The future is not a straight line. There are many different pathways.
April 19, 2010 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Carl Macek, who created Robotech, brought Akira to America and was a co-founder of Spumco, passed away this Saturday.
posted by Artw (53 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2010


Robotech was the only cartoon on TV when I was a kid where people actually died. It was giant robots and the power of love & music overcoming giant aliens bent on war, which hurt my head even then... but there was genuine blood and consequences for violence.

.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:53 AM on April 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by jquinby at 9:54 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by threetoed at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2010


.

Practically every anime VHS I purchased in the early 90s had his name on it somewhere. I'll forgive him for his "Americanizing" some of the titles and scripts- he really had a massive hand in bringing the stuff over here.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:56 AM on April 19, 2010


A lot of the more rabid fans, when they found out that 'Robotech' was three series - Superdimensional Space Fortress Macross, The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, hated the man for chopping it up, 'screwing' with it. But he had to fill a standard 65 episode slot for syndication, and with those three series he had 85. Yes, he had to do a lot of poking and shoving and cutting to make it work, but looking back he did a pretty good job.

My own feelings about the man changed when I encountered him at Anime American 1995. Streamline (his company) had just announced they were going to release two of the three Megazone 23 movies. I asked him, "What are you going to do about the music?" (It's all in Japanese, after all.)

He told me that he thought the music made enough of an impact that, by itself, even if you didn't know Japanese, people would 'get it'. I was impressed. (It was also the year that the dub of Bubblegum Crisis - the original series - was coming out, and they'd redone all the music, and it was, uh, kind of painful.) He really did what he did to get the stories out.

RIP, Mr. Macek.
posted by mephron at 10:00 AM on April 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


My husband and I agree on almost nothing when it comes to what to watch on tv...but we happily watched Robotech together years ago when the babies were tiny...

.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:01 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:09 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by cashman at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by brundlefly at 10:26 AM on April 19, 2010


I had no idea that Robotech was created by an American.

.
posted by ignignokt at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:45 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by rahnefan at 10:46 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:51 AM on April 19, 2010


.

Oh Robotech. Talk about a series that had some strange influences on my life.
posted by rand at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2010


.

Although my first anime was Star Blazers, Robotech was a worthy successor.
posted by yeloson at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by Oktober at 11:03 AM on April 19, 2010


Witness the power of love!

.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:05 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by mikelieman at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by clarknova at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2010


I would not be the person I am with the career that I have, had it not been for Macek and Robotech.

My boyfriend is a pilot now

.
posted by pts at 11:11 AM on April 19, 2010


Never knew the man's name, but his work will stand a long time.


.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2010


.

Robotech was a major part of my childhood. It was on at 4:30 or 5:00, and I got up early every day before elementary school to watch it. I read all the books, too.
posted by interrobang at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2010


(In the morning, I mean.)
posted by interrobang at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by oraknabo at 11:33 AM on April 19, 2010


Let the otaku cry about what he did to Macross, Southren Cross & Mospeda to get the show carried in the States-- I still think his total is better than the sum of their parts.

.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:43 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the article:

Carl had his critics. But one thing is certain: the popularity of anime in the North America would not be where it is today without Macek’s groundbreaking work on Robotech...

Amen.

Try watching Superdimensional Space Fortress Macross, The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, Genesis Climber Mospeada and Robotech side-by-side. Many times, the Robotech version had better music, voices better suited to the characters and was way more exciting to watch.

Note: I don't say this to knock the original Japanese anime - they are great shows and groundbreaking, too. If you haven't already, you should watch them all. I say this because a lot of dubbed anime takes away from the anime without adding anything and Carl Macek added so much. Too many anime fans look only at what he cut, completely ignoring everything he added to the series and the genre.

Comment from the article:

Carl... was a wonderful teacher to many of us, and never held back from sharing his expertise, even with his competitors. I am personally grateful to him for the time he spent to bring me up to speed on animation in general, and anime in particular. His legacy is strong, and his impact is wide. A truly creative and gifted individual.

A beautiful comment for a beautiful human being.

Also, well said, mephron. If we ever met for a scotch, I think we'd have plenty to talk about and I'd enjoy your company.

For me, Robotech kicked off a series of Rube Goldberg machine-like events that ultimately brought me to Japan.

Thank you, Carl. You enriched my life. You will be missed.

