Macross Frontier TFS Henshin Gattai: Do You Remember Hime/The False Princess

THIS HAND OF MINE IS GLOWING RED!

With the coming of a BIG HUEG 720P or better sub it was time to gather up THAT’s very own DIAMOND FORCE to engage Macross Frontier: The False Songstress. As long-time, avid fans, one of us being part of the original SDF Macross and was there at Max and Milia’s wedding, we felt it right and proper to sing TFS’s praise and try and figure out what mean nasty troll, that New Age Hippie Kawamori was preparing for us. So comrade Macross Lifers let us raise a toast to the second coming over our once and future BOSS Grace and pray that she will demonstrate her mastery of flying a VF-27. That or sing Dainamu Dainamikuu as we built more VF kits for our shrines and temples to YAKKK DECULTCHA.

Well at least there was some yuri this time...

Crusader

Certainly they took such huge liberties with the script that at best the plot only vaguely corresponds to the TV Series plot line. While there are changes ostensibly made to make the two hour limit I think that there is a little more to the changes than one would expect. Given Kawamori’s habit of putting Macross in your Macross [so you can Macross while you Macross dawg! -ed EO] through movies of the previous series in a recurrent theme of remembering love and drawing out YAKKK DECULTCHA from long time veterans, some of the changes to me at least seem to be foreshadowing the next Macross production’s Macross in your Macross film. So far SDFM is the only series that omits the Macross in your Macross but in Macross 7 and in Macross Frontier they did do a DYRL and Macross Zero movie shoot. There is a possibility that there will be an OVA between Frontier and the next Macross TV series but some of the design changes particularly to the Vajra ship design and Hollywood-ish plot amendments hint at the possibility of a Frontier movie being the next to fill the role of Macross in your Macross.

Welcome to the Combine!

First off, the plot changes were outright drastic and diverge significantly from the original story. Having Ranka and Alto-hime be acquaintances is not the only thing that seems off. New Vajra ship classes also debut but upon getting a closer look the smaller of the new ships look kind of like modified Northampton stealth frigates. The new main Vajra battle cruiser with a BIG HUEG turret on the back echoes a very human design feature that isn’t buggy or very organic looking. This leads me to think that Kawamori just gave himself a much easier time explaining how the next generation of ships will be masking themselves as Vajra capital ships, as the formerly ubiquitous Knight-class ships are fewer in number. The new guns for Quarter along with the new Tornado pack, and more blatantly GARby’s SMS plug at the end left me feeling as if Kawamori was pulling off a Michael Bay; that the movie itself is an elaborate recruiting commercial in the way Transformers was. Only a newly re-armed SMS was contracted out to do this movie with the aim to rehabilitate Ranka’s reputation after the Vajra Wars ended.

There were some scenes that were disjointed and overly exaggerated. I want to focus on Ranka first as her rapid awareness that the Vajra want a piece of her had me rolling with laughter. Many of the scenes such as Loli-Ranka got inverted with Ranshe kind of mailing it in when Ranka was singing Aimo, telling Ranka that the Vajra were after her. Her new, more interested in my Alto-hime angle was a change, but it wasn’t as grand or glorious as the coming of DYRL Minmay; it felt awkward in places knowing how Ranka behaved in the series as opposed to the rather awkward new moments of intimacy. Much of the efforts to make Ranka more sympathetic and responsible came off as kind of bumbling and less natural. Maybe it is largely due to the memory of hatred that has gone undimmed though the years, or simply that it was meant to be awkward due to acting worthy of a movie directed by a future Alto-hime/Sakura-hime fan with more budget than facts regarding what really happened. If nothing else her moe aspect is strong as ever and I confess to laughing quite vigorously when Ranka was selling natto and die-cast models that actually exist but don’t auto transform…

I think I am being pandered to and mocked all at the same time... Oh and if you are staring at the top shelf you're in the right place.

Alto-hime gets the lion’s share of screen time and we get see a rather different Alto-hime than we did before. A kinder gentler Alto-hime at the outset was altogether a double edged sword. On the one hand we do get better insight in what hime’s beef with acting was, but on the other hand the tenacity, sense of duty, and effort that led hime to enlist with SMS is glossed over as simply Ozma blackmailing him. Having hime be acquainted with Ranka at the start kind of kills the old journey of camaraderie and incessant bickering between Michael and Alto-hime. Their friendship was something I did like since Michael was less interested in shipping Ranka and more concerned about keeping hime’s ego in check; you know, important work/life things. Luca gets royally screwed out of screen time and Nanase is no where to be seen at all. While it is understandable that most of the secondary characters will have reduced roles I confess I miss the banter of GARby and his three daughters, but Klan most of all. Of the more interesting things to come out of hime’s conflict over gender was the rather odd, but super trappy moment of letting his hair down and putting on that earring of Sheryl’s, certainly hime looks more womanly than Ranka. Incidentally I found Ranka’s desire to ask hime how to be more womanly to hilariously negate the concern she showed when hime poured out his issue with hime roles.

One of the more shocking changes was the early introduction of Brera, and not the Kaifun-class Brera from the TV series. I am not sure if this is an improvement of just a massive troll to have Brera be a famous action star in the next series playing himself in a Macross Frontier movie. Certainly that old rascal Kaifun survived to Macross 7 so I would not put it past Kawamori to do a similar thing to Brera. I confess I was having many good laughs due to New Brera, whether lecherously scanning Sheryl or exchanging thanks with Alto-hime. The latter was positively HILARIOUS given how many times Brera gave hime what for when it came down to fists. It’s be really funny come the next Macoss that New Brera is playing a consultant role in the production. Certainly Marcoss Frontier TFS is out to redefine Ranka and Brera in particular with less numerous alterations to the rest of the cast. Whether or not you take it in as canon is really up to each one of use but me personally I am leaning heavily towards TFS being a Macross movie production by MISTAH Kawamori from Macross F ep 10 fame with no small input from a New Brera.

If any one is getting a clean new slate it's New Brera.

As for our favorite BOSS and galactic overlord, I must say for all of 2010 I might have to put up Grace as a contestant for best looking mecha of 2010. To be sure her features are quite stunning and it left me on the fence as to whether or not the megane version is inherently superior. Nevertheless the instant hair fix function was impressive. Not only is she a talented manipulator and superb hacker but she never gets a bad hair day EVER… Her relationship with New Brera also makes me think that we should expect New Brera’s hand in the anime production of TFS. Grace pretty much owned him in the series but with this liberal retelling one might get the impression Grace treated Brera like some sort of favored knight, that had some really good scanning opportunities.

Alto-hime may have had the most screen time but Sheryl not only stayed consistently awesome, she upped her awesome level by pulling off a hand signal that would have made Isamu proud. A lot of time was allocated to that special dayto, and there were significant amendments but an overall extension of time. Time not spent on Ranka who of the titular three again suffered the least amount of screen time, putting her scarcely better off than the secondaries. I am not sure which is worse, that hime did not particularly care about Ranka and her efforts when hime barely knew her or that hime does know her and is pretending to care. I am not sure if this Sheryl being a possible spy is going to amount to much but it adds an interesting take even if it kind of takes away from the long courtship we saw in the TV series. Her tsun tsun nature does come out much more forcefully this time around but not different in spirit. The new found powers of her earrings wasn’t all that un-expected given how it features rather prominently in promotional materials. Also hime is wearing it early and with hair down so it may as well be on par with the One Ring to Rule Them All. I do appreciate how they rushed Sheryl’s heart going dokyun dokyun for hime, the six shot revolver what shoots out hearts was just too cool.

And there we have the hime signal...

While a ship tease was inevitable as sunrise,  it will be interesting to see how much they will deviate from the series. So far they have been brazen with regards to new directions but oddly consistent with the ship teasing. I get the sense we are about to get trolled hard. Michael lives, but there is one other film to go and it will be interesting to see how TFS Ranka will handle Grace and how much of Sheryl’s ordeal, which for me made her the once and future heroine, will remain intact and what parts of it will be altered. I agree with ghostlightning’s desire to integrate continuities since it adds to the overall narrative. Macross is a weird series when it comes to continuity, though I suppose that for them they do suffer from taking fiction as fact as with the case of DYRL with regards to continuity. Even with the new aesthetic, apart from the Vajra and variable beam weapon power level most of it is consistent. I do like the upgrades they gave to the concerts even if it meant a change up in the songs, which to be fair was at least a commercial ploy, but it does mean more music even if I do miss my Northern Cross. Integrating continuities is I think the best bet since as the omission of Klan, GARby and his daughters, and the efforts of Cathy Glass and Ozma are for me at least sorely missed. Though I would submit that Ram’s party popper for the initiation was almost as good as Shamy’s “I’ll rip off your pants.”

Primarily though I see TFS as something that has parts I would like to integrate but overall I see it as a retelling by New Brera in some future Macross production where he outright whitewashes history to make himself look good and help out Ranka’s reputation a little. I do expect Ranka to fail though probably not as EPIC FAIL as she did in the TV series, due in no small part to New Brera being considerate or simply Kawamori being a loving and all too forgiving new age weed smoking hippie. As far as contingencies go, I am ready to see a VF-25 shooting sound pods with guitar controls. Funny how I had jibed that the Macross F Movie was going to be Do You Remember Hime and when it finally comes it is rather Alto-hime centric.

Now that is taking your Fire Bomber love to a new level... Also why are they rolling out a VF-1?

ghostlightning

One thing I want to point out here are the new looks to some of the ordnance:

That turret don't look too organic, in the mean time I'll call the small ones Pawn-class frigates, and the Big one a Rook-class Battlecruiser- Crusader

  • Beam cannons on the VF-25 Messiah.
  • A new Vajra kidnapper class fighter.
  • Several new Vajra ships including a massive capital ship class.
  • A new Macross Cannon for the Battle Frontier.

No specifications are available yet about these changes and new units. The new ship classes do not look very alien relative to the Bishop Class (mothership) and Knight Class (carrier) ships featured in the TV series.

While I like the new capital ship design, I acknowledge that it doesn’t add much to the world-building aspect of the material, something I appreciated a lot in the TV-series.

The beam cannons on the VF-25 didn’t become obnoxious as I feared (i.e. AU Gundam obnoxious). A pet peeve of mine is variable damage, and beam weapons are the easiest way to abuse this.

On the other hand, the new Vajra capital ship unleashed a “Fold Barrier,” a shield so powerful it stopped the Battle Frontier’s BIGGER BAZOOKA-LIKE MONSTER OF A MACROSS CANNON. I mean it stopped it. Completely. A less imposing version of this cannon wiped away entire Vajra fleets back in the TV series Aimo or no Aimo.

I understand that arbitrarily resets of narrative physics are the prerogative of the creators, but I hate this. Consistency sacrificed for convenience and expedience blows.

This is my gun...it shoots beam but power is variable as a Valkyrie, there are many like it.

But hey, it’s fanservice! I sound like I’m really upset but nah. It’s all good. The important thing about Macross, and especially its grand set-piece battle scenes is that they are spectacles of light and sound. Technical quibbles and verisimilitude are sacrificed on the altar of cool. It’s not like a grittier drawn-out battle in Armored Trooper Votoms and its unlimited ammo ATs has that much more verisimilitude (if any at all).

The terms by which Macross, and especially Macross Frontier would like itself to be judged is whether the production of the concerts integrated with the set-piece battles play out smoothly and entertainingly (controlling for one’s tastes in pop idol performances). And even so,
it asks us to give up questions re: broadcast systems, who’s really listening to all this, rehearsals vs. ad lib, accompaniment and musical arrangement, lip-synching (MAN SHERYL RAN UP ALL THOSE STAIRS SINGING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS), etc.

