ROBOBLOG III Archives

4.05.2008

I give this sequence a B-minus, for what it's worth.

(Sure as hell better than the first Gundam 00 opening sequence, which did such a poor job matching the rhythm of the song that it kinda turned me off of the show. Shame, too; I understand the show wasn't half bad.)

This is Macross Frontier opening theme & sequence. My pal Levi remarked upon it to me this evening, so I figured I should watch it. Now you can, too.



Things I noticed:

-- Unlike the December cut of the first episode, the opening sequence only really has one familiar shot, the final one where the Valkyrie poses in front of the flagship, though it reminds me much more of the one from Macross II than the one from the original Macross. Something about the way the Valkyrie moves, y'know?

-- Actually, I guess if you were in a pissy mood (like I was after watching the first episode back in December), you could call the Valkyrie launch sequence in the middle of the sequence an homage/rip-off of the VF-1J takeoff in the original Macross open, even though it's much more reminiscent of Gundam opening theme launch sequences (see the Gundam SEED shows) than anything in the Macross canon.

-- There's a few pointy-eared (half-breed Zentradi, I assume) people in the cast, based on who's showcased in the open. Certain individuals I know will be pleased.

-- There's a shot of a Monster Destroid for a half-second right before the shot of the "bridge bunnies," along with a dark red-haired girl who I assume is the mecha's pilot. I kinda wonder if it's a transforming Monster ala the Macross VF-X 2 video game, since there haven't been any other Destroids in evidence in the one episode of the show or any of the art for it thus far.

-- In the background of that same shot is a blue-haired girl in a completely ridiculous tight blue and pink outfit with big, shiny breasts. Oh, modern anime character & costume design, how you continue to disappoint me with your shameless pandering ...

-- This show's psuedo-Macross is a lot more Macrossy than Macross 7's Battle 7. But then, this has a much more "we want to be taken seriously this time" tone than Macross 7, so of course it's going to be a lot less like a super-giant robot and far more "parts of a battleship moved around to sort of look humanoid" in its shape.

-- The Valkryie in the opening is taking on a red something that looks very mechanical, unlike the things that the Valkyries were fighting in the first episode (at least, as far as I remember), and at the end of the open zips past another Valkyrie as though it was a rival or enemy. Transforming fighters versus transforming fighters again? Hmm.

-- Is the weird flying people imagery just stupid anime opening nonsense, or will the two girls both have funny Protoculture magic going on? I mean, the first shot, with the girls flying up as a sorta comet thing and then flashing into the Valkyrie really reminded me of the weird-ass ending of Macross Zero ...

-- Can't judge the lyrics, but the song doesn't measure up to previous Maaya Sakamoto anime opening themes -- it's nowhere near the level of, say, "Yakusoku wa Iranai" (though what is, really?) or "Hemisphere." Come to think of it, though, both of those themes worked well to present the feeling and tone of the shows that followed them -- The Vision of Escaflowne and RahXephon, respectively. So I guess it works along the same lines, giving off the bland and interchangeable feeling of this show -- again, based on what I've seen of it, the December cut of the first episode.

So, am I going to watch the show to see the answers to all the questions I offered?

No.

Sorry, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and with me, they blew it. Though I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone else for watching the show. I'm not that much of a jerk. It just came off to me like boring, empty calorie Macross fan comfort food, bringing nothing new to the table, unlike the previous sequels. Kawamori has trained me to expect more from this franchise than from, say, Gundam or Transformers, and now that he appears to have delivered a sequel along the lines of the later TV series from those two franchises, filled with recycled ideas and imagery and doing very little to push, stretch, or expand the franchise's parameters conceptually, I just can't get excited about it.

Labels:

8 Comments:

  • um... is your sister single?

    By Blogger Darkwater, at 07 April, 2008 17:19  

  • I saw the YouTube window and got excited, thinking it was another Roboblog Chronicles.

    C'mon Jonathan. It has been so long.

    I'm dying without you.

    By Blogger Christopher, at 08 April, 2008 14:34  

  • "There's a few pointy-eared (half-breed Zentradi, I assume) people in the cast, based on who's showcased in the open."

    Oh, damn. Now I may have to watch this. MAY.

    By Blogger Amanda, at 10 April, 2008 11:08  

  • Yeah, that opening song sounds pretty generic sounding, not particularly a stand out. All the damn pretty boys kicking about send warning flags in my head over just how 'serious' this show may or may not try to be. Seems like it's ready to get flakey at a moments notice. We'll see i guess.

    For me Shoji Kawamori behind a series hasn't held much weight for me since 'arjuna', which i really did not like, and since then his storytelling seems to be pretty heavy handed at best...not sure why though. Ah well.

    I'm coming off as so damn negative about the show, so i will say that the mech sequences will probably be great, just please, no more 'macross zero' story confusion, please! (worst non-ending EVER in a macross show)

    By Blogger echobaseAlpha, at 11 April, 2008 16:02  

  • I believe I'm a bit more moderate in my opinion of Macross Frontier then my good friend, the Captain here.

    I believe the animation is pretty crisp and it's definetly got a great look going for it. To me, the series has a VERY convincing look for a somewhat near-future in which mankind leaped forward through alien technology.

    I think alot of your early complaints with the show were kinda ironed out of the actual series premiere.... I notice they cut alot of the OVERLY familar scenes and put in several new ones that really put a new coat of paint on some of the characters.

    Sheryl's a bit more of a bitch... Altoh's not TOO wangsty... Mikhail reeks of Max Jenius syndrome... I'm suprised they didn't make him a Jenius since he's got pointy ears and all...

    I don't know. I'm cautiously watching the series.

    I do agree with the commentor above though, the show best not have a non-ending like Zero did. Kawamori has NO excuse for that...


    BTW, if I were making guesses, they may not be just Zentraedi. The little girl, for example, looks more akin to the pointy ears of the people of Zola then the more subdued pointy ears of the Zentran post-DYRL (Mikhail's ears look a bit more accentuated then Mylene's did...)

    I dunno. I'll provide my thoughts as the series goes on. Right now, I'm optimstic... it still kinda rings true for me.

    By Blogger Tolarin_Skylar, at 12 April, 2008 03:37  

  • "All the damn pretty boys kicking about send warning flags in my head over just how 'serious' this show may or may not try to be."

    Not that this series is looking gritty to me, but what do pretty boys have to do with it? It's not like it's any different than a series having a bunch of hot women in it.

    By Blogger Amanda, at 12 April, 2008 14:37  

  • Darkwater: My sister is A) single, B) not looking, and C) in Japan.

    Christopher: I've got topics for a Roboblog Chronicles dancing around in the back of my mind, but right now whatever spare time in the evening I get to work on something goes into new pages of Scwonkey Dog. I'm halfway through a four-day weekend right now, though, so maybe, just maybe I'll get something up early this week. But don't hold your breath.

    Tolarin: You know, I completely forgot about the planet Zola. But then, I never did finish watching Macross 7 oh-so-many years ago ...

    As for the whole whacking-out-the-fanboy-references thing, it's noteworthy to me that the DVD release will only have the Deculture/20th anniversary special edition of the episode and a version that integrates the footage from the regular broadcast version, but DOES NOT have the regular broadcast version. That version apparently doesn't count. Also noteworthy is the fact that the show keeps on, through the next two episodes, hitting original Macross TV series story beats, what with Alto having to grab Ranka as she's nearly sucked out of the colony, and then getting stuck with Sheryl and Ranka during the emergency, and then deciding to join the security force to grab his destiny and not just sit on the sidelines (ala Hikaru deciding not to just mope around the Macross) just as Ranka goes to enter the Miss Macross Frontier pageant or whatever (and no, I haven't gone and watched this, my friend Levi keeps telling me what's going on because he KNOWS I'm refusing to watch it). Though given that they're racing through Macross character and story beats at an accelerated pace (Frontier 3 = Macross 4 + 5) and after the Miss Macross pageant things in Macross become very specific to the Zentradi, in a couple of weeks they're going to definitely have to start coming up with new material specific to the new bad guys and this crop of characters.

    I'll see what Levi has to say then. Maybe if it decides to do something interesting I'll give it a second look. But so far, nothing about it excites me at all.

    (But then again, nothing about ANYTHING excites me these days.)

    EchoBaseAlpha & Amanda: The absence or presence of pretty boys in a mecha anime these days has nothing to do with being serious -- Gundam 00 was plenty serious (not gritty, but geez, what mecha show since 1983 has been honest-to-god gritty) and also bishonen-tastic -- and everything to do with trying to get a greater audience than the core mecha fan base. Starting with Gundam Wing, anime production companies realized that if you "cast" a mecha show with loads of handsome lads, you can garner more of a female following who wouldn't ordinarily watch the show. Personally, I find it a lot more distracting when the production team decides "this show needs lots of girls with giant racks that jiggle around when the ship gets hit," but hey, maybe that's just me. Seriously, that's not sexy -- that's just dumb.

    By Blogger Captain JLS, at 20 April, 2008 01:31  

  • hmmm, good points about the character designs, thx JLS.

    By Blogger echobaseAlpha, at 24 April, 2008 11:37  

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