The Creator of Robotech Predicted Crowdfunding in 1995

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Yesterday we learned that 80s classic anime Robotech will be returning with the new series, Robotech Academy. It will be paid for via Kickstarter—which is more than a little apt as Robotech's creator, the late Carl Macek predicted the eventual existence of crowdfunding all the way back in 1995.

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Check out the video above to hear his thoughts on internet “escrow accounts” being used to finance animated TV shows.

DISCUSSION

I have always maintained that Carl Macek tends to get a lot of IMO unjustified grief from the anime community, especially back in the 90s. Some of that grief was because some fans perceived that he somehow "destroyed" Macross by marrying it to Mospeada and Southern Cross (something that he was forced to do because networks at the time wanted more than the 36 eps of the original series).

If he hadn't, American fandom would only have had the tapes that were bought and shown at small college clubs (the first professional companies dedicated to translating anime didn't come until around 1989, and their translators came from the ranks of early fansubbers and fan translators), and those tapes, as purchased by places like Books Nippan (Nippan Shuppan Hanbei, on the West Coast) in the mid 80s, cost between $150-$250 USD (I have an old catalog from BN from 1985 I got then, with the prices).

So no Robotech would likely have prevented anime becoming more popular in the US, at least for awhile.

And then there's Carl's Streamline Pictures. I'll admit, some of the dubs weren't all that great but OTOH, we got IMO the BEST sounding US dub for Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro. Not necessarily the best-translated but the dub sounded great. Then American audiences got introduced to the Dirty Pair movies, Wicked City, The Professional: Golgo 13, and Akira. What would the modern American anime movement be without Akira?

I remember being on the old rec.arts.anime Usenet NG starting in the mid 1990s. Still people were bellyaching over "Uncle" Carl and his supposed "destroying" of anime (despite, from what I saw, his actual popularizing of anime in the US but, perhaps that was the real problem in their minds), and every time someone like myself would suggest otherwise, it was as if we were blasphemers or something :).

Last place I saw Carl Macek's name in anime credits was actually the first season of Bleach. Sadly, he died shortly after that.

But in my mid, Carl Macek should always rank high in the pantheon of anime fans who helped popularize anime in the US.

(those books up there I've had for many years now; the script book up there, never really cared for the Waltrip Bros. work on that series bu that isn't why I kept it for all these years)