Macross 7 – Scourging Myself to Prove My Devotion to the Franchise, a Retroblogging Review

Self flagellation, or corporal mortification, is a practice associated with some religions and disciplines where the individual causes physical pain to oneself for the purposes of showing their devotion to the faith or to come closer to its source. As a member of the super-conservative, may-be-plotting-to-take-over-the-world Catholic sect Opus Dei wrote, it “helps a person overcome both psychological and physical weakness, gives him energy, helps him grow in virtue and ultimately leads to salvation. It conquers the insidious demons of softness, pessimism and lukewarm faith that dominate the lives of so many today.” Watching Macross 7 is self flagellation in anime form. Some may have watched it when it was new and they were desperate for mecha, any mecha. But watching it long after it aired, and being forewarned by those who have survived it, is only for those who wish to test their fan faith and their determination. Macross 7 is a bad series. It is the one blemish on the otherwise excellent Macross franchise. It is the ZZ Gundam of its universe. While it’s definitely not the worst anime I have ever watched, it may be the worst mecha series I have ever watched to completion. Even Gundam Wing gave me more to enjoy. But I wanted to complete the Macross franchise in its entirety. This is what I found.

I don’t normally write reviews, but I wanted to complete the franchise and there was no way in hell that I was going to blog this every week. I love the Macross franchise, but even I have limits. Mostly this is going to be my comments on the series as a whole along with several moments that I felt must be brought up. There will be spoilers, since this is more me getting all these thoughts and notes off my chest before those who have suffered equally and those who wisely wish to skip the show and just have a good laugh. First, a quick breakdown of the show.

The plot in three sentences: UN colony fleet Macross 7 runs into ancient demons of the Protoculture and an obnoxious rock singer/guitarist insists on playing music to them. While he has absolutely no way of knowing that it would work, it ends up chilling them out with the aid of sound enhancing technology. Meanwhile plenty of people die while he figures this out and sings instead of fighting back.

How I think this show got written and directed:

“Fans, you really must try this because it’s amazing. It’s my classic mecha story of love and war, nothing fancy. It just happens to be your favorite, and I created and directed it myself. And honestly, it’s the best mecha has ever been up to this point. In fact, it’s too good. It’s so good that when I’m finished, I’ll collect my royalty checks, walk straight into the studio and make Macross 7. Because that’s what I do. I restore the balance to this franchise.” -Shoji Kawamori, Once Upon a Time in Macross.

Characters

Gamlin Kizaki: The real hero of this show, if you define your heroes as those willing to do what it takes to protect others, go up against immense odds fully aware of the risks, and show both intelligence and raw determination. You know, those heroic qualities. Gamlin is a VF-17 pilot in the elite Diamond Force flight, the go-to pilots when the Macross 7 colony fleet is threatened. He can be pretty uptight and tense in his personal life, but over the course of the series he manages to relax a little. He’s also part of the love triangle of this series, such that it is, with Mylene and Basara.

Nekki Basara: The supposed main character, lead singer and lead guitarist (much of an ego there?) of the cheesy, 80′s rock band Fire Bomber, which I guess is popular aboard the Macross 7 fleet because no other musicians happened to be selected for the crew. He shows up late to his own shows, making his bandmates cover for him in the meanwhile, mopes around about people not understanding his music and actions when he fails to EXPLAIN anything about either, and when an unknown alien force appears he…goes out in his bastardized VF-19, gets in the way of the defense forces, and sings to them. Yeah. He obstructs the defense of the fleet to sing to them. Eventually his songs start having a jamming effect on the enemy, an effect only really utilized with the research and inventions of Dr. Chiba to amplify and transform the music into energy. Once he’s actually useful to the fleet I was able to tolerate him slightly, but only because he eventually became the only weapon the fleet had.

Mylene Jenius: Daughter of Max and Millia from the original Macross series, she’s also the bassist in Fire Bomber, a natural pilot when she puts her mind to it, and often the voice of reason in the band. She has some pretty great moments trying to reign in Basara’s crappy attitude or his unfounded pacifism, and for the most part I liked her. Millia has set her up with an omiai arranged matchmaking deal with Gamlin, and she seems to take to him in a very playful way. But she’s also really indecisive on the love front, having some sort of feelings for Basara that she won’t let go of despite them not being reciprocated. This indecisiveness will be discussed later.

These are the principle characters. I’m not going to go through all of the supporting cast since this isn’t a full review, but most of the plot revolves around these three. Of note, Max and Millia are back as the fleet commander and mayor, respectively, but sadly have split up (but not divorced) at the start of the show. Though thankfully by the end they seemed to have reconciled their differences. Also returning from the original series is Advisor Exedore, still in maclone form and serving on the bridge through a custom designed space where he can fit his head through the floor from the deck below. Macross 7 does feature some of the best bridge bunnies of the franchise, Miho and Sally, who are definitely quality over quantity for this role. They have fairly different personalities but are still friends, and produce some great moments of banter and gossip between them. And then there’s the Flower Girl, a character with no name and no lines other than some exasperated sighs and grunts. She’s always trying to chase down Basara and give him a bouquet of flowers, usually getting pushed aside or having others think the flowers are for them. But at the end she finally gets her moment.

My Problem(s) with Macross 7

Oh, there are so many, so many. To prevent myself from going into long, ranting paragraphs that may descend into rambling streams of consciousness and get off track, I’ll break it down in bullet points.

Heavy use of recycled animation

You’ll probably see this poor VF-11 destroyed about 50 times.

- Most of my problems have to do with the writing, pacing, and other creative elements, but let’s get the technical one out of the way first. There were many, many instances of recycled animation sequences in this show. I think I can count on one hand the number of battle scenes that didn’t feature reused animation sequences at some point, sometimes right after another was just used. The original SDF Macross had a little bit of this, but it wasn’t anywhere near as much as was used in Macross 7. In SDF Macross you could notice it now and then. In Macross 7 it was glaring you in the face.

Basara

I said it once before, but it bears repeating now…

- Basara almost instantly earned his spot in my top 10 most hated anime characters ever list. He’s obnoxious, selfish, and inconsiderate. He won’t tell anyone what he’s thinking or doing and then gets pissy when they don’t understand what the hell he’s doing. But all these just make him a dick. The reason I hate him is because when the fleet was threatened he would get in the way of the UN forces trying to defend it just to sing to the Protodeviln. Even if he thought he could pull a Minmay and convince them to join the human/Zentradi fleet, he had no effect on them for the longest time and yet still went out to cause the same problems time after time. When he started encountering the actual Protodeviln (and not their thralls) he actually had an effect, so my judgement of him got a little less harsh. But even then it was more about him, about having someone listen to and understand his music, than about protecting the fleet.

I hated most of the music

Omae no uta wo kikenai!

- This is not good when the music is such a central, and overused, part of the show. Totsugeki Love Heart was badass, and Holy Lonely Night and Light the Light weren’t bad, but I couldn’t stand Planet Dance, Power to the Dream, or any of the rest. Compounding this was how Planet Dance was played in repetitive, recycled sequences for what felt like the entire first 15 episodes or so. I actually started muting my TV when it would come on because I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Macross 7 is yaoi

No, not literally, Mafuyu.

- Now that I’ve got your attention, let me elaborate. I mean this in terms of the origin of the word: no climax, no point, no meaning. I suppose the story technically had a climax, even if it wasn’t a very believable or satisfying one. Though the love triangle completely fit the definition, more on that in a later point. But on to no point and no meaning. There was no point in making 49 episodes plus extras and sidestories to tell us a story that had nothing to do with 99% of the rest of the Macross universe. What impact has Macross 7 had on the rest of the franchise? Unlike the war with the Zentradi in SDF Macross or the Unification Wars and Protoculture history of Earth explored in Macross Zero, Macross 7 had little to no impact on subsequent developments. Even with how much Macross Frontier loved to make references, the impact of Macross 7 was superficial: a song in the background in Ozma’s car, a passing reference to the Protodeviln by Klan, that’s about it. It was a big deal when Luca released his Ghosts to auto-control, a technological and ethical problem derived from Macross Plus. The Protoculture connection to the Vajra and the Galaxy Fleet’s research came directly from Macross Zero and Dr. Mao Nome. What point or meaning did Macross 7 have? Everything it had, variable fighters, the power of music, colony fleets, was already there in SDF Macross.

Worst antagonists ever

*facepalm*

- Worst antagonists ever. The Protodeviln were like Power Rangers villains. Cheesy looking, cheesy sounding, and cheesy acting. You could switch them out with the villains from any sentai series and someone who hadn’t already seen Macross 7 wouldn’t know the difference.

Macross 7 is yaoi, part 2

What Kawamori, your own scripts and storyboards didn’t spell out the ending for you?

- COMPLETELY unresolved love triangle: I don’t expect a series to tie everything up in a neat little bow for me, but when the main story is such a let down I expect to at least get something out of the subplot. If you thought the dragging out of the love triangle in SDF Macross was bad, wait until you see Macross 7. For one, it really should have been resolved since it was barely a love triangle to begin with. Basara was really uninvolved in all of it, there was no actual competition, just Mylene’s indecisiveness. Everything seemed to go Gamlin’s way in the show, Mylene really seemed to be falling for him, but then the whole relationship remains unresolved through the show AND into the Dynamite 7 sidestory.

The troll

I see him trollin, I’m hatin’…

- Not only does my favorite character get a troll ‘death’ late in the series where it was very well possible for him to have died (he’s not the official main character after all), but it wasn’t even a good one. Having the furry villain guy trick Gamlin into crashing into his VF was a sound strategy if you’re that sort of invincible, boring villain that can just pass through matter and escape. But the troll didn’t even feel like it had much purpose, like it was done just to do so. There are two kinds of trolling: the kind that make you go “aha, you got me, gg” and the kind that make you hate the writers and can sour the viewer on an entire show or franchise. This is one of the latter. The troll sucked, but I realized that Gamlin not being dead was one of the few good things I would get out of this show so I just kind of grudgingly accepted it. At least it meant I still had one main cast character to root for. Though at least he came back in style:

To the tune of everyone’s favorite printer beating song: Back up in yo ass with the resurrection/

comes the ace pilot with the kill collection that shows no affection/

they wanted to off him for the cheap thrill/

but it’s die motherfuckers die motherfuckers still.

Um….yeah

Seriously?

- Oh yes, and what Macross 7 overview would be complete without mentioning musically induced spiritia orgasms? Not to be crude, but there’s really no way around it. So yeah…that’s…yeah…

What I *gasp* Did Like About Macross 7

Well, this is a much shorter list, but there were a handful of moments and one whole episode that were actually fun. Not, you know, enough to have made it worth watching other than to say that I managed to watch it all, but at least there were a few things.

The VF-11 and VF-17

Some respectable VFs, not like those Sound Force ones.

- I can never decide if the VF-1 or the VF-11 is my favorite out of the franchise, but I was happy to see more Thunderbolt IIIs even if they were just cannon fodder. The VF-17 was not a design I initially liked, but it became kind of an acquired taste. At first I didn’t like the F-117 inspired design, but as time went on I started to like it more, especially in gerwalk mode. It also helped that Gamlin made it cool with his skilled piloting, especially once he took over as the leader of Diamond Force.

Max and Millia

Making up by the end.

