(Summary/Translation) Macross Frontier Episode 18 Staff/Cast Commentary

with Yoshino Hiroyuki (script), Kikuchi Yasuhito (Director), Endou Aya (Sheryl) and Inoue Kikuko (Grace).

The pain of betrayal

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: I had A LOT of difficulty trying to figure out who was talking at particular times in this commentary, so some of the comments might not be attributed to the right people. To be honest…any help on this one would be particularly appreciated!

Endou: And we jump right into this painful scene.
Yoshino: right into the start of a battle.
Endou: This is the first time she’s confronted her
Inoue: It’s a bit of a surprise, isn’t it? How Grace acts here.
Endou: It is!
Yoshino: But if I remember correctly, weren’t you having a lot of fun at this point?
Endou: Even now, you’ve got a grin on your face!
Inoue: To be honest….it was heaps of fun!
Yoshino: And you said it so cutely!
(more laughter)
Inoue: It’s just that, she really is horrible!
Endou: But didn’t you find out a short time before that, that “Grace is actually bad, she’s got a bit of a black heart”? And then, you kept apologizing to me, saying things like “it’s almost time for that…I’m sorry!”
Inoue: Yes, it’s almost time for that…I’m sorry…
Yoshino: But to me, whenever we passed by each other in the corridor, you were always asking me “Does she get any worse? She gets even worse, right?” (laughter) And with this happy note in your voice!
Endou: What? Did you request it?
Inoue: And when I did ask, the reply I got was…”well, yeah, you could say that…yes, she does”
Yoshino: Although we wouldn’t go so far as to say she became a monster.
Kikuchi: If we did…

Yoshino: Look, “Lion” has started!
Inoue: The first time I saw this, the complete opening, I was stunned! It’s soooo cool!
Endou: And it started with episode 18, didn’t it?
Yoshino: (When we were working on) a couple of episodes before this, Kawamori actually mentioned that it had to be this episode.
Endou: so it was planned for this one?
Yoshino: yes, that’s right.
Inoue: Soooo coooool…
Endou: It’s like they’re really battling it out (musically).
Inoue: Aren’t they?
Kikuchi: And Kawamori himself did the storyboard, didn’t he? (Yoshino: yeah, he did)
(Eh? Really?)
Kikuchi: Under the name, Kurokawa Eiji…ah, is it ok if we say this? (Yoshino: yeah, I’m pretty sure it is). Kurokawa Eiji is actually Kawamori’s pen name…
Endou: Is it ok to say that?
Yoshino: I think everyone knows already.
Yoshino: and it’s the same Kurokawa Eiji who wrote the lyrics to the SMS Shoutai song.
Kikuchi: That’s right, he also wrote those lyrics.
Yoshino: yup.
Endou: It’s an amazing song, that one, don’t you think?
Endou: wow…learning about these kinds of things.
Inoue: it really is like a commentary, huh?

[The mission plan that Leon’s holding – Kawamori asked Yoshino to come up with a name “by tomorrow” or “in the next three hours” or something…so “Cinderella’s Horn”. The first part is obvious, but the second comes from the notion of a summoning horn, since the plan was one of using Ranka’s voice to gather the Vajra together in order to destroy them.]

Inoue: Ah, this part…I love it!
Kikuchi: I should apologize…this part, I thought that it would be best if I made her seem inhuman.
Inoue: And that’s why it’s so rough, like how she’s just thrown her against the wall here.
Yoshino: In the end, Kikuchi, did you do this scene?
Kikuchi: Well…no
Yoshino: It’s just that, what I’ll never forget about it is…when we were putting this episode together, when we were developing the script…
Kikuchi: “This…I really want to draw this scene!”
Yoshino: yup, that! “I really want to draw this!”
(laughter) (So that’s what happened!)
Kikuchi: In the end, I left it to the person who was in charge of this episode, and it turned out really well.
Yoshino: But for me, having the director himself say he wanted to draw it made me really happy.

