Jun
28
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That’s a Thorax from Eve. I’m sure of it!

I usually don’t feel the need to go out and trash shows I don’t like. Most of the time I just stop watching and never think of them again but Macross Frontier has offended my senses in such ways that I feel I have to vent for a bit. Hell, I owe it to any show that manages to disgust me this much to atleast say something about it.

First off, I don’t mind fanservice. I can usually ignore it and rarely feels it detracts from a show that I otherwise enjoy but the way Macross presents just annoys the hell out of me. I mean it’s just pure shameless pandering. I think they got every aspect of fanservice covered ranging from plain and simple sexual fanservice all the way to shota’s; they even gave Ranka a fang this episode.

As if the pandering wasn’t enough they even removed all trace of what little I actually enjoy in this show — the space battles and those alien thingies — and replaced them with all the things I hate about it namely Ranka(don’t worry, I hate Sheryl too), stupid pop songs, and badly thought out story premises. I probably missed out on some vital information somewhere since I wasn’t really paying attention but Sheryl and Alto goes to a planet where a bunch of dissenters are holding hostages and demand that they get deculture or they will go postal. First off, and I cannot let this pass, the word deculture by itself should mean the removal of culture by default and no matter how bad it is a song is still culture. I have a feeling this is something prevailent throughout the Macross universe though, so maybe someone more knowledgeable than me could fill me in on the word.

Secondly, militant idol-fans demanding a live concert or they’ll start killing hostages? Comments are superfluous. Anyways in flies Ranka with a prototype mecha thingie that can fly through the inconvenient warp fluxes or whatever surrounding the planet. Apparently she went with all the extra options at purchase as well as it comes fully fitted with external loudspeakers for her guerilla concert needs. She ‘treats’ us to two songs and everyone becomes friends again. Except for the dissident leader. Who Alto finishes with a dong-strike. That was totally the best part of the whole episode.

Btw, I’m definitely gonna watch the next episode.

42 comments to “Macross – Stupidity and beyond”

  1. Comment by omoNo Gravatar:

    Love and hate are such tangled emotions.

  2. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Indeed. Maybe Macross will be a journey of self discovery for me and I’m just in the denial phase right now.

  3. Comment by HaesslichNo Gravatar:

    This is your first Macross, isn’t it? Just be glad they haven’t hit Anima Spiritia territory yet. You’d hate the Sound Blasters and “LISTEN TO MY SONG!” repetitions, combined with spontaneous concerts by the pilots during battle of Macross 7…

    Kawamori’s toned down the New Age propaganda for this one… which is probably a good thing.

  4. Comment by EzNo Gravatar:

    Hmm, Macross is Macross after all right? A shiny coat of paint doesn’t make a car new. xD

  5. Comment by jacobianNo Gravatar:

    No no no. The Zentradi are getting “de culture”. In some places, that can also be pronounced “ze culture” or as you’d seem to want to write it, “Zeculture”. Why the English language insists on negating words with the prefix “de-” is beyond me. 😉

  6. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Haesslich – Yes this is my first. You actually told me that Macross was not for me on another blog which ticked me off a bit, since I was enjoying the space battles and all, but right now I will absolutely agree with you and I kind of wished I’d bowed down to your wisdom earlier. ;P

    Ez – If only I had known the cars salesman was a lying prick. 🙁

  7. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Jacobian – Aah, so they got some kind of german/french thingie going on there? 😛

  8. Comment by jacobianNo Gravatar:

    Heh. I meant it in jest, although Kawamori seems to have thrown in quite a few French language references in this series and Macross Zero (the latter of which used a French song as the series’ Aimo equivalent). And for some reason, whenever someone shouts out something like “Gorgeous, Delicious and Deculture!” I think in terms of the phrase “haute culture”, rather than the usual sense of the word.

    But you’re right, it probably just sounded cool to the writers at the time of the very first series. 😛 It’s got something to do with the warlike tendancies of the Zentradi and culture shock that they get from experiencing warm and fuzzy feelings for the first time.

  9. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Yeah I can see what you’re getting at, since the Macross idols seems to be considered the ultimate achievement of music and entertainment. I also get the feeling like it’s some kind of cultural phenomenon, like a festival that gets people in a crazy mood. Either way it’s not exactly the first time our beloved animators has latched on to some kind of bastard english word because it sounds cool, even if it’s completely weird. 😉

  10. Comment by TimNo Gravatar:

    Oh man, I rarely do this, but I have to lay down some stuff right here. First off EVE online was release around 2003, and the Macross series has been around longer than that. It has featured that style of ship since the beginning. I don’t mind your rant about it not having enough space battles, but I will point out that surprisingly there are a few out there that think the exact opposite and think the space battles are bleh. Personally I enjoy both, but I thought it was pretty funny seeing both sides of the argument. Now for the deculture part. In the world of Macross, there is was a great race with technology beyond anything both human or zentardi have. In fact most of the crurrenty human and zentardi techonology came from this mysterious race. When the zentardi first fought the humans, they feared that the humans were in fact the last remains of protoculture. This is the culture that the zentardi lost over years of evolution. So to sum it up, both races have a lot of respect for protoculture, it even ended the war between humans and zentardi. Fast foreward to Macross Frontier, they call it deculture, in reference to protoculture (going back to protoculture). The raging zentari that wanted the concert, just wanted a little bit of culture, which is a recurring motif in the Macross world.

  11. Comment by HaesslichNo Gravatar:

    Seriously – if you don’t like the music and the idols… Macross is not the show for you, and Gundam’s moving this way, rather than away from it (with an additional dose of yaoi to draw in fangirl dollars, given how the economy’s downturn is affecting model sales). Then again, there are VERY few shows with good space battles for one reason – space war dramas aren’t exactly a big market, whereas shoujo series, and Gundam series have a built-in fanbase with guaranteed profits. With the economy in Japan going the way it is, expect more Gundam BL Edition shows rather than Legend of Galactic Heroes or similar.

  12. Comment by mikemil828No Gravatar:

    //I usually don’t feel the need to go out and trash shows I don’t like. Most of the time I just stop watching and never think of them again but Macross Frontier has offended my senses in such ways that I feel I have to vent for a bit. Hell, I owe it to any show that manages to disgust me this much to atleast say something about it.//

    If this amount of fanservice disgusts you, I’d suggest that you’d quit Anime while you still can, because the fanservice in this show quite light to other shows coming out nowadays *cough*To-Luv-Ru*cough*.

    //they even gave Ranka a fang this episode.//

    FYI, She’s pretty much always had that fang thing throughout the series. she didn’t spontaneously develop it this episode

    //I probably missed out on some vital information somewhere since I wasn’t really paying attention but Sheryl and Alto goes to a planet where a bunch of dissenters are holding hostages and demand that they get deculture or they will go postal. First off, and I cannot let this pass, the word deculture by itself should mean the removal of culture by default and no matter how bad it is a song is still culture. I have a feeling this is something prevailent throughout the Macross universe though, so maybe someone more knowledgeable than me could fill me in on the word.//

    I would say that you missed out quite a bit of vital information, yes. Most of the other comments have talked about your mistaken assumption of ‘deculture’ so I’ll go on with your initial mistaken assumption that Alto and Sheryl going there to defuse a hostage situation.

    The reason why they showed up on Gallia 4 wasn’t to defuse a hostage situation (largely because there WAS no hostage situation until Alto + Sheryl showed up). They went because Sheryl had a concert there and they arrived at the Zentradi base because the Zentradi’s force, the 33rd Marine Fleet was assigned to protect her during their stay on the planet.

    However the 33rd contains extremist Zentradi who do not want to co-exist with humanity unlike the rest of the Zentradi population (to the point that they have had little contact with human culture, making them susceptible to the figurative ‘culture bomb’ they would get later). When Sheryl arrived on the planet, these extremists seized their opportunity, rebelled, and took the entourage hostage.

    Their demands were a bit more tangible than simply a private concert (which the probably didn’t want, and thus had to be force fed with 320 decibels of loudspeakers, Ranka must have pretty good earplugs). They wanted the battleship that was parked nearby as well as the nuclear weapons (which are called reactive missiles in Macross due to Japan’s dislike of nukes) that were admittedly inexplicably on site. However Ranka was able to save the situation with a major dose of ‘deculture’.

    //That’s a Thorax from Eve. I’m sure of it!//

    Have you actually played EVE? Because the Thorax barely looks like that.

  13. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Tim – I’m very well aware of how old both Macross and Eve are and wasn’t implying plagiarisation in any way or form. I just felt like adding something that wasn’t in a negative tone, and that was the only screenshot I could find. As for the whole deculture thing I still have no clue what you’re talking about. Humans by definition don’t have protoculture, but I’ll speculate a little bit and assume you mean humans were the last race able to produce new culture? And then basically made peace with the zentradi on the terms that they’ll sing for them? I’m grasping at straws here to be honest. :p

    Haesslich – I think you’re absolutely right, but to give up now would be to admit defeat. I’ll atleast stick with it as long as they don’t go over 26 episodes. It’s my impression that the japanese fanbase have never been very interested in space battles unless they involve giant robots, and shows like Banner of the Stars that I consider to be absolute gems are very rare indeed. That’s not so say that I ever expect a more ‘western’ approach to the sci-fi, I’m just saying it’s very nice when I get it. All the BL innuendos in Gundam 00 didn’t bother me the slightest either to be honest and I actually enjoyed that show very much, mostly because it was pretty dark in its presentation.

  14. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    mikemil828 – “First off, I don’t mind fanservice.” Selective quoting and reading is an awesome thing innit? About the fang, guess I didn’t care about her enough to notice it before but this episode it was pretty much sticking out through the screen, poking me in the eye. I still haven’t gotten an explanation on why’d they use the word ‘deculture’ cause it’s a piss poor choice of words to be honest. I don’t hold it against them though since it’s not an uncommon occurrance that weird english comes up in anime. As for the rebels that’s a part I honestly did not get so thanks for clearing that up atleast.

    http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll240/stjernstedt/thoraxornot.jpg

    Tell me you can’t spot the slightest similarities? 😛

  15. Comment by mikemil828No Gravatar:

    //Selective quoting and reading is an awesome thing innit?//

    Then please explain what exactly in Macross disgusts you that can’t be found in other shows? Does Luca REALLY get your panties into a twist that much?

    //I still haven’t gotten an explanation on why’d they use the word ‘deculture’ cause it’s a piss poor choice of words to be honest. I don’t hold it against them though since it’s not an uncommon occurrance that weird english comes up in anime.//

    Well if you really want a definition on deculture…

    Deculture as it is in the Macross series after the original is usually a positive statement of shock towards a persons ability in an aspect of culture (like for example, singing) an example of this would be in episode 5 when Ranka’s future manager said this aloud when he saw Ranka singing at Formo. Essentially it’s a shortened version of ‘Holy S*** you are good at singing’ or whatever.

    It is also used to describe the the feeling itself of shock in the same circumstances. Which in the case of the 33rd Marine fleet seemed pretty pleasant, enough so to stop shooting.

    In the Original Series, it was used by the Zentradi as a negative statement of shock towards pretty much whatever they found unusual with humanity (singing for one, but also male and females living and working together, love and so forth). Essentially it’s a shortened ‘What the hell?’. In the years after the events of the original series, the word evolved in meaning into what it is in the current series.

    As for why they specifically use ‘deculture’, as I see it, deculture in Macross is a combination of two words, ‘deka’ which is Japanese for big, and ‘culture’ which is English for culture, and not the full english word ‘deculture’ that you are thinking about.

    //Tell me you can’t spot the slightest similarities?//

    And you accuse me of selective reading, I said it BARELY looks like it, but only just so, nothing that could make anyone say that they are sure that it is a thorax with a straight face.

  16. Comment by TimNo Gravatar:

    Matte: It’s cool, I respect the fact that you are trying to reach an understanding. You’re close enough with your most recent assumptions that I would say you need not go any further into the series unless you want to. On a side note, I happened to noticed you listed some very slice-of-life animes as your favorites. It kind of threw me in a loop because my initial impression of your likes didn’t seem to go that way. So I was wondering, what other anime’s are you watching this season?

  17. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    mikemil828 – Luca gets my manties in a bunch because of the way he is designed. I don’t like shotas, or lolis for that matter, in general but I can usually live with them being in shows. Luca on the other hand just slaps you across the face screaming ‘look at me, I’m a shota’ with his thigh high shorts and rose colored cheeks. It didn’t bother me that much at first but small things tend to add up and when I don’t like the rest of the show I find it hard to filter these things out anymore. I could go back and make a lists of all the small things that bothered me throughout the episodes, but that would be way to much work.

    As for why they’d use deculture, that makes sense. Thank you.

    I think the real problem here is that I didn’t have a straight face when I called it a thorax but as always it’s hard to get subtle nuances in tone translated across in writing, especially in light of the rest of my post. The way it went was I needed an image to headline my post but didn’t want to use something that implied I actually liked the show, so I went with that picture because I instantly thought of the thorax when I saw. But to have such a nondescript picture as a headliner would make no sense so I added a bit of text to explain why it was there, in an effort to add some comedic value to it. An utter failure, yes I know that now and yes I did some selective reading on my own there. 😉

    Tim – To be honest there hasn’t been many shows I’ve enjoyed this season. The only shows I watch as they come out is Itazura na Kiss, Code Geass, Amatsuki (which is no big feat considered the pace of subs), Soul Eater and ironically Macross Frontier and I don’t think any of them is more than passable. I have 50 or so episodes in my backlog though, but at the moment I feel absolutely no will to watch any of them with the exception of xxxHolic Kei (which I just started) and Druaga (where I saved the last two episodes so I could watch them back to back).

    I enjoyed Kurenai at first but then Murasaki started to get on my nerves so I have the last 4 episodes lying around collecting dust. Toshokan Sensou was pretty good at first too but then I started to feel the whole premise was stupid and for a comedy show it’s not very funny. Oh and I almost forgot the one show that I think is awesome this season, The Daughter of Twenty Faces. Just when you think it’s settling in to be a certain kind of show it throws new things at you, I love it.

  18. Comment by THAT Animeblog - Macross Frontier 12: Front Shifted, Ranka’s coup de main:

    […] gouging over the return of Basara Nekki tactics, but in their case I just smile at watching their daze and confusion after having their Macross cherries popped or in some cases re-popped. Truly for […]

  19. Comment by HaesslichNo Gravatar:

    Let me put it this way – there’s more Geass-like shows coming than anything like the original Mobile Suit Gundam. They’re going to pander more to certain fanbases (which are larger) than going after the hardcore market… which means you WILL see fewer battles in space (which were most prevalent in the shows prior to 1990, IIRC) and more comedy/romance/mecha mixes like Geass and Frontier. Or, given Macross 7’s unprecedented (yet to me, rather incomprehensible) popularity, shows like that which emphasize the fantastic and unbelievable with only a few small battles.

  20. Comment by MatteNo Gravatar:

    Yeah makes sense to go for what the majority enjoys and while this might make it sound like I don’t enjoy any popular shows, which is really not the case, I wish the majority would lean more towards my likings. 😉

  21. Comment by TimNo Gravatar:

    Bleh, it’s a bit difficult for me to stomac the comparison of Macross F with Code Geass. I never thought of Code Geass as a series falling under a mecha category. The way I see it, just because there are robotic suits in the series, that doesn’t make the story mecha.

  22. Comment by otou-sanNo Gravatar:

    Macross certainly has fanservice, but I can’t say as I see it having any more of the traditional style of fanservice (ie, the T&A/pantyshot variety) than anything else — probably less. What it does have is a lot of stuff for the already converted, that is, “macrossfanservice.” Sadly, it appears to be built on that concept more than most past Macross series, but for a fan it’s still great. Sounds like you’re not a Macross fan, so are immune to it. Fair enough. Not everyone’s into the same stuff. Only Geass has the fanservice to satisfy everyone at least once.

    Would be nice if your distillation of the plot actually resembled what really happened in the story, so it resembles actual criticism of the series, though.

    Bottom line though, as Haesslich mentioned, if you’re not into singing, or singing being able to stop a war, or any of that space idol happy horseshit, you are probably watching the wrong franchise. There’s always Gundam, which frankly I never enjoyed much, so… different strokes, and all that.

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