What, didn’t I just Story Pile about Robotech? Yes I did and in that I told you nothing about the actual stuff that happened in Robotech that I loved. I told you about how Robotech doesn’t exist, and how it’s embarrassing to be a fan of it.
Fuck that, here’s stuff from Robotech that lives in my head rent free whenever I think about the sci-fi Epic. Context? No, you don’t get context. Now buckle up and jam on your thinking caps.
Karen Penn Would Bomb The Parthenon
There’s a point in the invasion of the planet Haydon IV, the Fifth planet in the Haydon system, don’t worry about it, where a strike force of Our Heroes have to sneak past the Protoculture-powered super-intelligence that demands everyone on the planet behave peacefully. They do this by approaching with chemical kinetic weaponry – guns.
In amongst these is Karen Penn, pilot and let’s be polite to what the novels wanted to project and say hard-bitten badass, who was gleeful about getting to use ‘dirty’ technology for this. As she was raiding and shooting planetary defenses to bits that had no idea what to do about guns, she gave a bitter speech about how the whole of the place just like Ancient Greece – beautiful architecture and white marble that was all made on the backs of slaves for the benefits of monsters.
And if she had her way, she’d have dropped a nuclear bomb on the Parthenon.
Karen kinda rules.
The Power Of Schmaltzy Pop Ends A War
This may be the only thing you know about Robotech – that the climactic battle that ends? the war? (it doesn’t) is intercut with a music video of one of 90s Anime’s Most Contentious Best Girls, Lynn-Minmei (and we’ll get to her) as she sang a song that was
Seriously, the underpinning idea of this plot beat in both the original story and in Robotech is that music, human music and expression, is enough to break down the conditioning and dehumanisation of Zentraedi (the big aliens)’ life. In the western version, the song you get to hear is Stage Fright, which is uh
But by comparison, the idea is still rad as hell. It’s literally weaponising the power of rock, but in a way that speaks to the logic of a world where enemies are coerced and trained to hate music, rather than anything truly inherent to who they are. Also, I was in a cult where we were taught music could open portals to hell, so it all checked out to me.
This plot point is great and dumb but what makes it greater and dumber is that apparently, the fascist dictatorship military force didn’t have some means to turn off broadcast to their own ships, like, say, turning off the speakers.
Earth Gets Blown Up A LOT
So one of the things about a story about space wars, it’s kind of dizzying just how badly Earth gets beaten up. There’s a civil war that the SDF interrupts by showing up, and suddenly a world full of governments that were proactively kicking the shit out of each other, decided to weapon down and instead work together to protect themselves against the incoming alien threat that just dropped a superweapon on them.
It’s an, optimistic? idea?
Anyway, so, one of the things Robotech has, recurrent to its plot, is just how little invading a planet is necessary versus stopping over in a planet. Like, the various waves of invaders are looking for things on planets and have a reason to want them reasonably intact. We get to see what happens when a planet doesn’t have any reason to be kept safe – the Zentraedi battle fleet just shell the planet from orbit. The only real solution at that point is to blow up as much of that fleet as you can, but the planet is fucked.
Earth gets wiped preeeetty close to clean at least two times more? Earth is a punching bag in this universe.
Lynn Minmei Fucking Murdered A Dude
Lynn Minmei is an awkward character to talk about because while there’s some really misogynistic disdain for the character in the fandom that got metastatised through a lot of reiteration, there’s also some really legitimate complaints about the character’s ability to perceive the world around her. Also there’s this ambiguity about whether she and Lynn Kyle were uh, doin’ it, which is weird, because he’s her cousin. He’s also an asshole, but he grows up but whatever look it’s not super important right now because what is important is that Lynn Minmei, the character primarily known as Rick Hunter’s spacy pop star girlfriend who doesn’t seem to really respect or appreciate his efforts and how he’s endangering his life, eventually grows up, gets seduced by the villain, almost assaulted by him, and her response to that is to drown him in his own bathtub while she sings songs of joy.
It is something of an escalation.
The Garudan Homeworld Is A Single Macroorganism That Is Constantly Tripping Balls.
I don’t think this needs much explanation.