Macross at Toycon 2019

Sorry for this late feature but I wish to share to you geeks and hobbyists that during the 2019 edition of the Toycon held this past June at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, I spotted the display of Macross.

I’m a Macross fan and I always make it a point to find stuff related to my favorite anime franchise whenever a convention happens. Here are some that I spotted during the Toycon.

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The YF-19 from Macross Plus and its weapons on display. Behind it are varied video games and manuals.
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A close look at these mean machines. The one on the right reflects the model of used by Hikaru in the first few episodes of the 1980s Macross anime TV series complete with holding Lynn Minmay for safety.

At the 2nd level of the convention center was a function hall which has a large display of collected items of varied entertainment franchises. The one showcasing Macross had toys, action figures, plastic models, video games, music CDs and some printed materials.

What caught my attention was the display of the YF-19 from Macross Plus complete with its weapons in full view.

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Memories of the 1980s anime TV series as well as the 1984 classic movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? entered my mind.

Also seeing an original copy of the 1990s Sega Saturn video game adaptation of Macross: Do You Remember Love? instantly made me remember playing and enjoying the PlayStation version of that game. The Sega Saturn game can be seen in the picture below.

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Art, books, soundtracks and the Sega Saturn video game.

As much as I enjoyed the display of Macross memorabilia, I regret to say that I was unable to find any more related collectibles or products for sale among the many vendors at the lower level during the Toycon. I searched for whatever Macross stuff I could find (t-shirts, comic books, action figures, models, cards and others) but ended up with nothing.

Then again, it should be surprising at all. Macross as an entertainment franchise is not exactly popular here in the Philippines and Macross Mania in the country has ended long ago. To say the least, the popularity of Macross here in the Philippines is limited to older fans and collectors. Anime is a lot more popular among Filipinos in this modern age but that does not mean Macross found a new nor large audience.

If ever the legendary Shoji Kawamori (whom I met at AsiaPOP Comicon Manila in 2017) or any notable Macross-related talent comes here in the Philippines, only then will the Macross brand gain attention.

 

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Another close look.

If you love anime or Macross, then I invite you to read my retro movie review of Macross: Do You Remember Love? right here. I also wrote about the famous Lynn Minmay here.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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My Observations: Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019

This morning, out of curiosity, I attended the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019 held at one of the function rooms at the upper level of the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia (SM MOA) in Pasay City.

What I saw there was quite amusing. The large function room had just enough space for the exhibitors, the stage with sound system and lights and the food sellers. Of course, the available space in between was filled with many, many anime and cosplay enthusiasts! Some enthusiasts were seen seated some feet away from the stage waiting for the next event to happen like a cosplay contest, special guest appearances, etc.

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Buyers and enthusiasts searching for fun stuff.
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Another look at what were being sold.

Moving around got tight from time to time which reminds me how popular anime and cosplay have really gotten among locals as well as how interested buyers are with the products being displayed for sale.

As I saw some stickers (of pop culture icons and anime figures drawn by local illustrators) for buying, I had to stand behind a buyer who was searching for stickers and asked questions to the seller. There were three other customers next to him also standing right in front of the booth examining the stuff. After patiently waiting, I finally got to the front of the booth, quickly picked stickers (for some friends) and bought them.

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There was a lot of stuff that appealed to cosplay and anime enthusiasts. Cards, buttons, stickers, caps, shirts, costumes, cosmetics, dolls, action figures,  posters and a few publications. Those who purchased what they searched for clearly were happy. I searched from some Macross-related items but found none.

And then I took time out to photograph some cosplayers for your viewing pleasure below. Just click to ENLARGE.

 

A lot of people went on cosplay emphasizing their favorite characters from anime while some appeared as characters from computer games. These cosplayers really paid close attention to their craft with regards to capturing the looks of the characters they portrayed from the hair color to the make-up, the costumes, the shoes, the accessories and the like.

And among the cosplayers, I spotted someone dressed as Spider-Man. Specifically, the cosplay at the event was geared towards anime and computer games (like those online JRPGs).

Even though my interest in anime has waned a long time ago, it was still a nice experience to attend the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019. More than twenty years ago, I was a very avid anime enthusiast and video collector and back in those days, events focused on anime and some related interests were not that popular and were not well publicized.

