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Post Reply Macross Frontier Reactions - warning, spoilers
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Posted 6/9/08 , edited 6/9/08
This is a little late in coming, since it's already episode 10. This thread should have been made a long time ago.

Anyway, I'm going to now post my reactions and thoughts to the series so far, and as to episode 10.

Overall, I'm quite pleasantly impressed with Macross Frontier. I have to say that the space scenes and combat have been the best I've seen for a while, and the music is as catchy and as memorable as ever. I especially like the way that Macross Frontier panders and includes references to previous Macrosses. Episode 10 was pleasant because the few scenes from the movie shown were almost verbatim to the events as happened in Macross Zero. I absolutely loved the way that Ranka came to handle the character of Mao Nome: seeing Sheryl kiss Alto made her realise how similar a position she was to Mao. In a way, Ranka is her very own Mao Nome. I also liked that the studio explained that Mao Nome became a doctor in the end. What kind of doctor? Guess we'll never know.

Anyway, Episode 10 has brought to my head something that's been bugging me: cutbacks in budget. Cutbacks in budget aren't something new to Studio Nue/Big West. The studio has been struggling with finances for a very long time now, ever since it was first founded. When they DO make it big, they spend way too much money on things and cut back on others. The biggest example on this was Macross Plus and Macross 7. Macross Plus was a wonderful affair that wowed everyone when it was first shown. However because they sunk several million into it's making (incidentally, it's one of the most expensive OVAs ever), they reduced the funding available for Macross 7. Both of these animes were made in the same year, but you can see a very stark difference between the two. Macross 7 has way too much recycled animation, even for an anime of it's era, where recycling animation was common.

Anyhow, the fight scene between the Hydra, Alto, and Brera, brought up my misgivings about how the budget is being handled. The animation is ridiculously simplistic, in comparison to the richness of space combat. It simply stands out in a very ugly fashion. The other issue I have was it seemed to me that Alto really came real quick to Ranka's aid - wasn't he in the village like 10 seconds ago?

Cutbacks in either animation or storyline are not cool and I hope that the studio will realise that and rectify it accordingly - although I'm not confident about this as the show is already in production, and what's done is done and is irreversible.
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Posted 6/10/08
Yeah, episode 10 of macross frontier was really good
Looking forward to what happens next
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Posted 6/10/08

brennan wrote:

Anyhow, the fight scene between the Hydra, Alto, and Brera, brought up my misgivings about how the budget is being handled. The animation is ridiculously simplistic, in comparison to the richness of space combat. It simply stands out in a very ugly fashion. The other issue I have was it seemed to me that Alto really came real quick to Ranka's aid - wasn't he in the village like 10 seconds ago?

Cutbacks in either animation or storyline are not cool and I hope that the studio will realise that and rectify it accordingly - although I'm not confident about this as the show is already in production, and what's done is done and is irreversible.


Very true... The cutback in quality is noticeable. Like in episode 8, entertaining nonetheless but the animation was choppier than usual and the characters didn't look "right." The hydra scene in ep. 10 had similar looking animation. What I think is happening here is that the Japanese animators are sending these "lesser" scenes abroad so that they can concentrate on the cg scenes and the more important plot mover scenes. As you may know animes are notorious for sending animation abroad to Korea (or the Philippines in Frontier's case) due either to time or budget constraints. Perhaps it is a combination of both that prevents the high quality animation from being present throughout all the episodes. This is a compromise they chose and it looks like it may be with us throughout most of frontier. Whatever the reason is there is something holding them back.
The thing is however, would you prefer the top notch space combat scenes like there is now with mediocre quality animation here and there or would you prefer a generally more even quality with not so epic space combat scenes? The producers obviously chose to compromise in this and I respect their decision. Yes, the funky scenes/eps do stand out but I think id rather have my EPIC episode seven and "ok" episode eight over a "good" ep 7 and "good" ep 8. That's just me though and you may disagree and I see exactly why some people may. I also agree how it was weird though that 90% of ep 10 was high quality and the hydra scene was iffy but we can't have it all can we? I think id also take the iffy hydra scene if it makes later episodes that much better...

