so I just finished watching macross zero

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by ckhtiger, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    and boy, was that not what I had expected. you'll have to forgive me for the questions I have, as they may be skewed towards robotech, since I haven't (and am not going to spend the effort) seen the subbed macross series. I had just thought it was going to be about the technology they had gathered to make the veritechs from the crash landed alien vessel. however, I got the feeling that the zentradi had nothing to do with the zero series. I also got a strong evangelion vibe from it. so how does zero fit in with the rest of the macross series?
     
  2. Los

    Los Now you see me...

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    I haven't wathed all of Zero yet, but it is the prequel to the Macross series. The VF-0 Valk is the predessor to the VF-1 Valk from the Macross TV Series/DYRL Movie.

    Focker dies in the Macross series/movie. It is cool that a Skull Squardon is still aroud in the present day Macross/Robotech universe (Shadow Chronicles).
     
  3. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    yup, I realize that. my biggest question comes from the aphos vessel and if it's connected with the zentradi.
     
  4. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    Both were created by the Protoculture civilisation, the former as a tool to influence and monitor the development of the human race and the latter as a proxy army in the civil war that eventually destroyed them.

    Trying to use Robotech as a basis for watching and understanding Zero is pretty much a futile exercise, most of its plot points and thematic subtext is derived from the bits of SDF Macross that were either totally removed or mangled beyond use in the adaption.
     
  5. Emperor Mengde

    Emperor Mengde Instrumentalist

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    I just finished watching this myself, and my entire feelings on the series were: great battles, terrible, nonsense plot.

    Spoilders for Macross Zero and SDF Macross follow:










    I mean, the "birdman", who one would believe is a part of the protoculture, decides to kill humanity because we'll bring strife to space? WTF? Did he just conveniently forget about the Zentradi and Supervision armies, recking up space endlessly? And how can I feel anything for most of these characters, considering they'll all likely be dead once the Zentradi come a knockin'. No, just no.
     
  6. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    I didn't think that was a stretch at all considering the underlying themes of Macross. Much of the point of Zero and some of the point of SDF is that civilisations are often arrogant and hypocritcial in the way that they treat different and/or supposedly less advanced cultures, illustrated by the parallel drawn between a flawed and self-rightous advanced civilisation that eventually destroyed itself and a race that it created in its own image that ultimately makes most of the same mistakes and only narrowly avoids the same fate.
     
  7. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    do a lot of people see the parallels with evangelion, or am I just reaching with that one?
     
  8. Camshaft

    Camshaft Member

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    Yes, it is. Macross Zero takes place in September 2008. It is a year before the Macross takes off to space, unintentionally meeting up with the Zentraedi.

    The Macross TV series takes place in February 2009-January 2012.

    In the case of the Macross universe, Hikaru Ichijo (promoted to Major after the ending of the TV series) and the rest of the Skull Squadron was reassigned to the Megaroad-01 (formally SDF-2 Megaroad). That squadron got the VF-4 Lightning III variable fighters, which is the successor of the VF-1 Valkyrie.

    When the Megaroad-01 went missing in action, the Skull Squadron went MIA along with it. The squadron name was never reassigned due to the MIA status.
     
  9. Camshaft

    Camshaft Member

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    To me, the "birdman"/AFOS is akin to the monolith from "2001: A Space Oddessy". It is testing whether the humans on Earth will not repeat the mistakes the protoculture did in the past. Through Shin and Sara, the inhabitants are spared. Creator Shouji Kawamori is a fan of 2001 and it is one of some in-nods to it. (The TV series and Macross Plus are the others)

    The Zentraedi, the Supervision Armies and the Protodeviln were lost causes anyway. The Zentraedi were created to fight, the Supervision Armies serve for the Protodeviln and the Protodeviln would go suck up spiritia energy for them to survive. They broke up the once-mighty protoculture civilization when they created them and later destroyed them.

    As for the characters, it's up for speculation. Hopefully, the next Macross story will tell what happened to Shin and Sara, much like how "2010: Oddessy Two" and "3001: The Final Oddessy" told what happened to David Bowman.
     
  10. Camshaft

    Camshaft Member

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    I disagree. Macross Zero and the Macross sequels tie-in to the Macross TV series in terms of background information. Also, the events in both Macross and Robotech universes are so different from each other, thus the origins of the Zentradi and the technologies are different.

    Here is the timeline for the Macross universe, compiled from the Macross Compendium. Webmaster Egan Loo is the fan liason for Big West, who produced the Macross stories.

    Macross universe timeline

    Compare the timeline with the Robotech universe, found on Robotech.com.

    Robotech universe timeline

    Notice that the events dating before 1999 are different and those dating after 2012 are also different.

