(Summary) Macross Frontier Episode 4 Staff/Cast Commentary

with Konishi Katsuyuki (Ozma), Nakajima Megumi (Ranka) and Yoshino Hiroyuki (Series Composition).
In case anyone is wondering, Yoshino isn’t the same person as the seiyuu Yoshino Hiroyuki.

Note 1: This summary-translation is completely my own work. Please DO NOT reproduce it anywhere else, though you are quite welcome to link to it if you wish.

Note 2: Don’t take these as translations, but as paraphrases of what the commentators say. I simply don’t have the time to note down everything that they say. Furthermore, I’ve probably misheard or mistyped something somewhere, but well, sue me. (^_^)

Note 3: New nicknames for this commentary

Konitan = Konishi Katsuyuki
Yotchin = Yoshino Hiroyuki

[Given that this is the “Miss Macross” episode, they start of by talking about the references to previous Macross series, especially first. It started with Yotchin putting a few things into the script…at first, Kawamori was kinda iffy about it—according to Yoshino, he said it “in a really lonely way,” so Yoshino agreed to stop doing it. But then the director came around, and they gradually added more and more. And then quite a few things were added by the storyboarders and animators (e.g. vending machines etc—Yoshino doesn’t write those kinds of things into the episode script), but the “Tuna buns” came from Yoshino.]

E.g. There was the scene of the protagonist saving the heroine
Yoshino: When it comes to Macross, I thought, “Well, then we’ve gotta have this!”
Konishi: saving the heroine?
Yoshino: After Kawamori approved this, I knew that any other tributes would be fine too.
Konishi: Well, I’m a Macross fan – I’ve seen the first series several times – and fans just grin at these references. But even if you’re not a fan, you’d just think it’s pretty cool.
Nakajima: There is something about it, isn’t there?
Yoshino: Did your heart skip a beat when (Ranka) was saved by Alto?
Nakajima: Hm…well, when he lost hold of her hand, I was like “this little…” but it is a scene that makes you go “Ah, this is Macross after all!”
[Yotchin does note that the heroine was saved from falling in the first series (because they were on earth). And so, because they were on a ship this time, he decided to go with “saving her from being sucked out into space”. Then the commentators realise that they’re meant to be talking about episode 4!]

03:50 On the dogfight
[Early in the commentary, Konitan notes that it was surprising that the episode 4 script went all the way up to draft #7, to which Yotchin notes that this was the most for any episode. The average for Macross Frontier was around four drafts, though sometimes, nothing from the original draft would be left by the time they got to the final draft that Kawamori would approve for storyboarding. He was often told to completely redo things. The story behind the seven drafts for episode 4 is as follows. It was originally approved after four drafts, but then, after Kawamori had a look at the script for episode 7 (i.e. the battle scenes, though the commentators dance around it for the sake of people who haven’t seen that episode, well, it’s “an exciting episode”), he mentioned to Yotchin that “we should make episode 4 a bit more exciting” ]
Yoshino: So I asked him: “Er, (Director), do you mean I should fix it?” And “Yup” was his answer.
[It was mainly the 2nd half that changed – the Miss Macross stuff, the make-up scene etc were all in the original script. But Yotchin had originally written just the mock battle for Alto, there was no Vajra attack slated for the dogfight! (Megumi-chan: That’s a huge change!) Yotchin had wanted to add it, but thought that it would wreck the schedule because they’d already drawn the storyboard for it. But with this directive from Kawamori (“go ahead and do what you want”) he spoke to the producers: “It’ll delay the schedule, but that’s fine right? The director told me to fix it, so it’s fine, right?”
=> The producers said yes, but their eyes were apparently begging him not to!

06:20 Miranda Merin
[Yotchin adds that whilst it wasn’t actually written down, he wrote her as if she could be granddaughter of Jamis Merin (the famous actress who was ‘supposed’ to win the first Miss Macross; the one with that horrible attitude – Konitan describes in detail, dialogue and all, the scene where Minmay asks for Jamis’s autograph!), what with the attitude and all.]

