(Summary/Translation) Macross Frontier Episode 16 Staff/Cast Commentary

with Nakamura Yuuichi, Endou Aya, Hoshi “Pappi” Souichirou and Yoshino Hiroyuki (script). This lot really had fun with the commentary, talking about everything from Brera’s clothes, the nose art on Kanaria’s Monster to the fact that Frontier songs were sung at the wrap party for another, rather famous series…

aka: the episode where Alto is forced to reassess the path in life that he wants to take

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. (^_^)

Nakamura: Episode 16….”Ranka Attack”…though Ranka’s not actually here…
Endou & Hoshi: Good point, she isn’t!

00:40
Nakamura: There’s a huge guy here.
Hoshi: Yes there is. And there’s a small guy too.
Nakamura: Ah, that’s me.
Endou: Isn’t he tiny!
Nakamura: During the recording, they hadn’t finished the animation, and all they told me was that “there’s a huge guy there”, so once I saw it after all the color had been properly added, I thought “Woah, he really is huge” – that’s what surprised me the most. (Endou: really huge!) In the end, I still don’t really know who this guy is.
Hoshi (to Yoshino): So who is he, ultimately?
Yoshino: Well, (as written elsewhere), he’s SMS’s…
the others: the owner, ok.
Nakamura: But even at the end, nothing was really made clear.
Yoshino: It wasn’t really touched upon…we didn’t have enough time. (Endou: Eeeehhh?! Not enough time? / Hoshi: a lack of time was the problem?)
Nakamura: a lack of time was the problem? I really wanted to know, around this time.
Yoshino: Well, it might be touched upon a bit later, maybe.
Hoshi: Ah, understood.
Nakamura: Well, we still can’t say anything, huh?
Yoshino: Once you get to the last episode, there’s this pendant you see. But we really shouldn’t be talking about what’s ahead right now…sorry!
Nakamura: It’s fine, isn’t it? I feel like we’ve done this a lot already, in previous episodes.
(they basically persuade Yoshino to give up the ghost…)
Yoshino: Let’s just say that he’s “That person’s fan”.
Nakamura: ah, I see.
Endou: I wonder who that person could be…?
Yoshino: Well, if you would watch it…

2:08
Nakamura: and we’ve gotten to the opening.
Hoshi: Still this one, huh? Still ‘Triangular’.
Nakamura: It changed pretty late, didn’t it? Around 20?
Yoshino: episode 18.
Hoshi: for a 2-cour show, that’s pretty late.
Nakamura: for a 2-cour show, it usually changes around episode 13/14.
Hoshi: was that for reasons to do with the direction (of the new opening)?
Yoshino: well…it certainly wasn’t convenient in terms of the schedule.
(laughter and “ehhh?!”)
Hoshi: That sounded really suspicious… I mean, when the episode screened each week, it was like “‘Triangular’ again?!”
Nakamura: Like, shouldn’t it be changing soon…?
Endou: I kept hearing rumours that it’d change! But it was like, “not yet, not yet!”

[Nakamura then brings up how the meeting with Bilrer establishes yet another link to the first Macross…but then Yoshino reveals, somewhat inadvertently, that he “didn’t really think too hard about…well, let’s just move on…” (laughter). They move on to talking about when the dialogue was recorded for this episode (June, the start of summer for broadcasting on July 24), which is quite early for an anime series, apparently.]

4:15 On Brera’s clothes
Nakamura: I always thought they were rather strange. I mean, that V-neck part.
Hoshi: You can see his belly button.

Yoshino: Well, there’s the possibility of body-painting.
Endou: Ehhh?!
Hoshi: No kidding? The blue part being body paint?
Endou: Like really?
Nakamura: A really weird person (afterall)
Hoshi: That’s kind of embarrassing.
Endou: Completely (embarrassing) you mean.

(Classroom scene)
Nakamura: Girls would admire him (好意), but guys would be jealous.
Yoshino: Ah, he’s been owned, he’s been owned.
Nakamura: Yeah, Alto’s completely beaten here. It’s as if it’s a set thing, that he can never win against Brera.
Hoshi: I think he became very popular around the school after this.
Nakamura: That’s probably true
Hoshi: I mean, he looked so suspicious at the start, like a stalker.
Nakamura: He is suspicious!
Yoshino: There was talk about having him transfer in at one stage
(Huh? Really? Transfer in?)
Yoshino: But in the end, (we thought it’d be) weird, so we had him as Ranka’s bodyguard.
Hoshi: And that’s much better, after all!
Nakamura: You think?