    The correct term are variable fighters. It is stated on most of the Macross merchandise and official print material. Still, the characters and the fans call them "Valkyries" in honor of the VF-1 Valkyrie. Much like how we call any airliner a "Jumbo Jet" or a Russian airplane a "MiG".

    The differences between them are that veritech fighters are powered by the "protoculture biofuel" and variable fighters are powered by thermonuclear fusion. To create thermonuclear fusion, it is fueled by hydrogen atoms.

    Macross Zero takes place in September 2008, a year before the Zentradi arrive. The UN Wars (aka Unification Wars) ended in 2007, but remnants still cause problems.

    Roy Focker makes a special guest appearance here, even though he flirts with Dr. Aries Turner. Edgar LaSalle, who is Shin's co-pilot, happens to be Claudia LaSalle's younger brother.

    Even though the VF-1 Valkyrie finished test flights in November 2007, it wasn't available in 2008 due to the low supply of thermonuclear fusion engines. The VF-0 were built as a stopgap measure.

    The AFOS/"Birdman" is an artifact left behind by the protoculture species. The protoculture stayed on Earth briefly to fool around with humans' evolution and make them to resemble the protoculture. This is why many of the aliens in the Macross world resemble humans.

    The AFOS/"Birdman" is meant to test humanity whether they are warlike or not. This is done so that humanity does not repeat the protocultures' mistake just like the creation of the Zentradi, Supervision Armies and the Protodeviln.

    Because the artifact can also be used as a weapon of mass destruction, the UN Government had all records of the events marked top secret. No one knows the events and Roy Focker kept quiet during the TV series.
     
  11. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Yeah, the particular people of the Protoculture who guided human evolution already understood the mistakes that their civilization had made, and saw that they had probably doomed themselves. They wanted the good aspects of their civilization to live on without repeating the same mistakes. Their instructions for the "bird man" they created and left behind are perfectly in line with that.

    Something I rarely see mentioned is that the themes and events of Macross Zero seems to tie the original series and Macross 7 more closely together. It fits neatly between the seemingly more "realistic" world of SDF Macross (giant humans (essentially) from space who have had no culture for thousands of years and don't know what sex is are not realistic at all) and the nearly fantasy events of Macross 7, and ties into the main themes of both. As such, I would say it is very relevant to the Macross story and universe.
     
  12. Gnaw

    Gnaw Banned

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    I liked Zero. It was my first introduction into Macross and the whole Robotech Universe. Though, it pulled the "Giant Stupid Alien Robot Thing" that alot of side stories use. Animation was good though.
     
  13. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    No. It is not an introduction to the Robotech universe. The original Macross and Robotech TV shows shared footage and had a similar plot, but exist in compltetely different universes. If you liked Zero, I think you'd do better to check out more Macross stuff, and forget that Robotech even exists. Robotech was thrown together quickly as a way of giving Macross enough episodes to be on syndicated television. Unless you're already a Robotech fan, Robotech is not necessary anymore.
     
  14. Gnaw

    Gnaw Banned

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    Oh...really? Damn.
     
  15. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Pretty much. At the time Robotech was made, the FCC had a minimum number of episodes a TV series had to have in order to be syndicated, and Macross was too short. This is the same reason the Force Five banner was created to sell five separate shows as one series. Carl Macek got the idea from Voltron to try and edit Macross with other shows into one story, instead of having multiple unrelated stories like Force Five. As far as the Macross portion of Robotech, Carl left most of the main plot line alone, although it was sanitized for American children. However, the backstory and certain details were changed in order to tie in to the other two shows (Superdimansion Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada), and the ending was almost completely changed for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. The title and character names were changed as part of a deal with the Revell model company, who already owned the U.S. rights to model kits of several of the mecha that would be featured in the Frankensteined show.
     
  16. Emperor Mengde

    Emperor Mengde Instrumentalist

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    Thanks for the explanations, it really did help me understand what was going on better, and in turn be less bitter about the series. I think it just rubbed me the wrong way when I first watched it, and might not do so upon repeat viewings.

    Oh, and I really didn't see many parallels to Evangelion. For that I suggest you check out Ideon, which Evangelion creator Anno supposedly claimed was one of his chief inspirations for Evangelion.
     
  17. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    Macross Zero spoilers in this post.

    I've actually been a huge Macross fan since I first saw Robotech as a kid and found out that Macross was a LOT cooler, but Macross Zero (and Macross 7, too) just felt like a slap to the face.

    Let me get out of the way that the jets, the robots, and the visuals are probably the most gorgeous I've ever seen. Now that we've gotten that out of the way...I suppose a spoiler alert here would be prudent.

