Macross Frontier 1
Super galaxy love story
01 Close Encounter
Yack Deculture Edition
TV series version
2059 A.D.. The Super Long-range Emigrant Fleet "Macross Frontier" is cruising in the vicinity of the center of the galaxy. Artificially produced within the space fleet is an environment that hasn't been altered in any way from the one on the Earth. More than 10 million people live in the fleet, centred on the residential ship...
The Macross Frontier Fleet, and its origin
We'll explain here about the giant "Macross Frontier" Emigrant Fleet -which amounts to the principal setting in the series- and the magnificent history that's in its background.
1999 A.D.. All of a sudden, Earth's mankind came into contact with an alien civilization. A gigantic object -that extended a total length of more than 1,200 m- fell from outer space onto South Ataria Island in the Pacific Ocean. Via an investigation, it was confirmed that that object was a space battleship used by a clan of giants. Earth's mankind -which underwent its first culture shock from another planet- came to establish the Earth Unified Government after the hardship referred to as the Unification War.
The Unified Forces analyzed that fallen battleship and acquired a lot of Over Technology; starting with Space Fold Navigation—which instantly moves ships through space. And then in preparation for an invasion that was expected to come in the near future from another planet, the Unified Forces endeavoured to repair the battleship -which was damaged when it fell- named it the "SDF-1 Macross", and formed a space fleet. A great number of the Valkyrie Variable Fighter, which can transform into a humanoid and do battle against the giant clan as equals, were deployed on the SDF-1, and the ship entered the day of the Space Launch Ceremony in 2009.
Caption: Lynn Minmei being seized by a [giant-sized] Zentrādi. The Variable Fighter was developed to cover this overwhelming height difference, and improvements on them continued every year.
•The Macross's Activation
Ironically, the systems that were activated for the Space Launch Ceremony sensed the space fleet of the giant clan -who were approaching because they were searching for the fallen battleship- automatically operated the main gun, and commenced an attack on the heavens. As a matter of fact, that battleship itself -which appeared to have been discarded- was an alien trap. Thus, unrelated to their intent, mankind was dragged into a conflict between the Zentrādi clan of giants and the Unified Forces, with the Macross playing a central part. It was the outbreak of the First Interstellar War.
During the fighting, astonishing facts soon became clear. As a matter of fact, Earthlings and the giant clan were differentiated life forms from the same ancestor—referred to as the Protoculture. As their genetic character was identical, if the Zentrādi used "Micronization" -which reduced the size of the giants, mating with a human was possible. The Zentrādi are biological weapons that were made by cloning technology only for the purpose of combat. Due to that, it also became clear that their existence was isolated from all kinds of "culture" that would become an obstacle to combat, as well as love between men and women.
Caption: The Zentrādi Forces' Bodoruzā Main Fleet invaded and destroyed the Earth. The Buritai Fleet and others -who were a part of that main fleet- rose in revolt, and reversed the trend of the war.
•The Song That Decided Destiny
Before long, the "song" of one girl greatly changed the fate of the conflict. The idol singer Lynn Minmei had unexpectedly boarded the Macross, and was dragged into the conflict. Her songs shook the hearts of some of the more influential Zentrādi. It woke up a "cultural memory" that was inscribed in their genes.
From this point in time, the aspect of mankind's first interstellar war changed to a conflict between the Protoculture and the Zentrādi conservatives -who regarded that culture as dangerous and tried to eliminate it- and the Earthlings and the Zentrādi allies who supported Minmei's songs. Thus, Minmei's songs performed a great role that showed the way to victory in the conflict.
Caption: The first Emigrant Fleet leaving the Earth. The flagship is the Megaroad-01, and it also sought the hopes of the heroes of the First Interstellar War—a great number of which embarked on the ship.
•The Human Seed That Disperses In The Galaxy
However, the Earth was ruined and mankind was temporarily driven to the brink of extinction by this first conflict with an alien creature. With mankind continuing to stay as-is in a single star system -that is the Earth and the solar system- mankind could one day possibly welcome another crisis of destruction by being contacted by a new alien life-form.
