The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

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Seto Kaiba
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:20 pm

pirx wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:38 am
Macross Plus was a bit more darker and "adult" in this matter but was it a commercial failure? Really?
Yeah, it was not well-received when it first came out.

As popular as it was in the west, it took a good long time for Japanese Macross fans to warm to it. There have been loads of Macross 7 references and cameos over the years, but very few Macross Plus ones, and most have been rather low key.

Take, for instance, Macross Frontier. No overt references to Plus and TONS of references to 7. Its movies had one low-key Macross Plus reference apiece... the first film threw Sharon Apple's name on a list of idols at the start of a Sheryl Nome concert, and the second had a voice-only no-dialog cameo by Isamu for a couple seconds. In those same films all of SMS's formations are named for Fire Bomber songs, the main characters cosplay Fire Bomber members, and they have an OVA devoted to covering Fire Bomber songs and having cameos of various characters from 7. The only story I can think of where Isamu, Guld, and Myung get more or less equal billing with other Macross protagonists is the videogame Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy, and even then I wouldn't say it's entirely equal since Isamu's introduction and Myung's rescue are nonevents, Guld has to share his limelight with Brera, Sharon Apple's role is barely a cameo, and even their VFs are used more in reskinned form as the 727th VF-X Ravens VF-19A, Aisha Blanchett's VF-19E, and Max, Milia, and Gamlin's VF-22s.
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by yazi88 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:16 pm

To be fair, Macross Plus was a OVA/movie compared to 7 which was a TV show, and 7 had a couple of references to Plus, especially with the Valkyries being from Plus.

SRW hasn't really been kind to Macross either outside of Frontier. SDF/DYRL Macross has only been in 3 Alpha games (Alpha 1, Gaiden and Alpha 3). I believe Plus was the same too. 7 was in Alpha 3, D, Z2 part 2 and both Z3 games.

Zero has only been in not so good Scramble Commander 2 game on PS2.

I don't really count the XO mobile Gacha game as a regular SRW for series.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by DragoMaster009 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:37 pm

Don't forget that SDF/DYRL Macross was also in Scramble Commander 2 and Macross 30 was in BX.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by yazi88 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 am

I was referring more to Macross anime rather than Macross 30 which was a game. Scramble Commander 2 was a weird spin-off of SRW and yet was the only game with Macross Zero in SRW, although I think it might also be in XO.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by AceWhatever » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:40 am

I always got the impression that the people involved in making Macross 30 like Isamu ALOT. For some reason in Macross 30 Isamu gets a YF-29 as part of the plot and can switch to it from his YF-19 if you choose him as a wingman, but Ozama doesn't get that option with his YF-29 (before NG+ at least) despite the fact that both YF-29 variants debuted together in the pack-in PS3 video game for the 2nd Frontier movie.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:49 am

yazi88 wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:16 pm
To be fair, Macross Plus was a OVA/movie compared to 7 which was a TV show, and 7 had a couple of references to Plus, especially with the Valkyries being from Plus.
It's been a while since I last rewatched the Macross 7 series... but I don't recall it ever directly acknowledging any events or persons from Macross Plus. Due to the design being simplified for TV animation, the VF-19 that appears in the series doesn't even look all that much like the one in the OVA.

Macross Zero has gotten significantly more acknowledgement from subsequent titles, and that was also an OVA.

Hell, so has Dynamite 7, and that was a side story that seemingly had nothing to do with ANYTHING. (Who'd have thought little Elma would grow up, become a research scientist, and develop most of Walkure's tech?)


AceWhatever wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:40 am
I always got the impression that the people involved in making Macross 30 like Isamu ALOT. For some reason in Macross 30 Isamu gets a YF-29 as part of the plot and can switch to it from his YF-19 if you choose him as a wingman, but Ozama doesn't get that option with his YF-29 (before NG+ at least) despite the fact that both YF-29 variants debuted together in the pack-in PS3 video game for the 2nd Frontier movie.
Honestly, I came away from Macross 30 with the distinct impression that Artdink didn't really know what to do with the Macross Plus part of the game.

