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Seto Kaiba

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About Seto Kaiba

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    Anime (duh), Antique Firearms, Cryptography, Mechanical Design

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  1. Ab-so-lutely... Managed to secure two, possibly three copies of the Macross Delta: Passionate Walkure movie pamphlet thanks to some friends... so in a week or so when international express post finally delivers 'em, we can have a good high-res look at the new designs. Gotta love our fellow fans in Japan, so many of them are sensitive to the plight of us western fans.
  2. Super Macross Mecha Fun Time Discussion Thread!

    Both, technically. All three YF-25 Prophecy prototypes were given the same orange, white, and blue paint job by the factory for visibility. The units were individually numbered 001, 002, and 003 for identification purposes, but were otherwise identical. This particular picture is Unit 001, the YF-25 used by Angers 672 for the first test flight over Messiah 025 and later given to SMS's Chelsea Scarlett when her VF-19ACTIVE Nothung was destroyed (by Angers 672) during a FASCES attack. So this IS a standard color scheme, but it's also the colors of the YF-25 used by Chelsea Scarlett and Angers 672, which is arguably a distinction that needs to be made since Reon Sakaki had a YF-25 from Sephira colored seafoam and white. (Unit 002 is not mentioned as having done anything interesting, and Unit 003's sole mention of note is that it was seen onscreen in Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa sitting in the SMS Macross Quarter's hangar. All three units appear together in a model kit box art painting by Tenjin Hidetaka that's in his Valkyries: Second Sortie book.)
  3. The Newbie and Short Questions thread

    They're modex numbers. Answering the rest of your question is a bit difficult because no SMS unit has been described at any size larger than a platoon. The standard usage is that the first digit denotes the squadron number within the Carrier Air Wing, and the next two digits refer to an individual aircraft. Usage as changed over time, but the unit numbers were sorted by unit purpose such that 1xx thru 4xx were fighter or strike fighter units, and then you had things like attackers, early warning planes, helicopters, anti-submarine units, etc. occupying the higher numbers. Because SMS doesn't seem to organize its VFs into actual fighter squadrons, it's hard to say where the other numbers are. Presumably they're assigned to other platoons aboard the SMS Macross Quarter. Traditionally x01 is the squadron commander and x02 is the executive officer. This poses a problem, as Michael is 003 and he's Ozma's second in command in the series. (Maybe SMS002 belongs to the ship's deputy commander of the air group or something?) The real fun question is... what does the New UN Spacy do now that they have several dozen supercarriers, each of which can have HUNDREDS of fighters on it. SDF-1 Macross had over 300 VF-1s on it, three or four Carrier Air Wings worth. The post-retrofit version could have over 500... and don't even get me started on the Battle-class's 750. We don't know if they just made the carrier air wings bigger and are using every digit, if each ship has multiple carrier air wings attached to it and thus multiple aircraft designated 101 or 311 or what have you, or if the biggest ships have gone to a four digit modex.
  4. New Macross TV Series in 2018

    I don't think anybody here would argue that the mecha in Zero aren't cool (and if there are, I'll fight them), but the story's the part that's supposed to draw the audience in. Thing is, the writing in Zero did a very poor job of exploring the whole conflict between the Earth Unification Government and Anti-Unification Alliance... no government is perfect, which kind of left the whole "well the UN Government aren't saints" thing in the kind of territory where it's amazing Shin's answer wasn't to roll his eyes and say "Duh." That isn't helped by the official publications also explaining that several of Nora and D.D. claims about the UN Government's misdeeds are either Obi-Wan style "certain point of view" things or outright false.1 Heh, I'm still hosting and occasionally translating for the Mecha Manual... you don't have to try to convince me that the mecha are awesome. Both Macross Zero and Macross Delta had the same general problem in that their writing was painfully unbalanced. Zero was hyper-focused on one thing at a time, so the end result was that the action and the actual story were almost in two separate rooms communicating by sliding notes under the door. Until the very end, they're almost two totally different shows running side by side and it changed gears with the kind of audible clunk that lets you know your mechanic's about to find his kid's college fund under the hood. Delta's problem was that it was so obsessed with promoting the real world idol group Walkure and the story mechanics that integrated them into the Macross setting that it often forgot that there were other parts of the Macross equation. They put tons of effort into that, and almost nothing into developing the relationships between the characters and/or the antagonist's motivations, and totally ignored most of the action staples of the Macross series. Then, when the time came to actually tell stories that weren't centered entirely around Freyja's career and Walkure singing, they were left rummaging around in their toybox for something to show us and we got stuck with a flashback episodes that made no contextual sense and a lot of tedious exposition that should've been done in the first half. As a result, it finished with a lot of loose ends that were allegedly of vital import (like a discussion of Lady M's identity, Mikumo's origin, etc.) that were just sort of forgotten. Even the huge reveal that Hayate's dad committed the genocide that's got the Windermere natives so mad ends up with little impact because even Hayate's forced out of focus by Freyja and Walkure. 7 was an example of doing the kind of show Delta was trying to be, but doing it right. It was slow-paced in the beginning to allow the show to build up the important action set-pieces slowly while focusing on promoting the band and the interactions of its members, and in so doing allowed it to also give equal time to the mecha and the supporting cast. Frontier really was about the closest we've had to a truly balanced, exceptional Macross series. It was well-paced, there was a great mix of music and mecha without having to have them in the same place (like that great first episode concert sequence), and it gave almost everything equal time so the audience knew what was going on AND had been given enough exposure to the cast to care about the characters. What we need, and what'll satisfy most of the fans who were unhappy with Delta, is that same balance between the love story, the music, and the mecha that we had in Frontier. Shin's just sort of a dead-to-the-world sort of burned out veteran, but the first thing he establishes about himself is that he's in the war for revenge. Near the end, Nora explains she's in the war for the same reason, revenge for some nonspecific trauma that left her with that bigass scar. Shin can let it go because he's discovered how to reconnect with people, so he gets to live. Nora's desire for revenge drives her to be an axe-crazy blood knight and she's so focused on killing UN Forces soldiers that she completely misses the thing that kills her. It's done with Kawamori's trademark complete lack of subtlety, but good luck hacking through the Shin-Sara kudzu plot long enough to notice. 1. Most notably, Nora's assertion that the UN Government stole the technology behind variable fighters from her homeland. The technology was actually freely shared with the other UN Government member nations under the UN Government's technology and research sharing agreements. The put the cherry on her BS sundae, the Sv-51 was developed using research materials that D.D. Ivanov stole from the VF-0 program when he defected.
  5. New Macross TV Series in 2018

