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Killer Robot

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  1. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.
  2. I like Sheryl being pretty toned myself, though I admit most art of her doesn't show a six pack either. Of course, showing skin is second nature to her. This is only slight exaggeration of what happened in the series itself:
  3. Oh, definitely. I don't hold Macross 7 being a more a children's show or more a super robot show than other Macross, my real complaints about the series are of pacing and character development, but on the other hand, I can't blame others for finding that a hard pill to swallow with a franchise that otherwise defined itself by how it wasn't a super robot show, and by keeping heavier shades of dark and gritty warfare in with the bright action and song. I like my share of super robot shows and light entertainment(not that SDFM is exactly grim and adult fare), but there's a difference between liking variety and wanting wild swings in mood between a work and its sequels. I loved Gurren Lagann myself - on the other hand, I would have had serious misgivings to that as a Macross sequel even if they turned all the drills into guitars and said the Anti-Spirals were another Protoculture project gone wrong. I similarly wouldn't want a new Star Wars movie in the mood and feel of the new Battlestar Galactica despite both being series I quite enjoy. Macross 7 definitely takes a lot of themes from the original Macross, I'll never deny that, but it takes them to a much more fantastic level. And it seems that a lot of what Frontier does is in the same direction as 7, but reinvented in a mood and presentation more in keeping with the original scope of the series. Which is entirely in keeping with it having so much else to tie into earlier Macross series.
  4. That's just the trick. It didn't happen that way in SDFM. Or rather, it didn't happen nearly the same way. Minmay had no special powers. Her song had no special powers. Music wasn't even the biggest part of what got through to the Zentradi and convinced them that there was maybe more to live for than fighting. It was the whole of the broadcasts from the Macross, the sights of men and women living peacefully together, the strange sorts of entertainments, the wild stories brought back by the spies and passed among the troops, the strange ways these miclones had, the unthinkable act called "kissing." And yes, it was Minmay, but in a lot of ways she was a symbolic shorthand for what the Zentradi found themselves longing for, in the same way that "guitar controlled Valkyrie" is a symbolic shorthand for why many found Macross 7 jarring. Even when she did the concert during the big battle to distract the fleet, it was relying on the momentary confusion and fear to knock out their leadership, not to convert the main fleet, and Exedol made the point that the kiss was going to be instrumental along with the song - it had a much greater culture shock value anyway. And most importantly, all this happened entirely in the realm of normal human interactions and communication: the way of shocking someone with unfamiliar concepts, the way of swaying someone to your way of thinking through example and encouragement, of finding common ground with your enemy. It happened in a larger than life fashion, it's true, but only because the Zentradi were far more culturally repressed than any human society and so their shock was pretty intense(all the same, look up cargo cults, or some of the other real world examples of culture shock when two very different human cultures have met in the past.) This isn't to say that Minmay wasn't important, or that the effect she had wasn't very real, but it wasn't all that far from the power communication, charisma, and symbol have on real people in the real world. Macross 7 didn't have these happenings on a symbolic stage, but rather a literal one. Song and song energy having direct and quantifiable effects on the minds and spirits of others, special powers that some had and some didn't, devices that directly magnified said power, said power working specifically just on the psychic space monsters and their mind-controlled minions but not directly affecting others. Macross Frontier by contrast still has the power of song be nothing more or less than conventional communication - the power Ranka shows is in the end very simply the ability to communicate with the Vajra through their own fold-based language. The step from SDFM to Mac7 is the step from a story about a doctor who works like any other but has bedside manner and understanding of his patients gives him a knack for healing that mechanical medicine alone can't match, to one about a doctor who is so understanding of his patients that he puts his hands on them and heals through direct application of will. That step from "song as a means of emotional communication" to "song as a literal and quantifiable force" is a pretty big one by any means, and some fans not minding that step doesn't mean it isn't there.
  5. That was exactly the thing. When a story is about the human spirit, which is something that cannot be quantified, cannot be isolated, and yet seems to have the power to motivate friends and sway enemies - that's not so magical. When the story is about the human spirit as something that has visible and reproducible effects, when "vampires" are amid the population literally drawing the human spirit out of people to feed their masters; when the human spirit can be used to directly and visibly cure concrete medical conditions(even those caused by said draining), when scientists can measure the power of a given person's spirit and create devices that amplify it to visible levels, when the human spirit -can- be recruited and weaponized (do recall the Jamming Birds were not entirely without power - they were just far too untrained in them, too unready for combat to really be useful, and pretty much just assembled for the wrong reasons), when the main gun of the fleet's flagship can be modified to fire the human spirit, and when the human spirit does nothing to sway enemies that aren't extradimensional space demons and their hypnotized minions (recall against Chlore's fleet they had to ditch the sound energy thing and use old-fashioned music and persistence) - if that's not turning it into magic, what is? Does Basara need to put on a pointy hat and say "Spiritia Missile!" with a wave of his guitar? Now, I'm not saying that the power of the human spirit was never there in other Macross productions, just that there it kept more to the realm of human interaction. The Zentradi culture shock at being exposed to too much of what was unfamiliar to them, or Sharon Apple's ability to hypnotize an audience - these were powerful, but temporary and not exactly quantified. Macross 7 took that idea a big step further. To come back around to the original topic of this thread, here and not in Sheryl's personality is where I think Macross Frontier was a reinvention of Macross 7. Enemies more alien than the "warrior race of giant humans" Zentradi were in SDFM, music and culture as focal points of humanity's self-identity after SW1, the ways in which Zentradi have adapted to living among humans after a couple of generations, people with special powers to reach the enemy past being the biggest celebrity on the ship, and the ethics of weaponizing and controlling something that is intensely personal - these are all issues from 7 that Frontier addressed and, I think, reinvented more in keeping with the themes and mood of Macross as it stood pre-7. Obviously 7 isn't an alternate universe or something, but its big stylistic step into over the top and fantastic concepts with super robot trappings is what polarized fans of earlier series, and was one that Frontier moved back from.
  6. When the usual Basara complaints come up, the weird thing is this: The first I saw of Macross 7 was the movie. Well, so much as you can call a half hour production a movie. And there, my first impression was that Basara was a cool, good hearted dreamer, sometimes misunderstood but ultimately inspiring. I liked that quite a bit. Just when I got around to the rest of the series I didn't see that guy. I saw someone in the same clothes with the same songs, but the misunderstandings felt well-founded and the eventual inspiration felt forced. I see what he was meant to be, just something got left out between scripting and release and I can't not see the gap between what he was meant to be and what he actually was portrayed as. Maybe that bothers me more than if he really was just some shallow self-absorbed jerk with a special power to save the galaxy. (As an aside, I hated the furry demon guy in the movie, but once I saw the TV series Gavil became a favorite. But anyway....) Macross 7 does stand out for being far more super robot than the other Macross series and being more sanitized overall(lots of pointedly non-fatal casualties if not quite to GI Joe levels), and while I wouldn't call that entirely damning, I can't blame the people who think it is: SDFM was one of the main series that defined the real robot genre, and it got pretty grim too. Macross II took only small steps in concept and setting elements past DYRL. Macross Plus took a leap to heroes in advanced prototypes rather than mass production Valkyries, but it wrapped it in a story to make it feel less standard super robot hero mech, and the story otherwise was closer to a lower and grittier sort of sci-fi. After that, 7 is a pretty big leap into the wild land of psychic weapons vs. giant space demons and I can't blame someone for not making it even if I was okay with that part in the end. When people say "guitar control stick!" or "Valkyries with faces!" they might be fixating on small and fundamentally insignificant points, but I think they're generally just quick examples used to point out a stylistic shift that was considerably deeper than the "school kids and fanservice" people complain about with Frontier. Myself, I love Macross 7 for being a fun sitcom about Mylene and her crazy parents/wacky neighbors and the grander war story I can take or leave. But everyone has their own favorite parts.
  7. Sitting in Emelia's cleavage. I think the pink revolvers were just part of the cowgirl motif. I'm guessing it's some lighthearted performance/advertising thing rather than more serious from the look of it. She had a more normal looking gun for her recruitment video in the TV show, anyway. As for why the cowgirl motif, you've got me there, but with her presented as the forward Western girl archetype to contrast to the Japanese-raised Alto, it's not a completely shocking look to put her in.
