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  #31  
Old 11-05-2015, 09:16 AM
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Seeing those little bars that the move the legs into position on old VFs rendered with such fidelity is a magical experience.

Macross's CGI is alright. It has that same problem that a lot of higher-end CGI in anime has where everything is too zippy, without the little tweaks and tweening hand-drawn stuff can give you. I think Frontier's fights are more readable, but Zero gives the fighters more heft. The VF-0 tends to slide around in tight maneuvers, since the animators actually acknowledge one of the early VFs big flaws - the lack of horizontal stabilizers.
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  #32  
Old 11-05-2015, 09:30 AM
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It's true that CG loses the ability to fudge some of those transformation mechanics that was used sometimes in the original series, both for good and for ill. But overall I think it usually looks pretty decent.
I will never stop loving this:



And the CGI robuts don't look THAT out of place. The cel-shading in Frontier looks even better, but Zero's art style style meshes quite well with them.
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2015, 12:47 PM
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Woooow, just realized I've never watched Macross Zero. I followed it's pre-release and then sat back waiting for a domestic release. That was about the time I held off on Turn A Gundam for the same reason. Now I'm wondering what else I missed?
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  #34  
Old 11-14-2015, 04:47 PM
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I was fully prepared to be down on Macross Frontier: The False Songstress, but it ended up being a whole lot of fun. Sure, it's mostly bubblegum and fanservice (some of it a little sketch, to be sure), but the heightened movie format suits the material more than the series ever did. I feel that a lot of what the movie cut and smoothed over is what put me off the show in the first place. And it had the effect of making me actually like the principles, which is certainly a nice change.

Two weird pulls:

My two favorite shots in the movie are the ones where you get to see the Battle Frontier from inside the city. They are absolutely majestic, and bring back a sense of scale that's been curiously absent from the series since the SDF-1 rose up out of the water in Plus. Even though the Battle Class is supposed to as large, if not larger than the Macross, they never shot the Battle 7 with same same sense of awe as seeing the SDF-1 flying overhead. Similarly, the Colony ships are so large that your brain just sorts has a buffer overflow and goes "really big, I guess". But these two shots sell the hell out it.

The other thing that I noticed the movie did is cut Fly Tetas Nanase. I'm certainly not complaining, since she was mostly extraneous, and the Macross High School stuff was what I least liked about Frontier, but it does bring the movie in line with something that's been bothering me after finishing 7 and rewatching Macross - the teenaged girls in this series never seem to have girlfriends their own age. It's like one of the complaints often lobbed at Manic Pixie Dream Girl characters - that they don't have a life outside of their relationship with the male lead[s]. It's not entirely fair to Mylene, since she has her gig with the band, but it definitely applies to Minmei in Macross. DYRL kind of makes it work by giving it a sort of "lonely at the top" vibe, and Angel Paint wouldn't work nearly as well without those pangs of isolation. But mostly it reminds me that, yeah, these characters were all written by dudes.
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2015, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, that's kinda true - the only gal-pal scenes you tend to see in most of the series involve the, well, "bridge bunnies", which is obviously its own male-authored trope. That said, it *is* nice that the two female leads in Frontier usually get along as friends even if a lot of their interactions are about Alto; one nice thing about Macross's love triangle formula is that it seldom devolves into cattiness.


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Originally Posted by Excitemike View Post
Woooow, just realized I've never watched Macross Zero. I followed it's pre-release and then sat back waiting for a domestic release. That was about the time I held off on Turn A Gundam for the same reason. Now I'm wondering what else I missed?
Yeahhhhhh, don't be waiting for domestic releases of anything Macross-related until you've heard solid news of Harmony Gold going under. And since they seem to hang on like a cockroach despite any number of failed projects, well...
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  #36  
Old 11-15-2015, 12:03 PM
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I wonder how much money Harmony Gold gets from real estate. I've also heard shady things about their income and connections, but that's probably just ornery Macross fans. At any rate, music rights would probably torpedo any hope of either 7 or Frontier ever coming out here, even if HG were to kick the bucket.
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  #37  
Old 11-15-2015, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Peach View Post
I wonder how much money Harmony Gold gets from real estate. I've also heard shady things about their income and connections, but that's probably just ornery Macross fans.
99.9% and yes, ornery fans.
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  #38  
Old 11-15-2015, 02:20 PM
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Harmony Gold keeps holding on in vain for a Hollywood Robotech movie that I hope never gets made. I fucking hate Harmony Gold.
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  #39  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Peach View Post
I wonder how much money Harmony Gold gets from real estate.
They probably get about as much from Robotech merchandising and rereleases as any other '80s product that's never had a relaunch - which is to say some, but not buckets. Their Kickstarter for producing more animation failed abysmally, and the Palladium mini wargame Kickstarter is going about as well as you'd expect on delivery. They get nothing from any other Macross project, as their rights only extend to releases outside of Japan. No-one knows if it's Studio Nue refusing to play ball with them, or if it's Harmony Gold refusing to license anything that could taint Macek's "legacy".

