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.