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Robotech and HG License Debates


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Humor me here: Barring whatever you feel about Macross Frontier, how did that show gain such an active, devoted following compared to Shadow Chronicles? Was it because of the classic Macross love-triangle formula? Was it because of the characters? Better mecha design?

Didn't Shadow Chronicles sort of deliver on these as well?

Are you asking this question as someone who has watched Macross Frontier?

I don't mean to be rude, but I've seen both Shadow Chronicles and Macross Frontier and to me it's as though someone were asking "how did the steak gain such an active devoted following compared to eating dry grass?"

If you have watched Macross Frontier and are still wondering - I'll elaborate my answer :)

Pete

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Humor me here: Barring whatever you feel about Macross Frontier, how did that show gain such an active, devoted following compared to Shadow Chronicles? Was it because of the classic Macross love-triangle formula? Was it because of the characters? Better mecha design?

Didn't Shadow Chronicles sort of deliver on these as well?

I have to echo VFTF1...are you being serious?

The love triangle certainly won a lot of passionate fans (for better AND for worse).

The characters were nowhere near as flat as the Shadow Chronicles characters (that's, of course, flatness personality-wise. Physically, no one's flat in Shadow Chronicles, but Nanase and Macro-Klan put them all to shame).

The mecha in Frontier was NEW, as opposed to recycled 25-year-old designs. And a lot of it was very cool.

Add to this that the plot of Frontier was more interesting, the battle scenes were much more intense and better-animated, the homages to previous series were more clever, the music was a hell of a lot better...

And don't underestimate the fact that Frontier is longer. 25 episodes means more to chew on.

A lot of this is subjective, of course, but...which one did YOU like better? And why?

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Humor me here: Barring whatever you feel about Macross Frontier, how did that show gain such an active, devoted following compared to Shadow Chronicles? Was it because of the classic Macross love-triangle formula? Was it because of the characters? Better mecha design?

Didn't Shadow Chronicles sort of deliver on these as well?

Unlike most people here, I'm not really much of a fan of Macross (though I loved it as a kid) and do consider myself a fan of Robotech.

Keep in mind I'm really a MOSPEADA fan more than anything else in reference to this topic.

That said, one would expect me to LOVE Shadow Chronicles. It is Robotech, which I liked as a kid, enjoyed again a few years ago when I watched it with my kids, and read all of the novels as a teen and loved them. It is also visually the closest thing to new MOSPEADA we're ever likely to see, as it continues the Robotech version of the tales of some of their characters (well, Stick/Scott, really, as Ariel is pretty changed) and continues using MOSPEADA mecha, unused MOSPEADA mecha that was previously only seen as lineart, and slightly modified versions of MOSPEADA mecha. Clearly, I should have loved it.

Instead, I was horribly disappointed by it. The writing was terrible and uninspired, the dialog was worse than fan-fic level, with the "jokes" stolen from numberous other shows and movies, where they weren't funny either, none of the characters acted like themselves, and the art was just bland. I've seen other anime made by the same studios, so the low quality here, I assume, must simply be due to not paying them enough to put real effort into it.

Even my kids didn't like it. In fact, my son mentioned last weekend that he had just rewatched all of the first gen of Robotech, then mentioned that one horrible movie, with the really lame dialog. I said, "Oh, you mean that old tape we have of Clash of the Bionoids? That's not really Robotech." To which he replied, "No, I liked that one. I mean that Shadow Chronicles one."

In contrast, I was bored a couple weeks ago and downloaded and started watching Macross Frontier. I loved it. Had to ration it out so I didn't finish the 25 episodes too quickly. Gorgeous artwork. Well written story (sure, with flaws, but relatively few, all things considered). Good dialog. New designs, but which still feel like part of the same universe. Overall, it builds on everything that came before, while still being its own unique, original, distinctive entity. It makes references to previous series, as well as paying homage to them, while still giving it all its own unique, updated spin.

EDIT:

One other thing. Robotech and Macross both have music/song as an integral part of the stories. The Shadow Chronicles music and singing is quite weak and uninspired, more just a new rendition of old stuff, hastily put together. The Frontier songs are surprisingly good, get stuck in your head, and have generated 2 CDs of music which are all very listenable.

Edited by RavenHawk
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It would seem as if I've been lurking the Robotech.com and its spinoff message boards for too long. I just got tired of the antics of a couple of "active" Robotech fans, most especially the unusually strict moderators. Umm... is it me, or all they seem to do there to this day is either praise Shadow Chronicles (or rationalize, whichever way you want to look at it), beg the Powers-that-be for a sequel or more merchandise or my favorite: talking about the true nature of Protoculture.

Honestly, I was hesitant to join the Macross World community and bring up this topic, because of all the "Macross Purist" garbage (brought to you by some Robotech fans who considered Macross inferior). After reading your fairly extensive discussions on HG/BW Licensing, something tells me those guys were wrong...