Kikuchi: But going back to that…was it something like “if I bully Sheryl as much as possible, it’s my win”?
Endou: Ehhhhh?! (laughter)
Inoue: True true…it really gets a lot worse from here, doesn’t it?
[Aya-chan is wailing a little in the background]
Inoue: But something good comes of it, right? The worse Grace is, the more Sheryl shines. Like light and shadow – the darker it gets, the brighter she shines. And everyone is behind her, saying “Come on, Sheryl!”
Endou: But even though everyone’s so kind now, knowing that…!

Bobby is so unbelievably GAR!!

5:30 Bobby
The seiyuu even cracked up during the recording session, even though it was just in lines (key frames?) at the time. This scene had much of an impact.

“Miss, what do you think of this dress?”

?: And this is the guy who’s called “Mishima’s little brother”
Endou: it’s like…”where have we seen that before?”

Kikuchi: Ozma ends up in hospital an awful lot, doesn’t he?
Yoshino: So he does.
Kikuchi: He just somehow ends up there, no matter what he does.
Inoue: Ah…I like this scene. Just after this, doesn’t Kanaria cut some apples for Ozma?
Kikuchi: Yoshino wrote an evil direction here
Endou: Really?
Kikuchi: something like “cutting the apple artistically”
Yoshino: Ah yes, I wrote that.
Inoue: Ahhh…so she made a little bunny?
(That’s crazy! It’s so cool. etc etc)
Yoshino: If you think about it, she’s a doctor, a medic, so she’d be good at using a scalpal. And furthermore, she’s a mother too, so surely she’d be good at peeling apples. Therefore, she’d cut something amazing, just like this, right?
(Endou/Inoue: Ah! / Of course!)
Kikuchi: but even if you say that…[seriously, his tone is hilarious – you should trying listening to this! -karice]
(raucous laughter!)
Kikuchi: That was really evil of you. (laughter) It’s like you were trying to bully someone.
Yoshino: I guess that’s true, if you look at it from the animator’s point of view.

[First, Endou Aya and Inoue Kikuko comment on the fun of finding out all these little behind-the-scenes moments, to which Yoshino comments that there are many things better left unknown.]
Endou: And I’m grateful that you keep those from us….
Inoue: like my real age…you know, the “oi-oi” and all. (laughter)
Yoshino: (now I really want to lay into you for that)
Inoue Kikuko: I’m sorry, went a little OT there!
[seiyuu trivia for those who haven’t heard of this before: Inoue Kikuko is the founder of the “17 year old” club of female seiyuu. She always introduces herself as “Inoue Kikuko, 17 years old”, to which everyone else is meant to answer “Oi, oi!”, indicating that that’s a lie. -karice]

Then 7.40
Yoshino: Ah, he’s pretending to be deep in thought.
Endou/Inoue: Ehhh!? He is thinking! What do you mean!?
=> “But he’s got some pretty heavy burdens you know, though he’s just a high schooler.
Kikuchi: Oh yeah, he is.
Endou: Huh? (did you forget)?
Kikuchi: It’s something that’s quite easy to forget, really.

Sheryl Noam??

Yoshino: This ‘mispelling’ was done on purpose-
Kikuchi: because those discounted CDs are pirated copies.
Inoue: That’s so detailed!
Endou: It really is different, the “Nome” is…
Kikuchi: The animator responsible for the scene was the one who decided it
Yoshino: And that’s why it’s discounted.
Kikuchi: 50% off.
Endou: So a genuine CD wouldn’t have-

Yoshino: Ah, it’s Klan Klan.
Endou: her socks are cute!
Inoue: Really cute!
Yoshino: Lots of lines here, huh? As usual…
Kikuchi: (The person who did it) put lots of different colors on (laughter)
Yoshino: even though we said that it really shouldn’t be done!
Inoue: I see!
Endou: I mean, it’s so detailed, the designs on Sheryl’s stockings (back in ep. 16) even had heart marks on them.
Yoshino: And that’s after you really simplified them.
Kikuchi: They were actually more intricate. (Yoshino: yup yup) LIke, I kept saying that it’s just not something we can do in an anime!
Endou: But you might really just get into that kind of thing, like, “it’s just so cute!”

