0xlrM4.

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I like your Variety idea, it's so crazy that it might even work. Got enough money for a full-page ad? :p

I dunno. What anime magazine would be best, and how much do they charge for a full-page ad? B))

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Oh look, April Fools...

Robotech Chihuaua

They're still lazy bastards.

It's great jokes like that, that are really pushing Robotech forward and helping the fanbase grow. I'm sure that's what they spent 12 months working on.

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It's great jokes like that, that are really pushing Robotech forward and helping the fanbase grow. I'm sure that's what they spent 12 months working on.

Hey Tommy and Steve Yune are very busy people! Look at how long it took them to make Shadow Chronicles 3000.

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Are you kidding me? That would be a ton of work for the fatcats over at ADV and Manga, as if working with HG wasn't hard enough for them. :lol:

Joking aside ads like that have worked plenty of times in the past such as when Alex Ross worked with Wizard magazine on finding the Gatchaman copyright owners in the US. Thttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhGYL0xlrM4.

Dammit. That shirt that Alex Ross is wearing, I have one like that too somewhere but I don't know where, DOH!!!

Taksraven

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