- Here, at least, Macross 7 delivered. I was pretty heartbroken to see the two of them had broken up at the start of the series. It seemed like the two ace pilots didn’t manage to hold together their marriage, and Millia seemed especially recriminating about it while Max seemed hurt and conciliatory. They had several moments where their personalities and professional responsibilities clashed, and to be honest I think Millia let her personal feelings get in the way of parental and professional duties just to spite Max on some occasions. Having to work together to fight the Protodeviln and raise Mylene seemed to bring them back together by the end of the series though. When one was in danger the other got worried and started to remember why they cared for each other. While the ending wasn’t explicit about it, I think it’s safe to declare the OTP re-established.

Millia rides again!

Mama to the rescue.

- Seeing Millia break out the old VF-1 from her younger days was badass, and I was so impressed by her stopping the Protodeviln infiltrators that for a time I had hope that the series would improve. That ended up being a false hope, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of seeing Millia get back in her old DYRL fighter and kick ass like the days of old. And at the end of the series she even got her of VF-21, as did Max, recreating their blue and red VF-1s from the final battle in DYRL.

Macross 7 Encore ep 02

I’d be terrified to have her as my mother in law.

- This episode was the only episode in all of the expanded Macross 7 series to actually be through-and-through good. A comedy sidestory episode where Millia gets a cold, and because of her amateur self-diagnosis thinks that she’s dying due to her miclonization shortening her lifespan. So she sets off to accomplish the four things she wants to do before she dies: get her daughter married, find a bride for her basically adopted son Gamlin, fly her VF-1 once more, and sing. And she’s short on time so get married NOW! She’s still bitter about Max so she pressures Mylene to marry Basara since he’s not an ace pilot like Max, then tries to set up Gamlin with Miho in a very not subtle mix of salesmanship and pressure. I loved seeing Millia as the tiger mama to her daughter and Gamlin, and then get all overdramatic, singing to the entire fleet while Max just sighed and facepalmed. She’s also become very self-promoting too, which was hilarious to see.

Oh Millia, you just get better with age.

Well, when you started off your courtship with a knife fight anything else will look tame in comparison.

My thoughts exactly.


Selected Miscellaneous Moments

DDDAAAWWWWW.

Basara gets tentacle raped by Sybil.

Adding -美 to the end of everything doesn’t make you elegant, you mangy furry.

The Flower Girl finally got her flowers to Basara. Despite not having a line in the entire series, I liked the Flower Girl and her never ending attempts to get noticed.

Quite the cute moment. Though it doesn’t make much sense to have a 17 year old propose to a 15 year old, unless this takes place in in the distant past. Oh anime and your insistence on teenage characters.

Exedore and Miho get implied-shipped in Encore and at the end of the series. That would be an odd couple to say the least.

Haha, Millia is too much.

Mylene takes after her parents, and her judgement takes after the more sound sort found in SDF Macross.

Another sweet Mylene and Gamlin moment when she uses her amplified singing to force the Protodeviln out of Gamlin’s body. But noooo, with moments like this and the birthday party we just can’t have a relationship develop by the end of the series.

Mafuyu approves of this tabloid photoshop.

Basara the secret love child of Hikaru and Minmay? In Ghostlightning’s dreams.

Well at least one design element that made it into later series was the purple flower shape of Protoculture-designed superweapons.

Best bridge bunnies ever. I especially loved their fussing over a sleeping Max, with Sally trying to steal a kiss, in the Macross 7 Plus: Seven Bridge extra.

Dynamite 7 starts off by showing you exactly what Kawamori was smoking. Subtle *rolls eyes*. As if his signs for pipe shops in the background of cities in Macross Plus and Frontier weren’t enough evidence.

This guy just screams damn dirty hippy.

Space whales. Yep, space whales. Macross has always had a bit of an environmentalist element to it in drawing attention to nature and ship’s environmental support systems, but Dynamite 7 is this tendency taken to a preachy and obnoxious extreme.

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64 Comments

  1. Posted May 3, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Macross 7 is the G Gundam of its franchise.

    /fixd

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Haha, I also dislike G Gundam for a similar reason, though I don’t hate it like I do Macross 7. Partly because I don’t like most super robot shows, Big O and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann being the exceptions. And I liked those two because the former left out most of the BURNING PASSION parts of super robot shows to make it fit in with the serious, subdued mood and plot of the show. The latter because it never associated itself with realism and just turned the BURNING PASSION to eleven for the whole show. Unlike Macross 7 and G Gundam, it wasn’t part of a franchise that made any claims to being realistic.

      The similar element that I disliked in both Macross 7 and G Gundam is that they’re from a franchise that established itself as having some level of realism and seriousness, and then they tried to graft a super robot show onto it. At least G Gundam had the decency to set itself in an alternate universe, unlike Macross 7 where this ridiculous stuff is supposed to be part of the history of an otherwise serious universe.

      • Crusader
        Posted May 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Well given the current direction of the Gundam Franchise I am glad that G Gundam took it in the opposite direction instead of expanding on the newtypish bullshit that seems to be the staple.

        Also at least with Macross 7 you know why Grace had it in for Macross 11…

        • ExecutiveOtaku
          Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Since Gundam has no qualms about starting alternate universes, I wish they’d get down the basics with the next one and start their premise with ‘Gundams + space colonies’ and leave out the Newtype crap. It’s no coincidence that some of the best UC Gundam doesn’t involve any Newtypes whatsoever (0080, 0083, 08th MS Team.) To give credit where it’s due, even though I know you’re not a fan of CE, SEED did redo and tone down the Newtype concept decently. Genetic engineering helped make the concept make more sense, and the whole psychic communication thing wasn’t part of it like in main storyline UC and in 00.

          “Also at least with Macross 7 you know why Grace had it in for Macross 11…”

          Haha.

    • shdwfx2000
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      i bought this and sat on it for like three years before building up the gumption to actually watch it.
      Basara was absolutely the worst part of the show and I found myself yelling at the screen every time he just flew out and let a couple of dozen other pilots die. Don’t even get me started on the idea of piloting a machine with a damned guitar.

