Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

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Tachyon
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Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Tachyon » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:59 pm

To this day I am annoyed by Macross 7's declaration that the TV series was the "official" Macross timeline and the Macross Movie was a fictional movie made within the Macross universe. There are 2 different versions of the first Macross story. Why can't people deal with this?

Kawamori Shoji has said in interviews that one is not more legitimate than the other. He said when he imagines how to tell the story of Macross in the format of a TV series, SDF Macross is the result. When he imagines how to tell the story of Macross in the fomat of a movie, Macross Movie is the result. I'm fine with that. I enjoyed them both. The movie (probably my favorite anime movie ever) had the best mecha designs, incredible drama and great music. The TV series had more time to develop the concepts, characters and settings. I honestly can't say I like one more than the other.

I lost track of how many anime blogs have trashed the Macross Movie because it isn't "official." I don't know why the writers for Macross 7 had to become anal-retentive nerds and try to account for every little inconsistency. Macross Plus showed us several instances of choosing the movie over the TV series for canon (the Zentraedi powered armor comes to mind immediately). And, from many reports, Macross 7 wasn't that good anyway. Why pay its pronouncements any mind?

What kind of crazy dramatic representation of the Zentraedi war would show obviously incorrect dates and events? Sure, lots of historical fiction films have inaccuracies but we're talking about whoppers here. Would the producer of this movie agree with some nutty screenplay writer that wanted to say the Macross docked with the Armor space ships instead of the Daedalus and Prometheus carriers? And making up the name Maltraedi and portraying the aliens completely differently than they really were? Remember, aliens had assimilated into human society. Obvious fabrications of alien society would be caught right away. The only studio that would make a bogus, off-kilter movie re-telling the war this way would be a puny little one with a shoestring budget and limited distribution (plus they would risk a negative public reaction).

In this discussion the elephant in the room is the different appearances of spaceships and mecha between the TV series and movie. The studio behind the effort wouldn't be thrilled about the production crew making up new looks for spacecraft and military units. The public would have seen at least a few photos of Zentraedi powered armor (government propaganda efforts would have demanded it during the war). Think about this one for a minute. Can you name any World War I, World War II or Vietnam War movie where the tanks, naval vessels and airplanes look totally different? It isn't done. The public knows what the military units looked like more than 50 years after a war.

Lots of anime TV or OAV series end with movies that retell and condense the original story. If we can accept them why can't we accept Macross?

I've said my two cents. Yes, this is just my opinion and does not reflect the views of Gears Online. Feel free to disagree with me in your replies. Just don't throw anything.
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Re: Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Black Knight » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:35 am

The original TV show, DYRL, and Mac 7 all had some of the same people involved in the writing, namely Sukehiro Tomita, who was one of four people credited for the "scenario" of SDF:Macross, wrote the screenplay for DYRL, and was one of two series script supervisors for Macross 7. So castigating the writers does not necessarily seem like the most productive way to deal with this issue.

Personally, I don't have much of an issue with the differences in SDF:M and DYRL, and am perfectly happy to accept DYRL as the movie-with-the-show. Mac 7 established later with the movie they attempt to make in one of the episodes casting Basara as Hikaru & Mylene as Minmei (with the Fire Valkyrie given some attachments to maskerade as a VF-1) that in-universe movie-makers are perfectly happy to make a show with obvious inaccuracies. In this, they are no different from your typical Hollywood moviemakers, as the ones who strive for historically correct details are in the minority. For reference, watch the M48 Patton tanks on both sides in the move Patton, count the Aegis destroyers tied up to the pier in Pearl Harbor, and enjoy the F9F Panther jet fighter crashing into a carrier near the end of the movie Midway, though the movie takes place in 1942 and the F9F didn't hit the fleet until 1949 (fun fact: the ending of the movie was changed just to be able to use the dramatic F9F crash). People going to the effort like Speilberg did for Saving Ryan's Privates to get historically correct equipment are rare in Hollywood, because that kind of stuff can be expensive.

That said, I don't trash DYRL because it differs from the TV series; I don't mind the differences. Besides, Hikaru Bright-slapping Minmei is one of the best moments in the Macross franhise.

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Re: Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Tachyon » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:10 pm

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I may have been too harsh on the Macross 7 writers. So, are you saying the Macross 7 episode - where they declare the Macross Movie to be a movie in the Macross universe - isn't really an official declaration? It was just an episode where they ignored consistency to get a reason to film their own little remake with the Mac 7 characters? Have the English speaking fans been laboring under a misunderstanding?
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Re: Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Black Knight » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:15 pm

No, I don't think the English-speaking fans have been laboring under the wrong impression; Mac 7 does call DYRL a movie-within-the-franchise. But English fans are probably too rough on DYRL for its deviations from the TV series. DYRL -- in universe -- was probably intended as much as a rousing patriotic propaganda film as a documentation of historical fact. One only has to see how often liberties are taken with our own history to see that, in this light, there's really not that much difference in relative accuracy between DYRL and the average Hollywood historical film.

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Re: Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Mr March » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:21 pm

I wouldn't worry yourself too much about what bloggers or other critical fans have to say about DYRL. The way in which they "analyze" and "rationalize" Macross says a lot about the thought (or lack thereof) put into consideration of the franchise. Remember the importance of considering who it is when reading these opinions, which are often those of geeks. We geeks, for better or worse, act with a ridiculously intense interest and devotion for an entertainment franchise. We often judge the detail and consistency of a given production FAR BEYOND that of the original creators, often holding the productions to a standard that can never be met. It's an unfortunate reality that many geeks despise alternate interpretations of anything they hold sacred and - ironically - are some of the least imaginative people when it comes to interpreting a given work in a way different from conventional wisdom. The movie DYRL is unsurprisingly one of those "challenging" productions that is certain to mess with the banal sense of order of the average geek.

As for the Macross owners themselves, Kawamori and Co. - despite their categorization of DYRL in Macross 7 - have not accounted for every little inconsistency by declaring the movie as a "film within the Macross universe". In fact, the M7 declaration about DYRL has done the exact opposite and really only compounded misunderstanding. Numerous character/design/factual elements of both SDF Macross and DYRL continue to be mixed into the melange of all the Macross sequels. These elements all clash with each other such that declaring one production - TV series or Film - as the definitive "story" of Space War I becomes impossible. The film design of the SDF-1 Macross, the DYRL suits, Exedol's film appearance, Max vs. Milia in space, the Meltrandi main fleets, Ogatai and Temjin, and on and on and on. There is no way to reconcile the mixing of these TV/Film elements in subsequent Macross productions using official fact; we can only arbitrarily explain them away with fan interpretation. And I think we all know how much credence we give to that :)

So if I were you, I wouldn't be concerned. There are plenty of information sources online (my own site included) that describe the differences between the TV series and the movie such that discerning fans will learn what they should. Allow the crazy bloggers their futile attempts to organize the Macross franchise via some slavish standard of categorization while the rest of us normal humans enjoy Macross. The M7 declaration really hasn't changed anything about canon from the first decade of the franchise when DYRL was considered just another interpretation of Macross. Besides, at this point we all know "Han shot first" and thanks to the internet, those facts are immortalized despite the creator's attempts to revise history in later years :)

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Re: Macross Movie's "Fictional" Status

Post by Tachyon » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:16 pm

Thank you for your help in understanding this issue, Mr March. After reading your comments I feel better about the whole thing.
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