Bits & Pieces

  • ToonZone has an interview with Robotech: The Macross Saga and Robotech Masters artist Neil Vokes about his stint drawing the cartoon tie-in comic Superman Adventures in the late 1990's.

  • Darkwater lets us know that the Funimation Channel (which he gets locally on over-air HDTV) will be running a special covering Anime Expo this coming Saturday (he thinks) that may include coverage of the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles panel. Check the link for details that may or may not be correct.

  • How many of you remember this show? Produced by Tatsunoko in the immediate wake of the Sentinels collapse, Zillion borrows heavily from the remains of that project, despite being primarily based on a Sega light gun game (think Lazer Tag). Some years later, Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures dubbed and released five of the series' thirty-one episodes on VHS before copping out and releasing the follow-up OVA Burning Night.

    (As an aside, I've always found it funny how in the early to mid-1990's anime companies would always grab the odd follow-up OVA to an anime TV series rather than the series itself -- see also GoShogun: The Time Etranger, Sonic Soldier Borgman: Lover's Rain and The Last Battle, the Yu Yu Hakusho movies, etc. Along with the rather bleh translations of the time, these releases helped foster a sense that all anime was bizarrely impenetrable, when it was actually just the addle-brained decisions of the U.S. distributors that were creating this perception. Thank goodness so many of these shows were so offbeat and/or visually interesting.)

    I mention all of that not because there's some burning news on that front; actually, it's just because I stumbled across the opening theme on YouTube and it got me thinking about it again. Seriously, it's quite obvious from the color palette, landscape design, and mechanical designs (those blue biomechanical beasties bursting from the ground -- look familiar, ROBOTECH fans?) that Zillion was made from leftover Sentinels parts.

    Of course, there's another other ROBOTECH connection on the Zillion front. Malibu's Eternity Comics imprint published four issues of a comic book adaptation of the series, the first three by ROBOTECH veterans Tom Mason (writer, Robotech II: The Sentinels) and Harrison Fong (artist, Robotech Masters). After the fourth issue -- produced by a completely different creative team -- shipped, the Eternity imprint was dissolved, ROBOTECH wound up at Academy, and the rest of the psuedo-manga comics Eternity published either scurried for new homes or, as in the case of licenses such as this and the planned Super Dimension Century Orguss, went "poof."

  • And finally ... I realize that Harmony Gold's gotta send somebody to every convention that comes calling, but really, did Tom Bateman lose a bet or something?

    • yo,

      it actually wasn't a Sega light-gun game, it was a side-scrolling RPG type game. I remember being one of two kids in my class with a Sega Master System (everyone else had Nintendo) and got to know this game well.

      I think the confusion comes from the fact that the gun the main character used looks exactly the Sega light gun.

      I remember those videos coming out, but my brother and I were buying Robotech tapes at the time and coulnd't afford much else. I'm glad I didn't buy them now that I see they got the run cut short.

      I bought the first eternity comic and couldn't understand what the hell was going on. And they changed the design of the gun, too! Bastards.

      By Blogger Darkwater, at 15 July, 2006 01:37  

    • I actually bought a copy of Zillion "Burning Night" last year at JAFAX. But I still haven't had the courage to watch it yet.

      By Anonymous Justy Ueki, at 15 July, 2006 20:36  

    • Actually, while they did make two games for the Sega Master System, the big tie in was a light gun game. See here:

      By Blogger Jonathan, at 16 July, 2006 09:04  

    • That's not fair, that was in Japan. How was I supposed to know??

      By Blogger Darkwater, at 17 July, 2006 11:49  

    • It's also a -huge- stretch to call Zillion a side scrolling RPG. It's hardly something like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Zillion is a lot more akin to Impossible Mission with a dash of Metroid.

      Burning Night is totally insane and doesn't seem to actually connect with the (totally mediocre) Zillion TV series.

      By Blogger Ginrai, at 17 July, 2006 13:41  

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