Archive for the Macross Category

12 (Nice) Moments of Anime 2011 No. 5 – A Blowaway Concert

Posted in 12 Moments, Macross with tags , on 12/21/2011 by Shinmaru

(Image yoinked from Crusader’s post on Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye over at THAT Anime Blog.)

I had a ton of fun watching this with kadian and Dave when we needed to call an audible one Saturday morning because not enough people showed up to watch School Rumble. It was just kadian and me at first, and once Wings of Goodbye opened with this crazy ass Sheryl concert, I think we both knew we’d be getting something pretty damn fun. (Dave joined in after the concert — I hope the guy went back and watched it later.)

Even as the biased Sheryl fan I am, I wouldn’t say this is the best concert in the movie; the prison concert is clearly the better set piece, both for the way it’s used in the story, and as a spectacular piece of visual entertainment despite all the Macross 7 callbacks that surely made ghostlightning jizz all over his computer screen. But this is the one I think of first because it opens the movie, and because Sheryl is fucking awesome.

Also because the above picture had me dying of HNNNNNNNNGH. So there’s that.

For how much I love good writing and characterization and whatnot, it just feels good to lose myself in some insanely crafted piece of animation that makes my brain want to explode with joy. The love and care put into this sequence is obvious, and it makes me want to be the lapdog for Shoji Kawamori and his army of artists.

Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 8 — Remembering Love

Posted in 12 Moments, Macross with tags on 12/18/2010 by Shinmaru

Along with being the year of Imagawa, 2010 was also the year of Macross for me — specifically, it was the Summer of Macross, seeing as I blew through the entire Macross canon that season. Of them all, I loved and appreciated the original series the most, but I do have a special place in my heart for Macross: Do You Remember Love?

The story is rather skimpy and doesn’t make sense in certain places unless you have seen the TV series (which gives DYRL something in common with 99 percent of TV anime –> movie adaptations), but as pure, awesome visual spectacle? My god, it is glorious. It is also glorious in giving the audience a Minmay everyone can get behind, which makes the titular sequence all the more affecting.

This scene is crafted to be as melodramatically ironic as possible — Minmay sings a heartfelt, somewhat cheesy love song from long ago to bring opposing sides together (in kicking ass); she pours her heart into this song after gracefully stepping aside when Hikaru and Misa get together. A heartbroken woman singing a simple love song on a galactic scale. Definitely the kind of scene Shoji Kawamori must have had in mind when he conceived of Macross as “a love triangle set against the backdrop of great battles”. Minmay loses her battle and sets out to win a war.

Only Macross could dare to do something as cheesy as this and pull it off. And for that, I love it.

Filming and Re-Filming Culture in Macross

Posted in Macross, Random Shit with tags on 08/18/2010 by Shinmaru

There are many aspects of Macross 7 that I didn’t care for, but one decision made that struck me as rather bizarre at the time has stuck with me since, and I even think of it as sort of brilliant now. That is, the choice to integrate Macross: Do You Remember Love? into the Macross canon as a literal movie filmed in the Macross universe. Even though it creates a whole host of logistical issues (they must have found some great lookalikes and soundalikes for everyone who died/was evil), I like to think that all the major players in SDF Macross played themselves in the Do You Remember Love? movie.

Almost since the invention of motion pictures, individuals and groups — particularly governments — have taken note of the potential of movies to be powerful tools of propaganda. (Note that while the term “propaganda” is often used pejoratively, for the purposes of this post, I’m taking a neutral view of it — that is, “propaganda” is a work created to further one’s cause, damage another cause or both. No judgment of positive or negative value here.) Think of Sergei Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin, Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, the numerous American-produced movies about World War II, the direction of movies following the Vietnam War and so on.

Although the general public is likely much more media savvy than even 20-25 years ago (much less 50-80 years back), movies and the images they portray still wield a great power. It’s one thing to read accounts of soldiers and civilians in war torn areas; it is quite another to see brutal images for ourselves, exaggerated or not. Probably very few people left, say, The Hurt Locker not shaken up at least a little bit. That’s the power of a movie: It can put us in another world, where we see and hear all that goes on. If done well enough, the audience is totally immersed, and that’s almost instant identification. A movie doesn’t even have to be overt propaganda to stick with us and affect us, really.

And that’s where the brilliance of Macross 7‘s decision comes in. Macross is about romance, but it’s also about celebration of culture, and what better way to celebrate and disseminate culture than through movies? It’s a window into a culture’s thoughts and views, however narrow or broad that window may be.

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Macross Plus – The Fun of Flight

Posted in Macross, Random Shit with tags , on 07/25/2010 by Shinmaru

I am a total pussy when it comes to heights, but I’ve always loved the pure sensation of flight. For whatever reason, I get the shakes going up slowly in a glass elevator, but put me a mile high, and I’ll look out the window and think, “Holy shit, this is awesome!” Too bad I’ve been on an airplane just three times in my life.

I can appreciate a work that loves flight to the point of fetishizing it; that’s a huge part of what drew me into Macross Plus almost immediately. It has been nearly 16 year since the original release of Macross Plus . . . and holy mother of god does it ever still look amazing. Not just the detail of the art and the fluidity of the animation (though both are fantastic), but also the pure joy that you get from everything when the creators allow the action to go crazy. There is some heavy, petty stuff in the relationship among main characters Isamu Dyson, Guld Goa Bowman and Myung Fang Long, so it’s always a welcome distraction when the animators let ‘er rip.

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SDF Macross – Making Culture the Fun Way

Posted in Macross, Random Shit with tags , on 07/16/2010 by Shinmaru

SDF Macross achieves something I love and respect: It is serious without being very serious at all.

The set-up is classic Serious Business. Humanity has finished reconstruction of an alien craft that landed on Earth 10 years prior. During the launching ceremony, an alien race, the Zentradi, picks up on the activiation of the ship and identifies it as a battleship used by their enemies. And then, as the Zentradi make an approach, long dormant systems activate in the ship, dubbed the Macross, and fire upon the Zentradi scouts, accidentally starting an intergalactic war.

(Spoilers for SDF Macross within this post. Don’t read if you haven’t watched the series and plan to do so.)

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