P.S. Ep 10 was a fantastic episode all around. Easily one of my favorites for all of the plot dev. and the strengthening love triangle.

If someone feels like it it might be interesting to start a thread on the quality issue of Macross Frontier. I don't have nearly enough "points."



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Posted 7/11/08
I've just watched Episode 14. Wow. Wow.

Some thoughts:

Beginning to see more recycled animation, but that isn't a problem as long as it isn't used too often. In sparse amounts it's awesome. Finally manage to see the VF-171 Nightmare transform and perform the legendary PINPOINT BARRIER PPPP-UNCH. Which is also awesome.

I've previously posted this on the wall:

I'm confused. In Macross 7 each fleet had a New Macross Class Transformable Battleship attached to the residential island. It's called the Battle Section, and it should follow that the Frontier Fleet should also have a full-sized Macross Battleship called the Battle 25 as part of it's fleet. Why didn't it detach from the Island Section and engage the Vajira in the epic assault? Because a full-sized macross would kick so much more ass than a quarter-sized Macross Quarter. Having TWO Macross-class ships in a fight? Epic!
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Posted 7/11/08
yup same thought. DUMB!

If Max Jenius was the fleet commander he wouldn't hesitate to transform battle 25 to clean up the Vajira and call it a day...
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Posted 7/11/08
the only thing episode 14's action had going for me was seeing the Nightmare's punch attack. dunno why but episode 14's action didnt seem that appealing compare to episode 7's space batte.
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Posted 7/11/08
yea ep 7 battle was alot better. the singing may have helped that. also maybe the detachable section is a last resort
[


im really starting to hate the characters from the galaxy more and more.
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Posted 7/12/08
looks like ranka is going to be the main girl...

*cries*

I'll take you Sheryl if Alto doesn't want you.
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Posted 7/14/08
I had a sit down today and thought about Macross Frontier. Sure it's a good show but I'm getting increasingly annoyed with some aspects of it. Most people don't care because it's got good music and mecha porn, but as a Macross fanboy, I'm not sure if I can take too much of these imperfections.

I've listed some grieviances down below that I take offense to with Macross Frontier.

1. Animation Quality
You may ask, what the hell, animation quality? But this show's been nothing but good animation quality so far! And I do agree, The animation quality on several shots are top notch. However, sometimes the animation quality goes from awesome to downright crap. It's also noticable, and it has been increasing as of late. It's those times not duing a fight sequence, where Ranka's eyes look a little off, the Hydra fight in episode 10 looks like it was made by a kid with crayons... when those glaringly bad animations turn up, it makes the rest of the show look bad. It looks like an embarassing mark against an otherwise well done anime. There's also the issue of recycling shots, but as long as it's done in sparse amounts, it should be okay.

2. Turning Macross into a School-Days-Affair
I'm actually really annoyed by this. I'm used to my Macross characters being older, you know, having the average age of 21 and above, having actually _graduated_ from school. I don't know what's up with Macross being turned into a school drama. Perhaps it's to cater for a younger audience, but I'm not happy with it, what with 15 to 16 year olds being natural flying prodigies and being heroes of an interstellar war. While going to school. Do you see the problem here? Juggling schoolwork with war... urgh. Head hurts.

3. Stereotypical Characters
I'm sorry, but Altoh has turned completely into a sterotypical reckless character for me. In my eyes he's another Naruto, that wants to become better, and is reckless for the sake of saving his friends. Then there's Breia Sterne, the mysterious yet powerful character that's probably going to become an ally later on in the series. And then there's Michael Blanc, the elite, aloof, yet tragically affected rival that Altoh competes against. It hurts me a little to see extremely stereotypical characters instead of the usual variety of misfits that other Macrosses had.

4. Ecchi Leanings
I really despise ecchi, I really do. Other than provide gratuitious fanservice to fans, it serves nothing at all to progress the plot. Which is why I'm so dismayed by Macross Frontier. One or two fanservice is alright to me, but the problem is that every 2 or 3 episodes there seems to be something. I dunno. Sheryl losing her top? Tuna buns that look like breasts? Sheryl losing her underwear? ugh. What happened to a story propelled by a strong story and dynamic characters, rather than... fanservice?!

Well, that's it for a rant. I probably have more to rant about, but right now I just can't think of any. Brennan out.
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Posted 7/14/08
Brennan, I agree with you on most of your points. The "slice of life" school stuff and fanservice crap might pull out the occasional chuckle, but for the most part I find it annoying. I can understand that the action scenes have to be a little spaced out by nature of their production quality (as opposed to, say, Macross 7 where they could scribble up or cut-and-paste a mech fight for every episode :p), and as a lifelong Macross fan I totally get that the series isn't all about action... but it seems that it's taking a real back seat to what you called the School-Days-Affair, where previous series struck a good balance between action and drama.

However! I kind of have to look past the inconsistent animation quality. Relative to the other two Macross TV series, Frontier has the best ratio of good-to-crap animation. 7 was pretty much mediocre at best all the way through, except for a few scenes in a couple special episodes. SDF really ran the gamut, though; Miriya and Kakizaki looked like their faces got beaten in with a shovel half the time. I am disappointed that Frontier seemed to finally have its act together as a Macross TV series, then let us down in ep 8, though.

As far as the characters' age goes, I think the only Macross series where the average age was 21 was Plus, possibly Zero. They were (almost) all teenagers in the original, and M7 kind of straddled the edge. The main difference, though, is that they didn't have some pseudo Sailor Moon/Power Rangers storyline where they were students by day and colourfully-uniformed soldiers by night! Argh! ...well, at least the mechs are colourful.

Um, as for episode 14, I see a couple new targets painted on people's heads. I almost thought Luca was gonna buy it in that battle now that his feelings for Nanase are out in the open (to the audience), and Monster Medic What'sherface suddenly has a son? Rut-roh. Anybody who puts little wooden toy houses in their cockpit better watch out.
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Posted 7/15/08 , edited 7/15/08

brennan wrote:

I had a sit down today and thought about Macross Frontier. Sure it's a good show but I'm getting increasingly annoyed with some aspects of it. Most people don't care because it's got good music and mecha porn, but as a Macross fanboy, I'm not sure if I can take too much of these imperfections.

I've listed some grieviances down below that I take offense to with Macross Frontier.

1. Animation Quality
You may ask, what the hell, animation quality? But this show's been nothing but good animation quality so far! And I do agree, The animation quality on several shots are top notch. However, sometimes the animation quality goes from awesome to downright crap. It's also noticable, and it has been increasing as of late. It's those times not duing a fight sequence, where Ranka's eyes look a little off, the Hydra fight in episode 10 looks like it was made by a kid with crayons... when those glaringly bad animations turn up, it makes the rest of the show look bad. It looks like an embarassing mark against an otherwise well done anime. There's also the issue of recycling shots, but as long as it's done in sparse amounts, it should be okay.

2. Turning Macross into a School-Days-Affair
I'm actually really annoyed by this. I'm used to my Macross characters being older, you know, having the average age of 21 and above, having actually _graduated_ from school. I don't know what's up with Macross being turned into a school drama. Perhaps it's to cater for a younger audience, but I'm not happy with it, what with 15 to 16 year olds being natural flying prodigies and being heroes of an interstellar war. While going to school. Do you see the problem here? Juggling schoolwork with war... urgh. Head hurts.

3. Stereotypical Characters
I'm sorry, but Altoh has turned completely into a sterotypical reckless character for me. In my eyes he's another Naruto, that wants to become better, and is reckless for the sake of saving his friends. Then there's Breia Sterne, the mysterious yet powerful character that's probably going to become an ally later on in the series. And then there's Michael Blanc, the elite, aloof, yet tragically affected rival that Altoh competes against. It hurts me a little to see extremely stereotypical characters instead of the usual variety of misfits that other Macrosses had.

4. Ecchi Leanings
I really despise ecchi, I really do. Other than provide gratuitious fanservice to fans, it serves nothing at all to progress the plot. Which is why I'm so dismayed by Macross Frontier. One or two fanservice is alright to me, but the problem is that every 2 or 3 episodes there seems to be something. I dunno. Sheryl losing her top? Tuna buns that look like breasts? Sheryl losing her underwear? ugh. What happened to a story propelled by a strong story and dynamic characters, rather than... fanservice?!

Well, that's it for a rant. I probably have more to rant about, but right now I just can't think of any. Brennan out.



1. you could always have dragon ball z style animation.

2. they're tring to combine the best of characters from other series to make one semi- likable character.

3.what show dosen't have a some sort of stereotype in it.

4. its called filler. used when the plot is running low or short, dragon ball and naruto use it the best.it ccould always become yuri or yoai.

5. be happy they made the show they could have said no one makes a macross until the legal battle is over and done with.
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Posted 7/15/08

Beyond-the-Grave wrote:

1. you could always have dragon ball z style animation.

2. they're tring to combine the best of characters from other series to make one semi- likable character.

3.what show dosen't have a some sort of stereotype in it.

4. its called filler. used when the plot is running low or short, dragon ball and naruto use it the best.it ccould always become yuri or yoai.

5. be happy they made the show they could have said no one makes a macross until the legal battle is over and done with.


1. I'm complaining not about overall animation quality but sharp disparities between the best animation they do and the worst animation. I would rather sacrificing some good quality animation to eliminate what looks like crayon scribblings. And say what you want, but what's wrong with DBZ style animation? It was good for it's time and I don't see what was wrong with it.

2. I don't see what this has to do with making Macross a slice of life, school days affair. In other Macrosses, although the characters were young, it was never a teen drama. There was a war. There was urgency in the matter. Characters were professional soldiers. Or struggling musicians, drafted into the army for their strange musical powers. I'm also annoyed because there's no sense of urgency, there's no feeling as if that there's actually a war going on that could affect life as we know it. We have one epic battle and the next day everyone's hanging out by the poolside. Where characters are full time students and also professional soldiers.

3. The problem is that there's TOO MANY stereotypes.

4. Are you actually defending filler? I understand that filler is sometimes necessary for a series to delay catching up to the manga - but for god's sake this isn't a manga. In a show that's only 26 episodes long there's no need at all for filler. Stop wasting our time. Stop wasting everyone's tme.

5. The legal battle only applies to outside Japan. It doesn't apply to inside it. Studio Nue / Big West can make as many Macrosses they want, they have the franchise rights to it. Perhaps you misunderstand the situation. Go read up on it again.
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I really like DBZ's animation. It was decent for its time, and it still beats a lot of over-stylized anime art today in its own way. It's also consistent, which is something this series (and both other Macross TV series, for that matter) lacks. Macross Frontier was nothing short of beautiful for the first 7 episodes, but like in SDF, the studio is trying to exceed its reach here. I think we've begun to see a happy medium established in the art quality now... but since next episode is filler again, I might be putting my foot in my mouth in the next day or so.

I totally echo Brennan's disappointment with the characters and drama. If they really were trying to combine the best of characters from the other series to make a likable character, they failed big time. The SDF characters were complex, multi-faceted and very much human, sometimes to the point of being depressing - but always real. Hikaru was a kid who hated war, but ended up thrust into the middle of it, and has to spend much of the rest of the series trying to come to terms with who he'd become. Altoh is a rebellious teenager who hates his dad. Just doesn't have the same depth. What I do think is clever about Altoh, though, is that his creators have him so sensitive about his feminine appearance, yet at the same time obsessed about his looks. The funniest part of this series for me was when he checked himself out in the mirror and fluffed his hair in episode 4. Instead of being a stereotypical girly-boy protagonist, he stood to be a satire of that overdone meme. Ozma and Michel, meanwhile, only resemble their parallels (Roy and Max) very superficially.

