- DAY 1~FRIDAY Entry 1: 8:42PM BART, EN ROUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO
- ENTRY 2~FRIDAY 11:35PM, Transbay Terminal
- FRIDAY~11:05PM GREYHOUND BUS">FRIDAY~11:05PM GREYHOUND BUS
- FRIDAY~AROUND TWENTY MINUTES LATER, GREYHOUND BUS
- SATURDAY~3:29AM; Burger King, Colinga, California
- SATURDAY~8:18AM; NORTH HOLLYWOOD
- 10:17AM ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION LINE
- 10:37AM (STILL ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION LINE)
- 11:05AM (YEAH, ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION)
- SATURDAY~12:43 PM; ANIME EXPO EXHIBITION HALL; ROBOTECH Booth
- SATURDAY~4:17PM; Arcade In The Centennial Ballroom
- 7:46 PM; THE SECOND FLOOR HALLWAY, WESTIN HOTEL
- SUNDAY~12:59PM; ANIME EXPO EXHIBITION HALL
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THE FOLLOWING IS THE WORK OF ROBOTECH FAN KHYRON_PRIME. EVERYTHING NOTED IN HERE IS TRUE, AND WAS DOCUMENTED NEAR THE TIME OF THE ACTUAL OCCURRENCES. DO NOT REPRODUCE THIS WORK, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN PERMISSION.
KHYRON_PRIME CAN BE CONTACTED VIA E-MAIL AT KHYRONPRIME.AT.HOTMAIL.DOT.COM
DAY 1~FRIDAY Entry 1: 8:42PM BART, EN ROUTE TO SAN FRANCISCO
I’m riding on a train, led here by my own two feet. It’s amazing, in retrospect, how simple it is to use public transportation provided that it exists and the person knows how to use it to his advantage. But I make no false pretenses as to what is about to transpire: I’m headed to catch a bus traveling down the state of California, departing San Francisco and ending my run at the Long Beach Convention Center, the home of Anime Expo 2007.
Unlike the myriad of crazy, almost intellectually blind fanboys and fangirls I totally expect to see there, I am traveling without a goal of having fun. Whether or not I have a good time is inconsequential; I will do my best to enjoy myself but, at the same time, remain on the balls of my feet, poised to seize the moment which has brought me here.
Let me explain: Approximately twenty-four hours ago, an impromptu chance to speak on the RDF Underground Internet-based talkcast prompted me to truly consider whether, as a philosophical preacher in the world of online Robotech fandom, I am asking people to do more but not doing more myself. Such an insinuation is preposterous, I say, but ultimately insulting no matter the target of such scrutiny.
When the show’s host, Justy Ueki, brought-up Robotech.com and it’s much maligned members, casual conversation turned to the Harmony Gold figurehead in charge of it’s operations, Steve Yun. A previous, unrelated discussion on the RDF-HQ Message Boards had jokingly mentioned that Mr. Yun should be smacked with a pie to humourously assert the well-documented discontent with Harmony Gold’s Robotech-related work since the year 2000. Ueki said that, were it to happen, it would become a favourite of his, to put it in simple terms. Based upon my other interactions with other Robotech fans, I had to concur that he would not be the only one.
Myself was included. I’d like to see it happen. Now I sit on a train because the logical question was: ‘If I don’t do it, who will?’—Honestly, I do not believe that anyone except for myself cares so much for Robotech and it’s currently-dissenting fans to do such a thing.
Economically, this is a bad decision. My job and likely an upcoming performance review will suffer as a result. My bank account is so low that I can neither afford food during this trip, nor a hotel room, nor anything too extraneous. I may not be able to pay the rent on my apartment as a result of this. You must realize, prior to twenty-four hours ago, I did not even know that Anime Expo would be held this weekend. But I have accepted a role as an envoy for the people who are not willing or able to do it for themselves. I do not look upon myself as a hero or an icon for this; I merely view it as a duty.
