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  #571  
Old 09-12-2018, 06:15 PM
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Reading Wist's post, I draw three conclusions:

First: Wow, that's a lot of worldbuilding and history that were written into Delta and Fire Bomber 7, which I don't even know how to watch?

Second: Wow, I thought Mac 7 had had a happy ending, but I guess I need to watch both it and its OAVs to understand the above history?

Third: Wow, I actually need to watch Deltahahaha no I couldn't even finish that sentence I think I'll just TV Tropes it.
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  #572  
Old 09-12-2018, 06:34 PM
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The best things Delta and FB7 do is world-build. FB7 doesn't do a lot, but it does tell us how the people in-universe view the events of M7 and what they think happened to the fleet. Delta does a shitload of world building, and the most frustrating part of the movie-version is how it's all left on the chopping room floor. If you want to watch either FB7 or Delta, you'll have to do like everything in the franchise beyond Plus and get yourself fansubs. If you really wanted to, you could import the DVD/BDs for Delta, as those astonishingly came with official English subtitles, but the price of doing that is stupidly prohibitive.

Macross 7 does have a happy ending. But towards the end, NUNS orders the M7 fleet on a suicide mission to stop the Protodevilin - orders Capt. Max explicitly violates since NUNS is clearly just offering up the M7 fleet as a sacrificial lamb to buy time/hope the Protodevilin doesn't find the rest of humanity and he won't allow for it. So the vague implication at the end of M7, and asserted firmly in FB7 is that the M7 fleet is now AWOL/in a state of rebellion from the NUN as nobody has heard from them after the events of M7, despite us knowing they're safe and sound/repairing the fleet as of Dynamite 7 (which takes place a year after M7).

I don't regret watching Delta. It adds a lot to the franchise's lore, and that's probably the #1 reason I come to Macross, right behind cheesy love triangles and dope music. It just fails to live up to a lot of its promise, its narrative is too ambitious for how short the show is/spreads itself too thin among a huge cast, and ends with a bunch of tantalizing open ended questions. I think if you're a Macross fan, you should watch all the major entries to the franchise. The movies from a plot/lore perspective are fairly non-essential, and IMO the only reason to watch them is because they contain the franchise's best music. (Minmay's best songs are in DYRL; Sheryl's best songs are in the movies; Basara's best songs are in The Movie and Dynamite 7 which is basically a movie.) But definitely watch 7 at the least. Seven is actually amazing. I know it's polarizing but only to people who have forgotten love.
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  #573  
Old 09-13-2018, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
But definitely watch 7 at the least. Seven is actually amazing. I know it's polarizing but only to people who have forgotten love.
I love Seven too, but it's entirely fair that it sprains a lot of people's brains because it is a complete tonal outlier in the series (and especially since it was basically released as a companion piece to Plus, possibly the most emotionally intense Macross ever). It took me a long time to realize Seven was basically Hideo Kojima Presents Macross.
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  #574  
Old 09-13-2018, 10:47 AM
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I always tell people that 7 takes quite a while to ramp up (some of the stuff towards the beginning is painfully slow), but the payoffs at both mid-series and the ending are so, so worth it if you can just commit to the length and cheese factor. I love it to death, personally.

I think I only watched FB7 before subs existed for it, so I'd missed its clarification of the 7 fleet's status.

And yeah, unfortunately the Delta map is just too zoomed-out and abstracted to have any interesting info (and probably intended that way, as Wist surmised). If I recall correctly Eden is only like a dozen light years from Earth, which is almost nothing on a galactic scale, so it's no surprise it's not even visibly called out from that perspective now that I think about it.
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  #575  
Old 09-14-2018, 02:54 AM
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Macross 7 is amazing. And part of what makes it so amazing are the "bad" things you Kirin and Joe mention.

"Starting off slow" is soooo good. For a long while in the beginning, it's like a slice of life living on an interstellar immigration fleet, and what TV show anywhere gives you that? Besides, so many shows these days trip over themselves to go a million miles per hour, and it's really friggin' nice to have a show slow down once in a while and really dig into/explore a setting and let the tone soak in.

And being a "tonal outlier" is also great shit. I love Macross, but soooo much of it takes itself too seriously. And M7 is like screw that, we're going to have fun for once. It's great, because even in the show, almost the whole cast chides, lectures, and tells Basara off on a regular basis, "HEY MAN, I dunno if you heard, but this Macross shit is SERIOUS BUSINESS! You have no business being here, GTFO!"

And Basara is like, "Nah, you guys are stupid. My music is dope af. Check it out!" And he just ignores everyone and jams out in the middle of outer space dog fights with no chill.

And it just keeps happening over and over again. And eventually, Basara wins this epic war of attrition. And every single last character in the show either has to give it up to my man for being right and being the most amazing baller in the galaxy, or they fuckin' die for being a stubborn tool.

My position on it has evolved a lot over the years, but Macross 7 is now pretty firmly my favorite Macross.
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  #576  
Old 09-23-2018, 11:07 AM
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New Macross Delta movie:



"Entirely new" - this is how you get me excited. Since Delta's first movie went through the entire main plot of the TV show, my heart hopes against hope for a big crossover sequel that the TV show hinted at. But that's too much to expect... right?



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  #577  
Old 09-23-2018, 01:11 PM
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Huh. Neat. I guess our griping about the first movie was timely.
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  #578  
Old 10-28-2018, 04:42 PM
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Rewatching Max/Milia duels, as one does.



