Macross Frontier: The False Songstress & a Tradition of Retelling

Macross Frontier The False Songstress
Why retell the same story? Why do it in a theatrical release? Excluding economic reasons, I generally welcome retellings for the assumption that the material will look better. Why do I like animation as a mode of narration? It’s because I love illustrations passionately. Any new presentation, implying an improvement in animation (whether detail or frame rate), I’m all for it.

This is especially true for action, especially robot action shows. This material would benefit greatly from increased budgets, time, and effort. The TV series may show a few scenes incredible on their own, but many within the shows only tell us of their potential that, will be fully realized with the help of time and money.

My accounting of robot anime is far from comprehensive, but off the top of my mind I present this abridged list (these works at least are those I’ve personally viewed):

TV Show

Movie Version/Retelling

Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) MSG Movie Trilogy (1981-1982)
Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1983) Macross: Do You Remember Love (1984)
Mobile Suit Z Gundam (1985) MSZG Movie Trilogy (2005-2006)
Psalm of Planets: Eureka SeveN (2005) Eureka SeveN: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (2009)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1994) Evangelion:
1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2009)
2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2010)
3.0 (TBA)
Final (TBA)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
Gurren Hen (2009)
Lagann Hen (2010)
Macross Frontier (2008) Macross Frontier:
The False Songstress (2009)
The Wings of Goodbye (2011)

It’s a list of my favorite franchises! This doesn’t make me an authority on these in any way; this only means that I have a lot of personal feeling invested in these shows and I want to at least begin to put together some writing about them as a tradition.

For now, I’ll talk about Macross Frontier: The False Songstress.

I think a more informed or definitive opinion should be given after I see the next film, but who knows when I’ll be able to see that. However, I think there’s a lot to appreciate and discuss about this release.

Context For the Retelling

Unlike Macross: Do You Remember Love? I am unaware if there is any attempt at all for an in-universe attempt to integrate the continuities. What we have here is really an alternative retelling of the story. The same characters are present, but different things happen to them.

In DYRL? the integration is that it is a film that was shown to the people after the events during the great space war. It is a historical biopic of the characters involved. That said, it becomes rather silly in how radical some of the changes are. It could be rationalized as a desire for privacy in some cases. Even if one uses the expedience of a tighter script, so much ‘factual’ error exists.

macross do you remember love britai hikaru minmei roy misa kaifun
I am under the impression (I cannot verify this with certainty), that franchise creator Kawamori Shoji intends to integrate both continuities in a way that whenever certain conflicts exist, neither the TV series nor the film enjoys automatic canon status. I will someday attempt to present the canon continuity (i.e. the Armstice between Zentraedi and Humans is dated September 11, 2009 as provided by DYRL? but the circumstances involved are entirely from SDFM).

Did the characters play themselves? (I find this funny) I think at the very least only Minmay can play herself. I will attribute both Ai oboete imasu ka? and Tenshi no enogu to her. But, these aren’t the songs performed during the final battle against the Bodolle Zer fleet. Confused yet? Yes, it can get really confusing.

For Macross Frontier, I think that the film versions will enjoy no particular privilege in the canon, but like DYRL?, we will be invited to consider certain elements or plotlines and integrate them. We may consider the arguably more interesting Macross Galaxy conspiracy in The False Songstress (hereinafter TFS) as canon, while retaining the TV series history of Michel, Klan (who doesn’t study at Mihoshi), and the existence of Nanase (and the SMS Pixie Squadron).

I would certainly prefer Ranka’s career build-up in TFS, with that rather awesome montage parallel to Alto’s SMS training montage. BUT, I will be upset if the Tori no hito movie (and Ranka’s big debut there) is removed from the canon. I appreciate the new expression of Alto’s obsession for the sky – he wants gravity, a thing to overcome, to experience a freedom from something. I prefer the Ozma who punched Alto for the cheek of demanding he be let into the SMS, but I prefer the SMS in TFS who acted like an actual private military service by being actually contracted by Sheryl using her credit card (SUPER AWESOME).

Most particularly, TFS represents a new start for Ranka, a chance to re-characterize and avoid all the fail in the TV series. Ranka was my biggest disappointment then, TFS gives her a great start. This Ranka fan is very happy right now. As for the shipping, I stand by how I prefer Alto x Sheryl. I want a clear resolution to the triangle. Without which, I think this whole exercise would be a failure, despite the many good things it already did.

