Recollections from Anime St. Louis 2018

Fun times! Good times! Were you there as well? I met a lot of great folks, saw a bunch of cosplaying and dragged out my beloved Macross: Do You Remember Love? t-shirt for another year’s wear, which by the way got recognized and I had a good 10–15 minute conversation from it. My friend Katie accompanied me for the third year and was a great help in videoing my panels. And though I gave as much boom to my voice, I should use a mic from now on because sometimes the P.A. can be your best friend. I am going to salvage what I can from the footage and try to get some time in for reshooting my speaking parts. Or, I can wait till next year with the benefit of being another year older and wiser.

I only went on Saturday since both of my panel were that day, so proud to make the BIG day after three years of Sundays. So I and Katie as well, made the best of a long Saturday. The first panel I went to was from RightStuf. They had a drawing for a either four Blu Rays from their Nozomi label and two more for a gift certificates. I got the $25 one! The dealers room had a lot of familiar sellers from the past and a couple new ones. I found a couple Roman Albums that I did not have to add to my collection, one for Nausicaa and one for Castle in the Sky (yeah Miyazaki films!). I love art books, particularly vintage ones from the 80s. I also found a figure of Casshan, which is a nice addition to my other figures. Plus, I got to meet a local group of adult LEGO aficionados that meet here in St. Louis. They had nice work on display and I am looking forward to going to their next meeting. Seems the law of attraction/universe wants me to get out my brick building skills again. 🙂

My first panel began at 5:00pm and I am glad I brought extra portable speakers as a back up, I needed them here. My presentation was The Shonen Jump Revolution of 1986 and I went through the 80s showing many example of Shonen Jump material, such as: Dr. Slump, Cobra, Cat’s Eye, Captain Tsubasa, Fist of the North Star, Kimagure Orange Road, Baoh and many others. I highlighted 1986 in particular and made the stars of my show the original Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and the Fist of the North Star movie. My theory about these three is that they cemented the shonen fighting genre as the big popular genre we know today. Fighters didn’t start in 1986, they passed a threshold of no return in terms of their stance of becoming a successful genre that defines anime for many around the globe. I got to chat with a couple folks during my tear down and promote this blog; thank you all if you were there to see this one.

My second panel started at 8:00pm and with a title like Capturing the Wind: Miyazaki and Takahata before Studio Ghibli I was expecting a huge crowd. I did this one last year with a packed house for attendance, but updated some of the clips, rebranded my presentation and added a couple new entries. Studio Ghibli panels always draw a crowd and I wanted to tap into that potential as well, but in my own way. Hence the idea of showing their work from before Studio Ghibli became a good idea since there is a lot of great work from that era. Sadly some had to be turned away due to occupancy standards, but I will show this one again next year and will request a bigger room. And with about 80–100 in the room, some of them standing, I was glad to see the crowd, but like I said before I will use a mic next time because one man can not over power a room that well attended… well maybe Luciano Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli, but I am not an opera singer. Again, thank you all for coming to this one as you were an awesome audience. I never felt so calm giving a public speech in my life… amazing! 🙂

Josh

#100 : Super Dimension Fortress Macross

Macross_1It’s #100 and I saved this one for this occasion. 🙂 In the far future of the year 1999… oh wait it’s 2018 now… don’t you hate it when the once thought of far future becomes a past memory? Well let pretend it’s 1982 once again, when a little show created by a bunch of anime and sci-fi fans hit the airwaves. Their story as stated before began in the year 1999 when suddenly a warp gate opens, bringing a behemoth of a spaceship into our local area of interstellar space. And much like a wild meteor with a mission, this ship came down like a speeding bullet onto a little island in the South Pacific. Ladies and gentlemen we humans are most definitely not alone anymore and this lone fictitious event in the sky is the beginning to THE most important anime in my whole fandom and life.

Macross_2Love is something you can’t describe with simple language and if you can, it really is not the passionate love you should feel from the bottom of your heart. In 1985, as an impressionable six year old, via an adaptation named Robotech, I fell in love with the most beautiful of space operas. NO, one of the greatest mecha anime ever. NO, the greatest love story that I have ever encountered. Well… maybe all three combined. I had experienced a story, characters and emotions that resonated with me on a level one cannot define. This was and still is a title many of us hold in the highest regards as something beyond special. It was one of my gateway anime and remains to this day the yardstick that I measure anything else I watch up to it… Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

Coming from my perspective and fandom and with all the variety of opinions already stating what happens in the show, the only thing I can give is what Macross has given to me on a personal level. Macross is not a television show, or even an anime. It is a part of my family, pure and simple; close knit family to be exact. These are my adopted brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and best friends. Even though the cast are not with me in the physical plane, they have been instrumental in keeping me alive, healthy and happy. Macross for me is the Beatles’ In My Life, “there are places I remember… some have gone and some remain… all these places have there moments… In my life, I love you more.” I don’t see this posting as another entry, this is a soliloquy in the form of a love letter.