    There are no men who act like women in Delta, you're not presenting a valid criticism... just doing something that looks more and more like politically-motivated trolling. As politics is not a permissible subject on the boards, I would strongly encourage you to find a different way to frame your argument. (Believe me, I can understand and sympathize with your disappointment in the show... but this ain't the way to express it.) But almost nobody here citing Zero's writing as better than Delta's can seem to actually summarize the plot or its significance to the rest of Macross, and most missed the point of the OVA's ending entirely. You can't exactly argue that a story almost nobody understood is well-written. I mean, how many of you out there actually noticed Zero's got basically the same audience rebuke Aesop that came at the end of the Gundam 0080 OVA? Be honest. No, there's a fair amount of evidence they were just copying from Macross Frontier's homework. (Like literally the entire last two episodes.) Y'see, this right here is why people keep reading your argument and thinking this is about YOUR sexuality. You're making it overtly political in reference to AMERICAN politics even though this is a strictly Japanese show, for all intents and purposes they're in two totally different worlds. You keep coming back to how it offends you because it differs from your views of what masculinity ought to be. Now you're trying to tie in specific examples of real-world of gender politics issues that made you uncomfortable. If you're not keen on the character designs that's fine, and nobody gives a flying f*ck what anyone here's views on gender politics are. The way you keep trying to make it political and about your standards for masculinity only diminishes the validity of your opinions of the story and character designs and gives everyone the distinct impression you're projecting your discomfort with the real world onto Delta. ... I don't mean to sound rude, but the stuff about the mecha is almost completely irrelevant to the story. It was so badly written that the story is so totally overwhelmed by the action scenes that almost nobody knows what the story even is! Beautifully choreographed, TERRIBLY written. *sigh* Case in point... Macross Zero was an OVA about the origins of humanity in the Macross universe, the ancient Protoculture's heel realization, how the people are what's really important, "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind", and a standard Macross Aesop about the power of love and communication. All that zoom-y woosh crikey VF fun? Almost completely irrelevant to the actual story until the very end. The whole climax and the ending is a Gundam 0080-style audience rebuke about how all that exciting fight choreography doesn't solve a thing, and it's only when people put down the weapons and start talking that things actually happen, that when you put the weapons before the people you just hurt more people, and when you put the people before the weapons you actually start solving something. That's also Shin's whole character arc in a nutshell, the realization that the desire for revenge that drove him to war became utterly unimportant once he started to connect with the people. Nora, his counterpart, puts revenge before being able to connect with other people, and it ultimately kills her. Then again, that's basically true for all of Macross. Per Kawamori, Macross is and always has been a love story first and foremost, and all that crap about space warfare is an expensive and detailed framing device to facilitate it. Didn't see that one, but then, I seldom go on AnimeSuki anymore. To be fair, anyone who's read the Macross Delta: the White Knight of the Black Wing gaiden manga would agree that just what's in that manga is sufficient to make the Aerial Knights one of Macross's MOST sympathetic villains. They're the broken children who grew up after having a front-row seat to a largely unnecessary war over resources launched using high-minded ideals about liberty as a tissue paper thin excuse, who had a front row seat to all the unnecessary and sometimes accidental death and destruction a war like that causes, as well as the (accidentally committed) worst act of genocide in their world's history. But yeah, because it wasn't in the show it doesn't do a lot of good. To those who've read it, it turns the characterization of them and their war on its ear. To those who haven't, the audience has no clue that they're not just making sh*t up when they claim that they'd suffered under a profoundly unequal treaty and been massacred... esp. since for most of the show, we only see the New UN Gov't's side of the argument that contends that Windermere bombed its own people. It was promoted on the official website and, IIRC, in some of the commercial breaks and mid-episode crawls, but that's not enough to reach the whole audience... not by a long shot. It only works if the story is a single, cohesive whole... and since it's not, it doesn't.
  6. New Macross TV Series in 2018

