Macross Frontier Episode 04 (Miss Macross Or Stage Fright)

Alto For Miss Macross Frontier 2059

I was talking with my friend and he thinks it would be a good idea to replace every song in Frontier with the godawful Stage Fright from Robotech.  This was two weeks before the Miss Macross episode we have today mind you, but I still think that’s an awful idea.  Anyway, todays episode would appear to be an homage to the classic episode from the original series.  I’m guessing it’s a tradition they keep alive in the colony fleets so it doesn’t strike me as unusual that we’d get to see another one.  Beats American/Canadian Idol, that’s for sure.

Summary: 

If This Contest Were The Miss Moecross Contest Then I Think Ranka Would Have A Shot At It For Her Clumsy Moe.  Oh How Times Have Changed….

Ranka:  Yeah I Did It, I Won The Chance To Be Kaioshin’s Next Avatar

How’s That Training Going For Ya Alto

25 Souvenirs For Alto Hime From Flight School

First we begin in the Deculture restaraunt though with Ranka fumbling about and breaking dishes.  Nana (Alto’s friend from school) who works there as well tells Ranka not to worry to much as she’s been spacing out ever since that day when Ranka get’s a text message.  She has made it into the Miss Macross Frontier contest and the girls share a bit of giddy celebration.  Meanwhile, Alto has just crashed for the 25th time in his flight training.

Spider Girls Spider Girls Does Whatever Spider Girls Do

Ranka Catches A Break (By The Way, This Is How You Do Proper Lighting Effects, Not The Blinding Lens Flare That Many Shows Seem So Fond Of These Days)

But Alto Can’t Catch One Cause He’s A Guy…Hahahahaha :(  There’s Better Examples Of Man’s Struggle Later On

No Much Later. It Gets Better

More Hazing

The opening falls to sneak up on me this time and I breeze right past it.  Alto is being forced to run 25 laps in his X-Gear, which means he’s going to be at it a while.  (By the way the music hear is some great marching music for Alto to set his pace by…….although they might want to slow it down by about 1/4 to match his actual pace)  The girls and Okama are marvelling at how handsome Alto is and cheering him on in his laps though (and man do there models look off) and we soon learn this is deliberate hazing as Luca calls Michel on cranking the difficult setting way up because he felt normal would be to easy for Alto.  Later Ranka texts Alto to let him know that she’s in the contest and Alto is trying to catch a few Z’s in school but his prof isn’t having it.  (Unlike mine)  Montage time as Alto get’s some lickings in his training and Ranka narrates her hopes for the contest to him via text which seems to give him the peace of mind he needs to make it through the grueling ordeals. (It’s quite nicely done)  Michel and Luca walk in on him and seem surprised that he has been talking to Ranka, wondering if the leader knows, when said leader walks in and discovers that they’ve applied lipstick and mascara all over a sleeping Alto.  Not particularly bothered, Ozma wants to hear Michel’s opinion on Alto’s progress seeing as he was the one who objected most to his admission.  He says he’s done well and Ozma orders him to be bumped up to the official test, which is on the same day as the Miss Macross Frontier contest.  Luca tries to protest, but Michel shuts him and Ozma wonders why they’d be interested in such a thing.

Okay This Reminds Me Of Something Actually

Yeah, This Reminds Me Of The Legend Of Black Heaven Opening Where They Rotoscoped A John Sykes Concert.  Specifically The Part Between 0:58-1:07

Hmmmmmm……Naaaaaah!

Well See Ranka, You Have These Things Called Distinctive Facial Features……

Macross Frontier > Gundam 00 In The Area Of Chest

Screw That, They Aren’t Even In The Same League.  Sigh….Fine Macross Frontier < Dragonaut in The Area Of Chest, But Closing The Gap

Looking Snazzy There Princess

Wow, You Can Even Be Off Model And Still Win The Contest.  GO RANKA, YOU CAN WIN THIS EASY!

