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.

Thanks, Mike!

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.

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  • I went to a nearby AMC to see it. There were a few people there, some fans, and some families. Unfortunately the theater had the sound way too low, so all the action scenes kinda lost that extra boom.
    I liked the tribute and the Intro to Robotech shown at the beginnig, I think that was a great idea by HG.
    As for the special features, I think they decided to not show all of them, the features would have been pretty long if they had done all of the deleted scenes. The Shadow Rising teaser was a little disappointing, I'm pretty sure that was Janice flying at the end, but she looks just like Ariel and the clip was very short, but it's good news to see that they already have some animation done on it. That means that the script must be finalised, and the movie is in full swing production.

    I can't wait for the new movie.

    By Blogger Treiz, at 20 September, 2007 14:06  

  • but it's good news to see that they already have some animation done on it.

    It was all re-used animation from the the first one. What looked new was cut footage from the first one.

    Maybe they could have done a Dark Knight style teaser and just show a logo, with some new dialog recorded by one or more of the voice actors.

    By Blogger Darkwater, at 20 September, 2007 15:26  

  • There was cut footage of Ariel/Janice flying in the first one? I don't think so.

    By Blogger Treiz, at 20 September, 2007 17:57  

  • Treiz, Shadow Rising doesn't even have a screenwriter yet. They can't have any animation done for it. Darkwater's right; that's gotta be cutting room floor animation from The Shadow Chronicles. If it's as you described, it's probably like, I don't know, some sort of close-up shot that would have come in when she was flying up to ALuCE to talk to Scott or something that they realized didn't work with film's flow. Not having seen it myself, I could be wrong about where it goes, but I guarantee, there is no footage from the new movie done. It's too soon.

    By Blogger Captain JLS, at 20 September, 2007 22:06  

  • I don't know, the trailer said that the new movie would be coming in 2008. That's not too far off.

    By Blogger Treiz, at 21 September, 2007 00:27  

  • I went to the screening in Long Beach, and the trailer for Shadow Rising was the same one they showed at Comic Con in July. And unless I am mistaken, it didn't say it was coming in 2008, it simply said "Coming Soon". I think HG has learned too much with Shadow Chronicles to put a date on it. And yes, there was one scene in the trailer that was not in Shadow Chronicles. And it was probably a deleted scene.

    I will probably post my experience later. All I will say now is that it was cool to see Robotech 3000 on the big screen. lol

    By Blogger Admiral DMC McKeever, at 21 September, 2007 00:53  

  • Let's just put it this way - if a bookie was taking bets, I'd put every last cent, plus every last cent my family had on the fact that it was cut footage from the first movie.

    By Blogger Darkwater, at 21 September, 2007 11:37  

  • I'm not a bettin man, I posted on Kev's site asking if they were going to post the teaser on All the details have blurred together, I'm going scenile in my young age.

    By Blogger Treiz, at 21 September, 2007 12:32  

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