As for their connections, well... This is their CEO.
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  #40  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:01 AM
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I fucking hate Harmony Gold.
You really shouldn't. It sucks for Macross fans but they've done nothing wrong.
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  #41  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Excitemike View Post
It sucks for Macross fans but...
Yeah, well I'm a Macross fan, I'd love to be able to actually buy Macross stuff here, and I can't because of this utter nonsense. You may feel they've done nothing wrong, and legally they haven't, but I really don't put a lot of stock into the morality of the justice system.
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  #42  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
Yeah, well I'm a Macross fan, I'd love to be able to actually buy Macross stuff here, and I can't because of this utter nonsense. You may feel they've done nothing wrong, and legally they haven't, but I really don't put a lot of stock into the morality of the justice system.
It has nothing to do with the justice system. Studio Nue skipped out on their debts, so their shit got repossessed. Harmony Gold didn't take Macross away, they brought it to us. That is was sold under circumstances that were unfair to the Japanese rights holders is not HG's fault.

I've been seeing the HG hate for literally decades. Why don't Western fans hate on Tatsunoko Pro for a change?
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  #43  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:13 PM
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No, it's actually all on Harmony Gold. They bought the distribution rights to SDF Macross from Tatsunoko, and then claimed ownership over the entire franchise in North America. This is patently false, because Tatsunoko only ever had rights to the original, but it hasn't stopped HG from flexing their muscles and regularly stymieing anyone who tries to deal with Macross without going through them. Prying Macross from HG probably wouldn't be more difficult than a court case, but Macross is too niche for anyone to really care enough to challenge HG on this, so HG get to continue throwing their weight around.
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  #44  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
No, it's actually all on Harmony Gold. They bought the distribution rights to SDF Macross from Tatsunoko, and then claimed ownership over the entire franchise in North America. This is patently false, because Tatsunoko only ever had rights to the original, but it hasn't stopped HG from flexing their muscles and regularly stymieing anyone who tries to deal with Macross without going through them. Prying Macross from HG probably wouldn't be more difficult than a court case, but Macross is too niche for anyone to really care enough to challenge HG on this, so HG get to continue throwing their weight around.
They're protecting their investment. Unless there was some breakthrough since the last time I had a discussion about this, no one outside of Tatsunoko Pro and Harmony Gold knows the exact details of that sale. There's a similar rights struggle over Ultraman, which could also be solved with a simple lawsuit; the trouble being that if Tsubaraya were to lose, it would solidify the other parties claim. They would be handing them a victory. Big West could have similar concerns.

Plus, you know, even if HG were to dissolve tomorrow, it wouldn't mean that we would be getting all the more recent Macross stuff. There are tons of music rights involved as well. It's not that I think HG is great, just tired of them being the boogeyman.
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  #45  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:55 PM
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Edit: Wrote the below before Mike's last post. It's certainly true that there are other issues, including complicated Japanese ownership and tons of music licenses. Still, though, HG sure ain't helping.


And honestly, regardless of the original circumstances of the acquisition, sitting on a product with demonstrable enthusiastic (if niche) demand for *decades* in the vain hope that your own edited version of the original material might someday have a successful reboot is still a pretty shitty thing to be doing. Even if all their business practices were totally on the up-and-up, I'd still be grumpy about that.