For all the things to appreciate, it can really be said that Macross as a franchise really asks us to let a lot of things go. It asks us to leave our critical faculties back on earth while taking our present-hedonistic time perspectives and sensibilities to the ends of the galaxy. For some people this will prove to be too much, and I don’t blame them. They’re more attached to their discernment, or that their particular kind of discernment is too much a part of their engine of enjoyment. While I don’t necessarily lack discernment when watching Macross shows, I’ve engineered it to provide myself the most enjoyment possible. Depending on how you see it, this is either a blessing or a curse meted out by the Galactic Fairies of Fandom itself.

I remember so much love.

By popular vote in Diamond Force this was the most memorable Sheryl Moment. We hereby declare it HAPPENED FOR REALS.

ExecutiveOtaku

A better tomorrow.

While I greatly enjoyed the Macross Frontier series, everything about this version felt superior to me. While we won’t know for certain until the next movie is out and the events concluded, as it stands now I’d pick the movie version over the series in some sort of impossible, hypothetical ‘you can only remember one’ scenario. While I won’t be going into quite as much detail as my comrades, as I’ve written one post already and have another planned, I will be singing its praises and commenting on how everything went better than expected. First, what was included, and then some thoughts on what was left out, redone, or left until the next movie.

THIS. (and one other "THIS.SCENE." moment, to be discussed later.)

Direction. Direction. DIRECTION! The direction, both artistic and otherwise, felt so boring and plain in the series. I’m not saying that the characters or events were boring; I liked Frontier. But the presentation felt really dull in most of the series, something that was definitely fixed in the movie. There was evidently better planning going into the way the story and its details would be laid out for the movie, as well as a willingness to be creative. There was also a near total absence of the (modern) common anime tropes that were grafted onto the Macross franchise in Frontier to try and draw in a larger audience, much to my delight. The movie shows that you can be modern and have elements that appeal to a wide audience without devolving into cliches that never really felt right in a Macross series. I also loved the changes in story and character relations for the most part. Making Grace and Brera ‘good guys’ for the time being allowed both characters to be more fun, and should also make their inevitable betrayal of the Frontier all the more satisfying. Honestly, who didn’t see Grace as a villain from a mile away in the series? Here, she actually has some ambiguity from the start, leaving her background on the Galaxy up for either a straight retelling or an edit to include some of the often-discussed drama CD material. And while I’m looking forward to hating Ranka with the fire of a thousand suns once more, it was almost nice to see her not being so annoyingly self-centered (full disclosure: for the first 8 or so episodes of the series I actually liked Ranka more than Sheryl. But Russia was also allies with Nazi Germany at one point. How things change…) And I didn’t mind the sidelining of the secondary characters so much, given the time constraints and how well the main characters were presented. Especially Alto, who had an equal amount of depth and interest to him in one movie as he did in all the episodes in the series combined. If his character has already reached this point, it’ll be quite a sight to see him develop more in the next movie.

I didn't even mind that my favorite SMS pilot got little screentime, quality having made up for quantity.

As to what was left out or altered, all for the better given the two hour time limit in my view. To throw this out there at the start like he was thrown unceremoniously from the cockpit of his clunky, overencumbered Armored, I’m quite happy with Ozma getting less faux-GAR moments to himself. Never liked the guy anyway, so he can stay a bit part as far as I’m concerned. One general area that was left out was many of the darker or more personally (for the characters) anxiety-inducing themes, with the exception of Alto’s issues with acting being redone to perfection. But this is something I expect to see back in the second movie. Events are inevitably moving to the point where Grace’s plot will be hatched, Ranka will betray everyone to the Vajra, and Sheryl will face her medical and personal challenges. I would hazard a guess that the second of those three will be downplayed, as I have the sneaking suspicion that Kawamori wants us to like that traitorous loli, hands stained with the blood of hundreds of colonists due to her cowardly and selfish attitudes. This will likely be an area that Kawamori will attempt to gloss over. However, the story in the first movie hasn’t severely deviated from that of the main one. Indeed, how could it on the fundamental level? So I do look forward to learning to hate Ranka all over again next time. The beauty of hatred!

We Remember Hime

I used to pass that thing going to after school program… I also can’t believe he noticed our recycling and compost program. Then again Kawamori is an infamous hippie.

I used to go to Chinese School and Church by that Quickly…
Wait I remember something about bad blood…
Is that a Daiguard homage?
Pretty much sums up how a lot of us felt at the outset.
Not sure if Grace looks more graceful with or without the megane.
Yeah hime looks pretty womanly without even trying…

Okay so if you are even thinking about getting this kit raise your hand…
Macross Quarter decided to PUT YA GUNZ ON.
I can’t believe that even now Kawamori is still holding out on a Battle Frontier Transformation.

Ranka's memory is so messed up she's even remembering wrong...

This is Grace and I give Do You Remember Hime THUMBS UP.

I guess even in 2059 the Prius is still selling well.

Wait, what the, wasn't it supposed to... Ah well I guess even Canaria became a Sheryl fan in the end.

It uses Southern Mantis style Kung Fu...

Even if Bilrer gets no role he's there in spirit...through that fold quartz ring.

Well at least Kawamori spared us the pineapple dish...

They call her the Little Queen and those...are her eggs...

Part of me thinks that these new ship classes are just Northamptons with modified hulls.

Also why Purple?

Looks like hime's taken a liking to that earring.

Okay odds are we won't definitive get resolution, clear for troll attempt though...

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59 Comments

  1. Magnus
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Well, I agree with Crusader ( as in most times. ^^ ). The idea of the movie being an PR attempt by Frontier to desperately salvage Rankas tarnished reputation seems hilarious and awesome to me. :p Meshes well with everyone going “poor Ranka!” in the series, regardless of how much she fucked up.