Are you asking this question as someone who has watched Macross Frontier?

Despite Frontier's flaws (which I've been told is well documented in the Robotech.com forums), I freakin' loved it. Can't wait for the OVA.

And don't underestimate the fact that Frontier is longer. 25 episodes means more to chew on.

Length isn't really a factor... c'mon, didn't Shadow Chronicles already have the 85 episodes behind it?

It's just that I was led to believe that Shadow Chronicles was so lucrative that it was able to spawn three video releases in two years (DVD, Special Ed DVD Blu-ray). But despite this alleged success, tthe Robotech community seemed DOA. I can understand if this is a poor barometer in gauging a show's popularity, but where are new young, enthusiastic Robotech fans? Where's the thriving fan art community? Why aren't there any cosplayers flaunting Invid boobage?

I've seen other anime made by the same studios, so the low quality here, I assume, must simply be due to not paying them enough to put real effort into it.

I know it's been discussed to death, but that's something I never got... Nobody thought the explosions sucked when they watched the pre-vis?

In contrast, I was bored a couple weeks ago and downloaded and started watching Macross Frontier. I loved it. Had to ration it out so I didn't finish the 25 episodes too quickly. Gorgeous artwork. Well written story (sure, with flaws, but relatively few, all things considered). Good dialog. New designs, but which still feel like part of the same universe. Overall, it builds on everything that came before, while still being its own unique, original, distinctive entity. It makes references to previous series, as well as paying homage to them, while still giving it all its own unique, updated spin.

What was the secret to the Frontier's "success"? Even though Harmony Gold's Robotech dominates Stateside, how come Frontier is the one people are still talking about?

Physically, no one's flat in Shadow Chronicles, but Nanase and Macro-Klan put them all to shame).

I don't know man, that Invid Ariel chick's rack grew pretty big after she gained her powers from the Regess...

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Length isn't really a factor... c'mon, didn't Shadow Chronicles already have the 85 episodes behind it?

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh................ and that is the problem. It did not

If you are a Robotech fan watching Shadow Chronicles - then yes, I guess it technically did have all that background.

But if you are a Macross fan (or me) watching Shadow Chronicles - there is no "85 episodes behind it." It exists on its' own, swiping character designs and mecha designs from Mospedia mainly and making us glad that Macross never transformed Hikau Ichijo into an aged black hole satelite....

In other words - no - it doesn't have 85 episodes behind it. The whole "backstory" is in fact not a back story but just random anime cobbled together.

If it has anything remotely behind it - it's the novels, which are a lot more elaborate in a way - but still pretty haphazard.

I guess ultimately you're right - you're right that Shadow Chronicles doesn't need to be 26 episodes long because it technically has a "back story" - but the key always returns to this issue: do you believe in the back story, or do you completely disgard it in favor of the original three non-related anime?

It's just that I was led to believe that Shadow Chronicles was so lucrative that it was able to spawn three video releases in two years (DVD, Special Ed DVD Blu-ray). But despite this alleged success, tthe Robotech community seemed DOA. I can understand if this is a poor barometer in gauging a show's popularity, but where are new young, enthusiastic Robotech fans? Where's the thriving fan art community? Why aren't there any cosplayers flaunting Invid boobage?

Given how many Macross World members are Americans - I'd say they're all here instead. And is it a wonder?

You have to remember that what ticks off lots of fans isn't just Robotech as such - it's Harmony Gold's treatment of retailers and attempt to block Yamato products from the American market. Lots of Robotech fans are also collectors who know and appreciate a good quality product. When Harmony Gold tries to cram Toynami "masterpieces" down their throats and they see what Yamato is making for Macross - they are probably not at all encouraged to remain with a semi-coherent franchise (Robotech).

I mean - Macross offers you the whole package: a) it's the original, b) there are more sequals with better stories and characters and c) the merchandise is better and worth your time and money.

I know it's been discussed to death, but that's something I never got... Nobody thought the explosions sucked when they watched the pre-vis?

It wasn't just the explosions - for me it was the faux-realism. Look - it's a cartoon. Don't go trying to make the characters look too realistic. Play around with them a bit. Give your animation some characteristic style. Shadow Chronicles was flat fla flat in terms of design.

It was the pinacle of technically sound animation that was sound sound it managed to put you to sleep. There are enthusiasts of this kind of animation - I'm not one of them.

What was the secret to the Frontier's "success"? Even though Harmony Gold's Robotech dominates Stateside, how come Frontier is the one people are still talking about?

Because Shadow Chronicles DIDN'T dominate Stateside.

It's impossible to get accurate statistic because you can't compare DVD sales to anime episode downloads - but clearly the latter was higher and more prevalent than the former. So even though "officially" the licensed product got more exposure - that was only because no body counts how licensed vs. unlicenced came out.

I don't know man, that Invid Ariel chick's rack grew pretty big after she gained her powers from the Regess...

