Monday, July 24, 2017

Robotech: Time to Let It Go, Harmony Gold

Well, assuming it actually gets finished and released, I fully expect this to go down like Hapless Pilot #12 vs. Roy Fokker.

The time for a Robotech feature-film was, oh, 1989. Not 2017, 2018, or whatever. Harmony Gold tried thrice to keep this ball rolling: Robotech: The Movie (where the Megazone 23 stuff got added), Robotech II: The Sentinels (it could've been good), and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (failed pilot). The problem is always the same: the original fanbase found the original series and transfered fandom loyalties to them, so they didn't care about the new stuff.

The music of the original series is superior. The stories of the original series are superior. The sequels for the one original series that actually took off, globally, are far superior. The only reason that the current tabletop RPG has any fans is due to the ease of using the product line as a defacto TRPG for those original series; the new stuff gets used only as fodder for those really into Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. (Or as fodder for RIFTS.)

In short, there's no "there" there anymore. No one who's come into anime since the boom of the 1990s will give a shit about this live-action adaptation. No one overseas will care either, so there's no market for it. This isn't a film project; this is a tax write-off that allows some folks to collect a check and discharge a contract. We just get a film as collateral damage.

The other reason this film project exists is similar to what Sony did with Spider-Man: make a film every so often to retain the rights. Harmony Gold benefits because they're single-handedly retarded the growth of Macross fandom in North American due to the contract they took out in the 80s as part of making Robotech. There's a termination clause in that contract,and both Bandai and Sunrise want to find a way out from under by using it so they can complete their conquest of the world by finally selling ALL the merch for Macross (including related stuff like Super Robot Wars games).

Harmony Gold needs to let it go. There will never again be a Robotech fandom worth a damn, and when this film either dies in production or flops on release that will be the moment to lay on all the pressure to stop being cocks and make way for the real star: the Macross franchise. (Yes, reasonable re-releases of Southern Cross and MOSPEADA will also be nice, restored and on Blu-Ray.) Then Harmony Gold can finally die off and go back to the '80s, where it should've stayed, and be put back in its place in history: as the catalyst for America's embrace of anime a decade later.

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