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Jeff J

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About Jeff J

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    Cannon Fodder
  1. I think any time you watch anime or play Japanese-developed video games, you run a pretty good risk of having to suffer through "Gundam Seed syndrome" in one way or another. Macross Plus is the only project in the franchise that features ace pilots who come anywhere close to corresponding to real life ace pilot ages. Guld was about 26 and Isamu was about 25. I think Basara, at 21, was the oldest main pilot and/or protagonist of any other Macross series. Everyone else was in his or her teens. You get (IMO) the unfortunate situation in which you have teenagers, with teenager problems, inhabiting teenager bodies, operating war machines out in heavy combat. SDF Macross sort of hides that problem because besides hanging out with schoolgirl Minmay, Hikaru doesn't really live a teenager's life and could pass as a regular young military recruit. Macross 7 kind of avoids the issue because of Gamlin's professionalism, but falls back on that problem because Basara is impractically emo and Mylene is obviously a kid. I suppose Frontier is probably the worst in that regard because when the protagonists aren't in combat or singing, they're in high school, so I can agree to your point. Here's a quick aside about the abundance of teenage protagonists in Japanese action projects. Square Enix had an infamous presentation demonstrating the differences between Western and Japanese action heroes (P.S. Sankaku Complex isn't necessarily PG content; possibly NSFW). In fact, Square Enix was so concerned with the difference in demand from the respective audiences, they won't even release one of the games in the Nier series because the hero isn't manly enough (Sankaku Complex, again).
  2. Since I haven't posted here that much, it's a bit of a surprise to me, and I actually think it's kind of cool. Macross II is a movie/series that, I guess you could say, my heart wants to like, but my brain tells me not to. Incidentally, I just saw the subtitled version of Macross II this past weekend. I only saw the US Renditions/Manga dub. All I have to say is that every line in the original audio track could be, "I like chicken fingers," and it'd be much more tolerable to watch than the American release.
  3. Agreed, though I wouldn't necessarily watch it repeatedly. From a strictly storytelling point of view, the original series is king. It loses in a lot of technical categories: certainly its animation is outdated and many instances even bad for its time, the mecha designs were really basic, and I thought the sound effects could've used a lot of improvements. The music probably isn't as memorable, either, and obviously music plays a huge role in Macross in general. But the original put Macross on the map, and due to its success it probably gave the creators more latitude to go in different directions for future projects, leading to a lot of acrimony among fans. The characters were, throughout the most part, the most relatable, and they go through a fairly wide spectrum of realistic emotions. Finally, the pacing of the story is actually only second best to Frontier IMO, because the original goes through a handful of big jumps in time (4 months between episodes 6 and 7, 2 years between 27 and 28, etc.), but there's rarely a dull episode, the wide timeline does give the series more of an epic feel, and the way the characters progress seemed to fit the amount of time that elapsed in their universe.
  4. A great thing about the original series is that filler episodes that didn't advance the story arc taught us a good deal about the characters, or progressed whatever relationships existed. I think 7 tried to do that as well, but those early episodes unfortunately ended somewhat repetitively: Basara acts rudely, flies in his VF-19, gets ticked off because nobody is listening to his song, and the flower girl missed a chance to give flowers to Basara. I'm all for episodes that are strictly about getting to know the characters. Likable characters make the series interesting, so even if it's 24 minutes of "a day in the life of" it can still be a great episode. Heck, "Phantasm" had very little new footage, but since it was one of the best dream sequences I've ever seen on TV, it's as enjoyable as any episode of the series. This leads me to another question. Who liked Basara? I know if I ever met a guy like Basara, I'd probably hate his guts.
  5. I think the length problem was that there were just too many of those "slice of life" episodes, particularly early on in the series, and those early ones felt pretty repetitive. It's not totally atypical of anime series to start kind of slowly, but if you were watching the show during original TV broadcast, you would've had to wait about 3 months before they get into the main story arc. IMO, that's a bit of a long wait; even if you queued all the episodes consecutively, that's still more than 5 or 6 hours until you really start learning about the big picture.
  6. It's probably a good thing that Macross fans are split about 7. IMO, it's drastically different from the original, and the fact that some fans are willing to express their disappointment shows that the "Macross community" aren't a bunch of mindless drones who'll like anything with the word "Macross" on it. Not that I'm encouraging Comic Book Guy-style vitriol on the web...
  7. I would agree that the Robotech acting was no worse than ADV's, and maybe even better. At least ADV's not Macross II bad. I was bored the other day so I queued it on my NetFlix. It's not a good movie in any language, but I feel it becomes 3x more watchable if you stick with the original audio track.
  8. K Yeah, I just realized you were talking UK, but the US Renditions info should be added to the thread. I also should point out that the Clash of the Bionoids VHS barely had any credits. Maybe they figured since it was 30 minutes shorter they figured they didn't need to acknowledge the staff...
