I started SDF (Get it? SDF? As in the title of this post? I’m such a cunning linguist) Macross before my hiatus began, and I finished it while internetless in Baudette for a week. I also watched two episodes of Macross Frontier after that, because I could… and because I downloaded it in preparation of being way more bored than I actually ended up being. Now, I have promised that I would have Opinions on Macross, so here they are! Some are really ranty!
I have separated this into sections, some smaller than others, because it seemed like the easiest way to organise what was originally a wall of ranty notes taken under the effects of my sleeping medication and cabin fever. I promise the overall Opinions will be collected and presented in the final SDF Macross section. And the Macross Frontier one was written as I watched it, so you could probably watch while reading if you’re into that. Also, don’t read any of this if you haven’t seen all of SDF Macross. There’s your spoiler warning. You’re probably safe for Macross Frontier, though. After all, I have only seen two episodes so far.
Sections in case you wish to jump around: I Dislike Hikaru, Did they seriously just park an ambulance at the main entrance of that hospital?, I Hate Kaifun, SDF Macross is a Horror Anime, Final Verdict on SDF Macross, Macross Frontier.
Hikaru called the best character in the show old for no reason. She doesn’t even look old! Hikaru is the only character with notably bad voice acting (admittedly he does get better as the series goes on, but I wanted to deafen myself every time he laughed in the first few episodes).
Hikaru broke open a pipe full of water in an enclosed area on a space ship to get a drink for some whiny girl. She didn’t sound that desperate to me. But she will be soon, because that water just keeps spraying out and is going to flood the place. When it finally does she’ll be thirsty again. Thirsty for air.
Hikaru’s really just a huge jerk. “Gee, these new subordinates of mine that I have done nothing to deserve sure do suck.” How about be grateful that you got a promotion you didn’t deserve, and be grateful that your subordinates are actually on your level instead of constantly showing everyone what an idiot you are.
And dude, you do not drop everything just to see a dumb contest. I don’t care if it’s your girlfriend or your wife or your daughter or whatever. When people are dying, you need to pay attention to that, NOT some stupid dancing and singing or whatever. Miss Macross? Do you seriously care about this? Do you seriously care about this enough to make up some lie about static or something just so you can stop listening to your superiors and watch girls in bikinis? You should be paying attention to the enemy!
“Women shouldn’t be soldiers. They’re a lot cuter when they’re just cooking or singing or something.” No, actually, it’s you who shouldn’t be a soldier. And you would only be cuter if you were a corpse. No zombies, please. I don’t want you to open your mouth ever again, so just stay a corpse. Also the subs actually said “they’re are a lot cuter” but that’s because they’re terrible.
I thought the show would grant me my wish when Hikaru gets kicked (by a giant) into a wall, causing some heavy firearms (giant-sized!) to fall on him. Except he got out without even a scratch apparently. He should be dead. In fact, both him and Minmay should have been dead ages ago when they stupidly broke that pipe.
Then he’s actually… kind of okay for a long time. Pretty much up until he decides it’s a good idea to cancel his plans with Misa last minute just because Minmay wants to see him. What’s your problem, dude? I don’t care who you prefer. I don’t care who’s easier to see. You do not cancel plans last minute like that unless it’s for something, y’know, important.
I think I’ll close up my rant on why I dislike Hikaru with a nice conversation between Global and Misa. Global says, “You want to quit? I assume this is because of Hikaru.” Misa is surprised and asks how he knew.
Everything is always Hikaru’s fault. Sounds about right.
Excuse me? He’s your what? As I have never known this word to be commonly known amongst the English-speaking crowd, I am going to pretend for a moment that not only do I not know what word you are looking for, but that I am also ignorant to the fact that you are using a dumb romanization method. So here I am, looking up “kohai” in my handy dandy Japanese dictionary. Funputer does not recognize the word “kohai” did you mean “kobai”? Since my dictionary has failed me I suppose I must simply replace the word “kohai” with [censored]. And that is nasty. I don’t want that kind of talk in my anime.
He’s a bitchy hypocritical bitch who is way too aggressive for someone who spends most of his time bitching about the military. He also bitches about how the military is giving him free stuff when all he does is make it less safe to walk barefoot by breaking beer bottles on the ground during his bitching sessions.