Today there are these local organizations focused on special interests like anime and cosplay which can emphasize their interests and reach out to many people around the country via the Internet. When an upcoming event gets announced, the enthusiasts will respond and prepare themselves (and their money) for attendance. Not only that, there are now many local businesses willing to sponsor these anime and cosplay events. These developments show that there is now respect and trust for these kinds of events. If you ask me, an anime and cosplay event is more interesting than a city government-organized beauty pageant.

By the way, the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019 has one more day left tomorrow. There are some scheduled activities set to happen. If you intend to attend at all, click here.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

 

My Observations: The Macross Plus Love Triangle

As a long-running anime franchise, Macross is well remembered for not only its portrayal of war, action-packed transforming machines (mechas) and engaging storytelling but also for its use of love triangles to emphasize the human element of the saga.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime TV series (1982-1983) would have ended up looking generic with other robot anime series had it not featured the love triangle of Hikaru-Misa-Minmay. That love triangle was clearly the centerpiece of the saga and each member got developed individually throughout the 36 episodes.

Over a decade later, the sequel Macross Plus was released in the form of a 4-episode original video animation (OVA) (and in reimagined form via a theatrical version in 1995) and it featured a brand new love triangle with Myung Fang Lone, Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman.

Spearheaded by the legendary Shoji Kawamori as co-director and mecha designer, Macross Plus was a more challenging story to sell to fans and anime enthusiasts given the fact that it had no conflict of good-versus-evil nor hero-versus-villain. There was not even a war to focus on. Instead its conflict was more centered on the love triangle.

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Guld. Myung and Isamu.

The background is like this. In the year 2033, Myung, Isamu and Guld were close teenage friends until something terrible happened to them which not only destroyed their friendship but led them to taking separate paths carrying pain and unforgiveness deep inside.

In the present day of 2040, military pilot Isamu got re-assigned to his home planet of Eden as a test pilot for the prototype fighter plan the YF-19. This re-assignment happened because Isamu was too reckless and dangerous to be in active duty. Shortly after arriving he encounters Guld who is also a test pilot assigned with the stealthy YF-21. Right from the start their bitterness and rivalry intensifies.

The stakes grow even higher when Myung returns to Eden as a producer of Sharon Apple, a powerful computer designed to project holograms of a digital lady who could not only sing but also express emotions. She’s described by her handlers to be a living artificial intelligence but behind the scenes her programming is incomplete and Myung herself has to provide the emotions and singing.

Enough with the plot. Let’s move on to my analysis of the love triangle.

The love triangle

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A close encounter between them.

Let’s start with Isamu. On face value, he’s a handsome young guy who has achieved a lot when it comes to flying and combat but he is too risky to be with due to his impulsive nature, love for danger and recklessness. His cocky personality reminds me somewhat of Maverick (played by Tom Cruise) from Top Gun but the difference is that Isamu is much more dangerous.

Oh yes, Isamu also acts childish. This is evident during the first test flight of the YF-19 and most of the time he was playing around, cheering and expressing himself instinctively. The very ironic thing about his childish act is that he got to push hard the technical and technological capabilities of the YF-19 with regards to how it moves, how fast its speed is and how efficient its functions are.

But is Isamu an ideal man for a lady to spend her life with? Absolutely not. He loves fun too much and his being a loose cannon is a headache for his military superiors. His lack of self-control alone will make any relationship end quickly. At least in the context of Macross Plus, Isamu is not meant for marriage nor love but for dangerous fun. Still there are certain aspects of him that show he can still change for the better such as daring to find answers to be certain and pushing forward with life even though painful times strike along the way.

Next is Myung. She is an example of a very talented young singer who failed to become a professional artist. As a teenager she loved to sing and was described to have sung during her sleep. Somehow the violent falling out she experienced with Isamu and Gul impacted her ability to make it big in the world of entertainment. Think about it. While there are many talented wannabees who made it as singers but did not achieve super stardom, there are others who never qualified to be singers.