That said, I'm sure there are plenty of people working at and with HG that are just enthusiastic Robotech fans and boosters and I wish them no ill-will. It's just the higher-up decision to sit on the supposed license for the sequels that deserves ire. Honestly there's no good reason why something like Frontier couldn't exist in the market alongside Robotech stuff. It's not like it'd be the first cartoon franchise with alternate-universe continuations.
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  #46  
Old 11-16-2015, 12:57 PM
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It's actually pretty complicated who owns what - Wikipedia claims that:

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In 2000, Big West and Studio Nue took Tatsunoko Productions to the Tokyo District Court over who had the rights to the first Macross series, due to Harmony Gold's attempt to bar Japanese Macross merchandise in North America the previous year. During production, Big West entered into a partnership with Tatsunoko to assist in the production of the series in a deal where it acquired the license to distribute the show worldwide (i.e., outside of Japan), as well as earning some royalties to the merchandise. Tatsunoko then sub-licensed Macross to Harmony Gold USA in 1984. In 2002, the Tokyo District Court ruled that Big West/Studio Nue is the sole owner of the original character and mecha designs for the first series, while that same court ruled in 2003 that Tatsunoko owned the production rights to the first series.
Big West partnered with Tatsunoko to handle funding and production for the series. Their deal included explicit international distribution rights (which Tatsunoko then licensed to Harmony Gold), but also wound up conferring other rights to Tatsunoko because of how Japanese copyright law works. Because their producer was managing the series, they own the work itself while Studio Nue and Big West own the characters and mecha. Tatsunoko hasn't been involved in any subsequent Macross development, so they (and Harmony Gold) have no rights to these works.

Why no-one's been willing to touch international licensing of the property beyond that is a matter of private business dealings.
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  #47  
Old 11-16-2015, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Excitemike View Post
Unless there was some breakthrough since the last time I had a discussion about this, no one outside of Tatsunoko Pro and Harmony Gold knows the exact details of that sale.
It's true we don't know the precise nature of their contract, but we do know-- and the Japanese courts have affirmed-- that Tatsunoko only has, and only ever had, the rights to the international distribution of SDF Macross. So either Tatsunoko, intentionally or not, sold Harmony Gold a greater share than they actually had license to sell; or Harmony Gold, intentionally or not, has misinterpreted their purchase to be broader than it actually is. But in either case, Harmony Gold doesn't own anything more than SDF.

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Plus, you know, even if HG were to dissolve tomorrow, it wouldn't mean that we would be getting all the more recent Macross stuff. There are tons of music rights involved as well. It's not that I think HG is great, just tired of them being the boogeyman.
Oh yeah, no doubt. HG is a roadblock but hardly the only thing keeping the series in Japan. Even if HG had never pressed claim over the rest of the franchise, the franchise wouldn't be thriving here. We'd have probably got Zero but that's all.
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  #48  
Old 11-17-2015, 04:52 PM
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I don't want to defend Harmony Gold necessarily, but they brought Macross over here with a good dub and reasonably few changes for the time. And on top of that, I got to see Macross when I was an impressionable, fun-loving child, rather than the jaded, assholish no-fun adult I am now. It was leagues better than any cartoon I had seen at that time, full of action, drama and romance. Every American cartoon airing at the time reset the status quo at the end of each episode, while Robotech's story actually mattered.

So, y'know. Thanks, Harmony Gold. Sorta. You smuggled a wonderful thing into my life.
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  #49  
Old 11-17-2015, 05:27 PM
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Even if HG had never pressed claim over the rest of the franchise, the franchise wouldn't be thriving here. We'd have probably got Zero but that's all.
That might have been true in like, 1996, when I'm sure somebody had a discussion on whether or not to bring over Macross 7. But it's 20-god-damned-15. Literally even the most dumpster-tier garbage anime gets a streaming deal, because Crunchyroll puts in a bid on literally every single anime that comes out every season. So here I am, in 2015, faced with the prospects of having a new Macross show for the first time in almost a decade, and I probably won't be able to watch it. Because while it wasn't that big of a deal in 2007 when Frontier came out, the fansub scene is basically freaking dead now. Fall is over half over and I'm still waiting on fansubs for the Lupin III show currently airing.