Something needs to be said. Cameras will be used while Steve Yun will be marked as the primary target. Given his unavailability, the secondary target will be used—Tommy Yune, also a top-tier member of Harmony Gold’s Robotech-wrecking staff. In lieu of the first two, Kevin McKeever shall be disgraced and be allowed to be seen in the public eye. It is only because Mr. McKeever is already such a pathetic public icon that he is marked as ‘least important,’ for the operation and it’s potential repercussions against myself and my teammate would not yield the same benefits.
Ah, yes. The potential repercussions. Aside from the unavoidable problems which will result in my personal and economic life, I do expect to be removed from Anime Expo 2007 as soon as the act is committed. I will not, however, under any circumstances, yield evidence of the incident before it is released to the general public. If I am banned from future Anime Expos, I am certainly not crying, for the more I assert myself as a proactive fan, the more I recognize that the gross majority of people are merely consumers, engrossed in the mere viewing of programmes. (There is too much stupidity in this aspect to really document in this section.) I do not fear the police, for I am guilty of assuming that a legal charge for ‘Assault and/or Battery’ is beyond the scope of slamming a pie in a man’s face for the purposes of humour. Legal cases aside, I also do not fear a civil case from Harmony Gold, and here is why:
Everyone knows that Harmony Gold is a small company. They have enough trouble, it seems, making money off of their products and not perpetually standing in the red-zone of economics. Their money is better spent working on profitable ventures than charging me and my partner for such an incident, but here is where it gets interesting.
What if they did?—Simple answer: I would take it for all it’s worth. I’m not afraid of economic turmoil, for it has defined my life. If nothing else, such an aggressive action by an entertainment company against a small group of people who effectively propagate love for their trademarked entities would hopefully infuriate the masses who pledge trust to this company, or in the least call it’s dissenters (the group to which my partner and I belong) into a furor beyond which has been achieved before.
I am selfish in wishing to change the course of the world. I am arrogant enough to think that I can do so. In the end, I believe in the power of media and now, as my ears pop racing through San Francisco’s tunnels, I prepare to do what I believe is right.
ENTRY 2~FRIDAY 11:35PM, Transbay Terminal
Deciding not to wait in the terminal after arriving two hours ahead of time, my partner and I decided to take-in what we could of San Francisco before we depart. At nighttime, somehow, the city feels different; its not just the almost-fantastical clouds moving speedily in front of the full moon, but, it being Friday, the nightlife comes alive even in an area of the city known more for it’s stock brokers than it’s barkeeps.
It stands as a harsh contrast, I believe—an emotional reminder of normal life. Unintense. Interested in input rather than output. Likely, for the next forty-eight hours, my nerves will be steadily growing until a point of explosion. Nevertheless, this is a path I have chosen, and the city by the bay was very nice to me tonight.
People stand outside of bars being frisked by guards in puffy jackets. I’ve never entered this world; I fear it too late to do so. My partner is also my fiancée—a woman who, like me, is more interested in output than input but who recognizes, likely unlike those wasting hours in lines, that input is very useful to the ones who shape the future.
Though having visited this city many times before, it strikes my eyes differently now. I will remember this as the home I will return-to in forty-eight hours. Perhaps it is arrogant, but in this sense, I feel as though I am going to war.
No, I’m not fighting with a gun and no, I don’t have air-strike orders being potentially sent-in to end mine and my comrades’ lives, but in the end, the method is the same: A group represents what is; another group represents what they wish it to be. The attacking group, having exhausted what they believe to be their diplomatic options, resorts to force.
The bus is boarding. Time to say goodbye…and go to war.
FRIDAY~11:05PM GREYHOUND BUS
I just began rereading the classic Robotech novel, “The End of the Circle.” In my boredom with the current Robotech’s direction, I find it a pillow—a security blanket, if you will—which reminds me that the franchise is only as good as each individual work which is being questioned.
I’m writing this in the dark. Damned lights above MY seat alone don’t seem to work. I’d like to switch to another seat and keep reading, but it’s enough to be reminded now that Robotech doesn’t die now—I’m writing something for everyone to read.
We’ll make Steve Yun’s stupidity a part of the “official canon.”
