SDF Macross: So You Think You Remember Love

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Not having watched SDF-Macross for at least 2 years, save for single-episode rewatches, I grabbed the opportunity to watch the show with a bunch of people who haven’t seen it before, along with a bunch of people who have (and are also big fans of the franchise, not to mention favoring the original series within it). We were able to watch four episodes and I’m here to share how not only the experience of rewatching went down, but also how I observed the reactions of the uninitiated.

I think there are several ways to split the hairs of the people who I watched with. Let me start with:

Youngest Newest Newfag of Newness

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_10.05_[2011.04.10_08.22.27]
Here’s the guy who not only hasn’t watched the show, but has watched the least anime or the least anime shown in the 20th century (or at least shows considered foundational by people who tend to like sci-fi/robot shows).

During the watching, this is the guy who complained the most, and tried the hardest to make fun of anime physics (and a lot of other things), shouting the loudest: THAT’S NOT HOW [X] WORKS. WHAT THE FUCK!?!

This is the kind of viewer I wanted to win over the most. Unfortunately, despite the piercing analysis he brought to bear during the viewing of the four episodes, I asked him what he actually wanted to see, to which he replied: “I just want to see shit blow up.” My thing with cases like this is to not force the issue by getting all defensive and act like anyone should like Macross as if its lovableness is some self-evident truth. It’s already great that he’s watching, I’ll let the show work, or not. I’ll just be the person to talk to when he’s really into it.

Newfag Not a Mecha Fan

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_05.58_[2011.04.10_08.28.46]
Despite not having seen SDFM, this guy has seen a lot of anime; a whole bunch of older shows, but not particularly big on robot anime though may have enjoyed a few of robot shows with crossover appeal (Code Geass, Neon Genesis Evangelion).

There was a lot of appreciation for the things seen, and how certain scenes, behaviors, tropes remind him of other shows. TBH it annoys me when old shows remind people of new shows as if the new shows were the source… but that’s just me. It can’t be helped that such newer shows were seen first.

As expected, the broader experience of this viewer contributes more interesting cross-references to many other things. More about this later.

Oldfag Watching Dubs

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_04.57_[2011.04.10_08.27.12]
Hilarious. Having seen this show several times and in several forms (Robotech LOL). He just wanted a fresh experience – in this case a terrible dub. I think at some point he told us how the translation was taking pretty big liberties with the script. USA! USA!

Newly Minted Fans

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_16.22_[2011.04.10_08.31.36]
Fairly recent viewers of the show who have varying degrees of affinity (from “man this is cool,” to “oh wow this is a favorite”). This would be their first rewatch of the show – which is quite important in my experience for shows I’m a fan of. I try to be an informative resource for these guys, confirming and validating some things they observed the first time, then offering perspective on things they might have missed.

As an advocate of the show and the franchise, these guys are my treasures.

Some Specifics

VIOLENCE

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_23.41_[2011.04.10_08.36.13]
At least one viewer with the fresher eyes took immediate notice at the level of violence in the show. Remember that episodes 2 and 3 involved a big battle fought on 2 fronts: the Earth Atmosphere perimeter defense line (ARMD carriers), then on Macross City on South Ataria Island. The level of violence didn’t just involve the graphic deaths of humans/humanoids but the scope of casualties. The Zentraedi probing attacks really pounded on Macross City (not to mention military units in space). Despite most of the population evacuated, a whole bunch of people were shown to get ripped into shreds.

I personally enjoyed the detail of damage throughout the city as it was consumed by what amounts to a mecha street fight. Units crashing into buildings taking out several as it plows through city blocks was very fun.

As expected, there was praise for the dogfight action. I know how it is. This is only the beginning. The Macross franchise is Dogfight Valhalla, because the planes actually turn into robots.

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_23.40_[2011.04.10_08.37.31]

TECHNOLOGICAL CLUSTERFUCK

The SDF-1 Macross space battleship is an alien spacecraft that crashed onto Earth then was retrofitted for human use over ten years. In that time humans learned a fair bit about the alien “overtechnology” and did what it could to adapt the machine for their use, and create new machines taking advantage of the advances. However, the maiden flight of the SDF Macross shows how it is quite an untested thing.