The closeup of Max pulling back into a reaction shot that also serves as a narrative hand-off is one of the coolest complex shots that I've seen been able to conciously grasp. It's also something that you literally couldn't do in anything but animation, because panels can suggest it, but not actually do it, and it would take far too many frames in live-action/photo-real CGI (to say nothing of the capabilities of contemporary state-of-the-art computer-controlled SFX and compositing, as impressive as those were).

There's plenty of other great stuff in the scene, too. I love the use of the frame and what positions Milia and Max occupy in it at the start of their duel to avoid discombobulating the viewer after the switch from Hikaru's PoV. And the "you didn't see it, but your brain did" stuff like Milia's suit's head occupying the top-right side of the shot when max flies into the cruiser, setting up spacial continuity with the next one (there's even a bit where, after Milia flies through the airlock, there's an interrupted flash of exhaust, indicating what turns out to be change of movement, which, with the aforementioned interstitial shot, lets your brain know where to look in the next shot).

It's also interesting that in a lot of ways, the equivalent scene in SDF is arguably as impressive - certainly more impressive in the context of the format and medium at the time (a lot of which had to do with Itano, Anno, and Studio Nue crew actually handing in their work on time). There's a plenty of great touches in the construction and detail work (god, those ground-effect water trails; and smokey-sax solo Dogfighter is best Dogfighter). But there's nothing like that full-frame shot of the Quaedluun-Ra from SDF, mainly because DYRL, for all its resplendent animation, doesn't actually do a lot of ultra-flashy sakuga stuff, except for Hikaru's trench beer-run.

To my recollection, the only real "check this out" shots in the movie are the previously-mentioned "King of Beers" one, and where they animate Roy's VF-1S on the Ones for his ace scene (which rules). The rest of the movie looks great (aside from some photography issues), but aside from, say, Itano's sublime shot-blocking, a lot of the great animation is simply content to be there. Like, the glamour-shot of the SDF-1 coming out of the shadows is amazing (what the hell is the cell-layering going on there; parallax star-background -> hyper-detailed painting of the SDF-1 -> complex hundred-frame layer of retracting negative-space -> alternating sheets of carefully-plotted nav-lights corresponding to two layers ago). I don't really feel a lot of people think about how much damn work went into a shot like that.
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  #579  
Old 10-28-2018, 05:05 PM
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I also just realized the pottery of Max chasing Milia into an alien cruiser instead of the SDF-1 like, er, SDF. Just what you'd expect from the masters, Mr. Ishiguro and Mr. Kawamori.
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  #580  
Old 10-28-2018, 05:19 PM
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I don't really feel a lot of people think about how much damn work went into a shot like that.
I actually think about it all the time. It's freaking ridiculous how many frames are in that. It's probably one of the more complicated animation shots this side of the glass explosions in Akira.

On a strictly storytelling level (which is where a lot of my love for Macross comes from) the Max & Milia dogfight is a thing I'm not a fan of, because it took one of the better and more integral plot lines of the show and compressed it into something flashy and hollow that ended up having very little plot consequence versus being the crux of the Human/Zentradi alliance. But from an aesthetic level, it's miiiiles ahead of the awkward/derpy knife fight the two had. The way they spin around each other in perfect unison is one of the more beautiful and poetic dances in animation.

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I also just realized the pottery of Max chasing Milia into an alien cruiser instead of the SDF-1 like, er, SDF. Just what you'd expect from the masters, Mr. Ishiguro and Mr. Kawamori.
Except for Plus, this is kinda the M.O. for all the Macross movies.
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  #581  
Old 10-28-2018, 06:50 PM
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I also just realized the pottery of Max chasing Milia into an alien cruiser instead of the SDF-1 like, er, SDF. Just what you'd expect from the masters, Mr. Ishiguro and Mr. Kawamori.
And he then promptly turns around, grows to giant size, and joins the fight in her mecha at her side. It was one of the DYRL bits that I liked the most, as it seemed to be saying “it’s not that Millia gets her head turned by Max’s manliness, but rather these two are so compatible that they cannot fly together without perfectly understanding each other”. It also calls forward gloriously to the end of M7.
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  #582  
Old 11-17-2018, 03:24 PM
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Over the last few months, I've been going on a journey with Macross 7, and I just recently finished it up. It's been one hell of a ride. It's goofy, but completely sincere— not a single ironic or cynical bone in its body. I love it.


I admit, though, that it took me some time to come around to that point of view. M7 has some issues with redundancy, repeating the same plot point several times with minimal variation and additional information, if any. Nowhere is that more clear (or more painful) than the beginning, where the first few episodes follow the exact same plot beats. But once it finds its groove, M7 proves itself a really special show.


As I said, Macross 7 is incredibly earnest and sincere. Basara is a bit of a sourpuss (okay, a lot of a sourpuss), but he is relentlessly, unfailingly optimistic; he sings not for fame, for entertainment or even for the art of it, but because he believes that music is a force for peace. He abhors violence and always tries to solve problems with song; the handful of times he's forced to take offensive action he is visibly shaken and disturbed. Nowhere is this more clear than the show's final episodes: the raid on the Protodeviln planet looks like the series has suddenly become a serious military anime, up to killing off Gamlin… only to quickly reverse course (including revealing that Gamlin survived!) and go right back to its hopeful tone. This repeats in the final showdown, where it all looks hopeless, but Basara and Sivil manage to finally reach Gepelnitch with song, and the Protodeviln peacefully depart. A show where the plot bends to the protagonist's will is normally irksome, but when that will is for peace and understanding it's hard not to root for him, and to be elated that it works out.

It's also great how Gamlin is introduced as a hotshot rival, but he quickly comes around, and by the end he and Basara are erstwhile allies. I didn't think I would like Gamlin half as much as I did.