FRIDAY~AROUND TWENTY MINUTES LATER, GREYHOUND BUS
It’s funny how culture draws lines between people. Make no mistake, one either fits into ‘this’ culture or ‘that’ culture. This perception, of course, is based upon norms of proper etiquette, behaviour, and mannerisms, and is constantly being judged by any person in the vicinity of where one stands.
Case in point: The bus’s first stop was just over the Bay Bridge in Oakland. We’ll keep judgements I’ve held before aside for now. While the bus was quiet and restrained (given the hour of eleven) in San Francisco, it took about two minutes of new passengers from Oakland to drive me crazy. A girl whines about leaving her daddy. A family speaks Spanish between themselves. A girl of questionable mass for her age now sits in the seat behind me. None of these oddities came from people from San Francisco or those who chose to board in San Francisco. They came from Oakland, and its only because the difference is so visible that I bring it up.
Traditional beliefs of “class” have existed for likely the length of time, and no matter what some liberal peoples want to say, a common idea of what “class” is defined as is not a bad thing. It bonds people together, forms societies, forges room for goals and hopes to be formed.
I wish the girl would stop her damned crying. Her daddy ain’t comin’ on this trip and her momma needs to slap her (or at least use the threat to instill into her young mind the premise of caring more about others than herself).
From the very beginning, my parents always taught me decorum. First rule of proper decorum: Obey the rules of the house you are in. If someone says “Take your shoes off when in the living room,” for instance, you do it or leave. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to take your shoes off, because you are not such an extraordinary individual that you can demand something outside of your body conform to your whims and desires. It could be counterargued that, once one’s influence and value becomes great-enough (as in to say that, for example, one has achieved a level of influence which reaches far beyond himself) then these rules no longer apply. I would say it is true; I would also say that circumstances denote when this is true, as likely the same house would have an owner who, ordinarily, would request the removal of shoes in the living room but, for this influential figure, he feels inferior enough to restrain his request.
The lights are off. I’m leaving Oakland. The only problem is: Oakland is coming with me. Intermingling societies invokes plague. Separation and the elegance of understanding individual strengths and weaknesses is the counterplague. If I may suggest: Robotech is no different.
Let us not be arrogant enough to believe that the norms of the world change for this.
SATURDAY~3:29AM; Burger King, Colinga, California
My bus has stopped for a rest in a town called Colinga—a town which, likey, doesn’t stand at all on it’s own merits to be on a map—of which’s name I was only able to learn by peeking over an ATM in the Burger King we’re visiting. It’s interesting, again, what one can discover in the seemingly most-unvaluable situations.
Why, when a group stops for a rest break at a restaurant, do people seem to mindlessly decide that they need to get out and buy something? I would honestly be surprised to witness the contrary. What if someone didn’t even like Burger King, or perhaps simply preferred McDonald’s, would they do something different?—I don’t think so.
General-society-belonging Americans have so embraced simple-mindedness that they all start to become the same. Food=Eat. Start=Go. No questions asked. It’s sad that people will plop-down their money for this food regardless of it’s quality without any such thoughts as to whether it would be better spent later.
It’s all about the here-and-now, like freakin’ dogs trained to seek survival tactics except that they don’t know the first thing about survival. Wanderers, like I am in Colinga, a town where they carry the Fresno Bee newspaper, and a newsstand also offers both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
We’re all trapped in the middle. One’s worth simply depends on whether one is closer to the higher end or the lower end.
SATURDAY~8:18AM; NORTH HOLLYWOOD
Minutes after arriving into this town, one can already sense they’ve entered a different world. Unfortunately, this isn’t the land of movie stars and million-dollar studios. Buildings likely once gleamed with pride here, but now small studios and performance theatres drip with a sweat of age and disrepair. Near every other suite is emptied, it’s rotting shell standing next to a hopeful owner’s dream of actually succeeding in a place like this.
It’s a stark contrast to San Francisco. Perhaps its because of the headlands or the ocean, but nothing like this quite exists in Northern California. Across the freeways, neverending snakes of concrete and metal signs, the people here have moved-on, discarding past hopes and dreams and leaving in their wake the end of North Hollywood.
