30 Days of TV – Day 12

Day 12 – A TV show you’ve watched more than 4 times

More than four times how? All the way through four times? Watched four different episodes? Watched the same episode four times?

My “all of the above” answer is Robotech. Yes, the American edit of the Japanese anime Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

All the way back in early 1996, we ended up moving, and one of the many upshots was digital cable. I spent far too much time that summer watching Cartoon Network, previously available only to the rich kids I knew who had satellite. A couple years later I started junior high, the same year that Cartoon Network started their Toonami programming block, and there were two not-to-be-missed shows which social status revolved around.

The first was Dragonball Z, which hasn’t held up as well; time wasn’t too kind on the show even in the nineties, but its serialized plot meant that missing a night could throw you for a loop. (Most of the time, it was still just some guys fighting/floating in midair whilst screaming and glowing, but now and again you’d see an episode where the plot actually moved, and if you missed those, you were screwed.) Besides, it led into a full hour of Robotech, the other must-watch show. (Actually, I think what I was watching came on after the Toonami block, like repeats at ten at night, but I honestly don’t care. All I know is that it lead to a lot of sleep-dep, since home room started at 7:30, and that I watched all the Robotech aired.)

Robotech is the bastard child of anime that launched a thousand ships. A lot of anime pure-bloods tend to rag on the show, because of its dubbing (face it, anime dubs always suck. Always.), the fact it was manipulating three Japanese shows to make one American ur-show, and the extensive cuts happened to the second two animes (Southern Cross/Masters and MOSPEADA/New Generation).

At the same time, it introduced a whole new generation to anime, and the first third of Robotech (the Macross parts) is functionally identical to the Macross storyline: epic robot battles of transforming F-14s fighting mecha which later became BattleTech iconics. For every time we have to hear Minmei singing (“Stage lights flashing/The feeling’s smashing” ugh), we get two awesome starfighter dogfights, which then transform into mecha gunfights.

I watched far too much of this show. I’m pretty sure Cartoon Network continued to air it even when it left Toonami, because I remember seeing it over most of middle school. Then my friends were badass enough to get my the Protoculture Collection as a birthday gift a couple years back, and I finally saw it all the way through, as Cartoon Network never bothered to air the final third (MOSPEADA/New Generation). (To be fair, I had pressured everyone into buying Keving the last Fred in the world for his birthday, but I really need to make it up to Matt and Reuben somehow gift-wise.)(Wait, Matt got a car.) Then my roommate wanted to see it, so I watched through it again.

It’s a flawed masterpiece at times, and there’s only so many times you can hear Minmei singing the same damn song over and over again, but damn, talking about Robotech makes me want to see it again. Nostalgia plus first wave mecha anime equals bliss.

Spoiler/Preview/Recap:
Day 01 – A show that should have never been canceled – Jericho
Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching – Fringe
Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV-season) – Game of Thrones
Day 04 – Your favorite show ever – Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Day 05 – A show you hate – various micro-rants
Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – The Oath/Blood on the Scales
Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – Black Market
Day 08 – A show everyone should watch – Better Off Ted
Day 09 – Best scene/episode ever – Out of Gas
Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving – NCIS
Day 11 – A show that disappointed you – Heroes
Day 12 – A TV show you’ve watched more than 4 times – Robotech
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 – Favorite mini series
Day 18 – Favorite title sequence
Day 19 – Best t.v show cast
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite relationship
Day 22 – Best pilot episode
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 – OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 – Favorite series finale
Day 28 – First t.v show obsession
Day 29 – Current t.v show obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death


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