A Tradition of Mixed Bags

TV Show

Movie Version/Retelling

Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) MSG Movie Trilogy (1981-1982)
The retelling is a superior way to experience the material. The films are amazing.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1983) Macross: Do You Remember Love (1984)
The film is a must-see, but the story is very thin compared to the TV series. I prefer to integrate the two continuities.
Mobile Suit Z Gundam (1985) MSZG Movie Trilogy (2005-2006)
The retelling is pretty pointless, and the change in the ending for the lead character took away what was one of the best things about the material.
The retcon of ZZ Gundam from the continuity is commendable though. I’d rather remember Haman Karn like that than what happened in the worst show in anime history (obv. hyperbole).
Psalm of Planets: Eureka SeveN (2005) Eureka SeveN: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (2009)
I fail to see any value in the film beyond the updated visuals. The changes aren’t very interesting, and at times very, very, very enraging.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1994) Evangelion:
1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2009)
2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2010)
3.0 (TBA)
Final (TBA)
Hard to speak for an incomplete retelling, but what I’ve seen makes me very happy.
I don’t prefer the films over the TV series (plus End of Evangelion), at least not yet.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
Gurren Hen (2009)
Lagann Hen (2010)
I thought the movies gave interesting scenes, most valuable for me is the transition montage for the timeskip leading to the founding of Kamina City and the subsequent arrival of the Anti-Spirals.
Other than this, I choke on the fanservice. I thought it was just too much. I don’t hate it, but I’ll never prefer it over the TV series.
Macross Frontier (2008) Macross Frontier:
The False Songstress (2009)
The Wings of Goodbye (2011)
Some changes are very welcome, but I’ll end up integrating the two continuities to maximize my enjoyment.

You’ll notice that my approach to Macross is very different from how I approach the other shows and franchises, in that I actively attempt to integrate the continuities whereas in others it’s a clear dichotomy. It’s really because my being a fan of the Macross franchise makes me behave differently. Instead of having the material audition for my appreciation or devotion, my devotion for the material makes me find the best way to enjoy myself with them.

I may feel this way for some other shows or franchises, but it’s nowhere as intense or as frequent as I do for Macross. I then accept that I am not a reliable filter for dispassionate evaluation of quality for Macross shows. Nonetheless, I try my best for my writing to be useful.

Can this integrating approach work for other franchises? I suppose it can, depending on the nature of the divergence between the source and the retelling. For example, I can accept the montage in the beginning of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann Hen as canon. I’ll be most happy to because it adds a lot without conflicting with anything. But I won’t accept how every single surviving member of the Gurren-dan got Tengen Toppa versions of their mecha in the final battle, and that there was this beyond absurd robot at the end of that fight. No, they are gratuities of the most unnecessary kind.

Do I recommend this approach? Only if you think it will add to your enjoyment.

Parting Shots

Macross Frontier -Itsuwari no Utahime- [BD 1920x1080].mkv_snapshot_00.05.56_[2010.10.26_21.40.21]
Space does not have a top or a bottom.

Macross Frontier -Itsuwari no Utahime- [BD 1920x1080].mkv_snapshot_01.21.03_[2010.10.26_21.42.43]
Am I a man? Am I a woman? I couldn’t tell who I really am anymore.

Alto, oh you☆

Macross Frontier -Itsuwari no Utahime- [BD 1920x1080].mkv_snapshot_00.09.41_[2010.10.26_21.46.45]
Sheryl. So awesome. Seriously. All time favorite characters kind of seriously. But shouldn’t be allowed to sing Aimo in her R & B style. It sounds hideous. Ranka almost had a GAR moment, but the film reminds us that she’s there for the moé so that’s ok. We have Sheryl for the aggression. The vajra look even more awesome. The new capital ship designs kick ass. We also see a lot more urban fighting, and lots of dead civilians. Does this make the show grimmer or darker? No, not really; I think it’s better for it anyway.

One thing is for sure, I can’t wait for Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye.

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 Macross, Macross Frontier and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Macross Frontier: The False Songstress & a Tradition of Retelling

  1. adaywithoutme says:

    Ah, I want to see this! I never watched Macross Frontier, although I did come very close – but that was around the end of the series, and a lot of people were rattling about it turning out not so hot, so I never got around to seeing any of it at all.

    • Crusader says:

      Might as well give it a shot since you are Army Strong and all that. Besides your an officer what use do you have for civilian (non-commander in chief) input on matters concerning you?

      If nothing else it was good mecha action even if you aren’t into shipping and shipping wars.

    • Since you haven’t seen any Macross shows, this is possibly a good place to start. Having seen the series I will find it difficult to appraise this film’s ability to tell a self-contained story independent of the source material.

      However, I do think for best results all Macross media should be watched. But lol that’s me.

      • adaywithoutme says:

        Haha, yeah, you’re a Macross junkie, after all. I ended up downloading this right after I commented… I’m surprised at how long it is!

        I also have Do You Remember Love? on my hard-drive. I’m going to try to watch both by next week. I’m just a bit leery because I’m not big on idol shows nor am I really big on mecha shows. But I feel like I should at least give it a chance. And you’ve given all of it such a big recommendation, it’d be kind of hard to ignore them completely… =)

        • I just wish you get a lot out of it. Macross can be appreciated ligthly, and fluffily, or even just of the pretty robots and actions and lulzy romance… but if you’re willing to read more into it, it can be very very rewarding.

  2. sadakups says:

    I was actually waiting for you to talk about the Macross Frontier movie, ghosty. To save time and bandwidth, that is. 😛

    After reading this, then yes, I’ll definitely go for it.

  3. Jaren L says:

    I’m getting more and more to the point where I think it’s misguided to even talk about the Rebuild movies as a retelling of Evangelion TV—crucial plot elements have been changed up, and between the 15 years separating them and the change in director and creative staff, the two works are informed by completely different cultures and overarching philosophies. Then, of course, there’s that whole conspiracy theory that Rebuild actually picks up where EoE left off which is actually reasonably convincing.

    Not that this is a bad thing, of course—I love the movies so far too.

    • Let’s say it’s a continuation of EoE, which is a very intriguing idea for me, then the events in 1.0 are the result of some kind of reset as a result of EoE? Time didn’t turn back or anything like it, just that another version of reality using the same characters more or less is playing out, is that it?

      Interesting indeed.

      However, what you say about the works being informed by new philosophies and new talent… doesn’t really disagree with the idea of the Rebuild series as a retelling does it? Unless, you consider the term retelling to be a straight condensation of the material in a movie format, which is seldom the case in the examples here.

      • Jaren L says:

        true enough, but the retellings usually *are* an attempt to re-tell the same story in a slightly-different light. I guess I just feel like, here, it’s radically-different enough that words like “reimagining” or “derivative work” seem more appropriate. I mean, Ikari Shinji Raising Project isn’t a “retelling”—the differences here aren’t quite that obvious but they’re certainly pretty extreme. It’s a completely different story, just with most of the same names and faces. Maybe I’m proposing a difference between “retelling” and “remake”? I’m not entirely sure.

        As for the not-a-remake theory, I’m not sure if it’s developed since, but the version I saw didn’t speculate much on the actual workings—maybe some sort of memory reset. It pointed out things like how the water turns red at the end of EoE and is red from the beginning of Rebuild, how Kaworu is a named character from the beginning and does a lot of talking about how things will go better “this time”, various hints and things like that.

        • Either I’m dangerously conflating re-telling with the ideas you’re presenting as distinct, or that what you’re saying didn’t mean much to me when I thought about what I wrote here.

          Perhaps they are very distinct ideas, or, Eva really does stand out from the others as a derivative work. I’m not sure, but for now I see more similarities than differences.

  4. Kuro says:

    Since you had positive views about the movie, I’d also watch it. I was thinking of doing post about analysis on mecha series and I’m thinking of making an analysis on Macross as a whole.

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  6. megaroad1 says:

    Just had a chance to to watch TFS and being a Macross fan I have to say I’m pleased but not blown away. The visuals were great and the changes to the plot quite interesting and set up a what seems to be a much changed storyline. Ranka’s character is much more pleasing to behold and it wouldn’t be as insulting to the viewer if Alto now actually had a tough time of choosing a girl.

    The story though seems kinda rushed at times. I wonder if people who did not watch Frontier could see this film and understand what’s going on and what the relationships between the characters are. I suppose they expect that anyone watching will be a Frontier fan to begin with.

    And yes, Sheryl is awesome but her version of “Aimo” is all wrong…

    Cannot wait for the next film and what seems to be some very interesting mecha action. By the way, did you notice the red mecha in the preview? Is Basara come back to save the galaxy and have a three-way (concert, people, music) with Ranka and Sheryl?

    • If Basara shows up I’ll positively die of fangasm


      I can’t imagine why Kanno Yoko is in-love with this over-sung and overwrought version of Aimo. May’n even performed this in the Final Budokan concert… I just don’t get it.

      I suspect that people will find this intelligible, only that don’t expect them to pick up on many things.

      After all, Macross: DYRL? created a whole generation of new fans.

      • Universal Bunny says:

        Actually, I quite like Sheryl’s version of Aimo. It is a bit overacted, but the song was probably intended for Ranka and has a cute character to it. That cuteness would not suite Sheryl at all. It’s not Muyng’s a capella “Voices”, but Sheryl’s Aimo is good especially if you listen to it on something better than normal TV speakers.

  7. SquareSphere says:

    On Aimo. The only version other than Ranka’s I want to hear is Ranshi’s (Ranaka’s mom) Seriously, her version, while only a few bars, in the series was VASTLY superior to Ranaka’s.

  8. In the case of Eva (and having watched the first two Rebuilds), I’d say I now love both versions: the original TV version for the sake of intense character drama, and the Rebuilds for the gritty action, the added detail… and the sense of “reunion” among the original voice cast.

    Maybe I could be wrong on this, but I see them as completely separate continuities (and thus, parallel universes), with each of them (being naturally open-ended) subject to interpretation… But for me, all of it boils down to being entertained (and maybe enlightened).

    • However inaccurate we get in classifying these shows, I think we all lose if we think we’re supposed to like only one, or that if we prefer one over the other it means the other is unacceptable or significantly lacking in merit.

      If you’re enjoying yourself at no expense to anyone else, then you have succeeded in something great, and worthy of sharing. This is one of the core ideas I have for blogging (so as I pray…) so share your interpretations by all means!

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  10. Jack says:

    I know it’s not a terribly insightful comment, but your ‘taste’ about re-tellings vs. the originals is very similar to my own.

    Which reminds me, I have yet to see the RahXephon movie. I see you’re working your way though that show right now. Perhaps I’ll check it out, but I don’t know if BONES has a good handle on how to do a re-telling.

    I see you haven’t mentioned the Utena movie, which I consider to be an excellent retelling. They don’t fall for the trap of trying to squeeze the TV series into a movie format. Instead they take the key themes and ideas from the series and re-work them into a format that makes sense for a movie.

    • I’ve never read a favorable opinion on Pluralis Concerto, but my friend and co-founder of WRL mechafetish likes it.

      I didn’t mention Adolescence Apocalypse only because it wasn’t a robot show which was the motif of my selections. That said I like it very much, and it was weird beyond weird and awesomely so. Be Papas, those guys had BALLS.

  11. The idea of mutually viable canons is interesting. A similar concept is in play with the Tenchi Muyo universes, although there is no attempt to my knowledge to integrate them beyond just having the same characters. Another instance of different universes with the same characters would of course be Tsubasa, where there are different versions of the same characters and copies of the same characters in multiple different universes, all living out their own lives, and integrating together all of CLAMP’s previous works into one contiguous vision of reality. At the same time, there is no attempt to have these different characters inhabit the same world, as there is in Macross based upon your explanation. Unfortunately, I have only seen the Macross Plus movie, so I can’t really speak to how the series and movies represent the same reality differently.

    • We needn’t look further than the Ghost in the Shell franchise. The manga, the Oshii films, and the Stand Alone Complex continuity are three separate canons. We get to see some of the events from the manga source interpreted in different ways, at different times.

      Unlike Macross however, there is little to no chance of integration, even if we are so inclined to make our own. My preference is the Stand Alone Complex continuity, though both it and the Oshii films lack the humor of the manga.

  12. ToastCrust says:

    I actually did not interpret that scene of Alto with his hair down as personal anguish. In fact, I think that was one of the things the movie did significantly better than the series (amongst other things): actually utilizing the characteristics of Alto.

    What always bugged me about the series is how much potential Alto had to be a really great character, for more than being diligent or good at piloting. No, if there’s anything interesting about him, it is his Kabuki background. And the series really made nothing of it, never fulfilled the craving to have that side of the story fleshed out.

