Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Robotech Episodes 31 - 36

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Episode #31 Khyron's Revenge

The animation looks pretty rough. I know these last episodes were tacked on but it does look unusually rough here at the beginning.

In the second scene the Masters decide on their ultimate fate: to spend the 15 years to travel to Earth (meanwhile developing one of the Zor clones along the way). This major story point was probably above the heads of kids back then but what did they care?!

The mechanical animation of this episode is rough but the character animation is really good.

Rick is a short dude but the Mayor of New Detroit looks like a midget compared to him!

Oh crap, there's Kyle again! What, Khyron is wearing the same clothes? Sheesh.

New Detroit gets EVERYTHING it deserves! Ha!

Rick's Left Wing pilot looks funny.

With every one's use of the term Protoculture (i.e. Protoculture chamber) it seems the populace knows about this mystic material.

Gloval goes on this imaginary tale about how Protoculture came about. It's totally wrong but whatever. Now I realize that as far as the cartoon goes, that is the story and it was only additional materials that turned that story on it's head.

I find the whole conversation by all the RDF guys pure speculation and totally unnecessarily. It seemed like a lot of time filler.

When Kyle takes off in the car with Minmei in the back seat he hands something to her and says 'here, hold this'. I wonder what that was...

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #32 Broken Heart 

The battle scene a the beginning is kinda strange. They use strange terms and Lisa looks different.

What the heck is Lisa doing right there in the middle of the action?

The Zentraedi riding on the Battlepods look cool.

When the bad guys attack the concert hall why don't the Zentraedi in the audience fight back? They are warriors. It appears that if you give up the warrior lifestyle you become a weak and feeble.

Khyron talks about wanting to leave the planet while in the comic he longs to rejoin the Masters.

When Rick jumps into his jet during the Star Saver operation the cockpit is WAY over sized! It's huge!

Where did Khyron get chicken legs THAT big?! I wonder if you could put a regular sized chicken leg in a sizing chamber... That would solve the world's starving masses!

Those forks that make up Kyle's and Minmei's cage have gaps big enough to crawl through.

The lighting of the cigarette with the auto cannon is great. However that Zentraedi is waring a completely different uniform.

Azonia rides her mecha like a true lady; side saddle.

I can't believe that Khyron's little troop could hold up against that many MAC II Monsters.

Rick's Guardian takes the lid off Minmie's prison but then a few moments later we see him rip if off again.

At the end Minmei has to run a looooong way to get to Rick. She seems to be running forever.

Rick super leaps into his Guardian.

What's with Lisa's look at the very end of the episode? Strange...

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #33 A Rainy Night

Sure Claudia... tea... sure it is... lol.

I freeze-framed the shot where Rick is climbing out of his Veritech. Something didn't look quite right. What looks like the 'head' lasers are way too high on his plane. They are on the side of the body. In fact his debarking ladder goes between the lasers... strange.

Vanessa's thought about Lisa being hung up on Rick is very perceptive. Rick seems genuinely surprised when Vanessa tells him Lisa is in love with him. Is he THAT dense?!

Rick's curtains are very transparent, he better not run around the house naked.

Lisa sure puts that Burgundy away. This is a very adult scene in a kids show. I wonder if any parents just happened to be watching when this scene happened (and I wonder what they thought)?

Claudia (in her remembrance of her waiting for Roy when he shows up with a carload of girls) looks at her watch in a strange way. She looks at the inside of her wrist. This is how I used to wear a watch (back before phones took over). I didn't wear them because of Claudia! My brother used to wear his that way and I did followed his lead)

When Claudia remembers giving Roy back his presents you can see the 'under construction' SDF-1 in the background!

When Roy meets Claudia outside in the rain he seems to have grown up from earlier in the day when he looked WAYYYYYY younger.
Claudia and Lisa are both earring fuzzy green house slippers.

It seems in the future phones got bigger, Claudia's is pretty big.
Rick's uniform changes color while he and Lisa walk home... its Robotechnology!

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #34 Private Time

I always thought that when Lisa is chewing that little squiggle line looks funny.

I'm sure that map she looks at can clue me in to where the show's creators placed New Macross but I can't bother to find it out.

Rick is such a BUTT HEAD! Why would you do that??!!!! The book makes Rick a bit less jerk-like with his thoughts of quickly getting back to Lisa, but the Rick from the show just ditches Lisa... jerk!

Lisa has the patience of a rock! I'd have left a half hour after Rick didn't turn up.

The piano player just replays the same song after we come back from checking in on Lisa.

Oh no... Kyle! Rick just lets him be an ass to Minmei, what a wimp.

When Rick drinks he is the kind of person who is a 'sad drunk'.

Communication officer Mitchell is the Velma of Robotech.

The Zentraedi shooting at tiny humans is gruesome!

The Zentraedi shoot at Rick's Gladiator and the bolts do nothing! It's like Rick has the power to make the useless Gladiator a real fighting machine.

The character art changes in this episode from shot to shot. It looks like different companies worked on this episode.

Cooking?! Lisa made sandwiches... that is not cooking.

Rick has the AUDACITY to wrap his new 'cheater scarf' around Lisa! J E R K!!!

Kyle says Minmei is going to sing her latest hit 'We Will Win'. Uhhhhh 2 issues:
1.) The music that starts up is Stagefright.
2.) We Will Win was first performed over 2 years ago! Latest hit?! We call that 'A HAS BEEN'.

Kyle finally leaves! Woooohoooo! Its sad but at the same time... its party time!

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #35 Seasons Greetings

How is it Khyron started in the snow and now he is in the Amazon?

Zentraedi working on the ship? I thought they couldn't fix anything?

Evil Santa giving out black balloons!

Whoa, it's a black pilot! The RDF finally stopped being racist (or something)...

You can tell this animation team did the first episodes. The character's have their original looks.

Rico, Konda, and Bron's booth is labeled Toys, Plastics. Which brilliant marketing minds thought that would entice kids? Perhaps the former spies did it, they might not know what might work.

What's up with Rick's apron? And look, he is wearing those popular fuzzy slippers.

In Rick's apartment you can see that little radio he used to have back on the SDF-1, remember when he was in the hospital and he was listening to Minmie on it?

Claudia runs to the bar to drink to Roy's memory... Ut oh, Lisa runs into relationship problems and hits the bottle!

Minmie in Rick's shirt, sitting in bed looks HOT!

The animation is great in this episode!

Hey, the store clerk has the same radio as Rick.

The radio report (which takes place 'late into the night') says that the first attacks took place six hours earlier. If you remember they attacked on Christmas morning... Its Robotechnology!

The moment of spirituality in this episode WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED in a cartoon now-a-days.

There's the SDF-1 (being lit up with Christmas lights), but where o where is the SDF-2?

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Robotech (Comico Comics) #31-36

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Robotech #31 (Comico 1988)

At the beginning of the comic the Masters and the Elders talk about the mission to send themselves on a twenty year trip to Earth. It's a nice band-aid to bridge the gap between the Macross Saga and The Southern Cross parts of Robotech. Although the decision to make this massive journey seems really rushed!

The Masters talk about Khyron being their last hope meanwhile on Earth, Khyron seems to still be obeying the Masters... I find that silly since we all know Khyron was just power mad, why would he still do the Master's bidding?

I am noticing as the series progresses the art is getting better. The artist are starting to get a handle on the look of the characters.

On page 15 we get to see the male power suits. I am not sure I have even seen them in the comic series so far. Maybe, but I can't be sure.

The bottom frame of page 16 has Minmei look daggers at Kyle, I love it!

On page 18 a Spartan is getting it's ass handed to it (as usual). Too bad, it's such an awesome mecha.

On page 20 Goval talks about the Masters discovering the secret of Protoculture 500,000 years ago... hummm. It was supposed to be only like 30 or 40 years ago. Maybe this is what Harmony Gold has kicked the comic series out of canon...

The last frame on page 25 looks great, excellent hero shot.

Robotech #32 (Comico 1988)

The back cover of this comic is kinda rough by showing us a Zentraedi getting gunned down by a Gerwalk.

On page 5 Rick just shoots first and asks questions later, not very hero like.

The last frame on page six is the inside of Rick's Battloid. This is a cool shot, we never see this!

On page 14 there is this RDF person who looks very hairy!

In this whole issue Rick looks very different. It's like they gave his drawings to someone new to the character. He looks... cartoonish (if that even sounds right).

Rick continues to treat Lisa like crap. What a turd.

I don't remember Kyle 'sacraficing' himself in order to save the SDF-1 from the hands of Khyron but on page 21 that what he basically says. That doesn't fit his character.