Do not, however, take my earlier gripe as a generalized criticism of its pacing; though M7 can certainly be described as "slow", I would argue that's actually one of its greatest strengths. One of the things that sets the Macross franchise, and what sets it apart from its peers is its attention to civilian life: the homefront, the development of pop culture, and the projection of soft power. M7 goes all-in on this aspect by way of Fire Bomber, charting their rise to stardom and their impact on the fleet's culture— which is effectively precisely because of the time it takes. When Fire Bomber wins their first recording session, it's a hard-fought victory; when Fire Bomber starts playing in stadiums, you almost feel proud of them. A faster-paced show wouldn't have had the time for this (indeed, the other Macross shows don't), nor the time to indulge in the funnier and more interesting diversions, like dealing like dealing with the gossip press or entitled fans. And, really, how can one not love the idea of slice-of-life on an intergalactic transport city?


Of the few criticisms I have, the biggest is the bridge crew. I'm a latecomer to the franchise, so when I watched the original SDF I was pleasantly surprised that Claudia, Vanessa, Kim and Shammy didn't fit the later "bridge bunny" mold— they're all skilled professionals, they have clear personalities, and have lives outside of their job— and was left wondering at what point the series lost that. I'm sad to say it happened here in M7, where bridge officers Sally and Miho do little more than relay information and orders; on the very rare occasions they're seen outside the job, it's still about being peripheral to a man (either gossiping about Max's love life, or being "arm candy" to Docker). There's maybe four scenes where they display any independent character. It's a very disappointing change in the franchise's writing— and with M7's huge popularity, it's hard not to think it's ultimately responsible for codifying the "bridge bunny" trope in the franchise.



~

Addendum:

I'd be remiss if I didn't make special mention of the film, The Galaxy Is Calling Me!. Though closer in practice to a souped-up episode of the TV series, it presents the greatest standalone and self-contained story in the entire series: Basara investigates the source of some mysterious song energy, and finds the cause is Emiria, non-micloned Zentradi who is an aspiring singer. There's a sing-off, a cute scene where they bond and Emiria reveals she was inspired by Minmay in DYRL?, before it culminates in them teaming up to fend off the Protodeviln by way of a heartful and soulful duet that's among the best in the franchise. It's a high concept, and it succeeds with flying colours. I of course wish it were longer and more fully fleshed out, but what's here is still a triumph.


Last edited by conchobhar; 11-17-2018 at 10:41 PM. Reason: fixing typos and awkward wording
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  #583  
Old 11-17-2018, 06:07 PM
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I'm glad you liked the series!

On the topic of the bridge crew, I think it's hard to get a sample after 7, because the ship aspect of the series has been so de-emphasized. Like, every hero Macross gets its own bridge lineup, with [supposedly] named characters with full model sheets and such, but by Frontier and Delta, but they're competing with stuff like Rock & Roll High School and Walkure for screen-time, in two-cour shows that don't give them any room to breath. The only ones I really remember from Frontier are Bobby and Catherine (I honestly can't remember the captain's name). And Delta pretty much has Captain Johnson, and that's it.

Bobby's cool at least. Hyper-broad - especially compared to the OG Macross bridge crew - and thoroughly stuck in the center of the gay characters in anime vortex. And while I think that there's something to be said about the foundation of the character being a bad joke - "har, har, it's a male bridge bunny in Macross, but, get this, he's gay" - what could have been a second punchline - him being hyper hot-blooded - ends up working really well. And this is getting into how long it's been since I've watched the series, but I thought he served as good reader for a lot of the other characters, even if he's too broad to suggest much of an inner life of his own.
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  #584  
Old 11-17-2018, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
Over the last few months, I've been going on a journey with Macross 7, and I just recently finished it up... I love it.
ONE OF US! ONE OF US!

Did you watch DVD rips? It seems like it from the screencaps you took. If that's the case it's too bad because M7 has one of the better BD remasters out there. It's soooo crisp! The show still looks fantastic in your screencaps though.

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
A show where the plot bends to the protagonist's will is normally irksome, but when that will is for peace and understanding it's hard not to root for him, and to be elated that it works out.
A lesser show would have failed abysmally at what M7 tries to do. But when Basara declares at the end he's not gonna just move mountains, but the whole galaxy, I get shivers up my spine every time. M7 is too pure for this world.

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I'd be remiss if I didn't make special mention of the film, The Galaxy Is Calling Me!.
M7: The Movie is amazing. Basara finally finds a woman with whom he vibes with real chemistry for, and seems to actually express real sexual interest for probably the only time in the franchise. And it's amazing on so many levels, especially when he realizes the potential in-laws baggage there in a horrifying split second and immediately nopes out.

You are definitely remiss in not mentioning the OVAs however. Encore is a lot of fun. Basara encountering a rogue Meltran fleet is a classic. But I really, really love the episode where Milia gets a cold and wigs out because Zentradi don't get sick and she thinks she's dying. No other Macross show would ever dedicate an entire episode to such a premise. Never mind any other sci-fi anime like Gundam, etc.

I'm not seeing any screencaps for Dynamite 7 either. Besides Mylene's brief and horrendous B-plot (trigger warning), Dynamite 7 is peak Macross. Angel Voice is probably my favorite song/moment in the whole franchise.