The writers and directors at Frontier do have a few potentially interesting character hooks, though, if they'd branch out from the boring Altoh-Ranka-Sheryl love triangle. Sheryl is clearly a very complex character that isn't being explored deeply enough; they should stop wasting her potential by playing her as Altoh's personal groupie. This "thing" between Michel and Klan that we got a glimpse of in ep. 9 is actually intriguing. The bridge bunnies, whom I can't realistically expect to get much more air time than they already do, are really entertaining, especially whatever is going on between the one female officer (Veronica?) and the captain - even though it's WRONG WRONG WRONG
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Posted 7/16/08

brennan wrote:


Beyond-the-Grave wrote:

1. you could always have dragon ball z style animation.

2. they're tring to combine the best of characters from other series to make one semi- likable character.

3.what show dosen't have a some sort of stereotype in it.

4. its called filler. used when the plot is running low or short, dragon ball and naruto use it the best.it ccould always become yuri or yoai.

5. be happy they made the show they could have said no one makes a macross until the legal battle is over and done with.


1. I'm complaining not about overall animation quality but sharp disparities between the best animation they do and the worst animation. I would rather sacrificing some good quality animation to eliminate what looks like crayon scribblings. And say what you want, but what's wrong with DBZ style animation? It was good for it's time and I don't see what was wrong with it.

2. I don't see what this has to do with making Macross a slice of life, school days affair. In other Macrosses, although the characters were young, it was never a teen drama. There was a war. There was urgency in the matter. Characters were professional soldiers. Or struggling musicians, drafted into the army for their strange musical powers. I'm also annoyed because there's no sense of urgency, there's no feeling as if that there's actually a war going on that could affect life as we know it. We have one epic battle and the next day everyone's hanging out by the poolside. Where characters are full time students and also professional soldiers.

3. The problem is that there's TOO MANY stereotypes.

4. Are you actually defending filler? I understand that filler is sometimes necessary for a series to delay catching up to the manga - but for god's sake this isn't a manga. In a show that's only 26 episodes long there's no need at all for filler. Stop wasting our time. Stop wasting everyone's tme.

5. The legal battle only applies to outside Japan. It doesn't apply to inside it. Studio Nue / Big West can make as many Macrosses they want, they have the franchise rights to it. Perhaps you misunderstand the situation. Go read up on it again.


1. i mean u could always have the repetive dbz fighting animation.where its the same clip shown over again. CG cost lost of money. thats why the episode after huge battle scenes is usually lacking in the dept of mecha porn.

2.they're not really at war. they're tring to make the characters more identifiable considering most ppl who watch this anime are probably about 12-25.

2b.macross' is spelled wrong.


3. Again WHAT SHOW DEOSN'T HAVE STEREOTYPES?!!!

4. no im not defending filler. im saying its nessessary(2 a point).. u need some sort of relief from the main story to develop characters and make the main story more intresting.but u dont want 8 episodes in a row with just pure filler. just watch any saga fof dbz too see what im talking about.

5.once again be happy they made a series.
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Posted 7/16/08

frostynorth wrote:

I really like DBZ's animation. It was decent for its time, and it still beats a lot of over-stylized anime art today in its own way. It's also consistent, which is something this series (and both other Macross TV series, for that matter) lacks. Macross Frontier was nothing short of beautiful for the first 7 episodes, but like in SDF, the studio is trying to exceed its reach here. I think we've begun to see a happy medium established in the art quality now... but since next episode is filler again, I might be putting my foot in my mouth in the next day or so.

