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Destroy All Podcasts DX Episode 35 - Robotech The Movie: The Untold Story


19 comments posted
Now I defnitely know I don't want to see this movie!

Wow. Now I no longer feel the urge to scour the web for a copy of this movie just to know what happened. Thank you Destroy all Podcasts!

Do you guys really think that Macross would have taken off in the U.S. if Harmony Gold had just released it as a direct-to-video straight dub (what they planned to do originally)? I think that without a TV broadcast , Macross would not have done as well in the states. It would probably have done as well as the Bubblegum Crisis, Gunbuster, or some of the other early anime direct-to-video releases in the early 90s. It would still be popular, but non-anime fans and young anime fans wouldn't know what you were talking about.

Speaking of Gunbuster (and anything except for Robotech: the Movie, because the podcast kinda said it all) have any of you (or anyone who reads this) seen those fan movies Robotech 3: Not nessecarily the Sentinels and Robotech 4: Khyron's Revenge? I've never seen them, but I've heard they were kinda one long string of kinda funny sex jokes. I guess those films are just totally lost now.

account15's picture
Posted by account15 on 17 December, 2007 - 22:08
Honestly I'm confused at why

Honestly I'm confused at why people always draw a false dichotomy with Robotech and say that it had to be done the way it was done to garner any success. If the only requirement for daily syndication is 65 episodes, then why attempt to present three different shows as one story? Couldn't they have done an anthology? Jim Terry figured that out when he did Force Five. He wasn't trying to wrangle five different robot shows into one story, but each was presented under the Force Five banner. I mean, really, what constitutes one show anyway? Who was Carl Macek trying to impress with his great idea? Considering the shit he's done to other dubs I think the guy thinks too much of his "translations."


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 18 December, 2007 - 00:04
20/20 hindsight

I'm just saying that TV exposure was better than direct-to-video exposure in 1985. I'm not trying to defend Robotech. I do agree with you that Harmony gold could have released Macross, Southern Cross and MOSPEADA as three unrelated back-to-back series on TV and been just as successful. Hey, it worked for Voltron with Go Lion and Dairugger XV. I think Voltron is more popular than Robotech among the general population in the U.S., but I could be wrong.

Sadly, success tends to go to one's head. I believe that is the case with Carl Macek. He made a poor to mediocre adaptation and thinks it is better than the original just because the show got good TV ratings.

Hmmm.. I'm going to use the magic of the internet to post a quote from one of his interviews on Let's see if I can find a really bad one. Just wait a minute:

"Carl Macek says: It was always my belief that Minmei's immediate popularity onboard the SDF-1 was a bitter pill to swallow. Therefore, if her "talent" was marginal - but her "spirit" was high - it could show that even misguided personalities like "Minmei" could have a positive effect on people and dramatic situations."

Wow. Ok. I was wrong. He was messed up from the beginning. When you think of Macross, aren't Minmay and Hikaru's red/white VF-1J the first two things that come to your mind? Wasn't Minmay the most important part of the story? I don't think he understood any of those shows.

Oh, well. There's always Macross Frontier in 2008....

account15's picture
Posted by account15 on 18 December, 2007 - 09:12
let's call a dog, a dog.

i love robotech as much as the next robonerd, but really, Carl Macek is just some hollywood jerk, who took ALL the credit for Robotech in the 80s, and gives himself too much credit now.

Because of him and Harmony Gold buying up so many different series' rights, we'll never seen official NTSC R1 US DVD versions of so many shows like CAPTAIN HARLOCK, and many others.

seriously, if i change the word bubbles in a Batman comic, translate it to Spanish, and call it BATTECH, does that mean i'm the genius behind the work?

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 18 December, 2007 - 13:57
licenses do expire

The good news is that licenses do expire. The license expired for Megazone 23. It went from Harmony Gold to Image Entertainment to ADV Films (and maybe one more in between I think). Even when the license doesn't expire, we can still get the Japanese shows if there is enough demand and someone in the industry willing to capitalize on it(Ex: Macross, Southern Cross, MOSPEADA).

