Macross Frontier: Why Is The Quarter a Macross-Class Ship When It Is Only 400 Meters Long, You Ask?

This is why.

I am now fully convinced that Kawamori Shouji has lost his mind, and this is a glorious thing indeed. We have: some of the most ridiculous Itano circuses ever. I mean, an Itano circus is already pretty awesome, but the only way they could have made a better Itano circus in episode 7 was by having an Itano circus of missiles that release their own Itano circuses, creating a stream of missiles that crisscross each other in a giant missilegasm. And, as ridiculous as this idea sounds, this is a very possible reality in a Macross series where the main Macross-class ship not only undergoes Transformation but can actually move like a Valkyrie after undergoing Transformation. I mean, seriously. The Quarter is essentially a gigantic Valkyrie, except it’s a Macross. It alwayts bugged me in SDF/7 that, after undergoing Transformation, the Macross ships just kind of floated through space in a ludicrous and fixed pose, which kind of made the whole “battleship turns into a mech” aspect of Transformation fairly disappointing. If I had been a child of the proper age when the Macross part of Robotech was airing on American TV, this episode would have been like a childhood dream come true. It’s somehow more impressive than all the variants upon the Gurren-Lagann towards the end of the series, where it just got bigger and bigger, but that’s mostly because it’s Macross doing it.

Considering the explosion-fest that was episode 7, it might be hard to forget some important points, one being whatever it was that happened with Sheryl’s earring in Alto’s cockpit. It’s unknown whether it was primarily Sheryl’s fault or Ranka’s fault that the music transmitted and created such a powerful reaction in both Alto and Mysterious Humanoid Alien Enemy (who strangely faintly resembles Gavil from Macross 7 for some reason, which is a good thing because Gavil was hilarious). [SPECULATION WARNING] It also, too, could be both of their faults, with the duet triggering some kind of base instict in both human and alien alike, which, of course, since this is Macross and the love triangle is between Alto, Ranka, and Sheryl, means that we could be in for some serious drama later on as Alto perhaps has to perform a difficult balancing act keeping Ranka and Sheryl on good terms with each other while still being true to his feelings (whatever they end up being).

That setup seems somewhat similar to the original SDF, or, well, Do You Remember Love? (since that’s much fresher in my memory), where you had Hikaru having to convince a distraught and heartbroken MInmei that she had to sing to bring an end to the war with the Zentradi. It also sounds much more fun from a straight-up drama perspective, but, as that is entirely speculation, we really don’t know how things are going to proceed from here. I don’t usually engage in prediction of plot patterns, but equally usually when I do do it, I’m rarely dissatissfied with the results, as when a series doesn’t go the way you expect it to go but instead down a different and surprising route it’s more fun than the imaginary series you had in your head (and it also shows that the writers are one step ahead of the viewers), even when the direction taken doesn’t always work out that well.

Whatever happens, though, it will probably be incredibly awesome in the way that only a Macross series can be incredibly awesome. I may prefer Gundam on a personal level, maybe, but as the two really aren’t compatible series at all (Macross is a true bona-fide old-school space opera that’s primarily about having a ton of fun, whereas Gundam strives to be somewhat philosophical to varying degrees of success, and is quite a bit more “realistic”) and therefore shouldn’t be compared quite as much as they usually are, they’re both excellent franchises whose initial series had lasting influence upon anime in general since their broadcast in the late 70s/early 80s. I really don’t think that either one would have caught on with the public if it hadn’t been for the other, as it’s always been said that Gundam created the “real robot” genre, and SDF Macross popularized it (the original Gundam was cancelled, with most of its fame coming after broadcast; Macross was a thorough success practically from the start), so they exist in a kind of symbiotic relationship. I find it criminal how little attention Macross seems to get in the States in general (although I run into far more people who go “Hey, Macross is cool!” than “Hey, Gundam is cool!”, but neither franchise is that popular here), although I can report from firsthand experience that Macross Frontier is getting people who haven’t given the Macross franchise a shot yet the incentive to go back and watch its origins. And this is always a good thing.

4 Responses to “Macross Frontier: Why Is The Quarter a Macross-Class Ship When It Is Only 400 Meters Long, You Ask?”

  1. 1 zqube 23 May 2008 at 1:28 am

    Macross could use more fans. Everything that Macross touches on, in terms of themes, I love.

    The people I regularly talk to don’t seem to know anything about Macross. But I also have run into people who are first-time Macross viewers who seem to enjoy it.

    When it comes to Macross Frontier, I could care less about how many fans it has or how many people like it. I just want more.

  2. 2 The Animanachronism 23 May 2008 at 3:18 am

    I’d been planning to explore the Macross franchise for a while, but I’d be lying if I said the deculture edition of Frontier‘s first episode didn’t make me shift it up the schedule – now I’m watching SDF in tandem, which is great fun.

    Quarter’s Transformation is outrageous, but also outrageously cool and (as you say) it actually has a point too.

  3. 3 otou-san 23 May 2008 at 10:17 am

    Frontier really seems to be getting people into Macross, you’re right. I just hope they don’t immediately go to M7 and give up.

    One of the more fun parts about Frontier to me is the “fanservice” in the sense that Macross fans have been presented not just with story parallels, but tons of fun little easter eggs to reward their fandom.

    It made me go back and watch Plus, my introduction to the franchise (aside from a little Robotech as a kid), and wow — that one is still awesome too.

  4. 4 OGT 24 May 2008 at 12:52 am


    Believe it or not, Macross 7 was actually the first Macross series I watched from start to finish. I think I may have caught a few episodes of the original Macross prior to seeing 7, but 7 was my first, and is still probably my favorite.

    7’s really not all that different from the other Macross series when you really think about it; Macross has always been about over-the-top ludicrousness (or, that’s how I’ve always seen it), and Kawamori states that he intentionally tries something different with each Macross series. Macross 7 embodies the spirit of Macross, if not necessarily the factors that make other Macross series so popular.

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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May 2008

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