.
posted by stringbean at 11:51 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am glad I got to meet the man just this last year, as he had a very subtle yet profound influence on my life. It's scary to think of all of the fan hate that was directed his way, yet he shrugged most of it off like water off a duck's back. Only later when we looked back and heard the stories about the struggles he went through just to get Robotech on the air at all that we realize he was doing it out of love for the form, not for business reasons. He was met with admiration and respect at the the convention appearance, and I'm glad he got to see that turnaround before passing.

.
posted by Hamusutaa at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by eggplantplacebo at 12:09 PM on April 19, 2010


Apparently, he was also working on a Ray Harryhausen film.

.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:57 PM on April 19, 2010


my childhood was improved by his vision.
posted by radiosilents at 1:11 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Aznable at 1:20 PM on April 19, 2010


nth-ing the impact that series had on me as a kid. I'm still waiting for my own cyclone.

.
posted by anti social order at 1:24 PM on April 19, 2010


The televised version of Robotech made a huge impact on me and led to many other things, thank you Mr. Macek.
posted by Fricka at 1:33 PM on April 19, 2010


.

I am almost finished reading Akira for the first time, and am totally in love with it. If it weren't for him bringing the anime to the states, the manga wouldn't be here, either. Thanks, dude.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 2:00 PM on April 19, 2010


.

Robotech was a huge influence on my life and the lives of many of my circle of friends. Watched it as a kid during the 80's, and read all the books too. I've seen Macross as a separate series, and I think that the whole of Robotech is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard for me to believe that Robotech is now older than Star Trek: TOS was when I was watching Robotech in the 80s. Damn.
posted by wuwei at 2:28 PM on April 19, 2010


.

Defend the SDF for the last time Carl. Thanks for the memories.
posted by joelf at 3:12 PM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by symbioid at 3:24 PM on April 19, 2010


.

I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning to watch this. My kids love Robotech, too. I hope they're okay.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 4:59 PM on April 19, 2010


He's sharing a drink with Roy Fokker now.
posted by TSOL at 5:37 PM on April 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by tyllwin at 5:49 PM on April 19, 2010


I don't watch much new anime or attend conventions, but there needs to be some kind of pioneer or lifetime award given out in Carl Macek's name to people who raise anime's profile in the mind of the general public. The seriousness of both Akira and the Robotech Saga changed the way we look at animation. This man was a giant in the field of animation and it's thanks largely to him that it's socially acceptable for adults to create and watch animation that is made with a mature audience in mind.
posted by KingEdRa at 6:15 PM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by deusx at 6:59 PM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by incessant at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2010


When I was 9, my greatest ambition was to be a blue-haired Veritech pilot who could knife fight with the best of them. Or failing that, a Cyclone rider. Macek provided wonderful fuel to my imagination.

.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:54 PM on April 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Be forever, SDF 1.

.
posted by SPrintF at 8:05 PM on April 19, 2010


.
posted by Minus215Cee at 8:09 PM on April 19, 2010


My girlfriend has a boyfriend who's a pilot, too, and, yes, it is in large part his fault, I think.

.
posted by Alterscape at 8:27 PM on April 19, 2010


.

Like many, his work dominated my childhood. Robotech was an obsession in my house. My brother even created his own Robotech RPG that he started shopping around to game companies when he was 12 or 13. I seem to remember they actually came out with one, and it was terrible compared to my brother's efforts. We watched every episode, played our game every week, even while on family vacations, the show influenced my taste in women, and was directly related to me getting a motorcycle before a car. I'm still bummed that I don't have a cyclone. Or a battle tank. Or a veritech fighter. I mean it's less than 3 years until the zentradi are supposed to show up. We are not prepared.

When japanese exchange students came to stay with us, we asked them about Robotech and of course, none of them knew what we were talking about. I never understood that until last year when I finally starting looking for information about the series. I might have to find all my old tapes and watch the whole thing in his honor.
posted by gofargogo at 10:19 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:17 AM on April 20, 2010


.
posted by ilovemytoaster at 11:09 AM on April 20, 2010


I might have to find all my old tapes and watch the whole thing in his honor.

I was very happy when I finally sprang for the Protoculture box set -- the entire series plus plenty of extras on 21 dvds, available from the usual on-line spots for about 70$.
posted by incessant at 6:08 PM on April 20, 2010


« Older What appears to be a next generation iPhone was fo...  |  Sure, guys, that’s totally bas... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments