Vlog 04.30.2011 – In The Beginning …

Through thick and thin, there are three multimedia sci-fi franchises that will always garner a look-see from me, three never-ending sagas I’ll always be curious about whenever they rise again. This week I look inward and try and explain exactly why these three, echoing out from my earliest days, still speak to me on some level. If you know me at all (or check the tags for this post) you know what three they are. You might even be able to guess why they still fascinate me so. Regardless, give it a look and let me know what you think.

Did this week’s video in 4:3 because I wasn’t too keen on cutting the top of my own head off again. Trimmed a few digressions here and there, but I still clocked in at a hair over twenty minutes. If everything goes according to plan, next week’s will be much shorter, albeit similarly self-indulgent. Should still be interesting for fellow Robotech fans, though.

In other news, I got caught up with the X-Men anime this week and thought this particular shot of Cyclops from episode four was amusing.

This just isn't turning out to be Scott's day.

Second part of the first Doctor Who story of the season airs today and, same as last week, I’ll have some thoughts on it up here on Sunday. I’m going to try and craft those thoughts into a more coherent shape this week, as I wasn’t too keen on the rambling ramshackle form of the first “Eleven For Eleven.” We’ll see how THAT goes. And of course, the week ahead will bring another five days of Robotech, as Minmei’s movie premieres, Zentraedi soldiers take to the streets of Macross City once more, and the first steps are made towards peace between man and alien.


3 thoughts on “Vlog 04.30.2011 – In The Beginning …

  1. Sadly, I’ve never had a truly revitalized, in-depth fandom experience with anything that I was obsessed with before the age of twelve. Some material from my childhood I do return to as an adult and still find it engaging, but all of the fandoms I’ve had an in-depth involvement with have come later.

    Since the age of twelve, however, there has been Transformers. I saw Transformers: Beast Wars and it gradually grew into a full-blown fandom experience. Beast Wars is still my favourite TF series–not even Animated can touch it (though Animated was very good).

    Like you (which surprised me) I have a real love for the 1986 Transformers characters, with Rodimus Prime being my favourite. I first encountered them long after their actual arrival in popular culture, though around 1998 when I rented the Movie on VHS.

    I’m a bit pickier than you are, unable to cope with the different characterizations that the old UK comics and the modern comics offer, though I’ve certainly tried. The “white Prime” version of Ultra Magnus was also disappointing. The cartoon versions might not have been all they could, but their basic roles and characterizations top any other depiction.

    http://incisivis.livejournal.com/463540.html — I go into greater detail here.

    My experience with Robotech is, of course, not a childhood experience but a funny sort of cosmic blip.

    I’ve been thinking about watching some Dr. Who, and I’m embarrassed to admit that the idea is finally gaining some steam because Eleven looks like such a fun guy…and that he reminds me of Rico.

  2. This is a great topic and post. It’s almost uncanny how similar our experiences with Robotech were, but I guess similar experiences would lead to similar results, so perhaps it is understandable.

    Robotech is probably my oldest love. I first saw the show back in ’85 (I was 5 at the time), and thought it was the greatest thing ever. Oddly, I don’t remember any thing about the circumstances of viewing the show; just that it came on in the afternoon and I really liked it. Eventually, it went off the air and I never really saw or heard anything about it again, but the memory of how awesome that show was stuck with me.

    Nearly 8 years later, I happened to be flipping through the local TV channels, and came across Robotech. I was floored and so excited. At long last, I would be able to re-watch the show I had loved as a kid. What was interesting to me was how my memories of the show compared with the actual show.

    My memories of the Masters segment were probably the weakest. I remembered the 15th squad breaking into the Master’s ship at one point, the really weird technology, and a human ship ramming a masters ship (in this case it was the Tristar not the Tokugawa), but that was about it.