Best Character Still So Far This Episode

Meanwhile the various girls are getting ready for the contest (and perhaps as a way to make the unimportant ones look….well unimportant, they have minimal detail applied to them while Ranka still looks fairly normal…for Ranka that is)  and Ranka feels out of place (I know I would if I were her) when some other girls bounces along and sarcastically wishes her good luck before bouncing off.  Nana bounces at Ranka though and tells her to be confident. (You’re not helping her confidence Nana)  As the girls are checking themselves in the mirror now and bumping Ranka out of the way, so is Alto in fact right before the big showdown with the Macross Frontier regulars in mock combat.  Ozma has set up a bet with the captain before the match, which means it should probably be fairly competitive.  The contest is getting underway and Katherine Glass, Leon Mishima, Alto Saotome and even Sheryl Nome, who stops by to give her protege some words of encouragement are on hand.  Cue some sassy music and it’s time to catwalk.  As Ranka heads out it’s unfortunately time to begin the test and Alto is called away as he apologizes to Nana.

Man I Missed Those Things

Off They Go Into The Wild Black Yonder

Poor Guy, Must Have Run Into The Supervision Army

Are These New Models?  Anyone?  They Don’t Look It Much

As he leaves he catches sight of his father who is one of the judges (along with Sheryl, Leon and Cathy), but his father pretends he doesn’t know him and Alto seems frozen in fear.  Before long he’s ready to lose himself in flight though.  Cue some typically Yoko Kanno music that I’m not sure I’m terribly fond of as it’s no Dog Fight or Dog Fighter (or maybe it’s just because it doesn’t fit at all) and the trio heads into some mock combat with three Zentradi Queadluun-Rau’s from the “Pixie Squadron”. (Cause those aren’t outdated at all.  Unless they did like the Oldsmobile Army in Gundam F90 and touched them up with modernized armor and engines and such)  The squad chats a little about the inefficiencies of UN Spacy and where they come into the fill the void as what pretty much amounts to mercenaries.  They come across a Zentradi carcass on the way too which seems to make them question their own mortality out on the frontier (Michel somehow seems to be able to carbon date it or something to 7000 years ago) when they find the Pixie’s at last.

Meanwhile Ranka Fights Her Own Battle….With A Stage Mic

Ranka is up now in the competition and is having Stage Fright (…….STAGE LIGHTS FLASHING! THE FEELINGS SMASHING!  MY HEART AND SOUL GO OUT TO YOOOOOOOOU!  AND THIS FEELING I FEEL IS REALLY UNREAL……. *cough* ahem) and then she notices that Alto’s gone.  This doesn’t help her nerves much and she smashes her head against the microphone while introducing herself.  Alto is doing better for himself though and manages to take down one of the Pixie’s with a style that is like a Kabuki performance (read unorthodox and thus she had less of a chance to counter it) according to the Okama, but Lee is unhappy that he’s no following his instructions. (By the way the whole chase brings us back to the visually stunning dogfights of the first 2 episodes and makes up a lot for some of the earlier animation flubs)  Meanwhile Ranka is about to sing a legendary song:

Here’s The Original If Anyone Gives A Damn.  Personally I Prefer It Over Ranka’s But That’s Probably Because This Had Better A Better Backup Arrangement In My Opinion While Ranka’s Suffered From What Sounds Like A Cheap Synthesizer And Yoko Kanno Minimalism

Kabuki Has It’s Applications Outside Theatre Apparently

I Wonder What Impz Thought When He First Saw This

Duelling

Man Somebody Really Hates Meena Roshan, Or Aya Hirano Or Something.  What Is Missing In This Picture?

Nice Drawing

This Is How You Do Good Mecha Combat

Ozma Is Not Impressed

Klein Klan Has The Distinction Of Having Both The Smallest And Largest Bust In The Series As Well As Throwing Many Including Myself Into Conflict Over How To Classify Her Appeal.  Also Some More Really Bad Character Art For Her First Introduction.  I’m Going To Assume She Doesn’t Actually Look Like That

Now Begins The Hard Part

Hey It’s Lucky Star……Wait….That’s Not Konata……Nor Miyuki…..