    You were good up until about halfway thru the first paragraph's second sentence. Your third sentence is stuff that wasn't even conceived yet when the OVA was released. The second sentence in the second paragraph is pretty much right tho. The last paragraph is mostly right, 'cept for that last sentence. (Probably not a coincidence that the bits you were most accurate on were the ones tied to the action sequences, the parts that weren't wrapped up in weird ancient aliens mysticism like a burrito made from Giorgio Tsukalos.) That was the problem with Zero... the writers were so in love with this mysticism and the mytho-historical significance of the ancient Protoculture's interventions on Mayan that they kind of forgot to actually explain anything clearly. Dr. Hasford and Dr. Turner were kind of supposed to be Mr. and Mrs. Exposition, but they didn't do a very good job and Nutuk's a particularly unhelpful narrator too since he views that history through the lens of his culture's religion. It didn't become a slog because it was broken up by those pulse-poundingly fast-paced VF vs. VF action sequences... but after them, it's like "wait, what was this show about again?" Delta's plot is a lot more straightforward, and it flowed really well until the second half... like it's been outlined as a compact, 13 episode series. Then it had something that was an unmistakable ENDING, and forgot to stop. It changed gears with an almost audible clunk and continued a much slower pace and with a lot less plot progress per episode, and with them reusing episode ideas and having whole episode exposition dumps and a totally irrelevant flashback episode just brought it all to a screeching halt while doing nothing to more fully develop the cast or the story. The writing in Delta's first half was a buttery smooth test drive on a private road... the second half had more starts and stops than bumper cars. Quite a lot of its ills are, IMO, that they were so focused on Walkure that they kind of forgot to develop everyone else in a cast that was already unusually big. Until the reveal that the New UN Forces had bombed Carlyle out of this dimension instead of Windermere doing it themselves, there was literally NOTHING to hint at why the Aerial Knights weren't just space racists making sh*t up as an excuse for some empire-building. It wasn't until the White Knight of the Black Wing manga that they actually developed them as characters to a point where it was clear that there were actual REASONS for their fanatical hatred of the New UN Government and they became as sympathetic as the Zentradi or the Protodeviln. If it's down to the supplemental materials to develop characters to the point where the audience can care about them, your show's badly written. If you don't develop your plot-critical characters at all, like how Mikumo was just "the rude purple mystery girl" until like three episodes before the end, then that's indicative of sloppy writing. Same as if a show were nobody can tell what the actual plot is, like Zero. A truly great Macross series has writing that flows naturally, that shows rather than tells, and develops the cast into characters you can actually relate to as people. That's one thing I'd really like to see from the new series. So much is excusable if the characters are likeable and the story flows well. Like what's been said by some of my friends aboard about the movie version of Macross Delta... it flows better, so the other problems are less noticeable. We know they've got no problems doing main characters who are easy to like, Delta had the almost instantly-likeable Hayate Immelmann and Freyja Wion, and the defrosting ice queen Mirage Jenius. They just gotta remember to do the supporting cast and antagonists too!
  7. Macross Movie Final Outpost: Earth