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I don't want to defend Harmony Gold necessarily, but they brought Macross over here with a good dub and reasonably few changes for the time.
That was 30 years ago. I was a fetus when it first started airing. This is a matter of what have you done for me lately? And what they've done for me lately is blocked me from purchasing and supporting my favorite mecha franchise for decades. I should be significantly more poor and sporting DVDs/blurays of Macross 7, Macross 7 Dynamite, Macross Zero, Macross Frontier, the Frontier Films, and a whole smorgasbord of videogames. And instead, I only have the old Macross Plus DVDs that were released 15 years ago. The dubs of which are amazing, BTW. Bryan Cranston as Isamu is amazing and better than the original.
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  #50  
Old 11-17-2015, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
That was 30 years ago. I was a fetus when it first started airing. This is a matter of what have you done for me lately? And what they've done for me lately is blocked me from purchasing and supporting my favorite mecha franchise for decades.
IMO they helped ensure that we only got the good parts of the franchise, but, y'know. Opinions.

(and yes I'm being facetious there... well, about Harmony Gold, anyway)

And for what it's worth I didn't see Robotech in it's original airing either- they played it in the mid-late 90s on Cartoon Network, back-to-back with Sailor Moon, pre-Toonami. It was great.
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  #51  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:14 PM
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I've never really seen it articulated why that is precisely.
In my case (and I didn't think Zero was that bad), the nature of the OVAs and their setting seemed to clash with the rest of Macross. The "organic" nature of the Protoculture technology, such as the Birdman, seemed to not keep with what we saw of Protoculture/Supervision Army technology in SDF Macross and 7, which was, well, more conventionally 'technological.' The use of music in Zero also seemed more vague (if not more mystical) than in other series. In the original, music was a way to subvert the overpowering Zentraedi culturally, in 7, music and "Anima Spiritia" was pretty much the mecha equivalent of DBZ powerlevels, but in Zero, it's unclear, or at least less clear, how music influences the Birdman.

That said, I have to ask, where have you been seeing a backlash to Legend of the Galactic Heroes? I was under the impression it was as well-respected as it ever was, especially given it's being officially released in the West.
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  #52  
Old 11-17-2015, 08:23 PM
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In Macross 7, the Evil, those big scary monster bodies the Protodevelin inhabit, are Protoculture creations, and they're pretty out there as far as designs and technology go. They and the Birdman don't really resemble one another, but, then again, the Protodevelin themselves are kind of all over the place aesthetically. As to the connection between music and the Birdman, the Nome family literally has magic Birdman blood in their veins. The music itself seems sort of a tertiary concern (and I'm not sure why it's in French), but it's Macross, so what do you do?

As far a LOGH goes, it's mostly /m/, since that's more or less the only place where mecha's discussed that I visit semi-regularly. /m/, of course, has a contrarian streak a mile wide, and I'm really not a fan of LOGH, so I'm sensitive to negative criticism about it. Zeta Gundam's the more cogent example anyway, since it's been hyped to hell and back since the tape-trading days, and a Tomino show can't stand up to that sort of broad scrutiny.
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  #53  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:15 PM
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Ah, I see what you mean. Yes, I thought you might have been referring to /m/, particularly because it's the only place that talks much about LoGH at all, at least that I know of (I go there quite often, you've probably seen me in the VOTOMs or Dougram threads).

You're right, Zeta seems to have been peculiarly hyped before it became widely available. I remember in...oh, Lord, I don't know, Pojo's anime magazine or something in the early 2000s, they called it one of the best and most highly-regarded Gundam series ever. While I still like it, nowadays most people would concede it has its...quirks, ranging from the dialogue to everyone slapping each other.
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  #54  
Old 11-18-2015, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Vendrick View Post
In my case (and I didn't think Zero was that bad), the nature of the OVAs and their setting seemed to clash with the rest of Macross. The "organic" nature of the Protoculture technology, such as the Birdman, seemed to not keep with what we saw of Protoculture/Supervision Army technology in SDF Macross and 7, which was, well, more conventionally 'technological.' The use of music in Zero also seemed more vague (if not more mystical) than in other series. In the original, music was a way to subvert the overpowering Zentraedi culturally, in 7, music and "Anima Spiritia" was pretty much the mecha equivalent of DBZ powerlevels, but in Zero, it's unclear, or at least less clear, how music influences the Birdman.
There was still the entire bit in M7 with Basara and Gigil and the Protoculture ruins, which have a lot in common with the Birdman and its environs.