Yes but - see - this is so the problem with Robotech ...

We like boobs, we like to talk about boobs, and there's plenty of boobs in anime...

But actually and in point of fact there came a momeny where people got sick and tired of the boobs and started making fun of it and it became sort of trendy to lowbrow anime for all the boobage and to talk about anime just being boobs and booms! Basically garbage.

Frontier took this trend and went with it - which is why we get Ranka as a main character - no boobs. It's also why we get episodes like Miss Macross which make fun of anime boobage. It's finally also why Klan Klan has huge boobs - it's almost like they were making a mockery of anime fans. Here - like big boobs - ok...here ya go! Ha hah - and also acknowledging the critics.

Shadow Chronicles lacks this type of self-awareness and is no where near as self- referencial

I could go on...

Pete

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I think you're a great guy, Seto, and I have a lot of respect for you, but I don't really have a whole lot of sympathy for you in this situation.

I look at RT.com about once every other week or so, and I invariably leave after a few minutes. The "Series and stories" forum baffles me, and the "SouthernMacrosspeada" forum seems like MacrossWorld-Lite. Never felt much of an urge to post there...anything I said would probably be perceived as flame bait, anyway.

Let 'em have their fun without a gadfly in their midst. It's not 1988 anymore...anime is widely available, and the origins of Robotech are easily found. If they don't know much about Macross, it has to be because they either don't WANT to know, or else don't know how to use Google.

Either way, I'd rather have them over at RT.com than over here. A number of the people who get banned from RT.com and come over here to get their fix are not the sharpest knives in the drawer, anyway. Why would we want more of them?

...

To quote Austin Powers...

"Exsqueeze me?"

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...

To quote Austin Powers...

"Exsqueeze me?"

Ok - I see your point Wanzerfan.

Let me help Gubaba get out of his gaffee - because I'm sure that's all it was and there was no harm meant here.

His point was just a variation on the reason why - technically - there is a NO ROBOTECH rule in the rules and guidelines of this forum. The intention of this forum is to just plain and simple be a Macross fan forum. You can do that without talking about Robotech. In fact - you SHOULD do that without talking about Robotech because Robotech has nothing to do with Macross.

The Robotech/Macross "problem" is a problem for only Robotech fans - because they have to acknowledge that their fandom celebrates something that is actually a mish-mash of other things. They can either ignore that or live in a dualistic world where you can enjoy both "franchises." Whatever -

But this forum is for Macross fandom - and Robotech is just this little side issue that comes up once in a while.

I think Gubaba's point about not wanting the people from RT.com to come over here was meant to mean something along the lines of "because Macrossworld shouldn't be RT.com-bis."

And the sharpest knives comment just referenced people who talk about Robotech as if there were no Macross, or as if Macross were the "Japanese version" or some such.

But yeah - I guess I can see how the comment could be cast as a bit of a negative over-generalization and people could take offence.

My advice: don't. I seriously doubt he meant it that way.

Pete

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Ok - I see your point Wanzerfan.

Let me help Gubaba get out of his gaffee - because I'm sure that's all it was and there was no harm meant here.

His point was just a variation on the reason why - technically - there is a NO ROBOTECH rule in the rules and guidelines of this forum. The intention of this forum is to just plain and simple be a Macross fan forum. You can do that without talking about Robotech. In fact - you SHOULD do that without talking about Robotech because Robotech has nothing to do with Macross.

The Robotech/Macross "problem" is a problem for only Robotech fans - because they have to acknowledge that their fandom celebrates something that is actually a mish-mash of other things. They can either ignore that or live in a dualistic world where you can enjoy both "franchises." Whatever -

But this forum is for Macross fandom - and Robotech is just this little side issue that comes up once in a while.

I think Gubaba's point about not wanting the people from RT.com to come over here was meant to mean something along the lines of "because Macrossworld shouldn't be RT.com-bis."

And the sharpest knives comment just referenced people who talk about Robotech as if there were no Macross, or as if Macross were the "Japanese version" or some such.

But yeah - I guess I can see how the comment could be cast as a bit of a negative over-generalization and people could take offence.

My advice: don't. I seriously doubt he meant it that way.

Pete

Pretty much, yeah.

I also meant that it seems like some RT.com people treat MW as an extention of RT.com, like "Well, I can't post over there any more, so I'll come to this second-rate Robotech site and continue on the same way!"

There's no prerequisite for joining MW, but I think there should be a prerequisite for staying: being a Macross fan.

That doesn't mean you have to have watched or liked everything, but some kind of point of entry BEYOND Robotech is always appreciated.

Anyway, it wasn't a personal attack at you, Wanzerfan, and I'm sorry if you took it that way.

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Like the people over there who haven't even read the Art books and take the Robotech series at face value.

The reason why I got permabanned over there is because I published a joke over there that Steve took offense to (that, and the moderators didn't like my opinion of their handling of the Eternity storylines, namely the Malcontent Uprisings line. The new comic line from Wildstrom was just the final nail in the Robotech coffin for me).

