Thursday, May 13, 2004

It’s Nudie-Magazine Day!

*I have this great post in my car about sports and pop-culture, but you'll just have to sit through more anime today.*

So yesterday I sold back all of the college textbooks that I won’t be using in the future, and we all know what a giant rip-off college textbooks are. You get fifty cents on the dollar, if they buy the books back at all. I swung about a hundred or so dollars for mine, which is basically a tank of gas, a pack of smokes and a little something for myself. Pity I really don’t want to get the Evangelion box-set, because they keep remastering the episodes and putting them out in director’s cuts.

This being the case, I went to Target, got a six-pack of Dew, a bag of Tostitos and this really great Spicy Queso cheese in a microwavable bowl. And, of course, I had to go through the DVD section, and went looking for a copy of the Invader Zim two-disc set. Of course, Target doesn’t stock Invader Zim, or maybe it’s not out yet, but the show’s hysterical and I really want the DVD.

So what did I get? I got the first twelve episodes of the Remastered & Extended Edition of Robotech, because that’s all they had. I mean, we’re talking about Target, here, which isn’t exactly the great storehouse of anime DVD’s. They have a couple of standards, like Akira and Vampire Hunter D, and one disc from Neon Genesis Evangelion, the last disc of X… Basically, there’s no way you can go to Target and build any sort of comprehensive collection of any anime series. Coen Brothers films? Sure, they've got all of those, but I can’t believe how much the anime section sucks. It's nearly as useless to me as the Fitness DVD section.

Robotech… I love this show. I actually haven’t watched an episode of this series in probably fifteen years, and while the animation isn’t exactly the greatest anymore, by comparison to Cowboy Bebop and other shows created in the last twenty years, it’s still pretty respectable, and I can’t believe I liked this show when I was a kid, other than for the giant-transforming-robot portion.

After all, the Macross series of Robotech has always been considered by my family as being a sort of cartoon soap-opera with giant robots. The whole soap-opera aspect is best shown with the love-triangle involving Rick Hunter, Lynn Minnmei and Lisa Hayes, which ultimately led to Minnmei being one of the most reviled cultural icons in my house when I was a kid. It was like putting Ronald Reagan at the very top of the shitlist, and then just under that was Minnmei. The other thing that makes it such a great show is the fact that it’s a continuous series in which you simply can’t skip a couple of episodes and expect to be able to pick it back up.

By such rationale, it’s a series that’s completely un-tailored for American audiences, who seem to prefer their shows to be episodic and not follow continuous storylines. People die in episodes of Robotech; like major characters, and you’ll never see them in future episodes, because they’re dead. I’ve heard the argument that, “Well, Optimus Prime died on Transformers,” but that was between seasons and in a feature film, and Optimus Prime came back toward the end of the series, defeating the whole point of killing the character off. Barring two-part episodes, there’s really no reason to watch episodes of Transformers in any sort of order, which makes it easier for American kids to digest; which is why it has always boggled my mind that Robotech was marketed towards American children in the mid-Eighties. Sure, it was the same time as Voltron and Tranzor Z, but they’re not the same sort of continuous-story kind of shows, and the only similarity between them and Robotech is the whole giant robot angle.

Anyway, the Remastered & Extended discs may not include the extras from the previous collector’s editions of Robotech, it’s also going to cost less than half as much, and the transfer is absolutely gorgeous. And the sound has been remastered, too, and it’s fantastic. So, basically, I’m going out to Best Buy today (but not the one on Randall, because that one blows) to go get the other two collections so I can introduce one of my friends to what good anime is. His idea of good anime is the, “My kung-fu is better than your kung-fu,” of Dragonball Z, which is pretty much mind-numbingly dull when you get past the, “Punch, kick, punch, AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! (insert speed-lines)” of that show.

All of this because I went and bought the Animatrix DVD last year.

And I also got Xenosaga for the PS2, because it’s now down to twenty bucks. Can’t say I particularly care for the combat system, but at least the story’s at least as good two hours in as anything in the Final Fantasy series, and thus far lacks the bitching pansy-boy role that’s inherent in every pretty much every Final Fantasy game, so I’m really happy with that. I think I’ll be a lot happier with the game once it gets into the real meat of the story, although I can’t say I’m disappointed thus far.

AIM: therbmcc71

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