Tag Archives: macross

Two Quintessences?

Suite Precure wrapped up last Sunday. It was an acceptable installment for the franchise, with some nice silly concepts and a handful of good fights. It played the revelation of the third and fourth magical girls’ identities well, and Cure Beat’s electric-guitar hair was a brilliant little touch. And for those who didn’t watch it (so, everyone) I’m not talking about her appearance. I’m talking about the fact that her ahoge is strummable.

But it was never much more than acceptable (‘as average as it gets for PreCure‘), and contained little to entertain normal adults, so what I’m saying is, I suppose, that you, dear reader, probably shouldn’t bother trying it.

That judgement makes me think about how we divide up the franchise as a whole. There’s a trend towards what I’d call Heartcatch exceptionalism: the position that Heartcatch Precure is, quality-wise, just better than the other iterations. Reluctantly, I agree. Reluctantly, because while I like Heartcatch very much, it’s not probably not my favourite—I think I prefer the original, which was my introduction to Precure a year or so ago.

Heartcatch is also one of the bits of the franchise most easily enjoyed by more normal anime fans. I’ll put it another way: I’ll cheerfully watch a boring, cheaply-animated, bad episode of Precure because there are things in the franchise’s central concepts which I enjoy, entirely independently of the quality of their execution. You are probably not like this. Heartcatch is better-placed to appeal to you. (The All-Stars DX movies are the other bit of the franchise worth checking, because they are short and endearingly mad.)

Oddly enough Heartcatch‘s position within its franchise reminds me of a very, very different title, Macross Plus. I think Plus is easily the least Macrucian Macross. Apart from anything else it is, as I’m sure a zillion people have said before me, substantially more pessimistic about music, love and transforming mecha, the three legs of the Macross tripod.

Every part of the franchise gets to play a part in deciding what’s Macrucian, true (even Macross II… hell, if you were introduced to Macross via Robotech—I wasn’t—that too will have influenced you…) but, at less than three hours, Plus is too short to much affect the impression left by the TV shows. I suspect there was a time when Plus had enough prominence among Anglophone anime people to counteract that, but nowadays the fan on the torrent tracker thinks Frontier when one says ‘Macross’.

Plus is also good. Like, really good. Solid, good fun, and great Itano circuses. It’s my favourite Macross thing. But! I don’t really enjoy Macross’s central tripod that much. I’m not a Macross fan. Perhaps I should say ‘not yet a Macross fan’, because I suspect that might change as I grow older, but that’s by-the-by. I’m no authority on the subject, but my best guess at the show which is most Macrucian is Macross 7. You will note that it is unusually long for Macross, which (I think) gives it influence as it just wears people down into its way of thinking.

Remember, Remember

Today’s the twenty-fifth anniversary of the premiere of Do You Remember Love? (Oi, Ghostlightning!)

In some ways this feels more significant to me than Mobile Suit Gundam‘s thirtieth anniversary earlier this year, despite the fact that, as my tagcloud attests, Gundam is the franchise I’m more familiar with. But it may be precisely my lack of easy familiarity with Macross that makes DYRL? more prominent in my mind. It was very nearly my first Macross experience, only preceded by Frontier‘s first episode, and it’s the one part of the franchise that I’ve since watched again. I can quickly call several scenes to mind: Minmei and Hikaru going on a date, for example, and of course the spectacular martial-musical fusion of the final scene.

Sadly I am restricted to memory myself tonight, as I didn’t bring a copy with my on my laptop and I won’t be able to squeeze one down this internet connection any time soon (apparently downloading slowly is preferred here). But even  remembering DYRL?, thinking of its delicious animation and its curious mixture of silly and serious, always uplifts me. I rather like the fact that this movie shares its anniversary with the 2005 Tube bombings: facing such gunpowder treason, love, in more than the narrowly romantic sense of the word, is not a bad thing to remember.

Macross Frontier: Hands in the Air


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! Continue reading

A Delicious Slice of SDF Macross

A Minmay in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Relieved of the requirement to always take itself seriously, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross has free rein to give us entertaining moments (like fishing in space) and brilliantly ludicrous design decisions (like a battleship with aircraft carriers for arms). It’s also what lies behind a sequence in the second episode which – as far as I can see – wraps up into one brief segment of animation the essence of the whole show.

Continue reading

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. Continue reading

A Brief Note On GAINAXing


I was recently reminded that I originally planned a consideration of GAINAXing as a shorter companion piece or addendum to my remarks on the pantyshot. Perhaps these things are better for being mulled over for a month or so. Continue reading

[Gimmick] KimiKiss 01 As Mecha

1. External forces arrive.

External Forces

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tabula rasa: Macross Frontier

Normal Hobbies Are Boring
Because normal hobbies are just plain boring

I realise that this statement might draw a chorus of derision, but I can’t pretend otherwise: I am a Macross virgin. The fact that ‘SDF’ stands for ‘Super Dimension Fortress’ is probably all I know about the first Macross series, and until I have a suitably-sized chunk of time to hand [cue hollow laughter] I’m unlikely to watch it or its sequels.

So the only way I can approach Macross Frontier is to take it simply on its own merits. I don’t like viewing part of a larger set of stories without context – nostalgia (while not inherently a bad thing) can destroy objectivity, but I think there’s a case to be made for perspective – still, given my penchant for mecha action with a romance garnish, I can’t really pass up on this potential dish. Continue reading