Tuesday, March 31, 2009

:anime: April Fool's Look-Back:: An Open Letter to ADV: Stop Butchering Robotech

If it is to be believed, April Fool's Day is almost upon us, and aside from my ritualistic playing of jokes, I liked to start certain threads on forums around this time of the year. One of my favorites was this particular one that was an open letter to ADV in protest to their egregious hack-job on Robotech, repackaged as something called...Macross? This was posted on the currently-hibernating AnimeX.Com forums in 2006, around the time when the distributor re-released the venerable series on DVD (AnimEigo being the first, in 2001), which makes it an appropriate "look-back" now, coming off the heels of Macross Frontier's big success...


An Open Letter to ADV: Stop Butchering Robotech

Dear ADV Films:

I recently purchased your release of Macross Vol. 1, due in part to its supposed tie-in to Robotech. However, I am very appalled by the nature of the series itself, which appears to be nothing more than a hacked apart clone of an American classic.

First, you replaced the names with new ones, such as Rick Hunter now being called “Hikaru Ichijo,” and the Veritechs being renamed “Valkyries.” Then, you further change the show by cutting off large portions of it and repackaging it as “Super Dimensional Fortress Macross.” I understand that Robotech has been a very profitable franchise, but I do not think that gives you or anyone else the right to butcher it so and make it your own series. Many people put a great amount of care and effort into the production of all 85 episodes, and I am sure that the likes of Carl Macek and Harmony Gold would be sadden to see their work squandered away into a hacked-up, compressed 26 episode compilation.

Yes, it may be trendy nowadays to model shows after Japanese animation, like the kind you famously distribute, but it is no reason to do the same for an already established show. It is unfortunate to see this occur once again, as you have already treaded similar grounds with Robotech with such titles as “Genesis Climber Mospeada” and “Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross.” I was also disappointed to see that the old dub cast was replaced with newer English and Japanese actors. It’s a real shame, since Lynn’s Robotech voice actress was so great in her role.

In closing, I do hope you leave Robotech the way it is and not disturb it in the same manner as you have with “Macross” and the other two shows. Doing so only serves to be a great insult to the artists and writers who put their hard work into making the series the way it is.

Quinn Mathis


Before anyone gets the wrong idea (and some had), I'm a Macross fan and not a Robotech one. It was both fun and cringe-inducing writing the "letter" and it turned out better than I had hoped. The rough draft version was too fanboy-ish in tone and not in the more controlled, serious tone that I was trying to strike, so the subsequent revamp and the streamlined final version captured what I had intended pretty closely. It seemed to have gone over well enough with other forum members, so that made it more worthwhile. Now hopefully, some company won't pull an April Fool's prank and "announce" that they got Macross Frontier... ;P

Not that it wouldn't be hilarious or anything...

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