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[personal profile] krpalmer
There was time as the year just past came to a close to put a capstone of sorts on a small personal plan, but I had been wondering if it would turn out "ironic." The episodes of Robotech I had an impression of having seen in the 1980s had more or less fit into the weekends of the last three months of the year. As I'd worked through them, I'd got around to taking a soundtrack recording of the single episode I had taped all those years ago, and managed to synch it to better video (but had perhaps managed to step a bit beyond "I just can't cope with anything that sounds unlike what I first heard"). I'd then stretched the project a bit and watched an important episode I'd only learned about by reading the first Robotech novelization I happened to buy (even there, it had made an impact on me); I had happened on it in a furniture store's video-rental section years before I had discovered other people still remembered Robotech online only to run into how a lot of them were very indignant the novels had introduced some fanciful technologies and powers as easy answers to questions that might not have been asked by anyone other than the authors. With all of that, though, I was thinking about something I'd also heard about in those first days online.

The "Robotech FAQ" had mentioned a fan-made video called "Robotech III: Not Necessarily the Sentinels," calling it "two parts parody of and one part homage to Robotech," and explaining how it combined video from the anime OVA Gunbuster with Macross and Mospeada OVAs. It did sound kind of fun, and when my university's anime club got around to showing Gunbuster itself just a few years later that small secret knowledge of just what Robotech characters the Gunbuster characters had been called added that extra bit of amusement to things. However, continuing to think of the video every so often in the years that followed did seem to keep reminding me of the fan "connections" I'd never known how to get, or never had the mixture of nerve and schmoozing necessary to try and get, back when "fansubs" were mythical things, and maybe that did nag at me.

Then, one day, I happened to think that with video streaming sites "everything" was supposed to be available, and searched for the video again... and this time, I was able to find and save a copy. I watched its first minutes a bit at a time, and then I just sort of put it aside for years. Maybe "the reality could never live up to imagination" had something to do with it, but an impression of the video having been created by people intent all those years ago on proving they had got over Robotech or something might have left me with an impression that to watch all of it would be to say a final goodbye of my own.

As I got started on my latest rewatching project, though, I might have been in the mood that if I was about to "say a final goodbye," I could deal with that. When I started watching the video, I could muse again on impressions of how "fan video editing" had once been a matter of connecting VCRs together and hitting play, record, and stop on them in a complicated sequence, but even with the sound editing including some bursts of utter silence all the more striking for the tape hiss I seemed more charitable towards the "fan voice acting" than I might have been to begin with. I could also keep musing how Gunbuster had one connection to Macross in that its character designs were also by Haruhiko Mikimoto, but its mechanical designs seemed "deliberately retro" as one part of its own joke. The jokes of the actual fan project seemed a mixture of familiar cruelty (putting one of Minmei's songs from Robotech over an elaborate Minmay concert from a Macross OVA, followed by cricket noises, after which Minmei has turned into Gunbuster's Kazumi and is training to be a mecha pilot) and a thing or two that does impress me they knew it at the time (quoting the theme song of the "Macross pilot" created before Robotech); I do seem to have heard a good number of them years ago from the Robotech Mailing List. Where I can be forgiving enough to suppose that not "everything" was fit into Robotech without rhyme or reason, though, I did reflect with full awareness on how the Mospeada OVA included in this video was also recently added to an official Robotech project that might have been intended to prove things weren't just "waiting for Hollywood" not that long before a driblet of news from that front, if in an age where it's easy to proclaim "few knew, and fewer even cared." With all of that, though, I did wind up sort of thinking enough of the intent of the Gunbuster episode providing the dramatic climax carried over to give the video some punch as an "homage," and that might not be that far off from a charitable interpretation of Robotech itself. I did finish re-watching a certain number of episodes of Robotech last year, but that doesn't quite seem to have amounted to shelving all thoughts of it.

October 2017

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