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So after an encounter I had with a shop owner in Toronto I've had a question sticking in my craw that I'd hope the more knowledgeable folks here could answer for me: namely what IS the state of the Macross fandom in general right now?

I mean with things like Frontier a few years back, Macross 30 being released, the re-release of Plus, etc. it SEEMS to be doing good but at the same time now Yamato's folding/being picked up by another company, so I was really hoping to get a level-headed assessment of where things are at. No doubt there had to have been some popularity surge, but I'm curious how it's fairing now and how likely we'll see more stuff (games, models, etc.) get released from here on out.

So yes, if anyone would care to chime in on this I'd love to hear where things are really at :)

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Toys and models (and merchandise in general) have other factors riding on them. Did people buy the products or services? Does a company make a profit on their products (Bandai, Yamato, etc.)? Did a company allow itself to be bought out, i.e. was the sale willingly done and not mitigated by other factors? Especially with business, we don't get a clear picture because private companies are in no position to tell the public any concrete information.

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I ducked out in 2011 for personal reasons, but now Im back in head first.

IMHO-The state of the fandom seems consistant. I see buyers of product, discussions of what the future will hold. I think one thing that need to be considered is that Macross isnt like Gundam- in the respect that they're will be a new series every one to three years apart. There was a 7 year gap between Flashback 2012(1987) and Macross Plus(1994), Then 7(1994), to Zero (2002). There's filler product inbetween, but I'd say that Macross Fandom's state is better than the Voltron, Robotech, and Thundercats Fandoms.

Its been my personal observation that Macross thrives because US fans are willing to purchase high end products and pay for international shipping, biting their thumbs at the US license holders, funding the producers abroad. Is it always enough or sustainable, probably not- but it really defines the level of dedication the Macross fandom does have.

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"Niche" would best describe fandom, at least here in North America. Course, the fandom for Macross has always been niche, but I supposed the degree to which it is niche has varied from time to time. For the most part, Macross is nowhere within the pop culture consciousness and I can think of no "mention of significance" even within the larger discussion of popular entertainment among the main genre collectives online (with the exception of it's link to anime and/or Robotech).

Naturally, none of this has any impact on the production of Macross product in Japan. If anything Macross has seen a rather sizable surge of product and merchandising for many years now, so everything seems ducky :)

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Totally unrelated to the question of the thread, but I just wanted to note that "stuck in my craw" means something was difficult to accept. It's a great expression and I wouldn't want to see it misused.

Carry on.

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Then I used it correctly because I had someone trying to assert that Macross was dead as a fandom, even in Japan >_>

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The question in the original post seems to be referring more to the state of the franchise rather than the state of the fandom.

For the state of the fandom, it certainly seems very healthy IMO. Certainly here on Macrossworld and before that on AFM, Macross has long had a very active, loyal and devoted fanbase. I have to say the, level of friendliness, helpfulness, knowledge, intelligence and maturity is the best I have ever seen on any forum.

As for the state of the franchise, well, that's where I'm a bit concerned. There's no new TV series or movie on the hozizon (that we know of), The Macross 30 game has already been released, Yamato toys has folded, Bandai's toy output is sporadic and limited, I fear the YF-30 DX is vapourware. Hasegawa's output is drastically reduced (no news for ages on their VF-25 kit). I do fear that we are passing out of the golden period of Macross that we have been enjoying for the past decade. While we do have some new things on the horizon, such as the upcoming Bandai VF-1 kit and the ongoing expanded Chonicles, I fear we are slowly lapsing into a quieter time.

Graham

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The way Bandai renewal's sell, and with all the conventions... I'd say Fandom is healthy and probably growing. I think it's more a question of how anime has changed in 30 years. It's not the same market it used to be. Robots aren't front and center like they used to be. Giant Robos is a niche and Macross is also a niche, so take that as you will.

It's not as big as Transformers in the states, that's for damn sure.

Yamato's molds will be back at some point I reckon, and I don't think their change/demise will hurt fans too much.

Anyway, I'm going to Animazement in a few months to see Mikimoto, so it will be interesting to gauge the age and size of Macross fans on the east coast of the U.S.

Also, I agree with Graham. Besides a few stray weirdos this is the most helpful and friendly toy/show forum I've ever been a part of.

