100th Post: The Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered

It still feels like I’m starting out, but 100 posts does seem like a lot. We Remember Love has been around for five months now and I’m very happy with the f support, contribution, commentary, and interest that we’ve gotten from everyone. Thank you to all the bloggers who wrote content for us, who linked linked to our posts, who put us on their blogrolls, commenters who enriched the discussions, and lurkers who I respectfully hope are getting something out of remembering love.

macross ichijyo hayase nuptials

When I started out this site with mechafetish, I haven’t completed the Macross franchise, despite being a fan of it for 25 years. It took interaction with other fans such, especially otousan for me to take on what used to be on-principle a persona non grata show for many fans of the franchise: Macross 7.

When I wrote the post on how to remember love, I mentioned an attempt to watch the entire franchise that we named the Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered. Here’s a review of the stops:

macross frontier vf-25 alto ranka sheryl

  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)

Now I was not able to watch these shows in a linear fashion. However I did complete the journey: I watched every single canon episode available. It took a Macross Quarter of a century and a whole lot of Robotech but I eventually finished it. And truthfully, I am very surprised at the conclusions that I’ve made. Here is how I rank my favorite sequels (with the original series being my all-time favorite anime):

Number Three:  Macross Frontier

This show affected me on a very meta/personal level. It was such a long-awaited gift. It satisfied a host of my cravings: continuity pornography – if you will. I felt like I was the old Zentraedi Richard Bilrer, closing the locket with Minmei’s photograph in the finale.

Here’s an un-balanced review of Macross Frontier, the kind of propaganda that really gets me going. My personal thoughts on it: Macross Frontier gave us in Alto Saotome a subtly characterized male lead that fully fits within the tradition of ace pilots that is the trademark of the franchise. It also gave us my favorite variable fighter: the VF-25 Messiah, combining modular capacity (another tradition) and super sleekness of design that allowed for the fastest transformation among VFs. Finally  it gave us a ridiculously gratuitous finale with a glorious fleet battle where ‘Battle’ class capital ships literally slug it out. Worth mentioning, is the emergence of Sheryl Nome – an idol character that did more than just be cute, winsome, and annoying at times.

macross-frontier-15-large-07

Number Two: Macross Plus

On a meta-level, I was so unprepared for Macross Plus when I saw it around 1995. It’s been over a decade since I’ve seen the original series as an 7 year old kid, and by that time my head was filled with Robotech (I must’ve seen the whole Harmony Gold saga over 5 times, and must have read the Jack McKinney novelizations around 5-7 times). In my mind, Robotech was the canon. After all, in the Sentinels novels ‘Rick’ and ‘Lisa’ got married and had a kid (named Roy) and ‘Minmay’ degenerated into even more of a slut (I call her novelized version “the vagina of the universe”). In any case, Robotech ran with the overarching narrative and made me love it too.

This is the context by which I mean to establish how awesome Macross Plus had to be to wean me out of Robotech. It was too short, at four episodes to contend with 17 or so books, and 85 episodes of Robotech. But my goodness, those 4 episodes aurally underscored how a big deal music is in the Macross franchise. At that point I had all but forgotten about Do You Remember Love? and when the excerpt from ‘My boyfriend is a pilot’ played in that karaoke scene, I felt chills – I began to get what I was missing. I began to remember.

More detailed thoughts about Macross Plus you can find in this post. It’s quite long but I put a whole lot of love in it.

mcr222l

Number One: Macross 7

Now how the hell do I explain this? It was never available to me in the ’90s. I only found out about it through this review (which I read around 2004) that slammed it quite forcefully. My friends who also liked Macross reinforced that view, though they too haven’t seen it. Thanks to Macross Frontier‘s Ozma Lee and Sheryl, I was introduced to Fire Bomber and their music. They rocked. This was the foot in the door for me.

And so I completed it, and all it’s side stories. Now I’m in love. Why exactly? Part of it has to do with Nekki Basara being the first bard-type character to have such a commanding charisma that he does. In fantasy literature and role-playing games bard characters are supposed to have such a strong charisma but they’re mostly relegated to playboy and secondary roles (In Tolkien mythopoia, Finrod Felagund and Aragorn are bardic too, but their bardic roles are put in the background – they do more fighting than singing – though Finrod did battle Sauron in a sing-off). Basara may not even be the leader of his own band, but his charisma is undeniable. His power and presence is felt throughout 57 episodes (including the side stories). He is a musician in a way that is different from Minmei, Ranka, and Sheryl are – not like he was actually indifferent to stardom, but there is a certain purity of vision he had for the transformative power of music.

macross-7-20-eyecatch-fire-bomber-darkish-clouds-bg

Macross 7 is full of horrible flaws, logic, camp, cheese, and bad animation. However there’s so much greatness in it too, part of which is the winsomeness of Mylene, a stellar cast of characters including the lovable Max and Millya Jenius (straight from the original series as playing the roles of parents, commanders, and yes – fighting aces), and a  rocking soundtrack. Perhaps more importantly is how this show lays down the fruity mysticism that connects all of the shows in the franchise, from Macross 0 to Macross Frontier. All in all it’s a very important show in the franchise.

