Macross Frontier Episode 03 (On Your Marks)

When I Was Talking About Frontiers Lack Of Lighting Effects On Random Curiousity I Wasn’t Joking Around Eh

So when last we left off Ozma Lee was all but waving a flag with a skull on it.  And no I don’t mean the banner of the Skull Squadron, but the symbol of death itself, as in Ozma has a death wish.  Will he follow through on said death wish and realize it?  I for one am about to find out.

Are The Vajra Hax?

He Probably Would Have Saved The Ship Damage Had He Not Decided To Wrestle With It.  Also I Don’t Know If It’s The Encode Or The Episode Itself, But Man Is This Battle Really Dark

So It Isn’t Quite Clear Yet If Luca Is Just A Poor Pilot Or If The Vajra Has Some Sort Of Anti-Locking Mechanism.  GN Particles? No, Kidding….

The episode starts off with a brief recap of the events at the end of the last episode, with Ozma deploying to fight off the Vajra and Sheryl pointing the weird hook thing at Alto again saying he’s found her.  After I get blindsided into hearing the first three or seconds of the opening and promptly skipping past,  (And really I’ve gotta be completely honest when I say I still find this song to just be AWFUL.  Yoko Kanno’s vocal songs have always been a mixed bag to me, but this is the only one that I literally cannot listen to as it’s so shrill and pitchy on Sakamoto’s part and with an uninspired instrumental accompaniment by Kanno that it will never grow on me like some of her other songs such as After In The Dark or Voices.  Also make note that I don’t care in the slightest if the name behind a song is a famous one, if I think it sucks, I think it sucks.  I beg the Macross Frontier staff to have a second opening and give the duo of Kanno and Sakamoto a second shot, because I know from experience that they can make some of the most beautiful music together.  It’s a shame this isn’t one of those pieces of music.) we see that a Vajra has made it’s way right up next to the city shape and as Ranka screams Ozma makes his way back for the rescue and promptly get’s swatted away.  As he struggles with it he contacts the Frontier’s captain (a poor Gloval wannabe) asking why the military hasn’t sent backup yet, and cursing their inaction when he learns of the president’s failure to give orders, continues to take matters into his own hands

Perfect Shot

Jeez Man!  What Does It Take To Bring These Things Down.  They Must Be Mechanical Or Protodevln Knockoffs Or Something To Survive That.  Or They Have Some Plot Armour As This One Survived A Shot Through The Head Area, While The Other One Went Down With One Stab From Ozma’s Shiv Last Episode.  As Much As People Said The Gundam’s In 00 Were Hax For Being Able To Take A Lot Of Punishment, When They Were Hit Clean Near The End Of The Season They Were Down.  The Vajra, Apparently Not So Much, But We’ll See

Yeah This Is Going To Be A Long Hard Battle If The Elite Skull Squadron Is This Mismatched As A Trio Against One Single Vajra

Ranka Get’s The Royal Treatment

That’s Sheryl Playing The Common Sense Role Indeed

As he wrestles around with the Vajra (resulting in the ship taking some fire in the process), Michel and Luca come by to assist him.  Luca tries to draw a bead on it, but can’t lockon for whatever reason and it’s up to Michel to try and use his sniper skills.  (By the way, the music hear really does sound like it’s out of a John William’s soundtrack crossed with Stargates music as a friend of mine claimed) His shot is on the marks, but as Ozma is busy congratulating him the Vajra shows it’s not quite dead and swats him away again, this time doing substantial damage.  It now starts trying to borrow it’s way into the ship and as the glass starts cracking a quick thinking Alto leads Sheryl and Ranka to safety through an escape hatch.  On the city level of the ship the order for evacuation has been given (why I’m not sure as the damage is only to a small portion of the city ship) and citizens are ordered to the nearest shelters.  Down below deck, Ranka is having a little spaz out when she is gripping Alto’s uniform and when he starts to get irritated she apologizes and says she’s fine.  Alto however is annoyed by the fact that Ozma and Michel saved him again Sheryl starts playing the common sense role by being blunt that he’s not in the position to play hero just yet and that for the sake of their mental state they should get moving and find a way back to the city.  However Alto points out that they are in an emergency shelter and there is no connection to the dome.  They are trapped….

Oh God I Don’t Like Where This Is Going

Eyes Glazing Over….