    This isn’t something the movie necessarily does better (the fact is introduced much more subtly and we aren’t directly shown his family), but I think the usage of it makes the detail more important to the story overall, gives it more unity and economy of character.

    Which leads me to my earlier comment. I really think that scene in the mirror, was actually Alto using his ability as an actor to “channel” Sheryl’s emotional state through the earring, something a person with his pedigree could do well.

    A sort of symbolic act, where he lets go of his own, personal demon for the sake of doing something important for himself: to stop running away. And I think the movie’s handling of it is just significantly more poignant (though very understated).

    • It’s something interesting, no doubt, but I didn’t look forward for that much more indulgent in the series. What they did with it is pretty fantastic, even if it was a minor detail in what was an awesome episode:

      In the series, it was owning his choice as a performer. Flying, being a soldier, it was about being complete with who he was and it wasn’t like he was forsaking himself but rather building on what he’s done and the kind of person he is.

      Is it a great character study? For a Macross show, it’s pretty good. Macross doesn’t really make intense character studies the same way other shows do… say, like Evangelion, RahXephon, Eureka SeveN, etc. It’s closer to the kind of thing Gundam shows do.

  13. BenDTU says:

    That’s a pretty interesting comment about accepting AU stories as ‘canon’. I’d personally like to consider the majority of Gurren Hen/Lagann Hen to be non-canon, ESPECIALLY the “Everyone gets a TT mecha” bit. Particularly since it conflicts with canon (IE. Enki couldn’t generate Spiral power so how could he get one?) Having Simon magically able to generate things like drills from nowhere (IE the ending) made Spiral Power less like Gainax flavoured Getter energy and more like the writers saying “Spiral Power is magic LOL”.

    As far as the MF movie itself, I might check it out. The series didn’t do too much for me (That ending… oh that horribly ambiguous crowd pleasing ending)

    • This is especially important for Macross because each show is actually an “in universe media production” just like DYRL? as opposed to a straightforward narration of events like say, Mobile Suit Gundam.

      Therefore, what’s canon is really up to the viewer.

      I just discovered this recently from a 1998 interview of Kawamori. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but it’s certainly different from anything I’ve experienced. I’ll probably have to write something involved about this discovery.

  14. Bonesy! says:

    I’m really looking forward to being able to see this, but like with DYRL to Macross, I want to finish the TV series first.

    I did watch the first episode of Frontier, though, and I’m probably about to go watch episode 2 after I make myself a Coke Zero float.

  15. Universal Bunny says:

    I’ve just seen the movie and would NOT recommend it to anyone other than the fans of the franchise. If you were to look at it from outsider’s perspective, the pacing is all over the place, the world is thrown at viewer with close to no explanation and the attempts to include references to the series is likely to completely frustrate any non-fan.

    If you want examples: the idea of colonial fleets is mentioned only in brief even though it is important to explain what is Galaxy. Relationships between Ozma and Cathy as well as Clan and Michael are given only a few minutes and for non-fan these few minutes would be a total waste of screen time. The idea of music as power is not introduced at all and that would leave non-fans scratching their heads. These are just few examples and there are many more.

    However, for me as a fan, the film was one big Moment of Awesome and for me as a fan of Sheryl the film reaffirmed her as the most awesome fictional character in any media. Though I still can’t comprehend why it’s called “False Diva”. Surely Sheryl is not a fake, manipulated she may be, but she has not only abilities of Ranka, but also fantastic strength of will and character. There is nothing false about her. So why the title?

    • After reading your comment, I can’t disagree. A discerning viewing of a non-fan meeting the franchise for the first time through this movie will be a rough one, and I won’t be able to fault that person for any harshness.

      But even for the experienced viewer who isn’t as fanatical, there’s a lot to get past:

      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.

      So yeah, sometimes Macross is hard for me to share.

      I have no idea who the false songstress is as well. It really suggests Sheryl, but what about my star in this film is false? What was inauthentic? A title can’t really hang its hat on something so subtle, so there’s got to be something pretty obvious, but what?

    • Xard says:

      re: movie title

      this is from the same interview I quoted earlier.

      And I have something about the subtitle of 2nd movie “Sayonara no Tsubasa”…
      K: the 1st subtitle “Itsuwari no utahime” meaning was, like one, Sheryl came to Frontier as a spy, there’s a “lie” in her status as a “Queen”. Or Ranka is still not real singer, there’re lots of meaning in it. The 2nd’s subtitle is also the same, have many meaning…. well I can only say that now(laugh).