5:30 Brera’s background (05:45)
Nakamura: It was kinda revealed in the 10th episode, but I was wondering – was it ever confirmed in the show itself, that Brera is a cyborg?
Yoshino: He says at one point “a cyborg like me”
Nakamura: I thought it’d be nice to hear the details
Yoshino: You mean, it’d be cool if we can do a spin-off
Hoshi: Ah, like “The Tale of Brera” or something (c.f. “The Tale of Genji”). I thought it was a waste that we didn’t see more, like what does he do when he’s not on screen?
Nakamura: True true, no one knows.
Endou: it piques one’s curiousity.
Hoshi: Doesn’t it? Something about how Brera got to this point…
Nakamura: It’d be interesting to see that.
Yoshino: But isn’t he popular with girls because he doesn’t say much?
(laughter)
Hoshi: Ah, because he really doesn’t say much at all
Yoshino: The male characters I write, if they speak too much, they’re not really popular. I’m sorry, Alto.
Hoshi: Even though Alto’s actually such a great guy.
Nakamura: (agreeing with Yoshino?) Yeah, he snaps unexpectedly quickly.
Hoshi: His voice is cool too.
(laughter)
Hoshi: and he lets his feelings out so easily. I like that kind of character.
Endou: Like, he’s really passionate.
Nakamura: But girls like the quieter, more collected ones.
Yoshino: The mysterious ones.
Hoshi: Cool characters.

07:03
Nakamura: When I saw Brera for the first time – I think it was in the next episode preview that aired after that special Deculture screening. It was still a rough sketch, but Brera appeared for a split second – I thought “crap, he’s certainly a handsome one”
Endou: Ah, you thought him a bit of a threat.
Nakamura: Well, yeah, I got rather worried. (laughter) Like, “I’m done for, totally done for”.
Endou: Kawamori-kantoku once told me that it’s the side characters who are cool, rather than the protagonist himself.
[Which segues into talk about how Brera is outside of the love triangle (Hoshi: he interacts with Ranka, but it’s not as part of the love triangle, so it’s kind of lonely. Endou: more like a familial love, perhaps?) and how he’s so devoted to Ranka that he doesn’t even acknowledge Sheryl, even though he should know her, being from Galaxy and all. “But that’s just how devoted he was to Ranka.”]

08:30
[Here, they talk about Megumi usually stayed behind after recordings to record the songs. The bigwigs had her record songs after the cast recordings so that she can more easily regain the atmosphere of the scenes… (Hoshi: she said it was really difficult to do. Endou: that it was really nerve-wrecking sometimes.)]
Yoshino: in scenes like this too, she was directed to sing half-heartedly.
Hoshi: Ah, she couldn’t give it her all.
Yoshino: Giving a bad performance is actually quite difficult.
Hoshi: she had to give off that nuance, huh?
Nakamura: but the really difficult thing, I think, would be the recording of the songs used as part of the BGM, because they’re done on a different day. This kind of arrangement, where she does it after the dialogue recording, probably makes it easier to grasp/recall the mood of the scene.
Endou: Were the singing recordings also directed by Mima [Mima Masafumi – the sound director. Sound directors are typically responsible for directing the seiyuu -karice].
Yoshino: Sasaki did this.
Endou: That’s unusual…
Yoshino: Mima gave up the director’s chair!

10:27
Nakamura: I think that Nakajima probably doesn’t go off-tune, but if we’re talking about someone who’s not so good at singing, would they go be able to hold the correct pitch in such a situation?
Yoshino: Most probably not.
Hoshi: Ah, so it would end badly.
Endou: I see I see.
Hoshi: Well well…
(laughter)
Nakamura: That’s a topic that really leaves us hanging, huh?

