Guncross, Madam?

The Judgement of Paris, Rubens
It’s a bit like another Judgement of Paris¹

I finally thought I had conquered the urge to compare what are probably anime’s two most prominent mecha franchises, and Washi had to go and open the contrast-floodgates which I had just managed to close. Of course, I haven’t seen enough of either to properly do the job justice (Kaioshin ought to write this), but sometimes in life we simply have to use the best tools we have to hand, just as sometimes in anime we simply have to rely on the untrained teenager who’s been accidentally thrust into the cockpit of the military’s latest toy.

Macross and Gundam seem to demand comparison, but they’re really rather different breeds of mecha. The key distinction between them, as I see it, is that (most of the time) Gundam takes itself very seriously – for a mecha action franchise – and expects you to do the same. When it works, this makes for anime which can be unsettling, laden with pathos and at the same time full of giant robots, fighting. This can be thrust home with the force of a flèche (0080) or gently served up with the nukes covered in Ghiblesque honey (∀ Gundam), but it’s usually there. And I’ll pre-empt mentions of G Gundam by pointing out that it’s a series about betrayal, set on a dystopian prison planet which happens to be Earth (just with added hotbloodedness and the yelling of attack names).

Unfortunately, when this demand to be taken seriously doesn’t work, the result is great, clanging moments of bathos mixed in with giant robots, fighting. It’s hard to be really moved by Gundam SEED unless you’re fourteen years old, and ZZ‘s Space Aztecs do not a plausible faction make. When a show demands serious treatment but doesn’t back up its claims with credible behaviour, it looks like a precocious ten-year-old misusing long words. Gundam 00 creates a different but similar problem for itself by demanding, very forcefully, that you take it as a Serious Story, while at the same time refusing with equal force to be novelistic or to pretend to be realistic, which turns a lot of fans off. (This is not to say that you can’t do comedy seriously: The 08th MS Team‘s Eledore is sometimes hilarious and sometimes heart-rending. Serious comedy was something the early-modern humanists specialised in – but I digress.)

Three Times Faster

Macross (in general) isn’t really interested in how seriously you take it. It’s space opera, and it hits you with the all the bombast of men and women in ridiculous costumes singing in a foreign language about how they’re going to stab each other. As with comedy in Gundam, this doesn’t mean that Macross can’t be saddening or thought-provoking – I for one found the return to Earth in Do You Remember Love? incredibly bleak – it means that the focus and drive of the storytelling lies in a different place. (A love-triangle-ey place. Stick to Gundam if you want to avoid girl cooties.)

This difference – that one franchise wants to be taken seriously, and the other doesn’t – plays out very clearly in the way their worlds are usually constructed. As science fiction, Macross is much softer than (most of) Gundam. This is not to say that Gundam is particularly hard sf – bipedal war machines are hard to swallow even in Gasaraki (and remember that in Gasaraki they’re really biological) – but a moment’s thought will reveal that Macross’s world is in many ways the sillier.

Macross has aliens, sentient computers and faster-than-light travel, and the franchise is closely identified with mecha that not only transform, but transform between three rather than two configurations.² Oh yeah, and there’s the music thing, too. Gundam restricts itself (Crossbone excepted) to the area of space around the Earth and restricts itself absolutely to (usually colonial) wars between human factions. No A.I., no aliens, no foldspace – and even in SEED the songstress halts war not by singing, but by ordering that things be blown up until people stop fighting. To put the contrast another way, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross has Boddole Zer puzzling over the mechanics of kissing; Mobile Suit Gundam has Giren Zabi’s frighteningly naive exchange with his father about Hitler.

More Firepower?

In truth, it’s unfair to compare the two. There’s less of Macross, it’s produced less frequently, and as Washi points out it forms one coherent(ish) continuity. And I suspect that those who identify themselves as ‘Macross fans’ are a rather more united house, too – after all, there are fewer Macross series, OVAs and movies to champion. Gundam’s almost too big. Bertschy (not, I know, the otakusphere’s best friend) remarked that ‘the whole franchise is so vast that hardcore fans are more likely to self-identify as “Gundam Fans” rather than “Anime Fans”.’³

And if you insist on asking, with Ali G, ‘But which one is better?’, I have to say ‘Gundam’. Macross – what I’ve seen of it – can be great: great-looking, great fun, great characters and great action. At its highest moments, however, Gundam – what I’ve seen of it – can be something transcendent. Even ignoring its finest hours, it offers such breadth of choice and – like a collection of poems – so many variations on its themes and permutations of its designs that it’s a whole world unto itself. I hardly need mention its influence.

Macross is nice, I loved the parts of it I’ve seen, please watch and buy both Macross and Gundam (and Yamato too). But, if I may be permitted some Jonsonian hyperbole, it’s Gundam which is a franchise ‘Not of an age, but for all time!’

[It's also Gundam which is dominating my tagcloud like Godzilla astride the Tokyo skyline. Help. Send lawyers, guns and money.]

Notes

1. Rubens is really ramping up the fanservice on this blog – people are going to start thinking this is Derailed by Darry, or something.

2. Iniksbane recently pointed out that the prevalence of transforming mecha in Zeta Gundam added an element of cheesiness which damaged the series’ desire to be Taken Seriously. Of course, the focus on transformers (with a lower-case ‘t’) in the series may have been caused by the popularity of SDF Macross, but whatever the reason I agree with Iniksbane that they didn’t mesh very well with the general Tomino-ness of Zeta.

3. ‘Self-identify’ is horrible. Kill it. Kill it with fire.

EDIT: Author annotates Washi’s remarks.

EDIT II: Hayase annotates my post, Washi’s post and Author’s post.

33 responses to “Guncross, Madam?

  1. Fantastic post. Really good read :)

  2. Definitely it is the themes that set the two series apart. Gundam, especially Tomino gundam, has always been about the fact that unless mankind evolves beyond its current state there will be no end to fighting. There are some bright spots, but on the whole gundam is pretty bleak, especially U.C. gundam.

    Macross, on the other hand, is pretty upbeat. Even if a majority of Earth’s population dies, as long as there’s a pop-idol willing to sing everything will be ok. Macross is more a microism of the human condition instead of Gundam’s wish to portray the large spans of history.

    Another interesting thing I thought of when I watched the first episode of Macross Frontier is how Macross actually looks like science fiction. It’s not our society a hundred years in the future, like how Gundam is 20th century politics with less weapons of mass destruction and more robots. It’s a world completely different from ours, which is a lot of what makes Macross a refreshingly good series.

  3. Are you sure Gundam is trying to be taken seriously? I’ve never seen any Macross and it took a lot of time for a friend to persuade me to watch Gundam 00 (same friend that made me watch Tengen Toppa, actually – I should probably listen to him more), but the latter is completely silly and bizarre. I mean, look at the episode the Thrones came into play. Actually, the whole Thrones drama is pretty off the wall.

    It could be that I’m just assuming they’re not trying to be serious when they’re actually trying and failing to be serious, mind you.

    Btw, other than Frontier (which I’m planning on watching), what Macross would you say is the best? I really do prefer new anime since old animation quality makes me cringe, but…I’m willing to give the older ones a shot!

  4. @ Washi: Thankyou – and thankyou the inspiration of your own post.

    @ Demian: Yeah, I guess Macross is perhaps more escapist? Certainly as you say it’s more removed from our own world. One of the ways Gundam is sometimes so unsettling is how it can be disturbingly recognisable – a defamiliarised now (or a defamiliarised WW2).

    And I’m sure you’re right about the ‘look’ of each franchise. Obviously there’s a lot of variety in Gundam, but something like the original Zaku (or for that matter the Tieren and the Anf) is quite clearly a case of the mechanical designers saying ‘Here’s a tank. Let’s make it humanoid.’ Macross does this with jet fighters, true, but the jet fighter is an icon of the hopeful age of avionics and heroic pilots, knights of the air; the tank is a metal vehicle with a big gun.

    @ Shiri: I’m not saying Gundam 00 in particular is trying to be realistic in terms of its combat or its drama – like a novel might – but that it desperately wants to be a Serious Story about fanaticism and blind faith (consider how much of its language is the language of judgement, salvation, how Sumeragi talks of blindly following Veda’s diktats – there’s a whole other entry here really). As you say, there’s no attempt to make the combat or the characters convincing – it’s not playing that game.

    As for Macross, which I’m not an expert on, Macross Plus is a well-animated four-part OVA with a good reputation (and I liked it), and Do You Remember Love? is, despite its age, a stunningly beautiful piece of animation if you can find a good copy. The original TV series (SDF Macross) is supposedly notable for lower-than-average production values, however.

  5. I don’t really think that Macross is as prominent as Gundam. Maybe not even close. In fact I think that Evangelion in particular and the varied mecha themed works of Gainax as a whole have more prominence than Macross does.

    So that said probably the only equal comparison to the Gundam franchise is the varied Go Nagai/Dynamic Productions series of programs. If I had to choose just one Nagai series it would be Mazinger which hasn’t seen an animated incarnation in something like 5 years, but Getter Robo is pretty close and I think it’s only been like 3 years since the last episode of an animated version of that was out (OVAs both). In fact the comparison is made even better since Gundam and Macross are both “real robot” series and are more prominently anime series whereas most of Nagai’s works typify the “super robot” genre and typically have their penultimate and/or original versions in manga form.

    This opinion is based mostly on the fact that the only two mecha anime franchises to have a representative series in every “main line” Super Robot Wars game that I can think of (I’m not familiar with the DS games) are Mazinger and Gundam. Of course perhaps the comparison between “real” and “super” is an entirely different matter, it’s a tough call.

    Nice blog, by the way. I wish I could write as clearly as you but alas I am left with my own chaos to make due with. Never having learned how to write properly in English probably does not help my cause either now that I think of it.

  6. @iKnight: Thanks! I’ll check those out.

    @reuche’s last paragraph: Yeah, same. Gonna have to start learning for these philosophy/social studies papers, too…

  7. Macross has a single continuity? I thought that the Macross II oavs had been tossed overboard, Macross 7 was retconned as some sort of in-universe fiction, and Do You Remember Love itself was supposed to be an in-universe film of the events in the original TV series. That’s more than half the airtime of the entire oeuvre excluded from the continuity right there.

    Also? The original TV series wasn’t that badly animated for the early Eighties. About on par, really. Compare it with early Urusei Yatsura. The Eighties were really kind of a trough, animation-wise, on TV, and it didn’t really get better until they broke in the CG equipment in the mid-late Nineties. Well, that and the OAV industry siphoning off all the talent. You want to see real crap? Try mid-series Ranma 1/2.

  8. @ reuche: Hmm. For some reason, I didn’t categorise Eva as primarily mecha. You’re right, of course. In terms of prominence and influence, NGE is certainly ‘bigger’ than Macross. Perhaps another reason I failed to consider it is that it doesn’t span lots of series, OVAs and films like Macross and Gundam do.

    It’s funny you should mention Mazinger because I was watching the first episode of Mazinger Z last night. It was interesting – and one of the villains was great – but I doubt I have the stamina for the whole series. But you’re right that the Nagai corpus of works is a nice contrast to Gundam (and Macross) in being ‘super’ and mostly manga-adaptions. And being a SRW stalwart. As for ‘real’ and ‘super’, I’m of the opinion that it’s a useful distinction, but not a perfect one – but again, there’s another whole entry there.

    @ reuche’s last para & Shiri: Unfortunately, pretty words is pretty much all I’m good for. English students can write and read to very high standards, but we have nothing to write about except writing itself. Which is essentially intellectual masturbation, except it’s much better at making you (intellectually) blind than physical masturbation.

    @ Mitch H.: I guess I was working with hearsay on the production values and the continuity (though I knew that DYRL? was an in-universe movie – IIRC a character does karaoke to one of the movie’s songs in Plus). But to my knowledge Macross’s creators have never sat down and said ‘Ok, this is a totally unrelated universe’ from the get-go, as has (frequently) happened to Gundam since G.

    As for production values, I suppose it might well be a case of mecha fans watching one or two 80s mecha series and nothing else from the era, and so having no standard to compare it to.

  9. Macross was a stepping stone for mecha that despite it’s infrequent entries cannot be denied. It is credited for starting the transformable robot craze that would revolutionize the way we thought about mecha and would lead to series such as The Transformers and even Zeta Gundam. Before it transformation was more of a novelty that was just used because it looked cool, but with Macross it was often used as a critical part of the protagonists combat tactics.

    Another credit that goes to Macross is that it continued and helped cement the trend started by Gundam of having more sympathetic villains that were shades of grey rather than just evil demonic looking aliens or monsters that sought destruction. The Zentradi while fearsome as a race of giants would later prove to be a valuable ally and not just the one pretty boy solider (You would have to see Super Robot series like Getter Robo to really get what I mean. There was always one of them that looked less evil and absolutely nothing like the rest of the evil alien race that would turn out to be decent in the most cliched manner possible).

    Even Gorg Bodolza had a specific agenda based on the Zentradi’s innate fear of miclones and couldn’t be considered aimlessly evil (outside of Do You Remember Love? which was strong on the visuals but completely slaughtered the best parts of every character from the TV Series at almost every opportunity and is definitively non-canon in all but it’s character designs).

    Macross II Lover’s Again it should be mentioned is not G canon either. It was made by a different studio that was not part of the usual Big West/Nue partnership and thus defaults to a lower level of canon.

    Another comparison/contrast I would make is that Macross has stuck to tradition and formula (extremely important in Japanese society) that has proven timeless and it’s primary theme seems to be a call for harmony between all living things (this is conveyed in it’s frequent use of music as an audio/visual metaphor for drawing people together). Gundam on the other hand likes to continously reinvent itself while holding onto a minimum of core beliefs, which has also made it sort of timeless. This has been mistakenly interpreted by some as Sunrise staff basically saying “F*** You” to the fans by making Gunam consistently unpredictable despite every indication that we think we know how the story should be told.

    Each consecutive Gundam series arguably has it harder then any that proceeded it because the writers are now expected to build on all that has come before it (Yes even in A.U), as well as to innovate in new directions so as not to be accused of making a clone. Macross essentially just has to follow continuity and acknowledge the canon and it will be okay since the fans generally know what to expect from the series and will be satisfied by that. As much as I love Gundam I would never want to be a part of the production process that goes into it because of the crushing pressure you face from all sides of the equation, from the overhead at Bandai to the fans demands for conformity and adhearance to tradition.

    By the way, there is almost no way I could ever possibly mistake this blog for Derailed by Darry in a million years. This place with it’s laid back design and the thought provoking essay like content of it’s articles is so far removed from Jason’s incoherent and predictable ramblings that the two cannot be compared in any fashion.

    I wouldn’t recommend watching too much Mazinger Z by the way. You’ve basically seen the entirety of what the show has to offer if you’ve seen the first episode. 70′s-80′s super robot shows pretty much all followed the same formula:

    - Team get’s assembled and they have to learn to work together despite their differences.

    - Evil villain sends machine beast to destroy hero robot with a new super weapon to exploit one of it’s weaknesses (sometimes this is varied by them exploiting a pilots weakness instead)

    -Hero robot is beaten up and forced to retreat to it’s base where the team and support crew devise a counter measure to the machine beast of the weeks super weapon.

    -Hero robot relaunchs and manages to overcome the machine beasts super weapon and then proceeds to finish it off with it’s super weapon.

    -Happy end. Rinse and repeat next episode until it comes time for the final battle, which is usually the only interesting part following the 1st episode.

    As much as Mazinger Z was a milestone for being the first piloted robots, it is every bit the episodic kids show and does not stand the test of time well at all.

  10. Hmm, Macross does (from what I’ve seen) major on the reconciliation, unification and harmony themes, which are always more of a distant ideal than anything achievable in Gundam. I can understand how working on ‘the next Gundam’ might be stressful – to use an in-fashion and slightly innacurate lit-crit/psychoanalysis term, the weight of all the previous heritage, the company’s expectations and the fans’ wishes overdetermine the latest show.

    From your description, it sounds like GekiganGAR III taught me most of what I need to know about the 70s-80s super robot genre. Although I’m tempted to watch a bit more of Mazinger Z because Baron Ashura (having gone to the trouble of wiki’ing him to find out the name) is such a brilliant concept for an antagonist.

  11. You should watch the Mazinkaizer OVA then as it’s much less formulaic and just plain good fun. Baron Ashura also plays a huge part in it along with Dr. Hell.

  12. Cool, thanks for recommending that. I’ll note it down as worth watching.

  13. “I don’t really think that Macross is as prominent as Gundam. Maybe not even close. In fact I think that Evangelion in particular and the varied mecha themed works of Gainax as a whole have more prominence than Macross does.”

    I think you’re underestimating the impact that SDF Macross had in the 80′s. The only mecha series to be more influential from it’s era was Mobile Suit Gundam (Macross wouldn’t exist without MSG). MSG sequel Zeta was influenced by Macross as you can see with all the transformations.

  14. I suppose one issue is different levels of prominence among English-speaking fans and in Japan. What with the *busters, NGE and (now) TTGL (can we count FLCL?), GAINAX are connected for Anglophone fans with mecha of a certain stripe. Indeed, GAINAX was the first studio name I learned to recognise (though I had heard of Gundam before I even knew what anime was).