Glamourised as it is in cyberpunk literature, this is a sprawl but not a city. Offices and homes line the road in a neverending stream of population but now even I have questions as to what purpose they all serve. Who knows if the Capitol Records building or the Hollywood Tower even see one person enter their halls?
Across scaffolding built to renovate one of these holes, at least someone’s not quite ready to ditch what they worked hard to create.
10:17AM ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION LINE
With this many people already in line, I question the value of the prize at the end being to shell-out forty bucks. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make the Harmony Gold booth and scout the territory prior to action. ‘A miseducated or presumptuous soldier is not a soldier but a barbarian,’ I would surmise.
Did I mention that Harmony Gold was not even listed on the Anime Expo website as an exhibitor? Pathetic, true, and yet, utterly predictable.—Par for the course, losers. The unadvertised fact is that Harmony Gold’ not listed because they bummed their booth from Toynami. Again, I can’t be surprised by anything anymore, but hey, a company which manufactures just-better-than-pharmacy-quality action figures is more likely to turn a profit at a convention filled with Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto cosplayers, right?
This is the first time I’ve felt completely and totally alienated from the Japanese animation community as a whole. I don’t recognize most of the cosplayers for the simple reason that I don’t watch the shitty anime put-out nowadays. (Where’s my Innocent Venus cosplay, bitches?!) Even before I arrived on the grounds, I knew it would be like this; I do not claim to be more mature than people younger than me; I merely accept that I have discerning tastes and, as a twenty-three year-old male, I need stronger stories, more believable characters, and a level of intelligence (commonly visible in quality thrillers and science fiction works) than do the gross, gross majority if these people.
Elitist? Perhaps. But I would like to see someone try to prove these presumptions wrong: Many Japanese animation fans watch programs which are not even above ‘average’ for the purpose of entertainment. The subsequent presumption us that, if an anime fan is willing to choose to use their time to view ‘average’ or ‘less than average’ quality programmes, then they must be entertaining a brain which is ‘average’ or ‘less than average.’
10:37AM (STILL ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION LINE)
Call me anti-social, but in a line this long, I can’t find much to do but hear my thoughts. I’m secretly hoping to see the Quattro Bajeena cosplayer I met in line in 2005. Stand-up guy, he was; he was cosplaying from a quality animated series. I’ve got Hakujin Fullmetal Alchemist, blonde Fruits Basket, and a rather non-childlike Sora from Kingdom Hearts.
(Which, I must add, is not Japanese animation. It’s a video game, folks, and just because you love both emo-Japanese video games AND anime doesn’t mean that they’re the same thing. Well, maybe they are in your selfish mind, but for the rest of the world…um, nope!)
Where poseur cultures meet, geeks will gather. You can be a geek and intelligent at the same time, people. (This begets a ‘nerd,’ as far as my vocabulary is concerned, and let us never confuse the two.) But then again, intelligence does not beget action—as in, the act of coming here for my purpose today—and action does not beget results. It’s all about the execution.
11:05AM (YEAH, ANIME EXPO REGISTRATION)
There’s an interesting impromptu game of Pokemon going-on right now, and while I’d certainly rather prefer a fistfight for entertainment, I won’t hold my breath in this crowd of liberals.
The most unique aspect of the newest Pokemon games is the ability to use the Nintendo DS’ wireless ports to meet people in the Pokemon world who are also playing the game nearby. What this means is that (given the popularity of Pokemon) in this horde of geeks, a lot of people are playing at once.
It’s a magical idea which is ruined by the very circumstances which created this scene: There are so many people that the potential fellow-players to meet in the local network are lost due to the amount of bodies in the area. That sucks, man. I can’t really blame Anime Expo’s organizers, but it’s ironic that a festival designed to bring people together, in at least one way, actually prevents it.
SATURDAY~12:43 PM; ANIME EXPO EXHIBITION HALL; ROBOTECH Booth
To say that Kevin McKeever is a ham would be an understatement. Let me do my best to recollect what has just occurred:
I showed up at the Robotech booth with no formal introduction and no immediate recognition. My nametag had been ensured to be flipped in a visible position, but for about three minutes or so, I was enjoying the sights: The Robotech banner printed in 2005 (complete with sticky notes changing “20 years” to “22 years” and “1985-2005” to “1985-2007”). I didn’t find it very humourous, nor was I offended; like I said earlier, this has become par for the course.