I wasn't really offended by the comment, I just don't like being pigeonholed in a blanket statement.

News from the Robotech.com front: Doug Bendo got his ass banned ages ago for flaming Seto.

Edited by Wanzerfan
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Not sure if you can enjoy Macross and RB as 'dual franchises'.

To me RB is just a doorway where a bunch of cool things came though at the right time for me.

I have Destroids Tomahawk and Defender, a VF 1D and a few Revoltechs in my cube and I don't really think of them as one OR the other.

I'm just a fan and enjoy that we have access to something you'd think would be long forgotten by now. Of course the popularity of Macross worldwide has kept it mostly alive but in its pitiful way RB has too.

An engineer came over to my cube today and said "awww man, I loved Robotech".

Ahhhhhh - we all did. But it would have sapped all the fun out it to go into "it's really Macross you know".

We just enjoyed the moment . . .

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I guess ultimately you're right - you're right that Shadow Chronicles doesn't need to be 26 episodes long because it technically has a "back story" - but the key always returns to this issue: do you believe in the back story, or do you completely disgard it in favor of the original three non-related anime?

I thought it was more like this: Is this feature good enough to entice you to buy the previous 85 episodes and other merchandise to get into Robotech? That's a common pattern with other series, but here it's almost required browsing to really understand what's going on. In fact, it could have been the strategy until they could start Shadow Rising.

The problem might be narration style. Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles took 1/3 of the film to go over material from the previous series and set up this new chapter. Surprisingly, they killed off the narrator (maybe the Carl Macek insert for the story) who was an arguably important feature from the original series. He was replaced by a character(s) who may know more than they should about the past and current situation.

Macross 7 and Frontier was not as connected to the previous series, but still took 1-3 minutes at the beginning of the first 8 or so episodes to get people up to speed. By contrast, as time went on they stopped relying on narration to get the main story going. DYRL? and Plus had minor exposition while Flashback 2012 used no new dialogue, only animation.

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I found MEMO1DOMINION's intentions on crafting a brand new (Un?)official Robotech Reference Guide very interesting. What lineart would they use for the SDF-2? I wonder...

Probably the same lineart the Robotech.com Infopedia used... none at all.

Humor me here: Barring whatever you feel about Macross Frontier, how did that show gain such an active, devoted following compared to Shadow Chronicles? Was it because of the classic Macross love-triangle formula? Was it because of the characters? Better mecha design?

Didn't Shadow Chronicles sort of deliver on these as well?

Macross Frontier gained an active, devoted following because it was a good show. It had fairly good writers, excellent mechanical designs, downright incredible music, the whole nine yards. The characters were compelling, interesting, and developed as the story went on (except for Ranka), the mechanical designs were a mix of classic and new that was quite interesting (though I didn't really love them that much), and the story itself was original and quite well put together. So I guess you really could boil it down to being a new and original take on a classic formula.

There was nothing original or interesting about Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles. The characters and set pieces were all recycled from the "original" TV series and Robotech II: the Sentinels, there were no new songs of any kind, what little there was in the way of new mecha was all horribly generic and/or stolen from Battlestar Galactica, the animation looks like it was done on a shoestring budget (and it was), and the voice acting was nothing short of awful. It was like Harmony Gold decided to animate somebody's half-assed fanfic.

When you really think about it, it was probably a fortunate thing that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles was almost totally ignored by the anime fan community. It was a cheap, direct-to-DVD movie made to cash in on what little interest there was in the franchise, and it looks the part. Any sensible viewer would laugh it out of town as a horribly amateurish attempt to milk more money from the few fans they have left. If Robotech wasn't a virtual nonentity in the anime world, Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles might've gotten some serious critical attention, and the critics would've crucified it.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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Humor me here: Barring whatever you feel about Macross Frontier, how did that show gain such an active, devoted following compared to Shadow Chronicles? Was it because of the classic Macross love-triangle formula? Was it because of the characters? Better mecha design?

Didn't Shadow Chronicles sort of deliver on these as well?

What Seto said, plus some things I would like to add.

The only thing Shadow Chronicles delivered was an amateur animated movie with the Robtoech banner. Maia getting annoyed at Marcus and the guys staring at Janice's melons in a bar DOES NOT make a Macross Love-triangle, a few talented VAs don't make great charaters, and going 3d doesn't make mecha designs any better then when they were hand drawn on 2d paper.

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You forgot an important point about Frontier, Seto: it had an ending, probably two with the movie coming out.

With Shadow Chronicles... well, it's hard to tell if they had a plan besides from the leaked script or if they'll get to tell it anytime soon. Heck, they might stick to tradition and have it in comic or book form.

I don't know, but that's a basic storytelling problem to me.

