Mospeada and Robotech: New Generation Character Comparison

I have been absent from blogging for awhile. I hope to catch up. I’ve been quite busy lately with switching from working at a cubicle monkey job to a retail grocery chain job. I haven’t had much time to write but I have been watching more episodes of Mospeada, and yes I intend to finish reviews and comparisons of the rest of Southern Cross episodes a well.

I thought I would veer a bit from the path of chronological episode reviews to a bit of character comparisons from Robotech to Mospeada. So far the most striking difference in the Mospeada cast between the Robotech adaptation’s New Generation is Annie or Mint. I have noticed her dialogue is a bit more of a flirt and boy crazy obsessed pre-teen in the Japanese Mospeada series than Robotech. I find this another one of Robotech’s improvements on the characters of the Japanese series’. For instance some parts would not come across as easily and would be maybe a bit innapropriate for American audiences. As in the scene where Annie lifts her shirt to prove she is not that young. This would definitely be odd for western audiences, except maybe the French. However, that is more of a cultural difference than an improvement but I have found some reasons that our Robotech Annie is more interesting than Mint in the Mospeada series.

Since I am usually not a huge fan of the comic relief convention in cartoons though Shnarf of the Thundercats was an enjoyable character. Usually the addition of a new younger and funnier character is thought to be the “Jumping the Shark” point of many Television serials. However as in all the New Generation and Mospeada characters there was an internal struggle of real human emotion. Emotions like resentment, self-doubt, loneliness and mourning are rather absent from most animated shows, when they are dealt with they tend to be a bit contrived.

However I can see more realism and struggle with Annie’s character. In either series she is a runaway a bit of a vagabond and is quick to wear her heart on her sleeve. However in Mospeada her flirtations seems to be overdone leaving her character a bit more simplified. In Robotech she has a lot of lines that I think where acted quite well, as when Lunk asks her do you want to walk instead of drive while the rest of the group flies she responds “YOu gotta be nuts!?” it’s a simple line but it gets me all the time.

Another moment that I think Robotech seized in creating a magical kind of sad irony with utilizing Ulpio Minucci’s music is the 2nd episode the New Generation: “The Lost City” where Annie is introduced. As the scene opens we see Annie and her boyfriend as he is dumping her to move out of town, we hear the love theme with the glissando violins playing a Robotech love theme most fans are familiar with . It has a mournful sweet yet introspective theme in a classic Italian Romantic fashion which draws a stark contrast to the humorous dialogue and actions on the screen with Annie’s childlike balling and tugging on her boyfriend to stay. This bittersweet and tragic contrast gives us a perspective of  childhood’s end and adolescent love and loss amidst a war to society. Though we can all relate to the right of passage through lost love and the broken hearts of adolescence, the narration and plot reminds of how it must be like for one to grow up with the standard travails of youth and coming of age all the while war, death and destruction are surmounted on these lives.

Advertisements

Genesis Climber Mospeada

After finishing watching Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross  I wanted to make another comparison series to Japanese original version.  Robotech’s Third Season is often thought of as being as good or close to the most beloved season being the Macross Saga.

Robotech’s third series the New Generation of which the Mospeada series gave birth to, is known for it’s characters all being featured in individual episodes, and all their inner demons being dealt with in a very real and psychological perspective.

I am excited to enjoy my childhood love affair with Robotech’s rich character drama and mecha action. and music in a whole new perspective. Despite what die-hard Macross purists will tell you about how the Robotech versions being ‘butchered’ or ‘dumbed down’ versions is an outright lie. So far I have sen about six episodes of Mospeada and the all of Southern Cross, all of which actually had less compelling emotions and dialogue. Then the Robotech rewritten scripts and edits. Very few things are left out in each.

Moving forward, the first episode of Genesis Climber Mospeada is almost identical two things that stuck out for me that Robotech actually improved on greatly, at least in this first episode.

First, the scene where Scott Bernard is riding through the desert he has a bit of a soliloquy that is left out. His thoughts on being the lone survivor and the ghosts that haunt one who is left alive being more frightening than any horror one’s  mind can dream up, is only materialized visually by the image of Marlene floating about his cyclone/mospeada motorcycle in the desert.
To me these words really struck me, it has a universal quality in the real life to real human tragedy. It’s poignance is worth any dramatic tale of war, survival and remembrance.

Finally the music of Mospeada while the Intro “Lonely Soldier Boy” is a raucous rock n roll number with a male vocal part that is unforgettable that deserves being heard loud,  the credits music ,which is a main theme since it replaces the Yellow Dancer song Lonely Soldier Boy in Robotech, is a bit of a sleepy bluesey jazz number with not too much of a stunning efect as the intro or the Michael Bradley/Yellow Dancer “Lonely Soldier Boy”.

abscense, tardiness and fan art

I have been absent from posting for awhile but I am going to keep more regularly posts going. I have recently finished watching Superdimensional Cavalry Southern Cross and will finish reviews where I left off as I go back and watch these again. Also, you may want to re-read some f my posts as I am redoing some of my posts, editing adding and trying to improve them where needed.

As of late I have been re-learning an old past time and passion for drawing characters. combined with my Robotech obsession this has become a quite addictive outlet for me.

Southern Cross episode 9: Stardust

With Robotech’s version I always had mixed feelings about this episode. It feels a bit awkward, the character of George Sullivan, seemed a bit contrived or not drawn out long enough feel he was a real character that had depth or authenticity. The voice acting was a bit odd and almost lifeless in Robotech for this character. However the song in the Robotech version sort of grew on me. But this is about the original Super Dimension Cavalry version wasn’t it. He seems even more awkward in this one and his being a technical officer just didn’t fit in as well. In the Southern Cross of Robotech the GMP had reputation for  being a large bureaucracy. So, in Southern Cross original, George Sullivan is a technical officer, which doesn’t really explain much since he is thought by Jeanne to be trying to defeat the  Zor on his own. Yeah like that’s going to happen. Well his song Stardust, is a bit more lounge jazz oriented than the jazz pop-ballad in Robotech, I do prefer the Robotech version. “It’s you”.

A couple of points that this episode was improved on by Robotech script writers. For example when Jeanne is showering she says “so malienne that’s what Stardust was about, well looks like Jeanne won’t get to be a princess after all” talking about herself in the third person she says something like that. But Dana’s line is a lot more humorous and real : “Marlene hmmph! souds like some aging rock singer who wears too much makeup!”. What’s with Robotech and the name Marlene? There are three character of that name in Robotech.  Another issue with the direct translation in japanese shows is some things just don’t sound good being word for word translations. I know I’ve said this before. But Charles has another awkward statement I think it was Andresjz asks his condition during the batlle , and his response is “good, but what is good if you’re not dead”.

Basically, this was a pretty dull episode in both versions. Southern Cross episodes have been in some ways surprisingly identical to Robotech almost entirely. The alien leader’s Triumvirate or the three elder Masters have I think much more believable dialogue in Robotech. In the english remake the Robotech Master’s triplicate nature is voiced well the actors sound ominous, detached from emotion and to be working on nearly the same brainwaves, as seemingly finishing each others’  thoughts. They seem to be Speaking in almost stream of consciousness and calculated computer like processing of data, risks, estimations and statistical analysis of situations. The Master’s show relatively no emotion but have an ominous quality of self awareness of their  superiority and occasionally diminutive tone to the other clones and humans. As in when they are asked by a subordinate trio of masters if Zor’s implant will be detected by humans and they hastily retort “the humans’ primitive instruments do not have the ability to detect our device, the idea is preposterous”. That line always made me feel the ominous power and grand sense of superiority the Robotech Masters felt  about their entitlement to Earth and destruction humankind if we got in their way of retrieving their protoculture. Despite their claim that they have no intention of harming earth’s inhabitants, and only are trying to reclaim they’re protoculture, they seem hostile.  As their supply of it dwindles and their parasitic adversary, the amorphous race of the Invid approach, they seem more ready to eliminate any earth forces who intend to usurp the reclamation of their precious resource.

Another thing I have noticed that I really enjoy though it is odd at times, in Southern Cross, is that the music at times feels to not go with the scene. Still, it  somehow creates a nice contrast. At times the music is whimsical or light in nature yet the scene maybe be a serious one dealing with death, as in this episode when George Sullivan is taken by the Bioroid into the sky only to be blown up by an army member, there is more of the tropical, jazzy rock fusion playing. At times the music has a very strange kind of bell synthesized sound that has some kind of bright chime like effect it has a dissonant harmony going on, it is kind of unnerving yet attention grabbing. At times, I see in some scenes The Southern Cross music really works and does sound a bit alien like. Though, I still prefer the Robotech’s musical backdrop . In the Japanese original Southern Cross, I do really enjoy the episode preview at the end of each episode narrated by Jeanne’s voice actor.  There is always a”cute” line she says at the very end. I almost wish they did this in Robotech’s version since Dana’s voice to me was so fitting her character.

Southern Cross: episodes: Labrynth and Metal Fire

Both of these episodes I watched over the last two days. I am beginning to see less and less changes in the plot and basic ideas conveyed in the dialogue from the original series to the Robotech releases of these stories. In “Labrynth” also known as”the Trap” episode in Robotech there is some of the 15th Squadron’s entrance into the ship that was edited out, in Southern Cross there is a skirmish upon entering the Zor?Master’s ship however, it really doesn’t change much at all from the storyline. It may make more sense that there was abattle as to not appear to be as obvious a trap for the Earth forces to fall into. There is a little more explanation of the two enlisted men that are left behind and then hovered over and noticed on the 15th’s exit. It made a little more sense to me now, I always felt those two soldiers laying on the ground was somehow a bit eerie. Another difference I noticed is the music that Musica is playing on the cosmic harp is more melodic in the Southern Cross, it sounds a bit more like the love themes you hear in Robotech, that being said, the “music” you hear Musica playing in Robotech to me, is more alien like in it’s atonal nature. Really a brilliant idea from Ulpio Minucci’s unforgettable soundtrack works in Robotech, he uses so much familiar melody that you would expect to hear some of that in Musica’s playing of the cosmic harp, but brilliantly no, it is very alien sounding music to our ears, even Louis mentions that at som epoint in their time inside the alien mothership.

Finally in “Metal Fire” I have begun to notice some improvements on the dialogue’s content. I prefer not to judge on literal translations as what sounds natural and conversational in one language may sound stilted in formal in another. However, Robotech’s characters and voice actors have conveyed a script that sounds more conversational and more what you would imagine people to be saying in these situations not “headstrong commander, we put our trust in you” or some such phrasing Andresjz/Angelo uses in Southern Cross. But, I have noticed quite a bit of Jeanne’s assumptions on the Zor being human to be based only on their visual appearance whereas it is more believable that Dana in Robotech has some sixth sense from her Zentraedi side. It makes the suspicions she has more plausible. Another bothersome part of Southern Cross’s content is some of the referring to Jeanne as a girl being a bit of a weakness or shorthanded disadvantage or inferiority by many of the characters. I know this can still be the case today with female officers and women in leadership positions but one has to think that these are humans in the distant future not as in Robotech where the story takes place around in 2029-2030. This Southern Cross is on a planet known as Glorie and humans have been left behind in space some have developed into advanced races, but these peopel are still thinking of a female officer as a “girl”.  Although Jeanne is very girlish, which is a nice part of her dualistic character in Southern Cross it is overplayed a bit and the writers have finally allowed her to go beyond complaining about not getting to wash her hair or have a bath. Once again, I see Dana Sterling as being an altogether more interesting character as there is more complexity and reasoning behind her actions and assumptions. Also she doesn’t have goofy lines like “this is like dissection of frogs” or something to that effect during the Bioroid analysis in the Southern Cross version of “Metal Fire”.

