8.27.2009

"Dying under the command of a ditzy teenager isn't exactly how I hoped I would go out."

ep38: false start

I'm rooting for the Masters arc, because it's the one I remember the least. So far it's AWESOME. This ep has the tank squad brawling with the air squad...an unexplained Mutant Dog...Dana pulls a sweet jump on a hover bike that takes out this Gort-looking MP robot...AND Nova Satori. If she assured my right to a speedy trial, she would be a writ of Babe-us Corpus.
Lesson Learned From Robotech #37.2:

Right after a knife fight that you both survive, if your opponent is a woman, it's a good time to propose marriage to her.

ep37: dana's story


"Robotech Masters" aka "Southern Cross" was like the 3rd Voltron series that never came out, but people vaguely remembered that there should be one because of some toy packaging images. Southern Cross is like Magical Mystery Tour. It's no one's favorite and kind of hard to get into because there's a lot of hippie stuff with flowers and clones, the Robotech Masters are basically three old dudes in a room grumbling and they're on screen a lot, and also the aliens' mecha just aren't very cool in this one.

However, it has a lot to recommend it, such as:

* The human heroes wear really cool warrior armor which apparently comes in 800 different styles despite the fact we only really follow one team around for the whole series. Someone was a stud and really designed the shit out all those armors in Centurion, Samurai, Knight, and Looks-Really-Hard-To-See-Out-Of fashions.
* Nova Satori. If she were the Spanish word for "library," she would be a babe-lioteca.
* After you absorbed the concept of "this is a new series but it's the same series," the yoking itself became novel and raised all sorts of questions to stimulate the young mind, e.g: How is this possible? Are all Japanese cartoons about the same thing? How can both series have 3-in-1 robots AND siren pop singers involved? Will this go on forever (please)? Is Carl Macek some sort of mental genius? Why is Dana blonde? If I coupled with an alien, would my child also have a chance to be blonde, and have an afro, and ESP?

Anyway, this 1st episode is pretty much just a recap of the fight in "Farewell Big Brother," and Miriya being sultry. With my grownup knowledge of editing, I can appreciate what an elegant mashup it is of two shows that AFAIK originally had nothing to do with each other.

ep36: to the stars


The fourth-most heartwrenching ep of the Macross series, after "Farewell Big Brother," "The Big Escape," and "Force of Arms." 'Cause it's the end, and a whole lotta people die, and by that time, you knew that was just how this series rolled. You understood that you have to get people to sign your yearbook, in case something happens.

This was a weird one because as a kid I didn't know what was going on with this series. Its unprecedented merging of 3 original series meant NO ONE knew what was going on. I looked breathlessly forward to the "In the next episode..." segment as any devoted TV watcher does. In the next episode, we were going to start a WHOLE NEW EPIC. What? With a chick with a blonde afro? Mom, I don't get it. Is it over?

Since most series I'd followed up to now were episodic and non-teleological (I think that's a word), it was a big shock. That is, Spider-Man, G.I. Joe, Ultraman, et al., didn't really go anywhere. They were self-contained and predictable with no long-running storylines. Spider-Man doesn't even experience time, when you get down to it, that guy has been 23 for 40 years. But digressing...Robotech was my first experience with a long-running story where you learned and changed with the characters, and then the world utterly transformed, and you learned to go with that new world too. So it was a lot like...growing up.

***This I reconstructed all from memory because this VHS tape doesn't even HAVE episode 36 on it. Someone had a real life to tend to that day, I suppose.

ep35: season's greetings

Minmay makes a Christmas booty call on Rick. Or it seems like a booty call, and then it's just blah blah blah, my fame, my career, everybody wants me, "my life is a song," my cousin wants to marry me, me me me. Jesus, Minmay! Get a blog why don't you?

I also just wanna point out that the news agency on the TV Rick watches is called "N.W.A." Nippon Hoso Kyokai With Attitude?

ep34: private time

Piano instrumental of Yellow Dancer's closing song for the series, playing BG at Rick and Minmay's date. Never knew that.

8.26.2009

ep33: rainy night

Rick asks Vanessa the nerdy bridge officer girl out, spontaneously, to prove to Lisa that his personal life is personal. Vanessa spills the beans, telling Rick that Lisa's crushed out on her, and Rick doesn't believe it. I forgot about that scene. It's great.
Also, Khyron and Azonia get drunk and make out while eerie music plays. Something creepy about that too.