Edited by Gakken85

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Then I used it correctly because I had someone trying to assert that Macross was dead as a fandom, even in Japan >_>

I'd imagine that certain other entities would like for that to be true.

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When I mention Macross to people, they either don't know anything about it, or have only seen Macross Frontier.

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When I mention Macross to people, they either don't know anything about it, or have only seen Macross Frontier.

I did go to an anime store and the guy working there asked me what I like. I said i like old stuff like Macross and he replied You mean Macross Frontier? Then again he didn't know what Space battleship Yamato was either.

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Macross Frontier is making a big impact with it's broad appeal and high production quality, and a decent number of new MF fans are going back to watch the old stuff.
Some of those will be our new generation of Macross fans.

I haven't watched it, but I wonder if Shouji Kawamori's AKB0048 will have a weird indirect impact on Macross fandom.
Could some fans of that go from "super cute music saving everybody sci-fi" to "serious music saves everybody sci-fi"?

Possibly checking out what else Kawamori has done?

The question is, will those fans stick around here when they see what a bunch of old fuddy duddy love triangle haters we are? :lol:

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Speaking for Japan, Frontier brought with it a huge boom in popularity. To the point that the soundtracks charted not once, but 3 times in the mainstream Oricon music charts. In my opinion, at Frontiers peak, in terms of fans and popularity it exceeded that of the original Macross. Having said that the show itself was still far from mainstream.

With Frontier came legions of new fans, mostly young and many female. Younger fans without the sort of income or sense of nostalgia that would make Yamato's offerings appealing to them. Many of these fans were much more invested in the characters and music than the mecha, resulting in more figures for Frontier than for all the previous series combined, and more concerts held over a 5 year period than in the past 25 years.

However, with Sayonara no Tsubasa out, and no new material on the horizon, the Frontier boom has started to peter out. Projects such as M30 and FB7 have included Frontier characters to try to keep some of this fanbase and, to a certain extent, introduce them to older series, especially M7. In the meantime, 30th anniversary projects such as the Musiculture, and the bluray sets have kept many of the older/existing fan base engaged. If a new animation isnt announced soon however its a fair assumption that the fanbase will dip further, but even if it does its still the largest fanbase that Macross has had in 20 years. I've come across more people in regular, non-Macross circles that know of Frontier than of any other Macross. As a franchise, new material is needed soon, but the fanbase is still very healthy. So please tell this shop owner in Toronto that he has no idea what he is talking about and that he needs to listen to Macross SpeakerPODcast to edjumacate himself!

Edited by Tochiro

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Speaking for Japan, Frontier brought with it a huge boom in popularity. To the point that the soundtracks charted not once, but 3 times in the mainstream Oricon music charts. In my opinion, at Frontiers peak, in terms of fans and popularity it exceeded that of the original Macross. Having said that the show itself was still far from mainstream.

With Frontier came legions of new fans, mostly young and many female. Younger fans without the sort of income or sense of nostalgia that would make Yamato's offerings appealing to them. Many of these fans were much more invested in the characters and music than the mecha, resulting in more figures for Frontier than for all the previous series combined, and more concerts held over a 5 year period than in the past 25 years.

However, with Sayonara no Tsubasa out, and no new material on the horizon, the Frontier boom has started to peter out. Projects such as M30 and FB7 have included Frontier characters to try to keep some of this fanbase and, to a certain extent, introduce them to older series, especially M7. In the meantime, 30th anniversary projects such as the Musiculture, and the bluray sets have kept many of the older/existing fan base engaged. If a new animation isnt announced soon however its a fair assumption that the fanbase will dip further, but even if it does its still the largest fanbase that Macross has had in 20 years. I've come across more people in regular, non-Macross circles that know of Frontier than of any other Macross. As a franchise, new material is needed soon, but the fanbase is still very healthy. So please tell this shop owner in Toronto that he has no idea what he is talking about and that he needs to listen to Macross SpeakerPODcast to edjumacate himself!

Hehe, sadly I don't live in the GTA or I just might. Either way I appreciate the responses from everyone here for this. It is a shame that by and large mecha is out and moe is in, still there's been a few more series on that front and I can only hope that eventually we'll see more Macross stuff come out (I'd love an animated version of The First for instance). It's a shame that there's not enough demand over on this side of the pond to have licensing companies look at throwing some legit financial weight into getting the other series over here (at the very least Frontier). Oh well...