    I had slightly better memories from the Invid segment, but it was fascinating how the images in my head didn’t quite match up with the real thing, nor was the entire context there. I remembered that Scott was always talking about some dude in space, I remember when they got extra fighters at some battle field, I remembered an episode about a old ship ramming a hive, and I even remembered the group eventually confronting and talking with the Regis, but not, somehow, the huge-ass space battle going on to the same time.

    I’m digressing a bit, but what I’m getting at is that part of the appeal of Robotech were those fond memories – the sense of mystery about “that show” I remembered as a kid, and then the new sense of mystery and wonder as I tried to put the pieces together now that I had access to the show once again. I know this is a subject we’ve both mentioned before, but the sense of wonder and mystery and the possibilities of untold stories hinted at throughout the series really appeals to me, and I guess that remaining ambiguity as it exists now recalls those old feelings from childhood.

    Anyway, not long after rediscovering the series on TV, I found the novels and the animation from the Sentinels, and then years later Robotech.com and your blog. During all this time, Robotech has remained in my heart.

    Oddly, I can’t think of another show from the 80’s that has had similar appeal. I watched Thunder Cats and Transformers, of course, but they never clicked with me the same way Robotech had. Maybe it was because the toys for the other 80’s shows were so ubiquitous where as Robotech’s weren’t (at least where I lived), which added to the mystique.

    The next closest thing I can think of was the Secret of NIMH. I first saw this movie back in 2nd grade, and it made quite an impression, most because of the horrific lab sequence. I’m not sure how well this counts though as it isn’t really a series. There basically hasn’t been any new NIMH material since the movie – other than the horrible direct to DVD sequel WHICH WE WILL NOT SPEAK OF, so there isn’t anything to follow.

    Although a bit more contemporary, my love of the Sonic the Hedgehog series follows this same pattern. I happened to catch a random episode from the Saturday morning (SatAM) TV series (this would be the one that didn’t suck) while visiting relatives in another state (by chance our ABC affiliate did not carry the show back home). I fell in love with the show (probably b/c Sally was hot – ha!) but b/c it wasn’t carried in Atlanta, I forgot about it until I saw a SatAM VHS on a store shelf almost 2 years later. This led to an interest in Sonic, Sega video games, and all kinds of madness. Even though the TV show is long gone and (non-2D) Sonic video games generally suck, I still religiously buy the comic as I have for the past 16 or 17 years. And, interesting, for many the same reason that you still follow super hero comics – I like the artists and the stories. I don’t really care that much about Sonic, but Archie Comics has, in spite of periods of considerable incompetence, produced a universe full of interesting characters.

    This is getting long, so I’ll stop here, but I think I’ve covered most of my big childhood influences anyway. For laughs, I’ll leave this example of very early Robotech fan art ;)


  3. “Robotech” has been the one franchise that’s really stuck with me through the years. I was eight years old when I first saw it. I had watched, at some point, just about every animated show that a young boy might’ve been interested in at that time. But the richness of the “Robotech” story and the show’s characters made it stand out. Also, there was something mesmerizing about the original Veritech fighter. The F-14 like design of the fighter made it so much more realistic than anything I’d seen on other shows. Also, as you mentioned, there’s something intriguing about the stuff in “Robotech” that we never see, that’s never fully explained. I wonder sometimes if a true “universal reboot” could ever be done of the franchise. Something that would pull all of the disperate elements of the franchise into a unified story. I’d like to be hopeful that the live-action movie will do this. But…

    Other than “Robotech,” “Star Trek” is probably the only other franchise that’s continually held my interest over the years. I was way into “Star Wars” when I was very young but “Empire Strikes Back” freaked me out so much (I was five when I saw it the first time) that I lost interest in the franchise. By the time “Return Of The Jedi” came out, I had moved on to the other things. I had a brief resurgence of interest in “Star Wars” when the Timothy Zahn novels were published in the mid-90’s. But overall, I find the universe that Lucas created to be kinda weak and somewhat one-dimensional.

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