If you like the original Captain Harlock TV series, check out "Space Pirate Captain Herlock The Endless odyssey outside legend". It was released by Geneon in 2004. They went under this year so I think the title is out-of-print but still plentiful. It is both a sequel and a re-telling of the original Captain Harlock TV series with much better animation. I think the lack of demand for not-so-greatly-animated 70s anime is what is really keeping shows like Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 TV and Queen Millenia from an R1 DVD release.

account15's picture
Posted by account15 on 18 December, 2007 - 15:16
here is where you and i differ

long ago got all of the OUTSIDE LEGEND series. thanks though, man.

the rights to HARLOCK, MAZINGER, GRENDIZER, GALAXY EXPRESS, just to name a few, are a huge nightmare to negotiate for dvd companies (i should know, i used to work for a DVD company that specializes in re-releasing and translating abscure films for the US/UK) so nobody touches them. too many lawyers, too much effort, when you can just get a modern series for cheap...

also i think anime fans in the 2000s are very different from those in the 1990s and 1980s. they are much more interested in high tech CGI animation, scantily clad girls, bad taste humor, and the like, MUCH more interested in this, than compelling stories or history of the culture, or art, or art design direction, there are exceptions to this, but for the most part, whenever i walk by the anime section in the DVD store, it all looks the same to me. I think often Otaku in the US just have a "i'll take what i can get, thank you please sir" attitude than their foreign bretheren. This attitude is historically linked to Harmony Gold and Masek, who presented this attitude to the then-very-fringe us anime community, as they were the only ones doing the direct to video thing in the early 80s. they were deciding what you saw, not you. similar to the US anime market now, except you have a big choice of what you WANT to see, but still the distribution and translation market takes advantage of the ATTITUDE and throws whatever sold a lot in Japan, or whatever is a cheap license. not to date myself, but things are so different now then they were in 1992, way pre-ebay and internet, when myself and a bunch of friends had to team up for a 2hr drive and $50 for a bad bootleg VHS with no subs of Macross: DYRL, just to SEE it, when its available now with overnight shipping all over the place. the struggle is somewhat gone, but with this struggle, it made you much more choosy about what you spent your time and effort on...

lack of demand for these shows isn't so much the problem, i think. its the legal hurdles. at least outside of the US, there is very very serious interest in many of the shows above, in english or french, and their entanglements in the US legal system seriously hinders european companies and others from releasing these shows properly in italy, spain, france, and other countries, as some of the rights in the 70s were not just for the US, but for these territories as well.

the anime fans of today would be served well to check out some shows other than whatever Cartoon Network or Anime Channel are pushing at them, and the attitude of many newer anime fans that the old is worthless is going to bite them back in the end. how can you judge something like COWBOY BEBOP without all that came before it? can you watch a show like AKIRA and not see the influence of BLADE RUNNER in its movie design? does it matter? is there a valid comparison between something like NARUTO, and the poetry and beauty of the voice-over for GALAXY EXPRESS 999 series?

is anime just cartoons, with no redeeming value, or it is true art which deserves respect from academia? is it something in between? comic books asked these questions in the 1980s and got answers. Anime asked these questions in the 1990s and, really, got no real answers just anaylsis...

when the shows of the 2000s become old, who will care as much about BLEACH when it is 35 years old like Mazinger, or 25 like Macross? will they become forgotten in time like much of popular culture, or be the New Classics like their legal-limbo forefathers, who are forever caught in the grip of paperwork and profits, never to be seen again, except on precious bootlegs? at least CDX will be there to remind fans of the past, and present an intelligent thoughtful outlook to the future.

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 17 January, 2008 - 12:55
the future isn't so bad.

But if the license expires, aren't there zero legal hurdles? And what about Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, which should have been the hardest show to get (it's the most profitable part of Robotech) and got released by AnimEigo and ADV films? Macross II and Macross Plus got released in the early 90s without Harmony Gold being involved at all. Life is chaos. I don't think any logical blanket statement can govern the release of old-school Anime. So much depends on who is willing to invest what.

I wouldn't call all Anime fans from the late 90s and 00s shallow, sex-starved and spineless. Many of them are girls, and girls like comedy and relationship dramas instead of giant robot shows.

