Macross: Mech Opera

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Macross, also known as Robotech in some countries, is a classic anime series that began airing in 1982. Like Space Battle Cruiser Yamato, Super Dimension Fortress Macross is an epic space opera that tells a long-form story.

The series is set in the future, where humanity has discovered alien technology that allows them to build giant transforming robots known as Valkyries. The story follows a young pilot named Hikaru Ichijo, who becomes embroiled in a war between humans and an alien race called the Zentradi. Along the way, he falls in love with a pop star named Lynn Minmay, whose music proves to be the key to ending the conflict.

Macross was notable for its use of music, which played a significant role in the story. The series featured a number of memorable songs, including “Do You Remember Love?” which became a hit in Japan and was later covered by numerous artists.

Macross spawned several sequels and spinoffs, including the popular movie adaptation “Macross: Do You Remember Love?”, as well as the TV series Macross Frontier and Macross Delta. The franchise remains a beloved part of anime history, and its influence can be seen in numerous other anime and sci-fi series.

After the initial conflict with the Zentradi was resolved, Macross shifted its focus to the aftermath of the war and the efforts to rebuild Earth. While this allowed for character development and exploration of themes like cultural exchange and inter-species relationships, it also meant that the series had fewer large-scale battles.

This shift in focus was partly due to the fact that Macross was originally planned as a 36-episode series, but was extended to 39 episodes due to its popularity. As a result, the writers had to come up with additional storylines to fill out the extra episodes, which led to a greater emphasis on character development and interpersonal drama.

While some fans were disappointed by the decrease in action, others appreciated the more character-driven approach. Macross has always been known for its well-developed characters, and the later episodes of the series allowed for deeper exploration of their relationships and motivations.

Despite this, Macross continued to have some impressive battles and action sequences, particularly in the later episodes and in the movie adaptation. And as the franchise continued with sequels and spinoffs, it would return to its roots as a space opera with plenty of epic battles and intergalactic conflict.

Farewell, Jiro Dan

According to the official account of Tsuburaya productions, on March 22nd, Jiro Dan, the lead role of Hideki Go in Return of Ultraman, passed away.

I am currently on this series, which is a bit of a slog. I don’t have the translated version to watch, so no subtitles. I only get a bit of what’s going on with my limited Japanese. My plan was to watch all of the Showa era shows this year, but I’ve previewed some of the upcoming series and I highly doubt I can sit through them all.

I will double my efforts to make it through the Return of Ultraman. I’ve watched a lot of it before on Pluto, and it’s a solid show.

Space 1999, Far Flung Future’s Past

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Space 1999 is a British science fiction television series that originally aired from 1975 to 1977. The show was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the same team behind other popular sci-fi series like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.

Set in the year 1999, the show depicts the adventures of the crew of Moonbase Alpha, a scientific research facility located on the moon. The premise of the show is that a catastrophic explosion on the moon causes it to be knocked out of orbit and sent hurtling through space, along with the people and equipment on Moonbase Alpha.

The show’s first season focused on the struggle of the crew to survive in the hostile environment of deep space, encountering a variety of alien races, phenomena, and dangers along the way. The second season saw a shift in tone, with more emphasis on action and adventure and a greater use of special effects.

One of the key strengths of Space 1999 is its impressive production design. The show featured a number of elaborate sets and models, including the iconic Eagle spacecraft, which became one of the most recognizable symbols of the show. The special effects were also ahead of their time, featuring a mix of practical and optical effects that were cutting-edge for the 1970s.

Another notable aspect of the show was its diverse cast of characters. The crew of Moonbase Alpha included people from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds, reflecting the show’s global outlook. The two main characters were Commander John Koenig, played by Martin Landau, and Dr. Helena Russell, played by Barbara Bain. The two actors had previously worked together on another Anderson production, the espionage series Mission: Impossible.

The show’s music was also notable, with a haunting and atmospheric score composed by Barry Gray. Gray had previously worked on many of the Andersons’ other productions and was known for his use of unusual instrumentation and electronic effects.

Despite its impressive production values and talented cast and crew, Space 1999 was not without its flaws. The show’s storytelling could be uneven, with some episodes being more focused on spectacle than plot. The second season, in particular, was criticized for its increased emphasis on action and for introducing new characters that were not as well-developed as the original cast.

Nevertheless, Space 1999 remains a cult classic and has continued to attract new fans over the years. The show’s combination of impressive visuals, diverse characters, and thought-provoking science fiction concepts has made it a favorite of many viewers.

In recent years, there have been attempts to revive the franchise, including a proposed film adaptation and a comic book series. However, as of yet, none of these projects have come to fruition.

Space 1999 remains a fascinating and entertaining example of 1970s science fiction, showcasing some of the best aspects of the genre during that era. With its iconic imagery, memorable characters, and intriguing ideas, it continues to be a beloved cult classic for fans of all ages.

It is often noted that Space 1999 was, in many ways, a pseudo-continuation of another Gerry Anderson production, UFO. Both shows shared a number of similarities, including their focus on a secret government organization that dealt with alien threats, their use of impressive production design and special effects, and their use of a diverse cast of characters.

UFO, which aired from 1970 to 1973, followed the adventures of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation), a covert organization tasked with defending Earth against extraterrestrial threats. The show was known for its sleek, futuristic designs and its use of high-tech gadgets and vehicles, including the iconic Interceptor spacecraft.

Space 1999, which premiered two years after UFO ended, shared many of the same elements as its predecessor. The show was also set in the near future and focused on a team of people defending Earth against alien threats. However, instead of taking place on Earth, the show was set on Moonbase Alpha, a research facility on the moon.

One of the most notable similarities between the two shows was their production design. Both shows featured elaborate sets and models, with a focus on futuristic designs and high-tech gadgets. The Eagle spacecraft, which was the main vehicle used by the crew of Moonbase Alpha, was even designed to look like a more advanced version of the Interceptor spacecraft from UFO.

Another shared element between the two shows was their diverse cast of characters. Both shows featured international casts, with characters from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. This was a deliberate choice on Anderson’s part, reflecting his desire to create shows that would appeal to audiences around the world.

Despite the similarities between the two shows, there were also some key differences. While UFO was a more action-oriented show, with a greater emphasis on futuristic technology and high-stakes battles with alien invaders, Space 1999 was more focused on exploring the unknown and dealing with the challenges of life in space.

Another notable difference was the tone of the two shows. UFO was often criticized for its dark and cynical outlook, with a focus on the moral and psychological toll of fighting a war against alien invaders. In contrast, Space 1999 was more optimistic and hopeful, with a greater emphasis on exploration and discovery.

Despite these differences, both UFO and Space 1999 remain beloved cult classics among fans of science fiction. Their impressive production design, diverse casts, and innovative storytelling have ensured their enduring popularity, and they continue to inspire new generations of fans even today.

Casually Comics: One of the Best in Comics Talk Channels

Casually Comics, hosted and run by Sasha Wood, is a YouTube Channel that chats about comic books, and related material. She is one of the few creatives on the internet that I would love to hang out with and get her views on other subjects. Her nerdy demeanor, and wit makes for a fun watch. She is very knowledgeable about comic book history, both story and business, and in-fact she has opened my mind up to different ways of thinking about old stories that I thought I had a solid handle on. She’s not only informative but also entertaining. If I could only watch one channel about comic books on the internet, it would be Casually Comics.

Please check out her channel, if you haven’t already.

Data-Bits: AI/ Arcadia/ Mushrooms/ 3D Printed Rockets/ Pizza/ Gojira

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