(Summary/Translation) Macross Frontier Episode 25 Staff/Cast Commentary
September 23, 2012 4 Comments
with Nakamura Yuuichi, Endou Aya, Nakajima Megumi and Kawamori Shouji.
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 straight-out 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’m sure you remember that nickname by now…
Bit of trivia which some might or might not find interesting: this commentary was recorded on Valentine’s Day, about 10 weeks before the BD was released. Note that there are also a few shots added here and there, which really lengthened the episode. I’ve noted one below – can you spot any of the others?
Nakamura: Hi there, everyone, it’s Saotome Alto’s Nakamura Yuuichi…
Endou: Sheryl Nome’s Endou Aya,
Nakajima: Ranka Lee’s Nakajima Megumi, and
Kawamori: Kawamori Shouji, who acted as the overall director.
Nakamura: You weren’t acting! You were the overall director!
Nakamura: Hm…and it’s February 14. Valentine’s Day. Quite a fitting occasion to be talking about the triangle. (Aya-chan can’t stop laughing)
Nakamura: This time, we skipped the opening and plunged right into the episode…I was really surprised at the time – it meant that we had to speak more, too much! for the episode. (laughter)
Kawamori: Though actually, a lot of the screen time went to the music.
[They then talk about how, with all the music, everyone had to work really hard to make sure the songs didn’t overlap with the recorded dialogue. The songs were really long, and actually intersped with a few short lines and all the yells – they had to work hard to get it right. ]
Endou: Even now, when I listen to the music, I have to hold my own lines back at the tip of my tongue. I still can’t listen to medleys properly. And then, it makes me reflect on the triangle again…and those screams spring to mind too…
Nakajima: I can only remember how I struggled to get all the timing right – like, we’d talk for a while, then I’d have to yell out “And so, everyone!”, and then I’d have to go into “Interstellar Flight”. “Ah! What to do!” That’s all that was in my head at the time.
Kawamori: It was all packed so tightly that, if you were just a few seconds late on anything, you’d run into the next lot of lyrics.
Endou: It was really fast paced.
Kawamori: But if you really were in a battlefield, this is what is’d be like. You wouldn’t have a clue about what was happening. (Nakamura: no, you wouldn’t)
Endou: Your eyes would be spinning.
Nakamura: And in the middle of that…Sugita, playing Leon Mishima, leaves the stage here. (laughter) Lucky bugger – such an easy load on him for the last episode!
Kawamori: Yoshino asked if we should kill Mishima…but I thought that we didn’t have to go that far…
Nakamura: Ah, the grandpa came out.
Endou: Your kindness showed its face!
Nakamura: But in the end, I thought that was a fitting end – he’d have to stand trial and pay for his sins.
Nakajima: I thought that he’d be with Grace in the end, controlling everyone.
Endou: What a lonely guy, huh?
Kawamori: Ah, we could have given him an implant, perhaps?
Nakamura: And finally, here, I get my fighter. Can you believe it, the protagonist not having a fighter at the beginning of the final episode? (laughter) And the reason for that being that Alto was – appeared to have been – shot down at the end of the previous episode. I really thought he’d died, so I gave my final greetings to everyone as I left (Endou: Ehhhh!? You did that!) But when I got the script on the weekend, I was like, “Oh, I’m still alive!” (laughter) I mean, you just don’t know what’s going to happen in Macross.
Endou: You don’t know what’s going to happen to your own character.
Nakajima: like, I’m probably going to die soon, or something.
Nakamura: I mentioned it once before, but I really thought that Ranka would die.
Nakajima: Ah..I did think that myself, for a bit.
Nakamura: I mean, she was on the enemy side…and I couldn’t figure out how she’d be able to return to ‘our side’.
Nakajima: I thought that maybe, she’d choose death herself.
Nakamura: And that would wrap everything up.
Endou: I see… I thought that Alto would die, actually.
Nakamura: Hm…there’s something behind that, huh?
Endou: I just thought he’d died.
Nakamura: In the previous episode, in that explosion?
Endou: Yeah…I thought it really was goodbye.
Nakajima: I thought that for a moment too…but then I figured that ‘he’d be fine, he’s the main character.
Kawamori: True true – if he hadn’t been the main character, he wouldn’t have made it.
Nakamura: If we’d been yelling “Luca!!”, he might actually have died. (laughter) This green one here.
