Robotech

Robotech: The cartoon that showed American animation how to do long stories

Presenters
Apr 9, 2019

If you're an ancient sea mariner like many of us here at SYFY WIRE, then you well remember the state of cartoons in the 1980s. There were an awful lot of shows selling toys, lots of episodes about why drugs are bad, kids, and also just worlds of inconsistently animated Hanna and/or Barbera going on.

But in the midst of all of that, we were also starting to get animated series from Japan. Astro Boy. Speed Racer. Voltron. That third one, especially, was specifically about taking Japanese shows and recutting them into a storyline that would better satisfy an American audience.

Which brings us to another series that did the same: Robotech. This show, about a post war-torn Earth made peaceful after the crash landing of an advanced alien aircraft stands as one of the first animated series airing in America to delve into extremely long storylines. Influencing shows as famous in America as Transformers, Robotech managed to marry both long stories about war and conflict with melodrama about love and loss.

Also, there's a pop star in it.

SYFY WIRE's editor-in-chief Adam Swiderski joins Every Day Animation today to talk about what it was like being a nerd in Kentucky in the 1980s, feeling lonely, but then finally discovering Robotech and latching onto it like a gosh darn mecha lifeline.

And if you're watching along with us, get ready for tomorrow's episode where I'll be talking with The Blerd Gurl, Karama Horne, about the recent Netflix series, Love, Death, and Robots. It's a show about love, death, and robots. But it's also about art and vampires and swimming pools and about a million other things, too. Each episode is very short, it's very snackable, so we highly recommend checking it out before tomorrow. We'll meet you there.

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