It’s just bonkers, isn’t it? This thing has been in the works for YEARS now. But considering the subject matter, the Expeditionary Force mission, the folks at Palladium had to have been doing a lot of heavy lifting in fleshing out the cosmos and the organization and everything. Heaven knows Shadow Chronicles did a remarkably poor job in creating a properly robust “to the stars” setting. This is one of the reasons I’m hoping Robotech Academy gets funded and put out there — the universe beyond Earth is SO poorly developed in the current source material. I wonder if the fact that we do have a project set out among the stars is one of the reasons for the most recent round of delays; hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if noncommittal wishy-washyness around what is essentially the Sentinels setting on Harmony Gold’s part is one of the reasons this thing has been kicked down the road for so long now. The latest date is October, and I sort of wonder if whether or not Academy gets funded will affect that in any way — say, if they’ll need to make some minor revisions and allusions to that project if it is going to go forward.
Yeah, I saw that. For those who haven’t, it’s here —> http://io9.com/a-brief-history-of-5-failed-robotech-sequels-1608968158
The author, Rob Bricken, is the same guy who wrote the io9 “Why Robotech is the Greatest Love Story of the 20th Century” article, and I think at least one more Robotech-related piece, so the guy clearly has a soft spot for the show and keeps an eye out for what’s going on with it. Part of me thinks he’s just being realistic, but I think what he was really doing there was twisting the facts so that he could realistically have a list of five. After all, he includes The Odyssey of all things, which as he points out was never much more than an outline in Carl Macek’s mind. If he wanted a stronger list, he should’ve just played the old “Failed Robotech Projects” card and trotted out Crystal Dreams. (On some level this would also open things up to the largely failed Matchbox toy line, which would have allowed him to play the Women of Robotech ad, which is always good for a laugh.) Likewise, if he’s lamenting the fact that Robotech can’t get its shit together for a sequel, pointing out a Kickstarter in progress in this context is not what I call helping. Who wants to contribute to a project that’s already being characterized as “failed?”
Ugh, ugh, UGH.
(FYI, on a barely-related note, as of this writing the new episode is almost 70% uploaded. Just thought you guys would like to know.)
My sentiments exactly. The Greg Snegoff video, with a cameo by Oliver at the end, was even more promising, though it downplays the Academy-on-the-run/kids-take-over-to-pursue-the-baddies thing that I was kind of hoping to see based on both the earlier video and a synopsis I’d stumbled across. The Snegoff video makes it sound like they only fold the once and then have to find other means of traveling across the cosmos. Maybe the Protoculture situation isn’t quite as dire as he’s making it out to be and it can pull off a few more folds?
Anyway, the real trick is, even if the Kickstarter succeeds, A) can Harmony Gold tap into enough talent to make this a solidly good pilot/series? And B) if it’s good, will they be able to find a way to bring the pilot to series? There’s a ton of variables in play, and if one thing goes wrong, we’re all gonna feel like fools for getting our hopes up again. I’m trying not to get too excited; right now, just crossing my fingers and hoping they hit their magic number.
I’d love to know the timeline they laid out for getting this thing going, because, yeah, a lot of these decisions over the past couple of weeks — the add-ons, the images and videos they decided to roll out — appear to have been on-the-fly. I’m probably overthinking this, but I almost wonder if they’d initially planned to launch this at SDCC and then changed their minds and rushed things to launch at AnimeExpo.
The thing is, a lot of these add-ons are being rolled out when they are precisely because the thing is losing steam, in hopes of getting the folks who’ve contributed to contribute more. Over this past evening I’ve seen several folks upping their pledges in desperation. I expect to see more of that as the weeks go on, and especially in the last twelve hours or so. The thing about Kickstarters is, they usually sag in the middle like this. It’s very possible that there will be a surge towards the end. The worry is, right now, that it won’t be able to surge quite enough to hit the half-mil mark. But hey, we’ll see.
Rendering as I type this, uploading between sunrise and noon (CDT), available to view at some point after that.
Back when I was doing ten minute videos, back when that’s all the average user could post to YouTube, I always felt like I was racing against the clock and had barely gotten a fraction of what I wanted to say out there. Even posting up stuff that runs for over an hour I still miss some things I kind of wanted to bring up. I’m just naturally kind of long-winded when I get on a roll about something I’m passionate about — and, as I’m sure you can tell, one of the things I’m most passionate about is ROBOTECH. This is why I just spent an evening carving out tangents and asides to get the new episode as short as I could get it — and it still clocks in at over an hour. Yeesh.
As for being hard on myself, I’ve been trying to quiet those demons since at least middle school. Twenty years and I still haven’t gotten them to shut up. Sadly, I doubt I ever will.
ACADEMY BLUES was a side story to RETURN TO MACROSS that focused on Macross Island’s Robotech Academy and, primarily, Cadets Lisa Hayes, Vanessa Leeds, Kim Young, and Rolf Emerson. That was the plan, at least. It wound up being kind of mopey — the narration would usually be Lisa writing letters to Karl Rieber — and never really escaped from RETURN TO MACROSS’s orbit enough to craft its own identity. It didn’t help that original artist Sean Bishop left by issue 2, and issues 3-5 feature really stiff, sub-deviantArt-level art. You’d think with a book like this you’d want to give it a very different tone, have it be about the girls getting into misadventures and chasing boys and learning how to crew a space battlefortress. Instead, the sort of grim terrorist stuff from RETURN TO MACROSS bled over, and in fact long after it ended one of its original characters wound up dead from a terrorist’s bomb in the BREAKING POINT: CADET LISA HAYES one-shot that capped off both it and RETURN TO MACROSS.
I genuinely like ACADEMY BLUES #0, and issue #1 isn’t bad, but the rest of the series is sorry misfire. Sad, that.
I doubt ROBOTECH ACADEMY will be any more of a comedy than any other part of the series. The original series could get goofy at times — see Ben Dixon’s loudmouthed bravado, the Zentraedi spies’ inept attempts to blend in with the citizens of Macross City, Dana wheeling out a Battloid with bunny ears, and most of Annie’s flirtations — but that didn’t make it a comedy. (Most importantly, a lot of these attempts at comedy don’t really work, though somehow it doesn’t hurt the show that much.) Especially in the wake of THE SHADOW CHRONICLES managing about the same tone (Alex Romero was like a more likable Ben Dixon and Louie Nichols was played for laughs without really being all that funny), I expect ROBOTECH ACADEMY will be more of the same.