  8. He's old enough to be her father. By past Macross experience, some tabloid has probably already claimed he is.
  9. All the same, it feels simplistic to say the difference is Sheryl caring about the business side of things and Basara not. There are a lot of common threads between them: strong sense of independence(even if Sheryl was guided behind her back), demanding artists who want things to go according to their plan, and above all they, yes, want to move the galaxy with their song. Basara doesn't measure his share of the limelight by TV appearances and record deals and such, it's true: he just wants to sing when and where he wants to, and he wants even the mountains to move to his call. By contrast, Sheryl does put a great deal into the social niceties of her role - she'd never miss an interview or a performance, she always wants to look her best...but then, that goes with her always being ready to perform. But is that willingness to perform on demand, at the call others rather than her own, a self-centered thing either? As said, Basara's freedom to sing when and how he wants matters more than whether he pleases anyone. Even his desire to move people is strictly on his terms - he'll sing the same thing at you again and again until you give in, whether it's from slow-onset music appreciation, J-rock induced Stockholm Syndrome, or sheer power of plot. Sheryl's pushy too(poor Alto) but does seem to care for the experience of her audience in addition to her song and her fame: when she wants someone to listen to her song she works to motivate and fascinate, give people what they want as well as what she wants to give them. Even if she's not feeling it, she's got a way of motivating herself into being Sheryl Nome as well. Not to be too harsh on Basara: they're different archetypes all the same. Basara is fundamentally a musician, perhaps moreso than anyone else in the Macross continuity. Sheryl is a performer, likewise perhaps moreso than anyone else we've seen in a Macross series. Still, he seems to more be broadcasted message to the world and she seems to be more shared experience of the crowd, and I'd say the second comes closer to embodying the core of culture as it is presented in Macross. As an addendum, I think one thing that makes the comparison and contrast hard to do is that Sheryl is the first time we've really gotten much look at an established star in a Macross series, comfortable with fame after a couple of years in the spotlight. SDFM Minmay, Fire Bomber, and Ranka were all rising from their modest ambitions to star status in the course of their series, and even DYRL Minmay and Sharon Apple were stars when introduced but still the newest thing - Myung had the public assurance act down but it was complicated by her being the woman behind the curtain, and Sharon herself wasn't the interview type. It's hard to call her too used to being famous when she's the only major character we've seen that's had a chance. P.S.: Checking preview after writing this and seeing the new posts since I started writing this, it is an important thing that even before Sheryl's life came apart and she had to learn to rely on her friends, she was about more of the fame. In the referenced scene in Episode 5 she was the one that told Alto people sing because they can't not sing. When news came of the attack on Galaxy, she was the one that told him she was going on with the concert because singing was what she did. Alto and Ranka, and Michael and Klan for that matter, showed Sheryl she had people to turn to, but performance being her nature and her calling were her own words, and Alto using them to pull her from despair was more calling her on a lie than telling her a new truth.
  10. I agree with this entirely. While fan translators might often argue over just what translation might be most accurate or which of multiple sources should be seen as having precedence, and while mistakes and misconceptions might sometimes creep in, deliberate mistranslation and outright fabrication of sources is a (thankfully) rare event. Likewise, since it's a generally earnest and hobby-driven environment it's normal to trust that a translation is given in good faith - in the absence of contrary evidence, it was natural for most members on both Macross Generation and here to assume the objective claims of Ohnogi's involvement/interviews were true and to save debate for opinions on how it worked out. It seems the abuse of trust was Shaloom's doing alone, so similarly any blame should be limited to him. Further, I hope people don't direct any apprehension toward MG or its community since they clearly had no more idea of this than the MW community did, but rather just put more value into verifying sources in general: multiple eyes on any given work can only lead to more accurate translations in any case, so even when (as usual) everyone involved is honest it's a good idea. Thanks again to all those who got to the bottom of this, smoothed out the aftermath, and just got through the issue without unreasonable conflicts. It's just such a bizarre story that I didn't know what to think for a while there.
