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Renato

Kawamori interview 1998

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This is a transcript of an interview with Shoji Kawamori on September 24th, 1998.

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pn7m-szk/macro...aku/5000hit.HTM

Macross 7 Fun Net is one of those dinosaur fan-sites. Seriously, it needs a cosmetic update. Still, I came across this gem of an article yesterday while reading a quote from it in the recently-published mook "Chaos Anime Taizen" (details on which can be found here: http://www.amazon.co.jp/カオ...520&sr=8-4). The book contains a long essay on the mind of the Floating Head himself, but a particular quote from this particular interview caught my eye, so I had to check out the full text.

Basically, the first half of this page introduces an issue which will be recalled again and again throughout the three pages of text.

We all know that Kawamori never likes to do the same thing twice, hence all the Macross series being so vastly different. Well, how Kawamori chooses to address this is by playing the "movie-within-a-movie" card, over and over. Yeah, we know about DYRL being made in 2031, and Macross Zero became "Bird Human" in 2059. But here's the jewel right here:

QUOTE

 次は「愛・おぼえていますか」何ですけど、この時以降エキセドルのデザインが緑色になっていますね。 これは歴史の流れ上どういう風なことになっていますか。

 これがねぇ・・・よく雑誌とかで聞かれて説明しても理解してもらいにくいところなんだけど・・・。  例えば、第次世界大戦があって、それをもとにした映画がたくさん作られてるわけじゃない。それぞれフィクションだよね。 ベースは本当にあった戦争だけども、それぞれ違うのがある。  例えば、大河ドラマだと織田信長にしても徳川家康にしても、いろんな徳川家康がいたり、いろんな織田信長がいたりするわけだよね。 それは歴史をひもといて、推測してその作者の意図によって演じる役者も違えばキャラクターの えがき方もちがう。言ったセリフも違う。そういう感覚なんだわ。

 だから、一応年表で発表する時にはその時代に公開された映画という設定で 「愛・おぼえていますか」があるんだけども、じゃあシリーズが本当にあっ た事じゃないんですか、と。シリーズも本当にあったであろうが落ちてきて、 そこから何らかの歴史があったのをシリーズというストーリー化された物がオンエアさ れたシリーズと。で、映画と。  で、また「マクロス」ような事件があった、のをもとにしたのが 「マクロス」っていうテレビ。そういう捉え方なんだな、全部。

 では、「マクロス」も「マクロス」の歴史の中で放映されたシリーズなんですか。

 そうそう、そういう解釈。だから、映画の「愛・おぼえていますか」 だけじゃなくて全部がフィクションって設定。

 どれも本当ではない、と。

どれも本当ではない、と。

「愛・おぼえていますか」の予告編で「今回の映画で主役をやらせていただきますリン・ミンメイです。 」って・・・。映画が大ヒットして、それで版も作られた、と。

 そうそう。それがなかなか理解してもらえない。どうしても本当のことは別にある、 って考え方をする。そういう歴史を研究して後から作られたとかさぁ。 そういうのを推理しながら、いろんな制約の中で・・・に限るとか、 おもちゃが出るとかそういう中で組み上げられた物語っていう考え方なんだよね。 だから、いろいろ違って全然いいんじゃないかって思う。

 

 「 」も同様ですか。

 同様、同様。だから、あれに類似した事件は何かあったんだろうと。 シャロンっていうようなバーチャルリアルティのキャラクターがいたのかも知れない。 おそらくいただろう、と。

Next, Id like to ask about DYRL The design for Exedore is green all throughout the rest of the Macross shows. How is this explained in terms of the timeline?

You know This is something I have trouble getting people to understand in magazine interviews. For example, youve got World War II, and then you have lots of movies based on that event, right? They are all fictional. Theyre all based on a war that actually took place, but they are all different. For example, in period dramas you have Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, but there are so many Oda Nobunagas and Tokugawa Ieyasus. The producers look at the real event and adapt the character according to their wishes. The actors and lines also change, so the character changes. Its that kind of feeling. OK, so in the timeline you have a movie called DYRL that was released, does that mean that the TV series is the true story? Well, you have the SDF-1 that supposedly fell from the sky, and then a story was made about the subsequent history and was televised. Then that became a movie. Then later, there was a Macross 7 incident, and a TV series was made about that. Thats basically how I see it.

So Macross 7 is also a TV series broadcast within the Macross timeline?

Thats right, thats the interpretation. Its not just the movie, they are ALL works of fiction.

