Carl Macek, a pioneer of bringing anime to America, died of a heart attack on Saturday, April 17th. He was 58. Jerry Beck, who founded Streamline Pictures with Macek in 1988, has his thoughts here, and the conversation is ongoing in the comments.
It was Macek who put together three Japanese cartoons — Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada — dubbed them, edited them and called them Robotech, one of the first successes in the ’80s Japanese anime invasion. At Streamline, he produced the American version of Akira, and several other films, and later co-founded SpumCo, with John K., which revolutionized American TV animation in the 90s. He also produced the original English language version of Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro.
While his place in the history of otaku culture is undeniable, Macek was a controversial figure due to the liberties he often took with the source material. Gerry Giovinco, who published Robotech comics at Comico in the ’80s, has some brief comments here.
Anime News Network’s story is here, and a lengthy comment thread testifies once again to both his importance in the history of anime and his controversial standing there.