For those who wish to take on this freak of a show, here’s a survival guide for the first 20 episodes, prepared with love by yours truly.

Ranka GAR

Thank you for remembering love with us the past 100 posts. May the next 100 take you to the very ends of the galaxy!

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 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to 100th Post: The Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered

  1. LBrevis says:

    Congrats on 100 posts! Reading this and your guide for Macross 7 has actually got me excited about watching it.

    But what about Macross II, think you’ll ever watch it? What with Kawamori’s noninvolvement and it being written entirely out of the canon it hardly seems to exist at all except as easy target practice for fans. Still it’d be interesting to see what you think of it.

  2. OGT says:

    I like how EVERY MACROSS FAN EXCEPT ME still has to be convinced to watch 7 through arcane means, although I suspect I’m at an interesting vantage point when it’s technically the first Macross I watched start to finish. I think it’s actually the best introduction to the franchise (or at least it was for me), since it showcases a lot of the strengths of Macross, except they’re kicked up to 11. This might be because I don’t like Macross for the VF series, or at least it’s not the primary attraction for me.

    Also this post makes me want to go add Super Dimensional Fortress Macross onto my rewatching list, which I’ll probably do soon. But first I have to watch some other things I’ve been dying to rewatch since forever. 😦

  3. animekritik says:

    My god! You actually watched every single canon episode!!! then i second lbrevis, you gotta start watching non-canon, para-canon, semi-canon etc.. How many hours is the entire Macross canon?

  4. ghostlightning says:

    @ Lbrevis

    Thanks! You’re part of this too, as the person who finally got me to start writing.

    I already have Macross II and I’ll watch it soon enough.

    @ OGT

    You definitely are unique as a Macross fan. The linearity, however loose of the metanarrative should get in the way of appreciation, but it clearly wasn’t an obstacle for you.

    SDF Macross is obviously an important show for me and I think you’ll appreciate it even for just the origin story aspect of it.

    And I don’t think that there’s a ‘right’ way to appreciate Macross anyway. In any case I do hope you meet the Macross soon and feel the love that runs through it.

    @ animekritik

    Roughly under 130 hours. I have not completed any of the video games though, and I’m not inclined to do so. I’d recommend that you start chronologically, especially since Macross Zero is only 5 episodes.

    • schneider says:

      Good call with the video games. They’re terribly addictive, and the PC game Macross VO is one of the hardest mech-simulation games I’ve played. They even got the resupplying element down.

      Though that doesn’t stop me from tempting you with Macross Ace Frontier~

  5. lizanight18 says:

    Wow you really are into this, I am the same way, i love anything that is in relation with Macross generation. But you should watch more of the macross series. Oh have you watched the shadow chronicles??? well its alright but i would like to know more of what you think of it. I have to agree with you on Basara, he is certainly amazing, especially his great voice. Well congrats on your 100 postings, keep it up.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks for the kind words.

      From how you’ve worded your comment, it seems to me that you’re very much a Robotech fan. I have tried to watch the Shadow Chronicles but its quality put me off very quickly (from poor animation/CG to off-putting voice acting).

      The thing about Robotech is that it declared the Jack McKinney novels as not canon. A great big part of my appreciation of the franchise is due to those lovable cheesy acid trips (or I should say Invid Flowers of Life trips?) of novelizations. Not legitimizing those books spelled the end of my romance with Robotech.

      Macross in the mean time continued and got real awesome.

      But you should watch more of the macross series.

      I think I’ve seen every episode there is to see in Macross. I’ll even watch the non-canon Macross II: Lovers Again out of foppery and whim.

  6. Crusader says:

    Congratulations on 100 posts!

    Propaganda indeed comrade. Still Macross II was interesting if not part of the canon, do get to it when you can.

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  8. animekritik says:

    happy 100th post btw

  9. TheBigN says:

    Congrats on 100 posts, which reminds me that there’s only a post away from 200 posts on DMAB. This post also reminds me that I need to start watching Macross 7 where I left off again. 😛

  10. OGT says:

    @ghostlightning:

    I merely need to rewatch SDF; I already comprehend love and merely wish to remember it. 😀

  11. RP says:

    Congrats on the first 100! It’s been a fun, entertaining and informative ride. Even for those of us not too familiar with the Macross universe (although I’m sure I’ll take a look at everything again as I slowly familiarize myself with the canon).

