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The Asian ApertureRobotech Memories
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, November 25, 2012    Share

Love it or hate it, Robotech helped popularize anime in American. I remember just after graduating high school and before starting college, I would take a Saturday day trip; just for Robotech. I would get together with my buddy, usually around 4pm or 5pm. We would ride in his car for about 40-minutes to get to E Bay Dr in Largo where Camelot used to be located. Camelot was a comic specialty store that was one of the few places to get anime on video cassette without having to mail order from a Sci Fi magazine like Starlog or from an Anime catalogue. I have always wondered when Camelot went out of business. I think I went for a drive, sometime in the early 90ís, and it was no longer at the strip mall.

My buddy always did the buying. I usually looked around at the comics. Back then Robotech was available from Family Home Entertainment with two episodes per tape for about $29.99. So to get the entire 85-episode series you had to buy 42 tapes, so it was quite costly to buy it all at once. Not like today when you can easily find the entire series on DVD or available through an online streaming service such as Netflix. We didnít have that in 1988 and we were overflowing with joy just for two episodes per tape. Luckily my friend was still living at home or this venture would be impossible. I had an apartment so money was always a big concern. After shopping at Camelot, we would drive back to Tampa and we usually stopped at the Taco Bell on Ulmerton for dinner. Then we would go back to my apartment to watch the two episodes and play Nintendo games like Ninja Gaiden and the Castlevania series.

So what makes Robotech so special? Back in the 70ís giant robots were very popular in Japan and the US tried to break into that market with Mattelís Shogun Warrior toys and a Marvel comic book series. The first show that sold me on the giant robot genre was Robotech. The art was stunning, the mech designs were killer, and the space battles reminded me of Star Wars (1977.)

I first saw it in junior high school back when I was a student at Monroe Junior High in South Tampa. Robotech was on the air very early back in 1985. The fighter pilots were awesome characters and a little later in 1986, Top Gun would come out and become a big hit.
The bad thing about seeing Robotech on TV was that sometimes you would miss an episode, for whatever reason, and with a show such as Robotech, you had to see them in consecutive order.

There is a lot of fan backlash aimed at Carl Macek because he took three series and combined them together to create Robotech. He also had to heavily edit all the episodes and localize them for a Western audience. Anime purists will tell you to seek out the original series called The Super Dimension Fortess Macross. However, in all fairness to Macek, to sell an anime series for the US market for television, you had to have 65 episodes and Macross was only 36. Carl Macek had to take Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA to get close to the 65 episode minimum limit, otherwise Robotech would have never been shown on TV and its influence would have likely been much less. Now fans have a choice, you can watch Robotech on Netflix and accept the edits or you can buy the original Macross series on DVD and see how it was intended. I would love to see Macross but it is easier for me to just watch Robotech on Netflix. Either way you choose to see it is up to you, it is a good series and one of the biggest influences in anime.

Just check out the first Robotech episode as humans discover a crashed alien ship and learn to use the technology to create jet planes that can transform into robots. It is humanity only defense against a giant alien race called the Zentraedi. This conflict leads to war as the Zentraedi try to recuse their ship. The characters are great and the action is intense. After watching that first episode, you will find yourself watching 2, 3 and so on.

Robotech is a classic Sci Fi anime series that influences a generation of kids and teenagers in the 80ís and is still being watched today.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2012 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2012 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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