Hey, kids - an Anime Bento screening report!
Mike Chen writes in from the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles screening yesterday in Saratoga, CA:
Thought you might like an Anime Bento report from the Northern California screening (Saratoga, which is a suburb of San Jose). There were about 40 people in the theater which wasn't bad considering the thing had no publicity. High-def looked great for the big screen, though I didn't notice too much of a difference until they ran some of the bonus features from the DVD.
The audience reception was a little weird. I get the feeling that some of the people hadn't seen it before or perhaps were really unfamiliar with Robotech because there some big unintentional laughs whenever Janice sang and really, from a fanboy perspective, that's not THAT out of place. I'd say about 90% of the "humor" fell flat, so I wasn't the only one who thought it was forced in a George Lucas type of way. Also, there was a lot of unintentional snickering at much of the exposition, but you know how nitpicky fanboys can be. However, there was applause at the end of the movie, so I'd say the opinion was mostly positive.
For the special features at the end, well, they weren't that special. There was about 10 minutes of cut-and-paste footage from the DVD documentary, some outtakes/deleted scenes (one really fun with Alex), and a 30-second Shadow Rising teaser. The teaser was the Regess talking straight out of SC with SC footage, then a logo, and a quick
shot of Ariel flying through the air.
All in all, it was nice to see SC on the big screen but the bonus stuff was really lame. I understand that Shadow Rising isn't anywhere near being done, but after McKeever's "You'll learn more at Anime Bento" speech on Space Station Liberty, that was pretty disappointing. I was hoping for at least a message from Tommy or Kevin saying a rough release date or some plot outline.
Also, if any of your readers want a 12" Barbie-style Minmei doll, I randomly came across one on my roadtrip through Southern California at Antiques On The Grapevine in Gorman (right off Highway 5). Here's a link.
It's a strange mix of typical antique store fodder and sci-fi/anime collectibles. The Minmei doll was tucked away apart from the anime stuff, just in the backroom. I did a double-take because it was so random. Anyways, I'm sure it's still there in case you have any collectors reading the blog from the SoCal region.
I wonder, is that the silly Matchbox ROBOTECH Minmei doll from the '80s or the really nice Japanese Macross doll in the Chinese dress. I'd totally take one of the latter ... that's a really nice item. Maybe he can clarify in the comments thread.
(Update: Mike tells me it's the cheesy Matchbox doll. Ah.)
Anyway, the Shadow Rising teaser sounds like it was awfully disappointing; I'd heard a rumor that it was at least going to include never-before-seen footage, left on the cutting room floor. Maybe they're saving that for a second teaser, later on ...
Do YOU have a report from the Anime Bento event in your area? Send it in, and I'll post it up for all to read. I'm curious how these things all went, especially the ones that Team HG dropped in on.