10:50 Alto runs into Sheryl again (10:50)
Nakamura: and here we have…
Hoshi: Sheryl
Endou: Sheryl, who’s feeling dizzy…
Nakamura: Why is Sheryl here?
Hoshi: And in such a bad state.
Nakamura: Sheryl often wanders around town
Endou: True true…is that alright, I wonder?
Yoshino: This time, it’s probably because she can’t stand staying in he hospital…but after realizing that she doesn’t have anywhere to go, she ends up here.
Endou: And they meet quite often by chance, don’t they?
Yoshino: (Don’t point that out!)
(laughter)
Nakamura: Alto finds her by chance, like 2/3 times (over the course of the show).
Hoshi: He’s very good at that, huh?
Nakamura: Ah, Sheryl!
Hoshi: But his timing is a bit off. Like, “come quicker!”
Endou: Yes, that!
Yoshino: It’s as if (I) like daytime soaps, the “Ah, crap!” kind of timing.
Hoshi: She was even taken away by his brother.
Nakamura: Right right, by his brother.
Yoshino: Save that for next time!
(laughter)
Hoshi: Ah, that’s right.

11:43 Alto and Sheryl in his SMS room
Endou: Ah, poor thing.
Nakamura: After punching him right in the face, she kicks him.
Endou: She seems quite well, doesn’t she?
Nakamura: Just a brief moment when you can see her upbringing, huh?
Endou: Well, one thing or another, it’s her upbringing.
Nakamura: That’s her upbringing, after all.
Yoshino: She’s probably be a proponent of ‘fight with all you’ve got, don’t give in’ [probably wrt self-defense -karice]

12:01
Nakamura: I’ve always been a little curious about Sheryl’s hair colour. How did she get that kind of colour, by streaking it? There’s a bit of pink in there, right?
Hoshi: It is rather pinkish.
Yoshino: I think it’s just the gradation.
Hoshi: Why doesn’t it turn yellow, for example, when she’s singing?
Yoshino: That’s because of the SFX.
Hoshi: SFX? Then this pink is its natural colour?
Yoshino: probably.
Nakamura: so they change it using holograms?
Yoshino: Her clothes change too.
Endou: She wears a suit for that, right?
[Then Alto sees the earring…]
Endou (echoes): “Alto, no!”
Nakamura: Not thinking it through, he comes too close.
Hoshi: It’s really close.
Endou: Too close. Be careful!
Nakamura: And (Michel) drops by.
Hoshi: to get in the way
Endou: Just a little bit longer!
Hoshi: Don’t get in the way!
[=> Michel’s hair – (Endou: he probably sets it, huh?] Yoshino: Like, he doesn’t have quite enough of a fringe. Endou: so he collects all the strands together. Hoshi: according to his mood on the day.) And then the video call from Cathy comes through, and Alto…]
Hoshi: That’s some treatment of Sheryl….
Endou: But I really liked this scene.
Nakamura: He’s very straightforward, like “It’d be bad if she’s seen”.
Nakamura: They use video for communication, right, but if they do this suddenly, it could lead to an awkward situation.
Hoshi: suddenly, yeah, your privacy. You could be changing.
Endou: They should give them time to prepare themselves.
Yoshino: Can’t be helped, they’re in a military organisation and orders come from above.
Nakamura: so it’s not even a question about privacy.
Endou: Rather, it can’t be helped.
Yoshino: yes, that’s it.
Hoshi: It can’t be helped…?! Urgh…yikes.
Nakamura: That’s scary.
Hoshi: Too scary.
Endou: You’d like them to be informed about this before they sign up!
Nakamura: true true. Or maybe a little warning – like, ‘in one minute…’
Yoshino: we thought we’d bully them a little here.

From 13:50 onwards, when they start the Ranka Attack Operation
[Lots of words and dialogue from previous series are referred to, which viewers might not know if they haven’t seen them. Words such as “Protodeviln” from Macross 7, and “Ranka Attack” from the “Minmay Attack”.]

14:28
Hoshi: That image on the Monster – does it have any meaning?
Yoshino: Kawamori said to give it nose art, so Iwata created a few examples…
Nakamura: Like “how about this?” or something?
Yoshino: And actually, nose arts of fighter planes etc tend to be rather perverted.
Nakamura: I mean, look! she’s not wearing underwear.
Hoshi: I was wondering what’s up with that!
Endou: You wonder if that’s Ranka – so your heart skips a beat because of that.
Hoshi: It’s a bit…perverted.
Endou: It’s one thing if it’s Sheryl. [And I can’t quite believe Aya-chan said this! -karice]
Nakamura: Ozma is quite something, to have allowed that.
Hoshi: Ozma would never allow that!
Yoshino: If he saw it’d he’d be pissed.
Nakamura: Ah, so he hasn’t realised! It’s right there!
Hoshi: Look! It’s so obvious! Wait, look look, he’s realized!
Nakamura: he’s really staring at it!
Hoshi: Staring straight at it!
Nakamura: So that’s why he’s angry.
[Well…of course they’re joking about this. ^^ -karice]

