Macross Mega Marathon

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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am

MACROSS 7 EPISODES 16-20

Since in this series of episodes we get introduced to the Protodeviln Sivil, this is probably as good a time as any to talk about my feelings concerning these antagonists, to whit, THEY SUCK!

OK, more seriously, I take issue with them because, by and large, they have little to no character. Take Sivil for example. She actually has a rather awesome intro where she folds(?) in on top of an advance force that Max sent to try and secure the missing City 7 and then proceeds to rip the carrier apart and decimate most of the VFs that came with it, including Gamlin and Kinryuu’s VF-17s. Later she brainwashes (?) a bunch of zentradi citizens aboard City 7 to attack Milia in her office. But after these two incidents, she largely devolves to fanservice, which isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself except that Sivil has, say it with me now, no character. She only very rarely speaks more than one or two words at any given time, leaving the reasons why she does certain things more or less a mystery. Why is she obsessed with Basara? Doesn’t she know that Anima Spiritia can seal her away again? Why does she, an other-dimensional energy being inhabiting a Protoculture bio-weapon, want to get it on with Basara? You’ll never know because Sivil has no character. Seriously, try doing the Plinkett Test with her or some of the other Protodeviln, like Boss Man Gepelnitch. Try to describe Sivil without—

A. Describing what she looks like (this includes adjectives like sexy, hot, busty, etc.)
B. What she wears
C. What her role and/or profession in the series is

Bet it’ll be pretty hard.

Even the ones who do have some character aren’t really good at it, case in point, Gavil. BEAUTY! Beauty of this, beauty of that, beauty of falling for the same stock footage of Gamlin’s about a dozen times. And don’t even get me started on Goram and Zomd (HA HA HA, HO HO HO)

Lastly, I can’t help but snark a bit at how the Protodeviln’s origins now don’t quite match up to recent revelations concerning the Protoculture. Even if you discount the PC’s reverence for the Vajra… I dunno, it still seems like a big, BIG leap in design aesthetic to go from fleets of ships and armies of giants and combat mecha to bio-weapons that look like they belong on the cast of a Super Sentai show. Seriously, what tactical function does Sivil being a sexy space elf serve? I know that makes me sound like an oldtaku but I think it just goes to show why the Protodeviln just aren’t very good villains. They don't have the intimidation of the Zentradi, they don't have the techno menace and kinda-sorta serial killer vibes of Sharon Apple, they don't have the douchiness of the space whale poachers, they don't have the raw hatred that Nora had, they don't have the creepiness of the Vajra or Grace and the Galaxy Conspiracy or the desperate blitz of the Windemereans/Aerial Knights. Even the Marduk and Lord Ingues from Macross II are better! Well, ok, Ingues is pretty flat too... at least the Marduk had Feff and Ishtar. ;)
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:14 pm

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Since in this series of episodes we get introduced to the Protodeviln Sivil, this is probably as good a time as any to talk about my feelings concerning these antagonists, to whit, THEY SUCK!
... goodness, that was predictable. (Not saying I don't agree wholeheartedly, just that it's such a common thing found in reviews of the series by non-Japanese viewers that it almost feels mandatory.)


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
OK, more seriously, I take issue with them because, by and large, they have little to no character. [...], she largely devolves to fanservice, which isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself except that Sivil has, say it with me now, no character.
So she's a perfect match for Basara... neither of them has a personality or any kind of social awareness. :wink:


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Seriously, try doing the Plinkett Test with her or some of the other Protodeviln, like Boss Man Gepelnitch. Try to describe Sivil without—

A. Describing what she looks like (this includes adjectives like sexy, hot, busty, etc.)
B. What she wears
C. What her role and/or profession in the series is
Can I get away with "idiot-seeking missile", "wallflower of mass destruction", or "taciturn, romantically-minded devourer of souls"?


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Lastly, I can’t help but snark a bit at how the Protodeviln’s origins now don’t quite match up to recent revelations concerning the Protoculture. Even if you discount the PC’s reverence for the Vajra… I dunno, it still seems like a big, BIG leap in design aesthetic to go from fleets of ships and armies of giants and combat mecha to bio-weapons that look like they belong on the cast of a Super Sentai show.
It makes more sense with the supplemental materials. The Evil-series bodies the Protodeviln inhabit were, to cut it down to the simplest possible terms, an attempt to apply Vajra bio-technology to the Zentradi to improve their combat abilities. They'd already based most of their arsenal on the forms of natural super dimension lifeforms in the galaxy like the Vahla Ena and Vajra, it probably wasn't a huge leap from imitating form (as in the battle pods and starships) with limited applications of biotechnology[1] to a full-on imitation of Vajra biology.

The Evil series was initially a failed effort, given that they replicated many of the Vajra's "natural" abilities but the energy requirements were too great to integrate them into a self-contained biotechnological weapons platform at the time. It wasn't until they sussed out how the Vajra's fold dimensional energy conversion worked, and installed their own crude copy of the ability into the already-finished prototypes that everything went pear-shaped.

In practical terms, the technological advances that were pioneered on the Evil series Zentradi were the basis for the development of fully biotechnological mecha like the Fold Evil they sealed on Uroboros (Macross 30) or the Birdhuman (Macross Zero). They were, at least, smart enough to realize that giving a biotechnological weapon capable of obliterating fleets fully autonomous operation was a terrible idea, and their future efforts all required the presence of a pilot. (Except maybe the Dyaus, who don't appear to be sentient and are a good deal less killy.)



Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Seriously, what tactical function does Sivil being a sexy space elf serve?
Maybe she's the floor model for the showroom? Or maybe some especially savvy Protoculture marketing exec decided the Evil series would sell especially well at the next Apocalyptic Bioweapon and Knife Show if the booth babe was also a product?

(She's supposed to be an espionage/reconnaissance model, so maybe that has something to do with it.)


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Well, ok, Ingues is pretty flat too... at least the Marduk had Feff and Ishtar. ;)
Ingues gets better in the novelization, though admittedly that's kind of somewhere between Boddole Zer and Space Voldemort for motive.



EDIT:
1. The Zentradi/Meltrandi themselves contained some applications of biotechnology, including bio-fiber optic nervous system augmentations, organic computer systems, and cybernetic user interfaces for select models of mecha.
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:51 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:14 pm
Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
OK, more seriously, I take issue with them because, by and large, they have little to no character. [...], she largely devolves to fanservice, which isn’t necessarily a problem in and of itself except that Sivil has, say it with me now, no character.
So she's a perfect match for Basara... neither of them has a personality or any kind of social awareness. :wink:
No social awareness maybe but Basara definitely has a personality.


Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:14 pm
Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Seriously, try doing the Plinkett Test with her or some of the other Protodeviln, like Boss Man Gepelnitch. Try to describe Sivil without—

A. Describing what she looks like (this includes adjectives like sexy, hot, busty, etc.)
B. What she wears
C. What her role and/or profession in the series is
Can I get away with "idiot-seeking missile", "wallflower of mass destruction", or "taciturn, romantically-minded devourer of souls"?
I like the taciturn one but even then it's a bit on the vague side, isn't it? At least it sounds interesting enough


Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:14 pm
Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am
Lastly, I can’t help but snark a bit at how the Protodeviln’s origins now don’t quite match up to recent revelations concerning the Protoculture. Even if you discount the PC’s reverence for the Vajra… I dunno, it still seems like a big, BIG leap in design aesthetic to go from fleets of ships and armies of giants and combat mecha to bio-weapons that look like they belong on the cast of a Super Sentai show.
It makes more sense with the supplemental materials. The Evil-series bodies the Protodeviln inhabit were, to cut it down to the simplest possible terms, an attempt to apply Vajra bio-technology to the Zentradi to improve their combat abilities. They'd already based most of their arsenal on the forms of natural super dimension lifeforms in the galaxy like the Vahla Ena and Vajra, it probably wasn't a huge leap from imitating form (as in the battle pods and starships) with limited applications of biotechnology[1] to a full-on imitation of Vajra biology.