EDIT: Maybe a production problem too, but come on HG. Even the Cylons had a plan and they kept reminding the audience almost every week about it. :lol:

Edited by Einherjar
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The only thing Shadow Chronicles delivered was an amateur animated movie with the Robtoech banner. Maia getting annoyed at Marcus and the guys staring at Janice's melons in a bar DOES NOT make a Macross Love-triangle, a few talented VAs don't make great charaters, and going 3d doesn't make mecha designs any better then when they were hand drawn on 2d paper.

Yeah, you've got some good points there too... I guess if you really wanted to be brutal, you could say that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles is a proper Robotech sequel the same way that Robotech 3000 was... nothing more than a below-average generic story with the name Robotech slapped on in hopes that the fans wouldn't notice that it was missing everything that made the TV series even remotely watchable.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the voice actors talented though. The "big name" voice talent that they were making a fuss about in the marketing blurb and the pre-release hype didn't do the movie any favors. Yes, they had Mark Hamill, but his character was killed off within the first twenty minutes. Chase Masterson barely had any acting credentials work speaking of, and I'll bet good money that she was only included in hopes of getting some Trekkies to buy the movie.

You forgot an important point about Frontier, Seto: it had an ending, probably two with the movie coming out.

With Shadow Chronicles... well, it's hard to tell if they had a plan besides from the leaked script or if they'll get to tell it anytime soon. Heck, they might stick to tradition and have it in comic or book form.

Yeah, I suppose you're right. Though I do tend to classify Robotech's traditional weak attempts at cliffhangers to be a type of ending too. A better way to put it might be that nothing was really resolved at the end of Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles. Sure, they'd changed ships, and they'd been attacked by the Haydonites, but the SDF-3 was still missing, still had a fuel crisis, etc. etc. etc. It was like the whole movie was one big side-story that didn't really matter.

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When you really think about it, it was probably a fortunate thing that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles was almost totally ignored by the anime fan community.

Wasn't it in Funimation's top ten bestsellers?

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This is something that's also been bothering me for the longest time, and I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on it: Is the Live Action Movie the death knell for regular ol' Macross in the States?

If I remember correctly, when Warner Brother's announced the Live Action Movie almost a year ago, the reception was INSANE. Variety and countless other numerous mainstream media portals reported on it. I'm sure Robotech.com's traffic received a massive spike as well. Last year's Robotech Comic-Con panel had a full house too (no movie info was released, just HG staffers boasting how healthy the franchise was... expect a repeat in this year's Comic-Con)

Will the American Otakus... and heck, the Japanese accept the Robotech movie? Last I heard, that Robotech movie was designed to Warner Brother's big blockbuster movie (merchandise, video games, tv show tie-ins, the works). All speculation at this point, of course, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

But actually and in point of fact there came a moment where people got sick and tired of the boobs and started making fun of it and it became sort of trendy to lowbrow anime for all the boobage and to talk about anime just being boobs and booms! Basically garbage.

Hmm... Just because Americans (or Korean-Americans, if you're being nit-picky) are at the helm with the Shadows "franchise", it's not "real" anime? ^_^

Play around with them a bit. Give your animation some characteristic style. Shadow Chronicles was flat in terms of design.

Did Shadow Chronicles fail to impress artistically because it was too close to the original series?

The problem might be narration style. Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles took 1/3 of the film to go over material from the previous series and set up this new chapter. Surprisingly, they killed off the narrator (maybe the Carl Macek insert for the story) who was an arguably important feature from the original series. He was replaced by a character(s) who may know more than they should about the past and current situation.

A bit off-topic, but I loved how the rebooted Star Trek handled their continuity. Casual folks could watch the movie and need not bother about the other Star Trek movies and its numerous spinoffs. Most of the backstory was neatly explained in the best-selling Star Trek: Countdown graphic novel.

In retrospect, Shadow Chronicles attempted to the same thing, but it boggles my mind to this day why the comic books made the story feel even more convoluted. Maybe Warner Brothers/HG should bring back Macek and do that time traveling plotline thing to reboot the franchise... (read: Robotech: Odyssey)

Probably the same lineart the Robotech.com Infopedia used... none at all.

I think the SDF-2 should have Zentraedi ships as arms.

Wasn't it in Funimation's top ten bestsellers?

Yes, it was.

Edited by chrisk
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Wasn't it in Funimation's top ten bestsellers?

Yeah, but wasn't that declaration made before Funimation picked up all those shows from Geneon? Back when Funimation's catalog was a cavalcade of mediocrity?

Sales to people who were already fans is one thing, the movie still failed spectacularly in its stated goal of bringing new fans into the franchise and returning Robotech to the cultural spotlight. It was ignored by the mainstream anime fans, and pretty much any publication that wasn't already kissing Harmony Gold's ass.

This is something that's also been bothering me for the longest time, and I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on it: Is the Live Action Movie the death knell for regular ol' Macross in the States?

No.