You’re Getting Into Dangerous Territory Now Michel

Seriously, Don’t Tease The Lolis *Gulp*

WTF At Luca

Lucky Bastard…I Mean…Well Looks Like Michel’s Funeral Is Next Episode….Wait….He’s Alive…..That Guys Got Luck On His Side

As the combat progresses Alto and the leader in the red Queadluun are matching each other move for move as they head toward a derilect Zentradi ship.  Everything’s going according to plan until Meena detects a defold and as if to signal an end to the fun, Ranka comes crashing down at the end of her performance.  The Vajra have appeared and Alto flashes back to when he was talking to Ozma about the Vajra and learning the truth.  Apparently a certain 117th fleet that was supposed to have been officially lost in a fold accident was actually slaughtered by the Vajra and Ranka was the only survivor.  There’s a bigger problem to worry about then that right now though as both the SMS and Pixie’s only have paintball ammo.  Alto’s fine with that though and draws his dagger ready to attack (and with some much less typically Yoko Kannoish music that is far more tense and fitting).  Of course he get’s beaten around for it a bit and the Pixie Squad leader is forced to take over since her Queadluun’s are packing missiles.  Despite all her efforts even involving a point blank shot, the thing is still going and it’s actually Alto who takes it out with the dead corpses old bazooka.

It’s Romantic Comedy Time On The Next Episode Of Macross Frontier

Alto is getting chewed out for the damage to the Valkyrie and finally the Pixie Squad leader is able to introduce herself as Klein Klan (the final busty character in the episode) a very proud Meltrandi who says that Alto was reckless, but has a decent battle sense about him.  Ozma is about to announce the results of Alto’s exam, but first there’s the Miss Macross Frontier winner and Sheryl announces it as….meanwhile Alto has made it into the SMS and the crew is celebrating at the Deculture restaurant when a loli shows up who turns out to be Klein Klan.  Apparently her genes are messed up so that when she micronizes it she goes from being an annoyingly deep voiced giant to annoyingly high pitched voice loli.  Michel teases her about this and she says that he shouldn’t act so tough just because he’s taller right now.  She also makes an awesome noise when her face turns red and proceed to try and pummel Michel who uses the patented one finger technique to keep the loli at bay.  Speaking of awesome noises, Luca makes one too when he slinkers off after we find out the winner of the contest was actually Ivanka Trump May.  Alto apologizes for not being able to stay to the finish but she says it really wasn’t for someone like her.  Regardless she congratulates Alto on his admission to the SMS.  Eventually Klein manages to catch up to Michel and takes him down with one move.  (That’s the stuff) The next day Alto is walking down the street when Sheryl trips him and says “hi” playfully.

Thoughts:  It turned out a heck of a lot better then I thought it would in the beginning going by how harem comedish it felt.  I’ve of course seen the original Miss Macross episode, but this one just felt just a touch overboard with the bouncing breasts that would become a running joke throughout the episode.  Luckily it was perfectly in place going by the nature of the events and I even chuckled a bit at Nana’s attempt to cheer Ranka up that backfired.  The only other major complaint I have is how awful the character art consistancy was in some scenes and it seems ironic that they seemed to come often at points when they were trying to point out the beauty of a character or be moe.  The team really has to work on that aspect as the rest of the episode was nothing short of visually stunning and amazingly choreagraphed.

The dog fights in particular were as good as they’ve been since episode 2 and continue to feature some of the best animation I’ve ever seen in an anime series.  So I guess they broke even more or less on this front.  On the story front we learn the truth about Ranka and where she came from, though it does have much impact on the story yet and the Vajra remain a mystery menace.  Alto shows he has the right stuff to get into the SMS and Ranka fails to win the contest, but realizes that it wasn’t for her anyway.  And really it wasn’t.  The Miss Macross contest is indeed shallow as any beauty pageant and Ranka’s been portrayed as more of a from the heart type character up until now.  It would have really been a sudden and innappropriate change if she had won and it’s now time for her to walk her own path and not Sheryl’s.  Sheryl has earned a little bit more sympathy from me recently and she seems like a good mentor for Ranka and not quite as shallow as I initially thought.  Just a bit weird.  I mean tripping people in the street to get their attention is not the best way to go about winning their respect, and especially somebody as hotblooded as Alto has been shown to be.

Speaking of which, Alto’s rage seems to come a bit from his father, who I assume has all but disowned him for not following the path of becoming a Kabuki actor and instead becoming a pilot.  I find it ironic then that his combat style is apparently supposed to draw on Kabuki influences and that it actually works.  Then again this is anime so anything goes…..even Meltrandi lolis.  The whole genetic thing seems like a limp-wristed excuse to get a loli in the show, and Klein plays two polar opposite roles in this show which creates confusion for me as I don’t know whether to consider her a true loli, a Meltrandi, both, neither or what.  Either way she certainly has a temper and if her presence is good enough for my rather unpleasable friend then it’s good enough for me as I always welcome a Crotch Stomping Loli wherever I go.  So I guess if Michel is the Max of this show then she’s the Miria (she even has the same coloured unit) and they seem to have a relationship going, which is either a giant fetish or a lolicon relationship, so it’s controversial either way.  Good I say, because I love controversy.

And there were some other minor comedy moments that were slapstick like but didn’t offend me to much, which is generally the best one can hope for when it comes to that kind of humour.  So all in all a solid episode and I look forward to maybe seeing some more Sheryl development (although if it’s typical romantic comedy or what some people claim passes for Slice of Life these days then I’ll probably need a gun.  Of course if it’s actually real slice of life and there’s some lessons or deep character development to be learned or maybe Alto can get rid of some of that St. Elmo’s Fire then I’ll be good.  And with that I managed to work in the 80’s theme song reference I swore I would cram in here somehow)  and a formal introduction for Klein Klan.  Until then I leave people with but a few philosophical questions,

- Which series has the bigger busts, Gundam 00 or Macross Frontier?

- Which series has the more Shota character, Macross Frontier (Luca) or Code Geass (Rolo)?

- Which series borrows more from it’s predecessor, Macross Frontier or Code Geass?

- What’s a greater threat, Kyouka from Kyouran Kazoku Nikki’s declaration to step on you in the ending theme, or Klein Klan’s ability to actually make it happen?

- Does the Macross Frontier’s captain look more like the Yamato’s captain, or Klein Klan more like Konata Izumi?

Those are trick questions by the way.

Rating: Seven And A Half Out Of Ten

 

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10 Responses to “Macross Frontier Episode 04 (Miss Macross Or Stage Fright)”


  1. 1 Haesslich May 3, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Klein-sama gets better art in Episode 5. Looks for her in NORMAL clothing; and full sized, to boot. With what appears to be a good, well-fitted bra to reduce the Ramius Jiggling so she looks.. normal. That, and her face isn’t drawn as funny as it was here.

    From what I can see, the armor’s been modernized a bit to be sleeker than the old version, seen here with a different ocular array, a slightly sleeker look (it’s not as bulky around the legs or shoulders, more rounded around the front area), and has a rifle mounted on the shoulder unlike the original whose guns were in the chest area or on the shoulder pauldrons. And I think they fed the girls at Nanase’s junior high school something odd, to judge by her figure along with Miranda Melin (#9).

    Now, what I dislike is how emo Alto got right when he saw the Vajra… which makes me think of Gundam SEED and Kira going crazy whenever someone threatens his friends, or the Archangel. The big ‘NOOOOOOOOO’ sorta moment, just before he goes crazy and then starts thrashing the hell out of the enemy. Between that and the whole ‘His Battroid looks like a painting’ comments after he took Nene down.. well, it was pretty, but hardly practical. But this IS Macross.

    But yes, Klein and everyone get better art (they’re actually drawn correctly) next episode, since they’re using the money they saved by not having a battle this episode on animating the characters. Klein in particular looks rather nice, as does Ranka.

  2. 2 Ciupy May 3, 2008 at 4:22 am

    Oh god this is a truly awesome show..only CG R2 comes close to it this season..you can feel “teh luv” that the makers put into this..

    Music,animation,character development,sheer mecha prOn..the only anime in the last year that makes a date episode awesome (see episode 5).

    It actually spanks Gundam 00’s ass in all departments (the other recent mecha show that we could compare this to),and in the character’s likeability especially..Sheryl..nuff said.

    Can’t wait to see how this will go on.

    Also,to note,only the character art was a bit iffy,but the character animation was great..and about the art..these are the makers of Noein of God’s sake..

  3. 3 Kaioshin Sama May 3, 2008 at 5:30 am

    @Haesslich: Thank god for that. I look forward to seeing a fully detailed Klein Klan as well as maybe a tour of some of the city next episode. And I felt Alto got a little hot blooded rather than emo. With Kira it was like a screechy whine (then again it’s Souchiro Hoshi so…..) whereas Alto’s was more like a psyched up battle cry at the chance to prove himself.

    @Ciupy: I like them all equally, but I hope the CG animators of MS Igloo 2: Gravity’s Warfront are taking some notes from this series on how to do top notch CG. The first one was kind of iffy on that front.

  4. 4 Haesslich May 3, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Kaioshin: Two words: Zentradi Zones. Take from that what you will, and look for the cows. And the lingerie.

    Klein-sama in civvies is just lovely, though – they actually draw her face with cheekbones and features. She has defined eyes and eyebrows which aren’t bushy, so she can glare at Mikhail as he scurries away. When they’re not animating mecha battles and spending most of their budget for the episode on CGI, the city is done rather well and the characters actually look decent. I just wish they’d shown more of Nene and Pixie Squadron.

    As for emo, I called him that because he went crazy because the Vajra were attacking Ranka and sounded a lot like Kira Yamato before he went into his berserker mode, right down to the strangled-sounding voice, broken words (Vaj… ra…. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!!!!) and screaming, all the while flashbacking to Ranka. Ah well, at least he’s found his reason to fight. While he didn’t get points for intelligent tactics for that battle (charging in with a knife, then getting your Valkyrie’s leg ripped off), he did salvage something nice from the asteroid field.

    And how did Mikhail know the corpse was 7000 years old? Pixie probably had relayed a report back to the SMS, and he’d had time to read it to find out that they had gone through the area, noted the corpses were there, and probably dug it out of records somewhere (“Skirmish at sector X, this date, against Supervisor Army. Losses…”)

  5. 5 Haesslich May 3, 2008 at 5:54 am

    That was supposed to be a closing ).

  6. 6 Kaioshin Sama May 3, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Yeah come to think of it Kira did frequently have somebody’s image flash by before doing something. In fact I remember a lot of Kira’s thoughts as we spent a good 40% of Gundam Seed Destiny going through them on screen and just slightly less of Gundam Seed. Though at least it wasn’t a deliberately drawn out scene of everything that had happened with him to date with Ranka. Alto’s thoughts are relevant, not cumulative, so we don’t get his life history every time he goes into battle.

  7. 7 Shin May 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I can’t tell if that’s really Klein’s personality after being miclonized, I mean I can’t imagine her go “DORYAAAA” and other performing other antics that would suit only a loli in her giantess form…

  8. 8 Haesslich May 3, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Kaioshin: that whole Kira-like berserker fit gave me Gundam SEED flashbacks, ironically. That’s why I dubbed him emo like our not-so-favorite Gundam pilots of the past few years. I hope we don’t get any more flashbacks from
    Princess Alto in the future – with Ranka its relevant due to her supression of those memories but with anyone else it’s a Gundam SEED moment.

    Shin: Micronization seems to regress her emotionally too, else she’d get EVEN, not chase Mikhail around. In episode 5, we seem to see her true personality… and the glare she gives Mikhail (and her civvie clothes, which apparently include clothing to restrict the frightening bust movements of last episode) are the best parts for me so far. Much more mature than chasing him down to strangle – more a “so, little man, what was this about genetic deficiencies and taunting your superior officers?” response. And non-verbal. Mmmmm.

  9. 9 katherin uchiha June 29, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    verdaderamente macros fromtier no está tan mal .me gustan muchos los personajes (en exepcion de shery , ella si me cae bien mal )se han espmerado , no hay que negarlo , espero que alto saotome se quede con ranka (esa pequeña es muy linda)los personajes tiene una personalidad bien definida (kiaaaa¡¡ saotome ñiooo que lindo )es un anime que vale la pena verlo > U <

  10. 10 Ismael March 3, 2014 at 6:43 pm

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