  2. Posted May 3, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t have said everything better myself! Completely agree on you with everything here. (except for The Flower Girl! *shaked fist*) Seeing Max and Millia in Macross 7 was a definite highlight for me.

    I love your awww moments with Mylene and Gamlin. When he gave her that ring my little heart fluttered. You don’t see that all too often. Gamlin will always be .<

    Space whales = hello Star Trek Movie IV lol

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The Flower Girl caused some random bits of comedy, and I did kind of enjoy watching her keep trying/feel bad for her, so I had to root for her a little. Max and Millia were definitely the best part of the show overall. Gamlin and Mylene would have been if the show had actually been reasonable and given us a resolution to their relationship. As it was they had some really great moments together, some moments that almost made me forget what a terrible show I was watching. Similar to how I felt about Graham Aker, Katie Mannequin, and Patrick Colasour from Gundam 00, they were great characters trapped in a series that didn’t deserve them.

      • Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        well i personally don’t mind that Gamlin didn’t really get Mylene… he can do better.. like me XD

        i found G Gundam to be slightly more entertaining than M7

        • ExecutiveOtaku
          Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          “he can do better.. like me XD” Lol. Gamlin’s a good guy, you’ve got good taste. I’d be friends with him, I think we’d get along well. Hmm, sounds like I could start a new meme. Whereas before there was ‘mai waifu’ and ‘mai husbando’ now there is: Gamlin is mai besto friendo, do not claim.

          • Posted May 4, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            hahaha that’s a great idea XD

  3. Magnus
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Maybe I’m too mellow for the world, but at the end I liked M7 quite a bit, expressly because it was so cheesy. But it was very, very hard to get there.

    BTW, did you see Macross 7 Encore – Fleet of the Strongest Women? That’s quite a nice stand-alone OVA, which heavily features Max and Milia. Also of interest is the Macross 7: The Galaxy is Calling Me movie, for a glimpse at another Jenius daughter, who would have been a *much* better fit for Basara…

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      While I can generally find something to like in anything (and even in this I got some enjoyment out of Max, Millia, Mylene, and Gamlin), the ending just felt too cheesy and too convenient for me. It also seemed to sudden in both how it started and how it ended. Not that I haven’t seen similar endings to shows before, but I also was not a fan of that type of ending either.

      I watched Fleet of the Strongest Women and thought it was alright but wasn’t especially interested in it other than the fact that it acknowledged that other Zentradi fleets were left roaming around the galaxy. The Galaxy is Calling Me is something I avoided at the advice of others though, since I didn’t want to watch a movie with lots of recap in it.

      • Magnus
        Posted May 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        I think you were misinformed. “The Galaxy is Calling Me” has about 0% recap and is all new story.

        • ExecutiveOtaku
          Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          The advice wasn’t factually wrong, I was told that I’d be better off skipping it. Since it was labeled as the Macross 7 movie, I assumed it was a recap movie. So that part was my mistake. Against that advice and my better judgement, just now I went and watched The Galaxy is Calling Me. Emiria would have been a great match for Basara since they’re so ridiculously into their music, but overall it was pretty grueling forcing myself back into Macross 7. I had to fight really hard to resist the urge to turn it off or skip forward. Plus it had that annoying little kid in it too. Ugh.

          • Magnus
            Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:55 am | Permalink

            Yeeaaaah, I probably should have warned you about the kid. :p

            But, not a recap movie. ^^

  4. JDMFLCL
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    -10 for not mentioning fleet of the strongest women

    • Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      THIS

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Heh, apparently that sidestory was more popular with others than with me. As I mentioned in the above reply, I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t find it that interesting either.

  5. Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    To be fair, heavy use of recycled animation was the norm for most shows in the 90s. Gundam Wing was also very similar. We are in that sense a little spoiled today.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Yeah, Gundam Wing used it a lot too, but at the same time there were plenty of shows even going back to the late 1970′s and 1980′s that didn’t. The original Gundam and Macross shows kept it to a minimum where it wasn’t enough to bother me. Patlabor, from what I’ve seen of it, didn’t use it at all. I didn’t really notice it in Zeta Gundam if it was there at all. And these are just mecha shows. Meanwhile Gundam SEED in the 2000s did use a fair bit of it in the first half of the show. I can forgive a little use of it, but to be honest I think it shows laziness and/or poor budgetary planning when it has to be used so much that it becomes painfully obvious.

  6. Ressy
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m feeling much less bad about having scourged this plague from my hard drives after watching one or two episodes…
    Too bad the bits with Max and Millia plus the random amusing parts couldn’t have been condensed into a watchable series of 12 or so episodes…

    Oh, and I happened to find G Gundam amusing, like Evil Dead and other so bad it’s good things.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Feel no shame in not having watched it! There were a few good moments, and Gamlin, Mylene, Millia, and Max really deserved a series more worthy of them. Though I guess that quote at the start of the post about the values of self-flagellation did in part hold true: it made me tougher in that through so much that I hated I was able to continue on and find a few elements of the show that I could actually like. I suppose it lessen my pessimism for future series by having seen something go so badly that I can always think to myself “well at least it’s not as bad as Macross 7.” And it gave me faith in the sense that I’ll always have faith that whatever comes next in the Macross franchise will always be better than 7.

      In Dynamite 7 Basara leaves the fleet to go singing to whales and other nonsense, maybe they could make a sequel series now that he and the Protodeviln are gone. Remove those two things and we’d have a decent cast of characters and setting.

  7. Tenryu
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    ” While it’s definitely not the worst anime I have ever watched, it may be the worst mecha series I have ever watched to completion”

    you either haven’t watched or get to finish watching Kannazuki no Miko, which admittingly i watched because of the presence of yuri(and i regretted it ever since)

    still i can’t fault you for your review since i agree with most of it… and yet i like the show

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Haven’t watched that one, though I hear Crusader referencing it a lot in his posts and that has gotten me curious. What’s your impression of it?