In fact, considering the overwhelmingly negative fan response to the idea of a "reimagined" Macross Saga, I'd say that Macross may well be the death knell for the live-action Robotech movie, either because of the inherent legal ramifications, or the fact that the fans don't want Baytech with their Bayformers.

If I remember correctly, when Warner Brother's announced the Live Action Movie almost a year ago, the reception was INSANE. Variety and countless other numerous mainstream media portals reported on it. I'm sure Robotech.com's traffic received a massive spike as well. Last year's Robotech Comic-Con panel had a full house too (no movie info was released, just HG staffers boasting how healthy the franchise was... expect a repeat in this year's Comic-Con)

Your memory and mine don't line up very well on this subject... I don't recall it getting much of any media attention. The response to most of it was an overwhelming "What's Robotech?". There's been precious little interest in the movie since, with only a few sites actually bothering to post what little news has come out on the film. Robotech.com remains the only site that really seems to give a damn.

Plus, a WB-sponsored media blitz does not mean the movie is well-received or hotly anticipated... it means Warner paid a lot out of pocket to try and build awareness in a public that largely doesn't even remember what Robotech was.

Will the American Otakus... and heck, the Japanese accept the Robotech movie? Last I heard, that Robotech movie was designed to Warner Brother's big blockbuster movie (merchandise, video games, tv show tie-ins, the works). All speculation at this point, of course, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

If it were a straight-up adaptation of Macross, it might have a chance. But it's a reimagining, mainly to get around the fact that they can't legally use anything from Macross in the live-action Robotech movie. The fans have already made their displeasure known. Remember how everyone thought that Speed Racer and Dragonball Evolution were going to set the world on fire? Of course you don't, nobody gave a damn about those movies either, and they fizzled in theaters. Expect the same from Robotech, if it even gets that far.

Did Shadow Chronicles fail to impress artistically because it was too close to the original series?

Shadow Chronicles failed to impress (artistically) because it was a thoroughly unoriginal fan-wank with no story, unlikeable characters, bad music, no new mecha designs, and shoestring-budget animation.

In short, the reason it failed to artistically impress anyone is because it was a movie utterly lacking in artistic merit of any kind.

It was NOTHING like the "original" series, which despite all its faults, actually had a story, some relateable characters, and some interesting mecha designs.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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what little there was in the way of new mecha was all horribly generic and/or stolen from Battlestar Galactica

Stolen from Battlestar Galactica? Huh? I didn't see any monkeys in costumes or guys in disco shorts.

When you really think about it, it was probably a fortunate thing that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles was almost totally ignored by the anime fan community. It was a cheap, direct-to-DVD movie made to cash in on what little interest there was in the franchise, and it looks the part. Any sensible viewer would laugh it out of town as a horribly amateurish attempt to milk more money from the few fans they have left. If Robotech wasn't a virtual nonentity in the anime world, Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles might've gotten some serious critical attention, and the critics would've crucified it.

Just like how the critics gave serious attention to the Iron Man direct to DVD cartoon movie, right?

Edited by Ginrai
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The reaction over Dragonball Evolution may have changed the perception of similar works (Asian/anime material) as instant money makers for Hollywood. It did do better in Asia over the Americas and Europe maybe, but other productions will have to do better to avoid the same fiasco. Making it vaguely similar to the source and putting a (different) label on it isn't going to work anymore.

But licensing will be a big problem for Robotech too (other people wrote it better than I ever can here previously, so I won't even try to explain it).

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He means the Haydonite stuff which was all super generic sci-fi.

Yeah, with particular attention to the Haydonite mecha, which looked a lot like a mix of the old and new versions of the Cylon Raider. <_<

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Right. The plot was also really generic even with the Robotech trappings. The fact they brought in Mark Hamill and made him do his Wing Commander catchphrase for the trailer makes me think the whole thing felt more like a mid 90's era space sim. The awful graphics don't help. Guess what? Those are totally dead too.

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If I remember correctly, when Warner Brother's announced the Live Action Movie almost a year ago, the reception was INSANE. Variety and countless other numerous mainstream media portals reported on it. I'm sure Robotech.com's traffic received a massive spike as well. Last year's Robotech Comic-Con panel had a full house too (no movie info was released, just HG staffers boasting how healthy the franchise was... expect a repeat in this year's Comic-Con)

Variety and many of those entertainment outlets are entertainment news publications. They are in the business of reporting entertainment news. Licensing RT for a live-action production is entertainment news.

While TransBayformers and a few others, may have been gold, other productions have faltered. Now, TF:RotF will probably be a hit, but at the same time, G.I. Joe:RoC might be looking at a bust. And with other anime icons like those mentioned in the post above stumbling in the box office, WB is probably taking a wait-and-see approach to a RT-LAM. Licensing issues aside, the feedback from turning old series or comics into live-action movies has been quite bumpy. While we have a few successful franchises, we also have ones that just couldn't stand up.

