For a legion of fans that grew up on Robotech, it was fantastic news that it was previously announced that Warner Bros. picked up the rights from Harmony Gold USA to create a live action film version of the series. With big name veteran producers Akiva Goldsman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend, Fringe (TV-series)), Tobey Maguire (Seabiscuit, Rock of Ages), and Jason Netter (Wanted, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles) all attached to the project in producer roles, the search was on for a director.
I remember watching re-runs of Robotech as a kid at some godawful hour of the morning (Saturdays!). I was all of two-years-old when the show first aired, so I didn’t start watching until
the mid-90s, when one of the local channels started showing it to nerds who had to be up at five in the morning.
Later, I read several of the novelizations, including Genesis by Jack McKinney. I’m pretty sure we picked them up at a thrift store for 25 cents each (it was the 90s, so the books had been out for a while). The covers were super cool — giant robots and all — though I don’t remember much about them now, except that they followed the narrative of the show fairly directly (my memory about the novels and show are a tad hazy, though, as most of my Robotech experiences involved seeing things out of order — yes, I’ve seen the original Japanese versions too).* I probably read the first three books of the Robotech novel series at least three times as a young person. Weirdly enough, I’d completely forgotten about them until the news about the live action Robotech movie hit the web. Strange.
After the novels, I traversed into late-night Anime binges. My grandmother discovered the wonders of satellite TV in my late teens, which meant I got to stay up late on weekends watching anime movies. I discovered Blue Seed and a whole bunch of other anime shows that way. One of the things that occasionally appeared at one in the morning was Robotech (specifically, Macross: Do You Remember Love? and Macross Plus). This stuff helped foster a love for mecha shows, including Gundam Wing, which remains one of my favorite anime shows of all time.
I should also mention that while discovering Robotech, I had also spent a great deal of time playing around with old RPG source books for Battletech, another mecha franchise. My friends and I used to use tracing paper to mix-and-match weapons on Battletech mechs, creating our own super mechs. I still have those somewhere, along with a whole lot of Battletech toys…And then I bought a few of the Palladium RPG books for Robotech and did the exact same thing. All of those books are still on my shelves…
Basically, I was a total geek in my youth. And I’m still a geek today, because I will go see a live action Robotech movie even if they cast gerbils for all the roles. This is just too awesome!
*For those that don’t know. Robotech is the name of the American adaptation of the original Japanese anime franchise, Macross. The U.S. edition took the first three series of Macross and turned them into three seasons of Robotech (this is a drastic oversimplification, though, and I’m probably half wrong).