Finally Watched the Macross Frontier Finale

Posted by Demian @ 2:11 pm, October 4th, 2008

From entertainment value alone I loved it. Everything a good space opera finale, and more importantly a Macross finale should be: Planes, lasers, music, and tons of hot-blooded yelling all thrown into one big pot of awesome. SMS’s Captains little manly speech was cool enough, but add with everything else it was just a footnote. All the Macross shout-outs were also great, like Macross 11, the V-9 Ghost Droids, Birler just wanting to meet Minmei, finally connecting the Vajra to the Birdman, and DUEL MACROSS ATTACKS FUCK YEAH!. Ozma’s shout of Totsugeki Love Heart was also oddly badass, but it would of been better if they actually played the song. Surely they could have taken time away from that bizarrely mis-matched medley for it.

From an objective point, however, I do have to say that the finale suffered from just cramming too many revelations at once. I’m glad they actually managed to cover everything in a way that’s somewhat possible, but it would have been nice for things to be spread out more. Which is probably a complaint that could be said of Macross Frontier as a whole. When it was good, which was mostly the battles, it was great. Everything else averaged between fun if shallow and just being mediocre. I blame mostly the series direction for that, but god knows Alto the King of Waffling didn’t help things either. All in all probably a worthy addition to the Macross franchise, but a mid-tier showing at best. Zero is still my favorite, because I actually cared about what was happening to the main characters there.

Space Pirates Macross Quarter

Posted by Demian @ 9:20 pm, September 11th, 2008

Now this is the show I wish I had been watching for 22 episodes, where the the battleship of quirky badasses fended off vengeful aliens and autocratic conspiracies alike, and where the misguided romance of the newest recruit was nothing more than a comedic side-story. Instead the side-story is the actual plot and the badass crew is sadly sidelined. Frontier has been an alright show so far, but it really missed the chance to have a lot of fun with these characters.

When your main character is being told he’s still a whiny kid when there’s only three episodes left to go, then there might be a problem. Alto has to be the worst protagonist in Macross history. Even Shin, who was also a bit dense, fared much better than Alto. Alto just doesn’t have a clue at all. And now the only ones left on Frontier are him, Sheryl, and the increasingly psychotic Luca. Great. Lets just get to the apocalyptic final battle where Ozma takes on the whole NUNS fleet, if that’s what the spoilers still say, and get this over with.

I am Zero! Listen to my Song!

Posted by Demian @ 6:59 pm, August 20th, 2008

Zero should keep his day job as megalomaniacal world conqueror.

Shake That Thing Cellphone!

Posted by Demian @ 2:54 pm, August 1st, 2008

Is there even a name for Ranka’s super evolved, CD eating cellphone thing? It seems wrong for one of the most prominent characters on the show not to have a name. With all the crazy cyborg stuff going on how do we know it isn’t the cellphone that’s controlling everything? Yes, I’m saying that the cellphone is a backup memory for Grace. Mark my words, that will be the big twist. But then you could just stomp her to death and everything would be fine.

Oh, and new OP is cute. That’s what I was supposed to be talking about, right?

This Is The Real Reason I Watch Macross Frontier

Posted by Demian @ 4:53 pm, July 16th, 2008

Upgraded nukes.

Honestly I’d be perfectly happy with 25 episodes of massive space battles, badass gay guys piloting HUEG transforming battle ships, crazy 3D graphics that keep blaring warnings, and lines like “THIS IS THE FINAL DEFENSE LINE! MACROSS GUN MAXIMUM POWER! BY SPECIAL EXEMPTION OF THE NEW U.N. CHARTER WE MUST DECLARE ALL OUT WAR! DIE BUGS DIE!”

Now that’s a show.

In actual events it’s too bad Luca’s one moment of badassness ended with him being owned. Hopefully the little guy can properly declare his lust love for Nanase’s boobs next time.

Macross Mysteries

Posted by Demian @ 8:46 pm, June 29th, 2008

Macross Frontier adds another mystery to its ever growing list with the appearance of the supposedly original SDF-1 Macross on Gallia IV. However, this can’t be possible as the original Macross is supposed to be on Earth, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. My only information on the original Macross comes from Do You Remember Love? and that wasn’t even canon. Kawamori couldn’t make it easy for us and just put Megaroad-1 in there, he has to confuse us even more. It’s not like the Macross Zero references, mysterious alien that looks like AFOS, vajra, Brera, and all the “everything is going according to plan” lines aren’t confusing enough.