Thereupon, after the conclusion of the First Interstellar War, mankind -who also reconciliated with the Zentrādi people that they had gone to war with- founded the New Unified Government. Based on the Fold Navigation technology that they had obtained, they embarked to every quarter of the galaxy in search of new worlds, with their main objective intentionally placed on the continuance of the species.
In 2012 AD, the Megaroad-01 left the Earth as the First Super Long-range Emigrant Fleet. A great number of Unified Forces veterans -who had experience in the First Interstellar War- embarked in the fleet in leadership-like positions.
Caption: An Emigrant Fleet leaving from a relay station. The space ships -which extend from several hundred to several thousand in number- go forward into empty space while sharing their respective roles with each other.
•The Fleets Crowned With The Macross Name
Within such an emigrant movement to every star region within the galaxy, there is a special connotation that is included when ships are christened "Macross". While the founding Macross [ship] lost its propulsion [system], and was changed into a monument that was half-buried in the ground as a symbol of Macross City, the construction of Extra-large Emigrant Ships -referred to as the "New Macross Class"- began one after another in the 2030's.
A famous one among them is the Macross 7 (Seven), which was built as the flagship of the 37th Super Long-range Emigrant Fleet that headed for the center of the galaxy. It was furnished with a mechanism where the City 7 -a domed residential area that played a central part in the fleet- and the combat oriented Battle 7 could separate and combine. This structure was also used in other fleets as a standard mechanism in an Emigrant Fleet.
Caption: The Emigrant Fleets -who departed mainly from the Earth- continue to travel within the galaxy. The focus seen in the foreground is the Emigrant Planet Eden.
•The Macross Frontier Heads For The Center Of The Galaxy
2059 AD—it's half a century from the First Interstellar War. The New Unified Forces 25th New Macross Class (55th) Super Long-range Emigrant Fleet "Macross Frontier" advances into space while more than 10 million people live in it; centred on the [Island 1] residential ship that unites with a combat ship. The spaceship -which artificially produces an environment that isn't changed in any way from that on Earth- cruises in the vicinity of the galactic center. They sail while cherishing "songs" -which are, above all else, mankind's precious culture- through the Galaxy Network.
As the Macross Galaxy Fleet (which treats the 21st New Macross Class as its flagship) is cruising in the neighbourhood, the two fleets maintained an interchange with each other. One day, the "Galactic Fairy", singer Sheryl Nome, visits the Frontier Fleet from the Galaxy Fleet for a public performance. The story begins from there...
Caption: The Macross Frontier [Emigrant Ship], which amounts to the fleet flagship. The tip of the Emigrant Ship is a battleship, and the area that is covered with a clear dome is the people's living space.
Yack Deculture Edition
Script: Hiroyuki Yoshini
Storyboards: Yasuhito Kikuchi & Shōji Kawamori
Directing: Takayuki Tanaka
Animation Director: Hirokazu Takahashi & Risa Ebata
The [episode's] subtitle is a term that expresses the "close encounter" with an alien life-form. As far as the Frontier Fleet is concerned, it has the meaning of hostilities with the living Vajra—the enemy that they face. However, at the same time, it also strikingly depicts the "close encounter" with "2 members of the opposite sex" -the important Sheryl and Ranka- where protagonist Aruto is concerned.
The highlights are the focal points of "Galactic Fairy" Sheryl Nome's concert and the first enemy attack, the skillfully introduced SF setting, and the personalities of the characters. Such things as the civilian cultural lifestyle -which brings together particularly mixed things and brings about a unique atmosphere- the contrast between the New Unified Forces and the Military Provider S.M.S., and the relationship between EX-Gear and the Variable Fighters are finely depicted in the footage. Due to that, the episode is very interesting as one makes new discoveries however many times one views it.