Retro Game Review: Castlevania Symphony of the Night.

Back in the 1980’s when two dimensional side-scrollers were the norm for action/adventure games. Castlevania or Akumajo Dracula as it was first known in Japan , was at the top of the most difficult, maniacally frustrating and showcasing unforgettable background music. Castlevania was the game that made you want to burn your NES and hit the glass screen of your tube television. Yet you kept coming back for more beatings from hunchbacks, skeleton armies and flying Medusa heads. It was one of the few games that was maybe even better to play at night with all the lights out in your room.

After several sequels on multiple generations of console gaming systems, some better than others, yet all seemed to be a solid reworking of the Castlevania concept finally a culmination of all the past success had been achieved as a crowning jewel to the story of the Belmont clan and Dracula. This episode follows Alucard the half-vampire son of Dracula.

In 1997 Konami released Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This classic penultimate example of the side scrolling genre was a bit of a throwback since at that time game the market was flooded with sub-standard First Person Shooters. U.S gaming fans  didn’t appreciate 2-D side scrollers as much as Japan.Therefore that era will always remind me of some classic RPG’s but very awful First Person 3-D games for the most of the latter half of the nineties.  Symphony of the Night re-visited Castle Dracula and all the tradition of Castlevania’s legacy in what was one of the best games of that era on any system. One of the traditions of Castlevania has showcased superb music. Konami composer Kinuyo Yamashita a female composer who wrote a lot of the first music for Castlevania using traditional period music such as the genre of Baroque music in the style of J.S Bach and C.P.E Bach. As well as Romantic, Rococo and classical periods. But Symphony of the Night did review some of the old Castlevania’s classics like Bloody Tears and Wickedest Child though a few had a more Rock instrumentation.

Symphony of the Night added RPG elements to the franchise and solidified itself with the likes of Metroid for a very deep immersion in the game map. I mean in that the player truly feels they can get lost in the world constructed by the game. Dracula’s Castle is vast and has depth and a very highly detailed baroque or gothic atmosphere. there are multitudes of layers and expansive quality that can rival many of the best 3D environments even in today’s generation’s games. There are subterranean environments below the Castle as well as exteriors, brick sky-walks and even ethereal or seemingly dimension shifting areas.

The bosses of Symphony of the Night have so much detail some are quite repulsive. There is a giant rotting Corpse which is Beelzebub and a frightening room containing hundreds of corpses and souls that cluster in one sphere of tortured souls and attack.

Symphony of the Night is the ultimate Castlevania experiences it is thought of by many as being the culmination of all the series and is the peak of Castlevania’s legacy thus far.

Southern Cross: “Prelude”

In the aptly titled “Prelude” or “Prelude to Battle ” in it’s english Robotech version, there is a lot of waiting and tense yet calm resolution before a major assault is to take place on the downed enemy Battle Cruiser. We get to see some of the characters relaxing and letting off some steam before the important maneuver. The attitudes and actions of the characters seem to have real world authenticity with the waiting one would expect to feel before a major fight is to take place.

We get to see Jeane being a little protective with Bowie in allowing  him to be jailed after him being twice caught on the outskirts of town in a piano bar. Her actions show this big sister like side when it comes to Bowie so he will not have to fight and sit this one out in the brig. One can only wonder she thought he may be distracted by his ambitions of playing pia, however it doesn’t make too much sense that the millitary would see this as a danger to his concentration.

I am beginning to notice Jeanne compared to Dana her persona in the english version is a bit more flat or one dimensional a character. Dana has a constant inner struggle between her alien and human side that has more complexity to her psyche and behavior. Jeanne her Japanese version however, is only troubled by not being allowed to pamper herself with showers and ice cream and watching her figure. Though both characters are enjoyable I feel more empathy and intrigue into and for the dynamic and more introspective Dana Sterling, than the tough yet girlishly adorable Jeanne.