You do nothing for the military. They are helping you out of the kindness of their hearts (and you know it has to be kindness when you’re always bitching about how much you hate them — there is no other reason they would help you). Would you prefer the military ignored that they’ve got a city onboard? No, no, I’m sure you would bitch about that too. Because you are a whiny little bitch who will never be satisfied by anything. Bitch bitch bitch.
He’s also disgusting human garbage. “You’re a pro, you don’t sing for free.” No, you’re a loser why don’t you just go and sue Ireland’s government like that company you apparently long to be. I am sure Ireland will ignore you and then, depressed, you will drink yourself to death so I don’t have to deal with you anymore. I have faith that Minmay and all her fans will be dancing upon your grave right along with me.
Minmay is bothered by the tiny amount of people at one of her concerts and asks him why the concert fee is so high. So Kaifun’s like, “Yo, we gotta take money from people who have it. We’re sharing it with the less fortunate people after all!” Who wants your crappy handouts, Kaifun? We sure don’t. As long as you’re whining about the military’s handouts to you, I don’t want anything touched by you to be anywhere near the air I breathe. And then he makes it worse later by throwing water in Minmay’s face because she was pissing him off. What the heck is wrong with this guy?
Anyway, that violence. He’s ridiculously violent! Kicking stuff and breaking his beer bottles and just trembling with anger. Clam down, man. And by clam down I mean shut your mouth, get dug up by tourists visiting the beach, and get tossed into a deep fryer as soon as they return home to… wherever people eat fried clams. You make Hikaru look like a god. No wonder all the girls on the Macross are either stupid or depressed. None of them appear to be into girls and all the guys are either already in a relationship, not particularly attractive (poor Global, the best guy in the show), or the scum of the earth (Kaifun).
No, really. There’s something that really creeps me out about the size of the Zentradi. At least when I have normal-sized things to compare them to. Or giant robots. Giant grabs giant robot’s leg. Thoroughly creeped out. Giant tackles and punches out giant robot. Thoroughly creeped out. Giant picks up and squeezes human. Thoroughly creeped out. Giant robot punches the teeth out of giant. Still thoroughly creeped out. Their reactions to kissing kind of creeped me out too. “Voyeuristic” was the word that came to mind, but I’m not sure that was quite the right one.
There was some other creepy stuff. Involving faces. Stuff that they never explained. But there’s no way it was unintentionally scaring me. They did it on purpose I just know it. Irrefutable proof of my claim that this is a horror anime if the previous paragraph did not convince you:
Every episode should be episode 27. Oh, sorry. Forgot the question. No, we cannot be friends. But we can be acquaintances.
I actually really like the character designs in the show. At least in regards to clothing and hair styles. Minmay’s hair? Awesome. Military outfits? Awesome. First outfit Minmay wears? Best thing ever. Misa sometimes wears some pretty stylish clothes when she isn’t wearing her uniform, too. Not too big on the mecha designs though.
I’m probably an awful mecha fan because I don’t like humanoid mechs unless they’re all shiny and aerodynamic-looking or something. Like stuff Yoji Shinkawa did, or whoever did the mech designs for the Xenosaga series. Gee, sure is a lot of video games here instead of anime. Most anime is spending too much time thinking Gundam is cool to make designs that would appeal to me as much as those ones do. I’m not into the half-plane half-mech mode either because it just looks plain goofy.
I did enjoy some of the fighting and explosions though. A lot of it was boring to me (it doesn’t help that there’s just something about old animation that makes everything look soft… this was a bad thing for the mechs but actually a really good thing for the explosions) and I really only remember two episodes with notably good animation for the fights. There was one of the first two episodes, and the other was episode 27.
I love episode 27 so much. It’s basically what I went into Macross expecting. It took a lot of disappointment, nerd rage, newfag rage, female rage, farmer rage, extreme fisher rage, kindergartener rage, hipster rage, audiophile rage, and rage rage to get there. But I made it, and I’m thinking it was probably worth it. It had all the singing, it had all the relationship nonsense (and one of the few times where it actually succeeded at making me care about it, too!), it had all the fighting. It was just so good.
Before 27, though, what was I really watching for? I might have given up on it after the first two episodes had that mid-air catch scene not been really cool and had Macross not had this ridiculously amazing reputation. In fact, I know I would have given up after five episodes if it wasn’t for that reputation and the fact that I was promised singing, which at that point I had not gotten. I found the show really boring aside from all the rage-inducement until about 1/3 of the way through, when they get captured and taken onboard the Zentradi ship. Coincidentally, that’s also about the time when they actually started giving all that singing I was promised. Nobody warned me it would be this slow.