    A toast to a hundred more! 🙂

  12. I am used to calling this blog the Ranka blog because of the enthusiasm that it effuses.

    Congrats and I look forward to more contributions from crew.

  13. ghostlightning says:

    *hugs everyone**sweaty chest-bump for everyone*

    @ schneider

    I realize that I’m not a gamer anymore. I’ve lost the will to devour games and work on the skills to become excellent at them. I know I can always make time, but the accomplishments of completion is no longer the reward it used to be.

    @ Crusader

    Thanks comrade, your propaganda lit a fire under my ass. I’ll start Macross II: Lover’s Again this week.

    @ TheBigN

    Thanks for being with us from the very start. Your friendliness and welcome made it much easier for me to gain confidence in the sphere.

    @ OGT

    My bad. Well, you’re still unique – and I do think your rewatch will be very rewarding. ^_^

    @ RP

    Thanks so much! Keep me posted about your forays into the Macross franchise. I’ll be a good guide ^_^

    @ The Sojourner

    Thanks, fellow MinmeiMacross fan. I haven’t written about Ranka in a long time. I think there’s an angle or two worth pursuing. Maybe when I’ve recovered from reading the archived threads of the Macrossworld forums.

  14. gaguri says:

    Wow that’s a lot of Macross…

    I’ve only watched Macross Plus but it was excellent. But I’m going to stop there because I want to ‘taste other waters’ too (whatever that means) like trying out that Gundam 0080. Anyway, grats to 100th post!

    • ghostlightning says:

      Glad you liked Macross Plus. It is very excellent, though not representative of the franchise. It fits you though, as I see Plus as a finer niche within the corpus of Macross shows. i spilled a whole lot of figurative ink about it here, but I’d be very interested to read should you choose to write about it.

      Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is another good fit I think. It has a broad emotional range and is quite nuanced and not only in the technical or mechanical sense. So go get to it! ^_^

  15. maakusutipen says:

    Congrats on the 100th post…

    I do like your commentary on how the charisma of a certain character tends to really liven your viewing experience. I know the sensation and I can empathize with you.

    Also your point about Bardic characters is a nice bit of info. I have great respect for great storytellers. Being able to put it into lyrics is also great plus for the charisma and have the story more impact.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks!

      Well, do tell me about the charismatic characters that livened up your experience in their respective shows!

      A bit of warning about Basara though, he is Bardic mostly for his musical role and how he uses it to deal with enemies directly. His songs tell less of a story the way Aragorn and Bilbo would sing the tale of Earendil. Basara’s songs are greatly uplifting, if dated, j-rock fare.

      Sheryl’s use of “Atashi wa no uta wo kike!” in episode one of of Macross Frontier is a homage to Basara’s catch phrase: “Ore no uta wo kike!”

      LISTEN TO MY SONG!

  16. maakusutipen says:

    Midori no Hibi = the main guy there. (Well the premise of the show is so bizarre anyway that might overshadow all the other good points this show has)

    Ouran Host Club the anti-shoujo heroine Haruhi!!! well in the anime at least

    Genshiken (most main male characters except the guy who does cosplay outfits, the guy who gets a “gyaru” for a girlfriend and the other minor character who is all pompous when i comes to the Komiket)

    Lovely Complex Kotani.

    Yeah about Basara yeah all the more I would like his character!! Hehehe I played FFX-2 a lot of times and uhmm the Songstress is one of my favorite classes. Well in any final fantasy their are bards or dancers Im all up to using them!! Wahahaha.

  17. gloval says:

    “Number One: Macross 7”

    My first reaction was: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    I haven’t watched it in full but I’ve been spoilered well enough to know that I might actually arrive at the same conclusion.

    (Or maybe not, M0 might actually snatch the third spot, depends on the upcoming MF movie.)

    • ghostlightning says:

      While I think of Macross 7 as nearly spoiler-proof, the magic (or Sound Force in this case) works in the witnessing.

      You’ll know it when you get there. And when you do, you have power to your dream, you’re dancing the planet dance on submarine street, with my friends, charging with your heart of love.

      Then you’ll move on the listen to your heart and soul, towards a dynamite explosion, finding a new frontier, opened for you by an angel’s voice.

      If not, try again. You’ll have a better perspective on Macross Zero and the metanarrative as a whole especially after Macross 7: Dynamite.

  18. Sakura says:

    I watched Macross II and then really wished I hadn’t…

    Sorry its late but congrats!

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks! We Remember Love (and I) missed you and I’m glad you found the time to drop by.

      I find Macross II interesting in its mediocrity. As a fan of the franchise I’m glad that I watched it though I can’t really recommend it. It used most of the tropes of Macross but had very little of the charm.

      I had thought that Kawamori’s absence was most felt in how uninspired the VFs look (Hajime Yatate did splendid work as usual for other mechanical designs), but the models on this site changed my mind [->].

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