Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
  • HOME

Dated 12 July 2007: A few thoughts now that I've finished Macross 7

Mylene would have made a more interesting lead character. I would also like to know more about Max and Milia's other children. And I never figured out why Max and Milia looked so young even though they were supposed to be be 35 years older.

Basara contemplates his predicament.

Basara never fully won me over, although I did like him a lot better after the post-series Macross 7 OAVs and movie. Really, the series would have been a lot better if it had been more like those. There should also have been more Macross 7 Plus segments. Having just one omake for the bridge bunnies is not nearly enough.

I'm afraid I also wasn't too impressed with the music in Macross 7, at least during its 49-episode run. (Again, I felt the OAVs were stronger in this regard.) I would have liked more variety in the music, and I'm not a great fan of any of the songs, although I admit they grew on me a little with constant repetition.

Mylene and Gamlin
Mylene and Gamlin contemplate their relationship.
You should offer Mylene a Coke, Gamlin!

Overall, Macross 7 is light fare for a space opera, but amusing enough to justify watching, even if you're not a Macross fan. Most viewers will know after only a few episodes if they'll enjoy the series as a whole.

Dated 21 September 2007: Needs more HD Macross

Hikaru Ichijyo.

I am geeking myself up for the new Macross by watching Macross Flashback 2012, like, every day. (Listening to it, really.) If you haven't seen Flashback 2012, it's basically a half-hour AMV featuring Minmay songs and video clips from Cho Jiku Yosai and Do You Remember Love? (Mostly from the latter, it seems.)

Lynn Minmay.

Ostensibly, the plot of Flashback 2012 involves the final concert of Lynn Minmay on Earth, and ol' Minmay showing that she can still work an audience and deliver a quality performance. (As an aside, it once seemed unlikely to American audiences that a 16-year-old could capture the adoration of the pop music world the way Minmay did, but in light of the slew of American teen pop idols in the last decade, perhaps past skepticism should have been reserved for the implication in Flashback 2012—that a teenage pop music superstar can escape the borders of washed-up Traumaramistan, and still electrify a war-weary crowd years later. But I digress.)


If you haven't seen any Macross, do yourself a favor and watch Cho Jiku Yosai. It's one of my Top Four Shows, and one of the few series that I heartily recommend without qualification. (And as much as I liked Robotech when I first saw it, it's an abortion compared to Cho Jiku Yosai.)

Miss Macross has still got it. And how.

Moreover, its non-pacifistic anti-war themes likely resonate well with first-time audiences today, given the current political environment. Then again, by recommending Cho Jiku Yosai, there's a chance that real-world pacifists may be offended by the underlying Macross theme: The best way to end war is via the Power of Song, and the power of kicking the shit out of the enemy with your giant robot. I, for, one, am willing to take that chance. (Oh yeah, and the Power of Love Triangles.)

Dated 29 April 2008: Macross Zero revisited

Shin dodges missiles
Shin dodges a Macross missile swarm.
There's more where that came from, guy.

I haven't started Macross Frontier yet, but did stop watching Flashback 2012 over and over and moved on to re-watching the last Macross series prior to Macross F: Macross Zero.

Plying gals with Coca-Cola won't be effective for another 40 years, Focker.

Macross Zero left a lot of viewers unsatisfied, largely due to its somewhat convoluted mystical-songs plot. As mecha/dogfighting porn, it's top-notch, but the main story about birdmen and ancient legends and floating rocks and alien influence on human evolution is a little difficult to keep straight when there are six months between each installment of the five-episode OAV. Re-watching all the episodes in a more-or-less straightforward manner makes the story much more accessible and leaves me more impressed with the actual story this time than it originally did. (Although episode five still comes out of left field.)

This is a lot less freaky when Belldandy does it.

This is not to say that I haven't re-watched at least some of Macross Zero in all this time. Like I said, the dogfighting and mecha porn are top-notch. I've re-watched the initial air battle from the first episode countless times, and still marvel at seeing the venerable F-14s' initial dominance quickly negated by the arrival of the first Anti-Unification Force's variable fighter. Shin's dismay at being so grossly outmatched by the new machine could not have been greater had Arika and Nina launched off a Windbloom carrier to a "MATERIALISE" duet and quickly double-teamed him with a BOLT FROM THE BLUE to the face and a Dash Cold Water Spout to the rear. That's the kind of traumarama simple Haromatherapy can't cure.

Arika and Nina
The last guy Arika and Nina double-teamed fell into a coma, Shin.

The first on-screen VF-0 transformation (courtesy of Cho Jiku Yosai favorite Roy Focker) is the proper way to invite slo-mo mecha ogling. (C.f. the ridiculous amount of time it takes Shinn Asuka to assemble Impulse in Gundam SEED Destiny, even at combat speed. And don't try to tell me Lunamaria is quicker at getting tab A into slot B later in the series, either. Oh God, WHAT AM I SAYING?)

Roy transforms his VF-0
Roy Focker initiates a VF-0 transformation.