    Well, this promises to be very interesting.
  8. New Macross TV Series in 2018

    If anything, Macross Zero's writing was substantially worse than Delta's. Whatever its flaws, Delta was a story you could actually follow. Zero's plot was a nonsensical tangle of pseudo-mystical allegory, kooky tribal ancient aliens superstitions, and a quick and dirty macguffin excuse to justify having VFs and things blowing up. The largely plot-irrelevant bits about things blowing up are the only parts anyone remembers. You could ask a room full of die-hard Macross fans to summarize the key points of the story, and I'd be prepared to bet that (without cheating) none of them would produce anything that remotely resembled the official plot summary in Chronicle. This whole "I hate the bishies" thing is gettin' outta hand tho... probably best to let it go. If someone's going pre-judge the show based solely on what kind of group is performing the music, rather than the quality of the music, the writing, design, direction, etc., then they aren't much of a fan are they? At least give the show a chance before proclaiming it to be crap. People pissed and moaned on here and all across the internet about how Walkure in the Macross Delta series looked superficially like something out of Pretty Cure... and then they listened to the music and went "hey this is pretty good". I mean, hell, I didn't care for Basara but that Heart and Soul duet with Emilia? Perfection. We know literally nothing about the new show at present, so we are WAY too early to be making any assessments of its quality or lack thereof.
  9. Par for the course... Macross started to color-coordinate the trim on FAST Packs with the pilot color scheme of the VF way back in DYRL?, when they made the background of the SVF-1 Skulls roundel match the trim color of the character's VF. It's certainly practical for helping tell VFs apart when so much of the airframe is covered by bolt-on hardware. (To their credit, the animators working on Frontier even went to the trouble of recoloring the VF-25 Super Pack trim to khaki for the few seconds it was seen on a VF-25A.)
  10. Ah. That seems like a really awkward place to put a loading door, with such limited clearance... Given that it was a smuggler ship, and would probably either be running Imperial blockades or at least running from heavily armed Imperial warships and their fighter squadrons, the extra armor's pretty sensible. (Or, given that the A New Hope version has a lot of exposed exterior wiring, that may just be the stock model outer hull that Han couldn't be arsed to replace.) The more I see it, the more I like it.
  11. Most of the criticisms of the show voiced on these boards are the kind of thing I was talking about a few posts back... fans who have very specific, well-reasoned arguments for finding portions of Delta unsatisfying. There's very little actual bashing of the show here, it's almost entirely "I wish they'd done this part better". Kudos to Kawamori if he did in fact take the constructive criticism to heart for Passionate Walkure. The more balanced presentation of action and music that fans over in Japan have reported most definitely suggests that the staff were paying attention. (I just wish they put more effort into characterizing the Aerial Knights. The White Knight of the Black Wing did a great job making the young Knights feel like true Macross antagonists... people who aren't bad or evil, but merely doing what they think is right or the best for their people.) The community here is usually pretty good about shutting down the unreasonable criticisms of the series too... like the notorious "they're magical girls" argument that dogged every review thread on the boards for like the first eight episodes. You can't please everyone, but at least you can insist upon reasonable criticism. Let us not forget that this site had a pretty big problem with that kind of behavior in the not-too-distant past. You used to be able to expect a small crowd to descend upon you to tell you what a tosser they thought you were if you said anything remotely negative about Macross 7, or positive about Macross II. That only got cleared up for good when Kawamori himself sank the basis for it when he did a fan Q&A and said II was as valid a Macross series as any other.
  12. Just watched the trailers on the previous page, and as someone who wouldn't self-identify as a Star Wars fan and who has minimal experience with Star Wars works outside of the films, it left me more curious than anything. I'm definitely getting a bad feeling about casting Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. He does manage to look a bit like a young Harrison Ford, but from the trailer doesn't seem to have a grip on Han's mannerisms. He's more smug than snarky, which I suspect is gonna get old really fast. More a Chris Pratt than a Harrison Ford, attitude-wise. Donald Glover looks like he's going to make a good Lando Calrissian though, he has that self-assured grin that was Lando's thing (when he wasn't shitting bricks in front of Vader) in Empire. No idea who the rest of them are supposed to be, except Chewbacca. I don't know if I'm supposed to know either. That Imperial recruiting officer looks so thoroughly bored-bureaucrat that I almost want to see the movie just to see how Han'll ruin the poor f*cker's life. (I vaguely recall something about Han having been a veteran in the old lore, like he was still wearing his old uniform trousers with the stripe or something?) The visuals are really pretty, but that's kind of par for the course. Seeing the Millennium Falcon looking pristine inside and out is just bizarre. Four Star Wars movies kind of gave me the view that the Millennium Falcon just sort of sprang into existence as a beat up old junker covered stem to stern in grease and grime. I actually kind of like the new design for the ship though. Aerodynamics are meaningless in space, but with the tuning fork prow filled in and with the blue-on-silver paintjob it looks more like something that was designed to go irresponsibly fast. Like a space formula racer or something. I was never super clear on how the Falcon was supposed to be a freighter when it seems to have almost no cargo space.
  13. Robotech by Titan Comics

    In all honesty, my attention was so captured by the horrible-ness of the art that I didn't notice that there was a watermark until you pointed it out. They're like magic eye paintings where if you look hard enough you can see the surface of hell.
  14. ... no idea where you're getting that, unless you're referring to when I outlined the implications of the way Macross Delta ended for Windermere a few pages back when someone commented about the lack of closure to the conflict? (They're pretty damned awful, but not something that would've fit with the series at all and mercifully went undiscussed in the show.) Grit has never been the Macross way, and I've always rather staunchly maintained that the kind of gritty action-oriented sequel some fans pine for is the last thing the creators should do. Macross's overriding theme has always been about communication, mutual understanding, and love... which doesn't exactly mesh with gritty, no-holds-barred action. Delta, like 7, absolutely gets that, and is taking it to its logical extreme. Mind you, I don't think Delta's ending did as good a job with it as they did in 7, mainly because the Aerial Knights missed out on characterization that'd have made them a more sympathetic foe. You couldn't help but feel a little bad for the Protodeviln after the whole Gigile x Sivil thing and him trying to revive her by singing (badly). The gaiden manga did a lot to help the Aerial Knights in that regard, showing that they're not arbitrarily racist but rather are a broken bunch who lost a lot in the previous war.
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