  11. What colored my take on the birthday incident was this post from Sheryl's blog back when I read through the translations. Which is probably a step down from going by a drama CD, I know, but it was too cool a promotion not to follow and gave some great windows on the character otherwise, so it stuck with me. July 23, 2059 makes that the posting the day after the one where she announced she was going to Gallia 4. On my first reading way back I thought her admission of an "unfair plan" was how it shut out Ranka so much at such a poor moment that couldn't be helped, but I suppose on re-reading it works as well for just how unfair an offer it is to give Alto. Sheryl's strict "never name names" policy makes reading some of her blog careful guesswork. Also, she writes like a crazy woman. As a more relevant note, she spoke quite positively of Ranka a couple times along the way too, and those times quite clear(if not by name) about her identity. She was very stricken by the girl's energy and saw a star in the making.
  12. When Sheryl invited Alto with her for his birthday, she knew full well that Ranka was asking him and that it was important to her, and the responded by making an offer that she knew he couldn't turn down. I don't think there was any pointed cruelty to Ranka in the act, and she did offer because she knew how much Alto wanted a chance to fly in a real sky, but there's no question she saw competition and decided to cut in hard and put an end to it. On the other hand, one could even argue she thought it would be less painful than to let Ranka get more caught up with the man she wanted before they competed for him - with what happened after that it's hard to know how things would have gone otherwise. That said, I couldn't agree more. The triangle in Frontier was about two girls both after the same guy, but it was also about their friendship with each other, and their friendships with him quite apart from the romantic angle. It's not like SDFM where Minmay and Misa barely knew each other, and further even Alto's platonic friendships with the girls seemed to be more played upon than Hikaru's. It was a story about three friends with romantic entanglements in the middle of a war, and the resolution in the end was that the three and their friendship survived the attempts of both romance and war to put an end to it. Sure, who Alto ends up with in the end isn't resolved, but the ending marks the point past which Alto can choose one or the other without the three breaking apart. Both because they are all alive and safe, and because they've all grown a lot since the start of the series.
  13. Some people lept right onto the idea of that drama CD:
  14. Sadly, it looks like the quote I was thinking of, while widely spread, is spurious, first stated in the 1960s. The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers. - Socrates, cited by Plato (or so someone claimed but couldn't back up) There are a number of other quotes of similarly questionable veracity too: "Times are bad. children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book..." attributed to Cicero. On the other hand, these misattributions themselves have been out and about for decades, meaning that before many of the people currently bemoaning the decline of society were even born, people were not only doing the same, but rebutting the argument with claims that it has always been so. Not to mention my search turning up more genuinely sourced quotes going back a century. For that matter, moving from decline of the arts to decline of the youth is a tangent anyway. I stick by my point - misplaced romanticism about how much better and fresher people and their works used to be is an old, old thing, and I see no reason to believe it is more true now than when people decades or centuries ago said it.
  15. Here's the trick. 25 years ago, people just like you were saying exactly the same thing as you are. Was that true? Is 80s music and television itself terrible compared to the stuff 25 years before that? And how about then, when people were talking about the same? You can go back to the ancient Greeks and see writings about decline of the arts, how kids these days are spoiled and misbehaving, and all of that. I figure, if I wanted to make that argument today there are three routes I can take. I can assume that everyone is correct and that the least work of Neolithic art is of far greater quality than the masterpieces of today, but that's ridiculous. I can assume that most people through history making such claims were mistaken but in my current judgement of nostalgia for the old days I have found absolute truth, but that seems rather arrogant. Or I can assume that "things were better back in the day" is also a phase of personal taste people normally go through rather than a meaningful judgement of quality or trends in the arts. I'm going with the third, myself.
  16. Hikaru's part in that was one I didn't initially consider either. In SDFM they met as a couple of teenagers and then as he became a soldier she became a star, leading to the awkwardness and disconnection as their lives pulled them different directions...and also pulling Hikaru's life to where he had more in common with Misa anyway. That was also a big part of how things played out, rather than just what Minmay was like.