Crititcal systems kept failing. The main gun fired not as planned. The anti-gravity systems tore through the hull instead of lifting the Macross to space. The fold system took them to Pluto orbit instead of the dark side of the moon. Executing an unprecedented fold maneuver in the atmosphere (not as planned) resulted in transporting a huge chunk of South Ataria Island and Macross City with it; before losing the fold system entirely.

SDF Macross Episode 01 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_23.08_[2011.04.10_08.34.42]

On the micro-level, we have Ichijo Hikaru not quite fallen into his cockpit (a Gundam-inspired trope) but of course SEIZES THE REINS OF HISTORY nonetheless. Unlike Gundam protagonists however, he is not an instant expert of the Variable Fighter and pretty much takes out an entire neighborhood failing at controlling the machine. This is due to the unfamiliarity of the Battloid and Gerwalk modes. This is despite his own expertise as a (stunt entertainer) pilot.

As we’ll see, the survival of the human race persistently results from amazing luck because skill only gets one so far in this maelstrom of unfortunate breakdowns and uncertainty.

WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?

The noob was demonstrably surprised/dismayed by the melodrama. Perhaps like many viewers who came into the show at a young age (which means Robotech for most people outside Japan), he came for the sci-fi action. As a kid, this was what grabbed me. I didn’t mind the love story – I actually fell in love with love triangles (much to my own consternation when I became an adolescent) thanks to SDFM; it’s not something young boys would usually get into from a show like this.

Now there are very specific shows for boys that deliver the drama (those cry-porn things adapted from games), but love stories in robot shows aren’t the draw. This is despite recent shows laying it thick: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Eureka SeveN for example. I think SDFM was the first to really hit success with it (despite shows like Tosho Daimos with its Earthling x Alien Romeo and Juliet showcase as early as 1978).

SDF Macross Episode 04 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_20.24_[2011.04.10_08.39.57]
But there are very few things similar to SDFM’s meet cute (Hikaru smashes through Minmay’s bedroom, flies her in the palm of a robot that gets shot off which resulted in a breathtaking mid-air rescue, floating through space in a propeller plane, then a two-week date in the belly of the whale FISHING IN SPACE, and that mock wedding).

It will be interesting for me to observe how these new viewers take the show with its love story set in the backdrop of great battles as the episodes roll by. The first four episodes flew by in a torrid pace. So much action made for a quick viewing experience, even the ‘uneventful’ episode mostly depicting Hikaru and Minmay lost inside the Macross.

So what?

My objectives in participating in this viewing are unclear, but I’m having lots of fun as expected. I’ve never marathoned Macross in a group environment so the experience is rather novel. I think more than anything I function as an advocate of the show and do less for my own viewing satisfaction as opposed to assisting some of the new fans of the show/franchise remember love.

In the scheme of things, as this hobby goes, this is pretty much just as planned.

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 how to remember love, Macross, SDF Macross and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to SDF Macross: So You Think You Remember Love

  1. schneider says:

    That’s it, I’m fucking joining this.

    I actually think the first few episodes of SDF Macross are amazing storytelling, and it gets even better.

    (Maybe we can do a 0079 TV viewing as well, which would be great since a lot of us just went with the movies anyway)

    • VucubCaquix says:

      This Saturday. Episode 5. Be there.

    • Turambar says:

      Vaguely on topic, directed towards both you and ghostlightning. In the newly released Super Robot Wars Z2, Macross units fire missiles that go in straight lines. Thoughts?

      • Well, that’s really strange since there’s really no reason for anything to be straightforward in SRW ever. But let us think things through: Missiles have a straight trajectory, but their targets are moving, and so they “curve” when they follow their targets. The curvature has to do with how pretty Itano Circi get… so I suppose they are quite important.

    • Yeah it was lots of fun, even if part of it was at my expense. THERE WAS A MINMAY SIGHTING, WHAT CAN YA DO?

      IDK about 0079 man, it’s ya know… pretty rough. But organize it and I’ll join you (since I have them anyway). Also not recommended for those who haven’t seen the movies and/or aren’t fans of UC to begin with.