None of them are real?

None of them are real.

In the teaser for DYRL, there is a line that goes, I am Lynn Minmay, I will be playing the lead in this movie. It does make you feel that there was a TV show which then became a movie.

Exactly. Thats what I have trouble getting people to understand. The real truth is somewhere else. They studied the history and made the fiction after the fact. While reasoning the facts, they have to make many compromises, like the limitations of a TV format, like the fact they have to sell toys, and so they have to adapt the story that way. So, in that respect, it doesnt matter if all the productions differ.

The same goes for Macross Plus, too?

Yeah, that too. You have a similar incident that occurred. There may have been some virtual reality character like Sharon. Like, she probably did exist.

So there you have it. The rest of the interview is very interesting too, but here is a very clear-as-crystal statement of how much Kawamori cares about continuity, or canon.

Disclaimers: I'm not trying to push any agenda or anything, I just thought I'd share this.

Secondly, since the whole Ohnogi embargo I wonder if people are weary of this kind of interview. Particularly because this one has not been published but on one fansite. Well, as I stated earlier, it was quoted in a book recently, and here is a little shred of proof that Kawamori at least did speak to the fansite admin:

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pn7m-szk/macro...aku/3000hit.HTM

EDIT -- I'm not sure why only the first line is blue. Never mind.

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Okay, now Kawamori's toying with us. So by this logic, Sheryl and Ranka "don't exist", either?

So is Macross Zero the only "truth" in the series now?

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DAMN! That's interview GOLD!

I nominate this post for pinning. Finally, we have the perfect answer for when people ask which version is canonical...we can just smile and say, "Neither." ^_^

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Y'know... people wonder why I prefer Macross the way it was before Kawamori got involved with the franchise again.

The next time somebody asks me why, I can just point to this thread and say "that's why".

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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The interview later goes on to all the hate induced by Macross 7. The interviewer reasons that since the timeline is basically meaningless, you can just pretend it never existed, or was just a stupid TV show.

Which is a real roundabout way of putting it all into perspective. None of this is real!!! Kawamori is a genius. :p

By the way, I edited the post in a couple of places shortly after putting it up, you guys are really fast! I'm gonna leave it alone now.

Edited by Renato

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I guess I understand where this is coming. I mean the guy must be tired of answering this kind of questions every time they interview him. It's as good an explanation as anything.

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It's all a Truman Show or Matrix or some weird version of .hack//sign. See, right now, there are guys name Alto Saotome, Hikaru Ichijo and some guy who only goes by the username of Kamujin who are watching us right now. Or heck, they're playing some Sims avatar named Gubaba, Seto Kaiba, and (who can I pick on...) Macross007. They're all posting on a virtual forum, in a virtual world about some virtual show.

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It's all a Truman Show or Matrix or some weird version of .hack//sign. See, right now, there are guys name Alto Saotome, Hikaru Ichijo and some guy who only goes by the username of Kamujin who are watching us right now. Or heck, they're playing some Sims avatar named Gubaba, Seto Kaiba, and (who can I pick on...) Macross007. They're all posting on a virtual forum, in a virtual world about some virtual show.

post-939-1245043240_thumb.png

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That's funny as hell. First I've ever heard of taking it all for what they actually are - TV shows. So it could be said that the real Lynn Minmay was sort of a mix between TV and movie, or that "Lynn Minmay" is just an actress playing some unnamed historical figure whose role was greatly beefed up for dramatic purposes to color the life of the famed Ichijo family (the actual girl being some humble delivery girl who got to sing once on the bridsge because the crew was fond of her)? Nice.

Just watch, The First is going to become "The TRUE story." ^_^

It seems basically his way of saying, "stop worrying what's canon or not and just go with it."

Edited by Mercurial Morpheus

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That's funny as hell. First I've ever heard of taking it all for what they actually are - TV shows. So it could be said that the real Lynn Minmay was sort of a mix between TV and movie, or that "Lynn Minmay" is just an actress playing some unnamed historical figure whose role was greatly beefed up for dramatic purposes to color the life of the famed Ichijo family (the actual girl being some humble delivery girl who got to sing once on the bridsge because the crew was fond of her)? Nice.

Just watch, The First is going to become "The TRUE story." ^_^

It seems basically his way of saying, "stop worrying what's canon or not and just go with it."

Lynn Minmay is real. And is watching YOU, watching someone play her, right now. :ph34r:

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Lynn Minmay is real. And is watching YOU, watching someone play her, right now. :ph34r:

This reminds me of some article I read, somethig about post-modernism in Harry Potter or some other crap.