15:38
Nakamura: And here we have this cockpit, which is rather mysterious.
Yoshino: Well, it’s basically a virtual space, like, that’s what it looks like from Brera’s pov.
Nakamura: Ah, an image that he sees.
Hoshi: Ah…eh? but he can really maneuver the fighter like that?
Yoshino: like, there’s a way to control… Going back, I can’t remember exactly which episode it was, I can’t remember which episode, but you can see the actual cockpit somewhere, just for a moment.
Nakamura: So when he sorties, it basically changes almost immediately?
Yoshino: yup, that’s right.
[Lots of “I see…”]

[Also, the other two fighters behind Brera are also VF-27s, probably manned by unknown cyborgs.]
Yoshino: Probably…like, some gorgeous cyborg chicks with twin tails or something like that…
Hoshi: Something like that – something you’d go ‘moe’! over.
Nakamura: But you decided not to reveal them this time.
Hoshi: Ah…what a waste!
Yoshino: I didn’t want to introduce more faces
Hoshi: it’d become too messy?
Nakamura: Well, we had Klan’s subordinate, who didn’t even speak before she died.
Yoshino: but she did, a lot, in the CD drama!
Nakamura: Ah yes, there was an episode about the Pixie Squadron, wasn’t there?
Yoshino: We hurriedly set up her character for that.
(laughter)
Endou: “Hurriedly”?!
Hoshi: like an afterthought, huh?

17:38
Hoshi: The battle scenes really are cool.
Nakamura: Doing this kind of CG battle scenes week after week for a TV series has to be pretty tough, does’t it?

Nakamura: Ah, there they are. Ah, Brera is actually a Captain, isn’t he?
Yoshino: Yes.
Hoshi: Ah, so not everyone has a magenta fighter. That’s great, having something special that sets him apart.
Endou: Something special?!
Nakamura: It’s not so easy to tell (that the other two are VF-27s) because we don’t get any close shots of them, huh?

18:28
Yoshino: What we see around Grace here is basically the same thing as with Brera’s cockpit.
Hoshi: Ah, an image in their minds.
Nakamura: So, in the earlier parts of the series, when Brera often took though cables out (?), these are the images he-
Yoshino: Yup, these kinds of images.

18:55
Yoshino: Sheryl sitting like a queen
(laughter)
Hoshi: (She’s like) a female captain
Endou: A female captain! That’s really cool.
Hoshi: But what she’s wearing…
Endou: it’s like she’d take that off in a jiffy.
Hoshi: and she’s the only one like that.
Nakamura: But looking at those clothes there – there’s gravity on the ship, huh?
Yoshino: Ah, now that you mention it, yes. In the Macross universe, artificial gravity is pretty widespread. So you can live quite normally on Island 1, without during somersaults in mid-air and all that.
Nakamura: Ah, true, gravity can be created without relying on centrifugal force.

19:30 The militarised version of Aimo
Hoshi: Ah…I’ve started just listening along.
Nakamura: True, when there’s music, we typically end up listening to it.
Endou: But the first time I listened to this “Aimo OC”, I was really surprised, like “Ehhh?”
Nakamura: It’s got (different) lyrics. Like, it’s become rather virile.
Endou: Yeah, I didn’t expect that.
Yoshino: This Aimo – Ranka doesn’t really like how it’s used, and we wanted the viewers to have a similar discomfort with it. We thought it’d be good if they disliked it. So when I saw that the online reaction after the episode screened was predominantly one of “I hate this song”-
Hoshi: But then, it’s kind of cool too.
Nakamura: It’s not a vulgar song.
Hoshi: No, it’s not. Of course, the original Aimo is better.
Yoshino: The one that was in episode 10 is just really…soothing, isn’t it? So a lot of viewers really liked it.
Hoshi: It was about “The Bird Human”, wasn’t?
Yoshino: So we made this one to be hated, so when it really was hated-
Nakamura: It was just as you planned.