There's no buildup for Isamu the way there is for the other characters. It's almost a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment the way he pops out of freaking nowhere, and the game treats you to a "supposed to lose" forced tutorial to subject you to the Vanquish race mechanic then swiftly changes gears to introduce the YF-30. Guld comes out of nowhere as an unannounced boss fight and then drags you off on one mission to find Myung. Sharon is the only one who is actually relevant to the plot, and that's only because she's the excuse used to justify the 3x VF-22 boss fight against Max, Milia, and Gamlin and the boss fight against SMS's Frontier branch, both of whom are being mind controlled by her (instead of blackmailed into service the way Guld, Brera, and the Macross Zero cast are).

It's like they threw the YF-29 Isamu ver. in just so Bandai would have an excuse to do another DX Chogokin.
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by False Prophet » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:42 am

Say, I know that Robotech has a good number of RPG splatbooks to it, but what about Macross? I have heard about people roleplaying Macross with hombrew rules, but what about official support either in Japan or the States?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:20 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:42 am
Say, I know that Robotech has a good number of RPG splatbooks to it, but what about Macross? I have heard about people roleplaying Macross with hombrew rules, but what about official support either in Japan or the States?
Japanese audiences tend to gravitate more towards video games and TCGs than more traditional options like pencil-and-paper RPGs or tabletop games. I've talked to a number of games industry folks about it, and no two of them had anything like the same answer for why though. That's not to say games like that don't have a following - Slayers, Goblin Slayer, Overlord, and several other popular titles are openly acknowledged to be based on games like D&D that their creators played - but it's not as prominent as video games or TCGs.

Macross did have a rather successful TCG for a while called Macross Crusade and Studio Artdink had a string of successful "Flight Action RPG" video games.

As far as old school pencil-and-paper RPGs go, we've never had any official support from Japan and the US licensees haven't had anything to bring to the table since the mid-90's. It's pretty much 100% fan-produced material these days.

Until very recently, the only licensed Macross or Robotech RPG materials came from a small-time (which you should absolutely read as "incompetent") Michigan-based game publisher by the name of Palladium Books. They got the license to make a Robotech RPG in the mid-80's because literally nobody else was remotely interested in that license and proceeded to make a pig's ear of it. The "first edtion" books were so badly researched, written, and edited that they bore only superficial resemblance to the Robotech setting and story, but Robotech fans still shelled out for them because it was as close as the franchise would get to having official reference materials until 2001. The entire line was disowned by Harmony Gold as "Robotech in name only" in 2006.

The "success" of their Robotech RPG prompted Palladium Books to shell out for a license to make a game based upon the Macross II: Lovers Again OVA in 1992. Unfortunately, the standard of workmanship was even worse for that game. Despite having the help of an alleged expert "researcher", Palladium Books did such a poor job of it that it would not be an exaggeration to say that the only part of the books that was Macross II was the (traced) line art. Every single solitary detail is wrong, from the details of the ships, mecha, and characters to basic stuff like the year it was set in. The text is so badly written and edited that there are numerous cases where two paragraphs right next to each other contain contradictory or mutually exclusive statements, and even more cases where the text on a page is contradicting visible details of the traced line art on the same page. There are several cases of misidentified line art too... like the VF-2SS cockpit art they have is actually for the SNN Valkyrie (VC-079). The stats are so inaccurate that you'd swear they never actually watched the show... citing ships shown folding as not being fold-capable, or claiming ships made from four of the 4km-long Zentradi battleships were smaller than a Zentradi scoutship.

As embarrassing as the Macross II RPG was, when the internet came along Macross fans started using it as their starting point for playing Macross RPGs. They kept Palladium's "Megaversal" game system but created new homebrew stats for mecha from Macross Plus and Macross 7. This spawned several different forum gaming sites devoted solely to Macross games, and fans who visited Japan brought back material used to develop more stats and stories from the Macross video games. Even now, virtually all homebrew Macross games use the Palladium system or tweaks of it.