Well that and the multiuniverse thing badly used in fanfiction. :ph34r:

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Whatever Kawamori is smoking must be some GOOD stuff.

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Whatever Kawamori is smoking must be some GOOD stuff.

Even what he's smokin not real. :ph34r: It's just a drama of some guy playing some writer/producer name Shoji Kawamori, and you're watching some get stoned off his ass and coming up with some hit show named Macross. :ph34r:

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Layman's terms translation: People are taking this crap too seriously. :lol:

Edited by Einherjar

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Lynn Minmay is real. And is watching YOU, watching someone play her, right now. :ph34r:

Of course she's real. I've met her several times. Though she staunchly denies it. ^_^

Layman's terms translation: People are taking this crap too seriously. :lol:

Pretty much. A clever way of saying "it's just a movie."

Edited by Mercurial Morpheus

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I guess Plato was mandatory at Keio university.

Edited by Bri

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I think I can officially name Kawamori my God now. Well played, you Holy Floating Trolling Bastard :lol:

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What a frakking cop-out :lol::p;)

So basically Kawamori has no explanation and when he makes sequels, he'll take whatever he wants from whatever version of Macross. This we already suspected, but it's good to have the direct quote and source for future reference. Thanks for the translation Renato.

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At least it's not like the Leijiverse. In that one, you ask what the continuity is, they respond "F@ck your concept of continuity." ^_^

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I think it's a good sign that he won't go crazy like Kill Em all Tomino for his series. He may be smoking something, but at least he's not getting emo about what he's doing. He can go back to work on the series whenever he damn well pleases. :lol:

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Secondly, since the whole Ohnogi embargo I wonder if people are weary of this kind of interview. Particularly because this one has not been published but on one fansite. Well, as I stated earlier, it was quoted in a book recently, and here is a little shred of proof that Kawamori at least did speak to the fansite admin:

I don't believe anyone is tired of interviews, just as long as they're verifiable. While it's entirely plausible that the interview may have been fabricated, it's important to know that that website is the original source. One of the many problems with the Ohnogi conspiracy is that there are no verifiable or original sources, just second-hand "information." That said, if you're feeling up to it, we'd love to have more cited translations. I'm especially curious about the "hate induced by Macross 7" since it's my understanding that Macross 7 was well-received in Japan.

Y'know... people wonder why I prefer Macross the way it was before Kawamori got involved with the franchise again.

Ironically, the stories chronicled in the Parallel World suddenly appear more concrete than the "dramatizations" we've seen of the canon chronology.

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The way I understand his answer is that one needs to accept for a moment that this is an art form and you can't look at it with rigor that you usually apply to history - although Kawamori even makes the point that when looking at history you are also dealing with interpretations of events and the historical dispute is often not about the "fact" about about motives (not "did Napoleon go to X" but "why?" and "what effect did this have on Y?").

I think people need to be reasonable in their demands for precisin. Macross is super-ultra precise and very very careful not to mess too much with continuity when compared to other long runing animated series - so... I wouldn't be too hard on him.

I don't take his view of Macross 7 being "just fiction" of "the Macross 7 events" literally - I don't know what he said in the original, but I don't think he meant that because that would sound kind of senseless.

What does make sense, however, is that the events of Macross 7 were thought up and efforts were made to encorporate them into the Macross mythos and then those efforts collided with certain realities of making a show of this sort. ANd come on - really the only "difference" was Exodol having his DYRL appearance - but hasn't it been pretty well established that this is the prefered appearance?

I dunno - too much drama on this subject.

Pete

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I think the key is to remember, everybody sees things differently. It is an art form. People are going to see different things when you see a painting.

Here's a Monet:

Monet-TheStroll.jpg

Not everyone is going to look at it in the exact same way.

Kawamori is treating Macross the same way. He's offering the audience different views on a single piece. He's creating different interpretations for the audience. One version isn't necessarily wrong compared to another. There's also the Arthurian legend. There's a historical basis for the character, but many interpretations of the legend. The Thomas Malory-version tells it one way. The Alfred Tennyson-version tells it another. One version of story says Guld played a game of chicken with the Ghost X-9. Another says he crashed into it. One version may have Michael dying in front of Klan. Another may have him dying farther away with Klan only seeing it from afar. There are certain facts in the story but how those events come to be is subject to interpretation. A good modern example is Band of Brothers. Historically inaccurate at times but it accomplished telling a story within the fabric of historical events.