On page 23 there is a tribute to Markalan Joplin who worked as writer on the majority of the Robotech Comics (including all the rest of the series that had not been released yet). He died in 1988 of an AIDS related illness.

In the diversion scene (on the show) the Battliod pilots lights the Zentraedi's cigarette with his cannon... it is not in the comic. I always thought that was funny.

I never understood how any force could hold up against being absolutely surrounded by MAC II Monsters. That should have blown Khyron and his guys to crisps.

On page 29 the Zentraedi says 'Macek's Eyes!', lol.

Robotech #33 (Comico 1988)

On the ad for the Sentinels episodes it says at the bottom, 'VHS only, no Beta'... lol!

I don't know what's going on in the last frame of page 7, It looks like they blurred out part of Lisa's face on purpose but I don't know why.

On page 12 the women get their Lush on...

I know I have pointed this out in the past but I find it funny that uniforms the old Internationalist Army had very similar the RDF ones years later.

I like the enemy fighters on page 18.

How can Lisa not see Roy Fokker as a playboy... talk about blind!

So you assume that once Rick has his epiphany about Lisa loving him he would really do something about it, make sure it happens. Shortly after this comic he seems to give up again. What's with that dunce!?

On page 34 in the letters column they talk about Protoculture Addicts! Awesome! You know how much I love that mag!

Robotech #34 (Comico 1988)

 I doubt very much that Lisa would be singing a Minmei song.

Page 2, featuring 'Macho-Man' Hunter.

Rick is a selfish sob!

The character art in this issue is hit and miss. Sometimes the characters look great, sometimes they look like... herp-a-derp.

At the top of page 11 is Janus-Rick.

I'm super confused at what is happening. I always thought that the restaurant was at the airport but Rick is driving a car back to the airport to head back to New Macross. I won't even bother with the fact that Rick got a car out of nowhere!

Rick is so versatile. He has never been shown to drive a Destroid and poof! there he goes. What a guy!

At the bottom of page 16 we FINALLY see a Spartan being USEFUL!

Ouch! Minmei has some harsh words for Kyle on page 26. This marks the exit of Lynn Kyle (for now... mwa ha ha ha).

Robotech #35 (Comico 1989)

They almost got this comic out in time for Christmas. Too bad. The cover shows a kinda goofy looking Khyron holding a Christmas bag with some of the women of Robotech.(god I love those commercials!)

How is there a Zentraedi worker (working on Khyron's engines)? I thought there weren't any of those guys.

On the 2nd frame of page 5 there's a dwarf! Also, it appears the former spies have ditched the dry cleaning business for retail...

On the last frame of that same page they appear to be standing in front of some toys from Astro Boy, the Argo from StarBlazers and something else I can't figure out.

On page 9 we see Rick wearing some lovely house slippers.

What in the world say people would give up (on page 10)... their 'eyeteeth'?????

So Lisa shows up at Rick's and somehow on a snowy, cold night Rick leaves the front door open?!

At Dr. Watson's Pub the bartender Frankenstein will be glad to serve you. Geeze, there goes Claudia again, drinking it up!

On page 23 Max seems to 'hate to admit' that Rick is right. What a jerk! lol.

At the bottom of page 24 we see the side of the SDF-1 and the Prometheus. It is at an angle but I though it was always sitting correctly and being used. Probably just an oversight on the artists part.

AWESOME! On page 25 we FINALLY see the SDF-2 back to back with the SDF-1. This is the ONLY time I have ever seen this!!!!! WOW!!!!!!

Robotech #36 (Comico 1989)

Lisa looks strange at the bottom of page 4, also I see some color-changing uniforms again...

On the next page Gloval says that they 'let' Khyron have that Protoculture he stole last time he raided New Macross. This is new to me.

FINALLY! Lisa gets it out (on page 8). It has taken YEARS but it happened, sheesh.

How in the world did Khyron get so close to New Macross and no one pick him up on radar or something?

Another shot of the SDF-2 back to back with the SDF-1.... ahhhhhhh.

On page 16 Minmei is in a shelter with some familiar faces... including the NEVER AGING Jason. He should have aged 8 years since we first saw him on Macross Island. Must be all that space travel that stunted his growth.

Nothing of the final assault makes sense (physics wise). Since (in the series) the SDF-2 didn't exist on screen it was easy to miss but in the comic here Khyron shoots the SDF-2 first but somehow he is in front of the SDF-1... how can he be in front of both ships? Did he fly around in a big circle to get a shot of the SDF-1? On page 14 the ships are back to back then on page 17 the SDF-1 is rising out of the water in front of the SDF-2. So confusing. Must be Robotechnology!

Ok, the final scenes on page 25 are awkward. I like the show's version better, more bittersweet less talking.

Oh man, the last couple of pages are really strange. Not sure we really needed them.

And that is it for the Macross Saga (comic book style)! On to more Robotech!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Robotech (Comico Comics) #25-30

By Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Let's continue on with my 2012/2013 voyage in the Robotech Universe with the next six comics in the Comico Macross Saga. Yeah, things have slowed down quite a bit but we are still moving along. Enjoy!

Robotech #25 (Comico 1988)

Max and Miriya look like they are dancing at the top of page 4.

In the middle of page 7 Rick has a Derp look on his face. In the last frame there appears to be a mix up with the coloring because it looks like Rick has been drinking urine.

Page 9 is a full page of Max's ship flying to the SDF-1. It looks great!

Even the comic seems to have glossed over the fact that it appears that Max and Miyira seemed to have been wed the very next day (or something)...

Breetai and Exedore go into much more detail in the comic than the show but it's a good thing. The comic in general explains more of what seems rushed concepts in the show. Breetai's talk of 'being defeated by love' is pretty good.

They don't bother with Minmei's song this time. The comic just does some exposition while she blathers on.

At the top of page 18 is a neat shot of the bridge of the SDF-1 and the arm of the Prometheus way in the background. I like it!

Robotech #26 (Comico 1988)

Strange shot on page 2 of the back of the SDF-1. You NEVER see it from that angle.

Rick's uniform has changed piping on page 10. It's Robotechnology! On the next page it appears that Bron has pooped or peed in his pants. Interesting... must be... Robotechnology!

Page 12 is an advert for a sweet satin jacket from Comico's Mage series. Only in the 80's...

Apparently Gloval's uniform is full of Robotechnoloy too, his collar changes color a bit.

On page 16 Rick's clothes are at it again. Below Azonia must be so scared her hair has turned white (that or the color person was getting sloppy).

Azonia tells Breetai that sending Exedore to the SDF-1 for peace talks was Dolza's plan. I don't believe this at all. Dolza would attempt to stop the 'infection' where ever possible. It is pretty obvious (in the show) that the peace offering was made by Breetai after he put 2 and 2 together and came to the conclusion that Dolza was going to destroy them all.

In the Editorial (which I have complained about before) the editor goes on to tell you about the fantastic evening she had at a Jethro Tull concert... really?!

On page 25 Claudia fills Gloval in on events taking place on Earth including mass suicide. This is kind of strange and didn't happen in the show or book. Maybe the writers wanted to include something about the inhabitants of Earth since they didn't get much coverage in the show.

Robotech #27 (Comico 1988)

It appears Miriya's uniform found it's purple color.

On page 3 both Rick and Minmei grow a pair... well, you know what I mean. They both finally figure out that keeping it inside is doing no one good. This would have been a nice ending bit if the series hadn't kept going.

The attack on the Earth by the grand fleet (on page 7) looks like they are spraying water on the planet.

There is a far bridge shot on page 14 that looks cool.

The 3 Super Veritechs firing on page 17 looks good too.

The look on Lisa's face at the bottom of page 25 is really goofy.

There isnt' a lot to say about this issue. It plays it pretty close to the show and takes few liberties. The art is decent but just like the show they had to make things happen fast to get through it all. It's a pity because this is such a BIG event to take place that you could make several issue cover the events that unfold.

Robotech #28 (Comico 1988)

The art on page 5 of New Macross City is great. I like it!

Ready for some REAL nitpicking!? The calendar on the wall shows May 1st to be on a Tuesday. There was a May 1st in 2012 but not another one until 2015 (in the real world). The year in the series at that particular time was around 2013 so the calendar is wrong... sheesh, what a geek I am!

In the flash back about 'the day Rick joined the service' we see another goof (just like in the show). We are looking at the day Rick first arrived on Macross. Must be Rick's faulty memory...

Right after page 11 is an ad for the 'Dana's Story' comic and I have always been interested in the photo for the cover of it. I'm sure I'll cover it later in my look at the Robotech Universe but I wanted to comment on it here. There is a lot of stuff going on in this picture. I'll just touch on the fact that the cartoon is showing on a computer screen. This was probably not even possible in the mid eighties but I will leave it at that. Check out my review of that comic and I will comment on the strangeness going on in the picture.