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On the topic of the bridge crew
I'm honestly over bridge crews in Macross. They were this thing in the original show that was neat and served a purpose for that show. But the narratives of other Macross shows don't revolve around the actions on the Macross bridge nearly as much, and those shows are all better for it. When a Macross-thing tries to find its own identity and do its own thing is when the franchise excels. Macross sequels are at their worst when they attempt to be a Macross Greatest Hits and begin painting by numbers. Frontier and Delta are the worst offenders in that sense. Frontier excels when it's a show about flight school, or a show about the trials and tribulations of galactic stardom, which leaves very little room for bridge crews. Delta is at its best when it is exploring colony planets or moving the narrative focus off the bridge to the plane hangers. But when both shows begin leaning on "things fans expect from a Macross show" they both become snooze-fests. The de-emphasis of bridge crews into quaint reference is for the best, because it gives these other shows more time and space to do their own things and be good on their own merits. I just wish shows like Frontier and Delta had more strength of conviction to just completely relegate the bridge crew and have faith in their own stories the same way Plus and Zero does.
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  #585  
Old 11-17-2018, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peach View Post
On the topic of the bridge crew, I think it's hard to get a sample after 7, because the ship aspect of the series has been so de-emphasized. Like, every hero Macross gets its own bridge lineup, with [supposedly] named characters with full model sheets and such, but by Frontier and Delta, but they're competing with stuff like Rock & Roll High School and Walkure for screen-time, in two-cour shows that don't give them any room to breath. The only ones I really remember from Frontier are Bobby and Catherine (I honestly can't remember the captain's name). And Delta pretty much has Captain Johnson, and that's it.
It's been a while since I saw Frontier, so I could very well be forgetting some nuance (you made a good argument for Bobby), but they certainly exist in my mind's eye as little more than a set of stock characters. But it's not necessarily that I want a bridge crew to rival the depth of Vanessa, Kim and Shammy, which is effectively impossible unless they return to a military focus; rather, I just wish they'd attempt to imbue these characters with some personality and skills. That apply it to whatever other minor characters occupy similar roles in latter entries, too.

Just as an example of a crew that, though minor, I still felt had character: the Megafauna from G-Reco.


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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
M7: The Movie is amazing. Basara finally finds a woman with whom he vibes with real chemistry for, and seems to actually express real sexual interest for probably the only time in the franchise.
I don't see any sexual interest on Basara's end; when Emiria goes in for a kiss, he doesn't even react. The most he does is recline on her bicep and smile at her, which— size permitting— doesn't seem terribly removed from how he acts around Rex or Sivil.

That being said, I do sort of ship them, because they do indeed have good chemistry and the size difference is just very funny to me. The series doesn't do enough with full-size Zentradi in normal situations, it's comedy gold.

Quote:
You are definitely remiss in not mentioning the OVAs however. Encore is a lot of fun. Basara encountering a rogue Meltran fleet is a classic. But I really, really love the episode where Milia gets a cold and wigs out because Zentradi don't get sick and she thinks she's dying. No other Macross show would ever dedicate an entire episode to such a premise. Never mind any other sci-fi anime like Gundam, etc.
I watched Encore, but I didn't have much to say about them— at least not in the context of a broad overview of the series (Galaxy got a shout-out because, again, it's my favourite slice of M7). But yes, the three episodes are all pretty good. My favourite is the second, "On Stage", which serves as origin story of Fire Bomber but continues the franchise's grand tradition of woefully-inaccurate in-universe histories. That it's framed as being watched by Miho and Sally is neat too, since it's one of the few moments they get to be real people.

Quote:
I'm not seeing any screencaps for Dynamite 7 either. Besides Mylene's brief and horrendous B-plot (trigger warning), Dynamite 7 is peak Macross. Angel Voice is probably my favorite song/moment in the whole franchise.
Dynamite 7 is up next! But since it takes the story forward, unlike Encore and Galaxy, I wanted to write my thoughts on the "main" Macross 7 story first.

But what's this about a trigger warning? Is there something I should be aware of…?
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  #586  
Old 11-18-2018, 12:28 AM
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Rape triggers: Mylene’s manager tries to rape her; gets halfway there before Ray busts in and saves her. It’s pretty graphic, comes out of nowhere, and has like nothing to do with anything except to show Kawamori’s disdain with music industry types. It’s thankfully a short, small part of the show, but like. It’s dumb and shouldn’t be there and is completely out of place in an otherwise amazing OVA series that sans this I'd put up there with Plus.

Edit: Oh, I almost forgot the manager is gay, so it's like gee, thanks. The first gay character in Macross and she's a sex predator. Thanks, Kawamori.

Last edited by WisteriaHysteria; 11-18-2018 at 12:39 AM.
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  #587  
Old 11-18-2018, 02:18 PM
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Yeah, that scene is just so unnecessary and awful. But the rest of Dynamite is indeed aces. It's one of the few times before Delta that we get a somewhat in-depth look at another humanoid culture besides humans and Zentradi, which is a nice change of pace. And who doesn't love space whales?
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  #588  
Old 12-01-2018, 05:35 PM
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Now that I've watched Macross Dynamite 7 and truly finished the M7 saga, I think it's only right that I pop back in to say some words about it. Being that it's much shorter, though, I'm simply going to highlight aspects that I liked or didn't like instead of giving a broad overview. Naturally the whole thing will be vaguely spoiler-y, but just to be on the safe side I'll put any discussion of specific points under a tag.


The Good:

• It's clear that this OVA had a very comfortable budget. The animation is nice and smooth, there are better particle and lighting effects, the backgrounds are considerably more detailed and artistic than before, there's like half a dozen new songs… it's evident that they pulled out all the stops for Macross 7's farewell.

• The coolest use of the high production values, though, is how the opening sequence changes across the episodes. It starts out split between showing Fire Bomber's final concert and Basara's travels, but each successive episode shows more and more of the concert and it gets livelier every time: characters are more animated, more special effects, and a larger crowd. It's a very neat touch!

• Not only does MD7 feature a lot of music, but each song is actually quite good; easily in the top tier of M7 songs. Hard to pick a favourite here, but it might be "New Frontier".

