How to Remember Love: Macross

I was concerned that I was losing my way. A big part of this blog is the celebration of all things Macross, but I have been unable to create any related content for a long time. In the mean time I’m assembling here resources for the Macross fan, sites that I’ve visited over the years that have nourished my love for Macross that started when I first saw the Philippine dub edition around 1983.

Macross Frontier

1216340402763

Crusader‘s coverage of the series over at THAT Anime Blog was my primary lifeline during the show’s run this year. I won’t comment on his objectivity on his episode reviews because I am simply incapable of objectivity myself when it comes to Macross. I loved all his posts. Here are three great examples:

Macross Frontier 25 (END): Were it so easy… As epic as the ending itself, a lot of flash and torrid writing. I thoroughly enjoyed how we reclaimed the show from the shippers who were the loudest demographic of those who watched it. The said shippers were/are whining at the alleged lack of resolution of the love triangle which to them was the main draw of the show.

Final analysis and verdict: Crusader put forth some striking notions: that Ranka is Kawamori’s troll on moe (I rather enjoyed reading that bit, even as I hurt inside for Ranka’s sake), and a great case for the Alto x Sheryl ship (hurt me some more, will you?). A great, great read.

Sakura-Hime of My Youth: Prior to reading this post, I really didn’t think much of Alto. Now I really appreciate him as a subtly layered male lead. Really good character analysis of an overlooked awesome pilot.

I can’t remember from which post exactly, but Crusader made this excellent observation on how the character of Bilrer represented the success of Zentraedi integration after the terrible war with humans. This alone for me dispels the notion that Macross Frontier failed to be anything less than a nostalgia fanservice vehicle and added little value to the franchise.

Otou-san‘s coverage at Shameful Otaku Secret is a late discovery of mine. I really wish I had known about this during the season because what sets some of his posts apart is that they add something new and different for the fan going through the ‘Macross Experience’. This is something I want to emulate here on We Remember Love.

Cooking with otou-san: This is the kind of post that isn’t quite the episode summary (ep 11), but actually adds value to the experience of the episode and the show itself.  And it’s VF cookies too!

Concert scrapbook: Genius. Otou-san you should complete this set! Macross is nothing without the music, and this post creates an atmosphere of memories you wouldn’t get from just watching the series.

Love advice from Sheryl: Another very creative way to do an episode review. Of course it’s not canon, but again it’s an immersion experience in the wonderful universe of Macross, and of course we’re high on that here.

Macross in General

sdf-macross-01

For information about Macross outside Wikipedia, there a number of sites you can just lose yourself in. The most important of which is the Macross Compendium, which is now also a wiki. The articles are still kind of sparse, but in time there’ll be just too much information for us to consume in a single visit.

Something for those of a harder core of Macross fandom, there’s the Macross Mecha Manual. This site is Satsugai. It has detailed technical specifications of every known mecha in the Macross franchise. It also has a Macropedia that explains all the jargon. It’s just too awesome for words. Also, it has a hardcore fans page that has the following:

Perhaps the most truly awesome thing from a fan’s perspective is this analysis on the thrust-to-weight ratio of each of the Valkyrie designs across the franchise, cross-referenced to current real-world aircraft. It’s even in chart form!

What every Macross fan should do is do a pilgrimage to the original Macross Compendium site. Make sure you pay attention to the memories page. Egan Loo is a person who remembers love. He had the most precious fortune of meeting and interviewing key personalities of the Macross franchise during the conventions in the U.S. back in the ’90s: Iijima Mari, Kanno Yoko, Tomo Sakurai, Itano Ichiri (the man himself), Kawamori Shoji himself among others.

Reading Egan’s vignettes, while stunned by the autographed memorabilia almost always puts a lump in my throat. I think of DarkMirage’s interview with May’n recently, which sent me in a fit of envy; but even that is incomparable to Egan’s sharing. Whenever I really want to remember love, I just go there and nourish myself.