On page 13... ahhhh! What the heck is Max holding? A mutated cat? It's TINY. It can't be a baby. If it is it needs to be put back in an incubation chamber, it's not ready yet!

Right below that Lisa's imaginary baby is the correct size but man, what a lot of hair!

Kyle does this very inappropriate impression on page 15. That wasn't in the show...

The final shot of the SDF-1 makes it look as if it's sinking or something.

Robotech #29 (Comico 1988)

When Minmei tries to kill herself by getting out of Kyles car at like 70 miles per hour because she wants to go to Aunt Lena's restaurant Kyle gives in and tells Minmei he will take her... this is a change from the show where Kyle says he will drive her as far as the county line. Nice to see Kyle be a little nicer here!

The top frame of page 8 looks neat. To have the huge SDF-1 in the background, rising high over the city is a shot we don't see often.

Just like in the show Minmei's memory (on page 13) seems to have been muddeled by the horrific events of the last couple of years.

On page 14 we meet up with the old Zentraedi spies Rico, Konda, and Bron. I mentioned in the review of the show for this episode that I thought it was cool that Rico had glasses on (that the shows creators changed the look of Rico... making him appear more 'human') but here Konda comments that Rico is wearing them to 'look smart'. I like the thought that Rico needed them as opposed to the comics take that he is wearing them to look smart.

There is a lot of use of the 'sound' PAF! in this issue! Lol.

The show manager on page 24 (on the show) is Vance Hazlewood, Minmei's old manager. At least I think he is. He seemed to be (to me) but I could be wrong.

On page 25 Exedore says the ships being built on the Robotech Factory Satellite could 'devastate' the earth with one blast. On the show he says 'destroy'. I always had an issue with that.

On the next page Exedore's hair color changes to blond... it Robotechnology!

Did you ever notice that the RDF's 'battle blouses' (LOL) are different on men and women? The men's open on the right and the women's open on the left... just pointing that out.

Robotech #30 (Comico 1988)

The opening panel of this comic is great. The SDF-1 stands mighty in over New Macross City.

On page 12 Dana's hair is blond! I wonder if this was on purpose...

You can tell we have different artist on this comic. The last comics back cover said that Robotech was becoming a monthly comic so I guess they have rotating artist working on it as this point.

The drawings of the Super Veritech's a the top of page 19 are cool.

Actually there are several more drawings of the Super Veritechs in this issue (a few obviously from the art books) but they all look great.

On page 29 Reno talks about 'hostages'. If memory serves me right when Khyron takes Minmei and Kyle hostage (in an upcoming part of the next novel) it is pointed out that Zentraedi don't take 'hostages' since it is a foreign concept to the warrior race.

On page 30 Breetai's ship opens up to fire it's neutron cannon (unlike the show where it is just lasers coming out of the bow of the ship). I think this might be a nod to Do You Remember Love where the Zentraedi ships actually split open to fire their 'main cannons'.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Robotech Episodes 25 - 30

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Episode #25 Wedding Bells

Out of all of the events of Robotech (with all it's weirdness including the dinosaurs in that episode of the New Generation) the battle between Miriya and Max in the park then the sudden marriage proposal is the most unbelievable. Sure, it's dramatic and makes good action but it stretches things a bit.

The sword fighting with knives is a bit much too. Oh well... lol.

The cafe place everyone is hanging out in is pretty cool, lots of windows. Rick acts like a total ass then totally turns on a dime when Miriya shows up. Women have that affect on him.

Within a day Miriya goes from queen bitch to a petite, polite bell when introduced to Rick.

My wife just made the observation that Breetai sounds like Moltar from Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Of course Minmei has to butt into the wedding. She is such an attention hog.

Well, the final order comes down from Dolza to destroy the SDF-1. It's about time. When people rush from the wedding the door sounds like the doors from Star Trek. Also when the guy tells Max that he doesn't have to go into battle the person running in front of him repeats again and again.

Who in the hell who let Miriya into a Veritech? A: she is a non-combatant B: she is a former alien spy.

When the Zentraedi leave after the battle Gloval says a few line and his hat is HUGE! Also when they show the bridge the 'B' team is on duty but when the order to return is given it's Claudia. I guess she showed up at the end of the battle or something.

"You cooked the coffee pot!" I love that line. Also, why is Rick sleeping in his uniform?

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:


Episode #26 The Messenger

When Breetai's ship shows up it still has the hole from the Dadelus attack in the front. That's cool that they remembered it.

The scene with Exedore in the conference room was cut from my 6 episode FHE VHS version of the show. When I finally got the Laser Disc version of the series I got to see this. I laughed so hard! I can't believe I missed out on this scene for so many years! When Exedore gets up and sings Stagefright I just about pee my pants!

Does Lynn Kyle ever change clothes? Stinky old hippie.

The UEG are just dying to fire off their Grand Cannon. Even with peace on the horizon.

Gloval's hat isn't the only thing that seems to have grown, his collar is giant! He could go hang gliding with that thing!

Azonia tells Breetai that the 'main fleet' is going to show up. I thought Breetai had the 'main fleet'...

The UEG base at the Grand Cannon is huge. There is a highway and what looks like a virtual city down there.

Of course Minmei breaks into a song in the conference room... sheesh!

Here it is! The big one! Things are getting serious... then, oh man the episode ends.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #27 Force of Arms

You can tell this was the original end of the series. The animation is EXCELLENT.

FINALLY! Rick tells Minmei he loves her... took you long enough.

We get to see the inside of the MAC II Monster here. When it walks it ruins the deck...that sucks.

The Earth is practically wiped out. It kinda sucked that we don't see much close up action of that happening, it's such a big event you'd think more detail would be shown. They even reused SDF-1 landing footage. There are some appropriate reaction from everyone but it could have been drawn out a little longer. Its shortness kinda sucks some of the life out of the event. The audio editing (with Minmei's song) is kinda bad.

The death of the army guy and the little girl is chilling and horrifying. Time to get little Johnny another appointment with the shrink.

The use of Minmei's singing (and kiss) to disrupt the enemy forces is brilliant.

Every one's lack of emotional distress at the near destruction of Earth is a little distracting.

After the break there are some excellent shots of the RDF forces getting ready to attack.
The 'We Will Win' song fits the final battle perfectly. This was a great decision on the part of the US team.

Having to watch your parent get blasted away like Lisa does sucks!

How in the world is Lisa the only person still alive in the whole of the UEG base. That place was giant.

That was an ship from Orguss on the deck of the SDF-1... how did that get there?

It's sad to see Macross city get blasted.

When the SDF-1 enters Dolza's main base you can see Dolza standing in front of the big screen for just a moment then he vanishes.

The SDF-1 falls to Earth, bruised and battered. It's an awesome final image.

This was supposed to be the end of the series but it became so popular that more episodes were ordered. It was a very fitting ending but it would have been much better spread out over a couple of episodes, it seemed so rushed (the animation still rocked)!

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #28 Reconstruction Blues

We pick up 2 years later in this episode. The residents have left the SDF-1 and are now seem to be the bulk fo whats left of civilization. Fitting considering clivilization sent them off to be a sacrifice during the final battle.

The voice actor for The New generation's Rand is the voice of Bobby and his lines are delivered like someone about to go to sleep.

For some reason Rick and Lisa STILL have not hooked up. They have this weird relationship that makes Rick look like a bastard. Lisa hangs around while the uncaring Rick goes about his business.

Rick remembers Roy's speech 'on the day he signed up' but we see the day Rick met Roy on the day the SDF-1 originally took off. All that battle caused Rick some memory issues.

Minmei sings a song you hardly ever hear during the series while she is in Granite City. Something about 'making the right moves at the right times'. It's not on the Robotech soundtrack so its really rare. Oh yeah, then there is Lynn Kyle with that same freaking purple suit!

During Minmei and Kyle's fight, Minmei finally sounds grown up. Gone is the loopy young girl and in her place is a serious and slightly depressed young adult.

At the end of the New Portland battle there is a shot of the Zentraedi invasion into the SDF-1 from wayyyy back eariler in the series. It was really out of place.

Now 'Admiral' Gloval talks to Rick about putting the Zentraedi into a quarantine area like the SDF-1. This got me thinking about the size of the SDF-1. In earlier episodes it looks to be fairly small when you compare it to a ship like Breetai's and if you remember the size of the carriers it uses as its 'arms' you can get a scale of of the ship. A full size Zentraedi would take up a lot of room in the SDF-1. In fact it doesn't seem like you could get very many full size Zentraedi inside the SDF-1 at all.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
Bloopers:

Episode #29 The Robotech Masters

We begin this episode with a boring scene with the Robotech Masters. This is an early taste of the boredom headed our way during the 2nd Robotech war that is just a few episodes away.