Robotech fans did something similar, except it generally involved "adopting" mecha, characters, and stories from whatever anime was popular at the time into the Robotech setting. They would often start with Megazone 23 Part I because it was used for the unreleased Robotech movie, but pillaged material from Macross RPG sites and other titles like Gundam, Orguss, Full Metal Panic!, Gasaraki, Neon Genesis Evangelion, the later Megazone 23 installments, Ghost in the Shell, Engage Planet Kiss Dum, and VOTOMS. This actually started to drop off a bit in the late 90's when Palladium Books lost the Robotech license after Harmony Gold had demanded they buy an (expensive) license to Robotech 3000 sight-unseen in order to renew their license to the "original" TV series. They got the license back in '06 after Robotech 3000 spun in and Harmony Gold attempted to relaunch with another new animated sequel, Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles. HG put the kibosh on conversions of stuff from other stories as part of the terms of their new license agreement though, since they were afraid of legal reprisals from Big West and Tatsunoko, so misappropriation of material from other shows by fans dropped off a bit when the publisher's website made posting it a banning offense.

Palladium Books recently lost the license again, for good this time, over the Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter fiasco. A series of scandals prompted Harmony Gold to revoke their license with extreme prejudice over accusations of general mismanagement of the project and project budget that led to major cost overruns on design and manufacturing of the miniatures, several broken promises to Kickstarter backers including that they would not sell at retail until after all the backers had received their backer rewards, misappropriation of funds from the budget to purchase retail stock, hiring (using the budget) a new PR guy to lie to backers about the misappropriation of funds, and an audit revealing that the company no longer had enough money to finish the project and was unable to secure a loan for the ~$600k that they needed to finish because their credit is crap. That license has now passed to a different small-time operator called Strange Machine Games, who are seemingly rushing to get a poorly-written RPG out the door before Harmony Gold's license expires in 2021.
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by yazi88 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:27 pm

I have a question, if the next or future SRW games put Macross Delta or other Macross shows in its lineup and have a Asian english release like other recent SRW games, there isn't any problems for Macross in that regard right? Since its a Asian release and not a actual western localization, Harmony Gold has no legal basis right?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:11 pm

One thing I should clarify in my previous post is that, while Palladium Books published all five books in the Macross II RPG, they only actually wrote two of them. Montreal-based game publisher Dream Pod 9 wrote the three Deck Plans supplements, and the poor quality of those books is mostly down to the writers being suck with the inaccurate information Palladium Books had already published in the core book and sourcebook. Consequently, all five books in the line read like they were written by someone whose only knowledge of Macross came from back-of-the-box blurbs from the VHS cassettes as interpreted by a Chinese VCR manual editor who'd had a few too many drinks.


yazi88 wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:27 pm
I have a question, if the next or future SRW games put Macross Delta or other Macross shows in its lineup and have a Asian english release like other recent SRW games, there isn't any problems for Macross in that regard right? Since its a Asian release and not a actual western localization, Harmony Gold has no legal basis right?
As long as that game is available to the west in direct sales from Japan rather than through a local distributor, there isn't a damn thing Harmony Gold can do except whine since they have no rights to the material in Japan.
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by yazi88 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:37 pm

Thank you, I was trying to explain to someone who was skeptical about Macross Delta being in a future Asian Eng SRW game because of the Harmony Gold thing in the US, but I figured since its a import game Harmony Gold can't do anything about it.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:48 am

yazi88 wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:37 pm
Thank you, I was trying to explain to someone who was skeptical about Macross Delta being in a future Asian Eng SRW game because of the Harmony Gold thing in the US, but I figured since its a import game Harmony Gold can't do anything about it.
That same hole in Harmony Gold's license is what has basically allowed Macross fans to do an end run around HG's efforts to block imports of Macross goods (and esp. toys), and is now allowing Big West and Bandai to go around HG's block on licensing by releasing JDM Blu-rays with English subtitles.

As long as the actual sale occurs in the JDM where Harmony Gold has no rights-under-license to Macross, the goods can be shipped anywhere in the world and Harmony Gold can't do a damn thing about it.
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by False Prophet » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:43 am

I would gladly kill if Fantasy Flight Games get their hands on the Macross license and make a space combat game in the veins of X-Wing.

