Macross World Convention 2016
Macross and its fandom has continued to thrive all over this great United States, with the premier homegrown convention bringing the deculture to sunny California once again. This year, I was determined to get my Valkyrie-loving keister on jet plane and fly out to the west coast to finally experience this highly praised event first hand. As I entered the doors of the Torrance Cultural Arts Center for my first Macross World Con, I was surrounded by friends and fellow fans all brimming with love and passion for this classic anime series.
Arranged along the left side of the Ken Miller auditorium were dozens of Macross merchandise displays with goods grouped into various themes. First up was an impressive spread of music CDs!
As a big fan of the Milky Dolls from Digital Mission VF-X, I'm always glad to see my gals get some love.
Up next, Macross's legendary pilot couple got a strong showing with the big mecha toys from Yamato and Bandai.
Beautiful artwork from Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? was flanked by the recently released Hi-Metal R VF-1 Valkyrie, Regult, Glaug, and Destroid Monster.
The eponymous SDF-1 has had many toys over the years. The most recent examples are from Wave and Megahouse.
It is a popular subject for cheap figures and model kits as well.
These displays were the collaboration of several passionate collectors.
For DYRL, there were several art books and laser discs on hand.
You could even see some really obscure items like the Macross laser disc interactive game and the English dub of DYRL called "Super Space Fortress Macross." My introduction to the series was through the VHS release of the cut down version of the dub, known as "Clash of the Bionoids" so it was neat to see the "best" release of this odd Toho-produced dub.
And there was even a fair showing of Flashback 2012-related merchandise, which is surprising considering it is mostly a fancy collection of music videos.
Complementing the Flashback 2012 display was a VF-4 Lightning toy customized to resemble Hikaru's machine from the "Angel Paints" segment.
Patrons of the convention could also look upon these full-sized pilot helmets and chest harnesses with both awe and envy.
Below the helmets was a trio of massive Macross dolls, with the Volks Sheryl and Ranka taking center stage.
You alright, Minmay?
This convention also featured what might possibly be the largest gathering of Macross II: Lovers Again merchandise in one place!
There were several laser disc releases, art books, and the official manga version all on display.
Speaking of which, the manga was split up and released in America in a more traditional comic book format.
Macross II has seen several video releases over the years, which includes a very attractive Blu Ray set. In front of these are the official novelizations from Richard Clark's (aka Gubaba of the Gubaba Blog and Macross Speaker Podcast) personal collection. Fun fact: the first two books recount the OVA, with the remaining three continue the story with original material by the author and series script writer, Sukehiro Tomita.
The fan-favorite VF-2SS Valkyrie II had a substantial showing with the old Bandai model kit and no less than three examples of the recent Evolution Toy 1/60 scale figure. Having reviewed two of those toys myself, I tip my hat to any person who is willing to deal with three.
Continuing down the line, Macross Plus's display had some beautiful pieces on display with a signed movie poster dominating the scene.
Also on hand was an original sketch by Hidetaka Tenjin that was auctioned off at a previous Macross World Con. The piece celebrated Isamu Dyson's short but sweet cameo in the second Macross Frontier movie where he flew a VF-19 Advance.
The ever-popular Macross Frontier made its showing with a number of DX Chogokin toys, Blu Rays, and Nendoroid figures of the main idols.
Joining the Frontier display was this little lady, who is an impressive custom of a Frame Arms Girl Stylet as a Valkyrie musume.
The biggest chunk of the display tables was occupied by a dizzying number of customized toys and model kits.
There was some amazing craftsmanship on display, with no subject being too large or too obscure.
For example, this rendition of the non-transformable VF-X prototype was made using a Yamato 1/48 toy, which had a number of its panel lines smoothed over to achieve the utmost accuracy.
While this VF-1 was turned into a 3d representation of a classic Macross illustration.
And do you remember this VF-1J's cameo in Macross Plus?
Or the Galactic Whale hunting custom VF-1 from Macross Dynamite 7?
This Valkyrie is the starter machine from Macross: VF-X2 for the original Playstation.
This odd Maximilian Jenius Valkyrie is based on the old action figures by ARII.
These Glaug and Regult figures were massive! It goes to show how difficult it would be to produce in-scale adversaries for the Valkyrie toys.
This Armored Valkyrie is colored like Yoshiyuki Takani's legendary box art.
CollectionDX's very own Leonardo Flores brought his immaculately finished Destroid Defender model kit for the display.
At the end of the display was this stunning diorama of a Strike Valkyrie about to launch from an ARMD carrier.
This VF-1 even features working formation lights!
And man... screw Messer...
This SDF-1 Macross had its own lights, but I didn't get to see them working. The handmade wooden display case is still very nice though!
Another big draw for the convention was a pair of panels by industry veterans who worked on the Macross series on both sides of the Pacific. First up, David Keith Riddick and his crew from the old U.S. Renditions company regaled the crowd with tales of their pioneering days in anime dubbing and English language releases. These were the dark days before digital audio equipment, where up-and-coming voice actors had to venture into caves just to record their lines (no really)!
At the end of the panel, Adrian Lozano (@giantrobo on twitter) presented a cool video where Tsutomu Takayama, the seiyuu for Macross II's Hibiki Kanzaki, gave a special message to his English counterpart, Jonathan Fahn. He hoped everyone could one day "spare the time" for a meeting of these two voice actors.