      • schneider says:

        Yeah, it’ll be tough. Nothing set in stone, I have to watch the TV series myself as well to see if it’s viable.

        in b4 White Base running out of salt

  2. Matt Wells says:

    Sounds like great fun! I don’t make friends easily, so this might be something I’d get a lot out of, as well as a way of sorting out gaps in my knowledge regarding certain series. Particuarly older super robot shows, 50 plus episodes of monster-of-the-week series ad infinitum can get wearing viewing alone; this might be an easy fix.

    Now I only have to register with skype…

    • Matt Wells says:

      Also, I just got Macross Plus on DVD, both ova and movie versions! Just got to work through my backlog of Votoms and Dai Guard, then I’m all set! Looking forward to my very first Macross series as something really SPECIAL. Just thought you guys should know; Macross is something I’ve been putting off watching since I became a mecha fan and began frequenting this blog. No more of that!

      • Reid says:

        Good on you, Matt, for checking out VOTOMS! What a terrific real (the realest) robot show!

        Also, the Strike Dog is…too much for me. I ALMOST won an unopened Max Factory 1/35 figure of that AT and then some other jerk won the auction with a bid of literally 50 cents more. Such a cool mech.

        • VOTOMs is pretty rough. I’m 32 eps in and while yeah it’s sure gritty and dark, I find that the action is very 80s action film. That is, the mooks pretty much line up to get shot by Chirico (and Fyana). I wouldn’t call this close to being ‘real’ — even relative to UC Gundam.

          • Matt Wells says:

            I’ve just finished the Uuodo Arc of Votoms, and aside from main character plot armour, the actual combat and mechs themselves redefined my concept of real robots. I’m counting up the Scopedogs Chirico goes through in the course of the series; as of episode 13, I think its around 11 units!

            AT’s are far from invincible: depending on the circumstances you’d be better off on foot with grenades, and though bulletproof, explosives tear through their hides like rice paper. I like to see that in a robot show, especially one with pretensions of “Realism”. I particuarly liked the scene where Coconna rendered an AT useless just by spraying its sensors, blinding the pilot.

            Case in point the final battle of episode 10-11. Chirico goes through THREE AT’s in the battle on Police Headquarters, while in many other series the protagonist would get his badass ace custom unit (Red Shoulder Scopedog Custom in this case) and blast through to the baddies no problem.

            First, he pre-programs an old, beat up Scopedog to attack the cops first, taking out their lights and giving him the element of surprise. He then massacres anyone in his way with his custom unit, armed to the teeth with slapped on rockets, mortars and cannons. Even this isn’t perfect, his rocket salvo is torn off and rendered useless by stray fire.

            Upon reaching Police HQ, Chirico has wrecked his second Scopedog beyond repair. Luckily, his friends were sent around back with a THIRD unit, and Chirico uses that to end the battle. In the likes of Gundam that would be unheard of, but 08th MS Team aside, Gundam has always bee pretty heavy on the super aspects for a real robot show.

            Even though the main chracters demonstrate Golgo 13 levels of luck, I think VOTOMS is realistic enough in its utilisation of the titular Mechs to earn the label of a “Real Robot” series. And as a kid who grew up on 80’s action flicks, its far easier to accept invincible protagonists in a real series than an invincible main robot.

    • I suggest that you create a twitter account and follow the @ghostlightning account and particularly that or @vucub_caquix who organizes these things. As you can see in the comments, episode 5 shows on 2200h GMT+8 Saturday. Of course, Skype as well (my Skype ID is ghostlightning).

  3. bluemist says:

    If time allows (and what is being watched interests me), please do invite me on your Skype viewing session thingy.

    As for remembering love, yes I may have glanced upon this in childhood back when it was Robotech, but I remember jack about it now. I’ll probably relate to the “Newfag Not a Mecha Fan” watcher since the only Macross I ever (keenly) watched is Frontier.

  4. VucubCaquix says:

    Ahahahahaha! I’m the black girl?!