    But when we consider the subtler influence of Robotech, and the impact of Macross in Japan the picture changes, I think.

  15. I assumed he included FLCL in the following comment.

    “In fact I think that Evangelion in particular and the varied mecha themed works of Gainax as a whole have more prominence than Macross does”

    Evangelion for better or worse was a massive influence on the mecha genre, it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Gundam, Mazinger Z and Macross.

    Are Gunbuster, FLCL and Gurren Lagann anywhere near as influential as Macross though? To be blunt, fuck no and even if you combine those 3 shows it’s not even close.

    You can look at Big West trying to capitalize off the success of Macross by using the Super Dimensional moniker for Orguss and Southern Cross. Than you have Genesis Climber Mospeada which was another series to be inspired by Macross. Southern Cross and Mospeada were eventually turned into the second and third arcs of Robotech.

    Also Macross launched the singing career of Mari Iijima with her Lynn Minmay being one of the first anime idols. The very first thing I thought of when I initially saw Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED was Minmay/Macross.

    You really should get around to watching the original series one day Leuconoe.

  16. Well, yes. Macross has had more influence on anime than GAINAX’s mecha shows (if we discount NGE as a one-off). Lacus Clyne’s the tip of the iceberg, apparently – I’ve heard it said that if it wasn’t for Macross, the whole anime/music crossover industry we have now would be very different and probably smaller. (And, since you bring it up, I do plan to watch SDF Macross, hopefully some time this year.)

    What I was trying to convey was that GAINAX’s mecha shows have a higher profile for quite a few anime fans in ‘the West’. I know several ‘SEED-generation’ (technically that label includes me, I suppose) Gundam fans who haven’t even heard of Macross (which is a shame) but can happily discuss FLCL or Gunbuster.

  17. FLCL and Gurren Lagann would be more known about the digital fansub era fans than Macross, though I’m sure Macross Frontier will carve quite a big fanbase for itself by the time it’s done.

    Gunbuster though… is probably in the same boat as Macross Plus if not worse since it’s older and lacks an English dub. As for Diebuster it wasn’t exactly a smash hit just like Macross Zero.

    I guess it depends on what era you entered into anime, I grew up watching Robotech (I still have an original VHS of the Homecoming episodes) along with Transformers. I got back into anime before the DBZ boom when the big titles were movies and ovas like Ninja Scroll, Akira, Ghost In The Shell, Macross Plus & Battle Angel Alita.

  18. The generational thing is very interesting. Growing up TV-less, I completely missed VHS and to this day I don’t even know which way round you put one into the machine that plays it. Though it was movies and OVAs which were my entry point into anime too, just on DVD.

    Ideally, Frontier will be popular enough to be licensed and quickly taken to the US. Since Alto has bishonen qualities, perhaps we’ll see a repeat of the Wing-effect, even? (Well, one can dream.)

  19. HELLO once again.

    Great post. I haven’t seen Macross so I can’t comment on it, but I do like Gundam’s seriousness. Sometimes it even takes itself really seriously that it becomes funny.

  20. Hey Michael, good to see you around (again). Gundam definitely slips into amusing bathos – I think a lot of people find this happens with 00‘s combination of big flashy robots and a child-soldier protagonist. But I shouldn’t make these blanket judgements about other people’s experience, really.

  21. I’m one of the original generation who grew up with the original Mobile Suit Gundam, the Big Robots (Mazinger, etc), as well as Robotech which was my second English-language exposure to Japanese animation (the Gundam influences were mostly from manga imported from overseas). Gundam’s… very varied, and its influence is different from that of a series like Macross, whose transforming robots and space-opera nature make it more the Star Wars to Gundam’s Battlestar Galactica.

    Evangelion, on the other hand, is a deconstruction of the big robot genre, right down to its biological robots and unskilled new pilot (a send-up to the big robot pilots and Amuro Rey). Gundam… sometimes takes itself too seriously, which occasionally leads to the really weird interludes (Turn-A’s metaphysical approach, Gundam Wing basically being a Magical Girl show using mecha). Macross doesn’t QUITE go that way, although Macross Zero’s similarly ‘warped’ in the way Turn-A was.

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  23. I like the Star Wars / Macross comparison: as you say they’re both firmly in the space opera bracket. Though sadly my lack of first-hand Battlestar Galactica experience means I can’t tell how well it matches up to Gundam. Eva‘s definitely a deconstruction of its genre – and by the end of the show, of itself too (which is exactly what everything’s meant to do, according to deconstructionists); this must be what makes it so incoherent. I suspect that most anime is reacting against its genre to some extent, but Eva sets about it very enthusiastically.