In the present day, Myung still carries pain and unforgiveness deep inside. She deals with her pain by burying herself with her work as a producer and rides along the tremendous success of Sharon Apple who is not even real. As such it is no wonder why she felt uneasy being reunited with Guld and Isamu. During her time in the forest with an injured Isamu, she got to try a fruit (which she suspected to be sour) after being told by him (who already had a fruit) to do it. Upon tasting the sour thing, she expressed that she always hated how Isamu dared people to try something even though he already knew the answer or what would happen. Before going to the forest, however, Myung was the first person Isamu saw after sleeping for days in the hospital due to a test flight accident. The mere fact she attended to him proves that she has feelings for the hot shot pilot.

Finally we have Guld, the half-human half-Zentradi person with grayish skin. Like Isamu, he has the passion and skill for flying. He does not have the recklessness and impulsiveness of Isamu, but he could be very violent due to the warlike tendencies (example: rage or outburst) he inherited from his Zentradi heritage. Remember in Macross, Zentradi was a race of artificially made giants produced through cloning and because they were bred for war and militarism they were devoid of culture.

As test pilot of the YF-21, he is oriented to control the plan mentally and this allows him to actually feel the machine as if it was his own body. Remember how Guld sped right into a barrage of rockets and got away untouched with the YF-21? That was the result of not only the YF-21’s stealth features and ability to predict the direction of the missiles but also of Guld’s extension with the aircraft.

Still Guld has feelings and he is far from being a living killing machine. Right from the start of his reunion with Myung, he expressed his feelings for her and swore to protect her (even though she did not need such protection). This shows that he was willing to adjust for Myung, forget the past and move forward. Guld does not have the charisma of Isamu but that does not make him less human nor does it make him an undesirable person. He also does his best to be something that Isamu cannot be – an honorable pilot.

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When things get way too personal, Isamu (right in YF-19) and Guld (left in YF-21) violated military protocol to fight each other.

Overall the love triangle of Guld, Myung and Isamu is still engaging to follow whether you watch Macross Plus in its OVA format or in its theatrical version (titled: Macross Plus: The Movie, Macross Plus: Movie Edition). At the same time this triangle is geared towards adults and one of the themes behind Macross Plus is growing up or coming-of-age. Other moral lessons worth learning: dealing with the painful past, maintaining discipline while doing your duty and learning how to forgive.

In reality, unforgiveness or the unwillingness to forgive truly causes more harm than good. There really is no escaping the negative effects. Repenting and forgiving each other go together and only then will healing happen. Forgiveness is emphasized in the Holy Bible. Below is a scripture for you all.

bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3: 13 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well.


Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version

 

Meet Lynn Minmay

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For me this is Lynn Minmay’s prettiest smile in 1984’s Macross: Do You Remember Love?

I’m a long time Macross fan. For those of you who have been wondering who among the many characters of the entire Macross franchise I best remember, it’s Lynn Minmay.

For the newcomers reading this, Lynn Minmay (voiced by Mari Iijima) first appeared in Episode #1 of the Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime TV series that debuted in 1982. She was that sweet and pretty teenage girl who was born in 1993 (note: the TV series story started in the then-future of 2009) in Japan with partial Chinese heritage (which explains her relationship with the folks running the Chinese restaurant on Macross City). As seen in Episode #2, she was among the first people to meet with Hikaru Ichijyo who at the time survived a crash while piloting a Valkyrie (that transformed to Battroid mode).

Is Minmay a fighter? Nope! She’s a talented singer who became an icon among the people in the SDF-1 fortress (which carried the remains of Macross City inside). Given the fact that the Zentradi (the army of giant humanoids that pursued the Macross) are a people devoid of culture due to their artificial nature as clones, Minmay’s singing (apart from the Macross people’s own culture) has tremendous power to manipulate them emotionally.

More importantly, Minmay is a crucial part of the memorable Macross Love Triangle along with Hikaru and his superior officer Misa Hayase.

The Love Triangle of Macross is itself intriguing. Hikaru struggles emotionally whom to spend time and love. Minmay is the sweet young girl who matured into a young woman while dealing with the tremendous pressure of the world of entertainment as well as having the circumstantial responsibility of inspiring people and help maintain peace. Her military counterpart Misa meanwhile is the dedicated officer whose family has a history of military service.