    You’re correct in stating that mecha anime on their own aren’t inherently appealing to me, but many of my absolute favorite anime do tend to be mecha shows with crossover appeal i.e. TTGL or Eureka Seven or even to an extant the Giant Robo OVA.

    Though in my own defense, perhaps this was mis-communicated but I never insinuated that the newer shows I’ve seen were the source of any of these tropes (what do you take me for? I’m smarter than that!) but rather I saw how Macross was the inspiration for many of these tropes that I’ve seen in the newer shows. For example, that midair catch & rescue? I LOVED it in Eureka Seven, and I LOVE it still knowing it came from Macross, and LOVE it in the Macross show proper. Man, what a great scene. Still gives me a rush just thinking about it.

    But yes, having a somewhat broad (though I suspect still fairly limited in the end) scope of anime watched, it is fascinating to see how far Macross’s influence spreads across the little medium.

    Until Saturday, VT-101!

  5. vendredi says:

    I’ve done a few such sessions of “group watching” (over Skype and in some cases IRC) – mostly with friends I know; but even then it’s tough coordinating schedules and tastes; and certain shows just lend themselves better to group-watching. Kudos on being able to get together on a semi-regular basis and with a good group too; across several timezones even!

    “The Macross franchise is Dogfight Valhalla, because the planes actually turn into robots.”

    Macross has great dogfights and action sequences to be sure, but the transforming aspect of Macross has always rankled me (and anecdotally, from discussions with other fans of military aviation, has also grated a lot on purist sensibilities). It’s definitely part and parcel of the franchise experience, but I feel that the title of Dogfight Valhalla ought to go to a series like Area 88.

    • Reid says:

      Area 88 is definitely a show worth watching for any mecha fan, I think. I watched Macross Plus before Area 88, but the rest of the franchise afterward. I had always been into airplanes, so that’s why I got into Macross in the first place, but Area 88 was on a whole other level for me, at least in regard to the planes themselves. While I think Macross is the best space opera anime series, it is, as ghost said, pretty melodramatic, which is completely in keeping with space operas. Area 88 is equally melodramatic, but it just seems so much more plausible just by virtue of taking place in world that very much exists. That air of plausibility (resulting from real aircraft being flown instead of robots) makes me give greater leeway to the melodrama of Shin’s…plight and final decision to embrace that plight. Because Macross takes place in a sci-fi world, I just can’t ever fully “believe” the love stories, even though I very much believe the idea of “love” is carried across very well.

    • Since I’m much, much more a robot fan than I am an aircraft fan you know what’s up when I talk about Valhallas (and Failhallas) of anything. Military fiction and science fiction will entertain me, but it’s just so much better when there are humanoid giant robots. Anything else is just not enough. I do make exceptions for say, LotGH and BotS, but these shows are few and far between (and focus less on the dogfights — LotGH’s are not my thing at all, even if they involve Valkyries LOL).

  6. Anya says:

    I’m the Youngest Newest Newfag of Newness >.< (for the record I hate being referred to as male, though it's understandable given my voice). I watch a few sci fi /robot shows, I just enjoy poking fun at it when they do something ridiculous in a framework that mostly follows physics (I can stop ;_;). And the "shit blow up" thing is just my go-to phrase I like to joke about, I didn't think you were asking me seriously ^^"

    I wasn't dismayed at the melodrama (I read shoujo manga, I was the one who wrote that Shinshi Doumei Cross section), but yeah I was very surprised at it. I mean, a MECHA show that is a classic to old people actually focused on love? (I pretty much ignored the love triangle in Frontier and thought it was specific to just Frontier). And the target demographics seem wildly different…

    Anyways, I enjoyed it (I just like to complain about things, it's my way of having fun ^^")

    • Then yer gunna lurve the soap bubbles burst in this baby!

      I apologize, your voice sure made me second, third, fourth guess myself.

      But yes, Macross wanted to differentiate itself from the rest of the robot shows that came before it. Gundam in particular was never ever (really, ever, as in never!) successful with a serious romance (sure, The 08th MS Team has what could be the best effort, but still). A lot of what you’ll see are things willfully ignored by the robot fans who apologize by claiming to be only interested in the robots. This would be true if there were no nudity or sexual fanservice in mecha anime, but well…

      But like I said, I’m just counting on you getting to know the show better and perhaps come to like it. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to like something I like, out of some misplaced respect for my age and oldfag status. I won’t browbeat others to like Macross — I love it too much for that!