Kawamori: well, in reality, you really wouldn’t be so lucky to have survived through all of that!
[(Nakamura: Speaking of Luca, I love his lines here.) They talk about Luca finally releasing his true power – releasing the Ghosts to fight for him. But (Nakamura: couldn’t you have done this earlier! Before Alto got shot down!) But Kawamori notes that it’d have been dangerous if he’d released them too soon, before programming them properly, they’d shoot at allies and enemies alike.]
Nakamura: Here, Alto speaks to Ranka through that earring, huh? It was around the middle of the series that Bilrer talked about it with Alto, that there was some material that could do this [i.e. connect people across the galaxy -karice]. After that, when I watched the first few episodes again, I realised that this was why the earring flashed, and that’s how the song had been transmitted.
Kawamori: Yup, that’s it.
Nakamura: It was really interesting to watch it from the top again.
Kawamori: That was in episode 7, where the song was transmitted to Alto.
Endou: There’s a lot I missed, really.
Kawamori: Ah…well. We actually made the show with the following aim in mind: that if you watch it through, and then rewatch it again, you’d actually see it completely differently.
Kawamori: Once you understand that the Vajra have feelings, you really see what’s happened differently, compared to when you thought that they didn’t have feelings.
Nakamura: Ah, true. Once you’ve seen it through to here, when you watch the first episode again, you get why the Vajra came to get Ranka. And…even if we hadn’t tried to save her, she probably wouldn’t have been killed, right?
Nakamura: So what I did was really pointless, huh?
Kawamori: But they didn’t really know about humans, so they might have tried to take Ranka away from Frontier just like that.
Nakamura: Ah…in which case she might really have died.
Endou: So it wasn’t pointless!
Nakamura: Ah…I’m glad for that! I mean, there was Gilliam too…
Endou: Ah…yes. That first episode was quite shocking, wasn’t it?
[They then move into a discussion about the characters, starting with how Grace is quite the villain. But then Kawamori notes that in the drama CD, you’ll find another, hidden side to her (Really?!) set after she’s picked up Sheryl, back when they were still close. (NB: the script was written by Yoshino, and Kawamori likes what he came up with to flesh out her story.) You-kyan then observes that, on the radio show, he and HiroC do these little skits with Alto and Michel acting like idiots. Thus, as of the recording of this commentary, he hasn’t actually acted as the ‘real’ Alto since they recorded the dialogue for the final episode…such that…]
Nakamura: “I thought that Alto actually WAS that kind of idiot!” (laughter). So when we were doing the drama CDs, that’s the mood I sort of did them in. So Alto might be a little bit different there…
Endou: A different Alto!
Kawamori: Well, the drama CDs have both kinds – something a little bit crazy, and something that properly relates to the story.
Nakamura: I was definitely saved by those crazy episodes.
Kawamori: but even so, we did have the proper, serious ones.
Nakamura: True that. We did. I was a little worried about how those turned out.
Nakajima: For me, I’m listening alongside you two every week, so that’s the image I have of Alto.
Nakamura: Of the idiot Alto, right?
Nakajima: So when I watch the series itself, I’m like…eh? Alto really was cool! What happened to him?
Kawamori: That’s important, huh?
Nakamura/Endou/Nakajima: Yeah, it’s because we have the radio and those silly drama episodes that the Alto in the show really stands out.
Kawamori: Everyone’s got this strange impression of him – but it’s actually pretty amazing for someone who’s just 16, 17 years old to be doing this much in a war!
(Now that you mention it.)
Nakamura: Perhaps it’s because he’s still later than everyone else. Michel and Luca were both in SMS for a while before he entered.
[A few extra seconds of explosions…and then Alto drifting…before Ranka’s song comes in….a scene with this little sound, with almost no sound, it’s somewhat like a movie.]
Kawamori: It’s like…it’s only after so much has been destroyed that she finally gets through.
Nakajima: I was really surprised that it’s “Your Sound” here. Like, it was “Blue Ether” when she left the fleet, but this one wasn’t forgotten. Like, she’s singing of her feelings for Alto.
Endou: Ah, so that’s what it is.
Nakamura: By which you mean?
Nakajima: I really love this scene. I only had the image of Ranka singing it at the school, so it was really surprising that it would ring across space.
