OK, it's Scott's inaugural SWL post!
I gotta lead off with one of my favorite things of all time - Robotech.
Surprisingly, I'm not a big anime watcher generally. But one day back in 1984, as a Junior in High School, I ran across this new show on TV, and I was hooked. I had watched the Transformers, and found it cheap and episodic. Then I saw the first episode of Robotech and the opening theme. I still get a thrill when I here the music:
For anyone who is not familiar with Robotech, it was one of the early anime imports from Japan into the US. Originally three separate, series, it was knitted together with two transition episodes by Harmony Gold, the company that managed the import.
Ironically, I missed both transition episodes that first run - and so I came back to the series the next day and all the characters were different.
What was different about Robotech (vs. US shows like Transformers) is that it was not episodic - each of the three series within it had its own story arc. In short, it treated its watchers like adults with an attention spam longer than 30 minutes. I used to have this poster of Rick Hunter on my bedroom wall:
Later on in the series, I encountered Lancer/Yellow Dancer - who I would argue was an early transgender character (though you could also look at her as more of a drag queen). Either way, it was pretty revolutionary.
The next time the series ran, I begged my aunt to record all the episodes for me. But although she made a valiant effort, I still missed quite a few. So I started buying them on VHS. But with 90+ episodes and the cost at $20 for two, it was a losing battle too.
When the DVD sets finally came out, it was a Godsend. I now own them all, and watch the series periodically.
If you've never seen it, I strongly recommend it. If you can get past Lisa Hayes' cinnamon bun hair: