Sunday, April 18, 2010

Could This Be Love? (Tribute to the Passing of Carl Macek)

Hello, everyone!  Hope you're all doing well today.  I'm going to take a quick moment and deviate from the norm to do a post about something totally un-fashion or un-shopping related.

Yesterday, Carl Macek passed away.  If you know of him, then you know that he was the man who brought Japanese animated series, "Macross," to the United States, renamed as "Robotech," and well...sort of butchered, in its way.  From what I understand of the origin story, there were issues with licensing and/or receiving appropriate translations (or any translations), so Mr. Macek and his colleagues actually made up the story and the dialogue as they went along, based on the images alone.

Rick Hunter (object of my first girlhood crush!)

But let me back up a bit, for those of you unfamiliar with Robotech or anime.  Robotech, originally titled, "Macross" in Japan, where it was first produced and broadcasted, aired on American network television in the '80s, and was ground-breaking in a number of ways, the least of which being the fact that for the first time ever, the American public (nevermind that the audience was made up of mostly children - I was in 3rd or 4th grade at the time) was treated to an animated show that dealt with adult stories and themes - and not the x-rated type - rather, things like love, betrayal, death, loss, grief, war, and so on.  Good guys died and didn't come back to life and their friends grieved.  Characters fell in love and out of love and suffered the consequences.  Characters were discriminated against, because of their sex, race, and species.  Characters were conflicted.  Characters were...awfully human and real.  All of this was set against the backdrop of an amazing and exhilirating science fiction story of the human race and its battle against an alien species called the Zentraedi.   There were fighter planes that transformed into robots, super cute pilots (Rick Hunter, pictured above, was one of my first crushes ever), pretty girls who sang songs and wore fun dresses, pretty girls who had serious brains and could kick some serious ass, star-crossed lovers, and battles in space.  For those of you who are still with me, this was epic drama, romance, and occasional comedy.  I loved it.

But wait, Carol, you protest.  This is a blog about pretty things.  NOT robots.  Okay, you're right.  But I maintain that robots - particularly the "Valkyrie" fighter jet/robot thingies (oh, my husband is just dying right now, I'm sure) are really beautiful!  And these characters are really pretty!  Gorgeous, even!

Lin Minmei, "Miss Macross" and later pop star and love interest of Rick Hunter.

Millia (alien fighter pilot who falls in love with a human!)

Max, the human fighter pilot who wins over Millia with his amazing skill.

Okay, so I admit I never found Max that cute.  But Minmei is lovely, Millia sizzles, and Rick...well, Rick was the object of my first girlhood crush!  

So, thank you Mr. Macek, for doing what you did, and bringing us Robotech (despite the disdain of many anime fans).  May you rest in peace.


  1. I've never personally watched Macross/Robotech but did hear about it as being IT for japanime. I had a a friend who was big into for a while, so I did learn to appreciate the likes of Totorro (sp?), Ghost in a Machine, etc. as "classics." It is interesting to think what essentially is a cartoon can be considered avant garde with real depth of character and development.

    My big japanime-ish vice was Voltron - it was one of my after school TV highlights when I was little. Go Sven! :o)

  2. Oh I LOVED Robotech! Back in the day, my cousins and I would watch this tirelessly and then pretend we were the characters. But I would always choose to be Lisa Hayes because even at my young age, I found Minmei to be unsufferably whiny and the opposite of the woman I wanted to be. Lisa kicked butt! LOL.

    Ok, so now you can tell what a dork I was when I was a kid. :P

  3. Oh my goodness, Michelle Q is my twin!! I loved Robotech and always wanted to be Lisa Hayes too! Minmei had some pretty songs though. And now that we're discussing it, her singing just popped into my head: "To be in love must be the sweetest feeling that a girl can feel..." Ok, yes, that shows how dorky I am but also how much I worshipped the Robotech series.

    I had no idea that Carl Macek passed away. Next time I'm at my parents house, I'm going to dig up my old Robotech videos and watch them again in his honor (if I can find a VCR, that is)...

    Btw, I love your blog!

  4. I will third Michelle Q and Wendy's comments - i loved robotech and lisa hayes, too!

  5. I love it! When I read your comments, I said to my husband, "I knew they'd be out there - women who used to be girls who watched and loved Robotech!" Hahaha...I loved Minmei at first (the first few episodes with the cuteness and pretty songs), but definitely liked Lisa better, once we got past her sort of stiff and stern exterior. I never understand why Minmei took up with Lance - he was such a creep. To be honest, I really wanted to be Millia - kickass fighter pilot. ;)

  6. I will confess to having "To Be In Love" on one of my mix tapes, growing up. (though I found Minmei tough to take) And I cried when Roy died. Just sayin'.

  7. Okay, now aside from having outed ourselves as being possible sci-fi/anime geeks, we have also outed ourselves as being over 30-years old...