      No worries, I just want you to have fun!

      • Reid says:

        “Gundam in particular was never ever (really, ever, as in never!) successful with a serious romance (sure, The 08th MS Team has what could be the best effort, but still).”

        What about Domon and Rain in G Gundam?

        Domon: I’m a guy who’s ill at ease and knows only how to fight so that’s why it’s so hard for me to say this….I….I….I love you! Rain! I WANT TO BE WITH YOU!

        That is probably the manliest declaration of love ever, at least as far as anime goes.

        • Reid says:

          This was, of course, a joke. ^.^ But you know where I’m coming from.

          • Matt Wells says:

            I CRIED MANLY TEARS! ALSO, WOMANLY TEARS!

            G Gundam may not be one of the all time greats as far as romantic leads go, but they still brought a tear to my crusty heart. And you know you’re in TRUE love when you summon THE BURGER KING OF HEARTS TO VANQUISH GIANT ROBOT SATAN!

        • LOLOLOLOL

          What fun indeed.

          • Reid says:

            The (Burger) King of Hearts has his way, all right. He has his way with the bloody corpse of the Devil Gundam. And Domon and Rain will never leave the other’s side. How sweet. Chibodee, on the other hand, is a real pimp and has lots of women to use and throw away as he sees fit.

  7. ToastCrust says:

    I’m in a totally different time zone, but maybe I can pitch in?

    I haven’t actually done the obligatory rewatch of the series.

  8. otou-san says:

    Seriously, just fire the guy with the bright idea to use Mari Ijima in the dub.

  9. Ialda says:

    (“cry-porn things” is the best formula I ever read to describe crap from Key)

    Reading your post tempt me to make the plunge myself. I’ve had the DVD of the original series sleeping in a corner for years now, and I haven’t rewatched it since I was a kid who liked this series because planes transforming into robots are cool. And animation-wise, I have always feared my reaction rewatching the series after the feast that is DYRL.

    • Man very few things can touch DYRL, but the original series is so worth it, with a fuller story and an expansive world. There are also so many little things that Macross did to set it apart from anime before or since that you won’t find in DYRL. So yes, by all means watch it!

  10. WhatSht says:

    the Macross franchise, n days ago, i started on SDF Macross episode 1, and i didnt continue because of some unknown reason, maybe í’ll finish it this month, BUT i watched DYRL, 7, 5 minutes of Plus(stupid veoh), 7 OVA, 7 the galaxy blah blah blah, Frontier, Frontier movie 1, and now looking for movie 2 and Macross II(the director died in the quake/tsunami)

    • You’re all over the place!

      Watch the shows in this order:

      1. SDFM
      2. DYRL
      3. Flashback 2012
      4. Macross Plus
      5. Macross 7
      5.1 Encore
      5.2 The Galaxy is Calling Me
      5.3 Dynamite 7
      6. Macross Zer0
      7. Macross Frontier
      8. Macross II

      • WhatSht says:

        i know, right now i’m trying to find them, on the internet which the Protoculture gave us, the anime site i patronise has SDF Macross, but when i hit episode 4, megavideo shit comes out.

  11. megaroad1 says:

    Sounds like a wonderful thing to do. The more people watch SDFM, the better.

    I’d love to be able to watch SDFM together with a bunch of people. It’d be a blast. Unfortunately anime didn’t make it to this part of the world till the 21st century, so most anime fans here are half my age, and they clearly believe that anime started with Naruto or Dragonball some 10 years ago, and that character designs by anyone other than Clamp are worthless.

    And people my age cannot be convinced to see any form of animation, without using the term “cartoon” (albeit in a despective fashion) after a couple of minutes. And then alas, stand up and say: “It’s not for me”

  12. Shinmaru says:

    YAKK … DECULTURE

    wait fuck too early

    I look forward to booing you know who and for Max and Milia to show up.

  13. DonQuigleone says:

    Hang on I thought all the Macross 7 stuff was awful!

