2 items from 2015
As the Robotech film moves ahead, we look at the anime's history, knotty rights issues, cultural impact, and earlier failed film attempts.
"In the year 1999, high above Macross island in the South Pacific, a phenomenal event occurred in the skies which altered the cause of human history..."
With a blaze of animated light, a huge alien space craft bursts through Earth's atmosphere and collides with a city, reducing its buildings to atoms in an instant.
That dramatic opening heralded the arrival of Robotech - and American television had never seen anything quite like it. Here was animated show which told a sprawling saga set across multiple epochs, full of alien invaders and exotic transforming robots. Its characters seemed low-key and somehow real; there were brave pilots, nervy new-recruits, romances and love triangles. There was action, but also comedy, tragedy and pathos. It even provided a generous helping of bubblegum pop music. »
One evening in 1994, the BBC screened a documentary simply called Manga. Presented by Jonathan Ross, it showcased the rising popularity of Japanese animation, largely focusing on the output of Manga Entertainment, whose dubbed VHS releases had made a huge impact on anime fans and caused a certain amount of consternation among the mainstream press.
For British viewers, the anime boom took a long time to arrive. In America, Japanese shows like Kimba The White Lion, Gigantor and Astro Boy were a common sight on television in the 1960s, yet it took until the late 70s and 80s, and a string of European-Japanese co-productions, before anime finally began to find a hold on UK television.
As a youngster at the time, I didn't necessarily know »
2 items from 2015
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