Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Macross (Frontier) Inpressions

It has been a long time since I've seen a show like this. It is the type of show that got me into anime to begin with. Macross Frontier rekindled a love I had for not just anime in particular, but science fiction as a whole.

As a kid, like many who grew up in the 80s, there was a single sci-fi franchise that captured every kid, and even most adults, hearts and imaginations. Of course I'm speaking of Star Wars. Before Star Wars there were many revolutionary and genre defining shows and movies, such as 2001 or even something like Star Trek. But Star Wars was able to present Science Fiction as not a "warning of the future" or "the evolution of thought and technology" but as a fantasy ground in which people could dream and wish they were part of, or at least hope that one day life could be that amazing.

As I've been going through all the different Macross shows, that feeling of adventure, and I suppose, "lost innocence" has slowly been creeping back into me until it culminated with Macross Frontier and I again felt like a kid on Saturday morning watching my favorite show, or going to the dollar movie theater with my friends to watch the same movie for the umpteenth time. That is why I put "Frontier" in the above title to this article in brackets. Last night might have been when I finished watching Frontier, but I recognize it was the end of this entire endeavor to watch all of Macross, and it has been an unforgetable journey.

I watched Macross Frontier at a snail's pace, unlike how I watch most anime these days, simply for the someone juvenile thought that, "I don't want this show to end." I will even gladly admit, that as I watched Frontier, I was concurrently watching other anime, and plowing through them. Shows that I liked as well. Shows such as Eden of the East and Ga Rei Zero, that I will without any qualms admit that they are technically better, and more intelligently written shows then Macross Frontier. But if given the option to rewatch all of Ga Rei Zero or Macross Frontier, I will always pick Frontier, because it is just more fun to watch.

And that is the point I was trying to make above. This is a show that just makes you want to live in that world, meet these characters, become a pilot and fly with the Skull Squadron. These types of shows might get pegged as escapist entertainment, meant to not challenge you or go against your expectations, and I am perfectly fine with that. After watching ten episodes of Frontier, you probably know how it is going to end. There are no plot twists here, and there doesn't need to be.

In my opinion this is exactly what "young Hollywood"'s problem is. Everyone wants to be a Tarrentino and make something that goes against expectations, that has plot twists or is based too much in reality. But this isn't why people started going to the movies. People go to movies and watch TV to be entertained. There is certainly room in this world for our entertainment to also challenge us emotionally and psychologically, and I welcome all those who try, but dammit sometimes I just want to have a good time and be swept away by the romantic idea of an ideal future where airplanes transform into robots and music can save the universe multiple times.

Which, as a side note, I have to say the final episode of Macross Frontier is a Macross fans wet dream. Nearly every Macross show gets a nod and a subtle reference. My personal favorite cameo (because I've got such a hard on for Minmay) was when we find out one of the Zentrati officer's entire motivation for doing what he was doing was in hopes to somehow time travel or become one with the universe just to meet Minmay. This got me thinking. With all the other songs and respective idols in Macross, the show gives some scientific explanation as to why the music is affecting the bad guy, but with Minmay's case, I think it was simply pure infatuation.

When Minmay first sings "Do You Remember Love" on the battlefield, I can't help but picture one giant green Zentrati turning to another saying, "Hey Bodle Zor, what is that sound?"

Then Bodle Zor turns to his green vainy friend and replies, "That's the sound of one million Zentrati falling in love."

It's probably a good thing Hikaru never ended up with Minmay, because I'm sure it would have just started Space War II. Normal Otaku's are pretty harmless, but I imagine a Zentrati Otaku is nothing to scoff at.

So in the span of two months I have gone from casual Robotech fan, into a hardcore Macross superfan. And now with nothing to watch in the form of Macross, I feel a deep emptiness filling me that can only be temporarily filled by buying lots of figure and video games based on said property. It IS like my childhood all over again!