Also, there's a weird scene where a battloid lights a Zentraedi's cigarette with his rifle. Just too much going on in this one.

ep32: broken heart

This one gave/gives me that icked-out feeling. Something about the way Khyron plays with Minmay and Kyle when they're his captives. It's just sick. Like he's gonna dip them in honey mustard sauce, while she's still singing. Maybe it's because Khyron kinda reminds me of a foppish, predatory Brad Pitt. Oh wait, Brad Pitt wasn't invented until the 90's. That's not possible.

ep31: khyron's revenge

This episode is too political for me. A lot of debating over the Protoculture chamber. I liked it better when Protoculture was this ethereal concept, like the Force, or the Birds & the Bees.

The fight where Khyron steals the chamber is pretty sick, though. His mono-boob battle armors take those Destroids to town. Damn! Sucks to be you brown Veritech! I'm Khyron, Micronian Bitches!

ep30: viva miriya


MIRIYA: Max, do you think there's any chance Rick won't consent to touch lips with Lisa?
MAX: Don't worry, Miriya. Rick's a professional.

I can't stand it....I just can't stand it...

This is also the ep where Miriya takes her BABY in her JETPLANE and uses it as a shock-and-awe weapon against the enemy, as part of a three-pronged attack involving kiss, disco song, and cute Hapa baby! Aiiiighhh! There will be no survivors!

ep29: Robotech Masters

NARRATOR: "What a change this is! From ruthless warlord to somewhat uncomfortable host? This mission is getting stranger all the time!"

...as is your narration, dude.
I think they were stoned while dubbing this one.
GUY IN CAFE (leering at Lisa): Ooh, check this out Fred! Oooh. Boy, the women were dealt all the aces. They can have anybody they wanna have.
LISA (V.O.): That's all you know about it, my fat friend. Here's one woman who would trade every ace in the deck for one Rick Hunter.

Oh, Lisa. Lisa Lisa.

You are going to be played by Laura Linney in the movie and there's nothing you can do about it, you stoic angsty willow of a woman you.

ep28: reconstruction blues

Lisa: "Why does his bedroom always look like someone's been sleeping in it?"

I dunno, Mr. Macek. Why does my bathroom always look like someone's been bathing in it? That was either a brilliant line or a not-thought-out one...or, like most of my pickup lines, BOTH in ONE!
Lesson Learned From Robotech #27.1:

Planetwide devastation sets a romantic mood.

"You can do it Minmay, remember today you're singing for everyone!"
"Yes I know but I just want you to understand I'm really singing for you!"

Although this dialogue sounds like something Gwen Stefani probably says backstage all the time, if there is a just God, Minmay will be played in the movie by Kelly Clarkson.

ep27: force of arms


It's on. This episode has the unbelievable awesome that makes you want to shed tears of geekiness.

It's so awesome it has an Orguss in it.

It's so awesome, it has a Minmay song that is not "Stagefright."

It's so awesome, I forget my problems and prance around the house going, "We WILL win. We ARE all stars and we see that! I am a fucking HERO. I am footloose AND in the danger zone. Yeah!"

It's awesome because in the end it's all about love.

ep26: the messenger

All of Minmay's songs sound like a slow jam by Surface.

This ep is pretty hilarious.
Breetai: "This woman has a voice that can make a man feel sorrow."

DELIVERY SO FUNNY GOING TO DIE LAFFING. Auugh.

Max is majorly my hero.

ep25: wedding bells

The narrator SNICKERS in the opening: "But now Max faces a different problem. After all...heh heh...what do you say to a girl you met just a few hours ago." Are narrators supposed to be dirty old men? Or have a sense of humor?

Miriya girls up pretty quick, with the pink dress, losing most of her appeal.

ep24: showdown


Armored Veritech! Sooooo cool.

Max challenges Miriya in the arcade, because THAT'S how you get the cool chicks.

The voice actor for Miriya really knows how to bring the sexy.

Kyle lets the press know he want to propose to Minmay. GOD that guy is a douche.

Claudia prods Rick in the direction of Lisa. I'm just summarizing now. This liveblog is a big career move, honest.

ep23: reckless


Rick and Lisa have this cute scene of taking care of Minmay's folks' Chinese restaurant amidst wreckage.

I wonder if the Battlestar Galactica people watch Robotech? The formula of space battles with the emotional beats of soap operas seems distinctly similar.