    I’d hesitate before pointing to over-seriousness as the cause of Turn-A‘s wierdness (Laundry Gundam is serious?) but I like the idea of Wing being a mechanised Magical Girl (or Magical Boy – maho shota?) show, though. Just as the Nanoha franchise is frequently described as a mecha show using Magical Girls.

  24. Animanachronism: I’m thinking the old BSG mostly… since it was a contemporary of Star Wars Episode IV, and both were science-fiction, with the SW movies having more fiction than the (slightly) harder sci-fi of BSG, which suffered from its own problems due to a storyline which got somewhat weird towards the end. The newer BSG is comparatively harder science-fiction experience, with the mystical elements being the most fantasy-like parts of the show. It’d be closer to Gundam than it would be Macross, if not for some of the parts which involve what appear to be religious experiences akin to the Power of Song taking down the Zentradi or Protodevlin.

    As for Turn-A, the ‘serious’ part was how they took the concept of a Gundam which had godlike ‘nanotechnology’ and then introduced fantastic elements… while trying to pretend it all made sense somehow, even if the concepts behind the setting and what’d happened to the world were closer to magic than to science-fiction. And they treated the show rather seriously, certainly more so than Gundam Wing did (even if they did play into the cliches rather enthustically).

  25. I see what you mean now. Gundam has its newtype visions, but those are relatively tame compared to alien races being defeated by music. And I take your point that Turn-A is serious compared to something like Wing. I suspect I was swayed by the way Turn-A is a happier show than (say) Victory, but of course just because something’s happy in tone doesn’t prevent it from being serious.

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  27. Serious and happy are not mutually exclusive – a show like Keroro Gunso doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and pokes fun at the pretensions which another show might celebrate. Macross, for example, doesn’t really emphasize its ‘realism’ (especially when you have Zentradi who can Miclonize, or in DYRL you have a HUMAN grow to Zentradi size), whereas a lot of Gundam fans trumpet their favorite shows’ more ‘realistic’ approach with Minovsky particles and the like, and ignores any possibility that the topic is ridiculous.

    In Macross F, we even have in-jokes relating to the previous series (the Episode 5 preview has a Minmei doll-lookalike being thrown at Ozma, while the previous one had a huge fish-head on a table which may be a nod to the time Minmay and Hikaru spent a week or so trapped in a hold, including a ‘fishing in space’ expedition, only to recover a huge tuna head).

    And the new BSG has people sharing religious experiences, where they have visions of what may or may not be God, where a character supposedly returns from death to lead the chosen people to Earth, and so forth. Plus there’s a bunch of unexplained phenomenon (including how the Thirteenth Tribe apparently could see the future, to judge by how they set up one particular temple to only trigger during an event that would ONLY happen after the Galactica got there) that makes Newtype visions look tame and explainable.

  28. Incidentally, regarding Kaioshin’s comment about harmony… that’s more Kawamori’s injection into each Macross series… which is why Macross Zero and Sousei no Aquarion got so weird.

    One other thing that I personally say Macross popularized was the setting of pop music to fight scenes, which is a much-applied theme today. Before this, you’d have dramatic orchestral compositions, but now you’re as likely to have a pop singer crooning in your ear while the hero starts beam-or-missile spamming an enemy fleet to death in the middle of the pentultimate battle.

    … and of course, Hollywood’s famous Top Gun took a similar approach at the start of the MTV generation a year or two later to become one of the iconic 80′s movies…

  29. Hmm. The combination of pop music and combat often seems a bit grating to me, but it worked for me in DYRL?‘s finale. Then again, some shows seem to use the grating-ness for their own purposes: one example I’ve seen quoted is the way 0080 begins with a scene of futile death, and then switches to irritating pop music.

  30. Animanachonism: I think the term, at least as coined by TVTropes and an idea used by directors all over, is “Soundtrack Dissonance”. And it’s the energy that the fast-paced music adds to the fight which is supposed to give it more ‘verve’ (when done right – when done wrong, it turns into a Gundam SEED sorta fight).

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  32. Oh how sad I am to be a gutless lurker when I first read this post… This post, is love.

  33. Pingback: We Remember The Animanachronism (with much Love) « We Remember Love

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