Archive for ‘SDF Macross’

July 8, 2011

Matt Wells on Kamjin and the Alien Rivals in Robot Anime

Original Post: Cho Jikuu Yosai Macross: Remembering the Killer Episodes (05-08)

Matt Wells says:

July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

[…] As far as the “Noble” enemy rival trope Kamjin seems to disparage, the earliest example I can think of would be Prince Sharkin in Brave Raideen; the character archetype was refined into its more modern form with none other than Prince Heinel in Voltes V, and Richter in Tosho Daimos. Note that all three are aliens, same as Kamjin. Its a common trope in older anime. Char merely branched out into the more modern “Masked Rival” sub-trope.

Not that the idea that the rival figure in a series can be a figure of contempt is anything new, similar contemporary examples I can think of at the time would be Ypsilon in VOTOMS and Gostello (sort of) in SPT Layzner. I just read Kamjin that way from both how the series presents him (like his exchange with Hikaru in ep. 7 seeing them equally matched) and from the narrative role he seems to fit in the series. Kamjin is thrown into the rival role, ill fitting though it might be, so I saw him as a deliberate subversion of it.

Macross seems to be all about referencing and subverting the Mecha shows that came before it, its creators remembering love just as Nadesico did to far more Post-Modern effect 15 years later. […]

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January 22, 2011

ghostlightning on Macross’ justification of the existence of giant humanoid mecha

Original Post: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (My boyfriend is a nimrod.)

  1. Here’s what I have for you:

    Macross, more than any other robot anime, actually presents the least ludicrous justification for giant humanoid robots as weapons.

    Let’s remove the sillier super robot shows out of this (sorry Mazinkaiser, sorryTTGL, etc).

    Then, let’s consider the most anal anime involving mechanized weapons: FLAG,AppleseedGhost in the Shell. You’ll notice that only AS has humanoid robots, but they are far closer to human sized. They are nowhere near the trope humongous mecha. The larger mechanized weapons in these shows when they occur, are NOT humanoid.

    Why is it important to distinguish this? It’s because humanoid robots allow the anime to entertain us with robot grappling, robot sword fighting, and basically giving everything a battle anime/action show can give only even more awesome (metal!).

    So having removed those shows out of the conversation, we are left with Gundam — the most prominent representative of the “Real” robot sub-genre.

    Gundam doesn’t even really try to justify the conceit of having giant mobile suits. There’s no particular reason why aircraft or spacecraft cannot perform better as fighting units over mobile suits. There’s no particular reason why tanks cannot outperform them on the ground.

    Mobile suits are not aerodynamic, are slow everywhere within the atmosphere; and in space they present a rather large target for the kind of ordnance they bring to bear (of course, the super prototypes of the AU Gundams will “justify” this, but they suck).

    They are conceits, because watching humanoids fight is great. It really is. Now make them giant humanoid suits of armor, then we’re talking about one of the great contributions to entertainment (you’re reading the opinion of a robot fanboy, don’t even act surprised). Gundam has no strong excuse as to why giant robots exist, and are the best ways to conduct warfare, except that they look awesome.

    I am okay with this.

    Macross does better. How? It matches the conceit of giant humanoid robots with giant humanoid enemies! The Zentraedi are effing giants, so the humans designed their Variable Fighter to be able to survive close quarters combat with these giant infantry.

    This is remarkably consistent with the logic of the anal robot shows I mentioned earlier. The Zentraedi, being giants already — do not need further use of proportionally gigantic robots for themselves. They use mobile coffins in space, I mean for all intents and purposes non-humanoid mechanized weapons (Regult, Glaug). The most humanoid forms are actual suits of armor (Quaedlunn Rau) powered to move in space and mounted with weapons.

    The logic is symmetrical, or at least consistent. There is no need for giant humanoid weapons, until there existed giant humanoids. The giant humanoids did not have proportionally giant humanoid robots because there was no one that much bigger than they are.

    Beyond the idea that the Variable Fighter is the finest military-use mecha in the robot sub-genre (which is another essay altogether), Macross shows (and it’s funny how these kinds of things elude most viewers) how well thought-out it is, despite obvious inability in parts to make things perfect.

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November 19, 2010

Caithtyria’s Macross Continuity

Original Post: Is Kawamori’s Macross Your Macross?

Caithyra says:

November 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I wonder if one could possibly take it like this (at least I try to do, but there’s some places when it doesn’t work.):
“Real” Macross Canon (aka, the non-existent “real events” that Kawamori indirectly refers to, which we can discard because we never see them) >> TV Series Canon (including OVAs) >> Movie-Retelling Canon (DYRL, BH, TFS).