• And was that an English-language version of "Holy Lonely Night" I heard in the background of one scene…? Weird, neat little gag.

• I really like the usual Protoculture story takes a backseat here, with the focus instead on the Zolans, the indigenous people of a planet one of the fleets makes contact with. The Zolans are distinct from the humans and Zentradi, both physically and with their own language, rituals and culture. In fact, this is really just a story about Zola and the Zolans— the space whales, their ancient customs, poachers and the family drama that underpins it all. It's great to see the franchise start to think about the universe beyond the Protoculture's ancient machinations.

• Beyond his desire to sing to the whales, Basara himself has little involvement in the story, essentially just an observer and participant in someone else's story. I think he actually works quite well in this role, essentially just being an audience surrogate and vector for the grander story to unfold. I would have loved an anthology series where Fire Bomber just hits up various planets for a gig, and gets drawn into the local goings-on…

• Space whales are kind of a cliché, but here it transcends being a hokey sci-fi cliché and is instead a completely natural story development. Of course Basara, who believes in using music to communicate and reach understanding, would see non-humanoid, non-sapient creatures as his next challenge; and of course whales are a very appropriate choice for a series steeped in music. Hats off to the person who made the connection here

• I got a chuckle out of Gamlin trying to track down Basara by showing his pictures to the locals and describing him as "he says 'listen to my song' or something like that and starts singing." Spot on.

• The scene where Basara sings to the space whales is nothing short of magical. The way it starts with Basara stubbornly serenading the whales, looking fruitless as he goes into a series of heartfelt wails… only for the whales to suddenly join in … I got chills. (The understated reaction from Basara is great, too, particularly in contrast to the sheer awe displayed by Liza and Gamlin.) That the whales then continue as backing vocals for the rest of the song, humming it as they soar off into the unknown is the cherry on top. I'm confident in declaring this to be the single best moment in the franchise.


The Bad:

• Basara is the only main character to have a presence in the story. Even if this is somewhat necessary— having all five main characters there would inevitably pull the story more towards them instead of the Zolans— it's hard not to feel like this is a Basara solo adventure, and share Mylene's frustration with his wanderlust.

• It wouldn't be so bad if the rest of the characters had something else going on, but they really don't. There's some stuff about Fire Bomber trying to get by without Basara and Mylene trying to launch a solo career, but it's very thin and ultimately goes nowhere. The show even seems to recognize this, and has Gamlin and Mylene go to track down Basara… but they ultimately don't contribute anything to the final showdown (Mylene doesn't even make it there in time!), which just compounds it all.

• The main story itself is a bit thin; the first and last episodes are very strong, but the middle two kind of spin their wheels, just setting things up and killing time between the big events. At only four episodes, it's too short to really start to drag, but there's certainly a noticeable lull.

• There isn't much in the way of conclusion here. The whales are saved, sure… but the poachers don't face justice, Graham doesn't cleanly put his grief behind him, Graham and Liza only barely reconnect, nothing happens with Elma's career aspirations, Mylene's solo career stalls … everything is very much left up in the air. Now, normally I like these sort of ambiguous and open endings, because it gives the impression that life is a work-in-progress and life goes on; but, to tell such a vague story as the capper to Macross 7, it's a little unsatisfying. Perhaps I went in with the wrong impression of this work, but at the same time I think it's sort of an inevitable expectation to face, and it doesn't feel like it's accounted for at all. Unless the intent (hope) was to continue telling self-contained M7 stories?


The Ugly:

• Good god, you warned me about the attempted rape of Mylene, and it still managed to blindside and shock me. It's so much worse than I had anticipated. What a disgusting, deplorable scene, made all the worse for its complete pointlessness.

• I could have done without the topless twelve-year-old, too. Granted it's non-sexual nudity, but it also feels like the sort of thing that's there just because they're no longer shackled by those TV censors. And maybe don't add a topless twelve-year-old just because you can.


Overall, I would describe Dynamite 7 as enjoyable if somewhat disposable; it's an uneven work and I don't think it quite nails the landing, but it's entertaining throughout. Certainly, though, when it does something right, it really does something right. I wouldn't call it one of the franchise's shining lights, but it's absolutely required viewing for any M7 fan.

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  #589  
Old 12-01-2018, 07:02 PM
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Galadrome Galadrome is offline
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Hey!

I never saw myself much Macross except the cool movie with, like, the pop singer AI and the dude whose an alien that's cool and he helps someone out in a fire or something. There's a not alien dude and both dudes are mad all the time. Beautiful animation.

Anyway, uh, where should I start and anything I should keep in mind to help my enjoyment of the series?
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  #590  
Old 12-01-2018, 07:11 PM
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Fantastic write up my pal. I largely agree with most of what you put down. Just a few comments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• Not only does MD7 feature a lot of music, but each song is actually quite good; easily in the top tier of M7 songs. Hard to pick a favourite here, but it might be "New Frontier".
Dynamite 7 continues the Macross tradition of the best Macross music being in the off-shoot OVA/movies. The best original music is in DYRL. The Best 7 music is here in Dynamite 7. And the best Frontier songs are in the films.

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• And was that an English-language version of "Holy Lonely Night" I heard in the background of one scene…? Weird, neat little gag.
IIRC, there's an entire Fire Bomber album of M7 music but in English. It's really wild! And worth tracking down to listen to for the novelty. And it's such a curious decision considering M7 was never at any point going to come out over here.