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Humn. And here, I'd always thought Macross was real... Now I know it really is only a TV show.

I'm glad I got that all cleared up now. :blink:

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"WHAT YOU TALKING BOUT KAWAMORI?!!" :lol: Is he saying that the only real Macross is the original, and all the rest are fictional tv series that take place in the Macross universe? Meaning that Misa, Hikaru, and Minmay are relaxing on the Megaroad-01 watching re-runs of Macross plus, Mac-7 and Macross F? THAT'S FRIGGIN GREAT!!! ^_^

Edited by aerocombatpilot

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I think the key is to remember, everybody sees things differently. It is an art form. People are going to see different things when you see a painting.

Here's a Monet:

Monet-TheStroll.jpg

Not everyone is going to look at it in the exact same way.

I see Alto and his mother.

Pete

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Wow ... I will just pretend that Kawamori-san was under the influence of some kind of "substance" (Maybe he did watch robotech after all ...) during the interview and therefore ignore it.

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Wow ... I will just pretend that Kawamori-san was under the influence of some kind of "substance" (Maybe he did watch robotech after all ...) during the interview and therefore ignore it.

Granted, Kawamori changes his explanations over time, and it often is demonstrated that he (unlike us obsessive fans) doesn't remember every fine detail of projects he put to bed a decade or two ago. On the other hand, this all feeds into the same end result of "there's no hard and fast canon, deal with it" that he said here, so I'll live. :)

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i don't mind, really. it all boils down to the viewers, i.e. how do you interpret the events, and which do you prefer? the canon is out there, and it happened for real (still in a fictional sense, of course), but there are several media interpretations on how it happened. as with any historical event, unless i'm a historian, i would have to rely on either documentaries, a tv series or a movie based on the event to get a feel for what happened. and to enjoy history unfolding.

the only problem is, if you really want to know the real history of what (fictionally) happened, the only history book on the matter is still unpublished, and in the mind of SK. :p

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I think it's a clever solution to the problem of canon.

Yes, it makes the Macross production seem more "ficitonal," but that's okay. They ARE fiction.

Besides, I always admire artiness and post-modernism where I don't expect them, and the idea that there IS a "real" Macross story, but we've never seen it (and WILL never see it) is about as arty and post-modern as you can get. ^_^

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Besides, I always admire artiness and post-modernism where I don't expect them, and the idea that there IS a "real" Macross story, but we've never seen it (and WILL never see it) is about as arty and post-modern as you can get. ^_^

Not only arty and post-modern, but proabably the only one of its kind, as well. bravo. :)

And to the first one of us who happens by chance to go to the alternate dimension where all these events happened, kudos to you, and do send us details. :D

Edited by dreamweaver13

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Actually I believe Kawamori's attitude toward canon is very practical. By not making any version the official one he is leaving an universe of possibilities open for future projects. Besides, I like the fact he dedicates completely to re-invent/create new concepts for each Macross project. That way he keeps them pretty fresh, interesting and innovative... :wacko:

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The interview later goes on to all the hate induced by Macross 7....

You do realize that Macross 7 was well loved in Japan right? And that it was the most popular entry in the Franchise until Macross Frontier came out, right?

I don't think Kawamori cares if a small group of Americans didn't like his show.

Edited by Sketch

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You do realize that Macross 7 was well loved in Japan right? And that it was the most popular entry in the Franchise until Macross Frontier came out, right?

I don't think Kawamori cares if a small group of Americans didn't like his show.

I don't know about that...in Animerica Magazine, they used to have a column written by the manager of Manga no Mori, the big comic chain store in Japan. He generally tried to be fair an impartial, but he said (at the beginning of Macross 7's run) that everyone seemed to be confused by it. There were too many questions (Who is the enemy? Why does the main character, a civilian no less, have the latest type Valkyrie? What happened to the other old characters?), and he said it seemed like disconnected pieces of a story floating around.

More anecdotally, three of my Japanese friends like Macross. One of them says Macross 7 is his favorite (because of the music; he doesn't think the story is all that great). One of them said he didn't like it at all (although he likes the music). The third one hadn't seen it, so I let her borrow my DVDs. I think she got about seven or eight episodes in before she said, "Do I have to watch this? I'm really getting tired of this 'Ore no uta o kiké' stuff." I told her it got better, but she still never finished it.

So it seems to me that perhaps the music is more popular than the show is. :unsure:

Edited by Gubaba

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