Macross_3Much credit to Macross is given to Shojo Kawamori (way too much!) almost as if it was “his” project alone, which of course is NOT true! But again where did Macross come from… a manga, toyline, yada yada… nope? It was it’s own creation, completely original and influenced by a group of young creative fans. An almost proverbial otaku’s dream come true, the purest form of fan service. Not the emphasis on the usual definition of fan service, but the wanting to add reference upon reference making the story grand and sentimental. You can give credit to others like Noburo Ishiguru or Ichiro Itano, but one individual makes Macross very special (my opinion)… the greatest character designer ever (again my opinion), Haruhiko Mikimoto!

Macross_4Mikimoto’s eye designs are always what win me over. Beautiful eyes with a romantic quality, they glisten like stars in the night (Mikimoto insists it was a shojo influence). Therefore this is the best looking cast ever (my opinion yet again), particularly our main cast… the perfect trio, handsome Hikaru, elegent Misa and adorable Minmei. Beyond the ‘main’ cast you have a huge subsidiary group and all of them get a couple minutes to show their individuality, but I have only been speaking of those of us who are all Earth born. Macross, after all, is an epic space opera and humanity meets another race from a far off area of the universe. Remember that spaceship I mentioned earlier that crashed onto the Earth… it is of interest of giant alien race, the Zentradi.

Macross_5Thus the plot begins… a spaceship gets refurbished, an alien invasion leads humanity into outer space, a war ensues, a young girl’s dream of becoming a pop star comes true, a love triangle becomes difficult and the questioning of the origins of both humanity and the warlike Zentradi are tied to the mysterious Protoculture (not exactly the same thing as in Robotech folks)… and stretches over 36 episodes in total. Wow! Busy show indeed and never boring. No wonder Macross reached the tops of popularity since there is something for everyone to enjoy. But then again like I said before, this was a show made by fans of anime, manga and sci-fi. They knew which buttons to push to get the reactions which we all can identify with.

Macross_6Wait a minute… I forgot to go into detail about one important piece of Macross that I love. One word… MUSIC! Music plays a major role in the plot and the soundtrack is oh so good. I love music, I play music and great music in an anime is a thumbs up from my end. Kentaro Haneda’s orchestral work is inspiring and certain tracks, in particular Dog Fighter, are anthemic. The character of Minmei and her pop idol status was one of the first iterations of this character archetype. Love it or hate it, Macross would not be the same without Minmei as the cheerleader so to speak. She was the true star of Macross, yet not the major protagonist who was Hikaru. Her simple pop songs, a blast of culture more precisely, changes the course of events in this show. Love conquers all, literally.

The closing titles features a song called Runner, a sentimental ballad. And I will end this entry by saying that Macross and I have run together a long, long time (hard to admit you are getting older, but wisdom is worth the age!). Hand in hand, Macross and I will run forever. …with 100 postings down, it’s time to write another 100! 🙂

 

Thank you everyone!

To all of you who have been following my work here for a while, or if you are fairly new to the Classic Anime Museum, I want say a simple and appreciative thank you. Last month was a milestone on many levels and this whole year of 2018 has been an awesome year of growth. Yet there is still much work to do as I have only just started with the 99 entries that are online. #100 will be a special one for me and hopefully for you all as well.

As I mentioned last month, I will be at my hometown con, Anime St. Louis, and will be presenting two panels: Capturing the Wind: Miyazaki and Takahata before Studio Ghibli and The Shonen Jump Revolution of 1986. My friend Katie will be recording video and my goal is to get these videos online to share with you all in case you can’t be a part of the live audience.

Arigatou gozaimasu,

Josh

CAM at Anime St. Louis this May

Hey everyone,

In case you are in the St. Louis area and going to AnimeStL next month (Friday May 4th to Sunday May 6th to be exact), I will be hosting two panels: Capturing the Wind: Miyazaki and Takahata before Studio Ghibli and The Shonen Jump Revolution of 1986. Hope to see you there! 🙂

Josh