I totally echo Brennan's disappointment with the characters and drama. If they really were trying to combine the best of characters from the other series to make a likable character, they failed big time. The SDF characters were complex, multi-faceted and very much human, sometimes to the point of being depressing - but always real. Hikaru was a kid who hated war, but ended up thrust into the middle of it, and has to spend much of the rest of the series trying to come to terms with who he'd become. Altoh is a rebellious teenager who hates his dad. Just doesn't have the same depth. What I do think is clever about Altoh, though, is that his creators have him so sensitive about his feminine appearance, yet at the same time obsessed about his looks. The funniest part of this series for me was when he checked himself out in the mirror and fluffed his hair in episode 4. Instead of being a stereotypical girly-boy protagonist, he stood to be a satire of that overdone meme. Ozma and Michel, meanwhile, only resemble their parallels (Roy and Max) very superficially.

The writers and directors at Frontier do have a few potentially interesting character hooks, though, if they'd branch out from the boring Altoh-Ranka-Sheryl love triangle. Sheryl is clearly a very complex character that isn't being explored deeply enough; they should stop wasting her potential by playing her as Altoh's personal groupie. This "thing" between Michel and Klan that we got a glimpse of in ep. 9 is actually intriguing. The bridge bunnies, whom I can't realistically expect to get much more air time than they already do, are really entertaining, especially whatever is going on between the one female officer (Veronica?) and the captain - even though it's WRONG WRONG WRONG


In agreement with you on most points - I was a rabid fanboy of Frontier until Episode 7, and then suddenly it all fell apart after episode 7. I guess I should be happy that they're still making an anime, just like Beyond-The-Grave said, but then again - because I love something doesn't mean I have to be completely happy with it. Loving something means that I have to want for it to be better, as well.

I wrote previously that what I really liked about SDF was that there was always a sense of urgency. Despite the citizens being happy all the time, there was always that shadow that a giant fleet of 50 foot tall warriors was following them and harassing them every day. The only solace that they took was that they had Minmei. But even then this wasn't much - I remember fondly the scene where Minmei collapsed due to overwork and Lynn Kyle shouted at the press - because they were more concerned that Minmei collapsed rather than the fact that there was BIG NASTY ALIENS FOLLOWING THE SDF.

Another thing that I liked, although morbidly, was the deaths. By episode 15, we had grown to love and respect Roy Fokker as that veteran ace that's invincible. Imagine my shock when he died. Big character. Big boots. Sudden death? Oh hell, Hikaru better learn from this. But then the unimaginable happens - few episodes later, Kakizaki dies. Two main characters dead in the short span of time. If anything, it shows us the horrors of war - you'll never know who is going to die next. Meanwhile, in Frontier, so far only one character's died. And that's a member of the Pixie squad that only got 2 seconds of screen time at the most.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate Macross Frontier. I'm just disappointed because this anime showed so much promise. It could have been greater than this. It could have been THE Macross of the 21st century. Instead it's devolving into another one of those other shonen animes that is to be easily forgotten among the ranks of all the other animes released this year. Next year, I bet most people would have forgotten Macross Frontier.

And that depresses me so.

Ps: plot hooks? Yes! Agree with your commentary that Sheryl is a complex character that isn't explored deeply enough - right now she just seems to be fanservice, what with her losing an item of clothing every 4 episodes or so. The thing between Michel and Klan is also interesting - but it would be wasted if it weren't explored further, which is what Frontier seems to be doing a lot - reveal something, sit on it for too long a time without developing it, and then shoving it in your face. It's like Luca and Nanase. I was honestly suprised when he did all the typical things that a young lad in love would start doing when he wants to confess. "When I come back I want to tell you something" AHAHAHAHA. Damnit. How typical. I digress, what I wanted to say was I didn't see it coming. Then I re-watch a few episodes and then realise that hints were given for it a few episodes back. See, that's what I mean. Frontier reveals something, and doesn't progress it for a few episodes, and then suddenly shoves it in your face. Argh.

I love Frontier, and I want it to be better. If only it wasn't so fickle. It was so good until Episode 7. What happened? : (
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