Monday, July 29, 2013

The Crossover Macross Fans Have Been Waiting For

The poster of Macross FB7.



I wonder if the producers at Staelight pitched Macross FB7 with, "The space succubus meets the space hot-blooded singer."




I'm not what you would consider a Macross fan, but when I saw there was going to be a crossover film of Macross 7 and Macross Frontier, my interest was piqued.I didn't know what to expect, but I figured that it would be a concert film with the Macross 7 group, Fire Bombers, and the ladies from Macross Frontier, Ranka Lee and Sheryl Nome.However, had the advertising department at Satelight, the production company, done a better job, I would have known Macross FB7: Ginga Nagaredama Ore no Uta wo Kike! (FB) was going to be a compilation of Macross 7, or more precisely a poor compilation of the Macross 7's main character Nekki Basara and the Fire Bombers, with some new footage of the Macross Frontier characters spliced in.But, in the true Macross fashion, the music is amazing.



As the first crossover I'm aware of in the Macross franchise, Macross FB7 is passable.The producers did a good job of compiling the major plot points of Macross 7 and the exploits of the Fire Bombers.That kept the film focused, but by simply compiling the major plot points, the film offers nothing more of interest.The story just moves from one plot point to the next with no development in the plot or the characters. Because of this, I couldn't help but feel that the story of Macross 7 seemed much more ridiculous than it probably was.If I were a fan of the Macross franchise or familiar with the story, it wouldn't have been an issue.But because I'm not much of a fan, I had to put in some effort to keep up with the story.



On top of that, the sections with the Macross Frontier characters were severely disappointing.In the first few minutes of the film there is some interesting dialog between Ozma Lee and Bobby Margot, but other than that all the characters are relegated to short scenes explaining the story of Macross 7.They do a good job filling in some of the story gaps, but I was unsatisfied with how little screen time the characters had.It really felt as though they weren't used to their full potential, and so was a missed opportunity by Statelight to expand on the personalities and background of some of the minor characters.There was a little development of some of the minor characters at the beginning of the film, and though that development serves as a good introduction to the film's story, it could have started in any other way without affecting the outcome of the film itself.



However, despite all that, in true Macross fashion, the music is well produced.The rock music of the Fire Bombers fits well thematically with the film, and keeps it interesting.I actually think there wasn't a single moment when I was bored with the music.There were a few moments when the songs were not cut well and that made them choppy, specifically during the first encounter with the "Protodeviln," but those moments are few and far between.However, I feel Statelight missed an opportunity to create new songs for the film.I understand that it would have been difficult to create new content for the Fire Bombers, but even so, Statelight could have created some new content for both Ranka Lee and Sheryl Nome.In that respect, I would have much rather have seen a crossover concert film rather than a mere compilation.



It's a shame really, because Macross FB7 was advertised as a crossover between the two series.I definitely thought that Statelight did a poor job advertising the film in that regard.To my knowledge, there wasn't a single trailer before any of the anime films I saw between June and the release of Macross FB7 in October, 2012.There may have been some advertisements in magazines such as Newtype or Animage, but even that seems like poor marketing.On top of this, the description of the film that did appear in print was written in a way that made the film seem more like an original story rather than a compilation.It was a bit frustrating that Statelight's advertising campaign was as sloppy as it was considering that Macross is a popular franchise.



Compilation films are not necessarily all bad.Just take a look at the Puella Magi Madoka Magica films.But Macross FB7 is a let down.This was an excellent opportunity for Statelight to have the characters of both series interact with each other and to create some new music for the franchise.But instead, there is an awful imbalance between the content of the two series.If you're a fan of both Macross 7 and Macross Frontier, you will enjoy the film, but if you haven't seen the former, I would suggest passing on Macross FB7 until you've seen Macross 7.



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Title: Macross FB7: Ginga Nagaredama Ore no Uta wo Kike! (FB)

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