The dialogue is really sharp in this one. The scene of granting the three spies political asylum. Rick, to the attacking battlepods: "Go Home! Sorry, Commander, that didn't work."

God this show is good. I wish my Prius transformed into something.
These VHS tapes are missing a few episodes (as my own hand-taped collection did...aww!) such as the one where Ben Dixon gets killed by the overloading defense shield. The shot where Rick crosses himself in his cockpit...almost gave me religion.

8.25.2009

Minmay shows some class in this one.

ep20: paradise lost

SAMMIE: Maybe they come in peace this time?
SDF BRIDGE CREW: Hnnnh?
SAMMIE: Right. Probably not.
:)

Lesson Learned From Robotech #18.5: (There were a lot of them in this episode)

Re: Minmei's visit to Rick in the hospital....

Sometimes the girl doesn't want to kiss you. Sometimes they just want to fall asleep on the edge of your bed.
"It has never been a game, Claudia. Maybe someday you'll understand that."
-- Roy Fokker's last words

Lesson Learned From Robotech #18.3
Sometimes The Good Guy Dies.

Tranformers the Movie wasn't quite out yet, so this was probably the first time I saw a major hero in a cartoon die. And anyway the Transformers are all freakin' robots. This was a guy dying of bullet wounds. Without even getting to eat his favorite pineapple salad. I mean, that was huge I was like what? The fact that you have a plane that turns into a robot and also an armed goose doesn't make you invincible? Holy....I lost my shit right there.

Here it is. Best duel in the whole series. Max vs. Miriya.

Their ret-conned fight in "Do You Remember Love" was one of the best mecha-on-mecha tussles ever. And ended with huge heartbreak. Are you listening, Robotech movie people? Think of this as your ONE CHANCE to do some good in this world, Robotech movie people. Blue vs. Green.
Lesson Learned From Robotech #18.2: (re: Lynn Kyle)
Peaceniks can be dicks too.
Claudia's thought balloon: "Sure, Commander Fokker. Dinner tonight...and if we're lucky, breakfast."

Again, never happened in Transformers.
TMI ABOUT ROBOTECH AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO MY PUBERTY #18.1:
I remember going, "Lisa's in love with Rick? Really? Really, Lisa?"

I guess I so strongly identified with Rick as a dorky mop-headed Asian dude I couldn't understand two girls being interested in him. The fighter jock thing notwithstanding. I think I will feel the same way about Tobey Maguire if he plays Rick. Yes I realize Tobey Maguire's not Asian. But masculinity-wise, he's close.

ep18: Farewell, Big Brother

Oh, this one's gonna hurt.
Max is such a stud in the Chinese restaurant fracas.

Robotech as a mumblecore film:

RICK: I dunno, it kind of seems like, I dunno, the aliens are maybe attracted to you and stuff?
MINMAY: Yeah, I dunno. Uh. Uh. I'm a star, or something.
RICK: Uh, I should go, the Zentraedi are attacking, and, I dunno, I have a plane that transforms into, y'know, a guy, so...
MINMAY: Do you like, y'know, uh, Lisa?
RICK: I guess. I dunno. I have to go, I've got some Protoculture, on the stove, and stuff. I dunno.
MINMAY: I dunno, we will, like, I guess, win, and stuff.
RICK: Sayonara! And stuff. I dunno.

ep15: homecoming

So Minmay's Chinese, and grew up in Yokohama Chinatown. This trivia will be useful for embarrassing myself at some later date.

ep13: blue wind


Minmay's music is all pretty shitty. And I like shitty music, usually.

What I've heard of the Japanese originals was shitty in a similar way. I wonder if it was popular?

Can't wait for Yellow Dancer. S/he's dreamy...

8.24.2009

It's also kind of great that at the end of the episode after Max flies his plane through the big monitor, there's a closeup of a Zentraedi soldier using a BROOM and DUSTPAN to sweep up the shattered glass. I mean, has there ever been another scene in an alien battleship involving a dustpan? (They can't use a vacuum cleaner because, obviously, they're in space.)

This scene with Rick and Lisa talking about their dating life and giving coy looks to each other in the bowels of the alien battleship....did not exist in the GI Joe or Transformers cartoons, which were on right after Robotech (4-5 PM). I'm just saying. Emotional content.