20:45
[In the episode, Alto comes charging to try and protect Ranka, yelling at the top of his lungs as always.]
Yoshino: Ah, he’s come to be beaten.
Nakamura: It’s like a standard in Macross: if you yell, you’ll get trashed.
Endou: And that’s what makes you the protagonist.
Nakamura: Yup yup.

Nakamura: Too bad, huh?
Hoshi: He’s here.
Nakamura: The one who ended up protecting her was Brera.
Hoshi: He just keeps getting little juicy bits.
Yoshino: yup yup. To have Alto ‘fall’, we just kept piling all these juicy bits on him.
Hoshi: Well, he doesn’t really have that many lines in the script, so it’s a bit bewildering what he’s actually doing. But when I watched it properly afterwords, it was like “oh, he was actually doing this much!”
Yoshino: It really is quite difficult to tell at the time you record the dialogue, huh?

21:30
Nakamura: And we’re now approaching the ending. I’ll leave out the details, but this ending,”Northern Cross”…
(Ah, that’s a great song, isn’t it?)
Nakamura: Hoshi, at this other series which (and some of the same staff), a something Geass…
Hoshi: that “Code whatever”…
Nakamura: at that party, I heard that you sung Northern Cross?
Hoshi: Because Yoshino was also there!
Yoshino: Because I was there? I was in a different room, actually, and then someone came along with the message “Yoshino, Hoshi is looking for you! Come on, he wants to sing this song together.” But you were really drunk, weren’t you?
Hoshi: Yeah.
(laughter from You-kyan and Aya-chan)
Hoshi: It was a very drunken finish.
Nakamura: so you closed with “Northern”?
Hoshi: Well…we tried to, but-
Yoshino: we couldn’t find it, like “It has to be here! Why can’t we find it?!”
Hoshi: And it was, but the number wasn’t coming up…and so, flipping through, we found “Diamond Crevasse” instead – I like that song too, but because it’s so mellow, it’s really difficult to sing!
Nakamura: Not something that you would sing as a rousing end to a night out.
Yoshino: And well, because Hoshi wanted to sing together, we ended up doing it.
Endou: Ehhhh!! “Diamond Crevasse”?
Nakamura: Well, it’s great, isn’t it?
Yoshino: But then, it happened to be just about the end of the time for that 2nd party of the night, just as we were finishing up – feeling good about it too – we got told “I’m sorry, it’s time to go”-
(Nakamura: A pretty good way to end, I would say. Hoshi: yup, that was the close. Endou: Wow, that’s great.)
Yoshino (being drowned out): but wait, it was the wrong series!
Endou, Nakamura & Hoshi: A great ending, huh?
Hoshi: It was great being able to end with “Diamond Crevasse”.
(laughter)
Yoshino: Well, for me, the strange looks that were directed my way are something I won’t ever forget!
Hoshi: They were warm, friendly glances, really!
….
Yoshino: well, Hoshi did sing “Mosiac Kakera” (CG’s 2nd ending) several times.
Hoshi: Three times, IIRC, three times altogether.
Nakamura: Well, if you sung that three times, then it’s alright to sing “Diamond Crevasse” once.
Endou: As a little bit of advertising.
Hoshi: Everyone would understand that kind of thing.
Nakamura: I think so too.
Hoshi: Right?
Nakamura: And so…ah, we’re out of time! So everyone, with the rousing “Northern Cross”, one final word – just one! – each!
Yoshino: Then, thank you! Just one word after all!
Hoshi: Er…I’m glad to have played Brera!
Endou: Sheryl!
Nakamura: Sheryl…ok, go ahead.
Endou: Thank you!
Nakamura: “Thank you?!” and me…er, looks like I’ve got about 10 seconds.
Hoshi: You really got a lot, huh?
Nakamura: well, please watch this and enjoy listening to this commentary where we talk about anything and everything!
Yoshino: Thank you very much!

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist in training. I also love musicals, photography, travel and believe it or not, the game of cricket. よろしく!

2 Responses to (Summary/Translation) Macross Frontier Episode 16 Staff/Cast Commentary

  1. Pingback: For the record: Yack Deculture! | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

  2. Pingback: Masterpost: On Anime ‘Writing’ Project | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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