  17. Related but not identical to the issue of simple age, Minmay was also going through the abrupt transition from ordinary girl with some dreams to local celebrity to worldwide legend (well, what was left of the world at least). So much of her fickleness and seeming cluelessness about what was going on around her stems directly from how much she was being immersed in her new career, and pushed by industry people, Kaifun, etc. into their vision of what she should be. She was being manipulated and overwhelmed the whole time, wheras apart from being pulled off the Macross by her father Misa wasn't being isolated or pushed so much. She was in a settled career with familiar friends/coworkers, in a position of authority with a superior who valued her judgement and advice. Experience aside, a stable life makes stable behavior easier.
  18. Animation techniques, production values, even the basics of storytelling in an animated television medium - these are all things that evolve over time, and new works build upon both good and bad lessons of the old. Quite apart from this, any work is a product of its culture and era, its references and topics and storytelling conventions, and time changes the audience. So is age a handicap for a TV show to work against? Absolutely! There are a lot of old shows, like works in any other medium, that stand the test of time better than others. These are the classics that people will keep coming back to. Even then, classics are often enjoyed strictly in context of their era. As television sci-fi goes, original Star Trek is a widely loved classic, but I think few would seriously claim that a new show written, acted, and presented just as those old episodes were would be well-received. People also forget how many older shows didn't last through the years. Chances are the old stuff you like is very best of breed - you might follow just a couple works from a given decade. If the playlist on a classic rock station seems to be of better quality than that on a modern pop station, that's in large part because it's sampling the best over a twenty year range as opposed to mostly songs from the last year - a lot of the songs those classics once shared airtime with are long forgotten and for good reason. Then of course there's nostalgia factor. Like many old friends from childhood, people tend to give free passes to their old favorites when they start to look less fresh. On the other hand, those too young to remember something might find the "retro" experience really fresh and novel and so get caught up in it more than the new things that, to them, are familiar enough to breed contempt. To go of what Gubaba said, I've known lots of teenagers assuming old stuff is all bad, but I've known a lot (especially in geeky circles) who get totally caught up in retro fads and period interests - and are prone to get over the giddy excitement in the same time frame as their peers their peers become less enslaved to new fads and current interests. Myself? I never saw SDFM until it was 20 years old. Not even as Robotech. I enjoyed it quite a lot - in some ways I had to judge it in awareness of its age, but it's definitely a series that deserves to be called a classic. As opposed to some things I knew and liked as a child and now would find painful even with the nostalgic memories they bring. In short, age in art especially in newer media is a handicap. Perhaps not as much as it is for many technological fields, but it still is. On the other hand, doesn't that make a series that still is good after so many years all the more impressive?
  19. I agree the second arc of SDFM was what really set it off as more of a mecha show. The plot of it was less driven than the first 27 episodes, and they did have to restart the love triangle, but on the other hand, the love triangle in 1-27 was really vestigal. I don't think it would have been remembered as a defining characteristic of the series if not for what was done with it in 28-36. Not to mention how the series addressed the difficulties of assimilating an alien population, and the grand plan to expand through the galaxy. The aftermath was what really gave the show more breadth and scope than just another mecha show, arguably more the whole "power of culture" thing did.
  20. I agree as well, this is anything but a private and personal dispute or some kind of "site war" - rather, this is entirely about public claims and published materials, so the evidence belongs in a public forum so that interested and disinterested parties alike can see it for themselves.
  21. 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.
  22. If the fanart that lands on Danbooru means anything, a lot of Japanese fans have gravitated to Sheryl and Alto in the months since the show stopped airing. You know, like Sheryl myself and can think of reasons she'd be a better match, but when it comes to it I don't hate Ranka and I don't get why people think it had to end with one girl in Alto's arms and that what we got was somehow cheating. It's just weird, and the more I see it the harder it is to imagine another ending, unless Frontier somehow got a second story arc SDFM-style, where the love triangle could develop further without a galaxy-threatening war looming constantly overhead. And doubly weird, seeing people go through something so elaborate to play up the issue.
  23. Oops, you're right, and what's worse is I knew that already. I will blame the middle of the night and alcohol for my poor phrasing. It's still hilarious, though.
  24. I've seen this before, but still. Best Milia fanart ever.
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