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I'll add something into the conversation; in the years following the end of Frontier, a lot of people were attending official Robotech convention panels not to hear about their progress with current and future projects for that franchise, but whether or not Frontier would be localized outside Japan.

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It's a shame that there's not enough demand over on this side of the pond to have licensing companies look at throwing some legit financial weight into getting the other series over here (at the very least Frontier). Oh well...

Well, again, the biggest problem for Frontier (and of course 7) is music licensing. There's an oft-quoted statement to the effect that in the mid-'90s (when anime was selling REALLY REALLY well in the west) it would've taken the combined forces of ALL the Western licensors to afford getting Macross 7... and who knows how well it would've sold?

Likewise, I remember Keith sending an email to Bandai, asking about Frontier, and getting a similar answer... that the music rights were INCREDIBLY cost-prohibitive.

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Well, again, the biggest problem for Frontier (and of course 7) is music licensing. There's an oft-quoted statement to the effect that in the mid-'90s (when anime was selling REALLY REALLY well in the west) it would've taken the combined forces of ALL the Western licensors to afford getting Macross 7... and who knows how well it would've sold?

Likewise, I remember Keith sending an email to Bandai, asking about Frontier, and getting a similar answer... that the music rights were INCREDIBLY cost-prohibitive.

Just a quick question then: How come a series like AKB0048, that as far as I can understand also has a lot of original music, can be licensed in North America? Is there something in particular about the way OST is presented in Macross that makes it more expensive?

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Which shop in Toronto? I can smack him around abit.

heh, it was Anime Extreme. Looking back on it I probably shouldn't have even bothered buying anything while there. Even accounting for shipping his prices were way off base compared to something like HLJ, but that's convenience for you!

Just a quick question then: How come a series like AKB0048, that as far as I can understand also has a lot of original music, can be licensed in North America? Is there something in particular about the way OST is presented in Macross that makes it more expensive?

I've been dubious of that claim for a while myself. I'd suspect there'd be a greater cost sure, but given all the music for Macross is produced originally for the series I can't see the license holders charging THAT much. If you're not pricing against your market you're just being silly.

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I've been dubious of that claim for a while myself. I'd suspect there'd be a greater cost sure, but given all the music for Macross is produced originally for the series I can't see the license holders charging THAT much. If you're not pricing against your market you're just being silly.

I believe if you think of it in terms of having to arrange licensing with each and every individual artist you may start to get an idea of why its expensive.

But this is neglecting the root of the issue: anime and their respective soundtracks are not produced out of the same budget like a Hollywood movie is. Maybe thinking of it in terms of product placement might be better.

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Just a quick question then: How come a series like AKB0048, that as far as I can understand also has a lot of original music, can be licensed in North America? Is there something in particular about the way OST is presented in Macross that makes it more expensive?

Good question. I dunno. Me, I'd imagine that after more than fifteen years, the value of music would decrease (Hell, MASSIVE hits from the '90s can be gotten for mere pennies these days)... but that's what they say...

So... Macross 7 might be affordable these days (who knows...?), but then that brings in the HG problem... which is that they've been using the "Macross" name since 1985, and since they're "watching the store," anyone who wants to bring more Macross to the US has to go through them.

(NOTE: This doesn't apply to DYRL, since NO ONE knows who owns the rights to it for the west...)

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State of the fandom, hm. Interesting.
As a Japanese fan in Japan, what I can say is Frontier gathered many new fans and brought some old fans back. It was a great accomplishment of MF.
I was so surprised to hear that many non-Japanese fans like both SDFM and M7... Wow...
Many SDFM fans in Japan were M7 haters and some of them never came back to the Macross series after watching only a single episode of M7. They were really disappointed at M7. In Wikipedia, not a few fans opposed to M7 because it was no SDFM-ish.
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%9E%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AD%E3%82%B97
Well, actually Wikipedia has many mistakes, but I totally take the information for granted because I am also the one of the old fans who disliked M7.
Without MF, I would never be here.

BTW some members are talking about the model kits and the toys but they are the industrial products, not the garage kits. The fandom is lead by such amateur-made items here in Japan. For instance, I have once talked to a man who made a 1/500 Andromeda from SBS Yamato garage kit at Wonder Fest. He said when he had been making it, he didn't know 2199 was being made with laughter. The fans don't care whether the sequel is made or not; they just make just they want to make even though 30 years after the last movie was screened. And the contents holders allow them to use the copyright to a limited extent. Never cease fire so easily.

Some enthusiastic fans have kept on working with amateur-made items for a long time. And if the sequel were a good one, the old fans would come back suddenly. The fandam here is so tenacious.
Well, I don't know how about those in America and the other countries.

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Good question. I dunno. Me, I'd imagine that after more than fifteen years, the value of music would decrease (Hell, MASSIVE hits from the '90s can be gotten for mere pennies these days)... but that's what they say...

So... Macross 7 might be affordable these days (who knows...?), but then that brings in the HG problem... which is that they've been using the "Macross" name since 1985, and since they're "watching the store," anyone who wants to bring more Macross to the US has to go through them.

(NOTE: This doesn't apply to DYRL, since NO ONE knows who owns the rights to it for the west...)

I find that funny too. I'll use Cowboy Bebop and GITS (Series) for example. A plethora of original music, both licensed by Bandai, both with multiple OST's? How can Macross' be that much more difficult to license? But yes, the HG thing puts a stumbling stone in the way of progress.

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I find that funny too. I'll use Cowboy Bebop and GITS (Series) for example. A plethora of original music, both licensed by Bandai, both with multiple OST's? How can Macross' be that much more difficult to license? But yes, the HG thing puts a stumbling stone in the way of progress.

Neither of those ended up in the actual Top Ten charts, though... unlike Mac7 and Frontier...

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State of the fandom, hm. Interesting.

As a Japanese fan in Japan, what I can say is Frontier gathered many new fans and brought some old fans back. It was a great accomplishment of MF.

I was so surprised to hear that many non-Japanese fans like both SDFM and M7... Wow...

Many SDFM fans in Japan were M7 haters and some of them never came back to the Macross series after watching only a single episode of M7. They were really disappointed at M7. In Wikipedia, not a few fans opposed to M7 because it was no SDFM-ish.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%9E%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AD%E3%82%B97

Well, actually Wikipedia has many mistakes, but I totally take the information for granted because I am also the one of the old fans who disliked M7.

Without MF, I would never be here.

BTW some members are talking about the model kits and the toys but they are the industrial products, not the garage kits. The fandom is lead by such amateur-made items here in Japan. For instance, I have once talked to a man who made a 1/500 Andromeda from SBS Yamato garage kit at Wonder Fest. He said when he had been making it, he didn't know 2199 was being made with laughter. The fans don't care whether the sequel is made or not; they just make just they want to make even though 30 years after the last movie was screened. And the contents holders allow them to use the copyright to a limited extent. Never cease fire so easily.

Some enthusiastic fans have kept on working with amateur-made items for a long time. And if the sequel were a good one, the old fans would come back suddenly. The fandam here is so tenacious.

Well, I don't know how about those in America and the other countries.

Thanks for that bit of insight! Admittedly I'm one of the freaks who's enjoyed prettymuch everything Macross has had to offer so far, including 7 (GASP!). Admittedly though while it's great to hear about the garage kits my concern is more on the industrial front. Not because I want to discount the contributions but more trying to get a read on how likely it'll be that we'll see new stuff come out, and maybe one day hopefully, what the odds are of ever seeing more of the series localized for western audiences. because while I'll probably cave on picking up the Plus boxset (a moment of silence for my wallet) I can't justify the costs the Japanese market puts on anime, not when compared to the western releases let alone for something where my grasp of the language is tenuous at best. :/

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So don't license the music. The lyrics will have to be changed to English for Western localization anyway.

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So don't license the music. The lyrics will have to be changed to English for Western localization anyway.

Gaaah... you've heard "English Fire," right? We don't want that...

EDIT: And yeah, Frontier with completely different music wouldn't work, I don't think... Check the US release of Zeta Gundam if you don't believe me...

Edited by Gubaba

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I went to Zenkaikon and I was trying to buy anything Macross related (art books, toys, models, etc, etc) and it was very few and between (I saw a VF-1J miniature that the guy wanted $65 USD). The seller even told me that Macross Frontier was basically old and told me good luck. OTAKON in 2011 was a different story; many merchandise was available on the floor..

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I went to Zenkaikon and I was trying to buy anything Macross related (art books, toys, models, etc, etc) and it was very few and between (I saw a VF-1J miniature that the guy wanted $65 USD). The seller even told me that Macross Frontier was basically old and told me good luck. OTAKON in 2011 was a different story; many merchandise was available on the floor..

Weird. I've found a lot of Macross stuff (original to Frontier) at Mandarake in Shibuya (some of it, admittedly, rather expensive) over the last year or so. I've also met a lot of people (again, over the last year or so) who really like Macross Frontier. And new exhibits, events, and concerts keep getting announced, so... I'm at a loss. Why would companies be pouring money into something so old...?

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Hold on a moment here. We seem to have gone from THIS ↓

So after an encounter I had with a shop owner in Toronto I've had a question sticking in my craw that I'd hope the more knowledgeable folks here could answer for me: namely what IS the state of the Macross fandom in general right now?

I mean with things like Frontier a few years back, Macross 30 being released, the re-release of Plus, etc. it SEEMS to be doing good but at the same time now Yamato's folding/being picked up by another company, so I was really hoping to get a level-headed assessment of where things are at. No doubt there had to have been some popularity surge, but I'm curious how it's fairing now and how likely we'll see more stuff (games, models, etc.) get released from here on out.

So yes, if anyone would care to chime in on this I'd love to hear where things are really at :)


To THIS ↓

...Admittedly though while it's great to hear about the garage kits my concern is more on the industrial front. Not because I want to discount the contributions but more trying to get a read on how likely it'll be that we'll see new stuff come out, and maybe one day hopefully, what the odds are of ever seeing more of the series localized for western audiences. because while I'll probably cave on picking up the Plus boxset (a moment of silence for my wallet) I can't justify the costs the Japanese market puts on anime, not when compared to the western releases let alone for something where my grasp of the language is tenuous at best. :/

Talking about the state of fandom and the chance of getting official BD releases outside of Japan are two very different things.

I've given my 2 yen on the fandom already but regarding the chance of localised series releases, I'll say this - there is absolutely no chance. It's not any single factor, but a combination. The music rights costs PLUS the HG issue PLUS Big West being unwilling to take the risk PLUS the difference in markets and business models means that it isnt going to happen.
HOWEVER, things like the Macross Plus boxset and the trend of other SF series (Yamato 2199, Gundam Unicorn, Gundam Seed, Gundam Age) being released in Japan with English subtitles gives me hope that future Macross series might have English subtitles as well. Sure its not cheap, but the chance to import and legitimately own/support the show will be there in the future (in my opinion at least) as long as one is prepared to put in the same investment that Japanese fans do.

Edited by Tochiro

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Gaaah... you've heard "English Fire," right? We don't want that...

EDIT: And yeah, Frontier with completely different music wouldn't work, I don't think... Check the US release of Zeta Gundam if you don't believe me...

I actually don't know what "English Fire" is. I'm assuming some English version of Fire Bomber. I'm not real concerned with if the music is good as my opinion of the Japanese music is that it's not good either. I'm just talking about some method of releasing the series so other people can see it too.

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heh, it was Anime Extreme. Looking back on it I probably shouldn't have even bothered buying anything while there. Even accounting for shipping his prices were way off base compared to something like HLJ, but that's convenience for you!

You were talking to the wrong owner. His partner is the one that knows the Macross stuff and they work alternate days. If you were talking Gundam, and especially Sentinel then he would be your guy. I know both of them.

As for their pricing, they charge what they charge to stay in business.

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HOWEVER, things like the Macross Plus boxset and the trend of other SF series (Yamato 2199, Gundam Unicorn, Gundam Seed, Gundam Age) being released in Japan with English subtitles gives me hope that future Macross series might have English subtitles as well. Sure its not cheap, but the chance to import and legitimately own/support the show will be there in the future (in my opinion at least) as long as one is prepared to put in the same investment that Japanese fans do.

This is the fervent desire of many in this forum.

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