So, if you’re in “Real” Macross, you watched the TV Series, and within the TV series, you knew that the movies had been made re-telling history (kind of how we would watch a documentary about Jack the Ripper which also shows scenes from Jack the Ripper movies). In you’re in TV Series Macross, you’re just watching the movies. And if you’re in the movies, you aren’t watching anything.

Now, “Real” Macross is a middle-man that we can cut out because “Real” Macross does not add or change anything from what we watch, hence, we would be taking the place of “Real” Macross, just without their history with which to verify facts and compare to.

Which would make TV Series the Main Canon, i.e, the facts by which everything else will be compared, and the re-tellings would simply be as their events were recorded in the history books, with some added flair from the director (The director of TFS could, perhaps, be a Ranka-fan but unable to make her a heroine using her real actions and personality, and thus changed a few things to make it viable. It would also explain the over-the-top-perfection of Sheryl, who would probably be nearly a saint to Frontier. Minmay would probably get the polishing treatment no matter who made the movie because she was that important to humanity and aliens first getting along together. If we got an M7 retelling, it would be very divisive in terms of Basara, those who thought him irresponsible and the zombie-fans who would treat him like a god). Hence, we could see the movies as the public perception of the Macross people (would also explain why so many battles were moved from deep space to Frontier; people probably remembered getting their city smashed more than some distant battles in space, and gets a skewed perception as to how large a percentage of the battles were brought to their doorsteps).

It would also fit with the Ranka-love at the end of the last Frontier episode. The people of Frontier really, truly believes that their (TV) Ranka is like Movie-Ranka, which would fit the innocent messiah much more than Ranka’s immaturity and single-minded focus on Alto. To them, Ranka thought equally about Alto and her brother. To them, Ranka and Alto were childhood friends because they knew each other before Ranka was famous. To the Alto-fanboys, Alto used his Kabuki to solve the mystery of Sheryl (also, the movie would address the doubts people had about Sheryl’s allegiances to Galaxy and Frontier). Even Brera gets even more cool super-soldier actions, to make his and Alto’s alliance against Grace in the last episode all the more sweeter (you know, the feeling of completeness when Badass Warrior acknowledges the main character and fights back-to-back with him).

These movie re-tellings would also be colored by what happened during and after the TV series. Sheryl might’ve gotten along great with Ozma, so she gets extra interaction with Ozma in the movie. Brera might’ve grown closer to Sheryl and Alto, which would add extra interaction between them as well.

This would also explain why Battle Galaxy got all the added thorns and spikes: It’s more villainous. Battle Galaxy, if the Vajra were out, was the face of the enemy to everyone who couldn’t access Vajra Network at the time (see also Hades from Disney. In Disney’s version, Hades looks evil. In Mythical versions, Hades is just as handsome as his brothers).

It would actually be kind of fun to see an analysis of how Frontier views their heroes if TFS was their take on the events of the series. (Lonely Sheryl versus Sheryl Who Wasn’t Completely Alone Until Grace Abandoned Her. Innocent Ranka versus Ignorant Ranka. Blatant Alto versus Subtle Alto…)

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August 12, 2009

Sakura on Love Triangles and Macross

macross haruhiko mikimoto hayase misa ichijyo hikaru lynn minmay
[Spoilers for SDF Macross]
Sakura of Calamitous Intents comments.

August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I just started reading Parfait Tic which is all about a really complex love triangle, one of the few I think is actually well done.

Such as the original Macross, I love that we got a solid conclusion and it showed a lot of character growth on the part of Hikaru. Because he was able to finally see who truly did care for him, rather than him continuing to chase the ghost of Minmei.

Who while she may have had genuine feelings for him, always seemed to put her needs first. Even right at the end, when she wanted to just play house with him. It was what she wanted, she never stopped to think that his views may have changed and that perhaps he wanted something different from back when they had first met.

And again this Triangle is sort of an homage to that original one. Because we can totally see elements of Minmei and Misa in Sheryl and Ranka.

Ranka while she may have feelings for Alto, certainly doesn’t seem to take the time to listen to Alto and his wants and needs. Its all about her own, she’s always running to him for advice. So in that aspect she’s sort of like Minmei.

Whereas Sheryl listens to what he has to say, I mean look at the birthday offer. She knew what was important to him and tried to give him that, which reminds me a lot of Misa.

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