And speaking of voice acting, veteran seiyuu Run Sasaki made another appearance at Macross World Con. Fans of the Super Dimension series may remember her as the bespectacled SDF-1 crew member, Vanessa Laird, and the twin-tentacled main heroine, Mimsy Razz, from Orguss. Sasaki-san has an impressive list of roles to her name, including Alfin from the legendary Crusher Joe OVAs and film to the villainous Egiel Kalra from Blue Comet SPT Laynzer. You can even hear her voice in the Japanese dub of the original Transformers cartoon!
Sasaki-san's talent and charm goes far beyond the recording booth, as she put her skills on display by doing a live voice acting session by reprising her role as a little girl named Marth from an episode of Sherlock Hound! She also played a tubby cat in the same episode and made sure we all got to experience the feline's grumpy "meow." For fans of the original SDF Macross, Sasaki-san serves as a link to the show's original cast and production as she is best friends with Mika Doi (Misa Hayase), and can even imitate her co-star's trademark wispy narration. During the Q&A session, my poorly worded inquiry turned into a fun story about Sasaki's Layzner co-star (and my personal favorite seiyuu), Kazuhiko Inoue. It turns out that Inoue-san is her senpai (senior) in voice acting, and the two have shared many good times (and drinks) together.
For the autograph session, I had Sasaki-san sing my TMS Classics release of Super Dimension Century Orguss as well as a page from This is Animation Special: Macross: Do You Remember Love? that featured a vintage photo of her.
After Sasaki-san's panel, local LA artist and Dodgers fan, Mari Ijima performed a concert filled with new renditions of her classic Lynn Minmay music. At the time I was hanging out with my friends, but I heard the concert was quite good. I'm sure if I was there, I'd have felt I just won a raffle or something.
And while the dealer's room was a densely packed venue for Macross goodies, I didn't end up buying a whole lot myself. What I did walk away with was this issue of Figure-Oh magazine featuring a cool Macross Zero illustration by Shoji Kawamori.
I also purchased this rare resin kit of the Fz-109 Elgerzorene from Macross 7! It is currently in the capable hands of my friend, Kyle Dunn, who is a talented model kit builder, cosplayer, and artist. You can check out his stuff here.
While out and about with friends in Little Tokyo, I picked up a couple of items from the local Jungle shop. I was really excited to get that Transformers Horrorcon Snapdragon, who is in immaculate shape for such an old toy!
Adrian Lozano also kindly passed off some goodies to me. I'm the only Muv-Luv fan he knows, so I very much appreciate the thought!
And now it's time for the requisite cosplay photos! Needless to say, Macross Delta made up the bulk of this year's costumes, with each member of Walkure being portrayed by at least two people. Also, I hung out with Kyle for most of the day, who is dressed as a tall, brooding Messer Ihlefeld, so don't mind him being in the majority of my photos... (´Д｀;;)
Also, if you want to find out the name of the cosplayers in each photo, I have tried to add their information to the picture description when you click on it. Please feel free to add more info in the comments below the article, or tweet to me @VF5SS. Likewise, let me know if you want the raw image file!
Mirage Farina Jenius and Messer Ihlefeld.
Kaname Buccaneer and Messer (the one true pairing).
Freyja Wion joins the gang.
Twin Aerial Knights Xao and Theo Jussila.
Another Mirage joined Messer and the twins to dab like the humans do.
Good times, fam.
Outside there was a full-sized Valkyrie cockpit set up for photos!
Also note the Sharon Apple A.I. unit looming next to it.
The interior of the Valkyire was fully detailed!
It didn't take long for Mikumo to take center stage.
The rest of Walkure soon followed.
And even Kaos joined them!
The Super Dimension Idols dazzled the battlefield!
And emo boy was still emo.
Elsewhere, the Flower Girl was going to finally give Basara that bouquet-
Fans of all ages cosplayed characters from every era of Macross!
MCing the costume contest was everyone's favorite promoter, Lynn Kaifun!
A tiny Hikaru took to the stage.
Lynn Minmay was not far behind.
Ranka Lee came to キラッ☆~
Captain Global on bridge!
No smoking on the stage, please.
This chibi VF-1D was most impressive!
Another Ranka took the stage in the iconic outfit from the Niji Iro Kuma Kuma concert scene.
Nekki Basara came in with his usual attitude (LISTEN TO HIS SONG).
This Freyja Wion delivered an amazing performance of Seikan Hikou! She was crowned Miss Macross for her efforts.
Kaname Buccaneer followed up with her rendition of Delta's second ending theme song, Hametsu no Junjou.
Lynn Minmay serenaded us with a medley of Do You Remember Love and Love Drifts Away.
Mirage swallowed her embarrassment from her Walkure costume to rock the night with HOLY LONELY LIGHT! Auntie Mylene would be so proud!
Closing out the festivities was an intense performance by Walkure! \X/ (´ ▽ ｀)
Afterwards the two Freyja Wions gathered for double the Gori Gori!
And all the cosplayers came together for one big photographed. This was a truly wonderful event.
During the convention, Leonardo kept telling me that afterwards I'd wonder how I lived without and he's certainly right. While it is a bit of a haul for a New Englander like myself, I definitely want to make another trip for the next incarnation of Macross World Con!
After all that excitement, I think I'll miss this weird and uncomfortable hotel chair least of all.
Until then, this is Captain Veef reminding everyone to keep their eyes on the monitor for more CollectionDX!
|Posted 23 October, 2016 - 15:49 by VF5SS|