Kirameki lullaby

We’re watching Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross these days. I came across the DVD-set in a comic store in Copenhagen, and the summer house we rented turned out to have a DVD player — so we don’t have to do without our anime fix. 🙂
Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross was used by Carl Macek to splice into Robotech (as the second series, “The Robotech Masters”), which is why I wanted to have it on DVD. Now I have all three series in their original (non-Macek) form. Yes, they’re old, and it shows. But the series themselves are still pretty good with respect to plot and the action.
The Macross franchise is still going strong (last year saw the release of Macross Frontier), but the other two have sort of fallen by the wayside. I’d love to see a remake of these series with modern CGI. I think they’d look great, and the plot could be polished up a bit too because of the increased possibilities to show stuff in animation.

Every time I see a mecha show like that, I itch to do an RPG campaign based on such a series. I think it would be fun to have a small group of players and play in a ‘military light’ campaign. But who would be interested? And would Mekton Zeta or Big Eyes, Small Mouth be better for mecha RPG?

Today is Macross launch day!
According to the Macross timeline, the ship crash-lands on South Ataria island in 1999. It takes humanity ten years to rebuild the ship and adapt it for human operation, so in Februari 2009 (today!), the ship is launched.

I guess the timeline we live in has taken another path, and that’s actually fine with me — Macross Launch Day is also the date of the first attack of the Zentradi on Earth. I’m quite OK with not being stuck on a planet that gets bombarded into being a lifeless husk, actually.

There is a Macross: The Super Dimension Space Launching Ceremony today in Akihabara. Seems like it would have been a good opportunity to stock up on the latest merchandise, as well as the 1:2000 scale model of the SDF-1.

1)Leave me a comment saying “interview me”.
2)I will respond by asking you five questions.
3)You will update your LJ with the answers.
4)You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5)When others ask to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

What greybeta asked me

We’ve finished watching Macross Zero, the five-part prequell OVA to Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross, released in 2002 to celebrate twenty years of Macross.

Macross Zero is set two years before the launch of the SDF Macross. The UN, which has taken custody of the Macross and is busy rebuilding it, is still locked in a fierce battle with the anti-UN. The main character, Shin, is a young F-14 pilot in the service of the UN airforce. During a patrol, he is shot down by a transforming fighter from the anti-UN forces and crash-lands on a tropical island. The inhabitants rescue him and nurse him back to health.

The natives have some interesting creation myths involving bird-people and fish-people, and their priestess, Sara, guards the traditions of her people fiercely against the perceived incursions from both UN and anti-UN forces. Normally, the island wouldn’t draw anyone’s attention, but there have been some anomalous energy readings near the island. The bird-man the UN forces recovered some time ago (thereby proving the ‘seeding hypothesis’ (the UN’s name for ‘protoculture’)) reacts to those readings, so the island finds itself being a hot-bed of UN and anti-UN activity.

Throw in the VF-0 (precursor to the VF-1, the valkyries people fly in SDF Macross) and Roy Focker (and his inevitable romantic interest that goes nowhere), and you have an amusing series.

Amusing, not great

Whereas the original SDF Macross was all hand-drawn (which certainly showed in some of the lesser episodes!), Macross Zero is a very modern animation: the looks are upgraded, and, more importantly, all of the mechanical designs are animated with CGI. This means that you can actually see the Valkyries making the tight turns, or dodge missiles. The dogfights are really gut-wrenching exciting, you can almost feel the G-forces looking at the fighter planes go.
It seems the OVA had quite a big budget, and it shows in all aspects of the series: designs, colors, animation, voice acting, music… It’s all there, and it’s all good.

Good points:
– One of the highest quality releases I’ve ever seen;
– It’s Macross and it has Valkyries. What’s not to love?
Bad points:
– The story is dissapointing. I had hoped for so much more.

If you’re at all interested in mecha, do yourself a favour and watch this!

Toys

Last thursday, I bought a toy. A EUR 75 toy.

After buying The Bed, isabelgou took us into Vandal ComX, a few doors down of the bed shop. It was like the usual comic store, so I wandered around a bit, looked at the T-shirts (briefly contemplated a Punisher T-shirt, but decided against it — I like my shirts quirky rather than bloodthirsty). Then I saw what was in the display case: a model of Hikaru’s VF-1A — and it was transformable.

So I bought it. It was a second-hand model, and while it included all the accessories, it didn’t come with the box or transformation instructions. It took me a few days, but I have succeeded in transforming it into all three configurations. It’s only a pity that it isn’t really that stable in GERWALK (Robotech adepts read ‘Guardian’) configuration.

Of course, since this is the 2001 Bandai model, there have been other toys that are much bigger and more articulated. The 1/48 scale Yamato model seems much more impressive, but the drab brown ‘Production colors’ version already costs a hefty USD 220. And that is just much more than I am willing to spend on a toy.

I am pretty pleased with the model — it’s very articulated, robust and hefty. It’s a pleasure to handle it.