I innocently look-through the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles art book and am immediately taken-away by a dramatic Tommy Yune-drawn picture of Marlene Rush. Hell yeah, ‘cause she’s hot. The rest of the book is similarly impressive, I must say. If I actually enjoyed The Shadow Chronicles, I’d buy one. But out of protest, I’ll keep my money to myself.
A man behind the booth (I would later recognise as McHenry) catches a glimpse of my namebadge and greets me. “Khyron_Prime! It’s been a while, man,” he says with an extended hand. I’m pleased to be recognized, honestly. But the next thing is even more awesome.
The Toynami representative who recognized me motions to Kevin McKeever and tells him who I am.
The man’s face goes blank. Steadies. And I nod in a humble bowing of the eyes to below the rank of another.
But that’s it for a few minutes. McKeever straightens merchandise. I want to buy a promotional The Shadow Chronicles poster, but they have no protective rolls. Damn. It’s the one piece of The Shadow Chronicles’ marketing that I liked—the image of Marcus Rush’s hand holding the pendant of his sister and her fiancée-to-be.
I’m not a bad guy. I don’t want Kevin McKeever to think that I’m so propped-up on machismo that I’m not willing to talk to him (or anybody at Harmony Gold, for that matter) so I politely walk-up to him.
“Mr. McKeever! How are you, sir?”
“I’m great, man!” he seems to become a different person. “Really great.”
So I say: “How was your trip to China?”
“Oh, fan-tass-tick,” he asserts proudly. We continue to discuss the scope of the convention he went-to, the challenges of working with an interpreter and an American who doesn’t use school-style English, and how Robotech’s reception, believe it or not, is and actually has been (according to his account today) long more well-known in China than Macross.
I was surprised, I must admit. Something stemming from the 1980s and a mass-importation from the USA of what is “popular” alongside Transformers and the like. It was very interesting to hear, especially considering my apparent misconception about the conflicts caused by bootlegged versions of Macross and bootlegged versions of Robotech.
I ask about the panel, constantly trying to find out who will be there and who will not. Steve Yun steps onto the scene in an unimposing manner, stocking merchandise. (I hardly recognized him with his new goatee.) What came next was a lesson in secrecy and, maybe in my case, a lesson as to the value of interview-style reporting.
“Will the Bateman brothers be there?”
They won’t. They’ve actually left the company. I maintain my cool.
“Will Mr. Letz be there?”
He won’t either. Sure, he’s kinda old, but he’s also no longer with Harmony Gold.
I wanted to ask if Carl Macek was going to come to the Robotech Panel today, but I figure that, even if he was, they’d make him a “surprise guest” and wouldn’t tell me. I do learn that Tommy Yune will be there; Steve Yun might be able to go; my guess is that McKeever’s gonna be the emcee, anyway.
I try to talk-up a colloquial conversation, but unfortunately, business comes first. McKeever will not accept my offering of a free copy of “The Shadow Chronicles: The Khyron_Prime Cut” for reasons of legality. I can accept this, though I wish it were not true. Perhaps such suggestions could help them better plan the next feature. After all, I’m not here to destroy Robotech; I’m here to ensure that the infalliable masters of its current path are willing to consider the room for improvement the rest of us already know.
What does make me happy is that the Toynami representative looks-over and McKeever is not opposed to him looking at it. I give him a copy and feel very proud. I hope someone will finally watch my video, because Haydon knows that not a single fan on the Internet has shown the slightest bit of interest in my hard work to salvage the best of what The Shadow Chronicles has to offer. In return, I ask about the new Beta toy. He walks me to the adjacent booth, where it’s connected to a Battloid-mode Alpha.
Maybe I should have known this already, but a Legioss is what I’d like on my shelf—screw the The Shadow Chronicles-inspired “Battloid+Fighter Jets=Awesome” idea—but unfortunately, bad decisions again keep me from giving any money to support the franchise I love.