Yoshino: Klan’s a graduate student
Kikuchi: Ah, yes
Endou: That white coat makes her look a bit more mature-
Inoue: That’s a good thing, huh?
Endou: It’s cute.

9:50 (Klan complaining about Michel’s interest in Sheryl)
Endou/Inoue: She’s so cute…
Kikuchi: We didn’t think that it’d come this far
Yoshino: She was a character that was born from a joke, after all
(Eh? Is that so?)
Yoshino: It was something like “Since she’s micronising, it’d be interesting if she became a loli”, that’s all.
Kikuchi: When we looked at the design, we were like “so this is what they came up with…heavens, what do we do about this?” => “Well, nevermind. It’s interesting this way.”
(Interesting, huh?)
Yoshino: And so it went “in her Zentran form, let’s give her a nice body”
Kikuchi: and that’s how she got that super dynamite body.

Mao Nome…but around 40 years older than the last time we saw her…

Yoshino: In the end, we showed Mao as well. We wondered if we should, since she was really young in Zero and we thought fans wouldn’t want to see her as an old lady.
Kikuchi: But if we didnt show her, it would have been difficult for the story to proceed, so in the end, we had her around middle age, 50 or so.

Yoshino: And here, for the first time, we’ve got Battle Frontier.
(Ah…I see)
Yoshino: We really hadn’t intended to bring it out until the end, but
Kikuchi: Somehow, at this point
Yoshino: We showed it.
Endou: Somehow, the more we hear, the more it seems like all these little things resulted from the mood at those times…
Inoue: Now that you say it-
Endou: Almost like, “we just couldn’t help it”
Kikuchi/Yoshino: No no no, it wasn’t like that.
Yoshino: It was all according to plan, wasn’t it, Director?
Kikuchi: the ending was set in stone, but the ‘how will we get there’ kept changing during those jam sessions.
Endou: That’s an interesting way to put it, “jam sessions”.
Kikuchi: If Yoshino said something, that’s how we’d go about it.
(Ah, I see)
Yoshino: What typically happened was that I would propose something crazy, which would be shot down by Kawamori, only to propose something crazier…and then I would add more again.
Kikuchi: Yup yup.
Yoshino: and then you would add something good, it became like a stampede (of ideas)
Yoshino: Putting the script together turned out to be heaps of fun.

How could you resist that, Michel!!!

Kikuchi: Ah…Klan in this scene…
Yoshino: It was really well done, huh?
Endou: Really makes your heart skip a beat!
Kikuchi: Everyone really wanted to draw her.
Yoshino: There really was a lot of love for her.
Inoue/Endou: Well…she really is cute!

Endou: Twintails…and a handkerchief?
Kikuchi: Yup. Twintails, and on top of that..
Inoue: It’s a really cute hairstyle.
Kikuchi: Such a great guy, really, Michel.
(He is, isn’t he?)
Kikuchi: Showing his understanding of Alto’s mindset.
Endou: Yup yup
Inoue: That’s true.

Kikuchi: This…
Yoshino: …was a little surprising, huh?
(general agreement)
Yoshino: In the rain…
Inoue: She’s stumbling around, about to fall – it’s done really well, don’t you think?
Endou: Ah, Grace really is here!
Kikuchi: And she really is looking down on her there [NB: Sheryl seems to be hearing and visualizing Grace in her head at this point.]
Endou: The woman herself.
Inoue: Why is she there beside her, huh?
Inoue: She really is horrible, isn’t she?
Yoshino: You wonder what their relationship was like before
Endou: When they got along, when Grace was being a proper manager
Kikuchi: They seem to have gotten on very well
Endou: You can really see from her expressions that Sheryl really trusted her
Kikuchi: Until now, she was like a substitute parent
Endou: That’s why it was so painful, the betrayal
Inoue: As big as her love for Grace was
Yoshino: And then, here…