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me……

Back in the battle things start to heat up, and as if to state this, Sheryl says it’s getting hot in the shelter right as some stray fire hits the area they are near, knocking them all over and cutting the power.  When it comes back on for some reason she is semi-topless (……what?) and with a dopey grin on her face she gives Alto a slap.  (The silly music playing and the scene itself seem straight out of something like Shuffle.  I don’t know, I could go for some of Gundam 00’s hard boiled nature right now as this series takes a bit of a turn for the goofy with it’s harem fanservice.  Though apparently for others it’s the other way around and Gundam 00 is the one with the skinservice and Macross Frontier is hard boiled and dead serious.  How this is I still don’t know, or maybe it’s just that Gundam 00 received ten times the bitching for 1/10th the fanservice, while Macross though, it’s perfectly cool.  Hypocrits….)  Sheryl bitches at him a little and Ranka tries to kill the tension a bit by bringin out some NyanNyan hot buns (which for some reason are in the shape of breasts) that cause Alto and Sheryl to start giggling as Sheryl calls Ranka cute.

The Rescuers

This Looks Like A Recipe For Disaster

Dead?

I For One Welcome The Return Of Melodrama After That Questionable First Half

Yeah I Think We’re Out Of The Harem Woods And Into The Family Drama

There’s a little more talk about some things including Ozma’s duplicity as to his job and soon Sheryl starts to talk about how she is blessed with fortune and will take matters into her own hands.  As she climbs the ladder towards the hatch luck is on her side as the hatch opens and on the other side is her manager ready to rescue them (or her).  Back in space the Skull Squadron has done it’s job, but in a Roy Focker moment Ozma says he has bled to much and he passes out as his fighter begins to spin out of control towards the city.  Back in the city Sheryl is telling Alto to forget what he saw and that she’ll make him regret it if anything gets leaked to the internet.  She teases him that she’ll provide favours if he keeps quite (Ranka’s hair does that stand up thing again as she gets frazzled), but quickly makes it obvious she was kidding.  Before driving off though she gives Ranka some advice that if she loves singing that the chance is right in front of her to make something of it and not to let it pass her by.  One of the rescuers quickly get’s word that Ozma Lee has been injured and a surprised Ranka get’s the shock of her life as his fighter is brought over their heads. an upside down and unconcious Ozma clearly visible.  She runs after it before hitting a barrier screaming that he said he had stopped piloting.  Soon the trauma overwhelms her and she ends up fainting right before the eyecatch.

Family Drama Indeed.  This Is The Kind Of Thing Liable To Become A Relevant Plot Point Later

In the hospital Ozma relates to his crew how he tried to keep his piloting job with the SMS a secret a physician comes into his room now and explains that Ranka has dissociative amnesia.  This means that her episode was caused by the trauma of repressed memories of something related or familiar to what happened to die all coming.  A rather bold Alto asks what that situation was and Ozma says that Ranka lost all her blood relatives a long time ago and that he’s not Ranka’s real brother.  He apparently tried to rescue her family during an “abominable incident” and failed, thus blaming himself as an insufficient pilot.  Ranka has since forgetten about it and decided to be a pilot so he can protect her.  Alto get’s upset and says this only led to making things worse and Ozma grabs him by the colour and gives him a shake asking what he was supposed to do.  This causes his wounds to reopen.  Fed up with all the secrecy and wanting a way to help now he demands that Ozma tell him what the Vajra are.  Ozma says he’ll give him 24 hours to think over whether he really wants to know and what his cause is for desiring to fight them.

We’re Running The Censored Version Of The Leon x Kathyrn Scene On Animehistory This Week

A Couple Weeks And I’ll Be Chilling In One Of Those…..Hell Ours Is A Bit Bigger Actually.  Ohhhhhhh Can’t Wait 😀

In the elevator on the way down Alto talks with Michel and Luca about the prospect of being an SMS pilot and Alto thinks about how if that happens this time Luca will be his senior.  Michel tells them to cut the nonesense and says to Alto straight up that he’s only been flying for a year and is not experienced enough to survive what would be ahead of him.  Meanwhile at the government building Leon is going over the files concerning witnesses of the Vajra incident when he comes across Ranka Lee’s and seems to recognize with shock that she’s involved.  It’s apparently his private time now though and he goes down on Katherine pretty quickly.  (Just invision your own porno music as he works his tongue in there too)  Meanwhile Sheryl is chilling in the bathtub when a commerical notifies her to the fact that she’s missing one of her earrings.  She smirks that she will now have to see “him” again.

Best Looking Sky In An Anime Ever. (Well That I’ve Seen At Least)

Now You Heard Me Say I Was Unimpressed WIth The Character Scenes In The Shelter, But Here’s A Scene I Just Love In The Episode.  The Character Bonding Scene Between Ranka And Alto Feels Natural Here With The Relaxing Music, The Calm Wind Blowing Through Their Hair And The Laid Back Nature Of The Whole Scene As We See The Beauty Of The Cityscape And Shell In The Background.  Whereas The Shelter One With Sheryl Involved Felt Forced, This One Felt Just Right.  Maybe That Is Something To Keep In Mind, That Sheryl Is And Alto Don’t Mix Well….At Least Right Now, While Ranka And Alto Seem At Ease With Each Other

If By That You Mean Out Of Place And Awkardly Written Character Then I Suppose She’s Something Else

This Throwing Of The Paper Airplane Seems To Mean To Me That Alto Has Rid Himself Of His Excess Baggage And Weaknesses (The Paper Airplane Symbolizes What He Was, A Greenhorn And Vulernable Novice Pilot).  With The Weak Old Alto Symbolically Discarded Into The Skies Of The Frontier City, Alto Seems Ready To Follow It With His New Stronger Pair Of Wings In The Form Of The VF-25

Slight Goosebumps Here With This Scene And Ranka’s Song.  Nothing Gets Me Like A Noble Military Funeral And The Old 21-Gun Salute

So Long Gilliam, We Hardly Knew Ya

As Alto is doing some soul searching her hears of the planned funeral for the victims of the Vajra incident and soon he is wrestling with a voice in his head that tells him he’s running.  (The camera pan that zooms around his body during this is something to behold).  As a subtle wind blows he starts to hear singing and finds Ranka sitting behind a pillar in the same park where he is.  They talk about some things such as Ranka’s lack of memory from her childhood, her admiration for Sheryl and her fears when they were trapped down below.  Eventually Ranka starts to sing her song again. (Not surprisingly it’s in Yoko Kannoese)  The funeral is then conducted for those who died in the incident including a special one conducted by the captain of the Frontier for Gilliam and attended by all the members of the SMS.

Afterward Ozma finds Alto and tells him that he should more or less put aside any delusions of playing a hero.  Civilian military providers are not soldiers and there will be no flowers for their graves.  (that reminds of certain line from a certain song from a certain series about other galactic heroes)  Alto says that’s fine and he’ll live by his own terms and Ozma tells him to report to the dorms at 08:00 the next moring.  Luca runs up and glomps him and Michel tells him he better see this through.  Meanwhile elsewhere Ranka is auditioning for the next Miss Macross Frontier contest. 

Thoughts:

Well I have to be honest, right up until the near the end of the first half of this episode I thought it was actually pretty weak.  I didn’t find the fanservice in this episode particularly well written or charming at all and the first half was a complete bust for me. I’m thinking I’m going to have to reevaluate my expectations for this series (that doesn’t mean lower them, just to change them) a bit next episode and then I should hopefully enjoy these moments a little bit more. That said I still didn’t find this episode as enjoyable as the first two and the part where the trio was stranded felt cringe worthy and forced rather than well written. (The writers seemed to think so to as later on in the episode much of it is completely ignored in the characters memories in favour of what should have been covered a little bit more in the first half.  More on that later) Anyway I would have used that sequence to show more of Alto’s insecurities that were starting to come out during it and maybe had some contrasting words of sympathy from Ranka juxtaposed with some common sense criticism from Sheryl (which she did eventually give). Also I might have had a little more character bonding then what happened, something like them sharing their concerns about what is happening (because really a lot of the fear has really yet to be addressed on Ranka and Sheryl’s part at this point in the episode of the unknown enemy that threatens to destroy them. For all the havoc a lot of the characters besides Alto seem pretty nonchalant about it to the point where I wonder if the first episode wasn’t actually the first time they’d been attacked by the Vajra).

Of course I’m not the writer and we got the fanservice, which I continue to think is a lot more intrusive then it ever was in Gundam 00, which took a lot of flak for fanservice I felt was among the most subtle that I’d ever seen. This episode made it a little too obvious with the goofy music and camera angles though and the buns were just a bit to silly. Like I said, I’ll probably be readjusting my expectations to allow for comedy and goofy fanservice in this series as I am not the writer but the viewer, and therefore as much as I would change some things  it’s not my vision nor can I do anything to change it. It’s best to just go along for the ride and see where it takes us at this point despite any misgivings I currently have at missed opportunities to define the series a little further.

Either way the fanservice wasn’t really what bothered me with the first half so much as what I felt was the out of character behaviour that felt forced in to achieve it and that the scene didn’t really lead to anything. (The good character development mostly happened during the second half and ignored much of what went on in the shelter besides the one thing that was actually important, that being the fear of the Vajra’s attack) Things such as Alto acting like an angsty kid out of nowhere when all hints pointed at his character being fairly mellow and laid back; with dreams of being outside flying, a strong sense of justice and a desire to do something for the city. There was no indication that he had that side of his character before and if it WAS something he was hiding that will come up later then it wasn’t really the best time to have it come forth.

Likewise, Sheryl who was previously shown to be a pop princess who has a nervous breakdown at the loss of a single videotape and who lives a pampered life more or less is seen suddenly dispensing common sense life advice out of nowhere as the circumstances fit it. Again it could be another side of her character that we haven’t seen yet (which I’m pretty sure by the end of the episode it is), but it couldn’t have come forth at a more inappropriate time as during and around a fanservice scene.  It really kills the character development if it really was development and not people acting out of their established character when you are left wondering how serious it all was because of the circumstances of the events.

Intriguingly enough though, most of these concerns get addressed later in the episode and it all comes into focus a little bit more as everything that happened during the first half seems to get done over again with a different tone in terms of their recollections of what went on during the shelter scene.  What this does though is arguably render the first half even more moot.  (Of course this could just be that emotions were running high during the attack and people not thinking straight, but it still doesn’t change the fact that we can basically now ignore everything that went on during the shelter scene and just take Ranka and Alto’s later account of things in the park as what was really important regarding the second Vajra attack) We soon learn the truth about Ranka not being Ozma’s brother and some of the fear of the Vajra’s attack is covered on the part of both Ranka and Alto as well as a little bit more about why Sheryl was so screwy. I think it has to do with the fact that she’s found her course in life and wanted them to find theirs too, and the fretting and moaning wasn’t getting that done.  (We’ll just ignore the nudity/slap scene for what it was, absolutely pointless) In any case, they do both help each other come to the right conclusions for what they must do (with a little prodding from Sheryl after their escape from the shelter).  For Ranka it is to embed herself more in her love for singing by joining the Miss Macross Frontier Contest and for Alto it is to get more involved in the protection of the city and his love for aviaton by joining the SMS.  All of these decisions feel very logical and natural to me in the second half compared to the bizareness of the first half that it almost feels like I was watching an entirely different show.

The last major point of the episode was a bit of development for the Skull Squadron. Luca shows in his sortie that he’s a pretty weak pilot and he doesn’t accomplish much.  It could just be bad luck, but consider that he has inherited Hayao Kakizaki’s green colour scheme for his Valkyrie and Kakizaki was pretty much the worst pilot in all of the original series with both a death wish and the need to be bailed out constantly.  I’m led to wonder if Luca has inherited the green (as in greenhorn or bloody useless) role.  Also consider that Luca is incredibly clingy when it comes to his superiors and we have somebody who isn’t terribly likely to last long.  Of course he very well could pull a Kakizaki and last far far long then he had any right to only to get blown up by a complete fluke.  Michel on the other hand has Maximillian Jenius’ blue colour and has been doing the best out of all of them so far and those who have seen the original series also know that Max was considered a genius pilot who was far above the level of skill that even Roy Focker or Hikaru Ichijo exhibited and could not be shot down by anything later on.

Anyway, that’s really all I have to talk about for this episode.  A weak somewhat inconsequential first half that get’s semi-retconned by the way the characters reflect on it during the second half.  Why it originally comes across as comedic and goofy and later is reflected on as serious and terrifying is beyond me, but I’ll take the retcon if I can just ignore the bizzare character interactions of the first half.  Plus I want to remember this episode more for the parts I liked including the funeral and Alto and Ranka’s scene in the park more then what I didn’t like.  So recollection version it is.

Rating: Six And A Half Out Of Ten

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18 Responses to “Macross Frontier Episode 03 (On Your Marks)”


  1. 1 Westlo April 24, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Dude can you explain your breast grab comment which you decided to ignore when asked to explain in the Suki thread? Also when has Macross ever been a serious show in the vein of Gundam? I really have no idea why you’re talking your frustration at the criticism leveled at Gundam 00 out on Macross Frontier. Seriously are you watching this and when you see a fan service moment is your first thought “If this was Gundam 00 it would get criticized”? That’s the impression I’m getting from you on these Frontier posts.

    Also how the hell is fan service in Gundam 00 subtle? If you answer is no one is naked please look up the definition of subtle. Btw what character makes more sense to have fan service moments, a master tactician in charge of a ship or a pop idol who’s sexuality is a large part of her appeal? I also hope you take your anti fan service stance into Code Geass R2 03 (a lot of Kallen fans aren’t happy) or are you going to let it slide for that?

    Sheryl btw seems to be getting the most praise for the characters in this show (ignoring all the “She’s a bitch and Ranka is so moe!” comments) but I can see how someone who thinks she had a breakdown because she lost a tape *zzzzzzztttt wrong try again* thinks she’s awful, you just don’t get her at all.

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama April 24, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Well as I said both times it wasn’t the fanservice that bothered me but the missed opportunities to make use of the shelter scene that were some reason made use of later in the episode after the fact. Tense moments tend to be more effective when they are immediately present and when that sense of tension is deflated by a comedy scene then they cease to be effective. I don’t have an anti fanservice stance as if I were bothered by such things I wouldn’t be watching Moetan or reading Kodomo No Jikan and To Love-Ru trouble, but I do have an anti-awkward timing stance, which is how I felt this scene came across.

    I can’t very well take something with me into Code Geass R2 episode 03 that I don’t have.

    I also dont’ find Sheryl a bitch and believe she does have some promise in her character in her mentor role for Ranka, I just felt that there are some instances in this episode where she was poorly handled.

    As for the charge that I am taking some frustration about Gundam 00 being unfairly criticized out on Macross, not the case. That actually kind of hurts to hear such an accusation as Macross is my second favourite franchise next to Gundam and I would never do anything to intentionally treat it or any other series unfairly in retaliation for something. I merely raised the point and nothing more. I have been behind this series from day one, shoring up awareness for it wherever I go and getting people interested however I can as it’s not often a Macross series comes a long and it’s something I want to see gain awareness in the face of the overwhelming popularity of Code Geass R2. What I am not however is someone who will ignore when he feels something he enjoys has faltered, however slightly. Now it’s all good if you feel the series hasn’t faltered, but this is my take on the episode and I feel the shelter scene was a bust.

    As for the breast grab, watch AiA I-Z’s subs and at 6:33 his arm grazes her breasts as she falls on top of him. It’s not a grab, but it’s contact. Like I said though, that’s not really the issue…..

  3. 3 Crusader April 24, 2008 at 8:35 am

    It’s not a 21-gun salute, those are reserved for the prestigious heads of state. The 21-gun salute also uses a battery of cannons or gun-howitzers not rifles. The 21 gun salute means that 21 shots are fired from 6-8 cannons. A funeral detail in most armed forces for the rank and file numbers 3-7 rifles (odd numbers only) and are fired off in three volleys to render the salute, hence the name 3-Volley Salute.

  4. 4 Son Gohan April 24, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Fanservice has always been part of the Macross franchise. Remember Minmay’s shower scene in the original series?
    And I don’t think the fanservice in Gundam 00 was any subtle, when every single female (barring the loli supersoldier) had huge gazongas and was clad in revealing or skin-tight outfits. They even had a tactical meeting on a poolside, for Tomino’s sake!

    Sheryl already showed some kindness to Ranka prior to the shelter scene, so I don’t think she was OOC. This episode proved to us that Sheryl isn’t a total b*tch. She is also a practical woman that takes action when necessary, a trait that I admire. Last episode she was mad because she couldn’t find one of her earrings, which probably hold some sentimental value for her.

  5. 5 Westlo April 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Oh c’mon there’s a big difference between graze and grab….. if I said Rito grazed Lala’s breasts in To Love Ru that would just be wrong… Also if you don’t want to give the impression you’re taking out your frustration for criticism on Gundam 00 towards Macross than stop comparing them. This is the 2nd time you’ve made the Gundam 00 fan service complaint and it’s only 3 episodes. Maybe you also did it for the first episode too but I cbf reading that one.

    “Of course I’m not the writer and we got the fanservice, which I continue to think is a lot more intrusive then it ever was in Gundam 00, which took a lot of flak for fanservice I felt was among the most subtle that I’d ever seen.”

    + episode 2

    “I find it ridiculous that Gundam 00 came under fire for having bishounen characters and female fanservice/girls with huge breasts when this series easily trumps it in it’s entirety in that regard in just under 8 minutes and arguably indulges in it a lot more, whereas in Gundam 00 it was pretty nonchalant.”

    If you feel it’s pointless/misguided/out of place fanservice why not just say so instead of dragging Gundam 00 into it for well no reason? And for the second time how is the fanservice in Gundam 00 “subtle”? It’s not in your face like Kanokon, To Love Ru or Maid Guy but it’s far from subtle.

    I would say more but I’ll be repeating the questions posed by 4tran in the Suki thread atm and you might as well answer those there as well as mind in that thread. C’mon Sheryl breakdown over a tape…

  6. 6 Anonymous April 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    For the sake of references, the tuna(!) buns were used for gags. I laughed more at the reference than at the fanservice, which I agree was something I’d rather not have seen.

    Oh and Macross F has actually been ragged about it’s character design:
    – It’s attempting pander every popular fetish out there (traps (Alto), lolis (Ranka?), big breasts (Klein, Nanase), shota (Luca), etc)
    – It’s uninspiring and bland; something expected from a harem show
    – It’s not Macross because Mikomoto isn’t doing it

    It’s interesting because the characters truly are, well, unique in a sense – the thing I find hilarious is that a lot of the choices are explained through reasons ranging from being a Kabuki actor to genetic disorders. Speaking of unique, I think this is the first time we’ve actually had a confirmed homosexual man in a TV Anime series. No, not simply ambiguous, but actually homosexual. In the end it all appears really silly, but I guess that’s the spirit of Macross and we’re all expecting this stuff anyway.

  7. 7 Amuro1X April 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hm, I really don’t see what you find wrong with the intro song. I personally really love it. The ED song is better though. In fact, I don’t think there’s a song on the show I don’t like.

  8. 8 Amuro1X April 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    And please, I have to warn you now, you’re watching Macross and not Gundam. The love triangle will regularly be the focus of the show. Macross has always been rather goofy and expecting anything less is foolhardy at best. Right now I think the show has a good mix of both and it certainly is keeping in line with tradition.

  9. 9 Kaioshin Sama April 24, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Yeah I’ve watched all the Macross’ before and am ready for a love triangle seeing as how the two go hand in hand. I also already said and hopefully this make it through this time that I don’t give two damns about fanservice in an anime, but that I felt the timing of it was poor. You all notice that I said nothing about the Sheryl bathtub scene because I didn’t care as there was nothing that I felt was mistimed there. She was just enjoying a nice bath.

    And I didn’t care about the fanservice in Gundam 00 either. It would be nice if we lived in a world where neither series got complained about to much for it but unfortunately we don’t and that is what I brought up. Seriously though, and don’t misquote me, my issue is not with the fanservice in the scene itself, but the timing of it. Had it happened at any other moment then during a tense scene where stray fire was threatening to blow them out into space I wouldn’t have cared, it would have just been good fun and some sexually charged tension.

    And if people really want to know how I felt the fanserice in Gundam 00 was subtle, it was that I rarely felt it was indulged in. Things like people having large breasts (I didn’t find them all that huge, but whatever) does not qualify as fanservice unless it becomes a deliberate focus of the scene. I’ll give people the one camera shot where Sumeragi’s behind was clearly put on show, but never did a scene stop cold to focus on the girls assets that I can recall. There was always something going on that gave us the choice between focusing on the content of a scene or oggling the girls breasts. In my case I made the choice to focus on the content of the scene, whether it was tactical discussion, character interaction or otherwise.

    And the only song in the show I don’t like is the opening, it’s true. I have a thing against high pitched vocals in a song, I just don’t like them and there’s nothing to be done about it. Maaya Sakamoto is however is pretty much my favourite singer and I hope she is given a second song to do so that I can say I enjoyed an opening as well.

    Thanks to Crusader as well for confirming the scene with the gun salute.

  10. 10 Haesslich April 24, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    The Vajra, as noted in episode 1 (especially the Deculture version) have a mastery of EW and seem quite adept at foiling sensor systems as well as drone weapons, so that’s probably why Luca couldn’t get a good shot in – it may have noticed him and decided to jam his systems.

    As for the evacuation, they weren’t sure if the Vajra were going to be attacking in force after this or if they’d be zipping through the ship again as they were last episode… hence the evacuation, so there’d be at least a few more layers of armor between everyone and the Vajra, even if their areas weren’t holed the way one of the domes was in Episode 1. Plus, if you want hard-boiled shows with no fanservice… Macross will never be your cup of tea. May I suggest Gundam 00, or some other show during Tomino’s ‘I need medication, stat’ period? Those had high body counts, managed to trim a lot of fanservice out (unlike recent Gundams). Macross is more space opera, or science fantasy than ‘war series’. I don’t expect any Macross series to take itself seriously, unlike most Gundam series… which is probably why they’re not chewed out for being hypocritical. A story with love triangles will have those, and some fanservice; it’s expected. A story that’s supposed to be ‘realistic’, but then degenerates halfway through its run into the Gong Show (Gundam 00) will get much more criticism when it does the same thing.

    By the way, Sheryl lost an earring which appears to be very important to her, not a tape; she was wanting the tape to find out who had the earring (since it could’ve only fallen off when she was gliding around in Alto’s arms). Whether that earring is from her version of Riber (aka: Misa’s lost love, which was part of why she was so traumatized in the original Macross) is something that’ll hopefully be revealed later.

    And yes, Mikhael is falling into the Jenius role, albeit with some more arrogance and a more critical eye towards the Hikaru-alike (Alto) than the original did, while Luca is ‘cuter’ than Hayao ever was, albeit with the same happy-go-lucky nature. We’ll see how the dynamics between those three develop, since I foresee an Iceman/Maverick type of competitiveness between Mikhael and Alto – the former is rather critical of the latter, but still seems to enjoy the challenge that the latter’s somewhat innate skills present. While we’re on the topic of links to earlier characters, this shelter scene mostly set up the dynamic for the possible love-triangle later on, in the vein of Hikaru – Minmay – Misa, with Misa’s role being taken by the more experienced and driven Sheryl Nome… albeit a Misa recast as a pop idol. Very practical, cold to the hero at first, and they fight almost every time they meet… but still a good person at heart.

  11. 11 Haesslich April 24, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Gundam 0080 even, not Gundam 00 – the former was excellent for showing the gritty side of war, while the latter… well, it had promise to start with the whole ‘near-future’ concept, but quickly degenerated once the Union and everyone else fell into the ‘victims of an Illuminatus group’ cliche, which got worse once the Thrones showed up.

  12. 12 Westlo April 24, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Haesslich I already mentioned the earring thing on Suki and here but instead of going “oh I missed that” he’s just ignored it, I’m sure he’ll ignore you mentioning it as well. Also I really don’t know why he’s complaining about this not being serious.. he did it again after looking at pics of episode 4. I would ask him a question like “When has a Macross tv series ever been serious” but he’ll probably ignore it.

    “I also already said and hopefully this make it through this time that I don’t give two damns about fanservice in an anime, but that I felt the timing of it was poor.”

    FFS than say the timing is poor instead of venting frustration that Gundam 00 got slammed for fan service. Can you explain why you continuously keep bringing up Gundam 00 when talking about Frontier? You did it again in the episode 4 thread. Are you the blogging version of the rapper Game? Like how he can’t rap without name dropping other rappers can’t you talk about shows without mentioning others?

  13. 13 Kaioshin Sama April 25, 2008 at 12:23 am

    “FFS than say the timing is poor instead of venting frustration that Gundam 00 got slammed for fan service.”

    So say it 4 times instead of 3 next time or will 3 do? *Chuckles*

    I also think I’m allowed to mention whatever I please in my comparisons and there’s no rule against drawing comparisons between Gundam and Macross that I know of. Hanayo came to mind as something that would be seen as pandering to lolicon fans, which was a complaint raised by another poster when he reacted to the introduction of Klein. I felt that since people reacted postively to Hanayo the same should allowed for Klein. It’s called drawing a comparison and in doing so I took two recent examples of series I blogged to do it.

    Now I want to know, are you going to be flying off the handle every time I use an element of Gundam 00 as a comparison or what, because there’s a lot worse things I think someone can be doing while blogging.

    @Haesslich: I don’t want only hardboiled shows actually, that was a joke. I should warn against taking my captions and bracketed comments too seriously as they tend to be where I put a lot of my jokes and wisecracks. If it’s longer then 2 lines though then it’s probably a safe bet I’m being serious. I’ve also seen every Gundam series already as I have every Macross series to date. Don’t worry, I know what I’m talking about when I discuss mecha, sci-fi and space opera, I just apparently have trouble getting across when I’m kidding.

    @Westlo (Part II): As for why I am “complaining” about it not being serious, maybe I’m just having a little fun and role playing because you are taking my comments a little seriously on things. Lighten up a little Westlo, I’m an ardent supporter of Macross Frontier and the loli is welcome in the episode, I just hope to see an explanation in the episode that either denies or confirms the theory of a genetic defect as the cause for her transformation during micronization. Keep in mind that just because I mention something as being pandering or aloof matter of factly doesn’t mean I’m automatically against it.

    Maybe once I get my episode 04 article up people will finally understand what all this is I’ve been talking about and then I won’t have the UN Spacy police on me for crimes against the Macross 25 fleet. *Chuckles*

    And yes I know about the earring now, I just didn’t mention it because I was curious to see how far you were going to take all of this, which I find just a little overboard as you aren’t going to find many people more pro Macross then me, so if I’m the anti-guy then I’d hate to see the others. I thank you and others for pointing that out to me and regret missing it, but as much as I try to keep up on everything in the series, I’m not perfect. It’s been a while since I saw episode 01 and I am doing slightly shorter articles on Macross Frontier then I have become famous for with my 00 ones since I’m doing two series now and combine that with heavy work shifts and I missed that scene. I wonder if the earring is something that Sheryl possibly got from a mentor of hers when she made her bones and that if there will be a symbolic handing off of the earring to Ranka later on. It’s an interesting little plot point that I’m curious to see the resolution of.

  14. 14 Haesslich April 25, 2008 at 1:16 am

    I agree with you regarding some of the comments about Gundam 00… but to be fair, they really set themselves up for it after a fairly strong (for a Gundam series in recent memory) opening with what appeared to be a world which was uncomfortably familiar. Seriously – I know a lot of people who were enthusiastic because of the fact that the Gundams were overpowered, but the politics looked like they’d be key to the show… before it turned into a retread as far as the Blue Cosmo– I mean, that Brotherhood-type thing was concerned and all of the warring nations joined under one flag. And then we got the whole unwanted sexual tension thing between Lockon and Tieria (or at least, their comments were so horribly suggestive that it went way beyond a joke)…

    Macross has always been, at heart, a space opera, complete with singing divas and people backstabbing one another in a grand fashion. And it’s best enjoyed that way, too – even if Sheryl starts stalking Alto. Personally, I found Klein Klan to be a nice comedic element (sorta like those three crossdressing Zentradi from the first series), even if she does have… that particular mode, which made for a rather memorable scene between her and Mikhail. He really does seem like an Iceman to Alto’s Maverick (the latter being very impulsive, as witnessed during his unauthorized corkscrew at the concert in Ep 1).

  15. 15 Shuilong April 25, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Macross without fanservice wouldn’t be Macross, but there are moments where the fanservice doesn’t transition very well (especially that moment inadvertent boob grab in ep 2, at least to me), or as Kaioshin points out here, the scene in the shelter. Sheryl’s little slip-up was just not timed very well– if they hadn’t done “hey boobage, look, boobs! and cliched indignation!” and for example, stuck mainly to sexual tension offset by the tuna buns, it wouldn’t have been so ill-fitting.
    So far though, I’ve liked MF overall. It hasn’t disappointed me so much as that the fanservice seems a little too gratuitous -because- it’s poorly timed/doesn’t fit with the scene.

    @Haesslich
    Why criticize 00 for not being the show it wasn’t suppose to be? The initial set of episodes were for set up, not because the actual focus of the show is political. As much as I’d like to see how the world came to be united, I don’t expect them to go into the nitty-gritty of it. There’s better shows for that kind of detail.
    Also, just because you’re not comfortable (since you say “unwanted”) with whatever relationship it was that developed between Lockon and Tieria doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it had almost always been consistently portrayed in a serious light, never as fanservice or a joke.

  16. 16 Haesslich April 25, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I usually go into Gundam shows for mecha fights and drama… not for ‘oh noes, this relationship has failed! I didn’t save him!’ sorta things, even if Amuro had his moments of what we’d call emo today. The initial setup made it look like we’d get some decent politically-driven drama… but then we got a lot of Marina, a lot of Sumeragi looking at things funny, and then some emo between Louise and her beau before the Trinity team showed up. It just feels like a waste, really – especially since it turned into a regular arms race once the GN units were given to everyone, and then you had that golden thing zooming in with THREE GN units, for ‘extra power’.

  17. 17 Kaioshin Sama April 26, 2008 at 2:40 am

    I usually go into Gundam series to see what story they come up with as usually it’s interesting. You don’t have to follow any specific canon other then your own with the AU settings and if a producer/writing team can get the green light it’s a great venue to exercise their creativity and imaginiation. Actually that’s just why I like science fiction in general. You can free yourself from concepts of the modern world and create your own, but still tackle issues and themes that the viewers can relate to and appreciate in some regard.

    Gundam 00 was not a waste as long as you didn’t immediately discard it because the focus wasn’t specifically what you thought it was going to be. The thing is, that what we got, even if it wasn’t what some people felt we should have, was still pretty damn fun and interesting where I am sitting, and that is good enough for me.

    I wouldn’t say what we got was a lot of Marina or Sumeragi though.

  18. 18 Haesslich April 27, 2008 at 12:40 am

    It’s kinda hard to follow specific AU settings, given they always seem to start over every three series or so. They all have huge Gundams, fighters, and then duels with big swords. Gundam 00 was somewhat disappointing in the direction it took, IMO, because it went the ‘cliched’ route as far as everyone eventually got GN units and then went on to get killed in a horrible fashion. I found the earlier episodes to be more interesting as a result – like when the space station lost that one segment, and you saw that even the ‘villains’ of the show had a human side as nobody pursued Virtue as it left after stabilizing that runaway segment. It eventually turned into the Patrick-and-Ali show, or at least that’s how it felt to me… complete with the distorted faces while people screamed at one another about imagined or real slights.

    I wanted to like Graham, and I did because he refused to take one of those GN-X suits. I didn’t like Patrick or Ali so much, especially after the Thrones showed up, killed a lot of things, and then the arms race really began with the Antarctic cache equipping the rest of Earth with those GN-X units that made the Flag Fighters seem like the cast-offs. On the one hand, you had elite pilots fighting CB to a draw in their inferior units… but then you equipped them with GN-X and GN-equipped mecha, and they didn’t immediately wipe the floor with CB until they brought out that flying Tri-horn hat? The Ptolemaius finally met its end, but still.. maybe I had too high expectations of it.

    In a sense, it reminds me of Fate/Stay Night; a show that had promised initially to deliver good action and an original ending… but which flagged halfway through and gave us one of the game endings instead, and cut out some of the development we were hoping for while giving us badly-CGI’d dragons.


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