Also, after found out that a Vietnamese studio has been doing outsourcing works on a few recent Gundam shows, I have to ask this: Are Macross shows made entirely in-house, or there are parts being outsourced?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by DragoMaster009 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:48 pm

So besides Robotech, what else does Harmony Gold do?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Iris Scope » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:10 pm

DragoMaster009 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:48 pm
So besides Robotech, what else does Harmony Gold do?
Other than Robotech, I believe they were the first company before Funimation to attempt to dub Dragon Ball in the 80s. Also, they did a dub of the Lensman movie which had the Japanese score replaced with typical HG fashion American music.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by DragoMaster009 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:08 pm

Don't they also manage real estate?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:47 pm

DragoMaster009 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:48 pm
So besides Robotech, what else does Harmony Gold do?
First and foremost, Harmony Gold USA is a real estate developer that has a number of rental properties around the Los Angeles area. Most of what they have in their portfolio are your typical overpriced Los Angeles apartments. It really isn't anything particularly special but it's their main source of income.

Film distribution and animation production is more like a side business to them... you could almost call it a hobby if corporations had such things. They would buy the distribution rights to TV shows and movies and resell those rights to distributors in other countries. Shaka Zulu and Robotech are arguably the only titles they were really serious about (at least initially). They spent most of the late 80's and 90's as a middleman operation reselling rights for parts of Paramount's film catalog to an Italian company called MediaSet. When the Italian government launched an investigation of MediaSet on suspicion of tax fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, it didn't take long for Italian prosecutors to out Harmony Gold's film distribution side as a criminal enterprise. The real intent behind the company's film distribution business was to collaborate with several other MediaSet partners who functioned as the kickback brokers enabling MediaSet executives to embezzle millions in laundered money received as kickbacks. All that kept Harmony Gold owner Frank Agrama out of prison was his age, which exempted him from jail time due to laws aimed at preventing prison overcrowding when he was convicted in 2006. Harmony Gold has largely kept their business away from film distribution since they first fell under suspicion, and have made only a few token efforts to keep claiming they're a production company as the Agramas have repeatedly fallen under suspicion for various forms of tax evasion ranging from money laundering to undeclared foreign income.

(Their first live-action film project in over a decade was the 2014 film The Big Goofy Secret of Hidden Pines... which flew so far under the radar it still doesn't have a score on Rotten Tomatoes.)
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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by DragoMaster009 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:20 pm

...this explains a LOT about Harmony Gold.

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Iris Scope » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:48 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:47 pm
Film distribution and animation production is more like a side business to them... you could almost call it a hobby if corporations had such things. They would buy the distribution rights to TV shows and movies and resell those rights to distributors in other countries. Shaka Zulu and Robotech are arguably the only titles they were really serious about (at least initially). They spent most of the late 80's and 90's as a middleman operation reselling rights for parts of Paramount's film catalog to an Italian company called MediaSet. When the Italian government launched an investigation of MediaSet on suspicion of tax fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, it didn't take long for Italian prosecutors to out Harmony Gold's film distribution side as a criminal enterprise. The real intent behind the company's film distribution business was to collaborate with several other MediaSet partners who functioned as the kickback brokers enabling MediaSet executives to embezzle millions in laundered money received as kickbacks. All that kept Harmony Gold owner Frank Agrama out of prison was his age, which exempted him from jail time due to laws aimed at preventing prison overcrowding when he was convicted in 2006. Harmony Gold has largely kept their business away from film distribution since they first fell under suspicion, and have made only a few token efforts to keep claiming they're a production company as the Agramas have repeatedly fallen under suspicion for various forms of tax evasion ranging from money laundering to undeclared foreign income.
Wow! The more you learn...

The main reason i mentioned Lensman is because i still have my old VHS copy of the movie but it's not the Harmony Gold dub, it's the Streamline Pictures dub which rearranges the roles that some HG actors got but otherwise keeps the original Japanese score intact.

Can you answer for me if the actors were ever in the know about the Agramas shady business dealings or they had their hands clean overall?

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Re: The Official Macross Delta Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:55 pm

DragoMaster009 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:20 pm
...this explains a LOT about Harmony Gold.
It really does. There's a theory (unsubstantiated) that the reason Harmony Gold keeps Robotech limping along with the occasional failed sequel attempt is so they can continue to claim they're a "totally legitimate production company, honest" when the IRS turns its eye their way again.
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