      Macross 7 certainly has some fans, warts and all as your comment mentions. But as for myself, while I can forgive a lot and find something good in 99% of series that I’ve watched, Macross 7 just pushed me over my limit. Or perhaps I should say it kicked me clear across my limiting line like a Valkyrie’s foot to the face. Even taking a step or two back towards my limit with the characters I did like still left me 100s of kilometers from that point.

      • Tenryu
        Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Impressions on ‘ Kannazuki no Miko’? it would have totally been better if it didn’t have mecha in it. Upon reflection its a show mainly showcasing on the love between two girls and the robots where there for back ground.

        Why i say that you ask? because the robots are ugly, very ugly, uglier than the ‘Eldran’ series.
        If i have to rate it, this is the third worse cartoon/anime i have watched, 2nd worse being Grenader and first being Zegapain
        So seriously, watch it only if your very curious, likes watching yuri, mecha and miko’s

  8. KayDat
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I watched M7 when I was still first caught up in the Macross fever, earlier on during MacF’s broadcast. I had watched en masse most of the Macross series, so I think my rose coloured glasses managed to blind me from most of the terribad stuff in M7, but I still never managed to finish watching the side stories. I guess I’ll look for the ones mentioned that are good, and give it another shot though.
    Mylene was cute though. I think I have a thing for girls with pink hair. =P

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      For the sidestories, DO NOT watch Dynamite 7. The Encore ones are decent with Encore 02 being the best episode in all of Macross 7. The little Macross 7 Plus shorts are mostly worthwhile, only around 2-3 minutes long each (and they’re all on Youtube.)

      Mylene is pretty cute, and she can be romantic in a serious way with Gamlin at points. But she really is the spoiled 1980′s teenage girl in many ways. Just look at the animation in ED 2. Indecisive, materialistic, childlike, bratty. She’s not like that all the time, but that’s definitely where her character is coming from.

    • Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      DYNAMITE 7 IS AWESOME. Angel Voice in the finale will rock your universe.

  9. square
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you got through it.

    *presents Macross Lifer Cross*

    It’s a trial by fire. There are 3 out comes.

    1) you get through it, find some small pleasures where you can, REALLY REALLY appreciate the other Macross series a lot more. *allows for qualification of the Macross Lifer Cross*

    2) you never get through the series cause you hate it. *denies the right to Macross Lifer*

    3) M7 totally breaks you. Some how you can gloss over the huge flaws in the series, have thoughts like, “Hell yah! ROCK SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!” and “Wow cool, he’s singing to space whales!”. But most importantly, you can look back at M7 without whining or having a bubble of RAGE build in your chest.
    *allows for qualification of the Macross Lifer Cross, and provides the M7 Star which you wear proudly*

    Glad you like Gamlin, he was my only life line early on in the series until I was utterly broken in Ep26 by Basara’s rawesome ROCK SCREAM! That ep fully put in into out come 3 :-D

    M7 did have another impacts on MF, the speaker pods for Ranaka’s minmay attack on that planet with the Zentradi; the cameos of Diamond Force during combat, and Micheal Blanc’s possible back ground as a part zolan. Not that it really mattered, but the battle form of the new macross carriers was heavily based on the designed in M7.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I proudly stand here before my Macross comrades and mai waifu Misa to accept this honor :) Hehe, I might have to put that in my blogger profile.

      Sounds like you’re with Ghostlightning in the Macross Lifer Cross with M7 Star recipients. Looking back on it Gamlin might be one of my favorite male Macross characters. Part of that attachment might be because he was the one ray of light (among the main cast) in a series I otherwise disliked, but I’d say I like him as much as Max, Roy, Michel, or Alto.

      • Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:20 am | Permalink

        M7 broke me to bits. I love the show too much. And I’ve watched almost all of the Macross franchise.

        Now I need to go watch Macross II.

      • Square
        Posted May 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Yep I wear my M7 star proudly! Oh it was actually ep 27 that broke me with the ROCK SCREAM.

        I actually think that Gamlin was/is what Kawamori really wanted out of military pilots. He dedicated to his cause almost to a fault, but slowly realizes that there’s more to life than just duty and honor.

        In a way Gamlin’s softening during the series is akin to how the Zentradi were culture shocked into realizing that there was more to life than just constantly fighting. Obviously, it wouldn’t change someone like him over night. He’s used to pop culture and human trappings. It’s a slow change and starts with him opening up a little when he meets Mylene, listening to her music, learning to appreciate things outside of his normal interest. To the climax of learning how to respect Basara and what he stands for even though he doesn’t completely agree with it. It comes back to Kawamori theme of shared culture can be used as a medium of understanding.

        Actually, that’s how I viewed the whole of M7, as if I were Gamlin. Started out with just tons of loathing of Basara but finally understanding him which allowed me to over look the flaws and celebrate the good.

  10. ExecutiveOtaku
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I proudly stand here before my Macross comrades and mai waifu Misa to accept this honor :) Hehe, I might have to put that in my blogger profile.

    Sounds like you’re with Ghostlightning in the Macross Lifer Cross with M7 Star recipients. Looking back on it Gamlin might be one of my favorite male Macross characters. Part of that attachment might be because he was the one ray of light (among the main cast) in a series I otherwise disliked, but I’d say I like him as much as Max, Roy, Michel, or Alto.

  11. Crusader
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Comrade here is the end you have longed for, the secret is to make your own reality…

    http://www.thatanimeblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/1220837121292.jpg

    As annoying as Basara is he did offer the pharse/demand LISTEN TO MY SONG. For better or for worse he did inspire Ozma and Sheryl. Though Sheryl beats Basra pretty much everywhere in the maturity department. Look at the bright side that Troll of Trolls Kawamori did get better and took notes from the failings of Macross 7, Battle Frontier never got a transformation sequence done to death, the dog fights got better, the lead got less annoying, the music got better, and the trolling was much much more sophisticated and we got our infamous Pineapple Cakey.