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It's just that I was led to believe that Shadow Chronicles was so lucrative that it was able to spawn three video releases in two years (DVD, Special Ed DVD Blu-ray). But despite this alleged success, tthe Robotech community seemed DOA.

See, here's the thing.... Shadow Chronicles WASN'T that lucractive.

Both DVDs were horrible shelfwarmers.

The BluRay release I can't really speak to, as I don't look at the BR sections much, what with not owning a BR player. I don't really expect it to move much better.

That's about all I really have to say on the issue. I haven't watched Shadow Chronicles.

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See, here's the thing.... Shadow Chronicles WASN'T that lucractive.

Both DVDs were horrible shelfwarmers.

Well, yes.

We can be fairly certain that the actual sales figures for Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles are setting no sales records, except possibly at the Robotech.com online store. Still, since the profits from the DVD sales were enough to cover the film's production costs several times over, which does technically make it a financial success. In the context of the film's budget, which was confirmed to be less than $1 million, it's a lot less impressive than it sounds.

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This is something that's also been bothering me for the longest time, and I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on it: Is the Live Action Movie the death knell for regular ol' Macross in the States?

Mainstream American will always see Macross AND Robotech as mere cartoons in the footnote of the LAM as the material that inspired by and not really care. If the Robotech LAM somehow becomes the next Darknight and leads to a new Robotech series on Cartoon Network or something I can see HG continuing to be the c@$Kblock of Macross for the American market, but it won't change Macross's popularity with American fans. So don't expect Macross fans to throw their Macross DVDs in the trash over the Robotech LAM or anything.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the voice actors talented though. The "big name" voice talent that they were making a fuss about in the marketing blurb and the pre-release hype didn't do the movie any favors. Yes, they had Mark Hamill, but his character was killed off within the first twenty minutes. Chase Masterson barely had any acting credentials work speaking of, and I'll bet good money that she was only included in hopes of getting some Trekkies to buy the movie.

I was thinking specifically of Dan Worren's role. We know him best as the voice of Roy Fokker from Robotech and Yang Newman in the English dub of Macross Plus. Obviously throwing Roy's voice over General Reinhardt doesn't make the character as great as Roy.

what little there was in the way of new mecha was all horribly generic and/or stolen from Battlestar Galactica

Don't forgot that the shiny new shadow tech being a Trojan horse by the Haydonites subplot is a ripoff of the Cyclon EMP assault in the first episode of BSG. As for the Haydonite battle cruisers, they yelled replicator ship from Stargate meets Shivan cruiser from Freespace.

Edited by Freiflug88
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I was thinking specifically of Dan Worren's role. We know him best as the voice of Roy Fokker from Robotech and Yang Newman in the English dub of Macross Plus. Obviously throwing Roy's voice over General Reinhardt doesn't make the character as great as Roy.

I have to admit the first time I watched Shadow Chronicles, with vague knowledge about Robotech beforehand, I had no idea the significance of most of the actors chosen for the film. I thought they just hired people from the same talent pool most English dubbed anime turn to. Kind of ironic, at least I think, that one of the selling points about the film is that they brought back a lot of Robotech "alumni" to the project, but they've all worked on so many other series together that it really isn't a big deal. Anyway, I quickly recognized Dan Warren from Macross Plus, because it really was just Yang Neuman with no change in voice acting style, and didn't really care for the rest.

Of course, I also recognized Mark Hamill and maybe Chase Masterson, if only because ads wouldn't stop mentioning them. But after watching the movie I wished they'd stop because they didn't matter anyway.

EDIT: I forgot that Janice is still alive after Shadow Chronicles, maybe people should ask Chase Masterson if HG got in touch with her to work on Shadow Rising. :lol:

Edited by Einherjar
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Kind of ironic, at least I think, that one of the selling points about the film is that they brought back a lot of Robotech "alumni" to the project, but they've all worked on so many other series together that it really isn't a big deal.

Tell that to the Robotech fans who screamed that Tony Oliver and Dan Warren should have voiced Young Simon and Kamina in Gurren Lagann.

EDIT: I forgot that Janice is still alive after Shadow Chronicles, maybe people should ask Chase Masterson if HG got in touch with her to work on Shadow Rising. laugh.gif

Great idea. "Hey Janice... ah I mean Chase what song did you sing when you committed suicide to defeated the Haydonites in Robotech: Deep Shadow Nine?

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In fact, considering the overwhelmingly negative fan response to the idea of a "reimagined" Macross Saga, I'd say that Macross may well be the death knell for the live-action Robotech movie, either because of the inherent legal ramifications, or the fact that the fans don't want Baytech with their Bayformers.

A lot of long-time Robotech fans are praying that by 2010, production for the Live Action Movie would have begun, although the current "news blackout" (since the late 2007 movie announcement) leads me to believe that Warner Brothers had no idea how complicated the legal wrangling was...