I’m not going to spoil the whole plot of the Macross TV series to explain more about Minmay and the others. But if you want to discover more of the anime icon apart from the Super Dimension Fortress Macross series, watch more of her in the 1984 anime movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? Also don’t forget that there are Macross video games that have Minmay in them.

As for the Western interpretation of Minmay seen in the Robotech franchise, I would not recommend that. The mistranslated Robotech adaptation of the original Macross TV series had a bad voice actress for Minmay not to mention bad singing in English. The ongoing Robotech comic book series published by Titan Comics had an even distorted portrayal of the icon.

If you want to discover the genuine and respected Minmay, stick with Macross!

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to your fellow Macross and anime fans. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your project or business, check out my services.

 

 

 

 

A Look Back at Macross: Do You Remember Love?

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Do I remember love? Absolutely and love comes in many different forms which I experienced in life. There is love from God and His Son Jesus as referred to in 1 John 4: 9-10 in the Holy Bible (New King James Version or NKJV).

There is also love of the family. Love with friends. Love of doing things or enjoying personal interests. Love on spreading the Good News to others.

And among those personal interests is anime and the main reason I love anime is because of my love for the Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series of the early 1980s. Called Macross for short, that anime TV series engaged me a lot not only as a geek but also as a person. I also learned about the challenges that come with dealing with war, dealing with an enemy because they’re only different and survival.

So yes, I do remember love!

More on Macross, I am here to share to you all my revisit of what is my all-time favorite anime movie ever – Macross: Do You Remember Love? 

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Macross: Do You Remember Love? (full title – Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?) was released in Japan on July 1984 where it was greeted by very long lines of fans. The movie was made with the fans in mind and many of the same creators and talents behind the famous Macross TV series (1982-1983) returned to bring back to life all the characters, all the robots and mechs, all music and many other elements that made the series lovable in the first place.

Running less than two hours, Macross: DYRL is a big budget retelling of the first twenty-seven episodes of the TV series albeit with some new concepts and adjustments made to add depth to the movie. As it is impossible to condense everything from the said 27 episodes into a single movie, the film took key story elements from the series and came up with a plot that not only featured fresh ideas but also honored the series in creative ways. The good news about this approach is that it worked nicely.

The story begins in space where the Macross SDF-1 was already moving with tens of thousands of people living in a city inside its metallic structure. During a big attack by the Zentradi (giant alien humanoids), some Zentradi soldiers infiltrated the city inside SDF-1 and among people affected is the star singer Lynn Minmay. Coming from nowhere, pilot Hikaru Ichijyo used his Valkyrie to rescue Minmay from a Zentradi soldier as well as from certain death of the free fall that followed. Because he saved Minmay’s life, Hikaru was spared from military punishment for disobeying Lieutenant Misa Hayase during battle.

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Because a relationship between Hikaru and Minmay developed, the two dated and even managed to sneak out of the space fortress with a training aircraft to explore the ring of planet Saturn. The two got caught by Lieutenant Hayase (accompanied by Minmay’s relative and manager Lynn Kaifun) but before they could return to the Macross, they got attacked by Zentradi forces nearby. The plot deepens further as soon as they got captured.

As it involved Shoji Kawamori (whom I met during the 2017 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila), Haruhiko Mikimoto, Narumi Kakinouchi, Kentaro Haneda, Sukehiro Tomita, Arihirio Hase, Mika Doi ad Mari Iijima, Macross: DYRL carries so many elements from the TV series that strongly resonated with fans.

Mari Iijima is fantastic in her dramatic portrayal of Minmay and she also proved excellent in her singing of classic Macross songs Sunset Beach, Zero-G Love and Shao Bai Lon. The standout song of all, however, is Do You Remember Love composed by Kazuhiko Kato and Iijima’s performance of it was also excellent.

When it comes to spectacle, Macross: DYRL is a stunner even by today’s standards. The visuals are great to look at. The triple-transformation of fighter planes into robots (Valkyrie, Gerwalk and Battroid) are always delightful to watch. The action is plentiful and at the same time very fast-paced for the eyes to enjoy. Heck, even the character redesigns of the Zentradi alone made this movie have an edgy and somewhat dark feel.

