Anyway, the "whole thing" is still a work in progress, which is another good reason to post it piecemeal...criticism of one part can be addressed in the next part, and so on.
I was hoping I'd get a lot of rebuttals against my findings (or, more accurately, non-findings), but I kinda doubt that will happen. When I first started hinting at this stuff, a number of people dismissed it. Once I let people in on the whole tale, they seem to readily agree (with one exception, who I talked with over PM, and who came up with "answers" to my arguments, like "Maybe Shaloom never said it was a radio show," and then told me that everything I said could be easily rebutted. I wonder if he'll find the WHOLE story so easy to answer...?).
So yes. Five parts to this essay, including an introduction and a conclusion. Part Three and the Conclusion haven't been written yet, due to the fact that I'm still waiting to see a real scan of the Famitsu Magazine interview...which I believe is the deciding factor here.
A disclaimer: it is quite possible that I'm wrong, and I'm ready for that. If that's the case, I'll admit my mistake, apologize to the people involved, and I hope everyone will let me move on. But although I have no 100% conclusive proof yet, I'm sure enough that I'm not wrong to go ahead and start spilling the beans, or opening the can of worms, or whatever you want to call it.
So enjoy my frustration!
Whether or not to conclude it [the love triangle] was quite a last-minute decision, actually. Like, looking at the final scene, inside everyone...I don't have clear words for it, but..."which will win, who will stick together?" It shouldn't become that kind of attitude. "It might not have to be like that," was the feeling I got.
Every member of the staff spoke out about it, but for a quiet and unsociable person like Alto to act naturally, he should love the sky more than girls, right? So, you can't force a decision, you have to let the other people choose their own path.
"Won't the fans be angry about it?"
"Yeah. But, well, that's okay. I'm prepared for that."
That was the kind of conversations I had. Afterwards, when everyone had given different feedback, finally Kawamori-san got a little upset. At least, he looked worried about it.
- Hiroyuki Yoshino, Frontier's Scriptwriter and Series Planner
from Macross F Official Fan Book
The finale will be impressive, because the very director Kawamori wrote the script. We will begin to see it on the screen as soon as the Valkyries take off. You will also see that it will try to make true different dreams he has. You will see.
- "Hiroshi Ohnogi," scriptwriter
from an undocumented radio show
I think Yoshino had a lot of fun abusing Sheryl.
- Shoji Kawamori, Chief Director
from the Commentary for Episode 18, in 2059: Memories
Kawamori told me that episode 18 would be completely done with my script.
- "Hiroshi Ohnogi," scriptwriter
from an undocumented radio show
The question of whether Hiroshi Ohnogi (a writer who planned out the post-SWI episodes of SDFM, and wrote a number of episodes for the show, as well as being a writer for Orguss, Zeta Gundam, the Area 88 TV Series, Macross Zero, and, weirdly, a Doraemon movie) worked on Macross Frontier is a strange one, considering that it essentially came out of nowhere and was not seriously questioned by anyone until much later.
The initial news was innocuous enough, with a post from the Spanish-language Macross Generation forums, showing a portion of an interview with Kawamori from Famitsu Weekly Magazine, issue #1035. From Macross Generation, it was translated into English and posted at the whatboutmystar live journal (http://community.livejournal.com/whatboutmystar/20651.html?thread=277931). Note specifically the comments for episode 5 (and connecting to episode 18), episode 14, and episodes 21 and 22:
Shoji Kawamori's Famitsu Interview
This is an interview of Shoji Kawamori by Famitsu about his thoughts on the different episodes of MF.
Notes: -Famitsu is one of the most popular video games magazine in Japan, published weekly.
-Hiroshi Ohnogi is a Japanese screenwriter/novelist focusing on anime productions. His works include Gundam, SDF Macross, Macross Zero, RahXephon and Eureka 7
-Haruhiko Mikimoto - manga-ka (Ohnogi attended Keio University in the same years as Mikimoto and Kawamori) Credits: -Interview translation: stray (AS, #firstname.lastname@example.org)
-Notes info: Dash_Hunter (AS)
Episode 1 : Kawamori is finally be able to see the culmination of 3 years of work.
Kawamori on Episode 2: "I always dreamed that Minmay would have an older sister and I felt exactly that when we designed the mini duet of Ranka and Sheryl at the observatory."
Kawamori on Episode 4: "This was a debt to Mikimoto, who forgave me for Minmay winning her pageant. Not only him, but Matsuda Seiko (Mikimoto's inspiration for creating Minmay) never won anything as an unknown. As I was writing the script, I thought to prove that Mikimoto would have been right."
