Macross F: Itsuwari no Utahime (Round 1)

Finally, I got to watch the first Macross F movie, Itsuwari no Utahime.  So how does this retelling stack up against that gold standard of Macross retelling, Macross:  Do You Remember Love?  At least on the points that were obvious to me.

Well, let me get this out of my chest first.  I was puzzled by the opening scene.  Brera???!!  Anyway, they played Diamond Crevasse so I was placated a bit.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get this started.  I will refer to the movie by Itsuwari, and the DYRL movie simply as DYRL.

Concert, Interrupted

Now that’s standard Macross fare.  Of course the one doing the concert here is the Galactic Fairy, Sherly Nome.  In DYRL, well, there was the one and only Minmay.

Now on to the concert(s) itself.  I love the way they pay homage to the previous Macross musicians past, starting, of course, with Lynn Minmay, then Sharon Apple, then Fire Bomber.  Because it is a later work, Sheryl’s concert has more eye candy.  They start it off with Universal Bunny.  Of course the whole sequence makes Minmay’s concert look really old in comparison.

Minmay's concert
Sheryl's concert starts

Along with this comes more daring like more flesh shown, even vampires and kissing.  With Sheryl biting and kissing Sheryl, well just the look on Ranka’s face describes everything.

Twilight er, Sheryl bites Sheryl
Wow! Can I do that at my own (future) concert too??

I wonder if the part where the strings are cut are really symbolic of Sheryl getting away from Grace’s manipulations (that is if the storyline in the movie will continue with that detail from the TV series).  I like it too.

The Battles

There should be no doubt about this one–CG really makes things more lively.  However there is no pilot on par with Max Jenus.  We also do not get the Vajra’s side–they are more mysterious and dangerous creatures than the Zentraedi.  On the music played during battles, I’d say it’s even.

Ichijo from DYRL
Those were the days (DYRL)
Itsuwari version GUI. As a programmer, I have this thing for UIs. Sorry.

The Damsels in Distress

Ichijo only had to rescue one damsel in the opening technically, but oh, Alto is so lucky he has to rescue two in succession!  Though those boosters under Sheryl’s skirt makes a nice twist–here is one damsel who can save herself!

The Floating Sequence

This is one place where DYRL does it beautifully, and in Itsuwari it looks ugly.  CG cars are not so ugly but not that beautiful either.

Up and away, DYRL version
Up and away, Itsuwari version

The Date

Indeed Sheryl is one level naughtier than Minmay.  For this movie, they played Pink Monsoon.  In DYRL it was an instrumental piece that they played, very beautiful and well-coordinated.  With Sheryl and Alto they added dialogue to give us more information.  DYRL wins in this category.

The Date, DYRL version
Come on, give the Princess a real kiss!!

The  Singing Sensation

Of course in DYRL it isn’t shown how Minmay became the famous singer–by winning the Miss Macross contest.  Itsuwari does away with the contest (only mentioning it) and has Ranka on the path to stardom the hard way.  I used to think Minmay and her costumes were silly, but now I don’t.  =p

It's a loli! It's a plane! It's a loli-plane! XD

The Ending Battle

It’s not THE FINAL BATTLE, I know it really shouldn’t be compared.  But we all know the power of CG.  Make it two singers instead of one, and it’s all wrapped up, right?  I’m pretty sure about the CG part, but I’m not so sure about the duet part.  Why is it that Ranka annoys me so much?  She is more annoying than Minmay.

Rawr, DYRL
Itsuwari version

Until we get to see how the second movie ends, I withhold judgment on this part and so for now the belt stays with the reigning champion, DYRL.

The Story Retelling

I’m convinced DYRL had a smoother feel.  Itsuwari reuses a lot of scenes from the TV series.  Maybe they wanted to save costs for the next movie, or maybe they wanted those who hadn’t watched the TV series to understand more.  I don’t really want a movie bogged down with too much detail–I mean, it’s a movie, right?  No need to explain everything.  What was the TV series for?

The Music

DYRL had a lot of instrumental pieces, and I loved it very much.  But Macross F had two singers, so they have to be used.  The merciful thing is that Sheryl also sings Aimo, so I don’t have to hear Ranka singing it all the time.  DYRL wins, but I like Sheryl’s songs too.

The Universal Bunny

The Love Triangle

We still don’t know if it’s Ranka or Sheryl who ends up with Alto, so I really don’t want to waste too much brain cells on this one.

And the winner is???!!

Right now, ideas on a second post about how the movie diverges from the TV series are still floating in my mind.  I don’t know if there’s enough material for a post.  But over-all, I’m still undecided on whether this retelling is a big improvement over the TV series.  The animation and music certainly are impressive.  However the 2nd movie is key–how will it all end?  That is the big question.

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