① Hand Held Out Over The Sun
The pilot training course students hold their hands out over the sun on the roof of Mihoshi Academy. It is a composition and directing that brings to mind that key visual from "Macross Plus".
② Listen to my song!
The first grasping words in Sheryl Nome's concert are an homage dedicated to Nekki Basara from "Macross 7".
③ Blindly Firing A Gunpod
Aruto instinctively boards and fights in the VF-25 to save Ranka. The last scene where the hero decides to fire a Gunpod blindly is the same as in episode 2 of "Super Dimensional Fortress Macross". The protagonist personally choosing the way of conflict is an important scene.
The Differences In The 3 Versions Of Episode 1
Unusually, 3 kinds of differing versions exist for "Macross F" Episode 1. This time, it was Director Shōji Kawamori's idea to include the "Yack Deculture Edition" -at 32 minutes the longest of the 3 versions- as the formal recorded version for the Blu-ray release, and the other versions, the "Deculture Edition" and the "TV Series Edition", as "Special Features".
Regarding the contents, while the "Yack Deculture Edition" has the full set of scenes, as some of the differences between the versions are complicated, they are explained in detail in the following.
—2 Versions Of The Script And The Storyboards
Initially, the final manuscript for the first episode was written according to Hiroyuki Yoshino's screenplay, and episode 1 storyboards that correspond to that were prepared. Whereupon, it was decided that a "special" would be broadcast in Dec. 2007, three months before the start of the series broadcast. A script was written for the special, and a few scenes were added, such as at the beginning when Sheryl Nome's shuttle comes aboard the [Island 1] ship. However, because the special tended to be longer than the length of the original storyboards, preference was given to the additional scenes and they edited the episode for the special.
—The Deculture Edition
The version that was distributed even on the Internet as well as part of an advance airing in the "Congratulations For The 25th Anniversary! That Macross Is Coming Back!! Special" program that was broadcast at the end of 2007 on TBS (Dec. 23) and MBS (Dec. 28). Such scenes as "Aruto and the others backstage", the "scene where Aruto catches Sheryl when she fell from the stage", and the "Nyan-nyan commercial" weren't included, and the arrangement of the live performance scenes for "Sagittarius ☆ 9 PM, Don't Be Late" differ.
—The TV Series Episode 1
The version broadcast from Apr. 2008. While such scenes as "Sheryl at the beginning", "the explanation of the Fleet's details", "hand held out over the sun on the academy's rooftop", Nyan-nyan's Nanase", and the "Ghost interception scene" were omitted, "Aruto's catch" was included.
Caption: Sheryl at the episode's beginning when she sees the Macross Frontier Fleet from the outside (top). Aruto catching Sheryl when she fell (bottom). The presence or absence of a scene more or less gives a differing impression.
The main character in this anime. He is a high school student with clear-cut looks -who is mistaken for a beautiful girl- and was born into a distinguished kabuki family. However, he left the family due to discord with his father over his aspiration for the sky, and attends the Mihoshi Academy High School Space Flight Pilot Training Course. As an incomplete genius type of jack-of-all-trades, Aruto usually makes some kind of remark that is rebelliously divergent. Although he harbours anguished feelings about the Macross Frontier that he lives in, taking advantage of being able to board the latest Variable Fighter -the VF-25- when the Vajra attacked, Aruto advanced along the road to being a pilot.
An active, cheerful, and naive girl with a small build. While attending a high school for the daughters of high-class families -as per older brother Ozuma's will- she works at a part-time job at the Chinese restaurant "Nyan-nyan". She has liked to sing since she was a child, and is a great fan of Sheryl—to the extent that she implored her older brother to get her a ticket for Sheryl's concert. Naturally, Ranka faintly dreams of being a singer. To tell the truth, Ranka has a secret trauma in the shadow of her cheerfulness, and she also doesn't know that her older brother is S.M.S.'s ace pilot.