In the 80s and early 90s, we only got the-best-of-the-best shows and a few others. Now we get the best shows, and more of the mediocre shows. So yeah, there are more crappy titles out, but there are 10 to 20 titles released per week now. In the early 90s, that was how many titles we got per year.

The future isn't so bad. What about EVA? I thought Azumanga Daioh was funny. Check out Flag, or if you can afford it Freedom. Yeah, Naturo sucks balls, but I don't watch it so I don't loose any sleep over it.

account15's picture
Posted by account15 on 17 January, 2008 - 18:37

While I don't fault Carl Macek for being a business man who saw a toy tie-in deal too good to pass up, I did find myself questioning as to why the three stories had to be connected. It wasn't uncommon in the 80s for two or more shows to be bundled together to occupy the same timeslot. Ruby Spears had done it for years. An anthology show would have been forgivable. And let's not forget Marvel/Sunbow's Super Week, the show that gave action fans episodes of Inhumanoids and Jem in the same timeslot!

If I try to watch Robotech now, I can seldom make it past Macross, because the other two sagas totally blow. I mean, what they did to Southern Cross alone was an abomination, but I guess Macek can take credit for breathing life into Mospaeda. Thanks to him, that show has gotten far more attention than it ever deserved.

Macek is simply kidding himself if he says he created something special with Robotech. He knows that the saga everyone liked was Macross, but because of the Big West licensing issue, Harmony Gold is stuck making sequels to Mospaeda, even though people continue to demand Rick and Lisa.

But don't bother bringing this up with anyone who works with Harmony Gold. They don't like hearing that about the stuff they don't own. In all likelihood, they'll just sick Kevin McKeever on you, who will repeatedly say, "Harmony Gold owns all the rights to Robotech." ...whatever that means.

What Macek has created is an annoying apologetic fanbase who endlessly argue over storylines that are impossible to resolve. Heck, the very definition of protoculture remains, to this day, an unresolved and unresolvable mess of conflicting and contradictory McGuffin devices. Heck, they should have just called it the McGuffin drive. At least that would have been funny.

I actually did find a video of the Robotech: The Movie in its entirety on the internet recently, and I watched it for the very first time. I could not make heads or tails of the plot. I mean, I understand why the bike was important in Megazone 23, but that somehow got lost in the translation into Robotech. And then there's no characterization, so I didn't even know who these people were, even during important scenes. Like that film chick. I completely forgot about her when it came time for her to die. I was like, "Who is this, again?".

Anyway, here's my synopsis:

My favorite part of the movie is when BD Edwards gets kidnapped. I laughed hysterically, because the entire kidnapping takes place off-camera. The only indication that it happened was that the characters told us that it did.

It sort of reminded me of the original dub of Dragonball Z, when Nappa destroys a passenger plane, one of the characters on the ground said something like, "I can see parachutes! Thank goodness everyone got away unharmed!".

Hey, speaking of terribly butchered dubs, you guys should cover Captain Harlock And The Queen Of 1000 Years, another Harmony Gold masterpiece! It's an inter-cut storyline that goes on for sixty-five episodes! AAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!!



117ufcbetting's picture
Posted by 117ufcbetting on 24 May, 2008 - 14:16
One minor correction...

I've since learned that the extended ending of Robotech: The Movie actually was produced as an alternate ending of Megazone 23, which was left out for obvious reasons (it makes no sense).

However, there was one alteration made by Harmony Gold that I find profoundly comical, and that would be the death of B.D. Edwards. In the original footage, B.D. is not killed at all. Harmony Gold cobbled that part together from other pieces of footage. You'll notice that it jumps from Mark standing still to Mark screaming to a sudden explosion.

It's not particularly clear as to what happens. The whole sequence kind of reminds me of the end of Jaws IV: The Revenge, where the boat makes the shark explode for mysterious reasons.



117ufcbetting's picture
Posted by 117ufcbetting on 25 May, 2008 - 10:24
AWO Ishiguro Interview

Are you referring to the interview with Ishiguro Noboru that Anime World Order conducted? I was actually the one who wrote the Megazone 23-related questions and gave them to Daryl.