Maybe things would have been better if more of the characters were remotely likeable. It’s not just Kaifun and Hikaru I hate, after all. That girl who spends all her time going “aa? yada!” gets as much hate from me as Kaifun does. Luckily for her I could not write a section about why I hate her because that’s all she ever says.
It’s just hard to care about what’s happening when everyone’s terrible except for Global and Misa. And since Misa is that female character that they try to keep equal to the male characters, not only is she kept on par in career and capabilities, but they also try to equalise her in the rage-inducement department. They didn’t succeed entirely, but they sure tried hard!
I do think there’s some sort of addictive factor to SDF Macross once you get about half way in. You keep watching even though it’s not that great because you want to see giants freaking out over singing and kissing, you want to see what Kaifun will do next to earn +400% hatred, and you want to hear KYUN KYUN, KYUN KYUN! WATASHI NO KARE WA PAIROOOTTOOOOO again. Even though it’s a terrible song.
It needs that addictive factor after episode 27, though, because for some reason it doesn’t end after that. Everything after felt like an unnecessarily long epilogue. It felt so dragged out and it paled so much in comparison to episode 27 that I really just didn’t want to watch it at all… I was only able to keep going because I was too lazy to get a fishing license and it had that addictive factor. The Zentradi were just there at this point to cause conflict as an excuse to have your obligatory fight scene each episode (so as to not alienate the viewers that came into it for the action). Like how pornography only has a story as an excuse for the sex. That’s right. I went there.
And all the relationship drama? I really didn’t care. The only character involved that I cared about at all was Misa, and of course it’s hard to care about her infatuation with Hikaru when you don’t like Hikaru and don’t understand what she sees in him. That whole relationship really felt extremely forced to me, and even moreso when you consider the fact that Hikaru never does anything to lead me to believe he cares about Misa that much.
Everything after episode 27 should have been somehow integrated into the story before then. That way they could end with the gloriousness of that episode and I wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that I really didn’t like those last ten or so episodes at all, or how it felt like they never should have existed in the first place.
The only reason I started with SDF Macross instead of Macross Frontier (which was the one that actually caught my eye — mostly for shallow reasons like “wow that main dude sure looks awesome and attractive” and “wow megumi nakajima is in it”) was because a friend of mine insisted that I start with the first of the franchise. I’m not yet convinced that Macross is not for me, but I do think SDF Macross was the wrong place to start for me. So let me make a few statements here:
1. The original is not always the best. I can’t actually apply this to Macross yet as I’ve only finished SDF Macross, but I bet I’ll be able to some day. I’ve been able to with just about every other long-running franchise I’ve been involved with. Don’t worry, I still think Alien is the best movie in its series.
2. The original is not always the best place to start.
3. Old things have a different feel from new things. Regardless of which you prefer, you need to take into account who you’re talking to before you recommend these things. I like atmospheric (or flashy) stylish stuff in the smallest amount of time possible. An anime from the 80s with unlikeable characters and the pace of a bovine crab is not particularly likely to convert me.
SDF Macross is okay. Just okay. It has its problems, I have no nostalgia factor, and though I enjoyed it I regret that it was my first Macross series. Should’ve just started with Macross Frontier. I wouldn’t like Precure if I started with Futari wa Precure. I wouldn’t like anime if I started with Kimba the White Lion or whatever the first anime was. I have a lot of reasons to think that Macross is a thing I would like, but I would not call myself a Macross fan with such a lukewarm opinion on the only installment in the franchise that I’ve completed, and if it wasn’t for my existing interest in the franchise I would have no desire to try another Macross series.
You have to let people start with what actually catches their eye.
Written as I watched it, so you can expect that were you to watch this with me, I would be making these comments.
First thought: This opening is way better because this song is way better, the visuals are more exciting, and I need more Maaya Sakamoto in my life. The music in general just seems way better, actually. I don’t even remember SDF Macross having music other than its opening, ending, and KYUN KYUN.
Anyway. Jun Fukuyama is bad news. All I can think of is Panda. From that Cafebear show. Give that guy some bamboo! Just one or two stalks isn’t gonna cut it! Hurry! Before Penguin starts squawking about something! And I know penguin is hiding in there somewhere! I heard him!
Main dude’s name is Alto. Ha ha you sure are clever, Macross Frontier. Guy named Alto who likes being high. In the sky, of course. I think this is a good name. Not just because it’s clever, but also because I can read alto clef (which is the best clef, and the only lone one brave enough to have middle c actually be in the middle) and I’ve been told that my singing voice is likely in the alto range. Maybe we can be friends after all. Please don’t become a Hikaru or a Kaifun, Alto. I want to be friends with this show and if I’m going to be staring at you for most of it, it is imperative that you are as awesome as I’m expecting.
Anyway though. My second thought. HOLY BITCHING BITCH SHERYL IS A MASSIVE BITCH. Sorry for that outburst, guys. I know you thought I was done spewing expletives everywhere after the rant about Kaifun, but ugh. Why, Sheryl? Why? Six minutes in and I hate her. You’re right, Lady With a Mole, she is a bitch.
And then suddenly:
Well, whatever. Aw, Alto is suffocating on Earth. He wants to go higher. Into space. With no oxygen. That silly goose. Wait hold up wha–
Look, I get all the previous jokes and rageful outbursts are because he was a kabuki actor, but–
… besides, why were you watching him dress, even if you somehow thought he was a girl?
The CG looks real nice. I am concerned about it, though, because CG is always cause for concern in anime. They mess it up too often so I will always be worried. And what is this in-universe commercial? I don’t want to watch it! Go away! Alright. Glad that’s over. But after that I have to be confused by Sheryl’s outfit and hair color changing every five seconds. I call shenanigans.
Stop being a stupid show-off, Alto! Nobody likes show-offs. I thought we were supposed to be friends! Also, Minmay is better than Sheryl. Minmay dropped her fans for herself and was kind of irritating. But then we have Sheryl, who drops everything for her fans and is a massive bitch. It’s good to care about your fans but it’s not okay to be a massive bitch. I also don’t remember what Sheryl’s normal hair colour was. Minus points everywhere.
Not yet sold on that CG. It’s shifty sometimes and that asteroid field was just silly. Overall it looks really good, but there are just these moments that make me worry for that inevitable mid-series quality drop. But man. Forget CG talk when Sheryl is talking. Alto wants all the people at the concert to be saved (because he doesn’t suck and isn’t a bitch). Sheryl’s just like “whatever, dude, leave that to the pros.” Sheryl is the Kaifun of Macross Frontier. I hate her. Pro this, pro that. Bitch this, bitch that. Now, that enemy ship? Badass. Let’s have that enemy ship replace Sheryl for the rest of the series. It would become my favourite series instantly.
Anyway, episode two. Alto deafens Ranka by breaking every window on a building with his airplanemech while holding her with his airplanemech. Good job. Now she won’t be able to sing in tune anymore. Oh boy, a mid-air catch scene coming up and the CG is not meshing well with people! The scene was way less epic and way more confusing in comparison to SDF Macross’s version. Although it probably should be confusing. I still prefer SDF Macross’s.
Okay, Japan, I’ve been wondering about this for a long time now. Do your girls actually react this way when someone touches their breasts? This one time, I was in a class for things and we were doing a thing. And this one girl touched my breasts by accident. You wanna know what happened? I barely even noticed, she said “Sorry, I didn’t mean to fondle you” and that was that. I did not call her a perv. I did not turn around and slap her into next week (which will also be a Friday). And I certainly did not screech loud enough to make angry alien invaders leave. This isn’t funny, Japan!
“You were lucky. Your eardrums didn’t even burst.” Oh wow, this show’s actually trying to pay attention to logic. Unlike a certain horror anime. Too bad other things have not changed. Like how Kaifun’s ghost is haunting me through Sheryl. “Classified information? Ha ha ha that means nothing to me! I am Sheryl! That means I’m immune to everything and that I’m always right and my bitchings are always justified!”
I like Ranka because she spontaneously bursts out into song for no reason. And Sheryl’s being frighteningly bearable in this scene. Did she just smile at Alto? Whoaaa. I didn’t think she was capable of smiling outside of doing it for show. Macross Frontier’s first two episodes are so amazingly better than SDF Macross’s. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the series that makes me label myself a fan… Hey, wait…
Final final verdict: Me and Macross can never be friends.