Afterwards we get the narrator for a while in a rather depressing monologue.

Oh, look Kyle is wearing something different, what an early Christmas gift! After they have their spat in the car Kyle is 'kind' enough to let Minmei off at the city line... what?! What a turd!

During the RDF meeting Lang is talking but it's someone elses voice. It is obviously Lang but I guess they didn't want him to be the one that argued with so they changed his voice.

When Minmei is thinking about Rick she has a very different memory of what happened in those episodes.

Minmei gets up in the morning and walks about Macross. There is this nice direction where we see all these characters going about their morning rituals/jobs. Rick is running and the former spies are delivering their laundry. Rico now has glasses, that is a cool that the artist have changed a character's look. You usually don't see that sort of thing. Did I mention that met the voice actor that did the part for Rico AND I got him to autograph my Robotech novel Force of Arms?

Bam! Minmei runs into Rick and Lisa, what a soap opera moment!

The voice of Destroid pilot Dan is also the voice of Rand. That guy was working overtime.

Ugh, Khyron is back. Geraro's voice has changed from way back when he was overseeing the gravity mines on Mars.

At the concert that Rand voice actor is back as some usher or something.

Exedore makes a gross over exaggeration when he says that the Robotech factory can make ships that can destroy the Earth in one shot, we never see any of that later.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Episode #30 Viva Miyira

The boosters attached to the shuttles are gigantic!

Are you telling me that the RDF developed a special pod for Max and Miriya's kid?

Before Breetai folds in space we see some computer screens and there is English on the screen and it is utter gobble-de-gook. You can read some of it but it is just junk.

Ugh... more Roboteh Masters.

I like how Miriya asks if she and Max will ever be able to touch lips again.

Then we see Miriya flying with Dana just sitting on her lap... how dangerous!

I don't want to rag on the series but at this point you can tell it's just a some tacked-on stories to keep it going. There is no real emotional connection to what is happening because there is no real threat. The RDF seems to be going out of it's way to find trouble. The writers did what they could, eh?

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Book 5: Robotech: Force of Arms

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

The next book in my year+ long look at Robotech is the fifth book in the Del Ray series Robotech: Force of Arms. This book covers episodes 19-24 which cover the big events of the first Robotech War. Before we go on you will undoubtedly notice that I now am calling this my 'year+ long look at Robotech' as opposed to my 'year long look at Robotech'. As the middle of the year zipped by I started to figure out that my schedule will not permit me to finish this within the year. This will probably drag into the majority of 2013 now. No big deal but I would have liked to have completed this task before the year was out so I could read other stuff. Watching the show is a breeze but the reading of the books and the comics have become a real time drag. Oh well, more Robotech fun!

This is the big one... the book covers the near destruction of the human (and Zentraedi) race. After the events of the Zentraedi attack the story takes this lurch of 2 years and slows way down. Yeah, I know this is all spoiler material but you probably know everything that happens anyway, right?

This is also the book that covers the fun events of Max and Miyira's meeting and wedding. Wow, a lot happens here. The novel does a lot to explain some of the weirdness of their meeting like the fact that Max meets this stranger in a park at night and why all the sudden he falls so in love he doesn't care that she is trying to kill him.

They fall in love and marry and all that jazz. Suddenly the military lets Miyira get in a Veritech and fly around with him in battle?! Does anyone find that a bit strange? The author does his best to explain it but you can only do so much.

As you know I have had my suspicions as to who was writing which book (Daley or Luceno). It used to be somewhat obvious but now I am not 100% sure. I would bet that Daley did this book but he didn't stick so closely to the show like he did before.

Back to the action: so Max and Miyira are in the battle and she tells him to shoot the pods so the pilot will survive. What Miyira does is more cruel to the Zentraedi pilots that just blowing them up. She is basically disabling the pod, stranding the pilot in deep space to presumably to die of starvation. They are a warrior race that seems to care little for their troops. Do you really think higher-ups will bother to go retrieve a few measly pods? I doubt it. Also, these are warriors, to deprive them of a honorable death in battle is humiliating! That Miyira... what a bitch!

During Rick's rescue of Lisa (in the show) his canopy gets broken. It's very faint (thanks to the fact that is transparent) but you can see it. In the book this doesn't happen. I think the source tape the author was watching was bad enough for him to miss this fact.

In the final attack of the SDF-1 on Dolza's headquarters the main gun is NEVER used. I just found that interesting since it was always such an important part of the ships offense and the storyline.

In the show several direct hits on the SDF-1 and the destruction of Macross City. It looks like they animated the destructing at 32 frames a second (twice as normal). It is kinda heart wrenching but the book just mentions it briefly.

When the SDF-1 launches it final attack and turns on the shield barrier the book never mentions that this is the same overload type explosion that happened to Ontario. A very clever twist by the writers. The book says the alliance attacks Dolz'a base's reflex drive. This just sucks. The deliberate use of the faulty overloading shield is much cooler.

Dolza seems to change his mind at the last second when he sees the power (and cunning) of the SDF-1 in the hands of the humans. I doubt this behavior would be the Zentraedi way. Again (as in an earlier book) the Zentraedi high-command considers attacking their masters (the Robotech Masters). I think this is off-base with their character as a whole. They are Zentraedi, bred for war. I doubt it would have even crossed their minds to betray their masters.

I have never really even though about this part but Breetai and Azonia's forces fight along side the SDF-1 where do they go when the SDF-1 goes in and blows up Dolza's ship? The explosion takes out ALL of the Zentraedi forces. How did Breetai and Azonia escape?

In my RPG books and in other material it looks like the SDF-1 lands in North America after it destroys Dolza's fleet. Now... Rick and Lisa are on hand to see it fall from the sky. Rick saved Lisa from Alaska base. You mean to tell me that Rick and Lisa flew that far? Remember Rick ditched his Veritech's canopy after it was damaged. So they flew unprotected all the way down there? Whaaaaa????? lol.

Chapter 22 (the beginning of 'Reconstruciton Blues') recaps the destruction of the Earth at the hands of Dolza's fleet. It is very good. Bravo!

Sorry this took so long to post. I have been trying to sell my house and all that jazz so it has taken extra long to get this stuff done. Not to mention I finished watching the Flash TV series and Birds of Prey series (on DVD). I'm such a slacker!
















Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Robotech Episodes 19 - 24

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

In 2012 I am up to episode 19 of the Robotech saga. This includes all the comics, books, and episodes chronologically up to this point in the series. I am shooting for the whole series including all comics and such through the end of the year (not sure if I'm gonna make it...). I better get hustling!

This batch of six episodes is being watched a little bit differently than the previous ones. I have been watching and reading in batches of six but this time I will watch an episode, read the revelant part in the Robotech novels and read the comic book of that episode. I will still be publishing the blogs in batches of six but I will be working on all of them at the same time.

Episode #19 Bursting Point

The SDF-1 flying low over the city is awesome!

Claudia has become the martyr in this show. She has basically lost everything and has to put up with everyone's sympathy with such a brave face. It's no wonder she takes to the bottle.

When Lisa comes up to Rick their hands are resting on thin air. The animation cells didn't line up.

Kyhron is such a loose canon. Why would a warrior race obsessed with such perfection let someone like him live.

Ben's un-finished steak... what a metaphor!

This is obviously the 'A' team of animators, it looks great.

As good as Gloval is he made two GIANT mistakes, the initial fold of the SDF-1 over Macross Island and the activation of the barrier shield over Ontario. Both times he is warned not to do it and both times he takes no council.

Lisa drops the 'everyone's lives are in your hands' guilt on Rick before the barrier explodes.

When Ben dies Rick does this Catholic thing but crossing himself. I have noticed that in some 80's Anime there a few references to religion, something you don't see in US cartoons.
Rick hanging up on Minmei is sort of his movement into adulthood.

This episode is probably my favorite episode because of the whole barrier overload. This episode has some comedy, action, and lots of drama. When Rick reports Ben's death to Lisa it's heart breaking.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Episode #20 Paradise Lost

Breetai has a smirk a mile wide while Azonia's failures are played out on the screen.

I think it's interesting that Breetai's flagship still hasn't been fixed since Max busted through the screen and bubble on the bridge.

On the SDF-1 the supply vehicles move down the Macross city streets past... Macross Nald's. Har har har.

Ben's spirit sure is short!

Lisa just walks into Gloval's office THEN asks if it's OK to come in... saucy woman.

Why did the spies battlepod jettison it's legs? It can fly just fine with them...

