Geeks in their late twenties and early thirties had been very, very excited for the recent release of the Transformers movie, roughly twenty years after the original animated TV series. John from the Movie Blog, for example, apepars to have written several hundred posts about the movie.
I’m of the right age, gender and a movie geek. Why wasn’t I excited, too? In fact, I was so unexcited, I listened to the two hosts of Slate’s Spoiler podcast disclose and soundly mock the movie’s apparently obscure plot.
My initial theory was that I was just the little bit too old to really have fallen in love with The Transformers. But then I thought of something else, possibly to deflect my attention from that age theory.
Around the same time, I discovered and fell in love with the Japanese animated series, Robotech. I liked it so much that I got up at 8:30am on Saturday mornings to watch and record (on Beta) every episode in my parents’ bedroom. Patient people, my parents.
Robotech featured cheesy plot lines and transforming machine, too. Maybe there was only room for one such show in my childhood? Maybe I was just drawn to those enormous anime eyes? Plus, Robotech seems a lot darker. For probably the first time in fifteen years, I watched a clip from my favourite episode. Earlier in that episode (if I recall correctly), 75% of the Earth’s population is vapourized from space. You won’t see the Decepticons getting up to that on American television.
It turns out they similarly made a follow-up animated Robotech movie last year that pretty much went straight to DVD.