Thursday, December 27, 2007

High Definition Frog Phones from 2059 can't get here fast enough

Macross Frontier is the latest animated toy robot airplane show from Japan. The first episode came out December 23 and fansubs have already hit the internet. Storywise it's like a blend of 1 part Battlestar Galactica and 99 parts Macross. The first episode reminded me a little of Battlestar Galactica and a lot of the original Macross cartoon, which is what eventually became the first chunk of Robotech. It's about a colony of Japanese people in the future floating around in spaceships and there's a bunch of angry aliens who want to war them. That may be good enough for western audiences, but this is a Japanese cartoon so Macross:F cranks it up a notch with the addition of hot chicks with purple hair and transforming airplane robots. Fukc yeah!

Kids at Macross High complain about how the classes are hard and long.

Macross: Frontier is set in 2059 in the same continuity as the old Macross and it's updated with all new CGI designs for the spaceships and robots and aliens. The new ships and robots are great, but what really sucks me in-what really makes this Macross-are the futuristic designs of every last little detail of human civilization Japanese school girl life aboard the floating spaceship colony. The high school looks like the friggin' Macross! Plus Macross:Frontier introduces us to future waves of Japanese school girl consumer appliances. I knew I wasn't watching any ordinary mindless space colony massacre show when the little girl pulled out her frog cell phone. Why hasn't anyone invented a frog phone yet? I suspect this technology already exists but the Japanese use cartoons to gradually introduce it to the rest of the world so we won't be freaked out when we see it for the first time.


A lot of the same story elements and character archetypes from the original Macross are here. It almost felt like I was watching a retelling of the old story but with new visuals. Right now my initial impression is that I've seen this all before but maybe they'll take it in different direction. Macross Plus and Macross Zero are two really tough acts to follow. Those were great shows. Frontier is directed by Shoji Kawamori so I'm sure I'll like the story but the robots don't look exciting enough for me to plop down over $100 if Yamato does 1/48 scale toy versions. I'll have to do some research but don't think Kawamori had a hand in designing these. I wonder if that's why Macross:Frontier is the first show where I've wanted toys or models based on the high school instead of the robot airplanes. (And I really want a frog phone, too.)


ViceGripX said...

Dude, what the hell is that she's holding? Also, do you have any pics of the mechs? I like to see what next year's model of Jetfire will look like.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

You can see the VF-25 (the Jetfirey one) and the VF-171 at this page. Just click on the links to each fighter and they'll take you to either computer models or screen shots of each ship. The VF-25 page is cool because you can see it in all its different modes if you toggle the radio buttons.

That thing she's holding is probably best described as a jelly frog phone. It's floppy like a beanie baby but it's also a phone. I love those types of futuristic speculation.


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