The Zentraedi quickly adopted the Micronian usage to the word 'Robotech'.

Exedore can balance a piano on one thumb! The pile of human artifacts shrinks and grows as the debriefing.

One of the running crowd during Gloval's broadcast disappears magically. Whoops.

Minmei's song starts before she is done talking. Lipsyncher!

Why is Kyle comforting Captain Gloval? He hates the military.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Episode #21 A New Dawn

At the party Jan Morris makes a return. This whole first couple of scenes have a lot inter personal stuff going on. It's very interesting. Jan even mentions reading someone's palm.

Myria just waltzs into the movie in front of people who obviously have waited all day.

The pilot next to Max at the movie is Will Wheaton.

How in the world would the song 'Stagefight' be the theme to a kung-fu movie.

Rico looks a lot like Michael Jackson while he boasts to the other Zentraedi about Minmei!

I absolutely love it when Breetai sees and misunderstands the kung-fu movie.

It's also great when Rick accidentally grabs Lisa's butt.

The part of the episode where Rick and Lisa are trapped is great. This episode has no real action but is just as good as the most action packed episodes.

The appearance of the cola machine is classic.

It's strange that we never actually see any battle going on while Sammie is in command. It's like they needed to save some money.

The end of this episode is nice. Rick and Lisa hand in hand... finally.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Episode #22 Battlehymn

The Minmei 'infection' is a great aspect to both Macross and Robotech. It is kinda strange how the Zentraedi have not encountered culture before.

The animation cells in this episode are very dirty at time. I guess the more people work on a cell or if more than one person works on it they get dirty.

Rico looks like this guy...

When Rick is thinking about stuff they show a Minmei 'Lovely Concert' poster on the wall. I think it's funny... a drawing looking at a drawing.

How many songs does Minmei have? The people of Macross never get tired of her songs.

The floating screens in the Zentraedi flag ship are neat. I am guessing that we will have that technology at some point in the future.

How are Rico Konda and Bron suddenly in Khyron's part of the fleet? I thought they were on Breetai's flagship. I could be wrong. Wait... they are on Breetai's ship. He is taking a HUGE risk letting the SDF-1 hit his ship with the Deadelus.

We finally see some more combat after a few episodes of rest.
When Minmei starts singing during the battle her mouth is moving before she actaully starts singing.

Why do Raidar X destroids start running into the Zentraedi ship?

When Minmei is tending to Kyle her eyes are black... soulless.. I knew it.

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Episode #23 Reckless

We pickup where last episode left off. Macross looks like utter crap!

"A Minmei, never heard of it. What are its ballistic capabilities?"

That one Zentraedi pilot looks like a little kid.

Ut oh, Rick sees Kyle and Minmei kissing. In our day and age of P.C. what Kyle did would have been considered rape.

Khyron is still blasting his troops all the way back to his ship.

Once again, the series has taken a very adult tone with the defection of the spies.

The animation in this episode varies from decent to down right sloppy. It reminds me of several episodes of the New Generation (but we will get to that much later).

Max looks VERY pasty at the defector meeting. Perhaps he is feeling ill at the prospect of living with aliens.

Uncle Max must be a midget... he sure is short.

Uncle Max says that they (he and Leena) both can't go and leave the restaurant but that is exactly what they were doing before Rick and Lisa showed up.

Rick cleans the damaged restaurant in his gloves. Really, who cleans in their driving gloves?

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Epsiode #24 Showdown

Who was that guy walking with Max? Max still looks pale so I guess that's just his skin color.

Rick is wearing a very early 80's Japanese fashion complete with cravat... slick!

Lisa flakes out telling Rick she is love with him.

Some of the armor animation in Lisa's shuttle goofs up.

Is Khyron just waiting in his battlepod 24/7 for a battle, sheesh.

The transformation of Max's Veritech into Battloid is awesome! Also, the Super Verictech looks cool just sitting there.
After Rick leaves Lisa's shuttle we begin the first of Myria's arcade capers (probably my favorite part of the first 36 episodes).

Oh, Max's pallor looks better when he talks Rick into going to the arcade but when they arrive he looks sickly.

Look! It's little Jason again! Man that kid never grows. I wish arcades here in the US paid out tokens! One of those games looks to me it might be Lupin.

Whent Max and Myria's game being quite the collection of strangeness surrounds the action.

I love this arcade scene!

Back on earth Admiral Hayes tells Lisa that the UEG is going to fire the Grand Cannon at the enemy before they enter peace negations. This smells of War War II and the dropping the bomb on Hiroshima.

The Zentraedi defectors come UNGLUED when Rico tells them that marriage means that the two people go away and spend all their time pressing their lips together. Lol!

PROTOCULTURE ADDICTS BITS:
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Macross Perfect Memory

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Right up there with the Robotech Roleplaying books, Macross: Perfect Memory is the other 'must have' for any Robotech fan. Perfect Memory is a Japanese book (easily available on EBay) that shows almost every concept sketch, character models, as well as the majority of the show (through screen caps). Although it is in Japanese it won't stop your enjoyment of this visual feast.

Perfect Memory covers the Macross saga only (the first 36 episodes of Robotech). As a side note Macross was intended to only last the 24 episodes but the show turned out to be so popular that more episodes were added (everything after the Zentraedi armada defeat). You can also find other animation art books online for Southern Cross and Mospeada (the other 2 parts of Robotech).

Years ago I got a hold of 'This Is Animation' volumes 1, 2, and 3 which covers most of the stuff in Perfect Memory. For some reason I had sold or traded away those. I found this book on EBay and it has been fantastic. The book is divided into several sections that cover the story of the show, artwork, concept art, character model sheets, mecha and Macross city model sheets. There are also story boards, 'the making of', and staff comments.

The first part of the book is an episode summary of the show. There is the episode's synopsis (in Japanese) and multiple screen shots. It is interesting to see the Japanese names of the episodes (which are in English). Some of them are exactly like the Robotech ones and some are downright funny like: 'Pine Salad', 'Kung-Fu Dandy', and 'Virgin Road'. It is also interesting to see some of the stuff that was cut out of Robotech like seeing Lynn Minmei's naked butt in 'The Long Wait' or Roy Fokker's bloody back in 'Farewell Big Brother'.

The next part of the book is Macross 'Outside Story' which appears to be what happened after episode 24 of the series (assuming that it was the end of the show). It's all in Japanese but from what I can gather from the pictures is that Rick and Lisa went on being in love, Minmei and Lynn Kyle lived happily ever-after, the Zentraedi that were left peacefully integrated with the humans, and New Macross city grew up around the old SDF-1 (like in the show). Of course all this was somewhat altered with addition of the 12 extra episodes.

The next section deals with the last 12 episodes and is just like the synopsis for the first 24. After that 'Combat Action' shows the animation cells used the action scenes of the show. There are a bunch of cutsie-type pictures of super deformed mecha and characters in funny poses throughout this section.

Miss Macross "For Space Life Casual" is the next part of the book. It is basically some color art work of the women of Macross in various outfits.

The next section (page 101-136) is filled with the character model sheets for the series. There are hundreds of sketches of the characters (major people and background ones too).

My favorite section is the next one: Mechanic of Macross. This section contains the sketches of the ships, configurations, details, and every location in loving detail. I think this section alone could be sold as a book. There are soooooo many great drawings here! If you are following my year long Robotech experience I have often commented that the comics will use some of original sketches as a basis for their art work. Just look at the SDF-1 on page 140 or the Veritechs on page 151 and you will see lots of shots that look familiar. As an interesting side note there is a drawing of the SDF-2 on page 150. You can see how similar (and dissimilar in some ways) to the original SDF-1. The SDF-2 looks very similar to the SDF-1 in the Macross movie: Do You Remember Love.

The next section has concept artwork for the characters. You will some strangely familiar figures in this section. The early Rick Hunter looks like he would be more comfortable in Starblazers then Robotech. Minmei didn't change one bit while Roy went from looking more like Ben to the character we know and love. The final character changes were all for the better! There are also some very interesting concept art work for the SDF-1 and other mecha. The SDF-1 looked very Gundam-like in it's robot mode and I have to admit I liked the Gladiator better in it's concept drawing than the final product.

The next section I can't figure out at all. It seems to be a page from a manga but I am not sure if it's something that inspired Macross or just some test manga or what. Nothing really looks like Macross with the slight exception of the big ship in the background. I wish I could read Japanese...

The last section deals with (in Japanese) the staff and the voice actors of Macross. There is a saucy little picture of a naked Myria inside her Quadrono battle suit too!

That's all! This book is work every penny I paid for it. If you are fan of either Macross or Robotech this book is a must!