1225927273710

If you’ve only seen Macross Frontier, it may seem quite intimidating to feel like to have to go through all this material to experience Macross. Don’t worry, I feel the same way about Gundam. A great way to go about it is to appreciate how many treasures lie in wait for you! I myself have not completed Macross 7. However, Mechafetish and I have agreed to undergo to watch the whole series, in an in-universe chronological order. We call this project the “Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered“, and these are our stops:

  1. Macross Zero (AD 2008, 5 episode OVA)
  2. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (AD 1999-2012, 36 episode TV series)
  3. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (AD 2031 or 2009)
  4. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flashback 2012 (AD 2012, Music Video)
  5. Macross Plus (AD 2040, 4 episode OVA)
  6. Macross Plus (AD 2040, Movie with an altered ending)
  7. Macross 7 (AD 2045-2046, 49 episode TV series)
  8. Macross 7 Encore (AD 2045-2046, 3 additional television episodes)
  9. Macross 7: The Galaxy’s Calling Me! (AD January 2046, short film)
  10. Macross Dynamite 7 (AD 2047, 4 episode OVA)
  11. Macross Frontier (AD 2059, 25 episode TV series)
  12. Macross Frontier (AD 2059, Movie)

I don’t care how long it takes, or if we end up watching them non-linearly at first. It will be done, because we have hot blood and guts.

If you’re completely new to the franchise and are interested, you might want to follow the chronology above. It’s also good to check out this, and this. They’re not necessary reading, but can assist you in getting a handle on the elements of the franchise.

On a final note, I recommend with all I have that you visit Yakk Deculture. To me, it is to the Macross Memories page (on the original Macross Compendium) what Macross Frontier is to the Macross franchise. It’s a celebration of Macross that is firmly grounded on its tradition yet boldly exploring its frontier. It’s still quite new, but I’ve joined Otou-san (as an Alto to his Ozma) in building another way to remember love.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy, how to remember love, meta and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to How to Remember Love: Macross

  1. I like Macross a fair bit, but I feel that a lot of it’s fans tend to oversell the degree to which it is the supposed champion of mecha series. One of it’s greatest drawbacks is the degree of repetition in themes between the series. If you watch a Macross series you pretty much always know what to expect. A love triangle, the idea that music is a form of communication that can bridge culture gaps or bring culture to the uncivilized, the conflict between the military and civilian side of life etc. Though that might explain why Crusader likes it to the exagerrated degree he does because he seems to despise unpredictability and breaking from formula. Though if you are devoted to or greatly admire the common themes in Macross I suppose it means you can never lose.

    It’s one of the main reasons I prefer Gundam which is far more flexible in how the director and writers decide to approach the Gundam concept. In this case about all you can expect is that the main mobile suit is going to be called something Gundam and that their will be some mecha action in there somewhere. That and despite the fact that their are far more Gundam series, there’s a greater ratio of Gundam series I do like that I’ve seen or read (MSG Movies, Zeta, Char’s Counterattack, Crossbone, 08th MS team, War In The Pocket, MS Igloo, Victory, G Gundam, Gundam X, Turn A Gundam, SD Gundam, Gundam 00/F/P, Ecole Du Ciel, Seed Astray) compared to ones I don’t (MSG TV, Stardust Memory, Double Zeta, Gundam F90, F91, Wing, Seed, Seed Destiny, Evolve, G-Saviour, Stargazer, Zeta Movies, Gundam X: Under The Moonlight). An almost 1:1 versus Macross with one’s I like (SDF Macross, Macross Plus, Macross Seven The Galaxies Calling Me, Macross Frontier) compared to one’s I don’t really (Macross Seven, Macross Zero, Macross Seven Dynamite, Macross Seven Encore, Macross II, Macross Seven Trash, Macross: Do You Remember Love) for just over a 1.5:1 ratio against the franchise as a whole.

    I also think that Kawamori has been losing it a little bit over the years and that he’s pretty much run out of new ideas since the mid 90’s. Tomino was cranking em’ out long before that and long after that and during a depression to boot.

  2. ghostlightning says:

    Well, it won’t be a discussion whether which franchise is better, because I agree with iKnight that Gundam is capable of ‘transcendence’ where Macross really hasn’t done that for me yet.

    Watch out for our ‘How to Remember Love: Gundam’ c/o Mechafetish! There will be much more material there given the expansiveness of the franchise.

    I remember your post insisting that you aren’t a Sunrise fanboy, and I appreciate posts like that; let it be clear that I am a Macross fanboy and forsake my claim to objectivity. My biases are buck naked for everyone to see.

    I love Kawamori for bringing all this to life, but in a way that it’s as if he’s made Macross as a personal favor from him to me. Completely irrational fan-thinking. I feel like I owe it to him to out-fan the likes of Crusader whose apologetics for Macross Frontier was inspiring for me to read.