  9. I think Clash of the Bionoids excluded the word "Macross" from its title altogether. When I rented it many years ago as a teenager, I remember being confused by the title because nothing about it stood out. Only the box art tipped me off that it would be Macross-related. I also was under the impression that it was a cut of the full movie, so I incorrectly assumed DYRL sucked... I also thought Macross II was first released in the US by the now-defunct US Renditions, split into 3 VHS volumes. When Manga Entertainment took over, it was packaged as one VHS movie. Both of the above English dubs are terrible, BTW.
  10. If 20/20 is "perfect" vision, then the original VF-1 is the "perfect" design. It has everything you need, and no big deficiencies or significant areas of nitpick. I own several transformable toys, and the VF-1's look in vehicle and robot mode, as well as its clean transformation, makes it hands-down the best IMHO. Since there are several different VF-1's from which to choose, I'll go with the VF-1S Strike (Red).
  11. Hi guys, I looked semi-thoroughly through the boards for a review, but didn't see it. I own the AnimEigo boxed set so I felt I had no reason to purchase this. I did rent all the discs from NetFlix, but almost exclusively to see whatever extras they may be. Anyway, I'm mostly interested in knowing how the biggest Macross fans felt about the dub. I get the impression few like that they insisted upon pronouncing "Macross" to rhyme with "LaCrosse" or "across." Neither did I. I didn't find the voice acting to be particularly bad, but overall, it felt out of place. The only things that seemed right when I watched a few episodes was whenever Mari Iijima would say "Hikaru," which would momentarily right the ship for maybe a minute until English voices seemed wrong again. I didn't get very far with the dub, but I guess part of me looks at the dub overall and thinks it's probably a good way to expand the fanbase, and with any luck it could make it to some national cable station in lieu of you know what. So how did other Macross fans feel? My only stipulation for your answer is if you hate ALL English-dubbed anime, add that detail to your post. Thanks.
  12. Interesting analysis. An abridged version of Macross 7 probably would've had a better pace, especially since the first dozen episodes are fairly repetitive. I also like the analogy that each Macross project is a sort of progression. Protoculture, as exemplified earlier, has a slightly different meaning from SDF to 7 to Frontier. It's just inevitable that as you progress on an idea, you're going to gain and lose people along the way. Some call it growth, some call it deviating off the path. The gap between SDFM and 7 is probably just wide enough to have an appreciable drop-out rate with ambiguous success in drawing in creating new interest.
  13. Fair enough, but I think she still had the attitude adjustment in series. I just mentioned Robotech because most Robo fans I've encountered HATE Minmay, and I can't really blame them for it.
  14. Did the Japanese viewers who watched the show during its original run (and by extension, didn't get influenced by the Robotech version) feel this negatively about Minmay from the original series? Or do people sort of forget about the character adjustment she goes in the last bunch of episodes of the series? I don't know why people hate her that much. Yes, she did face palm-stupid things, she didn't fully appreciate Hikaru early on, and initially wasn't cognizant of the horrors going on in the war, but all of that totally changes in the series. Toward the end, she gets the attitude adjustment you were looking for. We find out that she's super grateful for all the soldiers' sacrifices (especially Hikaru), was pretty compassionate toward all the war-torn communities whereas Kaifun was a drunk jerk controlling her life and siphoning as much money as possible from everyone, and in the last 10 episodes or so her biggest desire pretty much was to be with Hikaru. The last two selfish things she does were pretty understandable: she walks out on a concert (an impromptu one that Kaifun scheduled while sabotaging her best chance to get together with Hikaru) and asking Hikaru to quit UN Spacy because it was too stressful to wait for him to come home from dangerous military action. The latter, though, was counterbalanced by the fact that she was willing to give up her career for him. I don't want to sound too anti-Robotech regarding Minmay; I think HG probably made her less sympathetic, and Lisa more, because they wanted sensitive kids watching to feel better about Rick's choice at the end. That said, Robotech's Minmay isn't as representative of the original version the way the other main characters are. Seriously, you can line up corresponding scenes and see a pretty noticeable difference. In fact, I have. Maybe I'll share it sometime.
  15. Thanks for the link. I've started reading the blog. I started with the DYRL entry from last December. One thing I learned was that Robotech (accidentally?) totally trashed Minmay's rep forever. Yes, she was bad in Macross, but in Robotech she was far less a sympathetic character, particularly in the first 10 and last 10 episodes. Seems like anyone who watched Robotech first will, in anime terms, "NEVER FORGIVE" Minmay. Honestly, I think her selfish outburst in DYRL is far worse than anything that happened in the show, and thus she's more sympathetic to me in the show than the movie. But Robotech version is deservedly reviled, I guess. Ironically, I stopped being an otaku around 2002, when the VHS fansub market started declining and it became so easy to get subbed anime for free over the internet. I don't know why; logically, that should've elevated me to an even higher level of anime geek, but for some reason the easy access took away something (mystique? fun?) and I started caring less and less. The last major anime purchase I made, I think, is the AnimEigo boxed set, and I preordered it on day one of preorders. That's what you call backward practicality, I suppose.
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