Wednesday, July 05, 2006

One Year Old: Robotech Repost

I've realized that it's been a year since I started blogging--in the beginning I had a Xanga blog. It took a few months for me to figure out that Blogger was better than Xanga, which prompted my move. I'm glad I did--switching to Blogger has made me part of a larger community, one that I can partake in and learn from. Thanks to everyone who's made me feel welcomed, and thank you to everyone who stops by.

In honor of blogging about feminism and pop culture for a year, I'm re-posting a favorite Xanga entry of mine: my first shot at reviewing a comic.
From October 11, 2005

A Review of Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles

We've all been waiting a good, long time for the next installation of the Robotech Universe and with the first issue of Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles, it has begun.

The Cover: It's okay--I don't think it accurately betrays Omar Dogan's talent however. Rick's head is way too small for his body, it doesn't work with the perspective. Also it seems so cluttered, but I do admit that I am a fan of minimalistic covers that go for the visual bang.

The Art and Coloring: Excellent. I love Dogan's work and the colors are vibrant. There's an anime quality, but it's not just "cheap imitation." Definately eye candy.

Character Designs: They're alright. However, I'm not too much of a fan of the uniform--they're not snazzy like they were in the original Macross series, however. Lisa looks good, though not too much older. (Are they afraid to draw an attractive 40-50 something woman? Are wrinkles that unsightly?) Rick does look older and very manly which I'm somewhat disappointed with. I loved how in the original anime he was shorter and more slender than the other characters--plus when you're Admiral, do you really need to be so beefy? Jean Grant's design is good, but what's with that huge purple bow? We don't really get to see Minmei, just the back of her head with a hairstyle that looks way too similar to what it was in her little movie in the original. It's kind of like "Look! I'm Chinese because I have this oriental hair piece!" All in all, it's a mixed bag.

Story: Here's where it gets complicated. I can handle flawed character designs and goofy covers but....well wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. There's an amount of back story missing when we start off, which is okay, I can deal with that. Either the movie or future issues will handle this. However, I don't think we'll get a step-by-step story that deals with "From the Stars" to this issue, but there doesn't need to be. There's lots of science lingo, mystery and governmental council bickering. There's blood, death, and drama. I'll wait to learn more before I judge these aspects of the storyline--there's only one thing I have a contention with: the treatment of Lisa or rather the attitude of "We don't know how to write for female characters--especially the strong ones!"

What is painfully obvious is that they're going to make Lisa Rick's motivation. She deserves more than that--they did such a good job with her in the original series. To make her pregnant, hurt/hospitalized and miscarry is just rediculous. It's akin to what Lucas did to Padme in Star Wars. They take their strongest woman character--Lisa is the head in command--and make her weak and pregnant. Even though this is the future the problem of women handling family and career has not yet been solved (and neither have the problems with pregnancy been solved either.) We then have Rick saying something along the lines of "I can't wait for Lisa to resign her commission--you can't be Admiral and a mother." This drives me mad--Lisa's father could be Admiral and a father--the double standards, I don't get it. Oh right, Lisa's a lady. Okay, so we start the story off with Lisa and the SDF-3 getting shot down by Edwards, this in turn establishes Rick's hatred for Edwards and then puts Rick in position to be the leading Admiral. I understand that Yune and others are working somewhat with a preexisting story--they have to put the pieces together. However, it's lazy writing to take out your strongest female character, to make her just a womb that has been victimized.

And did anyone else think that the scene where Jean tells Rick about the Lost Baby is horribly trite?

I'm ranting, and it's probably pretty uncomprehensible, but bear with my anger. It's just that I'm so disappointed--I had expected too much, I guess. I was suprised when I went to read the message boards at how many people were so sad about the miscarriage etc. etc.
I will continue to read the rest of the series and I will see the movie. I will remain, however, apprehensive about the treatment of Robotech's female characters.
Just to note: I did stop reading the comics and I haven't seen the movie yet. I'm a little afriad to.

No comments: