Forum regular and translator extraordinaire Sketchley has posted a report from the 1:1-VF-25 that is currently on display in Osaka (Dec. 22 to Jan. 14), along with some great pictures of new additions to the exhibit since its Tokyo debut last year, including shots of the YF-30 from the upcoming PS3 game Macross 30!
Short version: if you haven’t gone to see it yet, it’s probably worth going to see. If you’ve already seen it, it’s most likely not worth it to see it again.
Long version: for starters, I still can’t wrap head around how close I live to a theme park (been living here about 5 years!) Going to the park didn’t feel a thing like “going to a theme park”. It felt just like we were going to the supermarket or the train station… just turning right not left. Anyhow, piccies
The home page is a bit confusing about this. We went to the main ticket gate, and apparently it’s the place to get the park/M:SDE combi tickets, but not the M:SDE only tickets! The M:SDE tickets are sold separately immediately in front of the exhibition entrance off to the right side of the park’s main gate, inside the ticket “gate”.
We got our neck straps (I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t mention Osaka on it, but 2012 and 30th Anniversary is good enough, I guess).
There’s a long walk down a covered hallway, which, in a way, builds anticipation. What greets you at the end is the 1:1 YF-30 Chronos banner. Its size is quite impressive (kids added for a sense of scale). Facing it is the M:SDE title image. Apparently this is also the spot where you can see the SDF-1 and Macross Quarter on your Smartphone if you’ve installed the App.
Inside, we get the main highlight of the day: the facilities were heated. It was rather cold outside that day… anyhow…
There’s a welcome/introductory letter, then a map the SLRE fleets took from Earth, etc., and a big TV with our “guides” for the exhibition running on it. The kids were more entranced by the cardboard versions of the “guides” next to the TV.
You then pass through a series of white LED rings with screenshots of the varies Macross series inbetween each ring (eg:http://www.macrosswo…attach_id=94594 )
This is followed by introductions and summaries of the Macross anime productions with their OP/ED playing on wall screens.
Note: there’s no ceiling here, so there was a lot of light pollution from the VF-25F display! (look at the map picture above to get an idea of how high the roof is, how much light pollution there is, and start wondering why they could NOT make the 1:1 VF-25 stand up!)
Anyhow, on the opposite wall is the timeline. It is really, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally long. So long that I knew the kids would never let me read the whole thing. The timeline starts at around 497,600 BCE, to give you an idea of it’s length.
So, I went straight for the Macross 30 game addition to the timeline. It’s the same (or similar) blurb from before, but it’s a noteworthy addition.
Turn the corner, and there’s Kawamori-san’s message to attendees of the M:SDE. The kids were more interested in our first Sheryl cosplayer of the day, who was standing there reading the message.
Also, this was the first point that we saw other attendees inside the venue. At first I was like, “there’s no one here but the staff! Creepy! Then, with relief and a bit of Spock eyebrow action, we ran into cosplayers. All in all, there weren’t that many people at the exhibition. Was it because we went at like 2 PM on December 31st?
Around the next corner, and there are the “mechanical” displays. Mostly Yamato toys in a wall. (http://www.macrosswo…attach_id=94604 ). On the other side is a big wall poster with the interrelations of all the VFs. (must apologize for the blurriness of the photos. I wasn’t using a flash out of respect to the other attendees. Everyone in the picture above is looking at a wall screen showing “All that VF” (I believe it was the MF version), and that screen had a “NO PICTURES” sign next to it.) Anyhow…
Rounding the corner, there’s a mini “theatre” playing (at the time) the climactic fights from Macross Plus. But who cares about that, as the VF-25F display is right next to it… surrounded by a collection of cosplayers prepping or lining up shots.
Now, aside from the cosplayers, there really weren’t that many people (heck, even counting the cosplayers, there was hardly anybody). The huge lineup area off to the right of the display was empty, and my kids walked right up onto the hand to get the picture for the memorial book. (Damn light aimed at the camera right behind them turned on just as they got onto the hand!)
The major change from the previous events was the ugly bit of scaffolding between the hand and the cockpit. Nevertheless, scoring picts of the cockpit interior’s screen AND Kawamori’s signature on the fuselage was a highlight.
Around the corner was the display of the 3 life-size songstresses. As there was almost no one there (they were all standing at the next display watching Sheryl’s music videos), it was easy to whip out the pictures. (side note: the lighting appears to be different from the Tokyo venue. More light pollution from the VF-25 display?)
The Macross 30 game exhibit was in the antechamber between the two venue halls. One side had a display for ALL of the Macross games, with a screen showing brief ads for each one (alas, no actual game footage. It looked like they were scans of print ad interspersed between time headers (eg. 2010) with rousing game music playing.)
On the other side was a display with models, the YF-30 3DCG display and a wall screen showing the Macross 30 CM and Kawamori-san transforming the lego YF-30 – to which my son excitedly pointed out that there’s lego, followed a few seconds later with, “why is there tape on it?”
The next hall starts with the gates to Mihoshi Academy. The kids enjoyed that. I enjoyed the Ranka/Sheryl live concert posters supposedly drawn by classmates at the academy. My son was amazed at the Vajra on the Jiyuuchou (http://ja.wikipedia….%94%B1%E5%B8%B3) Note that while the original has a Japonnica Study Series image, this one has a Ekisedoru Study Series title! Note the pencil, too.)
Also, there was Ranka’s pine-cake recipe and more cardboard people!
After this was a display of the character’s favourite items (Sheryl’s and Ranka’s mobile phones, Sheryl’s earring, Aruto’s paper airplane and keitai strap). Across were Ranka photo-ops!
On the opposing wall were cutouts of Ranka. The kids had fun.
Next was the Macross shrine. Of course the kids wanted to put money in and pray to the Macross god, but I shushed them over to the Omikuji part on the right, just after the dress-up-as-a-Macross-character and get your picture taken booth. The kids and I each had a go at getting the Zentoran daruma with Kawamori-san’s signature on it (no one had gotten it yet!). Alas, out of our 3 tries, my daughter was the luckiest (medium good luck; Vifidas), my son was in the middle (good luck; Isamu), and I was the unluckiest (greatly bad luck; Kakizaki). Nevertheless, the actual fortunes are fun, with a lot of Macross references (I have exploding barriers in my future!).
Behind the shrine was a message wall. My daughter wrote “English” (her words), and my son tried to copy my VF-1, and his message was cute (still gotta learn Koku-go, son).
The last thing to catch our eyes before the Macross store were the banners hanging from the ceiling. The Macross 30 one was most impressive.
The store had a collection of items, such as Ranka’s VF-25 backpack, Ranka’s keitai themed mittens and slippers, T-shirts with a 1/3 scale VF-25F hand on them, puzzles, books, models and so on. Alas, aside from the books and models, they were all priced as brand goods. T.T Over the years, I’ve also picked up all the books that they had on sale (3 of the VFMF books, MtR #1 & 2, Macross Mechanic 01, Macross F (2x) and Macross False Princes (x1) setting images (oft mislabeled sketchbooks), and all the recent Kadokawa manga (post Frontier, no M7 Trash).
I walked off with Frontier Manju, a Minmei* coffee mug (my Macross mug collection expands!), and the long sought after 1/144 VF-17 kit (my 1/144 M7 set is complete!)
In retrospect, I should’ve picked up 2 sets, to make the standard and command models!
* the son wanted me to buy the Roy Fokker mug. But as it’s all metal, it’s no good for drinking coffee. T.T Want!
Also pictured are the commemorative straps and the stamp rally cards (with the venue’s Sheryl Nome stamp).
The Frontier Manju’s were delicious (apparently my daughter’s favourite part of the day!). There are 3 different stamps on them, and all are the same custard flavour. The Ranka and Hippo-cow that come with it are fun.
All in all, if you haven’t experienced the M:SDE, it’s recommended, but your mileage varies. I was overloaded with Macross by the end of it.
The only negative thing about it is that it’s Macross F oriented, so I didn’t have as many “wow” moments. Now, if it had been SDFM themed… (more than anything, the Yamato Sv-51 fighter form display stands out as the biggest WOW moment. That toy’s frikken huge!)