ROBOTECH REWATCH 15 – Electric Dreams (in Outer Space)

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Say what you like about those Macross/Harmony Gold fellows, they were pretty clever about reusing animation to save a bit of money. Prepare to delve into the depths of Rick Hunter’s subconscious! I know, I was a bit surprised too to discover he had depths. Still waters run deep and all that…

PhantasmEpisode 17. Phantasm

Rick Hunter is in the base hospital, unconscious but under observations by a bunch of medical robots that look a lot like the skutters from Red Dwarf. His subconscious takes him on a magical mystery tour back to that concert Minmei gave that time despite only having two songs.

Is this another clip show? TELL ME NOW IF THIS IS ANOTHER CLIP SHOW.

Weirdly, it is kind of a clip show, retelling key moments from Rick’s life in an odd, surrealist fashion – setting off to fly his Robotech fighter for the first time, calling Lisa an old lady, Minmei being grabbed by a giant hand, getting advice from Roy, training montage – genuine bits of earlier animation are recycled and jumbled up with surrealist retellings and redrawings that heighten Rick’s concerns and his more paranoid imaginings. Sometimes the soundtrack is the same, but mostly it’s a complete redub to add to the weirdness of the experience.

Well played, Harmony Gold. Well played.

What Rick’s subconscious is telling him, over and over, is that he really likes rescuing Minmei. Rescuing Minmei is basically what he’s all about.

And yet… Lisa’s in there too. Plus a whole bunch of Robotech action shots, because they’re sexy too and we all know that the OTP of this show is Rick Hunter/planes. Lisa apparently represents the part of Rick’s subconsciousness that thinks he’s a bit of an idiot for chasing Minmei all the time. It’s hard to argue with that.

RICK: Whenever I fly I get shot down but now I can save her with this magic bicycle.

TANNOY ANNOUNCER: Attention! Lieutenant Rick Hunter was shot down this morning while attempting to fly a bicycle.

Possibly the best 2 lines in Robotech ever, just saying.

In his dream, Rick’s friends – including Lisa – decide to help him while still judging him so hard for his ‘saving people thing’. It’s a retelling of the last alien adventure he had with Ben, Max and Lisa, only this time it’s all about Minmei.

Is this really going to go on for the whole episode?

Seriously, this is only slightly more interesting than Gloval’s report.

This is the longest Rick and Lisa have spent together without fighting. Shame she’s a figment of his imagination.

When Rick finally reaches Minmei to rescue her from the giant Breetai, she tells him that she can’t come with him because Kyle told her not to. At which point, the giant Breetai turns into Kyle and Rick fights him. This is my favourite thing that Kyle ever does in this show. It’s all downhill from here.

Rick then rescues Minmei against her will, because he’s cross about Kyle controlling her? Oh, Rick, the inner workings of your mind do not show you off at your best.

They end up back in the depths of the ship where Rick and Minmei were captured that time. All I can hope at this point is a return of the giant tuna. I really loved the giant tuna.

Lisa starts swapping in and out with Minmei, as Rick observes a battle from afar and completely fails to tell the difference between them. It’s not quite like Dimensions in Time, but it’s getting there.

MINMEI NUDE SHOT.

Well of course they repeated the fanservice shower scene but do I get my giant tuna? No I do not.

It’s easier for Rick to have a conversation about his frustrations with Minmei during a flashback while he’s in a coma than in real life. This is all you need to know about Rick.

“I wonder if she’ll pay more attention to me now that I’ve rescued her?”
Oh, Rick.

They basically go through their entire two weeks trapped all over again, though this time Rick has the foreknowledge of when they will be rescued. It’s like he’s a superhero who can predict very dull information about bus timetables!

Minmei suggests at one point that Rick should become a world leader some day. The thought of this is so horrendous that I had to stop typing for a while to recover.

I really could have lived without seeing Minmei and Rick’s fake wedding again, though this version is even more drawn out and is now interrupted by them fighting about the conflict between her career and his military duty instead of the ceiling opening up and trying to crush them.

ONLY THESE TWO COULD HAVE A BREAK UP CONVERSATION WITHOUT ACTUALLY HAVING A RELATIONSHIP.

Of course when Rick kisses her, he finds himself back in another kiss, the alien-squicking Lisa kiss. Is his choice between Minmei and Lisa (assuming either of them would have him) really a choice between military service and being a civilian?

Narrator:
Yes, Rick, only a dream.

Me:
REALLY, a WHOLE episode of this? It’s not like Rick is especially cagy about his inner thoughts at any other time, he’s generally an open book.

And no giant tuna.

So disappointing. At least people start dying next week.

robotech rewatchThis weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.

One reply

  1. Benjamin says:

    The Magic Bicycle gave its life for a noble cause… screwing with our heads in the craziest clip episode ever. I too was expecting a return of the giant tuna.

    At least this episode allows to see the inner workings of Rick Hunter’s mind… and to think we believed that staring Cthulhu in the eyes was the creepiest thing ever…

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