      Not very specific was he…


      I wouldn’t say this film had pacing issues whatsoever. High energy start with awesome action setpieces, then steady and assured development of the narrative and characters for vast majority of film’s run without needless divulgences (no random encounters with Vajra etc.) and *epic*, mindblowing climax followed by witsful denouement & credits. The film wasn’t oversaturated with combat, meaningless subthreads etc. at all.

      I actually think it felt better paced than the series’s first half – pacing which made sense in retrospect but while watching eps 8-11 in particular for the first time I was wondering where main plot and Vajra had been forgotten and why the fuck we’re getting some random Gallia IV arc next that propably has nothing to do with the main plot itself. Gahh!

      Well, I was sure wrong about Gallia IV’s importance 😀

      As for the bits about Ozma and Cathy and Klan and Michel I think they only jump out at someone who has seen the series before – Klan and Ozma interact quite much in the film so bringing up their past is not meaningless detail at all, whereas the only Klan/Michel moment in the film is the glorious Kawamori troll in the end. But again, it’s hardly blown out of proportion.

      Validity of these subplots hang crucially on what the second film does with them. If it botches them then yes, these are meaningless parts that could’ve been cut from the film – but not if second film properly develops the relationships. In many ways it’s hard to make final judgement of a film that depends on its sequel (in this regard MF films are in similar position to eva Rebuild) on its own…

      I’m not sure what’s the difficulty with understanding “colony fleet” – anyone at all familiar with scifi (or, hell, anyone who knows what the word colony means) gets the gist immeaditly. Besides, the narrator in the beginning of the film gives pretty much exactly same amount of information on the subject he did in series too. And it comes often up that Galaxy is the neighbouring fleet (first seen on map in that narration scene).

      If there was one thing in the movie that squicked/irked me when I first watched the film it would’ve bee Ranka fansevice. That felt just…wrong

      • Xard says:

        Klan and Ozma interact quite much in the film so bringing up their past is not meaningless detail at all


      • The people who I talked to who were also first time viewers are generally positive, but when asked specific questions (Who were the villains? How was the giant who cried after the pilot with glass related to the loli hanging out with the flying troupe at the beginning related? How was Cathy related to the SMS?) No one could give an indication that they understood (nor even remember names).

        I think they were sold by the set pieces, the spectacles, and the charm of the main cast. Other than these, the rest are barely intelligible.

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  19. I have to say as a very base, novice Macross fan, I was extremely impressed by this movie. Normally retellings don’t move me unless they do something new and surprising with the material. But my mouth was open in awe at those first 25 minutes of action (extreme cotton mouth); I didn’t think I could be impressed by the same scene twice. It wasn’t just the animation, it seemed to have more punch to it.

    Getting past that moment, it felt good and natural because it didn’t feel like they were cramming material into movie format, but instead taking advantage of it. The narrative, the direction, the pace, I wasn’t annoyed like I had been by other mecha series retellings. The scene where right before Alto is about to hit a skyscraper he turns and shoots down a Vajra was memorable to me. I know it could have been done in the series, but I don’t think it would have had the impact without the detail the movie put into it. I’m glad I got a second chance to evaluate the series. I feel like I was a bit harsh the first time. Being a Gundam fan, this movie impressed more than the first 2 eps of th Gundam Unicorn OVA. That’s saying a lot.

    • That’s saying a lot indeed. I don’t know what you were smoking when you were watching the shows but I don’t mind having some.

      Instead of cramming, they just cut a lot out. If you didn’t particularly care about these things during the series run, you obviously wouldn’t miss them.

      Bottom line, I’m glad you enjoyed this, man. There’s one more film and it’s another wait until the next real Macross show.

      • I’ll just say I don’t normally like retellings of series done as movies. RahXephon being a glaring example of my hatred for attempts at these things. I’m not saying I think it’s better than Unicorn’s first two episodes, I’m just more impressed with how well they told a portion of the Frontier story. I did write that comment right after I watched the movie, so I probably still had sparkles in my eyes.

  20. jsjsjs says:

    i watched it today(slow, am i?), i loled at the part where they accept alto into SMS, it was very serious until……..they threw a bomb into his hands and everyone dons a mask except alto.

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