Create an Account

email Remember Me?
Password   forgot password?
Art critique of Robotech:  Gender Studies/Female Character Analysis Part 1 of 6:  The Tragic Incompatibility of Opposite Genders in Robotech
Posted: 29 November 2018 11:19 AM  
Private
Avatar
Total Posts:  28
Joined  2018-11-29

Hello.  I’m new here.  Please forgive me but my post turned into an essay.  Is it within the rules to host this essay on your forum?  I am a fan of Robotech and I would like to hear your thoughts about Academic Gender Studies and/or Female Character Analysis in regards to Robotech. I would like to critique Robotech as a work of art similar to art criticism or media criticism of any novel or painting.  Furthermore, I would like to critique Robotech as a work of art through the lens of Gender Studies and Female Character Analysis.  I am curious about themes and symbolism in Robotech. Themes and symbols can creep into a work of art either consciously or subconsciously.  I am interested in decoding these symbols and imagery.  Does anyone have any links to other Forums or Topics on this subject? Does anyone recommend I discuss this on a different Forum?  Thank you in advance.

Robotech has been discussed for 33 years and I am interested in new perspectives and new angles of inquiry.  I am interested in exploring new territory within the Robotech universe.

This post deals with Robotech in all its canon and non-canon manifestations.  I am taking a very macro level view of Robotech.  I am examining broad overarching themes, patterns, re-occurring symbols, imagery, coincidences, motifs, tropes, plot devices, and narrative techniques.  I mean no harm or ill will.  Please enjoy the post.  I hope this read is a positive experience.  smile

In the future I hope to analyze Robotech through the disciplines of Formalism, Structuralism, Ecocriticism, Post-Modernism, Post-Colonialism, Moralism, Marxism, and Psychoanalysis.

I hope to answer the following questions with this post.  What are we responding to within Robotech?  What intrigues us about Robotech?  What resonates with us about Robotech?  Why do I like Robotech?

1.  The Tragic Incompatibility of Opposite Genders in Robotech

First, please consider the iconic imagery of a full size Zentreadi holding a Minmei doll.  Academic literary analysis, film critics, or anime scholars might speculate it demonstrates the male gender in awe of the female gender. Or perhaps it demonstrates how the male gender is frustrated by its inability to connect and communicate with the female gender. Another piece of supporting evidence presents itself when Minmei wins the war by singing and dancing. This is symbolic of the true power of the female gender (or weakness of the male gender). One female contains enough power to destroy an entire battle group of giant homicidal aliens. Personally, I was a 9 year old male in 1986 and perhaps this imagery spoke to me. If I saw myself as the Zentreadi holding the Minmei doll, it encapsulated my inability to approach a girl. I was fascinated with women but unsure of what to do with them.  This imagery may have resonated with me.

The iconic image of a Zentreadi clutching a Minmei doll bears some similarity to King Kong clutching Ann Darrow atop the Empire State Building.  King Kong is symbolic of race, racism, and colonialism.  I feel King Kong also symbolizes an extreme version of the male libido, lust, and desire for possession.  Music seems to soothe the savage beast.  In this vein, Minmei’s singing seems to intoxicate the Zentreadi.  Musica’s harp placates all the clones.  Lancer’s singing inspires humanity. In addition, the Empire State Building and the SDF-1 share a similar rigid shape.  The SDF-1’s Main Gun builds up tension and shoots out a giant stream of laser fire in order to release this tension.  The initial crash landing of the SDF-1 on Planet Earth resembles a galactic fertilization event of two gametes combining in the womb of space.  When Khyron captures Minmei and puts her in a cage, his eventual demise warns male viewers against allowing their desires to run wild.  Dolza almost killed Lisa in another King Kong-esque scene.  King Kong and the Zentreadi are also tragic heroes.  In some moments they inspire sympathy in the viewer.  They are outcasts.  They do not fit in.  They are misunderstood.  The scene showing the rotting skeleton of a Zentreadi corpse in the wastelands holding a Minmei doll is tragic and encapsulates the flaws and miscommunication of the two genders.

Some final pieces of supporting evidence are when Azonia and Khyron finally have physical contact, their union is explosive and fatal.  This is symbolic of the futility of relationships.  I would also argue the Regent and Regess’s estrangement throughout the series further supports a theme of incompatibility of opposite genders in Robotech.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please do not get too angry or passionate Lol!  I wrote this in good faith for the fans to enjoy, discuss, and dissect.  What are your thoughts, questions, comments, corrections, and/or criticisms?  smile

Profile
 
Posted: 29 November 2018 02:05 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Master Sergeant
Avatar
Total Posts:  5648
Joined  2007-04-08
Brofessor - 29 November 2018 11:19 AM

Some final pieces of supporting evidence are when Azonia and Khyron finally have physical contact, their union is explosive and fatal.  This is symbolic of the futility of relationships.  I would also argue the Regent and Regess’s estrangement throughout the series further supports a theme of incompatibility of opposite genders in Robotech.


While I can see your point about the Zentraedi/Minmei thing as an analogy for male/female relationships, I have to argue with this last bit.  There are LOTS of couples in Robotech who do not support the incompatibily idea.  So I support more the notion that Robotech is telling us that, in order to have a successful relationship, romantic or otherwise, we must find ways to communicate!

 Signature 

If it ain’t in the Robotech show itself… It didn’t neccessarily happen.

Thanks, Carl Macek, for introducing me to all these folks.  Even the ones who bug me.

Profile
 
Posted: 30 November 2018 10:26 AM   [ # 2 ]  
Private
Avatar
Total Posts:  28
Joined  2018-11-29
jeanie - 29 November 2018 02:05 PM

There are LOTS of couples in Robotech who do not support the incompatibily idea.

Hi there.  Nice to meet you.  Thank you for all your intelligent and thoughtful responses.  I agree with you.  Some successful relationships are Rick and Lisa, Max and Miriya, Vince and Jean, and the extraterrestial couples from The Sentinels.

However, I can further support the theme of Incompatibility of Opposite Genders, albeit with much weaker evidence.  This thin evidence is Admiral Donald Hayes loses his wife and later gets toasted, Lisa loses Karl, Claudia loses Roy and eventually expires herself, and Scott loses Marlene.  Conversley, these tragedies could actually undermine my argument as well if they are viewed as successful relationships.  While successful, the shapings may still deem them incompatible.

In Part 2 of 6 of this Post, I used Minmei’s toxic relationships with Kyle, T. R. Edwards, and Jonathon Wolfe to support a theme warning against the dangers inherent in love.  However, these same examples can also further support the theme of opposing gender incompatibility presented here in Part 1 of 6.

 

Profile
 
Posted: 06 December 2018 11:59 AM   [ # 3 ]  
Private
Avatar
Total Posts:  28
Joined  2018-11-29

Additionally, on the theme of masculine desire for possession, the SDF-1, or mothership, can be seen as feminine.  The Masters are similar to a crime boss using their muscle, the Zentreadi, to retrieve a wayward concubine, the SDF-1.  Likewise, the Regent chases the Regess.  If the SDF-1 is seen as female, Khyron’s obsession with her eventually leads him to murdering her.  This could be viewed as matricide if the protoculture matrix is seen as a womb which enabled the creation of Khyron or the Zentreadi themselves.

Profile