07:30 The swimsuit part of the pageant.
[Megumi-chan noted that there was a “fixing the swimsuit” part of both series, but whilst the one here (cf. ~9:23) was quite natural, her reaction to the one from the original series was: “WHAT are you doing?!” ]
Yoshino: Ah, true, a woman wouldn’t do that.
Nakajima: not in front of people. But even in private, I wouldn’t do that!

Yoshino: was there anything else you noticed?
Nakajima: Well, I really didn’t want Ranka to trip…but after singing “My Boyfriend is a Pilot” she lost her footing again…(“Well, Minmay was a klutz too…”) I know, but still…
Konishi: but then, you knew, right? That she was special
Nakajima: Well, maybe, it did cross my mind for a second, like “Hm…?”

Konishi: And after that, Alto was called out too, though by SMS rather than public announcement (as Ichijou Hikaru from the first series was called out).
Yoshino: You really shouldn’t focus on comparing so much – it’ll make you try to compare everything…
Konishi: But Frontier really feels like a new work.
Nakajima: I think so too – rather than “Ah, it’s the same here”, it’s more like a “perhaps that was…?” kind of feeling.
Yoshino: I’m glad I’m doing this commentary with you two, generous people! (laughter)

[Konitan notes however, that not everything is the same. E.g. the contestant numbers:
Konishi: For that scene, Miss Macross, there was something that struck me as being different…Minmay and Ranka had different contestant numbers!
Yoshino: Well, as expected, I don’t remember that kind of detail (laughs).
Konishi: I only realised it later, when I watched it again myself. But it was fun going back to watch the first series to see what was the same, to see how far you took the references. So everyone, please try doing that yourselves, ok? Try it, ok?

About “My Boyfriend is a Pilot”
[Megumi-chan actually tried dancing as in the video when she recorded this episode but couldn’t quite do it (remember, from the first commentary – she recorded alone for the first few months), so she was wondering if someone actually did the dance.]
Yoshino: I heard that the person who animated it did the dance him/herself, and videotaped it for reference.
Konishi: So they’d have thought up a dance, like “hm, I’m guessing this is how Ranka would sing this…”, and gone “hey, could you help me take this?” (Megumi-chan laughs)
Yoshino: It would have been interesting if someone was observing it, and added things like “If you do this, it’ll be cute”
Konishi: Ah, I want to find out for sure!


[The following discussion about Queadluums comes up because Yotchin reflects on how nostalgic this unit is…though he says its name so quickly I couldn’t catch it. Help? Konitan asks whether its name has changed (Yoshino: no, it’s probably the same), but the Queadluums have seen many varieties, from Nona, Quilqua (or?) the one from Macross 7 that Max piloted, Rau, Rhea. Then looking at the materials for Frontier, they realised that “it’s been 40 years, so we’d better come up with some new ones” => Kawamori, Kikuchi and Yoshino did some brainstorming for names, because it’s not as easy as just changing numbers like they can do for other units, but they just chose names based on what sounded good. In fact, Kawamori had needed a reminder:]
Yoshino: (At the time) I asked him “(Director) Kawamori, don’t Queadluums always have different names?” Guess what his reply was: “Oh yeah, I think I set up something like that…”
Konishi: so there is a Queadluum series, but each unit has a different name? That’s sooo much detail! I really want to see the contextual materials for this.
Yoshino: There is an incredibly detailed book with all of this, I think.
Nakajima: Ah, I really want to see that…I mean it, I want to see it, (Director) Yoshino.
Yoshino: Ah, well, er…you need to ask (Kawamori) for that…
Nakajima: Ah, next time then.

15:35 My Boyfriend is a pilot
[This song was recorded in November 2007. The TV and CD versions of the song are different.]
Nakajima: I sounded more mature in the TV series because I was mimicking Minmay’s version, having listened to it a lot. But after talking with Kanno Yoko, we made her sound more like an idol for the CD…which was recorded around February 2008. We made her sound like one of those idols from the past.
[Megumi-chan really liked being able to cover a lot of the famous Macross songs, and was always had fun wondering which songs she’d be able to sing.]