    I have to say, I greatly enjoyed Macross when I watched it a few years back in preparation for Frontier. However there is a certain camp value to the whole of SDF that you get less of in future entries. For instance the music in SDF is the height of Bubblegum pop and seeing big burly aliens go gaga over it is hilarious…

    Macross is the weirdest frankenfranchise in all of Anime, it’s a Mecha/Music/Romance/Comedy/Sci-fi/Kitchen Sink extravaganza. I would have loved to be in the board room when they pitched it (So they have transforming robots right, but actually then win using POP MUSIC).

    • Well, there are many, many reasons to think of Macross 7 as awful, but let me tell you… it’s my favorite sequel(s) in the whole thing. This is far more camp than SDFM if you ask me.

      Rock n’ Roll, LISTEN TO MY SONG!

  14. Baka-Raptor says:

    Watched DYRL in a group setting at a con. The kiss scene in front of the Zentraedi got an amusing reaction from the crowd. So did the slap. I can’t recall much else. Maybe there was love in there. I don’t remember.

    • That’s still a different show though, but if you didn’t quite find it interesting it’s more difficult to recommend this longer show. That said, the story is meatier and the world-building is more extensive.

  15. shumbapumba says:

    It’s great reading you write about this ‘return to origins’ retrospective. I really want to watch sdf macross now! But alas I accidentally bought the robotech box set unaware it lacked the original Japanese soundtrack :(. Since I paid for it I feel obliged to watch it – bad English dubs can be fun though, right? :/ Unfortunately 13 hour working days don’t leave much time for anime marathons 😦 haha I’ll have to settle for your posts. Keep em coming 😉

    • Unfortunately, Robotech is NOT Macross. It has a Macross arc but it is a different show. I will blog Robotech in a separate effort, which will include the novelization (VERY interesting, and no longer considered canon). But no, it is not the same show we’re watching and remembering love for.

      Also to warn you, the divide between the fans of the two shows can be very bitter. The Macross fans have much contempt for the Robotech saga, and Robotech fans care not for the Japanese obsession that is prevalent among Macross fans.

      Me, I’m hold Macross as my favorite anime of all and for all time, but am devoid of this anger and bitterness for whatever version. There is no official version of Macross worth anything because of the labyrinthine path to secure all the licenses concerning the music and what not. So if you have intense scruples about acquiring this show the way people who’ve watched it do, then you’ll just have to miss out.

  16. Pingback: What the Robots You Voted for SaiMecha Round 1 (Earth Side) Say About You | We Remember Love

  17. shumbapumba says:

    Well I’ll be interested to read your post on robotech. And since I’ve bought robotech I will watch it but I also want to see macross – badly. Is it available online anywhere? If not where can I get it? (while the new job may not give me much time to watch anime, it does give me lots of money to spend on anime :D). Thanks for clearing up the robotech/macross thing.

    • The horrible shitty dub at least is available on hulu. That’s what my friend was watching as he joined us. Enjoy!

      • shumbapumba says:

        haha cheers. so the Japanese with English subs is hard to acquire?

        • As far as I know it was never licensed. So I’m afraid you’ll miss out on the music which is an integral, game-breaking aspect of the show. Without the original music, it’s simply not Macross.

        • megaroad1 says:

          It is actually licensed and its Harmony Gold (the guys who did Robotech) who own the license. A couple of years ago, HG and ADV released SDFM with both the dub and the subs. There’s a couple of good extras too.

          Said version can still be found floating around in ebay and Amazon, but it’s not cheap. Alternatively, there was also an australian box version that came with all the episodes and can be had a bit cheaper, but I haven’t seen it in a while.

          There was also a sub only Animeigo version.

          Hope this helps.

          • Matt Wells says:

            Both the Animego and ADV releases have been out of print for YEARS. Believe me, I tried to find them, and to no avail. I wasn’t helped by unclear product pages that didn’t reveal how much of the series I would be paing $150 for. That, and I don’t have $150 to spare.

            Seems I’m stuck with fucking three episodes a day with Megavideo, or I buy one of the plentiful Robotech boxsets. 😦

  18. Pterobat says:

    Dear God do I love SDFM.