Kawamori on Episode 5: "This episode was written to definitively establish Sheryl as Ranka's big sister, but when we finished the script we discovered a new character through her qualities as a woman. This was our most edited script, and I still wasn't convinced this was an important character for Frontier. But Risa Ebata convinced me to give the changes a chance, and when I saw the fan response, I didn't give credit. Hours later we were in a conference with Big West to send a list of changes for episode 6 to our secondary studio."
Connecting to Episode 18 : Though the script has been changed as early as Episode 5 to work Sheryl's character into the story, expanding Sheryl's storyline is another matter, as Kawamori isn't sure which direction Sheryl should take, so Ohnogi asked to leave everything into his hands; he was given free reign over Episode 18+ onwards as Kawamori watched. Here, this is where Sheryl's character is "remade" and polished in Episode 22.
Episode 7: This episode was a gift to the mecha fans. Completely dedicated to them.
Episode 10 : In the second half, Kawamori's cameo [the director] was unplanned. However, it [Ranka's fame] ended up being counterproductive, as Ranka in future episodes demanded much, so Kawamori believes her fame doesn't bring her good fortune. (The phrasing was vague in some parts, but this is the best I could do.)
Kawamori on Episode 12 : "I only made this episode to make people angry, and from there, the kira. Someone who arrives to a battle singing nowadays isn't as crazy as in the time of Macross 7." (stray: "I think the gist of 12 is that he wanted to go from raaaage... to.... kira!")
Kawamori on Episode 14 : "Here I wanted to pay homage to the work of a great friend (Ohnogi)."
Episode 16 : Another idea of Mikimoto's. To show how a romantic idea (singing) under the perspective of whatever government lose it's romantic meaning to become an instrument of war.
Kawamori on Episode 17 : He's teasing fans who didn't get the pineapple salad concept; it's not fatal for Skull Leaders, just womanizers. That Roy was Skull Leader and a womanizer was just a coincidence.
Kawamori on Episode 20 : "This was the most difficult episode I've had to direct in my career. I read in diverse forums that people were sad. The staff was the same way. But we were able to express exactly what we intended: the desperation."
Kawamori on Episode 21 : "This was the end of a cycle full of trying different things. The innocent version of Ranka Lee was different from the message we were trying to convey. Ohnogi then sent her on a voyage of self discovery. It was hard for us, and for her."
Kawamori on Episode 22 : "Humility is the word. Ohnogi stopped here to polish sheryl. This episode is full of tests of humility."
Episode 23 : Family, the simple life. Dreams and actions. A good episode to show the real motivations of the main characters.
Kawamori on Episode 24 : "The last frontier of the heart is yourself. The fans loved the scenes of Alto and Sheryl, and I must say, so did I! They look great on screen. (laughs)"
Episode 25 was Kawamori's dream made reality.
Q1: How would you define frontier with respect to your previous work?
Kawamori : "While Macross plus is a history where conflict arises in profound mental and physical trauma, adding emotional problems, in Frontier I wanted to express the type of conflict that could occur if it is not possible to understand suitably. To continue, Frontier is an example of the tragedies that can occur when [one] could not understand someone, by the fault of lacking a suitable language."
Kawamori on Macross Frontier Movie : The Macross Frontier movie will follow the guideline of "Do You Remember Love, I'd like for all to see Frontier on the big screen, with great sound."
Here it was made clear that Ohnogi was a pivotal figure for Frontier in general and Sheryl in particular.
The episode 14 note is rather puzzling, but was extensively elaborated on later. But more about that later.
It's worth pointing out that some of this IS verifiably accurate. For example, there is a scan going around of the Famitsu interview, unfortunately incomplete, but "Q1" and Kawamori's answer are taken verbatim from it. It's easily possible that a lot of the "interview" here is taken from Kawamori's actual words. However, the rest of the article, while too small in the scan to actually read, is clearly in standard interview format, with no episode commentary, unless the comments are worked into the text.
I should note at this point that the documentation for Ohnogi's involvement is sparse. Essentially, it comes down to two sources:
1. The Kawamori Interview from Famistu #1035, found (but not scanned) and translated into Spanish by Shaloom of Macross Generation.
2. Radio Interviews, transcribed (but not recorded) and translated into Spanish by Shaloom of Macross Generation.
Additionally, there are references to several "novels" about Macross by Ohnogi. These are documented only by Shaloom of Macross Generation.
Part One: Liner Notes and "Novels"
Part Two: The Radio Interviews
Part Three: The Famitsu Interview
Edited by Gubaba, 03 June 2009 - 10:02 PM.