Merry Macross Christmas!
Merry Christmas Eve to everyone, and I hope that everyone’s having a nice holiday season so far. I am, since I’ve taken the whole rest of the week off from work! But I can fill up some of that time with some special articles like this one, the first of a few Secret Santa 2013 articles we’ll have on Metanorn.
Sheryl Nome, Alto Saotome, and Ranka Lee, the three main characters
When the call went out back in September for people interested in the Reverse Thieves 2013 Anime Secret Santa project, I was pretty excited to join in with most of the rest of the Metanorn writers. I like both the community building aspect of it, where you learn about more people that you probably haven’t before (at least me, I think Fosh knows everyone already), and you get someone recommending some shows for you to watch. Not that I don’t have a nice long backlog to watch, but I’m at the point now where it takes a recommendation from someone to even get something off my backlog list. So this is a chance to either get something off the list, or maybe find something new that you didn’t think of before.
And then Alto’s in trouble
And what I ended up with was the latter. The three recommendations I got were not what I was expecting, but that’s kind of the beauty of the thing. In fact, the only one of the three that I’d ever considered watching before was the first season of Hidamari Sketch, and after enjoying the fourth season, Honeycomb, when it aired last fall and a few of the first episodes of the first season, I figured I pretty much knew what I’d get with that show (it also felt a little cheating to only have to watch the last 8 episodes). The other show that was recommended but not watched was Gankutsuou, and while it certainly seems to be highly rated and well thought of, it just didn’t seem like something I’d get into. Maybe sometime I’ll try it, but it just didn’t strike me this time.
There was definitely a lot of this
So that left the third choice. Anyone who’s talked to me about my tastes in anime know that I’m not generally a guy who goes for space battle shows, even though I’m not afraid to watch some good ones. So when Macross Frontier came across the plate, I decided to take a swing at it. I’ve never really watched anything Macross, at all, so I pretty much thought it was all transforming planes and Macross Missile Massacres. And it wasn’t totally a lie: there’s a ton of transforming robot planes and even giant transforming robot capital ships and huge space battles and space bugs. But what I wasn’t expecting was that it was pretty much a full on space opera. And I don’t mean just space opera like Star Wars, I mean space opera like “singing.” It was at least a musical, and so much revolved around the singing of the two main girls that I was almost shocked about it.
Sheryl and Ranka fill the series with song
I was a little disappointed, upon finding out there’s so much singing, that Aya Endou hadn’t been the one to sing Sheryl’s songs. But I may be one of the few people who likes Aya Endou’s singing, at least the little bit of it there’s been. But even though I haven’t been the biggest fan of May’n before (after her OP’s for Accel World and Hidan no Aria), I thought that her singing here was a lot better, or more to my liking at least. The second half ED, Northern Cross, has become one of my recent favorite songs, and Lion by May’n and Megumi Nakajima is a very good song as well. But unfortunately, both of them get outsung by Maaya Sakamoto in the main OP for the song, Triangler. I just love the song, and think it’s one of those songs that says exactly what it means: “Who are you going to kiss? Me or Her?” And while the two main characters do a serviceable job with the song in the finale, it’s just not as good. But overall, I loved the songs in the series because they were basically 80′s film and musical songs. They have the style, rhythm, and instrumentation, and they have that epicness, that drive, and that presence in the show that really works to good effect.
Best Couple, but they don’t realize it until too late
Spoilers follow, so it’s your own fault if you read them, and come on, this is a show from 4 and a half years ago. As for the plot of the show, it’s not bad. The twist that Ranka gets the Vajra on the same side wasn’t much of a twist by the end, since it was the only way anyone was going to survive after Grace’s treachery. It was kind of rough on romantic partners, as well, with Luca and Nanase interrupted by her injury, Cathy having to endure the almost death of Ozma umpteen times, and Klan getting the really short end of the stick, having Michael die right in front of her eyes, with her powerless to do anything about it, right as they’d both actualized their feelings for each other. That was the toughest part of the show for me, because I really liked Klan’s character, and that pendant of Michael’s broken glasses around her neck in her Macro Zentradi form was just heartbreakingly cool and touching. Michael’s death actually prompted me to spoil myself on the end of the show, so that I’d at least be prepared if any other characters (like Ozma) died.
VF-25 or VF-27? It’s actually not really a tough choice
And as for what I hear is the big question that everyone asks about the show? It’s a hard choice, and I could see Alto with either one, but I have to say that the VF-27 Lucifer is just better than the VF-25 Super Messiah. What, that’s not what you were going to ask? Ok ok ok. I know that the big question is Ranka or Sheryl. And early in the series, it was Ranka ahead by a mile. But I really liked Sheryl in the second half, when she stopped being the Galactic Fairy and was more “girl pouring her heart out”, and it felt like Ranka kinda missed the boat a little bit, especially after she basically replaced Sheryl in Grace’s plans. Ranka had that one great moment, when she was running up the steps to confess to Alto, and while it’s understandable that seeing Sheryl there would nix her plan, that was basically her last chance. So really, the two of them ended up in a very close tie, but I’ll have to go with Sheryl. And the real thing is that Alto doesn’t deserve either of them, since he’s as dense as any harem lead, even with everyone telling him he’s dense.
This was Ranka’s big chance
For whatever reason, I kind of equate this show in my head with Star Driver and Mouretsu Pirates. The only reason why is that they’re both kind of sci-fi-ish, and that they’re three series I’ve watched non-airing recently (in the last 8 months). In the end, I liked Macross Frontier, and I’ll probably go watch the movies at some point, but it wasn’t a life changing experience. It’s well done, and was an exciting show that got me invested in the characters, but I didn’t have quite as much fun with it as those other two shows, especially Mouretsu Pirates. But for watching for a Secret Santa project, I think it was well worth it. I probably wouldn’t ever have watched this anime without this push, wouldn’t have found some really good songs, and in the end I’m glad I joined in the project!