In addition to the Protodevlin bodies, there's also the Zentradi and their ships - which are more or less organic depending on which version of the Macross source material you go with. And remember that - AFAIK - we've never seen an intact Supervision Army vessel. We don't really get a good look at what the Macross looked like before the crash, but it's pretty clear that the UN rebuilt it extensively. And Breetai won't let Misa go anywhere near the wrecked gunboat they find drifting en route to the automated factory.

(I've always wondered if the Zentradi hadn't won their war ages ago, and are engaged in an interstellar rampage in a vain attempt to find an enemy that no longer exists... The Macross booby trap and Breetai's fears of more such traps seem out-of-place for an enemy that can marshal fleets like the Zentradi can...)
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  #55  
Old 11-18-2015, 11:45 AM
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(I've always wondered if the Zentradi hadn't won their war ages ago, and are engaged in an interstellar rampage in a vain attempt to find an enemy that no longer exists... The Macross booby trap and Breetai's fears of more such traps seem out-of-place for an enemy that can marshal fleets like the Zentradi can...)
That's always been my personal view --that the Zentradi are unbeatable on a purely military battleground due to their sheer numbers, even if you have comparable firepower. That this fleet reached Earth and triggered the booby trap means, to me, that they've already spread far and wide looking for any possible remnants of the SA.

Now, what I've always wondered is: how did humanity rebuild AND redesign the Alien Star Ship One beyond its original specifications but not inadvertently break, disable, or otherwise render the booby trap mechanism inoperative?
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  #56  
Old 11-18-2015, 11:51 AM
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That's always been my personal view --that the Zentradi are unbeatable on a purely military battleground due to their sheer numbers, even if you have comparable firepower. That this fleet reached Earth and triggered the booby trap means, to me, that they've already spread far and wide looking for any possible remnants of the SA.
It also neatly explains why the long-range colony fleets have encountered other Zentradi, but no mention's ever made of the Supervision Army.

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Now, what I've always wondered is: how did humanity rebuild AND redesign the Alien Star Ship One beyond its original specifications but not inadvertently break, disable, or otherwise render the booby trap mechanism inoperative?
I think SDF Macross has a few throwaway lines about the UN leaving the core of the ship basically untouched - the gravity generators, fold drive, and main gun. Which is why all three malfunction in the first few episodes. Even the transformation is re-purposing the ship's existing "modular block" design, and the barrier technology is using the energy from the fold drive malfunction.

(Also... I don't think they really upgraded it beyond its original specifications. The Zentradi freak out because humanity has reaction weapons, not because they've got an unbeatable super-starship. And the Macross keeps winning battles it shouldn't either because of the crew's ingenuity or because the Zentradi crippled themselves strategically with contradictory objectives, fear, and infighting.)
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:55 PM
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I meant "beyond original specs" because I doubt the gunship was designed to transform into a giant robot let alone accommodate human-sized flotillas and artillery... or have enough non-essential space left over to house a city. And I think the propulsion system that backed up the alien antigrav generators was also man-made.
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  #58  
Old 11-18-2015, 01:36 PM
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I thought it was pretty much given that the war the Zentradi were originally deployed in had long since petered out, but as a race specifically engineered for war, and with traditions explicitly designed to keep them from other independent pursuits (i.e. culture) they basically have nothing better to do than roam the galaxy looking for additional conflicts.

And yeah, the initial UNS refit of the Macross very nearly broke everything due to not having a good handle on the technology yet - like Egarwen said, all the main systems go wrong on first use to some extent. It would be hard to do worse without making the whole thing blow up, which would make for an awfully short series.
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  #59  
Old 11-18-2015, 02:02 PM
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Something that I've really picked up on rewatching the series is just how much it sucks to be Captain Global.
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  #60  
Old 11-18-2015, 02:27 PM
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Other than accidentally blowing up a big chunk of Canada, his life seemed alright. Plus, he got to enjoy the presence of all those bridge bunnies back before political correctness made that not alright.
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