    It’s strange to think about, of course, that I managed to make a decades-old anime part of my personal Anime Holy Trinity after only seeing it in unaltered form for about two years. And yet, when deciding why this is so, it’s incredibly easy to understand.

    Yes, it is always true that I’m the most fascinated by the character arc of the Zentradi (fandom parody and profound emotional transformation all rolled into one)–but the entire series is very well-crafted, and the main characters are always interesting to watch (even if at times I despise Hikaru), start to finish.

    I’m also finally comfortable with admitting that nothing Macross after that comes even close to matching the appeal of SDFM in my heart, and I indeed even despise DYRL for its divergence from SDFM. The sight of so many fans today, both much older and much more into Macross than I am, clamouring for a remake a la Macross the First or Macross Fever, just about breaks my nerdy heart.

    If I have friends open to the deal, I’m gonna show them this series. 😀

    • I have a different attitude: if the talent is there, the resources are there, and the love is there, by all means remake the original series. I would love it for what it is, a tribute reproduction done lovingly, carefully, and powerfully.

      I’ll be blogging SDFM in 4 episode installments every week, even if nothing more than reflections for and from the experience of watching it with these people.

      I’m really happy fans like you exist — so different from me yet undeniably sharing similarly (very) strong feelings for this silly show.

  19. Mo says:

    Just for the record, if you have netflix, (not sure if there is netflix in the Philippines? I am in New Jersey) you can rent the ADV Macross dubbed DVD (the same one that they are streaming on HULU, but only in English), and they have a track in Japanese with subtitles. The Animeigo version is indeed as everyone said, out of print 😦

    • I doubt Netflix will set up shop here, with broadband speeds here being what they are. The income levels are such that the service would be priced beyond anime viewers.

  20. Matt Wells says:

    FINALLY got my DVDs of the series, and with the swank Animeigo liner notes no less! In top shape for Discs that are at least 10 years old too. PIcture quality was good, slight colour fading, but the sound was crisp and clear. Subtitles are good, just a few liberties with the translation here and there (like blatant Star Trek references).

    WOW. Just marathoned the first six episodes, and DAYUUM. And you saw this show when you were 8?! No wonder it left so vivid an impression on you. In six episodes I’ve seen the kind of story progression that would take a full Gundam series 3x the episodes: tech and concepts were introduced a startling rate, but for all that were competently handled and explored. Its a remarkable excercise in economy of storytelling, and I hear Nadesico pulls of similar progression.

    The main cast introduced so far are well drawn and engaging. Hikaru’s a bit bland at the moment, and Minmay comes across as frankly bipolar (“We’re going to starve to death and be eaten by rats! MARRY ME AND PROVE OUR LOVE BY JUMPING OUT THE AIRLOCK WITH ME!!!”), but I know they have plenty of room to grow. If anything I regret how much your excellent posts and my own curiosity have spoiled so much of the plot for me, but I’m loving every minute of the show regardless.

    One of the thing’s that really struck me was the level of humour. Practically ANY series is a barrel of laughs when compared to the average Gundam show, but the sheer lighthearted tone when juxtaposed with the level of death and destruction…its disconcerting. Like the Mayor at the end of episode 4: “Yeah, we were teleported into space and are under the constant threat of annihalation by an alien Pan-Galactic Armada, but that’s life for ya! What ya gonna do?” These skits don’t serve to undermine the tension, they just serve to complement it, in a way.

    Its almost Black Humour. We have our ragtag team thrown adrift into space with no means of support, and torrent after torrent of shit hits them. The ship’s flying drives tear loose when they try to take off, their first teleport accidently warps the engine itself into space, they have rearrange the insides of the ship just to get the power conduits right, and after they change into a far slower humanoid shape, they don’t dare change back for fear of something else going wrong. Throughout it all they face the situation with humour and self-deprecation, instead of rightfuly going stir crazy and killing each other.