Monday, August 20, 2012

Robotech (Comico Comics) #19-24

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Robotech #19 (Comico 1987)

The opening shot of the SDF-1 from the ground looking up is great. It is an angle we don't normally get to see and it give the ship a sense of scale.

I noticed that in the show they don't tell you where the SDF-1 initially is (which city it is slowly flying over). In the book it says it's California and here in the comic it is New York.

On page 6 there is a cool shot of the bridge of the ship and another neat ground-level shot on the next page.

On page 8 Azonia starts talking about 'Breetai's mission' and I was like 'what the heck' but then I remembered that the spies were his doing.

Myria nekkid on page 9... hubba hubba.

Khyron looks a little... strange in the last pane on page 10... old man Kyhron or something...

The shot of the barrier control center is awesome. It appears to be based on the original sketch work done for Macross. Nice touch Comico.

The art in this issue is great. Time and after time I am impressed with this artist. This is the 80's and it looks great for being of that time and a smaller comic company. Way to go.

Robotech #20 (Comico 1987)

Breetai's sickly-looking double stands in for him in the last frame of page 3.

At least the UEG provided the SDF-1 with lots of new supplies. It would be jerky of them to just kick them off Earth with nothing.

On the top of page 4 is part of the 'Macross Nald's' building you see in the show.

The woman dropping off the 'move-out' orders from the UEG says a lot more here in the comic book... she's a real poo-head.

On page 12 one of the Zentraedi spies says something about the ship sealing itself after they blast their way out. This isn't mentioned in either the book or episodes. Nice since that is the first thing I thought about when it happened on the show.

On page 14 Gloval comes to the conclusion that they had spies on the ship. He didn't do that in the show either.

After the spies give their report and show all the crap they stole from the SDF-1 they talk about the stuff they kept. That is a lot of stuff for the spies to have stolen! There are several televisions, fridges, VCRs, and a grand piano!

After Minmei breaks in and gives her speech to the citizens of Macross after Gloval has broke the bad news Lisa leaves and says: 'that's the signal' then when she gets on the bridge she says that 'she' did it. It is as if Minmei's little speech was planned. It seemed to be more of an 'spur of the moment' thing in the show and the book. Lynn Minmei... RDF propaganda queen!

After Minmei starts her singing Kyle tells Gloval he is a good man... what?! I thought Kyle hated everything about the military...

Robotech #21 (Comico 1987)

The opening shot looks great. It would have been nice to see the SFD-1's ceiling in the background but you could blame that blue sky on the EVE system, right?

Page 5 has that shot from the show of the RDF base. I like it!

I have noticed that the comics have moved further and further away from the dialogue of the show (which it used to follow much more closely). This is no big deal, I just wanted to point it out.

Minmei doesn't sing before the movie starts like she does in the show. I always thought it was strange that 'Stagefright' would be the theme to a kung-fu movie.

The narrator says that Myria placed the transmitter that Breetai is using to watch the transmission from the ship. I like that the comic people are trying to explain how a Breetai can see a movie playing (since it really doesn't make sense that a movie would be broadcast like a TV show) but Myria? She seemed to be more rogue than a real spy.

Page 15 features two-faced Rick Hunter, freak of nature!

Some of the character designs are strange in this issue. Lisa and Sammie look strange. On page 18 Sammie's uniform looses it's blue tone for a frame too.

On page 24 Vanessa's uniform has lost it's color too. Looks like things got a little rushed with this issue. Oh yeah, and Claudia looks like she is 65 with that gray hair!

Robotech #22 (Comico 1987)

Minmei on the cover looks a little... iffy.

Mike Leeke's work improved over the last issue. I guess he was rushed with that last comic. This one looks better.

On page 7 Karita's uniform changes color too.

On page 13 there is an ad for the FHE 6-episode editions of Robotech (the ones I had). The art here is interesting since it looks to be someone who we have never seen do Robotech art before. Minmei still looks retarded... I guess it's universal.

Breetai mentions sending in 'drone pods'... what the heck is this? I guess some invention of the comic people because I have never seen this anywhere. In fact I think it's a bit 'un-Zentraedi' for them to do this. It's a bit like being a coward, which we know the Zentraedi are NOT.

On page 18 the editor lady posts a letter about seat belt safety. Can I just point out something in my man/male chauvinistic point of view. This is typical of a woman. She gets a platform and does stuff like this. Just like the issue were she gave the editor's column over to child abuse stuff or the time she gave fandom a lecture on etiquette at conventions I feel she needed to keep a Robotech comic... about Robotech. Thanks for the 'social commentary' but leave that to child abuse magazines or auto industry magazines... lol.

The last page of the comic is a cool, full page shot of Rick's battloid. I don;t think we've seen a page like this (except the dual page spreads).

Robotech #23 (Comico 1987)

Rick uses the Veritech 'head lasers' while he is dealing with the Zentraedi ships inside the SDF-1. This is cool since we rarely see them used.

That VERY young Zentraedi on page 4 always stuck out like a sore thumb to me (even in the show). He seems wayyyyy to innocent to be of a warrior race. Oh well, Khyron took care of that.

On page 9 the Zentraedi says: 'Macek's eyes'... lol.

On page 12 (2nd frame) Rico looks a little... Johnny Depp.

Rick (just like he did in the show) goes from super angry rejection of the aliens wanting to live with the micronians to totally accepting in just a heartbeat. I never understood that.

I thought Minmei's uncle Max was short on the show... he seems even shorter here (on page 17).

There is still a lot of talk of 'drone pods'. Not too sure of that concept...

Robotech #24 (Comico 1987)

On page 3 Rick looks very strange (in the middle frame). Also, how is Rick down there in the hangar as the ship takes off? It appears they are in space and the ship is leaving the hangar.

On the 2nd frame of the next page something strange is going on... I can't figure out where or who that is. I am guessing it's Sammy but who knows...

The Super Veritech looks much cooler in the show than here in comic form. In fact the art for the next several pages (mecha-wise) is very iffy. It looks rushed (perhaps)?

On page 13 is the advertisement for the first Robotech BMG collection. This is what started my soundtrack fun in the Robotech world (check the next-to-last paragraph).

On page 14 Admiral Hayes gives his wife (and Lisa's mother) a name: Gwen.

I love the sounds that some of the arcade machines are making! "Pocketa-pocketa! Zit! Zot! Pez Pez Pez!"

Myria looks a little crappy in these scenes. Perhaps she is having a bad day? Some of the strange characters from the show are here too. What's with the guy with the chain mail mask?

The coloring on page 22 is very strange. It looks like they were trying a new method or something.

Do my eye deceive me or is that Art Carney (aka Ed Norton from the Honeymooners) on page 23 hiding in with all the reporters?

The whole of page 26 is the SDF-1. I like it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book 4: Robotech: Battlehymn

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Welcome to the next post in my 2012 Robotech experience. Today I will be covering the fourth book in the Del Ray Robotech series: Battlehymn.

The book covers six episodes but I am watching the show one episode at a time then reading only the part of the book that covers that episode. Finally I will be reading the comic that corresponds to that episode.

The opening chapter is an invention of the author and it deals with what it might have been like to be on Earth when the SDF-1 showed back up after it's long voyage. It was neat to consider the surprise and panic it would have caused.

How even more fantastic would it have been for the people of the city who the SDF-1 first flew over (in the show). That would be awesome!

Yes, the two authors must be doing alternate books. This is the author that paraphrases what's going on as opposed to the other guy who is sticking very close to the show.


One thing I liked is that more emphasis was placed on the SDF-1's departure from Earth. It was a big moment in the story and in the lives of everyone on the ship and it was nice to see it given more here.

Dolza recalls Azonia and puts Breetai back in charge of the mission. If you payed attention you would have noticed that Azonia did absolutely nothing during her command. It was Khyron that kept going in and getting his ass handed to him.

I'd like to know where the spies got the ship to escape back to the fleet... in the previous book they mention that the pod dissolves so no trace is left but no one seems to know where the escape pod came from. My guess is that in the series it is the same pod they arrived in.

When Gloval announces that the SDF-1 has been ordered back into space Minmei breaks out in song... right there in the middle of the newscast. What an entertainer!

The writer makes a goof here when he is writing about Rico and the other spies talking. He says that Rico has only 'one good eye'. It's almost like he got Breetai mixed up with Rico.

When Rick and Lisa are trapped in the SDF-1 during the battle/drill/what the heck ever it was the book doesn't handle it as well as the show. The language is a little more natural but the feelings conveyed are not a 'blooming love' as they appear to be in the show.

I'm still stunned that Breetai would use his own ship and risk its destruction when he tries to get his troops inside the SDF-1 via the Dadelus attack. Seems awful risky...