    Similar in spirit on how I believe some cynics make a spectacle out of their deriding a piece of culture, I endeavor to create a spectacle of idolatry (there’s just no over-selling in my vocabulary regarding this (^_^). It just so happens that I do that for Macross and not for Gundam (but I do feel that it’s inevitable for me to do so – right now I’m still intimidated by iKnight’s post on 0080: War in the Pocket, but that’s the show I want to write about some day).

    I try not to do reviews, even if some of my posts do give an impression of one. I don’t believe I have the thoroughness and rigor to look at everything there is worth looking at about a show or episode. This deliberate streamlining of effort should account for my rather prolific posting. I’d rather go deep on some aspects than attempt at a comprehensive evaluation.

    But from one mecha anime fan to another, you’re always welcome here! I hope our discursive oeuvre never wastes your time!

  3. otou-san says:

    when you said you were trying to compile a list of links, I figured it’d be good but I had no idea it’d be this comprehensive. I could waste time on these links for a pretty damn long time!

    Also, I have an AWESOME new yakk idea so hit me up.

  4. @Ghostlightning. No, you’re not overselling in my opinion because you find ways in which to lift something up without having to try and knock the competition down like Crusader (who I’m pretty sure is just going through the motions since it’s in to like Macross on the blogosphere whereas for example it’s out to give any praise to Gundam whatsoever. I don’t really get that raw opinion vibe from him that you and others do, I think it’s a pure tough guy act with him trying to enforce the popular ideology of the day on everyone that visits but meh….) seems to. That is if you even see it as a competition as I’m pretty sure you see things more like me where there’s more than enough love to around for all things mecha.

    Where I do break from you again though is that I don’t like to get the impression that any director is doing a personal favour for me or the fans via a series very essence. Fanservice should be limited to minor instances within a show (something of the wink and nod variety) at the risk of ending up with a show like Gundam Seed Destiny where it was practically written by the fans.

    You don’t really have to worry about creating a spectical of idolatry for Gundam though as I already have that taken care of more or less. 😀

    If you ever want though I’d be more than happy to c/o with you some time and vice versa. You have my e-mail.

  5. biankita says:

    i’ve only gone through two out of the eleven on your list ~the frontier movie still doesn’t count since it’s not yet aired. O_O i never realized there were so many of them… there goes my plans of finishing it by the end of the year…

  6. Crusader says:

    Good luck with your Macross Marathon, though if you are only doing Macross, you’ll be out of stuff to talk about until the next installment in the franchise.

    My apologies but I fear I have to do something questionable…

    @Kaioshin
    The cynic that is me can plainly see that you have a predisposition in having to insult me and attack me behind my back so to speak. Fair enough, but please do me the courtesy of being honest and open in your hatred and unassailable notion that I simply hate Gundam and am towing the line from some vast Kyo-Ani conspiracy to make life miserable for “true” fans like you like some automaton that is bereft of the human ability to formulate an opinion. Just to be sure I am not joking I do not appreciate such actions and your pathological need for enemies, first Jason, then Dark Mirage, and now me, it seems, are on your list of vendettas.

    Cynicism grows from the belief that the majority of people in this world are far less than decent. Your actions have been less than decent. I had thought better of you but now I see that I was wrong. It was fine to be shooting at the hip face to face, but this was not face to face. I underestimated how much ill will you had towards me, I wish I was wrong. If you had ill feelings the e-mail address was right there, you said recently we had an understanding, your actions today indicate otherwise. I ask that for now we speak nothing to or of each other since you have nothing but insults and I have, until today, nothing to say about you behind your back.

  7. schneider says:

    I haven’t seen Mac7 yet. Just no time, and no space. But thanks to Super Robot Wars and Macross Ace Frontier, at least I can make something out of it.

    I’m primarily a Gundam fan by conditioning, because Robotech was a fine cartoon when I saw it as a kid but never really got interested to it thanks to lack of kids to talk with about it. Unlike Gundam Wing when it aired, in which half of the class was talking about it all the time. Such a shame, because from personal experience, Macross fans are much more civil and “normal” than Gundam fans, whose favorite hobby is to troll their own fandom (tee-hee).

    But I just love Macross. It’s got a certain charm that Gundam lacks, and it’s optimism. Optimism that trusts in humanity’s capacity to transcend its petty wars and reach out to other intelligent species out there. In Gundam we’ve been celebrating almost 30 years of armed conflict in the Earth sphere, but look at Macross! Look at Frontier! I swear I got giddy at the narrative prologues of every ep. It’s just wondrous how Kawamori trusts us to stop picking on each other and start reaching for the stars as we are destined to. I just love science fiction like that (see also: Wings of Honneamise).