I think you are misinterpreting Ishiguro's response. He was not aware of Robotech The Movie, but he was aware of an alternate ending created for a foreign market that couldn't handle Megazone 23's inconclusive ending. This foreign market that couldn't handle the ending is clearly America.

Artland did not animate the alternate ending, which is why is does not look like the rest of Megazone 23. Furthermore, we know for sure that the new ending was commissioned by Harmony Gold because even though the allowed the Megazone 23 license to lapse and no longer have the legal right to release Robotech The Movie, they still have the right to put the storyboard for this alternate ending on the Robotech DVDs. It's there.


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 29 May, 2008 - 00:42

I would loooooove to cover Harmony Gold's Harlock dub, but I have never seen it. If someone wants to make copies available to me we can review it!


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 29 May, 2008 - 00:43
let me know

let me know if you find it, Jeremy...

I have only seen it for sale twice, once at a flea market in 2004 for a ridiculously large price, I had just picked up a VCD set of the first 12 episodes and way overpaid, so I couldn't get it.

And again on ebay the same year, but the auction was terminated by Ebay before it closed.

I assume it's different than the 90's dubbed VHS tapes I have.

Also, for you Harlock fans in the US, a little old old news update: ARCADIA OF MY YOUTH is out of print on DVD yet again, but you can find the (very badly) dubbed version of the film on DVD in the discount bin, it's released under the name CAPTAIN HARLOCK: VENGENCE OF THE SPACE PIRATE.

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 29 May, 2008 - 13:28

Nice, the Celebrity Just For Kids/Best Film & Video version made it to DVD? Awesome.


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 29 May, 2008 - 15:09
Robotech 3...

Hehe...I actually did pick this up at a comic book convention in Boston many aeons ago. I was good for a laugh to my adolescent brain, but I doubt I'd find it all that humorous now as a mature adult (who plays with toys! ;) ). Honestly, I doubt I'd be able to find those video tapes again!


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 18 December, 2007 - 17:09
Just Commenting

That was really funny. Your comments really want me to find this film, watch it, and make a recap of it. I haven't seen Megazone 23 or Southern Cross, except for a few clips, but I can imagine to a limited degree about how horrible they look together.

By the way, Mike sounds a lot like Max from the English dub of Macross, except Mike's voice is a bit higher.

TheGoose's picture
Posted by TheGoose on 17 March, 2008 - 18:02
Nice, the Celebrity Just For

Nice, the Celebrity Just For Kids/Best Film & Video version made it to DVD? Awesome.

That DVD was released by "EastWestDVD", a questionable company that has released a number of unlicensed titles for the past couple years, usually at 'dollar stores' or other venues. Most often they take a VHS copy of a previous video and port that to DVD.

There had been two separate dubs of Harlock if you count the horrible ZIV International release of episodes 1-3 and 9. Harmony Gold on the other hand took Harlock and tried to shoehorned it in with Queen Millenia for something they could sell as a 65 episode package. Someone out there in BitTorrent land had re-edited the Harlock footage out of this back into separate episodes and distributed that as Captain Harlock despite using the old ZIV International's opening theme song, "Take to the Sky!"

Speaking of fan-edits, someone out there wanted to do the same with Robotech the Movie, taking DVD footages from Megazone 23 and Southern Cross and having their way with it, haven't heard of any further developments over that, but it's interesting the level some would go to try that sort of thing.

Chris@StudioToledo's picture
Posted by Chris@StudioToledo on 3 October, 2008 - 02:04

Ironically, that someone was me. In my obsessive need to collect everything, I really wanted a nice quality DVD version of this cinematic error. I ended up deciding my time was better spent on a podcast. :)


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 3 October, 2008 - 03:15
I should have a podcast too

I should have a podcast too (instead of replying to comments months later from the fact).

Chris@StudioToledo's picture
Posted by Chris@StudioToledo on 15 February, 2009 - 18:10

Haha, well, if you make a podcast send me a link!


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 15 March, 2009 - 05:47
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