RT25: The Celebration 2010 took place on September 18, 2010 at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, CA. The event was put on by Robotech fan, Tom Bateman. I heard about this event during Power MorphiCon a month prior to the event. RT25 was different from the usual otaku gatherings I normally attend; cosplayers running wild in the streets. This was a formal dinner for fans of the Robotech saga to connect with their childhood fandom. As one voice actor mentioned, it was finally nice to see people dressed up nice rather than wearing cosplay.
Though the dinner did not start until 6PM, there was a Robotech symposium earlier in the day. Because Jared and I checked in later in the day, we were unable to attend the symposium. After checking into our room, Jared and I decided to head to the hotel garden for the wine reception. Slowly, but surely fans and voice actors started to meet and greet each other. A few people brought some Robotech memoribilia for actors and writers to sign. The voice actors were very friendly and they loved talking to the fans. RT25 ranks up with Power MorphiCon as being one of the most fan friendly events I have attended in a long time.
On an additional note, I was able to talk to Rebecca Fordstat (Minmay) and Barbara Goodson (Marie Crystal and Sera) about their experience at Nan Desu Kan. Earlier in September, Scarlet Rhapsody was scheduled to go to the Denver convention, but due to a financial hit, we were unable to. These were the actors we wanted to interview, but we were happy to have a chance to meet and greet these lovely ladies.
At around 6:30PM, the guests were seated in the dinning area. The best part about seating was we were able to sit with a voice actor who had a part in Robotech. Jared and I shared a table with Eddie Frierson (Lynn Kyle). Though Lynn Kyle was the most hated character in the series, his voice actor was not. Eddie was very personable and he had stories to tell about recording sessions and what he is up to now. He also introduced us to other people who were involved in the show's production.
The dinner was very delicious. The dinner was a three course meal: salad, main course, and cheesecake. The food was very savory and filling. As we were enjoying our dinner, we had a few keynote speakers talk about memories working on Robotech.
Once everyone was done with dinner, the main programming began. It started with the writers behind Robotech. These group of gents talked about what it was like linking three completely different Japanese anime together to make a continuous series. There was a short discussion on what Protoculture really is. It ended with the phrase, "Protoculture is people!"
Next, the actors for the Macross Saga went up to share their memories working on the show. Everytime a new segment of Robotech was introduced, we were treated by watching a series of anime music videos set to songs from the 1980s highlighting the main characters. This was a great idea to add to the programming. The choice of music fits the time period and the characters very well.
The Macross Saga voice actors thanked the fans and shared a few ancedotes from behind the scenes. Melanie McQueen's secret to acting was to "act from her ass."
The Robotech Masters cast was introduced with a few music video clips. While watching the clips, particularly the "Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves" segment, it made me realize how rare it is to see strong female leads in current anime.
The cast of Robotech Masters had a few stories to share from behind the scenes. In this clip, Barbara Goodson (Marie Crystal and Sera) talks about finally watching Robotech for the first time prior to the celebration.
The next group was the Robotech: New Generation cast. The highlight of this part was the actors talking about the late night recording sessions at 2AM doing outtakes. Some of these outtakes made it into the final cut. However, they did not reveal which ones specifically.
Like most of the actors involved in Robotech, they did not know who their characters were and what was going on. Neither did the cast and crew know if Robotech was going to be big. This clip features Michael Bradley (Lancer / Yellow Dancer) talking about his role as a crossdressing singer. Bradley is still performing to this day with his band, Ghost in the Machine.
The program was coming to an end. The night could not end without having a memorial to those who have passed away recently, particularly Carl Macek. Those who remembered Carl remembered him as a intelligent guy with lots of stories to tell. A video memorial was played to memorialized those cast and crew members who have passed on.
The main events was closed off to a toast to the Robotech fans and to Carl Macek's memory. All of the cast and crew gathered at the ballroom floor once again to raise a glass in honor of 25 years of Robotech.
After the toast, the room dimmed the lights for Michael Bradley and his band, Ghost in the Machine. Michael Bradley sang songs from Robotech: New Generation. Though the singer has aged, he still has the voice and the energy. In addition, the band also covered songs from Robotech: The Untold Story. Before the concert, it was mentioned that Robotech had a library of songs written for the show and some of them did not make it into the final cut of the original series. It was then used for The Untold Story.
During the concert, people were mingling in the hallway to get autographs of the voice actors. This was a great opportunity to talk to various actors and writers. As usual, Jared and I took pictures with the voice actors we talked to. Many thanks to Wendee Lee (Vanessa), Melanie MacQueen (Lisa Hayes, Ariel, Marlene), Barbara Goodson (Marie Crystal and Sera), Rebecca Fordstat (Minmay), Eddie Frierson (Lynn Kyle), Tony Oliver (Rick Hunter), Paul St. Peter (Zor), and Richard Epcar (Ben Dixon) for their time. It was great to meet you all!
Many thanks to Tom Bateman for hosting one of the best fan run events this year. Everyone had a great time at RT25 and left with many memories to bring home. We are already looking forward to 25 years from now for RT50. After the official celebration was done, there was an after party that went on into the wee hours of the morning. It was spent watching the set of music videos again and just hanging out with Robotech fans.
On the very next day, there was a free breakfast for people who were at RT25 and stayed at the hotel. Not only we had the pleasure of meeting cast and crew involved in the show, we also met a good group of Robotech fans. It was a breath of fresh air to be with an otaku crowd that was not obsessed about cosplay or video games, but rather, a group of people talking about how one show has made a profound and positive impact on their lives. It was great to meet you all and to talk to you.
To quote what I said on the way back to the hotel room, "It was finally nice to go to an event without anything related to orange ninjas in sight!"
Thanks to Tom Bateman, the dedicaated RT25 staff, the fans, and the Robotech creative team! Please visit the official RT25: The Celebration 2010 website for more information.
Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody . If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Macross Plus. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.