Oh, and now Miriya shows up. The alien female fighter jock. Great.

And Minmay sings her song, and things blow up! The perfect episode!

ep12: the big escape

"Sometimes women don't make any sense even if they ARE officers, now can we GO?"

Rick is such a hero.
I can't believe I never got the Zentraedi gay thing until now.

DOLZA (to Rick and Ben): "Why don't we see right now by having you kiss each other?"
RICK: "What? You can't be serious! There's no way I'm gonna kiss him!"
DOLZA: "DEMONSTRATE THIS KISSING OR I'LL CRUSH ALL OF YOU."
LISA: "Wait! Wait. I'll be the one to demonstrate."

SO HOT.

I mean the Zentraedi are basically gigantic sailors in this big green fleet that prohibits male-female relations, but kinda skims over the question of male-male relations. And they all have a repressed love for a pop diva. It's So Clear Now.
Breetai: "I like nothing better than aggression! Exedore, I think we should discuss this matter further, in my quarters."

WHOA.
I am kind of a big nerd for writing all this, huh?
I should learn more about cars.

ep11: first contact


I found this quick episode summary: "The Zentraedi are terrorized by human affection." No shit.

TMI ABOUT ROBOTECH AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO MY PUBERTY #11.1:

I didn't even think about Lisa as a sexual being until this episode. (I mean, insofar as you're supposed to think about any cartoon character as a sexual being.) But I definitely didn't believe she would be anyone's love interest. Then she orders Rick to kiss her and it's like, Whoa! My heart! Something weird is happening! And what's wrong with my hands?
"But why would they give her such skimpy armor that protects only a small portion of her body?"

Lesson Learned From Robotech #9.1:

Sometimes when the shit gets real it's necessary to fire EVERY SINGLE MISSILE YOU'VE GOT. Even if it's like 116 missiles. And you STILL miss that fucker.

(That armored Valkyrie is the coolest.)

(Also in this one Minmay uses the phrase, "....just like a brother to me." ARGH.)

ep9: Miss Macross

The first instance of the Minmay Effect, and the show's ascent into psychosexual awesomeness.

The start of a lifelong love affair with tech-y action scenes soundtracked with sugary pop music.

We prepubescent kids were the aliens, watching the display of romance, trying to figure out what it meant.

ep8: sweet 16

* Rick gets his wingmen, Max and Ben.
* Minmay's china-doll outfit is bizarre. What is she anyway? Vietnamese-Chinese? Minh Mei? That would figure.
* Max and Minmay have a flirty thing at first. I forgot about that.
* Khyron's pod has a lot of...protrusions. What a dick. At home he has a yellow sports pod.
* The original airdate of this series probably coincided exactly with the onset of my puberty, now that I think about it.

I figured out why it's boring at first. In the first story arc they're just showing off the transforming robots (admittedly, the best jet-into-humanoid design ever). But it's basically a space opera with some teens.

They haven't gotten to the part yet where they discover that their secret weapon against the aliens is a POP STAR who sings trite disco-fluff and PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF MALE-FEMALE AFFECTION. The most powerful armada in the galaxy. Undone by music and love.

As we, humans, especially little teenaged boy humans, are also undone.

When the "Minmay Effect" first appears is when the show really gets genius.

ep7: bye bye mars

Note: Minmay's eyes turn ALL BLACK when she gets really excited. Could we get a stronger hint that she's the devil?

ep4: the long wait

The space tuna scene really is magnificent, a ballad of courtship about young love's survival in time of hunger, with mythic significance added by the incongruous appearance of that....really, really big fish. Whut? I always took it to mean that in the near future Japan has super-mutated sedan-sized fish, but later I heard that fish of preposterous size are really caught, now and then. Also, Rick's scarf-ninja spacewalk suit is, though unbelievable, totally sexy.
It's embarrassing the number of things I learned about life from this show.
It's actually a bit boring until Rick becomes a pilot, but by that time the animation quality is dropping off as well.
God I love this show. The original mash-up.
For one thing, and I've said this before, that Minmei voice actress in "Do You Remember Love" is much less grating then this chick who does the American version. Robotech Minmei sounds like the buffet cashier in "Fargo."

Micronian Marathon


Doing it. Found all of the Robotech VHS tapes (probably inherited from Reuben, thanks man!). And a VCR to play them. Watching all of it. The whole series. Not fuckin around. Considering liveblogging it.