    First, I expected at least a few connections from this show to the original Macross show. I kept expecting "Edgar La Salle" to talk about his sister/cousin/mom Claudia, but that never happened. I hated that it introduced setup with no payoff.

    It was a wasted opportunity to show Focker chasing that blonde girl's ass, too. Again, it wasn't a very developed plotline, and if that blonde girl was changed into Claudia, then it would've made this a much more compelling prequel.

    But it's not just the lack of continuity with the original series that bugs me. It's also the weird story structure. Why introduce Ivanov as Focker's "instructor" if they're not going to have an epic rematch? Why introduce this character relationship if we never get a flashback or even a decent good guy/bad guy conversation/interrogation scene? They literally just meet, they exchange a few quips on "My student has improved," and that's it.

    Nora was also a wasted character. She had all the right markings of a good Kawamori villain, too. Played by the actress who plays Dilandau, has a red robot, white hair, psychotic personality...GREAT! But there was too little of her, and (like with Ivanov) she barely participated in the last battle.

    Speaking of the last battle...what the hell was that? I might be spoiled with Macross Plus, but I was expecting something that at least held a candle to the Guld vs Isamu fight but...wtf? Giant butterfly monster? I hated that Ivanov and Nora died almost immediately into the battle without Shin besting Nora, without Focker and his instructor getting one good scene together.

    And don't even get me started on that environmentalist message. I thought it was boring in Earth Girl Arjuna, and I thought it was boring here.

    I think this series had potential, but it was NOT lived up to. I do not recommend this show to anyone except the most diehard Macross enthusiasts.
     
  18. Emperor Mengde

    Emperor Mengde Instrumentalist

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    You know, that sums up alot of the problems I had with it as well. Oh, and I'm really tempted to just cut together all the fighting scenes, since that would at least be something worth watching again. I'm still not as bitter as I was after having some good explanations given for the Birdman and its motivations, but I still don't think I'll ever truly like the series.
     
  19. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Macross is always full of promise and disappointment... and yet it still turns out fine. I think it's a statement on life. The main character is (except for Isamu) never the best pilot, and things never quite work out with the girl of his dreams, even though it's always set up so that either of those things could have happened by the end of the story. Things didn't even work out perfectly for Max and Milia. The same goes for Escaflowne and Aquarion. Kawamori doesn't seem to go for the convenient story gratifications that people normally expect. If he did, then his stories might not be as special and memorable.
     
  20. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    ^^^We weren't looking for a happy ending between the boy and the girl. I don't think we were complaining about the main character being the worst pilot either. It's just that Macross Zero simply...fails...on many narrative accounts.

    Even if Focker was the worst pilot out there, it wouldn't really matter to me. My main complaint is with Focker's character development. The second episode sets up a rivalry between Focker and Ivanov, and that's literally all you get between the two. Throughout the rest of the series, their rivalry doesn't go beyond meeting in the air while piloting their airplanes and saying things like, "I'll show you I've improved, Instructor!"

    Likewise with the romance. I simply don't care if we didn't get "easy gratification" with Focker or Shin finding his love interest...but it would've been okay if either the blonde chick was a more interesting character, or if the girl had been Claudia all along, or if Focker met Edgar and Edgar talked about his sister and Focker gets interested or...SOMETHING. This series had been all setup, no payoff. A payoff doesn't have to be happy...but it has to be SOMETHING.

    The best example is the final battle. Macross Plus only had 4 episodes, and I felt like we knew Isamu, Myung, and Guld much better than we knew Aries, Focker, and Shinn, even though they had FIVE episodes. Although Nora and Ivanov had been very poorly developed villains and we barely know them by episode 5, they had been the "villain" up till that point. When they die at the BEGINNING of the final battle, I was VERY disappointed. It's just...how else do I say it...it's just LAME when the final battle is with someone you (the audience) don't know. On a purely technical screenwriting level, we had 4 episodes to hate Nora and Ivanov, and we wanted some kind of payoff for this hatred we had built up.

    Had the Giant Butterfly Monster been the main villain since the first episode, then fine, it might be a satisfying final boss, but 4 episodes of (scant) development for Nora and Ivanov all went away when they died and had a stranger be the final boss instead. In other words, had we spent some time getting us to hate the Giant Butterfly Monster as a villain, then maybe I'd accept having Nora and Ivanov die, but honestly, I felt more sorrow at THEIR deaths because I knew it meant we wouldn't have a cool final battle against characters we've gotten to know.

    I think episodes 1 and 2 of the series had great potential, but the ball was very badly dropped after that. I tell my friends, "Just watch episodes 1 and 2 and just stop. That way, you'll at least be mistaken and believe this is actually a good series."
     

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