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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Goodbye 1980's

As an afterword to the 80's I feel I must add to the UK's Anime & Manga history a few words on the Robot invasion to our shores from FASA Corporation's franchise “BattleTech” its gritty interpretation of the fare future, in which the Succession Wars are set in the 31st century several hundred years after the fall of the Star League when humanity had colonised the stars, now feudal lords continuously war for more territory across the stars, planet by planet. It's not a shiny future as most, if not all of the manufacturing technology and know-how has been destroyed by conflict, this thoughtfully fleshed-out universe could easily be compared to the political back-drop from frank herbert's Dune.

What makes this far flung future so engrossing is the men and women who pilot the war machines used in these conflicts, called Mechs, the constant repair, and decay, the scavenging for parts, even the danger of the machine over heating and shutting-down was as much a risk of battle than the enemy! These Mechs bipedal 30ft to 50ft. Tall human-like war machines were categorised as; Light; Medium; Heavy; Assault, and LAMs and organised in to a Lance, a squad of 4 Mechs to suit the theatre of battle and there mission objectives.

[Note: I had a copy of the 'Technical Readout: 3025' published in 1986\1987, it had 55 'Mechs, 15 aerospace fighters, 3 LAMs, 4 DropShips and 12 combat vehicles, and all background details for the BattleTech universe, and their properties in the game.]

[Note: What the 'Technical Readout: 3025' showed was original Mechanical Designs faithfully copied from Japanese Anime TV shows (but no details given of their origins) "Fang of the Sun Dougram" from Sunrise Studios, and Studio Nue's "Crusher Joe" & "Super Dimension Fortress Macross". These designs stood out far beyond the home-grown American Mechs designs, and in many cases had been seen as model kits either imported original kits or re-badged kits by Revell.]

Now BattleTech also re-badged these robot model kits, it was a great time for Science Fiction model making hobbyists, and another opportunity to find out more about the Japanese cartoon shows, leading to Amine & Manga!

[Note: BattleTech\FASA Corporation had unbeknown to us at the time, had a few licensing legal issues with other American companies, most notably 'Harmony Gold' who thought that it owned the Intellectual Property of “Macross” and any of its images and thus merchandise! Hence BattleTech of the late 80's & early 90's is referred 'Classic BattleTech', and many Mech designs are now unseen!]

I will leave you the reader to explore and search for knowledge on "Crusher Joe", "Super Dimension Fortress Macross" & "Fang of the Sun Dougram", enjoy. [you do have the Internet and its search-engines NOW!]

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