    I remain convinced that the series was the better product. That’s not disparaging the good parts of this movie, but in total I was more moved and more mentally stimulated by the characters and the plot of the series.

    More detailed thoughts coming when I return from college this evening.

  2. raile
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I’m still downloading the subs but from what I’ve heard, Ranka has really improved. But some actually complain that her improvement isn’t really….(for the lack of words) subtle? XD Especially considering how she was in the series. As what Crusader said, Ranka and her sudden awareness of her Vajra DOES sound lol-worthy. It’s like…”look, we fixed Ranka up! Remember how you guys even complained she didn’t bother knowing Alto? Well look at her now! Isn’t she so much better now? 8DD”. It’s like they’ve been taking notes of what people say about her in the forums. XD
    I mean, remembering SDF Minmay and DYRL Minmay…I thought THAT was handled well.
    Oh well, at least she’s not as self-centered as before.

    I can’t wait to watch the subs. Grace, mecha and Sheryl await! *u*

    P.S. Bera in that outfit is an undercover priest cop.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      I hope it meets and exceeds your expectations and that we did not spoil too much for you. I’ll leave it to you to see if you’ll find it as funny as I did.

      • raile
        Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        No worries. I already saw the raws and if that blew me away, the subs will probably make it a much nicer experience. XD

  3. Acesoldia
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    wow..so..was the whole point of the movie to improve Ranka? i’m still waiting for some good subs, any recommendations?

    • Crusader
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Haven’t heard anything about a truly bad sub, but get what you can the files are rather BIG to say the least. Certainly TFS Ranka is coming off to be less annoying… so far.

  4. Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Personally, the thing that interests me the most is how they’re giving more time to explaining Sheryl’s past and her connection to Mao, Ranshe and there fore Ranka. It was mostly glossed over in the series – almost as if they forgot about it, only to remember before it ended.

    Another thing, the final battle (which I watched in glorious 1080p, thanks to the liberal use of office internets) felt as if they were simply trying to outdo episode 25. I’ll admit to actually exclaiming “God damn!” out loud during one dogfight. That said, IMO episode 25 still comes out on top. Here’s hoping that the second movie actually does even better.

    Finally, for some reason, I’m more interested in a Fire Bomber VF-1 kit.

    P.S. White Bunny Sheryl X Black Bunny Sheryl yuri is awesome. Love how they coloured Black Bunny Sheryl’s hair with almost the same shade of blue as Alto-hime’s.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Its good that they are adding in elements that can more easily be integrated. Speaking of GOD DAMN, were by by chance driving around in a brown sedan that nearly ran over a blue haired-hime? ;)

      Eps 24 and 25 set the bar pretty high I am sure that TFS will rise to the challenge.

      I bet Alto-hime could play the Black Bunny and hardly anyone would notice from that distance…

      • Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Even if they did, they’d all be gay Bobby GARby for Alto-hime at that point.

        Either that or our dreams have come true and the magic fold quartz earrings have finally been able to let Alto-hime’s inner woman burst forth.

        • Crusader
          Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          It’s not like guys haven’t gone head over heels for Alto-hime’s acting, hime’s got plenty of admirers of both genders who are well aware of who hime is.

  5. SquareSphere
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I have to agree on the retelling. Brera by FAR comes off much better as a “I’m just following orders.” type which will make his inevitable break free speech of “I’ll do what I WANT!” much more heroic.

    One thing that was interesting though still felt tacked on, is the conflict between Galaxy and Frontier. While it feeds into our desire for the Macross on Macross battle, Sheryl being suspected as a spy felt weak and since there was no views into how Ozma and Kathy were also investigating Grace the over all reveal on stage felt SUPER hollow and setup. With it being obvious that Grace had something to do with Galaxy’s situation.

    I DID LOVE that Sheryl hires SMS to try and help Galaxy. It makes more sense that SMS could realistically only help save a hand full of ships by it’s self versus, in the Series where SMS had the whole backing of the Frontier UN Spacy AND reaction weapons (curious they were omitted in the movie) could only save the same handful.

    Regardless, I’ll need to watch the movie again without my “looking at it through the series” lens.

    GLORY TO THE NORTHERN CROSS, Macross Lifer Comrades!

    • yf19ex
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Yea, the Galaxy, Frontier conflict was one thing that hit me that came out of no where. They never did explain why Galaxy was suspected of any wrong doing, and it was used as a main plot device to move the story. Without any major explanation, it did feel cheap.

      Ah the Black Credit card. As I remember reading an article on he AMEX black card. No information is know on how to apply for one. Only that its made out of solid titanium, does not work well in gas or some ATM devices. You need to virtually have a perfect credit score with the financial backing to have it. You don’t buy concert tickets on this thing, you buy THE concert or other big ticket items such as ships or private jets. Perfect way to hire your own starship. Bet you could buy a VF25 on one.

      • Crusader
        Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Whether or not the Black Card started out as an urban legend supposedly to cash in on it American Express and then Visa came out with black cards of their own. Judging by the Vega logo I think Kawamori might be more partial to Visa because it is everywhere he wants to be. Certainly Visa has a much larger market share than American Express, I can tell you from experience Visa is much more widely accepted in the US at least.

        • yf19ex
          Posted October 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Yep, now if that damn stock would just hit $200+ a share already, I would be damn happy…

    • Crusader
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      New Brera so far seems like an improvement, but I am anticipating a more than shameless future Brera having a hand in the production to promote himself. I think he aims pull a Shao Bai Long where he is the hero… Even if not the thought of it makes me grin ear to ear.

      The inter-fleet strife does feel tacked on though I guess they simply did not have the time to build it up as they did last time. Guess the Narrator got less time too. Not sure if the lack of reaction weapons is due to trying something new or a set up for the next Macross in your Macross production.

      Honor and Blood for the Northern Cross, comrade.

    • Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      PINEAPPLE SALAD for the UNBELIEVERS!

      All hail the God-Hime, ALL HAIL ALTO!

  6. Magnus
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I return from whence I came… college, that is. ^^

    So, here my more detailed thoughts on the reviews:

    Crusader:
    - If we really go by the assumption that the Frontier movie is an in-universe production, we can safely infer that the actors aren’t the characters from the series, right? Otherwise the return of Michael would require some explaining. :D

    - I must say, I can really see a writer looking over the biographies of Sheryl, Hime-Same and Ranka and going “Wow, that “triangle” was totally lop-sided. Let’s make Ranka not complely useless, otherwise nobody will take that aspect of the story seriously”.

    - I also really missed the elements of duty, honor and responsibility which were present in Hime-samas decisions in the series.

    - By all accounts Sheryl is not a spy. Hints of her having the V-Type disease are plenty, though. And her codename still is “Fairy-9″, which infers that there were eight failed experiments before ( or during ) her ascendancy to godho… errr, stardom.

    - As for continuity integration, I am quite torn. Of course there is the aspect that we don’t know how movie two will turn out, but since this was such an obvious redemption trip for Rankas character ( nobody else gained as much from the movie as her, Alto still has the same motivations, just spelled out more clearly ) and there hasn’t been anything else of substance been added to canon, I’d really prefer your “movie within a movie” interpretation. I certainly would prefer one or more OVA’s dealing with the series continuity after the second movie is out, before we move on to the next project.
    One really must ask though: Can any future Macross project top our God Empress? It seems impossible at this time.

    GhostLightning: Hey, nice to see you around. :p

    - Well, for the new capital ship it kinda seems that they just used it so they could re-use the Macross Attack on Macross Galaxy from episode 25, without recolouring. Which seems… weird.

    - I really disliked the Vajra ship absorbing a Macross cannon attack. At least when that happened in the series with Graces “Fold Wave Shield”, it was kind of explained, here it just happens.

    - Sheryl running up the stairs while singing looked strange. It might work for a metal song, but not so much for a pop song.

    ExecutiveOtaku:

    - I still disagree wholly that the movie was better than the series. But then I really prefer longer narratives to more compact ones. But I absolutely disagree that the direction of the series was boring or stale. It gave the characters room to breathe, which I found quite lacking in the movie.

    - And if you mean “fanservice” by the absence of “common modern anime tropes”, I found plenty of it in the movie, much more than in the series. Three bath scenes, two nudes, yuri kissing… that aspect was almost completely ignored in the series ( auto-breast fondling of Grace aside ).

    - Looking back at the discussions on AnimeSuki, nobody saw Grace as the villain in the first episodes, until she made it obvious at about episode 10.

    - Oh, Ranka was much improved, that is for sure. Which opens that hilarious idea from Crusader that this is an in-universe movie to redeem the reputation of the REAL Ranka. :D

    - And Alto really got more characterization in the series than you are giving him credit for. Yeah, less obvious stuff, because he never was asked directly why he stopped acting. But it was there, if one cared to look. And he is missing some of his very commendable traits in this version, or at least they are completely suppressed by what he directly tells the audience in his conversation with Ranka. Honor, integrity, duty, compassion, responsibility. These are all features which the Alto of the series demonstrated in spades. Movie Alto doesn’t, at least not in an amount which would display them openly.

    - As to the plot not having deviated significantly from the first, I think it actually has. The implications that President Glass would leave the people of Galaxy hang for the mere suspicion of some non-specified espionage significantly alters the flow of the story. It may all come back to Grace and Leon playing their own game, but as of now, the legitimate government of Frontier looks all kinds of bad.

    - As for Ranka, if we go by Crusaders hypothesis ( I surely want to! :D ), then she will be fully redeemed in movie two. Let’s just hope that they don’t give her Hime-same, too. But I say, Sheryl shall prevail!

    • Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Yep, Macross always panders to a broad base and a pervy otaku (and now fujoshi base). The 3 Zentran spies were sympathetic idol otaku FFS, and they did show Minmay’s tits in probably the most famous shower scene in the 1980s. The notion of ‘artistic integrity’ as a distinction from the disparaged ‘commercial’ or ‘sell-out’ tags isn’t very useful to discuss Macross. Trying to lionize it for such ‘virtues’ is folly, as if there’s no skill, ability, or brilliance possible if fanservice is involved.

      I think Macross is pretty damned good at delivering service. Sheryl’s savvy in creating artificial scarcity “I don’t do this kind of service often” tells us how self-aware the narrative is in the business of titillation, excitement, hype, and satisfaction of desires.

      As Crusader noted, they still haven’t shown us a Macross class transformation since Battle 7.

      There’s no reason for them not to use a Macross attack on a Bishop class mother ship, but whatever, this is all part of the fanservice game. It’s not like they dropped the ball or anything.

      • Crusader
        Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is hard to fault Kawamori for selling out since he does it so well. That shameless plug to sell more kits was well done and it did seem almost like a stinging rebuke at how we are all such suckers. Though to be fair he seems to get distracted by shiny new toys all the time.

        I stand by my reasoning that Kawamori is still holding out on a Battle 25 transformation due to how vocal the complaints got about Macross 7. I also think that if you simply enjoy it as a Macross in your Macross you’d be better off given how drastic the changes are in places and it would make integration that much easier.

        • Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          This is Macross, and Macross has always had that “pop culture as a force for good” (in the right hands) vibe going along with it, for there not to be any fanservice would have been wrong.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      It is a means of salvaging Ranka’s character but the vast difference makes it so jarring that it sometimes feels inauthentic. I think Brera arguably got the biggest upgrade of all Ranka just gets lines, Brera gets to oogle Grace and scan Sheryl…. He gets to play hero for a while instead of be the Kaifun class rival that he was in the series.