Konishi: I’ve been wondering, how did you decide on “My Boyfriend is a Pilot”?
Yoshino: In the original script, Ranka was meant to sing, but there would be no sound (Ehhh!?!). There’d be music playing, but…I really wanted to save her first big “singing in front of an audience” step for another episode. So I was really thinking about not having her sing. However, upon consulting Akane Kazuki, he told me quite plainly “She can’t not sing!” and also, “Make it ‘My Boyfriend is a Pilot’!”
Konishi: So that’s what happened!
Yoshino: After that, the director and everyone were unstoppable – “If Akane-kun says so, we’ve no choice, really”…so we asked Kanno to make a new arrangement, and got you to record it, which gave us this scene. So it had nothing to do with me, but I’m now quite thankful to everyone who made that possible! Like, having the songstress’s song juxtaposed against a battle is what Macross is all about.
Konishi: That really is something you’d want left behind, recorded for all time, as a fan.
Yoshino: so, as the writer, I’m really grateful for that.
Nakajima: Me too. Very grateful. I’m glad I got to sing it.
Yoshino: And why are YOU putting on airs as if you were the one responsible for it? (raucous laughter) And what other songs are you hoping to sing?
Nakajima: Hm…there are lots of songs…what do I want to sing most? I really like “My Beautiful Place”, so I’d love to try singing it.
Konishi: If you say it (here), you just might get to sing it.
Nakajima: Ehhhh?
Yoshino: Well, maybe not in the series, but we might release it in an album or something.
Nakajima: Really? Then, “Silver Moon, Red Moon” and “Shao Pai Lon” please.
Yoshino: Did you hear that, Sasaki?

Konishi: So, Klan Klan-
Yoshino: here we have Klan Klan again.
Konishi: the “moe” character.
Nakajima: the “moe” character!
Konishi: Who came up with the idea of making micronised Klan a loli?
Yoshino: Here here, it was me (^o^)!
Konishi: So it was Yoshino. Because “moe” is better?
Yoshino: I actually brought it up as a joke as some informal meeting, like this Zentran body, but this when she micronizes, she’ll be a little girl. I really meant it just as a joke.
Konishi: But she really does have a fantastic body in her Zentran form.
[Yotchin than interrupts the commentary to draw attention to Klan’s entrance.

(laughter. Konishi: Ah, that’s cute.)]
Konishi: there are lots of little details we don’t know about huh? What’s your favourite?
Yoshino: Klan Klan… (laughter) But Klan doesn’t quite steal the show, right? Ranka is cute too
Megumi: yeah, she is.
Konishi: Well…I don’t think Klan steals the show, but all I could think at the time was “just how much damage are those two doing to the restaurant?”!


Konishi: aren’t you glad that Ranka wasn’t on the screen here?
Nakajima: Well…
Konishi: I mean, if she was, wouldn’t it feel somewhat…lonely?
Nakajima: No…it’d be way beyond that.

Konishi: but it was difficult, wasn’t it, at that time, to get into Ranka’s head, to try and understand how she was feeling?
Nakajima: It was, quite. At that time, I didn’t really know about recordings, and I was still doing them alone, so I couldn’t ask anyone for advice either.
Konishi: and that’s why, at the start, you often just observed from your own seat. (Yup, that’s right). But in a way, wasn’t that good? Being able to observe everyone.
Nakajima: Yes – it was really helpful
Konishi: and you could observe all the directions and corrections that (sound director) Mima gave, and bring it to your own performances.
Nakajima: Yes. I’m really glad I was able to think at the time.

22:50 Ending question
Konishi: So what’s the best thing about episode 4?
Yoshino: Klan Klan.
(Really? Once again? (laughter))
Nakajima: Let’s try again – what’s the best thing?
Yoshino: Then it’s got to be “My BF is a Pilot” juxtaposed against the battle.
Konishi: especially those two hearts drawn in the sky.
Yoshino: Ah, one after the other
Konishi: they clearly had two of them, huh?
Yoshino: I laughed when I saw that. I hadn’t written it, but that’s what the animators drew.
Konishi: what detail, huh? I was really surprised! And…how about you, Megumi-chan?
Megumi: Klan Klan (Eh?) But really! I was looking at Klan’s character, watching Toyoguchi voice those two sides of her, so it made a really big impression on me.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

4 Responses to (Summary) Macross Frontier Episode 4 Staff/Cast Commentary

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