SATURDAY~4:17PM; Arcade In The Centennial Ballroom
Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore. The games in this arcade are nice, but not a single one beckons me to play. I went to the “Manga Café” to relax and draw a pretty picture for an art contest which will more than likely be rejected based on the simple premise of how it asserts that men and women are not the same—a common belief, it seems, amongst the liberal anime community.
With that in mind, I hate the girls here. I don’t think it has anything to do with youth, but rather, that they don’t act like women. They conduct themselves as individuals, cocky and loud as hell, ultimately making fools of themselves in the eyes of anyone who believes in the value of traditional gender roles. Don’t get me wrong—women can be strong—but they’re stupid beasts driven by their emotions and, in a straight-up fight, don’t have enough wits to squirm out of getting the crap beat out of them by a decent man.
Now I rant about anime boys. What. The. Hell. If anyone deserves to be slapped, they do, because too many of them are little sissy pansy asses who rely on the laws of their country to defend them and let girls boss them around because they feel that yielding to the assertive anime-loving female is the best bet to get ‘em in bed. Maybe it’s true, but I don’t chase women who don’t act like women, anyway.
I’m now perpetually bored. The exhibition hall is filled with the same overpriced crap end-to-end. Where is my high-quality Zeorymer Lanstar figure, huh? Oh! You have Gundam? Great! So do fifty other displays in this damned place.
Unfortunately, a compiled analysis screams that Anime Expo is run by a lot of money nowadays. Not forgetting the fact that my partner and I didn’t get a table in Artist’s Alley because they charge fifty bucks to do it, the majority of sellers look like they’re really big groups. ADV, Bandai, Funimation—they all have big-ass booths that near-automatically distract the eyes from anything else in the hall. The DVD and book sellers not only all carry the latest stuff (i.e. crap churned-out that anime fans buy no matter what) but they charge prices that, while low, cannot beat the fruits of a skillful bartersman in a local video store.
You guessed it: I’ve been there.
And this is where I stop. Typing this, I’m having way more fun than walking around, dumbfounded at the sheer lack of rationality and exorbitant supply of disposable incomes. Call me old, call me bitter, call me whatever you want.
Anime Expo sucks just as much, if not more, than real life, and after paying fifty bucks to get in, I’m calculating how many Dollar Menu Double Cheeseburgers I could have bought instead, and watched the same young skater-wannabes make fools of themselves in the Playplace.
The purpose that brought me here is now really all that’s on my mind. When, where, and how are my thoughts. Given the lack of Tom Bateman’s presence, I have no pity whatsoever for Harmony Gold any longer. I’m just hoping now for a double-dip of slamming McKeever and Yun with pies at once.
Can’t someone make a real Robocon, please?
7:46 PM; THE SECOND FLOOR HALLWAY, WESTIN HOTEL
I just experienced the greatest anime-related panel in my life. Hooting. Hollering. Energy filled the room. People were so genuinely passionate that they booed when they were in the minority, and shouted at each other in defiance. The giant meeting, in fact, concluded with the crowd singing and chanting in unison.
Sadly, this wasn’t Robotech.
It was Gundam.
And it kicked ass.
I don’t publicly advertise in Robotech forums that I’m a big Gundam fan. I’m certainly not the biggest geek, but when it comes to the Gundam franchise, I can hold my own in advanced-level conversation. And after feeling what I just felt, I have to wonder why I care about Robotech so much anymore.
I was there for the Robotech panel. Let me outline before I forget.
Tommy Yune, Chase Masterson, Scott Glasgow, and Johnathan Brands were the hosts. The Robotech discussion basically outlined what The Shadow Chronicles merchandise is available (including the The Art Of… book and the upcoming Beta fighter toy release) as well as announced the upcoming release of a two-disc special edition of The Shadow Chronicles. It was intriguing and entertaining, to be honest, because the crowd was shown extras to be included on the disc which had disapproved animation from the feature. The scenes in question involved 1) Ariel/Marlene fleeing the Invid Hive at Reflex Point to speak to Scott Bernard and her body, totally naked, being visible; 2) the Regis’ departure from Earth being shaped like a penis and shooting through a circular cloud; 3) Vince Grant berating Louie Nichols on the bridge of the Icarus with a smirk on his face; 4) the dubbed dialogue of Dr. Emil Lang when the SDF-3 suddenly comes-under attack while Reinhart and Grant watch on monitor (with no accompanying animation); and 5) the end sequence where Marcus sees his departed sister, Marlene, and they are both completely naked in a dream.