The Evil series was initially a failed effort, given that they replicated many of the Vajra's "natural" abilities but the energy requirements were too great to integrate them into a self-contained biotechnological weapons platform at the time. It wasn't until they sussed out how the Vajra's fold dimensional energy conversion worked, and installed their own crude copy of the ability into the already-finished prototypes that everything went pear-shaped.

In practical terms, the technological advances that were pioneered on the Evil series Zentradi were the basis for the development of fully biotechnological mecha like the Fold Evil they sealed on Uroboros (Macross 30) or the Birdhuman (Macross Zero). They were, at least, smart enough to realize that giving a biotechnological weapon capable of obliterating fleets fully autonomous operation was a terrible idea, and their future efforts all required the presence of a pilot. (Except maybe the Dyaus, who don't appear to be sentient and are a good deal less killy.)
And since that's all in supplemental matiriel, I'm still going to call the sudden shift to space monsters a bit of a fail.




Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:14 pm
(She's supposed to be an espionage/reconnaissance model, so maybe that has something to do with it.)
If Sivil is supposed to be something of a Meltrandi 2.0 I guess I can accept that.



Well, let's move along, shall we?

MACROSS 7 EPISODES 26-30

The first half of the series ends with one hell of a bang as Gepelnitch's massive flagship and fleet try to corner Macross 7 on planet Lux, where it's revealed that the Macross 5 fleet has been completely trashed and its civilians are missing. We get a massive action scene here that's so great that the subsequent episodes are just a little bit of a letdown, as seen in the following photos.
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:34 am

MACROSS 7 EPISODES 31-35

Things begin to pick up a bit in this block of episodes. While it starts off with a filler episode about a tabloid reporter almost spilling the beans about Basara going to sing to Sivil, it actually works as a bit of foreshadowing for when Sivil actually is found out.
Then the Macross 7 fleet brass try to create another sound unit, the Jamming Birds, but of course since they don't sing for the same reasons Fire Bomber does, they're utterly useless.
As I mentioned, Sivil is found out, which leads to Gigile taking Mylene hostage and Sivil APPARENTLY waking up and escaping. During all of this Basara has begun doubting wether his song can truly reach the Protodeviln so he leaves the fleet for a time and Gamlin and Mylene chase after him.
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:42 pm

MACROSS 7 EPISODE 36-40

I might as well take the opportunity to tackle one of the big criticisms of Macross 7, namely, Nekki Basara himself.

One of the biggest complaints where he is concerned is that he's a bad protagonist because he's too static, too boring, never changing. While I can somewhat understand that, and I will admit that Basara does work more in short format than the four cours of M7, it's not entirely bad. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the usual hero on a journey storyline. That said, Basara does have some really jerky moments and his one-track mind (pun intended) can also be grating. Attendant to this is the accusation that when Basara comes back from this journey he goes on, he just goes right back to being the same guy as always. While that is technically true, it misses the point of his character, I think, that he changes those around him. Basara doesn't change after this journey but he DOES renew his dedication to his chosen path. More than ever before he believes his song can reach the hearts of the Protodeviln and he won't stop until he does. And at the very least he is not wishy-washy (cough, Hikaru, cough) or a dunderhead (cough, Alto, cough) or REALLY boring (cough, Shin, cough)

This block also contains the series's only clipshow, which honestly annoys me. Almost every single episode up to this point has had a recap of events, so why do we need a damn dedicated clipshow?! I suppose if it helped save some money for Operation Stargazer, then I can forgive it....
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:13 pm

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:34 am
Then the Macross 7 fleet brass try to create another sound unit, the Jamming Birds, but of course since they don't sing for the same reasons Fire Bomber does, they're utterly useless.
It isn't even that... the poor schlubs in the Jamming Birds are all perfectly capable of producing a sufficient level of Sound Energy, and they sing for pretty much everyone in Fire Bomber does EXCEPT Basara. The big problem that prevents them from being an effective unit is that... well... they're civilian volunteers who've received a minimum amount of training and aren't accustomed to being shot at.

Fire Bomber doesn't have that problem because Ray and Veffidas are both used to fighting from long, LONG experience, Mylene's a gung-ho member of the Jenius clan, and Basara's too self-obsessed to care.


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:42 pm
[...] While that is technically true, it misses the point of his character, I think, that he changes those around him. Basara doesn't change after this journey but he DOES renew his dedication to his chosen path. More than ever before he believes his song can reach the hearts of the Protodeviln and he won't stop until he does.[...]
Generally speaking, that's incredibly bad form for a protagonist. The protagonist in a story is meant to be a dynamic character, someone who will grow, change, and have their worldview challenged in the course of a story. Basara is a flat, static character. He does not learn, grow, or change. He doesn't make any effort to relate to anyone or anything around him or understand the feelings of anybody else. He's even got all of the character references to be a classic Mary Sue and spans multiple classifications thereof. It says a LOT that most viewers seem to empathize with Mylene and Gamlin instead, over how frustrating Basara is. It feels a bit callous to have to say it, but he's basically a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder case. He's written like The Mentor, which makes his status as The Hero more than a little weird.

To wit, Basara is a main character without so much as the illusion an actual character arc... and that's just awful.


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:42 pm
[...] And at the very least he is not wishy-washy (cough, Hikaru, cough) or a dunderhead (cough, Alto, cough) or REALLY boring (cough, Shin, cough)
All of whom were much more believable characters with actual arcs.
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:45 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:13 pm
It isn't even that... the poor schlubs in the Jamming Birds are all perfectly capable of producing a sufficient level of Sound Energy, and they sing for pretty much everyone in Fire Bomber does EXCEPT Basara. The big problem that prevents them from being an effective unit is that... well... they're civilian volunteers who've received a minimum amount of training and aren't accustomed to being shot at.

Fire Bomber doesn't have that problem because Ray and Veffidas are both used to fighting from long, LONG experience, Mylene's a gung-ho member of the Jenius clan, and Basara's too self-obsessed to care.
Even so, they don't seem to produce any appreciable level of Song Energy until the very last episode with Mylene rallying them.
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:13 pm
Basara is a flat, static character. He does not learn, grow, or change.
So basically like almost all action stars of the 80s then? ;)


Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:13 pm
Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:42 pm
[...] And at the very least he is not wishy-washy (cough, Hikaru, cough) or a dunderhead (cough, Alto, cough) or REALLY boring (cough, Shin, cough)
All of whom were much more believable characters with actual arcs.
I'd still rather hang out with Basara than post-reconstruction arc Hikaru or Shin
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:10 pm

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:45 pm
Even so, they don't seem to produce any appreciable level of Song Energy until the very last episode with Mylene rallying them.
Well, yeah... they don't really reach a point where they stop freaking out about being shot at until then.


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:45 pm
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:13 pm
Basara is a flat, static character. He does not learn, grow, or change.
So basically like almost all action stars of the 80s then? ;)
Maybe the ones in shows aimed at little kids... but this show's from '94.


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:45 pm
I'd still rather hang out with Basara than post-reconstruction arc Hikaru or Shin
His own bandmates can't stand him for almost the entire series... I'd confidently predict this would end with a Gilligan Cut to you looking for a place to hide the body. :wink:
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:04 pm

That's a bit harsh, eh? Veffidas gets on with him well enough and Ray only got ACTUALLY mad at him once in the whole 49 episodes. And Mylene only argues with him because she might(?) have a crush on him. Anyway...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 2c5dce6c8a

MACROSS 7 EPISODE 41-45

This block of episodes starts off with another episode that could have been excised completely, an episode about Mylene's biggest fan, Billy... who flips up her skirt twice in the episode. Now I'm no legal expert but I think that is at least sexual harassment...

Anyway, the Macross 7 fleet attempts to capture Glavil but it doesn't work because Gavil can gattai with Glavil to form Glavigula... yeah.

Then Max reveals that UN Spacy High Command on Earth has ordered the fleet to attack the Protodeviln home-world, which Max rightly interprets as them either using the M7 to test tactics against the Protodeviln or they're simply sacrificing the fleet to try and weaken the Protodeviln. So Max comes up with a plan and well, I'll let the photos do the talking.
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:47 pm

MACROSS 7 EPISODES 46-48

I kind of feel like Operation: Stargazer should have been the leadup to the end of the story. It would have been very easy to do: with most of the elite pilots away, the entirety of the Varauta fleet surrounds the M7 fleet. Milia fights a valiant holding action but ultimately the defense forces are smashed and the civilian ships captured. At the same time on Varauta IV, the Stargazer team has been captured as well and that ring thing is put on Basara to stop him from singing. Then the Grand Escape is made, there is a final confrontation and boom, done.

Unfortunately we get another useless episode where Gavil possesses Gamlin and Mylene's singing forces Gavil out, a plot point you'd have to be blind not to see coming.
Then we get introduced to two of the most annoying characters I've ever met, anime or not, Goram and Zomd, a pair of Protodeviln who finish each other's sentences and have an EXTREMELY bad habit of laughing in a very overly dramatic way (HAW HAW HAW, HO HO HO!) I am being completely serious when I say that if these two had been in the show since the beginning, I would have wrote off Macross 7 and never watched it again. Anyway, Goram and Zomd attempt some schemes to lure Basara out but they fail, which causes Gepelnitch, for some incredibly odd reason, to go for his Nuclear Option. He pulls out his own Protodeviln body, which the Protoculture for some reason, have given the ability to SUCK ALL LIFE OUT OF THE GALAXY. Actually this is a bit unclear; the Protodeviln are the ones who need Spiritia so did the Gepelnitch weapon always have that ability? It seems that way... well we'll get to that later.
It really does seem strange that Gepelnitch would go this far so suddenly. I mean, it's like using a bunker buster bomb to kill a fly in your house. Where is the strategy? Even the Death Star can technically be used strategically but what was the plan for the Gepelnitch weapon? Were the Protoculture going to pull a HALO and hang out on a space station outside the galaxy? And that's not even the whole of it. Later we'll learn that the Protoculture made an EVIL-series weapon capable of altering the space/time continuum!
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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by SonicSP » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:17 am

I disliked Gamlin early on in 7, but I really really grew to like him. Great character development.

Basara on the other hand.......

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Re: Macross Mega Marathon

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:54 am

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:04 pm
That's a bit harsh, eh? Veffidas gets on with him well enough and Ray only got ACTUALLY mad at him once in the whole 49 episodes. And Mylene only argues with him because she might(?) have a crush on him. Anyway...
C'mon, Veffidas never talks and Ray spends most of the series in a semi-permanent state of exasperation over the antics of his not-so-young ward. Mylene argues with him plenty over practical matters, belligerent romantic tension only plays into it later on. Gamlin arguably has more warm moments with him than Mylene does.



Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:47 pm
Then we get introduced to two of the most annoying characters I've ever met, anime or not, Goram and Zomd, a pair of Protodeviln who finish each other's sentences and have an EXTREMELY bad habit of laughing in a very overly dramatic way (HAW HAW HAW, HO HO HO!) I am being completely serious when I say that if these two had been in the show since the beginning, I would have wrote off Macross 7 and never watched it again.
But they're the very quintessence of Macross 7.


Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:47 pm
Later we'll learn that the Protoculture made an EVIL-series weapon capable of altering the space/time continuum!
... but had the good sense to 1. avoid giving it a mind of its own in favor of requiring at least one miclone pilot to operate it and 2. realize building it had been a screamingly terrible idea and opted to seal and bury it on the most remote, isolated planet they could find and set three separate armies of screeching self-replicating technorganic insectoid horrors to murder anyone stupid enough to come looking for it. Unfortunately, just like the Blue Rhinoceros Team before them, Havamal really was too dumb to ignore the obvious "DO NOT TOUCH" signs... being the kind of people who made "CAUTION: CONTENTS MAY BE HOT" warnings on cups of freshly-brewed coffee necessary.
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