  8. ghostlightning says:

    LOVE! LOVE! This post is how to remember LOVE!

    @ Kaioshin and Crusader

    I look up to BOTH of you. I follow your most of both your writing religiously. I hereby invoke the spirit of CUCHLANN, who I take pains to emulate as a UNITER and not a DIVIDER. As much as I enjoyed the spike in traffic this exchange has somewhat raised, I’d rather that both of you disagree without getting personal.

    If it’s not too much to ask, be friends. I want to be friends with both of you, like wingmates and shit. Kaio pilots the Denobrium Orchis/Stamen, Crusader flies the VF-25 Messiah Full Armor Pack; and both of you launch from the Macross Quarter which I captain (ehem, I fanboy can dream).

    @ Kaioshin

    I take Kawamori’s very existence as a personal favor to me not because it’s the truth, but because I’m in love with Macross and I can say retarded statements like that. It’s not rational at all. That said, I don’t want a Macross SEED Destiny kind of sequel even though I doom myself to loving it anyway.

    As for building the Angkor Wat of Gundam idolatry, Mechafetish will not be stopped. He sees himself as an Uraki to your Monsha (~_^)

    As for c/o (which I assume to be collaboration), I’m thrilled and honored. I’ll be contacting you soon.

    @ Crusader

    Thanks for dropping by. Whether you intended to or not, you built this blog too, on the strength of the three posts of yours that I linked to. So thank you.

    Don’t worry about me running out of material to write about, as I won’t be blogging Macross exclusively, if I can persuade you to look aroud and read some of my other posts. And there’s someone who’s been marathoning the franchise already and I’m looking forward to reading his coverage.

    @ biankita

    It’s a long series, and even though there’s far less material than Gundam it’s still quite intimidating. A lot of Macross fans that I know of haven’t completed watching the whole franchise, including myself. Of course, I think it’s all worth it.

    @ schneider

    Macross fans are much more civil and “normal” than Gundam fans, whose favorite hobby is to troll their own fandom (tee-hee)

    Your words are just fuel to the fire. But yes, I’d like to believe Macross fans are all about spreading the love for variable fighters and inter-civilization celebration of culture, making everyone (for better or worse) listen to their song.

    Yes, I rather like Wings of Honneamise too.

  9. otou-san says:

    @biankita

    I think the problem with both the original (which is long) and M7 (which is much longer) is that they both take a while to really get moving. When SDF does take off, though, it’s amazing. There’s some truly great stuff in there that — IMO — Kawamori has been repeatedly trying to recreate ever since. I’m been stuck for like 3 months on the last 8 episodes of M7, which is truly pathetic, I know, but frankly it could have easily been a 24-ep series instead of 50. Repetition is a big problem, and slow developments are the result. If I’d had to watch that weekly I can’t imagine devoting almost an entire year to it.

  10. @Schneider: The problem with Robotech was that unlike Gundam Wing, what you saw on broadcast TV in North America wasn’t exactly close to the original show (Gundam Wing being the first series I can ever recall that wasn’t hacked to pieces). The show cut out all of the original music, replaced key lines of dialogue about Protoculture with garbage about some Robotech Masters sending the Zentradi (which were identified in later episodes by spliced in footage from Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross), replaced all intenses of Minmay’s original songs with one campy song (the infamously detestable “Stage Fright”) that was certainly written on the fly, and worst of all was rushed to market with an adaptation (dubbing, mixing, editing etc) process of about 2 episodes per week so that there are audio and video glitches everywhere and the dub actors constantly flub their lines.

    By contrast Gundam Wing had mostly solid dubbing, only a few cosmetic dialogue and nickname changes (God of Death became Great Destroyer, Damn became Dang) all of the original music (unheard of at the time) and no cutting of anything whatsoever. Gundam Wing was a pioneer in how anime dubbing should be done.

  11. biankita says:

    @ghostlightning: as i mentioned in twitter (to someone else), i’m a completist. i seriously lost sleep over not completing a series eventhough there are repeated themes, etc.

    @otou-san: thanks for the tip. i’ll keep that in mind for my viewing.

  12. Pingback: Yukan Blog! » Blog Archive » Essential Anime

  13. Pingback: 100th Post: The Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered « We Remember Love

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s