I don't have a lot more to say about Minmei in this book. She takes a back seat to the action of the spies, Rick and Lisa, as well as the Zentraedi bungling.

It's funny the way the writer deals with previously unaddressed things in this book. Myria sees the defected aliens working right after their arrival on the ship and assumes (wrongly) that they were planted there for sabotage. Khyron is stunned to find out that Myria is there and assumes (wrongly) that she is there to find and kill the defectors. All the while Breetai takes credit for Myria being there, never telling Khyron it wasn't his idea.

Friday, July 27, 2012

RDF Mecha of the Macross Saga

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Today's post in my 2012 Robotech Experience is about the RDF's mecha from Robotech: The Macross Saga (the first 36 episodes).

I wanted to cover the mecha from the Macross saga because they are the most famous of all the mecha of the entire series (with the Cyclones coming in a close 2nd)... for me anyway. I am using the Robotech Role Playing book #1 (1986 Pallidum) for my refrence manual here.

As a side note the images I am using here were drawn by Kevin Long and have always been the standard art for the mecha of the Macross universe. I know that much of this art can be seen in its original form from the Japanese 'This is Animation' series of books but his reinterpretation of the designs are really great! Bravo!

Veritech/Guardian/Battloid

This jet/robot is ofcourse the main 'character' mecha of the series. Shoji Kawamori is credited for the majority of the design for the series Macross (which you all know is the first part of Roboteh here in the states).

As I have stated before the roleplaying books were my first re-introduction to the world of Robotech when I was older and more appreciative of the work. When a ship is yours to control in the game you get to know it fairly well. Pouring over the different mecha in the book to choose the one you are going to use can take up some serious time. The Veritech was the standard since it could get you to all the places where the action was found. I spent time comparing the different abilities of the mecha as well as it's strengths and weaknesses. Mecha with missiles were always my favorites... the more the merrier. The Spartan was the go-to mecha for that but the Super Battloid wasn't far behind. Still, the abilitiy to go far distances made this the winner in the mecha wars (and rightly so).

Spartan

The Spartan has (according to the roleplaying book) has 22 missiles per 'arm'. If you wanted to waste some Zentraedi mecha this was way to do it. Of course you were defensless afterwards! The American writers (I don't know who named what) decided to confuse us by calling this mecha a Spartan which is the original Japanese name of the mecha we know as the Gladiator.

I always thought it was strange that the Veritech was the only transforming mecha in the series. All the other Destroids were non-transforming. The Veritech kinda sticks out like a sore thumb when you compare it to these other guys. It has made me wonder if Macross was built around already existing designs just waiting for the right story... It's possible that these guys were just generic robot designs shelved until a studio came along needing a selection of mecha.

Raidar X

The Raidar X was always the mecha that I skipped on. That and the Gladiator. Not much going on here.

In my youth the importance of the radar equipment on this Destroid was always lost on me. I was looking for something to do more damage than anything else. In the series and the comics the Raidar X is sometimes generically referred to as a Destroid (much to my confusion).

This design has a lot of role-playability if put in the right circumstances. Any of these mecha can be made the focal point of a great gaming session with the right game master running the show.


Excaliber
By far the coolest looking Destorid is the Excaliber. The cannon arms give it quite a punch plus you get a nice mess of missiles to boot! This would be my first choice in a sustained battle in the RPG sessions (if I didn't pick a Veritech.)

Not only do you get the massive cannon-arms but you also ge the shoulder missile pods, chest guns, and upper leg missiles too!

If you remember in one of the eariler episodes when Vermillion Squadron is new Ben has a
lot more missiles attached to his Veritech on the tail fins. This was a Veritech pilots need to have a punch similar to the Excaliber!

Gladiator

This is the least favorite Destroid for me. It's ugly and can't do too much. Infact I always found it strange that the Destroids didn't behave like the Veritechs. The Destroids were more like walking tanks that lacked the finess of the Veritechs (although they have the same technology). The Veritechs can do all sorts of smooth, human-like movements while the Destorids lumber along.

There are a couple of instances (in my mind) where I remeber seeing the Gladiator carrying a mace or club of some sort. I can't remeber if that is shown on the the TV show or something in the books or RPG. I always thought that was kinda strange too. I guess the designers already had a mecha with cannons, missiles, and lasers for arms so they decided to just have a mecha with normal type arms that could hold something.


Mac II Monster

If the Destroids in general seemed out of place along side the Veritechs, the MAC II Monster sticks out even further when compared to everything else. This was always a great mecha for really blasting someone with but it wasn't very action oriented. If you had a really good game master they could make this fun and exciting but for us teens (at the time) this was good only for blasting (or getting blasted apart).

What a massive Destoid! This thing is so much bigger than anything else out there. In a later episode Khyron is riding it like a cowboy. I think the scale was a little off there but never the less this thing towers over all the other mecha and does some devastating damage. It is also a sitting target. Luckily it can take a bit of beating before it is destroyed.

When the Sentinels came out we got some re-envisoned versions of these mecha that were awesome! I am not sure if they got Studio Nue to design them but they really capture the spirit of the originals. I think (just as with the characters) they couldn't use the original Macross designs so they comissioned new deisgns that looked similar to the originals without downright infringing on copyrights.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vermilion Issues #1-4

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Welcome to my peek into the Robotech Universe in 2012 & 2013! At this point in the Robotech Timeline we are taking a pit stop after Comico issue 14 with the Vermilion mini-series from Antarctic Press. Let's 'press' on... get it?

Vermilion #1 (Antarctic Press 1997)

We start off with a much more modern 'anime' look to these comics. We have been thick in the world of Comico's 80's comic book look and to be thrust into the future of comics is jarring. It's nice, just different.

Duc Tran is our artist here and his style is 'long and skinny'. Everyone look 2 meals shy of anorexic. This is just his style and it looks very artistic... just sayin'.

The art is black and white (which I happen to like) and has a somewhat 'sketch' appearance. There is a lot of cool detail on the character's surroundings.

Page 11 shows the SDF-1 and it looks great! You know how much of a sucker I am for the SDF-1 by now...

Page 17 starts the 'Mospeada Diary' by Joe Weltjens. I don't what to say about this. It is 'written' from Scott Bernard's point of view and is simply a picture (of original animation quality) and a sentence underneath it. There really isn't much here. It is kinda wasted space. It seems they needed several pages of filler and turned it over to Joe.

Vermilion #2 (Antarctic Press 1997)

Joeming Dunn is COO of Antarctic and Ben Dunn is the Publisher. I run into Ben three times a year at Dallas Comicon and trade him Macross/Mospeads stuff for drawings. It works out well for both of us! Anyway Antarctic Press seems to have been Ben's baby and perhaps I will get him in an interview on our main According To Whim Blog one day.

Page 7 is a shot of the bridge. I love those.. and this one has a lot of outer (and inner) detail.

So this RDF guy is in cahoots with Khyron (not really a Zentraedi trait but I'll roll with it).

Ben Dixon makes a cameo on page 12!

The shots of Battlepods on 17 and 19 are very detailed and they look great!

The story stops and on page 21 is Robotech: Unsung Heroes by Brian Farrens. The art work is Joe Weltjens (like the Mospeada Diary from last issue).

The art in this piece looks more 90's 'comic book traditional'.

They call a Legioss 'Legios' so I am not sure. That happens a lot with Robotech, a name will be spelled here one way and there another.

Speaking of there is a cool shot of one on page 23!

Cool shot of Invid on page 24 and 25 too.

Vermilion #3 (Antartic Press 1997)

The story continues with Rick and Lena discovering the hidden Zentraedi ship.

On page 7 there is a shot of a restaurant in Macross and it looks fantastic, such detail! I love attention to detail at this level!

The Bridge Bunnies make an appearance on page 16. They sure are cute...

'Unsung Heroes' picks back up on page 20 with some cool shots of Invid Shock Troopers.

It's over quickly but it looks great all the way. This is some great art!

Vermilion #4 (Antarctic Press 1998)

There is some fantastic artwork throughout this comic. It is very reminiscent of Evangelion in character design with the skinny people but like I said before it's the artist's style.

The overall storyline is good enough but it might have fit better in a large one-shot or perhaps a graphic novel. It's got nice art and the 'extra' characters they added for the story don't stick out like sore thumbs (like some of the Academy stuff).

In this final story Rick and Lena foil Khyron's plans and help expose the traitors.

There is a direct attack on the bridge. We have never seen that before, cool.

Ugh, page 21...

After the story ends we see the end of 'Unsung Heroes'. Right on the first page we get an awesome shot of an Alpha in Battloid mode!

