So, while I'm working on my thesis about the decline and fall of X-Men comic books, I've been watching Macross, which is the original Japanese series that the first third of Robotech was based on, and I can tell you honestly: I hate it.
I hate the show for a lot of little reasons, because it's, by and large, exactly the same show. The voices are all wrong, which I wouldn't even notice if I hadn't been watching the Americanized version of this show (Robotech) for the last twenty years; but it's especially true in the case of Captain Gloval (now Captain Global, which reminds me too much of Captain Planet), because he had such a distinct voice. And then there's the matter of the music, which is better in parts, but the main theme sucks ("Makurosu! Makurosu!").
And then there's the matter of the names, which just irk the hell out of me. Rick Hunter is now (and technically was originally) Hikaru Ichijo, I have to get used to a whole new spelling for Minmay (which still looks totally wrong to me), Lisa Hayes is now Misa Hayase... it's a nightmare. About the only saving grace to all of this is that Roy Fokker is now Roy Focker, and watching it just gets hysterical at times, like when Hikaru says, "Don't lump me in the same category as you, Focker!" I giggle every time someone calls him Focker.
Oh, and one of the girls on the bridge is named Pocky.
I'm sure that there are a lot of people who say it's a good thing that Minmay is voiced by the original Japanese actress who did the voice of Minmay, but it gets really distracting sometimes, because she speaks "passable English," which gives you the feeling that she could go Zero Wing at any moment. At the same time, though, her voice isn't as grating as Minnmei was in Robotech, but I still hate her. I will always hate Minnmei, and no one can convince me to do otherwise.
Ooh, I just found that Harmony Gold is allowing people to download free episode of Gatchaman, which is just very cool. For those of you who don't recognize the name, Gatchaman came to the States and became Battle of the Planets. It's one of those classic Japanese series, like Space Battleship Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers) or Space Pirate Captain Harlock. Anyway, Harmony Gold has versions for Quicktime or optimized for the video iPod right here. It's free, so watch it and then buy the box-sets for a better reason than because Alex Ross painted the covers. Regardless, I think that every company should do this, because you can usually get a pretty good idea as to whether or not you want to see the rest of a series from the first episode.
So, why is it, then, that since I bought the first volume of Macross, I'm not buying the other two original series that Robotech is based on? Well, first of all as cool as the giant transforming robots are in Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, I've never found the love story between Bowie Grant and Musica very convincing. And then there's Genesis Climber Mospeada, which was the third series of Robotech, and ... well, I'll just get right to the best reason for not buying either of them: They weren't supervised by Matt Greenfield. That's the only reason. Now, there might be some people who are even geekier about this shit than me who would say that he's not so great, but I don't personally speak Japanese, and so I like to have a nice dub from time to time, rather than reading three lines of subtitles every ten seconds.
As I mentioned a month or two back, though, I'm sure that ADV's going to find some way to screw me over on extras or something, when they'll inevitably release a better box-set for Macross at a third of the price, with some very nifty extras. They did it to me on Evangelion, they did it to me on Robotech, and I just keep on accepting it. I feel like a battered spouse.
I still hate that goddamn Minmay.