    I also loved how “REAL” a real robot it is. Hikaru may be a whiz with a plane, but he can’t pilot a bipedal robot for shit (at first). The way he kept falling into buildings for an entire episode had me in stitches. He has to undergo a month of serious training before he can ever hope to pull it off, no fancy schmancy learning computer or Newtype powers to bail him out. Considering the show aired a scant four years after the original Gundam, it feels like a well organised list of take thats against Tomino’s show. Kawamori and his crew threw down the gauntlet and gave us a show with better, realistic cimbat, with a story that was comparatively so fluffy and light you could float bricks on it.

    Two last points before I move on to your other recaps. I love how they essentially welded two aircraft carriers onto the Macross as both arms and to give the Valkyries an AWESOME runway. Continues Space Battleship Yamato’s fine tradition of nautical combat in space. I also loved the possible gag where Global began to pull out his pipe while ominously making portent predictions of the Zentradi forces…only to be told by one of the bridge Bunnies that there’s no smoking allowed on deck. Global seems like an earnest pastiche of the Awesome Captain mould established by Yamato, both tribute and piss take at the same time. He’s shouldered with the responsibility of mankind’s first war with an extraterrestrial race, yet he’s constantly futzing up or banging his head on the airlock door. One likeable son-of-a-gun.

    Ghost man. THANK YOU for introducing this show to me. I would have likely meandered on ever watching it, to the point of putting it off for years. God knows how long it would be before I’d ever come to regret my decision. 8 episodes in and already I’m a convert. I owe you big time for this mate, if only for talking about it so much I resolved to actually watch it. Your recaps were what convinced me to shell out for the DVDs, and for it all, I am eternally greatful. You are the absolute best, and sorry for the length of my post. Thank you.

    • Ishiguro Nobuo (is a major Star Trek fan, fyi).

      Nadesico made a lot of plot progression… but it’s wild and comic. A totally different side of cut of Tuna.

      Re the humor, it’s not quite black, because it really is a lighthearted show as further episodes will attest.

      As for the REAL robot stuff… now you know! Feels good to have these opinions of mine validated. Kawamori and Mikimoto were first generation Gundam diehards. You’ll read all about it in the liner notes, how their club “Gunsight” wasn’t any old otaku club, or anime club, or manga club. It was a GUNDAM club. They certainly remember love for the show that rocked their world. In less than a decade Mikimoto will get to work on 0080, and Kawamori on 0083.

      Those aircraft carriers as arms are one of my most favorite things ever. You must check out my work on the Battle of Saturn’s rings where the Daedalus maneuver made its debut. Global was clearly out of his depth, and things just kept going wrong for everyone involved. It’s a different kind of take on war, and a welcome one — vs. all those other shows where every result is ‘just as planned.’

      You’re welcome for the recommendation. Promoting Macross indeed is a prime directive of this site and seeing it accomplished is fulfilling indeed.

      • Matt Wells says:

        I don’t mean stuff in there put in there by the animators like computer readouts saying the Enterprise is under attack by Klingons. I mean stuff like Animeigo, the translators run by fans for fans, just translating dialogue in subtitles as quotes from the Wrath of Khan. Just google it and you’ll find a 10 year old flame war about it. It was a throwaway line of dialogue from Roy when he’s trying to get them to find Hikaru, and while it doesn’t RUIN the show, it does bring me out of the viewing expoerience.

        Tiny complaint, but its with the distributor, not the series itself. Happens again a few episodes later I hear. Roy’s blasting away Zentradi and he yells “Resistance is futile!”, the signature quote of the Borg. That COULD be a valid translation of freaking “Muda Muda!”, but given the previous occasion I doubt it.

        Your analysis of Great Anime Battles was one of the peices that drew me to your blog in the first place, having actually seen the episode I’ll give it another once over. I really wish you’d do more of them, but given your viewing backlog and the time they require to write I understand completely.

        • Not being a Star Trek fan, I totally missed those things. I can see how it could be annoying though. I still want to make that kind of post, but yeah it takes a whole lot out of you.

  21. karl angelo perez says:

    ive been a fanatic of macross since i saw it as robotech more than 20 years ago… i love what you have contributed in temporarily satiating my thirst for anything macross =) so here’s something to show my appreciation and hope you’ll love it as i do…

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