Who knows? Maybe come Comic Con 2009, Harmony Gold/WB will announce that Big West decided to surrender all their rights to Macross after two years of intense negotiations and everyone can finally get on with their lives. ^_^

since the profits from the DVD sales were enough to cover the film's production costs several times over, which does technically make it a financial success.

You're absolutely right, Seto. I suppose Shadow Chronicles did prove to the powers-that-be that Robotech can stand on its own without Macross, and that milking the Mospeada franchise is... somewhat "profitable". Am I right, or am I right? :lol:

If the Robotech LAM somehow becomes the next Darknight and leads to a new Robotech series on Cartoon Network or something I can see HG continuing to be the c@$Kblock of Macross for the American market, but it won't change Macross's popularity with American fans.

Sounds pretty grim, actually. Macross fans might end up like the aging Japanese population...

...or simply outdated in an increasingly Robotech-ized world. :blink:

Great idea. "Hey Janice... ah I mean Chase what song did you sing when you committed suicide to defeated the Haydonites in Robotech: Deep Shadow Nine?

Shame. Chase Masterson is actually very nice in person. She doesn't know the fate that awaits her character in Shadow Rising. She deserves more.

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As I've been reading the last page, there are a few things that I found that seperated RTSC from Frontier. First off, let me just say that I'm not just a mecha anime watcher, or just a Macross fan. I have roughly 400 anime titles at home, and I've seen about 95% of them. That said, there are some things I've noticed that seperated the good vs. decent vs. bad anime titles. Most titles with a good and decent rating by me (and overall by numerous other fansites and whatnot), is the fact that that they either have a great story, or great characters (visual and character development), or great action sequence. A lot of anime has had one or two of those basis present, and may lack in the other. These shows have still turned out well. With Macross Frontier, it incorporates all aspects mentioned, to create a complete and intriguing anime to watch. So much so, that it's present in the selling product. There's product for sale of the characters that we buy, also in the mecha. It's success as a story being told is evident in the creation of OVAs. The music and the amount of CDs being sold and popularity prove that even that was given to great detail.

In looking at RTSC, it's been generally panned in all those areas mentioned above. And not by just MWers. What RavenHawk explained previously is generally shared by many, many people, save the few people still on rt.com. Somehow, even some of them realize it's vast shortcomings. I'm not gonna say it was all bad, I thought the BGM for RTSC was quite well done. Unfortunately, I know HG will not be using Scott Glasgow again. Ford Riley did what he could with what he was given, and to say he did a bad job in writing is directed in the wrong area. If you were given free reign to write a story, then basically dictated what it had to be for about 90% of it, would you still consider yourself as having free reign in writing?

The voice actors did a fine job, but with script, it seems like RTSC was garbage in/garbage out. Even the best VAs around can't save a dry, poorly written scripts. To answer your question chrisk, those are the differences I see in a broad sense. Robotech does need to be seperated from from it's beginnings. Like Macross Frontier did, they created new just about everything, and still had moderate throwbacks to the original, which catered to older fans, and made good references for new fans to check the originals.

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This also helps in keeping Macross alive amongst the older and young fanbase. Just thought I'd send this here for a little lightening up for a bit.

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Who knows? Maybe come Comic Con 2009, Harmony Gold/WB will announce that Big West decided to surrender all their rights to Macross after two years of intense negotiations and everyone can finally get on with their lives. ^_^

Yes, and maybe afterward Shoji Kawamori and Tommy Yune will ride Unicorns to Hogwarts and board a winged mushroom for a flight to the Sherbet Kingdom. <_<

Or maybe the planet will suddenly reverse its orbit tomorrow and fling us all into space.

Seriously... Big West surrendering their rights to Macross? Fat chance. That thing's a cash cow and they KNOW IT. They'd have to be blind not to, since Macross Frontier merchandise is selling like mad, and sales of the DVD broke Bandai's blu-ray sales records. If Big West ever does license the intellectual property of the original series to Harmony Gold, it'll be because Harmony Gold agrees to be contractually sodomized in hopes that the Macross designs will liven up the dreck that is Shadow Chronicles.

You're absolutely right, Seto. I suppose Shadow Chronicles did prove to the powers-that-be that Robotech can stand on its own without Macross, and that milking the Mospeada franchise is... somewhat "profitable". Am I right, or am I right? :lol:

Not necessarily... Macross characters were STILL plot-critical to Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles, which is what necessitated the killing-off of everybody except Rick and Lisa, and the redesigning of those two into something that bears NO resemblance to the original Mikimoto character designs. All it likely convinced them of was the fact that the Robotech fanbase is SO gullible that they'll buy ANYTHING, no matter how poor the quality, just so long as there's somebody named Rick Hunter in it, and that continuing to recycle old characters, plot devices, mecha designs, etc. is more profitable than making original content.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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Please don't tell me that they didn't snag Cam Clarke to do the voice of Maximilliam Sterling in "The Shadow Chronocles".

I can see why he used a pseudonym when he did the original Macross Saga of Robotech.

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