Ah, good — we finally have a release date for the return of Robotech, the iconic and influential anime dub. It’s never been streamable before, but Funimation announced earlier this summer they had finally gotten the rights straightened out and would be adding the series to their service, as well as publishing a deluxe remastered Blu-Ray set.
Many, many years ago, before “anime” was ever a word, American audiences first got hooked on Japanese storytelling through a syndicated series Harmony Gold had named “Robotech.” Their creation was a splice-up of three different yet similar mecha shows, dubbed in English and sold as one continuing narrative. But continuing narratives were very rare in American animation at the time, as well as plots with real stakes. Robotech had those things all to itself, and it blew away a generation of 80s nerds.
Remember back in the early part of this decade when crowdfunding was red-hot and could do no wrong? Back then it was common for some of the high-profile funding efforts to raise a million or more in cash. Then the bloom started fading from the rose when stories of broken promises, late (or nonexistent) deliveries, and shoddy finished products began spreading. As some unfortunate entrepreneurs discovered, just being able to raise the money isn’t enough to guarantee you can make a successful product.
Some people became anime fanatics through Pokemon; others through Dragon Ball Z. But the original American otaku blossomed out of Robotech, the syndicated cartoon in the 80’s from a time when barely anything Japanese got on the international airwaves. It was one of the few cartoons to gain a sizable adult audience in the 1980’s, since the level of drama, action and suspense in Robotech couldn’t be matched by He-Man or GI Joe. Now Sony has announced plans to turn Robotech into a live-action movie. Or two. Or seven.