Saturday, July 7, 2018

Classic Mecha Anime Coming West!

Anime Expo 2018 is going on, and in a synchronicity that I never saw coming a whole bunch of classic '80s anime series got new North American licenses. These are for streaming as well as home video releases (and some are streaming now, usually via HIDIVE or Crunchyroll), which means that some anime we never got brought over back in the day are finally coming West. Below I'm summarizing who snagged what, and linking (rather than embedding) their opening themes:

This builds on Sentai Filmworks acquiring the rights to Aura Battler Dunbine (streaming and home video planned there also) earlier this year. It's a sign, folks- a sign that #AGundamForUs is the right move at the right time, so we've got to follow through.

It's a synchronicity due to the rising prominence of mecha-focused Western SF, especially in the indie field, as we can see at Amazon. While most of what's available follows BattleTech's lead of "lumbering tin cans with guns" (aka Walking Tank) instead of the Giant Soldier model of the Macross, Gundam, and indeed most mecha anime franchises (including BattleTech's source material), or are actually Powered Armor instead of proper mecha, it is interesting that a lot of the stuff that inspired the current Western outpouring--including our own #AGundamForUs projects--is finally coming to the West now that there's some indication of an audience for it.

Sure, plenty of other series are missing stuff (or only in their Mackered forms), but just as you must stop giving money to people who hate you you've also got to put your money where your mouth is- something SJWs fail at frequently. We're not going to get Fang of the Sun Dougram, Panzer World Galient, or the original OVAs of Legend of the Galactic Heroes if this stuff doesn't move massive amounts of discs or bring in plenty of streaming subs. That's how it is; we just got to deal with it.

And I do hope to hear more such announcements before this year's convention season is over. Making this happen means that there will be more people willing to take a chance on original mecha fiction such as my own Star Knight Saga and Brian Niemeier's Combat Frame XSeed. This is a golden opportunity that cannot be passed up, and if we play our cards right we can build up to some epic East-West collaborations of global impact.

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