      For a Hippie Kawamori doesn’t mind making money off of us even if he has more than a few harsh words for how we fail to remember love at times. Sheryl does seem to be still Grace’s pawn and of the people that changed the least I’d say it’d be Sheryl she’s only getting upgrades to her already winsome qualities that made her the once and future heroine of Macross Frontier.

      • Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:08 am | Permalink

        They MUST rehabilitate the character. They’d be stupid not to.

        If for any other reason they noticed how little traction she’s had with all but the most superficial fans, or the hardcore moe fans, and the shippers (still a significant number I think all told) then they would’ve wasted an opportunity to delight us, (and sell more merch).

        I think the original intention is to present a true dilemma for Alto and the fans, to have two strong characters vying in the triangle that appeals to fans in different ways. In the TV series Ranka was so much fail and wasted all the devotion viewers were more than ready to give her (except the moe moe haters, the SDFM Minmay haters, etc).

        After TFS, so far, so good.

        • Crusader
          Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          I know this Newer Better Ranka was in the cards but with so many changes in her favor it seems a little heavy handed at times. Its hard to forget how she sorely failed expectations the first time.

          This time Michael has been amended to be pro-Ranka instead of his general indifference to her cause before. My Alto-hime is making excuses like some cheap two timer where before it was a general denial of how Ranka felt. They also made a bigger deal about acting and gave Ranka credit for helping home through it though that was negated in old Ranka fashion. It’s not that Ranka has changed but the people around her have changed too and largely to her benefit.

          So fat the cost of a level playing field has been high. I only hope this tome Ranka can prove to be worthy on her own merit. How she handles her fall will be critical.

          • SquareSphere
            Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            Interesting point crossed my mind. The TFS Alto defiantly has a stronger feminine side, so what’s the saying “Woman is ever fickle and changeable”. I wonder if this will be used to help explain some of his “fickleness” in choosing. ;)

            It does give a lot more obvious depth to his character and some of his attempts to be over manly.

          • Crusader
            Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            I kind of got the sense that the accusations of being a cheap character were aimed at hime’s attempts to be manly man were pretty clear. Alto-hime pretty much tabled the discussion of his past and I found the friendship between hime and Luca to be strengthened because Luca respected hime’s desire to not discuss it. Refusing to discuss it at all was at least in line with the Japanese social attitude that if you deny it then it did nothappen.

            TFS plays up hime’s kabuki past to ELEVEN every one is in on it and openly talking about it when back in the series hime did garner enough respect from the SMS crew that they respect his wishes to not bring up why he had left acting or had refused to follow the Great Ranzo Saotome.

          • Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            No. There was a strong Ranka camp, and that was primarily Nanase, Luca, and GARby. In TFS they were nerfed (Nanase doesn’t even exist anymore). Michel didn’t do that much more here had n he did in ep 05 of the TV series, and GARby barely had screen time.

            Michel doesn’t strike me as pro-Ranka at all, but rather pro-Alto. He wants his beautiful princess to be always happy, but righteous as well.

            My opinion is that the rehab of Ranka hasn’t really happened yet. It’s simply a re-set. There aren’t opportunities for her to fail yet. Remember she started failing AFTER her first major concert in Frontier. Before that she was still generating sympathy especially among her fans.

            Ranka hasn’t proven anything. Not yet anyway. This first film did little else but stomp on the reset button.

          • Crusader
            Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:39 am | Permalink

            I think Luca was trying to score points with Nanase, however I disagree on Michael, before he merely teased now he seems more involved in hime’s relationship with Ranka. Time will tell I suppose but maybe the oddity of having Nanase out of the picture means that Michael and Luca have to step up as better friends for Ranka to fill the void. Certainly the radical change up of the simulator scene fundamentally changed the dynamic, hime being less hot-headed, and Michael being less about taking down that hime ego. In TFS the issue of Ranka and Ozma gets brought up and it kind of loses the impact it had for developing the kind of friendship Michael and hime had. Maybe it’s part of the change up with having hime getting blackmailed into joining SMS. It’s a shame really the ordeal hime went through to join was part of what made hime more endearing the first time around. Also it was a wonderful subversion of how most mecha pilots start out these days they get chosen to pilot, but TV series Alto-hime had to earn the chance to do so.

            That whole episode of Ranka helping hime deal with the acting bit I think signaled the start of redemption short lived though it may have been. I fail to recall any instance where Ranka helped hime deal with anything, it was usually the other way around before. Ranka had many missteps in the lead up episode 10 demonstrated how shallow her basis of attraction and interest were in hime. It has started I think but had yet to peak. I agree though the greatest test of TFS Ranka’s character has yet to pass. Still it’s hard to bury the hatchet, more so since I like Michael more when he seem disinterested in hime’s choice and more concerned that hime made a choice and to keep hime humble and thus out of any serious trouble.

            I think some things have changed on a fundamental level though as to what dividends the more Ranka friendly Michael and Luca will have remains to be seen. Not sure how I feel about hime treating the gender issue as something emotional, I thought of it more as a sore spot than a personal dilemma during the TV series. The major point was, I thought, the hime wanted to go in a different direction that the break had less to do with gender confusion than it did with flying. That the fall out between hime and his dad was about living his own life than fear of forgetting what gender hime was or who hime was.

            Michael did seem to be too interested in keeping hime happy, I felt that their fights and bickering were integral to showing how they got along as friends. I just hope that Michael is going to engage in fisticuffs with hime at some point for reals and no just bring up that Ranka is the precious sister of a nerfed Ozma.

            Incidentally the nerfing of Ozma does fit in with my suspicion that Brera has a hand in the next Macross in your Macross since I doubt New Brera would not tolerate a talented hero, other than himself. Of course I am assuming that Brera beating hime just about every time is going to remain unchanged. It may be Brera’s Shao Bai Long in that he is unbeatable and can shoot lightning with his fingers.

          • Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Sure Luca was scoring points with Nanase, but that doesn’t exclude any warm feelings for Ranka. After all, he was part of the Ranka support group/fan club. Remember that incident with the graphic tables? That was a very pro-Ranka set of behaviors exhibited by this group — like some student council LOL.

            I’m with you with the changes to Michel and Ozma… it’s not how I wanted things to go. The changes work in a sense that it works to use an umbrella when it’s raining, but it isn’t necessarily a good experience.

            I can’t speculate on Brera yet, but for the love of God thank goodness he put on some clothes.

          • Crusader
            Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            @Magnus
            It might be natural in this continuity but it just feels strange to see Michael helping Ranka along than keeping hime in check. though now that hime is less hot headed and is straddled with gender identity issues the need to knock Alto-hime down a peg one in a while is not needed, at least for now.

            @SquareSphere
            Its not only they pressed the reset button on Ranka they smashed the controls and Michael, Atlo-hime, Ozma, and Brera were reset as well. Though in the case of the males it generally makes New Brera arguable the best pilot since Ozma is not as cool as he used to be and so far Brera is the only one making it look too easy. Again perfectly in line with the theory that this a Brera production and he aims to be the Shao Bai Long of his time.

            Ranka seems to be wiling to fight for a cause but it feels odd considering it took a significant change to make it happen. We shall see if that attitude will stay for long and with a more power Sheryl I am not sure if I want to be as forgiving since treachery is treachery. The heinousness of the act does not decrease with less damage being done. Still seems as if Ranka is not yet a worthy rival in love.

            @ghostlightning
            I did not feel during the series that Michael help was entirely genuine or even exclusively for Ranka’s benefit given the constant locking of horns between Michael and hime it may have been simply to egg Ranka on to annoy Alto-hime. I do it plenty to you in a way with the Minmay bashing, in that I can and do go over board simply to make your life a little bit harder for a minute or two. In the end for the TV Series Michael wasn’t on any one’s team except perhaps Alto’s since he force hime to make a decision and not just ignore Ranka and Sheryl’s feelings for him.

            The changes to the rest of the cast for Ranka’s general benefit I feel are a mixed blessing I would have preferred that at least they stayed largely the same in the same way DYRL Focker was still SDFM Focker. Seeing Ozma get tossed out of his VF-25S and having him use blackmail Alto to say yes rather than punching hime out and telling him no was an event I thought was pivotal to the characterization of both. Well we shall see what other changes are in store. Still the general nerfing of all the pilots with a big Brera upgrades indicates to me at least that Brera is using this film as a vanity project in shameless self-promotion and slandering his rivals.

          • Magnus
            Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink

            I think Michael coming down more on the AltoxRanka side this time is pretty natural, after all Sheryl just arrived and Ranka has been a part of the group for a long time. Since Michael is a sniper and sees things others don’t, I think he spotted Rankas hankering for some Alto-hime long ago and thinks he’s just helping things progress more smoothly.

            Sheryl still has to earn Michaels respect to support her, too. Maybe the events of the climax of the movie did just that, we’ll find out early next year.

          • SquareSphere
            Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            I’d have to agree on the Ranka reset as opposed to a redemption. It’ll all depend on if we see Ranka refusing to sing after the fleet is in danger from the “baby” Vajra attack. It was also pointed out below that Sheryl’s enhanced ability to reach out the Vajra also should help to less on the huge dependence on Ranka only during the dark time. Which in turn reduces her “guiltiness” in not wanting to sing.

            That being said, Ranka’s personality in TFS is more self sacrificing is largely enhanced during the final battle because she’s aware that she does have a connection to calling the Vajra. But as far as being a better love rival, she still shows her immaturity when she says she could go to Alto to get advice on being more womanly AFTER the scene where he spilled his guts to her that sexual mis-identity was a huge wound.

  7. MrTerrorist
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “Welcome to the Combine!”

    Doesn’t feel like them.
    The pic tells me a different story. It’s more like:

    “Are you my Mummy?”

    • Crusader
      Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Given how Alto-hime’s mom looks more like IT’S PROBING TIME.

      • MrTerrorist
        Posted October 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Uhhhh……. i was actually making a reference to “The Empty Child” from Doctor Who. (I’ll forgive you if haven’t seen this great sci-fi show since it’s popular within the Commonwealth countries.)

        You should watch it along with it’s second part, “The Doctor Dances”. I recommended watching it in the dark……alone.

        • Crusader
          Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          Some day maybe but all I know about Dr. Who relates to daleks.

  8. Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Gotta watch DYRL again soon, but from my recollection, it seems that they did the opposite there of what they’re doing here. Hikaru x Minmay shipping was pretty much killed as soon Hikaru and Misa got stranded on Earth whereas here, the triangle seems stronger and more established then it was in the series.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      DYRL was much more faithful to the original story than TFS in the sense that only Minmay changed for the better, though the non-issue of DYRL Kaifun probably had something to do with it. This time though Ranka isn’t the only one who has changed and the Kaifun equivalent seems to have a much more prominent role… Also I don’t recall Hikaru getting much of a change, hime on the other hand… well I hope that some of the old traits come through.

  9. Son Gohan
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    I like to think of this movie as an AU rather than a movie-in-the-movie à la DYRL.
    You say that Ranka has improved but at this point of the tv series I still quite liked Ranka. Her downfall came later when she became the Little Queen of the Vajra and failed to protect the population of Frontier from her “children”. Brera is definitely much more sympathetic here but it could be a ploy to gain Alto’s trust and betray him later on. Let’s see what Kawamori has in store for us with the second movie.
    In the meantime I thoroughly enjoyed The False Songstress.

  10. Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    About twelve years ago, Kawamori said that ALL the Macross stories are in-universe retellings (see http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?showtopic=30317&st=0&p=760765&fromsearch=1&#entry760765 ). So yeah…TFD (where does “TFS” come from…?) is a retelling of actual events in the Macross universe, but so was the TV series. We’ve never seen the “real” story.