Kawamori: Well, we really thought it was an amazing song, so we decided to use it again here.
Endou: And it’s also the episode title.
Nakajima: It’s like a song of emergence, of shedding one’s skin.
Kawamori: Ah, that was when all of the Vajra were emerging too.
Nakajima: You could say that it’s also a song for the Vajra.
Nakamura: But it’s really interesting here too. At the recording, it still wasn’t complete, but when the episode aired, I thought it really cool that they just cooperated like that. The red ones.
[They made it really easy to see which ones were on which side.]
Nakamura: I really love that scene where they protect the fleet.
Endou: Here, we have…
Kawamori: a superdimensional…
Nakamura: like, “where are they?”
Nakajima: When I first saw this, I think it finally sunk in what these scenes were all about.
Kawamori: This scene, actually, we did something similar briefly in episode 7.
Nakamura & Endou: Ah, yes you did.
Kawamori: This is what it’s like when they enter into ‘fold consciousness’.
|Another little controversy…|
Endou: Ouch. That was some slap.
Nakamura: That was a real good one.
Endou: And “idiot!” on top on that too. I mean, I’ve slapped Ranka too, but I didn’t say anything on top of that!
Nakamura: And you followed it up properly, right?
Endou: Yup yup…but in return, I’m an “idiot!”?
Endou: She’s really gown up, huh?
Nakajima: Well, that was really unplanned, really unintentional
Endou: Opening her eyes.
Kawamori/Nakajima: She was overflowing with emotion. I mean, going so far as to say “Idiot”!
Nakajima: And here it is, that famous line! (i.e. “You are both my wings”)
Nakamura: I really wish you’d spare me from this line.
Kawamori: It’s not a bad one, right?
Nakamura: Well, I personally don’t take it as referring to the ‘romance’. But viewers have been misled by that “supergalactic love story” catchphrase.
Kawamori: And I probably said it a few too many times too!
Nakamura: Because of that catchphrase, everyone tends to overuse the idea of ‘romance’ as a base to interpret everything, which ended up being rather frightening.
Kawamori: Everyone was taken by it, and far too much.
Nakamura: And the whole cast and recording crew too.
Endou: When people hear the word “Macross”, they immediately think of a love-triangle-
Nakamura: That that’s what the story will be about, right? And because of that premise-
Endou: They ask about it…like in interviews too. But it’s, perhaps unexpectedly, not really about the love triangle at all.
Nakamura: It’s like, that’s just one (small) part of it.
Kawamori: You could even say that the triangle was between humans, Zentradi and the Vajra.
Nakajima: Or to put it another way, there were loads of triangles, not just ones about romantic love.
Nakajima: But then…everyone just wants to know, right?
Endou: We certainly do. I want to know.
[They then bring up how the performances feel like they’re part of the show, and that they’d never have thought that it’d take place at the Budoukan (it’s a place where a lot of top international and Japanese acts perform). It really feels like it’s Ranka and Sheryl singing. Megumi-chan notes that the Budoukan really was the most enjoyable of the performances thus far, that she wasn’t even thinking about it, but just feeling it, all the excitement and the emotions at the time.]
Kawamori: even though it was the largest arena, it was also the one where you and May’n-chan appeared way larger than life.
Nakajima: Thank you.
Nakamura: It’s be great if you could perform at the Budoukan again.
Nakajima: I’d love to do that. Or perhaps, let’s go for something bigger.
Endou: Like the Dome?
Nakamura: Well…that’s probably a little out of reach…
Kawamori: Though if it’s the Dome, it’d be like Island 1 of Frontier
(Ah, true true)
Endou: There’s no end to it.
Nakajima: There’s always something else to do.
Kawamori: It’ll depend on what the viewers do, on how far they’ll support us.
Nakamura: And if they do support us, there’s no idea how far we might go.
[And of course, with the films, there’ll be more performances, right? And new songs too, right? So can we ask about the movies? How far along are they?]
Kawamori: The movies, huh…well, we’re really behind on pre-production…
Nakamura: Hold it right there!
Kawamori: Well, you see. It’s really difficult. Like, with the love triangle (Ahh…) normally, you’d just have one heroine. And we have the war, and then the two of them singing, and there’s also two enemies in the Vajra and Galaxy. So it’s a real balancing act, trying to get it right. But then, I find this process really interesting. And of course, a few new songs here and there too.