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• I really like the usual Protoculture story takes a backseat here, with the focus instead on the Zolans, the indigenous people of a planet one of the fleets makes contact with.
It's great, and Delta doing a similar exploration of other humanoid species in the galaxy is the best part of that show too. Problem is Delta tells us they're all Protoculture created species, like DYRL says humanity is which is much less interesting, and also kinda, "why?"

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• Beyond his desire to sing to the whales, Basara himself has little involvement in the story, essentially just an observer and participant in someone else's story. I think he actually works quite well in this role, essentially just being an audience surrogate and vector for the grander story to unfold.
I liked this formula a lot. It reminds me a LOT of Eat-Man - which is really good.

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• The scene where Basara sings to the space whales is nothing short of magical. I'm confident in declaring this to be the single best moment in the franchise.
👏 It's Macross at its best, fulfilling its promise and being the most truthful to its core themes. Every Macross should aspire to have a moment like this. It helps that Angel Voice is a really friggin' good song. Yoko Kanno is a BEAST

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
...it's hard not to feel like this is a Basara solo adventure, and share Mylene's frustration with his wanderlust.
I liked this, to be honest. A lot of M7 is Basara rushing in where only fools tread; leaving everyone behind. It's like, his thing. M7's big fakeout is that Mylene isn't actually his love interest; she never was. She's just his foil. Until she can learn to just go with his flow, or grow up enough to realize she can be a good solo act herself, she kinda just gets in the way of moments like this, or like when Basara was futzing around that one time on the planet where the M5 fleet crashed. It's crummy for Mylene because she's a good character who deserves to have something good to do herself, but at the end of the day, she's still a supporting act.

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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• There isn't much in the way of conclusion here.
I actually disagree! Everything you said wasn't really closed was. The poachers died in the fight from their stubornness/nukes. Graham & Liza find a "this works for us" understanding. Elma now has the confidence and drive to begin her career to follow in Basara's footsteps. The whales only stuck around the planet b/c of their once in an eon mating season; now that they did their business, they're gone, so Graham doesn't really have anything to chase anymore which is fine. Basara gets himself a new VF-19, the M7 fleet is being repaired, and the implication is that our journeys continue which is a totally fine ending for things IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
• I could have done without the topless twelve-year-old, too. Granted it's non-sexual nudity, but it also feels like the sort of thing that's there just because they're no longer shackled by those TV censors. And maybe don't add a topless twelve-year-old just because you can.
Eh... this one didn't bother me that much. Yeah, it should have just not been a thing. But it's pretty much the same scenario as 08th MS Team, except like you said nonsexual. And if anything, that whole business exists to show how much of a kid/not serious romantic interest she is and how Basara is only sexually attracted to space vampires and giantesses.
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  #591  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:21 PM
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Default I could have sworn I wrote up a franchise summary at one point

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Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
Anyway, uh, where should I start and anything I should keep in mind to help my enjoyment of the series?
Galadrome, you'll love Macross. I can pretty much guarantee it.

Start with the original series, go in production order. Most Macross entries, unless specified, are sequels in the sense that Suikoden has sequels - taking place in the same universe, further down the timeline, but with a different cast telling a different story in a different setting. But while they aren't direct sequels, they build upon the lore of previous entries pretty heavily. Plus, most of it is good, so why would you want to skip it? The franchise entries are:
  • Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (1982)- 36 episode TV show. Started it all. It's a really good show, but some of it hasn't aged well. There's some laughably bad animation moments, and the gender politics are largely hot garbage. But you've handled old Gundam so you can probably handle this.
  • Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984) - Theatrical film. Less a 'recap' and more a reimagining of the original show. In a pinch, it can substitute viewing of the original show. But the film more or less assumes you've seen the show, and it's the tv show version that serves as the foundation for the rest of the franchise. The plot is disposable, but it is utterly gorgeous. Peak 80s animation. There are big and little differences to the events, characters, and look of things that irrevocably complicate canon, but the core ideas and events are all still the same.
  • The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 (1987) - short recap OVA w/ an epilogue to the original show. You can skip the recap part, and just watch the epilogue on youtube.
  • Macross II: Lovers Again (1992) - 6 episode OVA series. This is to Macross what Snake's Revenge is to Metal Gear - a sequel by other people that has since been disavowed. And the creation of this served as the driving force to get the original creator to make a real sequel. Unlike Snake's Revenge however, it's actually good and worth watching.
  • Macross Plus (1994) - 4 episode OVA series. This is the Zeta Gundam of Macross. Franchise revival and launching point for the rest of the franchise. Intensely good series. Also served as the launchpad for Shinichiro Watanabe's (first job directing) and Yoko Kanno's (did the music) careers.
  • Macross Plus: Movie Edition (1995) - OVA series cut into a film. A decent amount is cut out to accommodate, with several new scenes added. It's still largely the same thing. You can watch either version and still get most of the point. I prefer the OVA version; others the film. I've found most people prefer the version they saw first.
  • Macross 7 (1994) - 49 episode TV show. The ugly duckling of the franchise for how radically different it is in tone to the rest of Macross. And just like the ugly duckling, it's secretly a beautiful swan. This show is aces.
  • Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me! (1995) - Theatrical short film. Amounts to a single OVA episode in practice. Largely disposable side story, but worth watching b/c it's good.
  • Macross 7: Encore (1995) - 3 episode OVA series. Three disposable, independent episodes. Function like lost episodes essentially. You could skip these, but you shouldn't because they're good.
  • Macross Dynamite 7 (1997) - 4 episode OVA series. Direct sequel to Macross 7.
  • Macross Zero (2002) - 5 episode OVA series. Prequel to the original TV show. Kind of 08th MS Team in nature - grounding the action down on Earth.
  • Macross Frontier (2008) - 25 episode TV show. Safe sequel, preferring to blend successful elements of previous shows rather than daring to do its own thing like most previous entries to the franchise had. It's the FF9 of Macross.
  • Macross Frontier films (The False Songstress/The Wings of Goodbye) (2009/2011) - 2 theatrical films. Like DYRL, a reimagining of the plot of Macross Frontier. Just like DYRL, worth watching for the spectacle, but largely disposable on the plot side of things.
  • Macross FB7: Ore no Uta wo Kike! (2012) - theatrical film - this is a clip show of Macross 7, viewed through the lens of the cast of Macross Frontier watching a marathon of M7. It's weird, and its nature as a clip show makes it pretty much disposable/skippable. In practice it exists only as a way to fill a content void, as well as a stealth advertisement for the M7 bluray remasters. But it has a few nuggets of info worth gleaming for the most diehard of fans.
  • Macross Delta (2016) - 26 episode TV show. The most recent show. A lot like Frontier in how safe it plays things. Not great, but not terrible. It has its moments.
  • Macross Delta the Movie: Passionate Walküre (2018) - theatrical film - Another recap/reimagining in the vein of DYRL. Much less reimagining, and more things compressed for the sake of timeliness. Also reuses footage much more heavily than other similar Macross films. Adds even less to the series than other Macross films; it was w/e.