On the whole, Macross Zero isn't as bad as its reputation makes it out to be. The fight sequences are excellent, and the mystical mumbo jumbo isn't heavy-handed until the final episode. Personally, I think there should have been a greater emphasis on the power of song, although Sara's bit in episode five is an atavistic Minmay Attack if you squint really hard.

Sara is a lot more mature than Minmay, but she's sort of a hippie.

Finally, anyone still confused about an F-22's chances against a VF-1 should watch Macross Zero. Pay attention to Yellow-1's helpless cry about stealth in the first episode. Note the dime-turning thrust vectoring in the fifth episode. And be thankful the duel isn't a three-way free-for-all adding a sexually-frustrated teenage girl clutching a giant novelty sword in her quivering fist. However, viewers entirely new to the Macross universe should not begin with Macross Zero despite its chronological primacy—watch the original Cho Jiku Yosai instead.

Dated 2 November 2008: Macross Frontier

Macross City
This should be a familiar sight for any Macross fan.

Just in case you didn't already know, Macross Frontier is FULLY AWESOME. Also, Sheryl > Ranka. I have a feeling I was supposed to like Ranka more, but I liked Sheryl Nome better from wire to wire.

Dated 11 November 2008: What about my Macross Frontier BEST GIRL? ~or~ This Love Triangle is Acute

Sheryl Nome
Sheryl Nome isn't conceited—just confident.

There's a reason why Sheryl Nome is the Best Girl in Macross Frontier: She's a God damn superstar. Minmay was incredibly popular, but she never got to establish herself in a big market. It's been years since I've watched Macross Plus, but I remember Sharon Apple being cold, distant, and artificial. (Well, yeah.) Fire Bomber was pretty big in Macross 7, but never managed to come across as more than a glorified garage band. Sheryl Nome, however, plays in The Show.

Sheryl Nome
Relax, Klan Klan. She's good for it.

Sheryl is the big time. She leaves people awestruck and she's eminently self-aware. Plus she surrounds herself with flunkies of dubious character like any good superstar. And she appropriately underscores the caveat that the brightest star burns briefest. I've commented before that ol' Miss Macross Lynn Minmay could still knock 'em dead years later in Flashback 2012. Minmay never flamed out, and never faded away. Her songs matured as she matured. (At least the Cho Jiku Yosai Minmay did—the Robotech Minmei...not so much.) Sheryl Nome, on the other hand, crashed and burned. She had to re-invent herself the hard way: from the fetal position at the bottom of a lake while depth charges exploded around her. (Wait....)

Sheryl Nome
Sheryl's worst outfits are all CGI. Or are they?

Ranka's popularity? Bah. I blame hippie moe politics. Final tally: Sheryl > Clan Clang > Clan Clang > Grace > Nanase > Ranka. And I'm not just saying that because of Sheryl's ridiculous outfits. Or her moon boobs.

Dated 28 November 2008: I need more episodes of Macross Fufonfia

Sheryl and Grace
Sheryl and Grace.

Just so you know, Sheryl Nome isn't just the Best Girl in Macross Frontier, she's also the Best Girl in Macross Fufonfia. Haven't heard of it? Macross Fufonfia is a bunch of shorts with the cast of Macross Frontier as office ladies. It's supposed to be SD, but Klan Klan looks exactly the same.

Dated 27 October 2009: I like Minmay more each time I re-watch Cho Jiku Yosai Macross

Minmay and Hikaru
Minmay shows unimpressed Hikaru a 900-meter-tall tower.
Dr. Sigmund Freud dryly responds, "Ooohhhh."

Macross Lynn Minmay among American anime fans carries a lot of undeserved baggage because of the Robotech Minmei. The original Cho Jiku Yosai Macross Minmay really is not the same person. The differences in the two scripts and in how Reba West interpreted the character compared with how Iijima Mari played her are pretty significant.

Minmay and Hikaru
Minmay flirts with Hikaru in Yokohama, Chinese-style.

Macross Minmay is a lot less whiny and annoying than the Robotech Minmei. In fact, approximately halfway through my latest Macross re-watching, I haven't found Minmay annoying or whiny even once so far. She really is kind of a sweet kid, although Hikaru is a little too hung up on her.

Lynn Kaifun
Look at how smug this ass clown is.

However, one thing remains constant whether you watch Cho Jiku Yosai or Robotech: Lynn Kaifun A.K.A. Lynn Kyle is a total jackass. I mean, I guess he's supposed to be, but this is one time when a character plays his part a little too well. Lynn Kaifun is the biggest douche bag in the history of anime.

Dated 15 January 2010: Maybe they'll take my advice for the second Macross Frontier movie

Nanase and Ranka
The Nyan Nyan waitress uniform is downright dirty.

The Macross Frontier folks should have just squeezed Nanase into a Buster Machine. Clear that Vajra problem right up.

Sheryl Nome
At least we'll still have Sheryl Nome and her ridiculous outfits.

Actually, I heard Nanase's character was retconned out of existence entirely for the first Frontier movie, The False Diva, alas. Does this mean the only character to wear the Neo Nyan Nyan waitress outfit is Ranka? That's no good.