My personal theory for this newest mystery is that the Macross featured here is actually some massive replica used in the filming of the DYRL movie, which is why DYRL was the ED song for this episode. Ranka’s version is just as beautiful as Minmei’s, though a little too techno popish, if that makes sense at all. Now this flimsy theory will be completely blown apart if there’s any official material saying that DYRL was nothing more than an in-universe CG extravaganza, but if there’s one thing Macross Frontier fans have to be used to it’s theories proving wrong (except for my theory stating that Brera and Ranka are siblings, cause that just has to be true).

OVA Review: Macross Zero

Posted by Demian @ 11:32 am, May 10th, 2008

Story:

Set one year before the events of the original SDF Macross, the war between the UN and Anti-UN forces has been raging for a while and tearing the planet apart. Shin Kudo is an apathetic pilot in the UN forces, who is shot down by an odd, transforming aircraft. Landing on the island of Mayan, he is saved by the priestess of the island Sara Nome. Shin meets the people of the island, including Sara’s precocious sister Mao Nome, and begins living a peaceful life with them. However, this all changes when the fighting between the UN and the Anti-UN comes close to the island. Both sides are battling to find the mysterious AFOS, or Birdman, an ancient being of power connected to the equally mysterious Protoculture. Shin must fight again to protect Sara and Mao, while also trying to figure out the mystery of the Birdman, the god of the island that will sing the Song of Destruction when the Kadun of battle comes to the island…

Impressions:

Macross Zero is a five episode OVA series that ostensibly is a prequel to the original Macross, but is really only so much a prequel cause it has Roy Fokker as a main character. The rest of the plot is purely stand alone, and probably has more connections to Macross 7 and Frontier than the original series. The three standby’s of Macross are featured here: love triangle’s, singing, and mecha dogfights. The dogfights are the most similar element to other series, and are also one of the standout elements of this OVA. Aside from Fronter, Zero has some of the best mecha battles I have ever seen in anime. The dogfights are pure savage beauty in motion, a ballet of jets and missiles. The show is worth watching just for the fighting alone.

The love triangle aspect is a bit lacking in Zero. At first it seems obvious, but the larger plot and battles going on quickly push it to the side, and by the end there’s no doubt who Shin has chosen, though his own future is ambiguous. The singing is probably the most radical element of Zero, as there’s no pop at all. Nope, not one idol in sight. Instead, singing is seen as a magical force in the show by the Mayan people, and the songs in the show reflect this, as they’re all beautiful and hauntingly melodious. The effect of the music in the show is perfect, especially in the final, apocalyptic battle. The wholly mystical element of music in the show may drive away some hardcore realistic fans, but in the context of the Zero universe it fits perfectly.

The animation for Zero is also appropriately stunning. This show had money. A realistic tone pervades the series, from the character designs to the landscapes. The views of the island are gorgeous, and especially pay attention to the scene in episode 4 when the jungle comes alive. It’s a wonderfully animated scene showing the fullness and beauty of life. The planes and other mecha are rendered in CG, very similar to Frontier with a little less polish. They work fine, though, and are integrated nicely into the rest of the animation.

Thematically, Zero is probably Shoji Kawamori at his most mystical and environmental. A strong theme of native cultures being poisoned by technology runs throughout the show, which is ironically funny for a sci-fi series. While I don’t think Kawamori is outright condemning technology, there is a strong chiding on the overuse of technology and how humanity has not evolved past warfare, which is similar to the original Macross. The theme is so pervasive I may have to do an actual post just on that. The only negative thing about Zero is that it doesn’t wrap up any of its big plot points. Now, the actual plot of the show and its characters is wrapped up nicely, but big questions - what exactly is the Birdman? what is protoculture? What did aliens do on Earth? - aren’t answered at all, but hopefully they will be in Frontier.

For those watching Frontier now, there’s already a few links between Zero and it. There’s Sara Nome and Sheryl Nome, the physical similarities between the Birdman and Vajra, and a scene in episode 3 that is exactly like the one where the Vajra reacted to Ranka’s singing. So for those just being introduced to Macross now, Zero is another fine series to check out, not only for its connections but for being a strong, wonderfully entertaining show in its own right. Really one of the best OVA’s I’ve seen, and arguably some of the best dogfights ever featured in any art form. It’s only five episodes long, so there’s no excuse for not watching this fine anime.