Those parts were interesting, but they weren’t exactly stimulating. They felt like a freakin’ sales pitch and I’m sure everyone else knew it even in their enjoyment. When it came to ask questions to the hosts, however, I knew I had to take my chance.
Obviously, any number of questions could have been asked and further those phrased in any number of ways. I selected to ask “Lord” Tommy Yune, directly, what Harmony Gold feels about The Shadow Chronicles having become a dividing line across the Robotech fandom.
He gave a decent response. It was good enough that I didn’t press the matter. When he used the phrase “It’s a free country,” however, and reiterated that people will always disagree, I knew once more that I was talking to a wall. No use trying to get the man to act humble. I stepped-down, some dork asked about the potential for a Robotech live-action movie, and that was it.
I stayed in the room because I had nothing else to do, and felt the exhilaration I wish had come from Robotech through the fan-produced Gundam panel.
I screamed whenever Gundam Wing was shown. It is my favourite. I yelled at the guy on the stage who wore a Cosmic Era-style uniform, because I hate it. No one seemed to care. When Anavel Gato came on-screen, everyone knew it and shouted cheers. “Sieg Zeon!” and we said it many, many times. The final sequence, where an old, crippled woman passes a bouquet of flowers across a trainload of people to reach Commander Char Aznable…
I knew the words.
They knew the words.
We all knew the words.
Robotech can’t cut it compared to that. I’m suddenly so disinterested with Robotech that I don’t know if I even want to go-through with the pie-facing of Harmony Gold’s employees. I’m serious and in many ways, I hate myself for it.
Is it worth it now?
When Robotech is worth nothing to me personally, why should I damage myself in order to send a message to Robotech?
Should I do it for everyone else?
Can I do it for everyone else?
I’m going to a party for Robotech fans in twenty minutes. I met MEMO1DOMINION at the panel, and we spoke to each other like we were the best of friends reunited after a two-year hiatus. Robotech fans, it seems, are great. Robotech, on the other hand…
I’ll let you know.
SUNDAY~12:59PM; ANIME EXPO EXHIBITION HALL
It’s been a while since I’ve reported because I’ve spent the last sixteen hours hanging-out with Robotech fans. Oh, no; not the run-of-the-mill Robotech fans, but Robotech fans who went out of their way to invite me to join-in on a secret.
It didn’t quite begin there. At the restaurant last night, the Robotech fans filled six tables of people, chatting for hours like real people whose life is truly affected by Robotech. I reunited with Hermann2, a friend turned nemesis turned friend again, and I must say, the guy is not only knowledgable but well-spoken and enjoyable to be around. By the time the dinner was about ten minutes in, I was in hyper-Robotech mode again.
The freaky part was how friendly Tommy Yune was to me. Apparently, when I asked my question earlier he recognized me from Anime Expo 2005, and now, acted as though everything was cool. Maybe for him, it was; he thanked me for a “great question” and addressed the idea a bit further by asserting that he was well aware of the situation with Robotech fans but has accepted that it can never be fixed.
I thought he was a nice guy again. I accepted in humility that perhaps I overreact to his actions, that I don’t realize that he’s an artist/creator the same as me and no self-respecting artist wants people telling him what to do, otherwise it wouldn’t be art. In that respect, he has a tough job, and I saw this quality when I viewed him as a human being as opposed to the ethereal, non-participant character viewed from afar.
Tom Bateman showed-up. I knew him immediately; he recognized me, too. There was nothing quite to say…yet.
While sitting-down and being bored to hell by the “adult” conversation of Scott Glasgow and Kevin McKeever telling a never-ending story of how Mr. Glasgow came ill on a past trip to New York Comic-Con after eating oysters and blah blah blah, I saw something I will not soon forget.
