If you have noticed, every week that I’ve done for a while has some sort of connecting theme in it. Some are just as basic as being just anime films that I’ve watched with others being far more extensive then that. For example, this week is centered on the world building. In my mind, that is something that connects together From the New World and Macross 7. Both of them handle their world building in different ways because they come from different eras of television anime. At the same time, there is a connection with the two because that development comes from these worlds being developed by having characters living in their situations. Both of their worlds are also very different from any normal environment with how they envelope their styles in different portions of science fiction.
Macross 7’s Strange World
Macross 7’s world feels ordinary if you don’t look outside the ceiling into space. Macross 7 is a living city into a giant turtle shell. Very round with a shell on top that can be laid down over it to simulate a real cities sky if it needs more protection. An occurrence that happens quite a bit. There are real roads that people drive in, skyscrapers, houses, and even hidden areas that noncitizens like Nekki Basara live in. Music plays a large part of the Macross culture and having the main protagonist crew being a rock band that goes hard with their music ads to that.
Macross 7 is a series that aired from late 1994 to early 1995. It ended its run a couple weeks before Neon Genesis Evangelion took to the airwaves if you wanted to know a much more specific time frame. Its still in that area of television time dedicated to episodic story telling. While Macross 7 has some excellent plot elements, there is a lot of repetition in the aliens showing up at the end of the episode and everyone coming to meet it. That’s just through out the show from the first half when the world develops to the second half when the story is in full motion.
So how does Macross 7 make the first half less boring? Well, following a music career helps. The Fire Bomber crew playing in different venues for completely different audiences helps with that matter. Sometimes they play in som small indie stages for selects groups of people, sometimes for old folks that love rock and roll music, or just even recording studios to create an album to spread their word. That is what makes the whole show so interesting. Macross is about music in space, right? Music is enjoyed by people and is a passage of culture, so it really works to Macross 7’s advantage to do it.
The music is the core of all of Macross 7. Everything else in space and such is attached afterwards. So the Fire Bomber band becomes overwhelmingly popular by singing at aliens and making them fly away. What if we added transformation jet planes call valkeryies? What if other pieces of music from Macross Plus and SDF Macross make it into the series just naturally? There is a shared natural experience that creates generations of fans in the series by what music they listen to. That is true for Macross 7 and it’s also true for Macross Frontier and Macross Delta. That’s the world of Macross and it’s so cool that it can happen like this. No other series uses music like Macross does.
From The New World
A lot like Macross, From The New World takes place in an isolated location that is explored through people spending time in it. Kamisu 66 is a small rural village in the future that barely uses technology of any kind because people have psychic powers. It’s a world that has tons of pressure on its citizens to be the right kind of people or else they are killed off. Are these people having their power run amok on them over taking their sanity? Do these kids have powers in the first place? What about if those kids can break the rule of attacking another citizen without dying or ignoring the Death of Shame rule? There is also something about those monster rats too. I think they are up to something. So, there is a lot of things going in.
From The New World explores those things by having Saki and other kids move and live through out the world in three different stages. The first one is when Saki barely makes it into the school with other people because her powers arrived late. Immediately afterwards, she joins a group of friends and is tested against other groups of kids over very thorough examinations of their character and their powers. Plus, the memory wipes of when the bad kids are taken out of the focus pool. That survival trips in the series where the group meets up with the monster rats in the wild are the only time they get to escape from society for a little bit until they come back.
The next two situations are much different in which the first one is the ending of their school career and the second is 10 years in the future after that point as young adults. They revolved around when Saki and crew are much more worldly for the environment they were built to live in and know about the world around them. Mostly because the board of ethics allows Saki’s group to know more, but regardless that is still a thing. The difference between one situation and another is a power at hand. In high school, these kids are on the cusp of finally diving into society but they don’t have any power to make changes yet. As working adults, they start having much more pull in the situation.
So, From The New World is really good at dragging you into the show’s environment and making you feel like you live in. I was almost worried watching the show from week to week because not many anime series can do that to people and the From The New World doing that is something special here. This show was produced and launched by A-1 Pictures at the same time as the first season of Sword Art Online and this one didn’t get the attention that it deserves. So if anything I have said about From The New World intrigues you at all, please check it out.
So yes, I used a Log Horizon photo to advertise this post and that hasn’t appeared, but I’ve talked enough about Log Horizon on this blog for now. It does have some fantastic world building though. World building is one of my favorite things in story telling. I like knowing the world just as much as I do about the characters because it makes the show feel extra alive then it was before hand. Macross 7 and From The New World also do a fantastic job of putting you into the world itself as well. So yeah, enjoy world building in shows. What worlds make you feel more alive in the series then others?