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The beauty of it all is the fact that the all the animation is hand-drawn the old-fashioned way! No computer-generated polygons shaded with cels here. Every frame of animation was labored by the animators and the colors used remain lively to look at.

With regards to storytelling, the movie has a solid narrative even though it lacked some background explanations. Of course, there were questions raised like why are the Zentradi and Meltrandi gender-isolated and each have an army? (note: in the TV series the Zentradi is composed of males and females). Why is the origin of the Macross SDF-1 in the movie different from what was portrayed in the anime series? Why is the Supervision Army non-existent?

The good thing about the narrative is the shorter yet engaging portrayal of the Hikaru-Minmay-Misa love triangle. As this is a movie, the triangle’s conflict is minimal and free of the excess baggage of what was portrayed in the TV series. Without spoiling too much, I can say that the development of relationships between Hikaru with Minmay and with Misa is believable. There is no way any viewer can complain that Hikaru is boyish (his trait in the TV series) when deciding whom to love.

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As it was made for the fans, newcomers will unsurprisingly have some trouble understanding Macross: DYRL, its concepts and characters. They can enjoy the visuals and spectacle if those are what they are looking for. Still Macross: Do You Remember Love? can serve as an inspiration for newcomers to start digging the past of Macross by watching the 1980s anime TV series (especially the first 27 episodes).

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Macross: Do You Remember Love? remains a truly great anime movie to watch and it is truly a classic in every sense of the word. Being a big budget retelling of the first 27 episodes of the Macross TV series, this movie serves as the fans’ bridge to the past and yet it also moves the entire franchise forward in terms of artistry, expression and quality. There is so much to love in this movie – the characters, the robots, the transformations, the action, the sci-fi concepts and more.

With its undeniable greatness, Macross: Do You Remember Love? is ultimately why I remember my love for anime.

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Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to your fellow Macross and anime fans.

Author’s Note: This article was originally published at my old Geeks and Villagers blog. What you read on this website was an updated and expanded version. In other words, this newest version you just read is the most definitive version


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Observation of the first twelve hours Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

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Very recently I got to play the first twelve hours of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition on my Xbox One console. As the subtitle showed, this is an enhanced re-release of the game which first came out on Xbox 360 in the year 2008.

This early I can confirm that Bandai Namco delivered its promise on Tales of Veperia: DE as the game’s visuals have been upscaled which means that the anime cut scenes and the in-game cut scenes (cel-shaded polygons and colorful 3D surroundings) look really crisp. More importantly this new version has two additional playable characters with Patty (the little pirate) and Flynn (rival of Yuri).

With Patty and Flynn added, so were the cut scenes and this also meant additional voice-overs, more in-game art and more sound effects altogether. Oh yes, their respective abilities and gameplay features added even more variety to the game’s big mix of features.

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Patty the pirate!

When it comes to the gameplay experience, I should say that this one has proven to be a lot of fun so far. For the first twelve hours the story moved at a moderate to quick pace while still allowing me to get to know Yuri and the main characters, the situations of the fantasy world and how the game plays.

When it comes to battles, they are pretty much low in stress. Unlike most JRPGs, there are no random battles to annoy me as I am given the freedom to decide if I want to fight a group of enemies (portrayed as individuals on the world map) or not. When I need to level up my characters, I engaged in many battles and the good news is that grinding (engaging in back-to-back battles to gain experience points to level up) in this game is not very stressful. Certainly not annoying.

This is because the battles are performed in real-time. Physical combat is done by button mashing which is quick and easy. Using magic uses the menu (which means pausing the game) to select a spell and which character to use. Switching between characters (up to four) is also quick and easy.

I already had my team engage in lots of battles to level-up, help them gain new skills or special abilities and of course raise money (called Gald). The good thing is that I never felt stressed out.

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Battles in the game are fast and relatively convenient to manage. (image from Bandai Namco)

When it comes to storytelling, the game has a wholesome tone comparable with past Tales Of games.

While I still have a long way to go in the game, I can confirm to you gamers and JRPG fans that Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is so far a fun game to play on your modern console. Once I finish the game, I will post a review. When? I don’t really know yet.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share this article or comment if you have something to say. If you enjoyed it, please feel free to press the like button below.