It is a multipurpose Heavy Variable Fighter that capitalizes on the VF-17 Nightmare's stealthiness, with improved aerodynamic characteristics and enhanced controllability. As of 2059, it is the airframe that is the most widespread, and it is used as the main fighter of the Unified Forces even in the Macross Frontier Fleet. It is easy to handle for even the pilots with a low skill level. Besides combat, the VF-171 flourishes in diverse roles, such as bombing.
The form that becomes a humanoid. As it is assumed to be for hand-to-hand combat with alien life forms -commencing with the clan of giants- it is able to be equipped with all sorts of hand-held armaments.
The form midway between Fighter and Battroid. The form exhibits power in the combat with alien life forms, which demand quick responsiveness.
The VF-171's fighter aircraft form. It boasts of high-manoeuvrability in outer space due to its high-powered engines.
The airborne early-warning fighter that was produced based on an improved VF-171. It's combat capabilities are reduced substantially because it is equipped with a gigantic radome.
Ghost is the general term for an unmanned fighter. They exhibit their power in formation mobilizations, because they are able to perform high-manoeuvrability that is impossible in manned aircraft. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult for them to cope with situational changes, such as being instantly destroyed only by their Composite Sensors being jammed by the Vajra ECM.
Composite Sensor: different kinds of sensors -with optical systems playing a central role- are concentrated in a location that is the equivalent to a cockpit.
The case for storing EX-Gear. The suit parts are stored disassembled, and in addition to support caster [wheels] that make transportation easy, a tool kit for maintenance is also bundled into the case.
EX-Gear (For Pilot Training)
EX is an abbreviation for "Extender", and it was named that way because it has wings that extend out. As a kind of strengthened exoskeleton Powered Suit, it can join with the new VFs. EX-Gear serves as both an ejection seat and a lifesaving unit, and it improves the survival rate after ejection via independent flight with its small jet engines and wings. Training EX-Gear can be used for training in the [Mihoshi Academy's] pilot training course. Even though the Training EX-Gear's equipment has been simplified, it can also join with and control the new VFs, because its mechanisms and specs are the same standard as the military EX-Gear.
San Fransisco, Shibuya, Beijing (Tenkūmon)
The city established in the above ground area of Island 1. The San Fransisco area extends from the Shibuya area when one ascends the hill road in the cable car, and Tenkūmon is in front of one station in Shibuya. A kind of theme park townscape was established for the people's psychological stability, and as a memorial to the former Earth.
A human's ethereal body separates from their physical body in Fold Space.
Ultra High Speed Passenger Plane
A private company's spaceship that semi-regularly sails by Space Fold between the Galaxy and Frontier Fleets.
In addition to English, such languages as Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish intermingle in the Frontier Fleet as it is a multi-ethnic society.
A mechanism in the aircraft carrier decks that instantly accelerates fighter aircraft and catapults them into space. The mechanism -which is the same as a linear motor- puts electromagnetic induction to use in carrier launches.
A 3D projection system that was used by the production to enliven Sheryl's concert. In addition to controlling smoke and stage lighting, due to advanced electronic image processing, it is possible to be clad in a virtual self, change ones hair colour, and instantly change clothes.
The star system planet that the Macross Frontier Fleet first encountered the Vajra in. It is very similar to Jupiter, is dense with interstellar matter, and an asteroid belt exists near it.
A key visual produced for the Macross Frontier concerts. In addition to the traditional paper posters, it could be seen everywhere within the ship via relay stations.
Nyan-Nyan And The Shopping District
The Chinese Restaurant "Nyan-nyan" -where Ranka worked part-time-, and the shopping street around it. "Trail-blazing" is written on the paper lantern.
The spaceport is the equivalent of the front door to the Frontier Fleet. As the interaction between Fleets is also energetic, the facilities are bustling with many people.
The plaza with the venue where Sheryl's concert was held. The statues of two dragons who are breathing fire and fighting are on the [concert] hall's roof.
© Aaron Sketchley