    • Posted October 29, 2010 at 4:42 am | Permalink

      The implications are… immense. There is no canon in the sense of an actual history if every show is really a historical biopic subject to all sorts of liberties and artistic licenses.

      How about the official timelines/chronology? If he approves them, does it mean these are the “factual” things?

      • Posted October 30, 2010 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        That’s a damn good question.

      • Crusader
        Posted October 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I think whatever remains consistent is at the very least what the popular perception is, it will probably be the closest to the actual truth as we’re probably going to get. So far within Frontier, Alto-hime was a famous actor, Ranzo’s heir, and a popular trap amongst males and females; Sheryl was just all round glorious and awesome, and Ranka remains a controversial figure given the portrayals of her in MF as opposed to the kinder gentler slightly less selfish Ranka in TFS. Much will be rendered moot if TFS is indeed a Brera production and would suggest TFS as being a vehicle for character assassination given the nerfing of all pilots but Brera, amping up the issue of gender for hime, and it would also be an elaborate apologia to excuse Ranka’s actions. That’s my take on it anyway.

        • Posted October 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, just like how general history reads, which apparently is what Kawamori wants.

          My thinking is, given it’s set up this way there is no door open wider for fanfiction.

          Then next thing we know, there’s an argument for the Robotech continuity as valid.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      TFS simply because the subs used that as the title for the most part either way is fine really since we won’t get a definitive acronym unless it gets a real English Language release.

      If they are in universe re-tellings judging by how harsh a treatment UN Spacey got in SDFM and the lackluster Frontier government I think the TV Series err on the side of being more historically faithful on that trait alone. Assuming that they are all re-tellings of a sort then whatever is consistent through out is probably closest to the truth. Thus Misa and Hikaru did get together, there was no Meltran/Zentran rivalry in SDFM, Minmay was and idol, Max and Millia did have children, Fire Bomber was a real band, Lynn Kaifun was indeed an ass, Kamejin did exist and inspire the spirit of resistance in the Zenradi who had no choice but to integrate. Given that all such events are alluded to in following Macross Series or at least consistent within each series.

      If we go by the popular history or historical myths presented by the stuff that has been released then basically you can take what ever you want out of it.

      • Posted October 31, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        But The False Diva was announced as the official English title, was it not?

        • Crusader
          Posted October 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Yeah but I get the sense that because the subbers generally chose that translation that it will have a lot more traction, since that is the title they will use for looking for subs. I doubt there will be a universal name until a major western release happens, but one can hope since Macek is no longer there to fight for a cut.

          As an example there were a number of translations for Sheryl’s title of Galactic Fairy, it just stuck that way since gg was the first one out and most people grab the first sub rather than waiting.

  11. Forceflow
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    @EO

    The reason for the purple is extremely simple.

    Look closely at the footage for the Armed Attack. It’s reused footage from the TV series.

    Hence why the inside of the Vajira Cap ship looks way too mechanical.

  12. ReddyRedWolf
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “Now that is taking your Fire Bomber love to a new level… Also why are they rolling out a VF-1?”

    Cause a VF-19 is expensive? In the 2040′s you can buy a VF-1 as surplus.

    As for Frontier’s antagonism towards Galaxy it could be Frontier doesn’t trust Galaxy like the United States did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Frontier is a democracy while Galaxy in this continuity is a corporate combine cyborg totalitarian state. The Sheryl prequel manga Kiss the Galaxy expounds on Galaxy’s internal politics. Sheryl’s parents were dissidents whose opposition to the mandatory cybernetics earned them execution by assassination. Sheryl’s father Abel Coureux was first shot trying to delay Galaxy agents, same too for Sheryl’s mother Sally Nome who had her daughter escape. Ever since then Sheryl was an orphan street urchin scavenging food from garbage cans. Loli Sheryl was in danger of being raped and sold to prostitution by a thug till Grace saved her in time. Even when Sheryl is schooled and groomed to be a singer there is discrimination towards her not having implants. Not only is there non-cybernetic discrimination in Galaxy but there is a gap between the rich and the poor. Galaxy has a poor human rights record when compared to other fleets.

    Those are just side issues the main reason is the fear that Galaxy is messing with the Vajra and they could be making weapons out of them. Here in this continuity Sheryl’s ability to call Vajra is greater. In the Kiss the Galaxy manga Sheryl’s best friend and rival sacrificed herself so Sheryl wouldn’t die during the Vajra suddenly invading Galaxy Mainland.

    Galaxy is like a rogue state driven by corporate greed but because of the new NUN setup there is nothing legally anybody can do.

    • Crusader
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Tell me comrade is there is a place where I can get all this in English, I speak no moon and wish to have something to read while traveling for six months. What you have told me intrigues me, I hope you’ll feel free to share more. Thanks for the tidbit though.

      • ReddyRedWolf
        Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Here I uploaded it.
        Kiss in the Galaxy 01
        http://www.sendspace.com/file/k9negn

        • Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          YOU ARE A HERO

        • Crusader
          Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          NO! THIS GUY IS…AN ACE!

          Thanks comrade have a blessed Halloween if you celebrate it or if not a fruitful black Friday and a Glorious Cyber-Monday.

        • Posted October 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Completing the Diamond Force thank you. It sounds like a great read, definitely going to jump to the front of my reading queue.

          • Luke
            Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:08 am | Permalink

            I am couple of months late. Does anyone have a copy that can email it to me plzz?? uscolmrne@yahoo.com.

            BTW, I love your reviews Crusader, it made my experience of watching Macross Frontier a lot more amazing.

  13. Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Daedalus attack is awesome attack in Macross series. I remembered when they first used it in original Macross. Even though today is bit different, that movement quite awesome at old days.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91u4Uoy9nIs jump to minute 5:20 for watching it.

  14. Yaku
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I hope Sheryl chooses Ranka.

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