Inoue: Here, her body too…it really leaves you speechless, what happens here.
Kikuchi: From the point where she sees Ranka.
Endou: That’s where it becomes unbearable.
Inoue: This really is painful, the point where she sees Ranka.
Endou: Even when I saw the rehearsal video, I couldn’t believe how painful it was. Here, this part, just unbearable!!
Inoue: The song too.
Kikuchi: The use of this song, “Do you remember love?”…that was Kawamori’s ‘fresh idea’.
Yoshino: And then the poster, soaked in the rain – I wrote that specifically in the script/screenplay. (laughter)
Endou: Hey! That’s just-
Yoshino: I even wrote that it’s been thoroughly trodden on.
Kikuchi: ??
Inoue: Everyone was like “Hang in there, Sheryl!”
Yoshino: And then here!
Inoue: She thinks she sees Alto, but…
Yoshino: It’s not the person she expects.
Kikuchi: He’s got really good timing, huh?

Kikuchi: This was entirely according to the script.
Yoshino: We talked about having Sheryl and Alto just miss each other, but then ‘what would be most interesting?’ I just thought that ‘It’d be really interesting if she somehow mistook Yasaburo, for Alto.
Kikuchi: The person you’d least expect.
Inoue: I was super surprised
Endou: Me too…and this song, I never thought it was this sad before.

Endou: And it was really tough to act out. At the rehearsal, I cried so much that I really couldn’t do it.
Kikuchi: And then, with great timing, the alert sounds.

Why now? My long-awaited day of shopping!!

Endou: At such a time, it’s like, she’s just a normal girl!

Yoshino: And even here, Brera’s just showing his belly button as usual.
Kikuchi: It’s not just because it’s amusing.
Inoue: Because it’s amusing…
Yoshino: Well…which episode was it? Episode 8? Where Brera first appeared, that scene where he plays the harmonica. I wanted him to appear like a young man wrapped in mystery, but that outfit! Rather than mysterious, it was like..what the?!
Inoue: Just some really strange person.
Yoshino: Well, it really had an impact.

Amazing CGI work is now the norm in Macross TV shows…

[The CG work in the battle scene was pretty amazing. For just the monitor, three CG staff worked really hard.]

??: Ack! We’re starting to watch it! Where’s the commentary? Gotta do the commentary!
Endou: Even during the recording, it was so fast that we really couldn’t follow it.
Yoshino: But even this is already slowed down.
Inoue: Ah, so it was even faster.
Kikuchi: The battle scenes were actually faster, but people couldn’t follow them, so we kept slowing them down.

Kikuchi: Well, the people watching it on TV just wouldn’t be able to follow it.

18:10 More talk about the nose art
[er…Yoshino was censored twice – I’m not entirely sure what he said, but it may have been something like “naked”…but “that would have been ‘borderline out’!” They were told to at least have her wear underwear…]
Kikuchi: On the ones that are sold, she is actually wearing underwear.
Yoshino: but the girls painted on real fighter planes normally aren’t wearing anything!
Kikuchi: That’s true. They’re really in just their birthday suits.
Yoshino: Even the upper halfs of their bodies aren’t covered.
??: But it’s extra bad because it’s Ranka…

[And the person in charge actually made 5 different designs, all of which were really good, so they had difficulty deciding which one to use! (Ehhh)]
Yoshino: So when we were working on the script, he asked “which should we go with?”
Endou: There must be lots of those, lots of things that were developed during the early production stages.
(True, plenty)
Endou: Perhaps we could see them somewhere else?
(Hm…that would be nice)
Endou: perhaps you could make some kind of product out of that…

Kikuchi: For some reason, everyone always laughs when Bobby appears.
Endou: Bobby…!
Yoshino: If you think about it, if the person who pilots the titular mecha is the protagonist…then that’s Bobby! ..Ah! Wait – that’s the Quarter, isn’t it? Sorry, take that back.

