Well I have been in somewhat of a funk lately.  So I have been reminiscing about my childhood and some of my favorite memories. In particular watching Robotech after school. Its hard to describe Robotech and convey the strength and impact it had on me. I was an innocent and nieve 9 year old. The world was huge and mysterious. I had an impressionable mind and an active imagination to go with it. So Robotech came at a perfect time and fit right in. 

 Like any 9 year old boy I liked cartoons. But Robotech was different and it still is. It had story. It had plot. It had characters that kept developing. It had love and death. Yes people actually died in a cartoon. Something that was almost unheard in the cartoons airing in the U.S.  It was actually like real life, except with transforming fighter jet mech robots, enormous spaceships, & aliens.  It was fascinating. I couldn't wait to rush home and see the next episode. Luckily I lived across the street from school, but I still usually missed the first five minutes. Ahh the memories. Aside from my parents and playing with friends, Robotech was at the top. It was the ultimate of what the world had to offer to a wide eyed 9 year old.

Lately I've been watching Robotech on sharetv.org. Its the first time in 25 years I've watched full episodes. Sure I could have been watching them a while ago with the videos out. But when Robotech first came on video (which was many years after it first aired) it was expensive. There was only vcr tape at that time and with only a few episodes per tape you had to buy quite a few tapes to get the whole first series of 36 episodes. And then there were still 2 more series to buy. It easily cost hundreds of dollars to get the full set. So I waited for them to come out with the full series in a pre-packaged set. They did but it was still expensive so I waited. Then they came out with a perfect collection set that included the original Japanese versions alongside the Amercanized versions. But formats were changing and dvd versions soon came out. It kind of got confusing and I didn't know what to buy. Prices kept getting cheaper, variations with bonus video appeared, there were a lot of options. Of course this took quite a few years to develop which meant I would be without Robotech for a long time unless I made a decision and plunked down some money.

Well I waited so long that I didn't even have to buy any videos. I can now in the year 2009 watch Robotech for free on the internet. Ahh . . . . technology is great. Its kind of funny because that is the year the series starts in the first episode. Anyways I finally got to watch the first episode of Robotech. It was pretty good. I mean I am no longer 9 years old so it was still pretty good coming from a 34 year old point a view.  I was surprised at how well I still thought it was done.  In a time where everything gets old passe and even multi-million dollar movies seem run of the mill and hence dated, this little but epic cartoon still stood up. 

 It made me reminesce and it brought back those nostalgic childhood memories. There is something difficult about describing childhood memories. There is something that cannot be described. That is how you viewed the world at that time. What was going on around you, what you thought of it, and how you thought things would be as you grew older. So when I mention childhood memories of watching Robotech it is much more than that. Robotech was deep in different ways. One the story was deep and involving. But also it served as a carrier of my memories, as my childhood thoughts and feelings latched to it and were carried with me into adulthood.

And now 25 years later I have finally decided to purchase the complete 1st series of Robotech.   For $60 bucks how could I not.  But what really got me was that it was the original Macross version.  The version that has been praised so much.  Robotech unedited and the way it was "meant to be seen."  But I am not going to argue whats wrong and right.  After watching Macross I am still grateful that Robotech was brought to my 9 year old eyes.  The time and effort put into bringing U.S. audiences Robotech (consisting of Macross, etc)  was extraordinary and I still feel lucky to have seen it at that period of my life.  Cut up and chopped or not it was plenty good enough for me then.

That said Macross definitely comes across different than Robotech.  Its funny because years after Robotech I grew to like anime, but I never thought of Robotech as anime. I just thought of it as a Japanese cartoon.  (Which is also funny because the cartoon never gave indicators that it was Japanese.  But even as a kid I knew.  This was different.  This was not G.I. Joe.  This was smart.  This had story.   It felt exotic and like a treat.  A glimpse into a different foreign world.)

So back to what I was saying.  One of the suprises of watching Macross was the realization that Robotech was at one time anime.  Robotech (my favorite cartoon) and anime ( my favorite form) were the same!  Duh!  I never really put them together.  Robotech was just a special place in my heart that I never really catagorized.   Somewhere between stupid G.I. Joe and storylined Japanese cartoons. I am thankful for what it was and what it still is.   I see Robotech as a unique form within itself.   And for those memories I thank Carl Macek and company.  I believe they did a great job.

Watching Macross does not make me feel like I was deprived of something, but rather it makes me feel like I got to discover Robotech all over again.  I got to watch my favorite show of all time almost like I have never seen it before.  How often does that happen?

Now to non-fans its probably all the same but who cares about them because they've stopped reading long ago.  But if you've read this far you know what I am talking about.  There is a completely different feel to Macross.  It seems more serious and matter of fact.  The characters more solid and developed.  The aliens darker and more determined, but at times slapsticky.  Its hard to explain.  Its anime.  And its great all over again.

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