    Cool down the Kawamori haet the man is a troll and damn good one at that. He’s like Moshe Dayan 95% of his ideas are just palin bad, but the remaining 5% were brilliant. If nothing else the man can design sweet mecha.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Great pic. I choose to reject Macross 7′s reality and substitute it with that one.

      Kawamori did seem to learn his lesson about several things in Macross 7, that or his staff found the proper mix of medication to slip into his drinks after 7. Though I would argue that Macross 7 wasn’t where many of those concepts came from. SDF Macross and DYRL already had good dogfights, non-annoying leads, and better music. Though the lesson on trolling was probably learned during the half-assed troll in Macross 7.

      I don’t hate Kawamori overall, just the way some of his occasionally annoying tendencies seemed to be on steroids for Macross 7. Probably some combination of that time in his life, the time period, and taking the trying new things approach in wacky directions. The rest of the franchise is gold to me, but Macross 7 is just a big piece of coal mixed in with the treasure.

      • Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:14 am | Permalink

        I dunno, I loved the show to bits, simply because I saw it as Kawamori trolling the fuck out of super robot shows. And it was the best troll ever.

        And Basara is about as annoying as that one Christian friend who keeps asking you to come to church. COnstantly. I kinda understand where he comes from, so I don’t see him as annoying or immature (and to be honest, Basara’s jerkiness is justified by his vision.)

        Maybe Tomino was right. Sometimes you just have to write something new and ridiculous, otherwise the franchise becomes ridiculous.

        And now, go watch Macross II. I dare ya.

        • ExecutiveOtaku
          Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Basara might have vision, but plenty of people have unrealistic visions that can mess things up for everyone around them. His sort of music playing ‘understanding’ and pacifism just hits a nerve with me for being unrealistic. Not as much as the simplistic and just plain wrong ideologues in Gundam 00, but something to that affect. Vision and dreams certainly have a role, but I’m far too much of a realist for Basara’s dream. Which also explains why I wasn’t able to suspend my reason enough to enjoy Macross 7. I recognize that it’s fiction, and I can suspend my reason and disbelief, but only so much.

          Macross II might be something I look at in the future, though I’ve avoided it so far since it’s not canon.

  12. Posted May 5, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Macross 7 lover here. I have been broken for Basara’s insanity ever since setting foot into /m/, and it wasn’t hard for me to accept him for what he was.

    Well, not really. HOW DARE YOU TREAT MYLENE LIKE SHIT AAAAAAAAAAAAH

    Gamlin is my favorite Macross ace. He’s not as damned good as Max, or badass like Roy and Ozma, but his earnestness is quite charming.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Macross 7 seems to split fans into two groups: those whom it breaks and who accept it wholeheartedly, and those who just can’t stand the same things that cause the first group to like it. I’d also suspect that the former group enjoys giant robot shows more than the latter group.

      BTW, you’ve got a cool blog there. I went through a couple new and older entries there, and I might use that Mekton Zeta thing sometime after checking out the rulebook. Seems great for a mecha campaign. I’m hoping to run an original sci-fi setting sometime, haven’t decided if I’ll use mecha or fighters (if the players even go the military route), but Mekton Zeta sounds perfect if I do.

  13. d3v
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I believe, as has been discussed to death in various forums (including Macross World where I haven’t posted in forever), that the main problem with 7 is that it was planned as a 49 episode series aimed at a younger audience. Had it been done as a 24/26 episode series like the rest of the franchises TV outings (and aimed at it’s core demographic), alot of the issues would have been addressed: The earlier, filler episodes wouldn’t need to exist and Planet Dance wouldn’t have been so damn overplayed, the love triangle could have been more developed and Basara might have been more bearable.

    As for Basara, the debate still rages on whether or not he was made annoying on purpose as a deconstruction (read: troll) of the common shonen anime stereotypes of the day. Personally, I lean towards this argument seeing as how much Kawamori seems to enjoy trolling.

    Also, you should watch and blog about Macross II in the near future (maybe after GTO, *hint*). While it’s canonically set in an alternate universe, it’s still pretty much a Macross show (IMO, its only flaw is being an OVA and rushing some things character development-wise) and you can tell that the makers had a genuine love for the series. Besides, Lt. Silvie Gena still ranks among my favorite female ace pilots from the Macross series.

    P.S. As much as the OVA that spawned it is a boatload of WTH? Angel Voice is still my favorite M7 song. More so the fan mix of both the Fukuyama original and the Mari Iijima version.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      I did get the impression that the show was made to appeal to little kids a lot, from both the Fire Valkyrie’s super robot look to the propensity for Basara to hang out with little kids in the sidestories. I would agree that Basara was likely a commentary on shounen anime archetypes of the time, as well as a commentary on what was considered cool at the time in terms of musicians. It was a really ego-centric time with a good bit of what we’d today call angsty (and what probably evolved into current angstiness among some types of music) involving people not understanding a musicians ‘vision.’ The glorification of the single-minded devotion to making people understand one’s music.

      I’m definitely going to watch Macross II at some point, maybe I’ll blog it in between two larger shows since it’s only 6 episodes.

  14. ReddyRedWolf
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    http://www.thatanimeblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Millia-1.jpg

    Does Mylene cook with gasoline too?

    As for Miho Miho post Macross 7 she transfered to the Vahalla III, a small special forces ship, in Macross Digital Mission VF-X. UN Spacy gets to use Song Energy based Minmay Attack on rebel Zentradi with the idol group Milky Dolls.

    If you’re wondering about the fates of the SDF Macross characters here theyu are.

    Vanessa – Married to Loli, has three kids, is a Mama-san, three alcoholic WareraLoliKonda lives with her. Lives on Macross City.