The beam from Battle Frontier cuts through the swathe of Vajra…and huge stabs of pain shoot through Ranka’s stomach… Still not obvious enough?

Kikuchi: And this is the first time that Frontier fires, huh? It really is quite flashy.
Endou: Ah! Ouch!

21:16 more CG
[The only direction given was “make it blindingly bright”. Even Kikuchi didn’t imagine that it’d be done so well. The directions have tended to be pretty vague, e.g. Kawamori in ep.1 said something like “show us an explosion worthy of the 21st century”. (laughter) Basically, they trusted their animators to deliver.]

22:45: (Wrapping up)
Endou: Well, it’s Sheryl Nome’s Endou Aya. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to say much with this episode, because it’s just so painful, but it ended up being heaps of fun. (laughter) Like, I feel like I’ve been saved – I really enjoyed hearing about all those things, so thank you.
Inoue: And, it’s Inoue Kikuko, who played Grace. Well, Grace…is such a horrible person. But…I really like her. I…feel like i want to do more, it was so much fun!
Yoshino: Well, if you ask Kawamori…
Inoue: I’ll do my best. Everyone, thank you!
Yoshino: Well…my brains have kinda flown out the window at the moment (laughter), but I’ve had fun, so I hope you all enjoy it too. And that’s it from me, Yoshino Hiroyuki. Director, on to you.
Kikuchi: Alright. Er…hm…one minute, really isn’t very long, is it? Ah, we’ve already gotten this far.
Inoue: Oh dear.
Yoshino: You’ve got about 15 seconds. Please go ahead.
Kikuchi: 15 seconds…if you tell me that now-
(Ah, that’s true!)
Kikuchi: Well, with that, this audio commentary…er, everyone…
Yoshino: It really is going!

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

11 Responses to (Summary/Translation) Macross Frontier Episode 18 Staff/Cast Commentary

  1. Matts says:

    “Kikuchi: because those discounted CDs are pirated copies.” Well, that explains that. (^_^;) I still don’t know why they spelled her name as Norm in the Macross F – Ranka Lee Official Book (not the Visual Collection, I still need to get that). I remember flipping through the pages and laughing out thinking “Oh no, they didn’t!” when I saw Sheryl’s character page.

    Once again, thanks for your hard work on translating the comments! I love this episode for many reasons and it was nice reading the background to some of my favorite scenes!


    • karice says:

      I still don’t know why they spelled her name as Norm in the Macross F – Ranka Lee Official Book (not the Visual Collection, I still need to get that). I remember flipping through the pages and laughing out thinking “Oh no, they didn’t!” when I saw Sheryl’s character page.

      Really?! ROTFL!! Well, that was one of the earlier books. Sometimes, I really think Satellite should hire one dedicated person (or small team of translators) to do all their English translations/signage etc. There are plenty of Macross fans in Tokyo who’d be willing to do that, I reckon.

      You’re welcome. Glad you’re enjoying them. Though…I have a slight dilemma over episode 20’s commentary…due to its nature, it’s something that doesn’t really work well as a text-only translation….


  2. Cadentia says:

    Well, I cannot know without having listened to it xD

    I just want to discuss somewhere my view of that episode, since I think with Ranka Kawamori may have wanted to deconstruct the war songtress trope he himself created with Minmay. Like, it’s okay to use something like songs as a war tool? Or even worse, someone as a war tool? To pervert a young girl’s dream like that? It’s just you can discuss this anywhere without it turning into a flame war.


    • Cadentia says:

      “someone as a war tool” I fail at English.


    • karice says:

      Finally finished and posted 20’s. Not the whole audio though, only a few minutes of it (^_^;; )

      Hm…I wonder about the idea that Minmay was a “war songstress”… My understanding of the broader themes of Macross is that, rather than the idea of song being used as a tool of war, Kawamori was using it – representing culture in general – to make a point related to ‘understanding others’…

      Though we can continue discussing it on that post if it fits better there (^^)


      I fail at English.

      I can’t see what you mean (o ̄∇ ̄o)


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