Tips to enjoy the series:
- Don't worry about canon. Shoji Kawamori doesn't, so neither should you. If it helps, view everything as if you're watching an in-universe retelling of events filled with historical inaccuracies and biases as some fans have taken to in order to reconcile the lack of continuity.
- Only SDFM, DYRL, Macross II, and Plus ever got official releases over here; everything else will require piracy and tracking down fansubs.
- The official dubs for these are all fairly decent for the time they were made, but you're probably better off watching everything subbed if you can. It might be worth watching some of the Plus dub however, just to get an ear of early Bryan Cranston in his role as the main character.
- Everything but Flashback 2012 exists with an HD remaster on bluray. If you're savy enough, please find yourself the HD versions of these things, as they're all gorgeous. Macross is continually some of the more impressive animation from their respective eras available.
- For most of Macross, each of its entries likes to do its own thing and find ways to be unique. So spend less time judging things for what a Macross should and shouldn't be, and try to just enjoy the things on their own terms.
- Do NOT watch anything Robotech. At least, not until you're done w/ Macross. The original show is up on Amazon Prime, but so is Robotech and it's easy to mix the two up.
- I would consider skipping FB7, the most recent Macross Delta movie, and one of either the OVA or Film versions of Plus. Everything else though largely merits watching unless you just get really wrapped into the franchise.
- Potential trigger warnings: there are a few gross moments peppered throughout the franchise:
  • In the original show, one of the characters Minmay, is in an abusive relationship with her cousin towards the back half of the show. Not a problem for most viewers, but could potentially be very unsettling.
  • There's a short flashback in Plus to an attempted rape. It happens fast and doesn't show much but it's there.
  • Someone attempts to date rape one of the main characters in Dynamite 7. The scene doesn't last long but it's harrowing and gross and doesn't need to exist.

-Other than that caveat, and some bad sexual politics early on in the franchise, get ready for the best space opera anime has to offer.
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  #592  
Old 12-01-2018, 08:35 PM
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Okay! I suppose it's time to buckle up. Sounds excellent, and Macross Plus movie version is the one I've seen already (I liked it quite a lot). Thank you for all of your input!
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  #593  
Old 12-01-2018, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post

• The scene where Basara sings to the space whales is nothing short of magical. The way it starts with Basara stubbornly serenading the whales, looking fruitless as he goes into a series of heartfelt wails… only for the whales to suddenly join in … I got chills. (The understated reaction from Basara is great, too, particularly in contrast to the sheer awe displayed by Liza and Gamlin.) That the whales then continue as backing vocals for the rest of the song, humming it as they soar off into the unknown is the cherry on top. I'm confident in declaring this to be the single best moment in the franchise.
Agree 100%. I welled up with tears the first time I saw this scene play out.
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  #594  
Old 12-04-2018, 05:46 AM
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Started this up! The first season is dope so far. It's definitely got some Gundam vibes, but its, like, combined with the wild premise of some Leiji Matsumuto stuff. Focker is cool. Minmay seems like she's pretty nuts to me, if I'm being honest. The bridge stuff is all fantastic and Captain Global is the greatest name possible. I really like a lot of what this show is doing but I'm not far enough to comment much. Its got a superb combo of super robot/real robot stuff with the Macross itself which makes things like the DAEDALUS ATTACK that much more satisfying then if it was purely hype.

Also, aliens being giants and the way that that was at first concealed was excellent. Really, really like this!
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:36 AM
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- Ichijo by ep 10 has grown into a pretty competent leader which is nice. Great seeing him order a withdrawal when it was appropriate, and knowing when to break orders.

- The Zentradi reaction to the beauty contest was hilarious.

- Britai of the Zentradi fleet was SUPER well characterized when, after busting into the hanger, he went to FUCKIN PUNCH THE INVADERS TO DEATH and then climbed from OUTSIDE THE SHIP (The physics here are amazing and, can Zentradi survive in space???) to do it all over again. The warrior spirit vibes being reflected in the leader of the fleet, who has been shown soberly thus far, is great and really made me earn respect for him as a warrior who walks the walk.

- The show does two things better than Gundam 0079: Show the actual cultures (And by extension does world building), and handle the military structure. However, its fights are worse by a landslide. They're also very different things which aren't as comparable as they appear lmao.

