Neil Baumgardner (nbaumgardner@phillips.com)
Tue, 31 Aug 1999 23:03:55 -0400


> That's why I now like Gundam better than Macross, though I still am a Macross
> fan. I sure hate having things unexplained all because they came as a result of
> alien and terran technology. I haven't heard anyone explain in detail how the
> Valkyries in Macross transform so fast (gee, I could only imagine how much
> structural stress would that be, going from fighter mode to battroid), how they
> are powered, and such. Gundam has "real-world" explanations behind their
> hardware, so to speak. Gundam tech really is technology for the 21st Century...
> :-)

    Okay, this is going to be long, I think I can speak to this somewhat. While not
    quite exactly the same, I was and am a member of the Robotech mailing list,
    although its pretty much dead now. To be honest, at that ML's height there was
    far more technical discussions than anything I've seen here. Several people on
the
    list, notably Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern, went into
    great depth on technical issues and came up with the Robotech Technical Files.
    Here's the address for it:

    http://spac-201.rice.edu/robotech.html

    Unfortunately, I just checked it and it appears to be down, but I assume just
    temporarily since it is run off of Peter Walker's computer. Much of it is
logical
    extrapolation, but I think you'll find it much more detailed than anything in
    Gundam. BTW, Mr Walker is working on his doctorate degree in astrophysics,
    and should be happy to explain almost anything in Robotech/Macross on a
    technical basis.

    If want some 'pure' Macross, see the Macross Compendium:

    http://www.anime.net/macross/

    I would argue that Macross has at least as much, if not more, 'real-world'
    explanations for its technology. In the original Macross, there's no
    Minovsky-type equivelent. No real gimmick technology. Of course in Robotech
    there is Protoculture, but that's another story.

    To be honest, Gundam is a kind of 'second love' for me and took somewhat of a
    leap. Take a look at the original Macross series Valkyrie fighters, basically
    everything there is taken straight off of a 1980s fighter aircraft or ideas of
the time
    - infrared search trackers, laser designators, variable geometry wings, vectored

    thrust, etc. That's due to the series' creator and mechanical designer, Shoji
    Kawamoi, who essentially started out as a 'fan-boy' of aircraft. That realism is

    what initially pulled me in. I didnt jump over until I saw the same sort of
realism in
    0083 (well what do you know, Kawamori did the mechanical designs for that
    too). The original Gundam designs still make me gag somewhat at their simplicity

    and lack of detail, and its only three years removed from Macross in the real
    world (but light years apart art-wise IMHO).

    Hope I didnt come off as 'trashing' Gundam, since I really like it, especially
the
    story. However IMO, it cant compare on a technical basis w/ Macross. OTOH,
    Kawamori went and took the series on a new direction w/ Macross 7 and lost a
    lot of its realistic appeal to me, especially with the spiritia power-of-music
    gimmick. Still, Macross Plus though is the height of animation IMO. At any
    rate, it appears that Macross is dead for a while and Gundam lives (if you can
call
    Turn-A that), so that's where I am now.

    Neil Baumgardner

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