Tom Bateman, given the seat at the head of the adjacent table of Robotech fans, spoke casually with everyone and was generally having as good of a time as he could. Tommy Yune, looking to his own table, passes-by and taps Mr. Bateman on the shoulder, and without really looking in his direction or breaking stride, says “How’re ‘ya doin’?”
It took about one second before Tommy was at his table and Mr. Bateman was left with his face…snarling at this treatment.
He mouthed something to me. I could read the lips. “What-the-fuck?” And, from …a distance, I could only give him a thumbs-up, give a closed-lip smile, and feel the pain his face exuded.
What would follow would be a lesson in the true split along the Robotech fandom. I could care less about The Shadow Chronicles, but I went-up to Mr. Bateman and re-introduced myself without a name.
“It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
He didn’t respond vocally, but his face was the saddest I’ve ever seen in a grown man.
I extended my hand, held his, and we just looked at each other, telling a story which needed to be shared. It’s amazing how, when one is interlocked with another human being, time is of so much more value. It could have been a minute, or maybe even thirty seconds, but it could just as easily have been an hour or a day. I didn’t do it for any other reason than Thomas J. Bateman was always the man at Harmony Gold who we, the fans who love Robotech, could trust. Now he’s gone.
Now…the trust in Robotech is gone.
I handed him a copy of “The Khyron_Prime Cut” and he kinda laughed. But it continued what would define the evening: Mr. Bateman, myself and my partner, Hibiki, McHenry and JasonC and their respective partners heading back to McHenry’s place for a night of Robotech comraderie.
Not The Shadow Chronicles comraderie, mind you.
McHenry gave my partner and me a place to stay for the night. In fact, we all stayed there, save for Mr. Bateman. His departure demanded our circumspectual conversation.
And here I am now, recounting too much but everything still very fresh in my mind. The doubts are gone again; I personally might have nothing to gain from my plan, but I have come this far and it’ll be time to do it soon.
For them. The true Robotech fans.
SUNDAY~3:45PM; Third Floor Lobby, Westin Hotel
Perhaps it is more of a lesson to be learned than anything else. The job is done yet I am not satisfied. Those who had openly voiced their support for this job the night before were nowhere to be found even after I had prompted them via cellular phone to be at the place where it would happen.
Oh, it happened!
Yet…it happened alone.
I decided to make the video longer, showing the act from beginning to end, from entering the hall, weaving through people, to the creaming of Tommy Yune. I decided it would be best for him because what I have learned this weekend points to the fact that he’s the source of Robotech’s current beleagurment, an arrogant, self-sufficient man who has, according to my source, ‘marital troubles’ (pointing to a New Year’s Eve party at the club Yankee Doodles) and ‘never really proven that he’s a fan of Robotech.’
‘He’s not a Robotech fan,’ the source said. ‘He’s a Tommy Yune fan.’
I believe him. Everything points to the fact that it’s true.
When the video is released, Tommy Yune and Harmony Gold staff will likely denounce it as a humourous incident and one that was done in good humour.
The truth is that Tommy Yune and his people don’t seem to take anything seriously except for ‘Tommy Yune and his people’. They can’t see this as the non-violent equivelant of an assassination. Sure, I could’ve used paintballs or some other non-lethal attack, but I’m not malicious in my intent. I wanted to send a message.
It was received.
It’s up to the receiver to do with it what he wants.
If they were smart, they’d recognize that, as a detractor, I had a purpose.
If they refuse to change, they will put-up pictures on their website which have Tommy Yune and me, side-by-side, acting like we’re friends.
Like I said, I’m not mean, but I didn’t pull Tommy aside and ask for a photo session of us both smiling.
He did it because he has a keen mind which recognizes that he can use the power of his own word over the Robotech fandom pledged to Robotech.com to pretend like I pied him because we’re good friends just kidding around.
I hope that the people will be able to see-through the propaganda.
Since this is media, that’s all I can hope for.
This is Khyron_Prime signing off.
The above is an original copy unaltered of the Report