    Shammy – Married to a rich guy has 11 kids.

    Kim – Formerly retired on Eden as of Macross 7 with a cat and unmarried. Went out of retirement and is given command of Macross 13 with the rank of Lieutenant General. Led the fight with the Vajra during Grace and Galaxy’s brief galatic conquest attempt.

    Kaifun – Known as manager of Fire Bomber America.. Resides in the all English speaking fleet Macross 11.

    Hikaru, Misa and Minmay – Lost in space as of 2016.

    Vrlitwhai Kadanik – Last known as Commander of UN Spacy as of 2016.

    On MD7 it introduced us to the previously unknown third race in the new UNG the Zolans. In the light novel Michael of Macross Frontier is part Zolan part Human. Though the anime implies he is part Zentradi I take it Michael is a mongrel of the Protoculture sub-species.

    On the Jenius family Max and Milia had 7 girls, with one adopted full blooded Zentradi. Max and Millia adopted Moaramia after a dogfight. Moa is just a year younger to Komilia. At six she is flying a Variable Glaug as a rebel ace. The couple micloned her and took her home.

    “I’d be terrified to have her as my mother in law.” – ExecutiveOtaku

    Why did you think Basara backed away once he realized Emilia is Mylene’s older sister?

    Though personally I think Mylene was left by her sisters as a sacrifice at the altar of their marriage arranging mother.

    • d3v
      Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      You’d think that having 8 kids (including the adopted Moaramia) would have turned Millia off on the thought of marriage.

      Also, wasn’t the Macross 13 siezed by rebel forces in VFX-2? Was Kim’s being given command of this before or after that incident?

      • ReddyRedWolf
        Posted May 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Kim commanded Macross 13 Earth Defense Fleet in 2059 during the galatic wide invasion of Grace.

        Macross 13 is the codename for Battle Class ships that isn’t part of an emmigration fleet. Kim Kabirov commanded the Macross 13 Earth Defense Fleet. 13 being an unlucky number it isn’t assigned to Macross fleets. The Saratoga II is called a Macross 13 Fleet Carrier and serves as a special forces carrier.

        Macross VF-X2 occured in 2050 to 2051.

        Battle 13 aka Macross 13 in Macross VF-X2 was in control of the military-industrial complex conspiracy Rakutensu, led by Colonel Wilbur Garland. UN Spacy officer Garland in collusion with defense contractors such as Critical Path Corporation had weapons sold on both sides of the fence. The increased conflict would allow them to test new weapons such as the Sound Jamming Sytem for Valkyries and the Global Jamming System for the Macross sized ships such as the SDF-1 Macross and Battle 13. Politically this would lead to nearby remote colony planets relying on Earth government for protection. By 2048 the new UNG was already decentralizing towards the NUNG. Thus the comspiracy’s goal is more political and economic gains.

        Some UN Spacy officer found out this conspiracy thus formed the Vindirance Fleet.

        On another note. This is not confirmed yet. I read the Japanese Macross Wikia and it said Ozma Lee beat once Critical Path Corporation president Manfred Brando for his treatment of Ranka. According to the article Manfred Brando was investigation director of the 117th Research Fleet survivors. In VF-X2 Brado’s company created the Sound Jamming and Global Jamming systems. He died at the hands of Aegis Focker when Aegis defected to Vindirance.

        Aegis Focker himself is a close sempai of Ozma Lee and is in command of a VF-X squadron of VF-19s and VF-22s in the Frontier fleet as a Colonel. From what I’ve heard he was sent on Frontier to investigate Galaxy. NUNS HQ may be suspicious of Galaxy like the Frontier government in the movie version.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Interesting to see where the characters went, but what’s with the ‘lost in space’ thing for Misa, Hikaru, and Minmay? Do they cover this anywhere or is it just a cop-out excuse not to write a proper epilogue?

      Lol at Basara running away once he realized who Emilia’s mother was. More evidence for my OTP though, since Gamlin could have handled Millia as an in-law. She was already treating him like a son through most of the series anyway, especially once Battle 7 got separated from them. Plus he’s really earnest and kind of formal so he wouldn’t have a problem managing the whole in-laws approval/relations thing.

      • ReddyRedWolf
        Posted May 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        One of the reasons why the in-verse DYRL movie was made in 2031 was not only for propaganda purposes but to assure the public all is going well with the Megaroad-01 emmgration fleet. When in fact Megaroad-01 is missing since they lost communication in 2016. Megaroad-01 was lost in its course to the center of the galaxy. Basically the UNG lied. Hey the NUNG did the same for the 117th Research Fleet saying they had a fold accident. Heck UN Spacy HQ didn’t inform Macross 7 that the Varauta colony has been silent for two years since they sent some big shot advisor (Ivane Gyunter) to excavate a Protoculture ruin in an ice planet. It wasn’t until Max asked around about the enemy VFs that he got an answer that they resembled the Varauta versions of the VF-14 Invader.

        Thus we have Richard Bilrer whose unfathomed motivation which Galaxy couldn’t figure out was to find Minmay.

        • Square
          Posted May 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Where are you getting all this extra meta verse information Reddy!?! I want to read some of it.

          • ReddyRedWolf
            Posted May 12, 2010 at 2:03 am | Permalink

            Since the site won’t allow me to post links google them.

            Macross Compendium
            The original Macross Compendium was made by Egan Loo and official translation of info provided by Big West. Now the new version is expanded as a wiki site.

            Sketchley’s Macross Chronicle Translations
            Organized translations of Macross Chronicle by Sketchley and other translators.

            Japan’s Macross Wiki
            A wikia not as comprehensive as the Compendium but some interesting entries. Some like Brando meeting Ozma I’m not sure of as there is no citation.

            Wikipedia
            Yes I even use Wikipedia, in this case the Japanese Wikipedia. I cross reference it with the Macross Wiki.

