The first episode of Macross Frontier – the Deculture Edition of the first episode – was my first contact with Macross, excepting a dimly-remembered trailer for (I think) Plus, which I saw on a rented DVD ages ago. I’m not counting that trailer because I didn’t pay much attention to it, on the grounds that ‘you promised me giant robots, and these are definitely planes, not giant robots’.
How little I knew!
It’s difficult to select a particular part from the first episode, though the clear winner in adrenaline terms is the BREACHING OF THE FINAL DEFENSIVE LINE near the close. That was excellent, but I suppose the really significant moment was shot of the flying club’s hand movements. It’s not earthshaking in itself, but it made people on the internet say things. I didn’t grasp most of what they said because I knew nothing about Macross, so all I heard was ‘raaaagh raaaagh Plus raaaagh’. That, and the revelation that Martin knew things about, and liked, this ‘Macross’ thing, opened up the prospect of exploring a whole franchise while waiting for more of Frontier.
I’m a sucker for extensive franchises which offer variations on a theme. Once you have easily-identified variations there are lots of instructive comparisons just waiting to be made – you could insert a point about language being a system of differences here if you really wanted – so that, for example, Sheryl and Ranka suddenly become more interesting when juxtaposed with Minmay, Sharon, and the members of Fire Bomber.
Maybe Frontier didn’t turn out as good as some had hoped, but without it I might have missed Plus and Do You Remember Love?, which were great fun, and Zero, which had amazing robots. I’m stalled exactly halfway through the original SDF Macross, because I’m still mourning for a certain character.
Actually, speaking of that certain character, some will also remember Frontier for breaking the Pineapple Salad Jinx. However, an intelligent /m/an was swift to point out the deadly salad in Char’s Counter Attack, proving that while the Pineapple Salad Jinx was a lie, it was a lie covering a deeper and wider-reaching truth affecting both Macross and Gundam. Whatever Frontier‘s quality, it has at least proved that the danger’s in the salad, not the pineapple.