Ouch! This story ends on a super bummer of a note!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Robotech: Destroid & Excalibur I and II Comics

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

We take a small break from watching the cartoon series to partake of these one shots put out by
Academy comics.

Destroid (Academy 1994)

Wow, we get a goof and and an awesome picture in the first page of this comic. Lisa and Claudia are reversed... well apparently the whole image is reversed becasue Vanessa is in the wrong spot too... no biggie. The next shot is inspired! It is a look at the bridge in a way that we have only seen in Macross sequels. It's shown in all the concept sketch stuff but never in the original show. The bridge is more of a deck hanging in a much larger space. We see a side view of it here... this is cool!

The art work in this comic is top notch. I am really digging it! A lot of detail and the character portraits are well done. Nice work!

This comic illustrates the sad fact that Destroid are sitting ducks out there. They clomp out on deck and get their asses handed to them. Veritechs and zoom here and there and generally be on the move all the time while all other mecha just stand there like nicely painted targets.

On page 11 is the inside of a Desroid. There never was any sort of view like this in the show. I really like it.

On page 25 is the writer and artist (William Jang's) story oh how this comic book came together. It is an interesting read.

Excalibur (Academy 1995)

Excalibur is the continuation of Destroid with Ken Saton (the only survivor of the team in the Destroid comic).

Once again William Jang does a great job with some great art work. The opening page of the SDF-1 is great. Have I mentioned I like shots of the SDF-1 (only like a million times).

I like all the technical upgrade talk here. Jang took something that was just a background feature and enhanced it, bringing it up to the front for a bit. It's nice to see Destroids get some of the glory for once.

The Excaliburs are upside down. This is cool. It does pose an issue since there is supposed to be artificial gravity all about the SDF-1. Who knows, maybe that doesn't count on the 'arms'.

Excalibur II (Academy 1994)

This is a further continuation of the previous 'one shot' Excalibur. It takes place right after splashdown of the SDF-1 on Earth.

Nice opening shot of the SDF-1 there.

On page 7 there appears to be a model of the Enterprise from Star Trek on the desk in the corner of the office.

Page 8 seems to almost be a pre-art sketch. It's really rough and lacks the details of the rest of the comic. It seems like the page was forgotten about and this was done at the last moment or something...

On page 9 in the first frame we see a couple (from behind) who looks a lot like Claudia and Roy. Also the VT pilot coming through the door is wearing a Macross: Do You Remember Love uniform.

The story ends kinda weakly for me. I liked the art, the story was going well but it all ended rather quickly without much resolution. Perhaps he thought they would give him more. Over all I liked it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Robotech (Comico Comics) #13-18

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Welcome to the next batch of comics in my 2012 Robotech Experience. First I read these 6 episodes then watched them and now I am going to read the comics of them. For those of you who don't know I am reading and watching my way through Robotech chronologically this year.

Robotech #13 (1986 Comico)
The cover of this issue is cool but you can tell it's the old Macross Tatsuoko Studio drawing of the SDF-1, redrawn.
Rico, Konda, and Bron talk about changing clothes as opposed to uniforms like they do in the book and show. It was funnier (and more telling of the Zentraedi) of how uniforms were the norm in their world.

The shot of Macross city on page 8 is awesome. I like the 2nd tier thing. There is a place called Arcadia! Yay! (ps, look up the name on Google, hint: Duran Duran).

On page 11 there is an advertisement for the 1/144 scale Robotech models... for only 2.25 each! Now-a-days you can find them on EBay for about $25 each.

The guys riding in the car with Roy Fokker when they are heading off to battle are freaking out at Roy's driving (or lack of) and it's hilarious. Here in the comic it isn't as funny as the show but it is still a funny moment.

On page 17 (the Hype Page) there is only one letter and it's about a guy who knew Greg Jarvis (one of the people who died during the Shuttle Challenger accident). Someone at Comico wrote a bit in their February issue. I am not sure which comic title that was (I don't remember seeing it in the main Macross Saga title). I will have to keep an eye out. BTW I was in middle school at the time and I remember the day it happened.

There is that same shot of the SDF-1 on page 20.

On page 24 the splashdown of the SDF-1 is cool. I like it!

Ahhh! Max's face is blue on page 25 (and Rick is being played by Bruce Campbell)!

Ok, before you go on head over and read the Destroid, Excalibur I & II  comic reviews then come back here and pickup with Comico #14...

Back? Good, read on...

---------

Robotech #14 (1986 Comico)

Page 2 has a cool shot of Prometheus.

Page 12 has a full color advertisement for the Matchbox toys (along with their 'imported' designs). I couldn't find any errors with the listings or the pictures this time.

There is that 'standard' SDF-1 drawing again. This time, it looks like it was played with a bit (the placement of the arms, and it appears reversed). You can still tell it by the angle of the shot.

Dolza looks like he has hair on page 25.

There is not much to nit pick at this issue. It's great. The story is all old junk but the art is really really good!

Ok, before you go on head over and read the Vermilion comic review #1-4 then come back here and pickup with Comico #15...

Back? Good, read on...

---------
Robotech #15 (1986 Comico)

On the cover Kyle seems to be staring at Minmei's forehead.

Rick and Minmei get a quick (VERY QUICK) send off by Max and Ben when they leave to go to Yokohama. What was the point of that? It's so quick. Did they really send that much effort to fly by, say 'have a nice date' and fly off? I never understood why it was in the show to begin with.

This comment is more for the show but when the elevator car is traveling through the Grand Canon the sound effects are pretty lame. Lots of computerized sounding 'zipping' back and forth. Those shots would have been better served with some heavy industrial cable car sounds or something.

On page 17 Minmei looks very silly and cartoon-like when her mother is hugging her.

On page 18, what's with the council member with the funky glasses. I don't remember this in the show.

Rick's expression at the bottom of page 20 is great!

The back cover has an ad for the Matchbox toys and some rebates you can get. The shot of the SDF-1 playset has everyone in it. Rick working alongside Lunk with Dana and Minmei nearby.

Robotech #16 (1986 Comico)

The comic tells us that The White Dragon is the only Chinese restaurant in Macross city... really? A town of 70,000 people and only one? Here in my town we have like 4 of them!

On page 5 the Shrimp on top of the bowl of rice looks to be different in the comic. It looks like little corn cobs. I guess they thought since they just proclaimed The White Dragon as the only Chinese restaurant it would confuse people to see something that looked like a Chinese dish at another location. It's obviously Japanese but just dumb kids read comics and watch cartoons, right?

On page 9 the guy standing watching the TV in front looks a lot more 'detailed' that everyone else. I am guessing it is someone one of the artist knows.

Does little Jason have long girl hair? Looks like the artist might have neglected to notice that was Jason, Minmei's cousin, not a little girl.

I never understood why that person in in the bar (page 10) complains that they lost their 'land' as a result of the events of the alien invasion. I always thought it was weird.

On page 18 there is a shot of Vermillion squad leaving the flight deck. I noticed that those are 'original' artwork designs (probably light-boxed) like those shots of the SDF-1 from a few issues back. I have noticed this sort of art work here and there throughout the comic series. Not complaining... just pointing out.

On page 25 Lisa's uniform has changed color. I guess she is feeling blue about nearly killing Rick.

Robotech #17 (1987 Comico)

Whoa, what's going on on the front cover?!

This comic seems to be taking liberties with the nature of the story. That's fine since it's just a dream... 'yes Rick, only a dream.'

Pages 12 and 13 are advertisement for some cool stuff like buttons, shirts, photos, and such from Creation (those are the people that do the conventions). I wish they still made that stuff!

On page 19 when Rick's plane is caught up in the overhead wires deep within the SDF-1 it makes a sound... Doing- oing- oing! I love it!

That's about all. Not much to comment on here because it's a dream where anything can be 'right'. The art here is done by a different artist and has a decidedly 'artsy' almost art deco look.

Robotech #18 (1987 Comico)

Rick is chatting with the nurse when this issues opens. He didn't chat in the show, he seemed far more morose.

I like the art here. It looks stylish.

On page 5 the writers turned the dialogue around to fit better with a static image as opposed to animation.

Rick seems more annoyed with his subordinate pilots most of the time. I realize you can't get too chummy with your underlings but man, he downright ignores them most of the time.

On page 22 that's a great shot of the SDF-1. I can't get enough of that ship!

I thought they might show the inside of Roy's damaged cockpit since they could, but they didn't

The last page seems really rushed. Not art-wise but in story length. Lisa never actually says Roy is dead either.

Ok, that's all for this batch of comics. This next go around will be a little different as I will be:
  1. Watching the episode.
  2. Reading the book (for that episode)
  3. Reading the comic (of that episode)
 I will still release the blogs in groups of six but this way I will focus on each episode a little more.