Nakajima: A bit here, a bit there.
Kawamori: there are quite a few, right? It’s pretty amazing.
Nakamura: Really? I haven’t really listened to them much. Those new songs, I only really hear them at the recording sessions.
Kawamori: Well, there are some that have recently been released, and are on the airwaves nows.
Nakamura: They are? Though that means that they’ll be gone by the time everyone watches this!
Endou: So they can’t check whether it was true of not!
Kawamori: If you think about it, 50 years ago for them is now.
[i.e. it’s nearing the time that the Macross (SDFM) lifted off etc]
Follow the Vajra!
Endou: That’s quite an amazing thing, huh?
Nakamura: Never expected that they’d ever say something like this.
[They really wanted to do this “Macross Attack”. There were also heaps of elements that had to be linked together, like all the songs – a medley, certainly, but other songs too.]]
Nakajima: Ah…Michel! Michel!!
Nakamura: All the viewers loved how they used Michel’s rifle here too.
19:50 on Grace again
[Was she ever reasonable? Well, she was a researcher who probably got too caught up in the possibility that her research thesis proposed (about human evolution). Oh, and she may still be alive, because that body isn’t where her consciousness is stored, after all.]
Nakajima: The Vajra sing with their stomachs…that’s why my stomach always started hurting.
Nakamura: After filming this last scene, Inoue Kikuko told me: “I’m still alive after that, right?”, and I was like “Er…nope, I’m pretty certain you died there.”
Nakamura: She really wants to be in the movie. She just kept going, “I’m alive, right? Right?”
Kawamori: Well, you could say that rather than dead, she’s in another place.
Nakamura: Now that you mention it, she doesn’t really have a body, right? Perhaps, if her consciousness escaped somewhere, then she might actually be ‘alive’ somewhere.
Nakajima: Alto-kun…really did it, huh?
Nakamura: Yup. It’s the first time he’s shot an enemy down.
22:29 – Aimo
Nakajima: This scene almost brought me to tears. I never expected that “Aimo” would be a ‘love song’. And a ‘love song’ that Ranka received from her mother at that. When I think about that…
|So…who expected this?|
(Ah…! And this…)
Kawamori: This grandfather…
Nakamura: Such a mysterious cut scene.
Nakajima: Almost unbelievable, huh?
Endou: I’m really curious about that.
Kawamori: Well…he thought that he’d be able to get to her, after all, with that fold network.
Nakamura: To meet her.
[And following on from the last commentary – You-kyan notes that, even in serious scenes, when Ai-kun is floating about in the background, he can’t help staring at it!]
Nakamura: But whilst it was fine when it was cute, it got a little bit more frightening right? When it became more Vajra-like. But it had that paper airplane, and just seemed to be saying “whacha doing with this, this airplane?” I was like…”You little…”
Endou: Like a true protagonist.
Nakamura: Isn’t he? … and he’s wearing that earring so conscientiously.
Endou: Right. He’s not taking it off anymore.
Kawamori: Well, it suits him.
(laughter and general agreement)
Endou: It’s sad…and frustrating…but he’s such a beauty!
Kawamori: Perhaps that was one of his problems, he was too pretty, so everyone thought he never tried his best.
Nakamura: The impact of his appearance was just too great.
Kawamori: In the history, he’s actually one of the protagonists that did quite a lot.
Endou: And she’s doing that “Kira!” sign.
(for a really long time!)
Nakamura: And it’s now time to end, but how? It’s not the end, after all. (True, that)
Kawamori: More like, this is just the beginning.
Nakamura: And so, this was the 25th episode. Personally, well, I personally hope we see a more conclusive end for Alto
Kawamori: do you mean we should end his life then?
Nakamura: no, not in terms of his life! I mean more with regards to things around him…like, make his thoughts/feelings a bit clearer.
Kawamori: though he’s actively fighting, right?
Nakamura: from the things around him
Endou: in his general life, non?
Nakamura: I don’t think we have to spell it out for you
(Kawamori is laughing lightly)
Nakajima: like, choosing something
Nakamura: yes! I’m looking forward to that. [just a few seconds left!] Everyone, a few words!
Endou: I’m really looking forward to the movies!
Nakajima: Same here! Please attach (him) to someone!
Kawamori: Ok, got it!
Nakamura: we got through?