EDIT: Max and the other dude under Ichijo are SICK as hell. Also, I miss my main man Roy Focker who hasn't done much lately

As of now, him and Captain Global are probably my favourite character. I also really like Misa when she isn't Ready To Die. All the bridge gang is sick tho.
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  #596  
Old 12-05-2018, 08:06 AM
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Eiji Kanie's performance as Britai is really captivating. I don't think anyone else could've pulled off his particular vocal tenor and gravitas he brought to the role. Macross would become one of his later works, as he died in 1985 at only 43 years old.
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  #597  
Old 12-05-2018, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peklo View Post
Eiji Kanie's performance as Britai is really captivating. I don't think anyone else could've pulled off his particular vocal tenor and gravitas he brought to the role. Macross would become one of his later works, as he died in 1985 at only 43 years old.
That's such a shame! What could've come across as a two dimensional villain has already been given hints of depth through the acting itself and, I'm beginning to very clearly get the picture, this show will not simply be human vs. Zentradi. They have a lot of baggage, what with their extremely militarist lives. It seems like the leader of them all had a genuine desire to learn about the human culture but simply didn't know how to communicate that desire outside of a "I must learn this for strategic purposes/if you don't tell us we'll crush you" because that sort of language doesn't exist for the Zentradi.
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  #598  
Old 12-05-2018, 05:25 PM
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Galadrome! I'm loving reading these impressions as you go. Keep them up, because I can't wait to read more! Some quick notes, including a few more "tips" to enjoying your watch (though by reading it doesn't seem like you need it!)

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Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
Minmay seems like she's pretty nuts to me, if I'm being honest.
She is, but one thing that's easy to forget while watching Macross, and that you should remind yourself on a periodic basis, is the age of the characters involved. Minmay is only 14 years old when the story starts. Who of us weren't a little crazy when we were teenagers? How would we have handled life and death situations, and the menacing assault of literal titans from space at that age? Hikaru Ichijo isn't much older at like 16 IIRC, and Misa is like, 18?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
(The physics here are amazing and, can Zentradi survive in space???)
No, but they can last out in the void for a few minutes on account of being genetically engineered to be super resilient, super soldiers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
The show does two things better than Gundam 0079: Show the actual cultures (And by extension does world building), and handle the military structure. However, its fights are worse by a landslide.
Glad you're picking up on some of this. The former is part of why, as much as I love Gundam, Macross will always be my main squeeze. It does world building better than just about anything. The fights... you'll see eventually. The actual choreography and moment-to-moment action is nowhere near as good as 0079's. But the strategic elements of how battles play out is vastly superior to 0079's usual dudes trade blows and then the good guys win b/c reasons.

However.

This all changes with DYRL. Macross is the fuckin' king of anime mecha fights. (Do NOT click on the link until you're through episode 27 of the show, it's MASSIVE spoilers.)

Speaking of things Macross is really good at. It isn't as important in the original show, but if you don't already have a good sound setup or something, if you can you should want to be watching this stuff with a really good pair of headphones at least going forward. If you haven't figured out by now, music is really important in Macross, and the music gets better and better as you work your way through the franchise. (Peaks for me at Plus/7, but Frontier takes modern pop to its zenith.)
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:26 PM
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Some of the strategy I've really liked is how Global and the bridge have had to account for unknowns and take risks that have had mixed results. Before knowing any Zentradi motivation it was basically a case of hoping that they'd be merciful and in each individual engagement trying to ascertain the opponent's goal and then respond in the most beneficial way. You see Global succeed greatly in the engagement outside of Saturn and played like a fool in Mars. The inconsistency of the different Zentradi groups makes things exciting, as Global does not know who he's actually dealing with meaning caution has to come first. Kamujin needs to be dealt with in a fight to the death way while Britai can more effectively be dealt with using low-risk, minimal casualty strategies but the Macross crew is in the dark.

Another thing I LOOOVE, and this is extremely important to me, is Ichijo's role in the story. He has some special favour from Focker and, now, Misa but he ACTUALLY serves the role that his rank entails and is NOT the centre of the goddamn universe. Not even just in anime, but especially in anime, so frequently the protagonist is just the most special for whatever dumb reason. See Code Geass for a show which was unwatchable to me because of how "Special, unique, edgy and cool" the protagonist is. I find stuff like that tiring and, personally, I feel its just designed to appeal to the childish power fantasies of the viewer ("I'm special and people don't understand me! My social isolation is a sign that I'm actually better than everyone!"). I'm projecting a bit here but I've grown to really resent this subsection of anime fans. Ichijo is the centre of the story for thematic reasons but has, in almost all major plot points, taken a back seat. His subordinate, Max, has even been outshining him in combat. His perspective is the perspective of a normal dude, which helps so much with the excellent world building. He's the centre of the story because of his relationship with Minmay and, it seems like now, Misa. Honestly, Ichijo is even kind of an asshole (Very classic misogony that you'd expect from a whiny protagonist of the era) and he's kind of been an entitled prick but because the story doesn't elevate him or that behaviour it doesn't bother me. He's a nuanced human, with flaws, but he's also honestly a good dude who is going through some very rough shit.

also wtf Misa is that young???

EDIT: Tatami Galaxy, which I know you love Wist, is a I show like exactly because it serves as a great deconstruction of the "centre of the universe protagonist" idea and shows how we can get caught up in that kind of self-centred attitude ourselves. Brilliant show and easily one of my Top 10 Anime of All Time.
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  #600  
Old 12-05-2018, 06:32 PM
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It is heavily implied in Macross's opening and later expanded on with Zero a bit that WWIII kinda heavily fucked things up all over the globe for years, and it took the crash landing of what would become the SDF-1 to really get the reunification process going...with some exceptions to that.
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