            Mr. March’s Macross Mecha Manual
            Lots of Macross mecha pictures and details.

            Macross World Forum
            Go to the stickied Newbie thread and ask questions from Macross nuts.

  15. Keith
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    It sounds to me as if some elements from Macross Frontier were an attempt to do-over similar elements from Macross 7 in a better way, especially the insectile antagonists and the colony fleet.

    I HATE series where a love triangle is drawn out or a relationship teased for the entire run, only to have it left unresolved or end on a copout where the people are never actually shown together for more than 30 seconds.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      The idea of the colony fleet started back in SDF Macross, even if the ships weren’t shown, but I see what you mean. And yes, there is little worse in a series than leaving something so unresolved as it was here. Even Macross Frontier, which gave a tiny bit of pity hope to Ranka fans, was clear about who won out in the end.

  16. Posted May 10, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Glad to finally see your review up (missed it at first cause I was away). I do completely agree with you on a lot of points, especially the point about the bridge bunnies being the best ever (Especially in the extra episode). Overall though while I absolutely hated the music while seeing the show, I couldn’t stop singing the music for months for some reason… it just stuck with me (helps that I downloaded all the OSTs). I also didn’t end up hating the show at all, but by the end was somewhat neutral with rose-tinted glasses over every Max/Milia scene in the show.

    You did miss one very important point though, and that is Guvava is undoubtedly the best ‘animal friend character’ in existence. While Ranka’s frog phone was cool it was NOT alive. Similarly Haro is usually more annoying than not, and most of these ‘cute’ side characters in other anime are generally more annoying than they are worth (i.e. the Ostrich in Tide Line Blue) perhaps except for Luna in Sailor Moon :x.

    I do wonder though if you have really finished all that is Macross. Have you seen Macross 2? While not officially part of the official canon, it is never less part of Macross, and at the very least will make you appreciate Macross 7 all that much more :)

  17. ExecutiveOtaku
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Hehe, for a moment I asked myself if it was really that bad. But then I realized that I only had that moment of doubt because I purposefully tried to block out any memories that weren’t Gamlin, the bridge bunnies, Max, and Millia. Guvava is a great animal sidekick, and I loved the little helmet spacesuit they made for him.

    I haven’t finished all of Macross, just the canon stuff. Macross II will get watched at some point, but I haven’t watched it yet since it’s not canon.

    • ReddyRedWolf
      Posted May 12, 2010 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      Actually Macross II follow another canon. Macross II is a direct sequel to Macrosss DYRL. 80 years later.

      Between DYRL and Macross II are the PC Engine games Macross 2036, which features Komilia, and Macross Eternal Love Song. Basically Quamzin brings in two Zentradi Bodolle fleets successively in two years to bring down Earth.

    • Posted May 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      You forgot Guvava? HOW COULD YOU.

      One never forgets the cute animal mascots!

  18. Posted June 28, 2010 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Kawamori didn’t direct Macross 7.

    • Posted June 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      It’s still his franchise that we was and still is involved in, he worked directly on the show even if he wasn’t director, and he let it into his canon and allowed it to stay. He’s still ultimately responsible for this mess!

  19. Posted July 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    If Macross as a whole is a Thanksgiving meal, Macross 7 is a steaming pumpkin pie that someone filled with 10 pounds of shit.

    • Posted July 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      HAHAHA, well said! I think it speaks volumes that an anniversary series as reference-happy as Macross Frontier only made Macross 7 references all of about three times (Klan mentioned the Protodeviln in passing conversation, Ozma had Firebomber on in the background while he drove to the SMS base, Bobby mentioned Basara once.) While it practically fired off references to SDF Macross, DYRL, Zero, and Plus like they were missiles in an Itano Circus.

  20. Scott
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Great review. i just checked out the first episode, was horrified, and looked for reviews.
    You just saved me from checking out the rest of the series. i cannot believe there are 50 some-odd more episodes of this.

    Correction:

    That ended up being a false hope, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of seeing Millia get back in her old DYRL fighter and kick ass like the days of old. And at the end of the series she even got her of VF-21, as did Max, recreating their blue and red VF-1s from the final battle in DYRL.

    You meant the original SDF Macross series.
    DYRL had Max and Milia flying in Queadluun-Rau armor during the final battle. Milia was never micronized in DYRL, so… never got inside a VF-1. (a cute departure from the original series)

  21. Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Just recently, I finally finished the original Macross TV series. I’d already watched all the other series in the Macross franchise like DYRL, Plus, Zero, Frontier and its movies, and even Macross II, which was non-canonical (and which I quite liked contrary to most fans). The only series I’ve yet to touch is Macross 7, mostly due to the less than glowing reviews I’ve come across in the past. Nevertheless, fresh from finishing the series that started it all, I found myself hungry for more Macross, so I was determined to scour the internet and read up on anything I could get my hands of on this series, and ascertain whether it really was as bad as I had thought all this years and whether it had any redeeming qualities. Thus i find myself here, reading your review, and now commenting on your post.

    Suffice to say, I guess I won’t be touching this series, not even with a ten foot pole I won’t. I’m not a hardcore sadist, so I don’t think I can ever last watching 49 episodes (not including the OVAs and movies) of something that a lot of people say was terrible, to say it mildly. So, I guess thanks are in order (if you ever read this comment from a post you made 2 years ago) and I guess I’ll stick to reading the wiki episode summaries to get a gist of the plot in this series. Although I will regret missing all the Max and Millia moments in this series. I really thought they were criminally underused in the TV series, and knowing that they play quite a large part in this series makes my decision a bit harder to hold on to. Alas, we can’t always get what we want though. Just as we may never know what really happened to the SDF-2, Misa, Hikaru and Minmay, I’ll just be happy with the information I can glean through reading about Macross 7 without watching through it.

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