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Carl Macek

Most famously renowned for being the producer and story editor of the influential animated television series "Robotech."

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The Legacy of Robotech

  • Apr 30, 2010
Rating:
+5
Robotech was arguably my first anime ever, having discovered it right around the same time as G-Force, also known as Gatchaman, and Sailor Moon. I followed the adventures of Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes religiously never wondering or really understanding what a revolutionary series this was for American cartooning. As far as I am concerned, Saturday, April 17, 2010, signaled the end of an era from my childhood with the death of one of the greatest visionaries from the '80s and early '90s: Carl Macek (the producer and writer for the show Robotech). This review is a tribute to the man who inspired my love for anime.

Upon hearing of his death, I conducted some preliminary research to learn more about this "man behind the scenes." I was surprised to discover that he was a librarian of CSU Fullerton, focusing on popular culture. Already a fan of librarians, I found this tidbit especially exciting. Who says librarians lead boring lives? Of course, he is most well known for his work on Robotech, which was an extensive amount of work if one considers all the syndication hurdles he had to jump over in 1985. The public couldn't fathom how popular his idea would be sparking not only the television series but a popular line of comics and novels (I own both sets!), toys, and other memorabilia that collectors covet to this day. In fact, Warner Brothers is even working on a live action feature film, so Robotech still lives on and is being recreated to this day!

Surprisingly enough, I was unaware that Macek founded the Streamline Pictures Studio, which released major anime titles such as Akira and Vampire Hunter D. His involvement with such big name animes is truly astounding! Obviously, Macek had a love for this animation style because he also became involved with the English adaptations of some of Miyazaki's classics such as Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro. His most recent work included adaptations of the hit anime series Bleach. Overall, Macek was truly a lover of anime desperately trying to bring it to the American public through any means necessary.

Someone as versatile as Carl Macek did not limit his pursuits to anime only, though. He also wrote books including The Art of Heavy Metal and the novel War Eagles. He was truly a patron and supporter of the creative arts.

Despite his untimely death from a heart attack at the young age of 58, Macek left behind a legacy that will keep him immortalized in the hearts and minds of Robotech Fans. He was a controversial figure during the development of English anime fandom and pioneered the medium through dubbed animes that were available on broadcast cable and home videos. Although I am a staunch supporter of subtitles versus dubbed versions of animes, Carl Macek was one of my first introductions to such a versatile style of animation. Without his influence, I might never have discovered my love and passion for Japanese anime at the early age of 11. Though people criticize his work on the Robotech, taking multiple series and mixing them together to create one show, I respect and honor the result of that final, although impure, product. It was the first step that needed to be taken which would later inspire more producers in America to offer Japanese animation to an eagerly anticipating public.

So, my hat's off to you, Carl Macek. Thank you for all you did in my life and others.

For those who want to attend the memorial service, the details are as follows: 

A memorial service for Carl Macek will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 2pm at:

Congregational Church of the Chimes
14115 Magnolia Blvd. 
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The service will be open to the public, but all well wishers should be mindful of Carl's friends and family.
The Legacy of Robotech The Legacy of Robotech

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May 04, 2010
Good review. I'm not too familiar with robotech, but I'm sure it's quite interesting. It's a shame that he died at such a young age. How awful.
May 08, 2010
You would love the show! It's a good science fiction anime. :)
 
May 03, 2010
This was the first anime I ever watched.  Robotech, that is.  Although I liked it at first the second half wasn't quite as good to me.  But I did like them as a whole.  I think Robotech lives on, though in some cases it's called "Macross" or something like that.
May 08, 2010
I agree with you about the second half of the series, Sean. Ah yes...Macross...I have a couple of those DVDs. :)
 
May 02, 2010
Excellent review and very well written, great review.
May 02, 2010
Thanks @FM_ALEX for reading my review and for your compliment! :)
 
May 01, 2010
Interesting and sad for sure \. Robotech was my intro to anime as well and remains one of the staples of my entire (ever growing) anime collection. The Macross work in particular was truly first class all the way. R.I.P Carl :(
May 01, 2010
remember that episode "to the stars"?
May 01, 2010
Ooo! I loved Macross!
May 01, 2010
Oh yes, and thank you for reading my review, @JRider! I got excited when I saw you mentioned Macross and forgot to thank you. Nice to see another anime fan inspired to the genre by Robotech. :)
 
April 30, 2010
RIP, Carl...my first experience with anime were Voltes V, Mazinger Z, Daimos and Grendaizer--in the 70's. I have seen ROBOTECH many times and it was one of the best Japanese anime series I've ever seen. AWESOME work here, Adrianna!!
May 01, 2010
I agree! I think it was very well made even when considering all the controversy of mixing the different shows. :)
May 01, 2010
It was great as to how it brought mature subject matter such as death (as with Voltes V) in an animated series. American cartoons never portrayed death. Remember that episode "to the Stars"?
May 01, 2010
Yes, I do. It was one of my favorites. I'm glad you mentioned how the show portrayed death. Great observation! I never thought about that before, especially when you consider American cartoons airing at that same time period.
July 16, 2010
Hey, Adrianna, maybe you'd like to move this awesome write up in my Asian community since it has anime in it. If you prefer not to, no biggie. :) Thanks!
July 16, 2010
Sure! I haven't had a place to put it since Frank's community was deleted. I'm moving it over there now. :)
 
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About the reviewer
Adrianna Simone ()
Ranked #10
MY GROUPS (AND COMMUNITY):      The following information was taken from the officialCafe Libri Website.   Cafe Libri (Yahoo Reading Discussion Group)is the original Cafe … more
About this director

Wiki

Carl Macek (October 12, 1951 – April 17, 2010) was an American writer and controversial anime pioneer and producer of the 1980s and 1990s.
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Details

Filmography (Director): Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
Birth Date: October 12, 1951
Birth Place: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Gender: Male

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