Macross Plus: Did it see the future?

I initially watched Macross Plus because of I was trying to get my hands on every macross that I could find and I was at the height of my Macross addiction. Needless to say, I was already introduced to what would become one of my greatest anime influences.

While Macross Plus was awesome in its own right, in which the music focused more on the contemporary pop with Sharon Apple rather than cutesy pop with Minmei and the usual love triangle is present in which the Macross franchise would be famous for, there is one thing that Macross Plus did that at that time was notnoticed by its audiences during its airing in 1994.

It foresaw the future.

Specifically, in the aspect of introducing the concept of Sharon Apple. For all those who aren’t familiar, she’s one of the two songstresses in Macross Plus who’s a very central character in the story. I would like to say that she’s one of the most unique characters in the whole of Macross because she’s the first and the only artificial idol in the whole of Macross. She exists as a computer which produces a hologram. While her producers say that she has an artificial intelligence that includes emotional programming, it is later revealed that this programming is incomplete and her emotions are provided by Myung Fang Lone, the other songstress in Macross Plus. The concept on an artificial singer was new to the Macross franchise back then.

Back then, we all just considered Sharon Apple as totally awesome or simply an important plot device, but now when I sit down and think about it, Could Shoji Kawamori really have thought about the future?

Fast-forward 9 years later; in March 2003, a research about vocal synthesizing software was in the works and its culmination is the rise of a new virtual idol named Miku Hatsune amptly called as a vocaloid, whose vocals were provided by seiyuu Saki Fujita. Today, many people fans of Miku Htsune who has taken the music industry by storm, just like in Macross Plus, that there are many fans of Sharon Apple, who incidentally, took over the music industry by storm in the Macross universe.  While not an experimental military research, it still mirrored the concept of the virtual idol introduced in Macross Plus. I could say that Miku Hatsune is the reality counterpart of Sharon Apple.

It seems that Shoji Kawamori is also a visionary as well.

Now, to make it a true real life Macross mirror, some mad scientist should make an experimental technology which would turn the vocaloids into an artificial sentient life form, complete with emotions. Now that would be truly Macross Plus in real life.

5 thoughts on “Macross Plus: Did it see the future?

  1. What I never got about Macross Plus was how in the last two episodes, Sharon Apple’s singing has a downright hypnotic influence on people. The crowds she entranced, the illusion of a clear sky she planted in Isamu’s mind…I don’t recall that ever being satisfactorily explained. There might have been some bullshit about her singing was now able “to touch people’s hearts”, but there wasn’t even some techno-babble to at least handwave her brainwashing effect on the people at Macross City, like forcing those goons to try and kill Myung.

    Its head and shoulders above the effect her singing had earlier on in the OVA, and starkly different from the effects of any other singing in the franchise. Minmay might have been able to culture shock untainted Zentradi, and Fire Bomber could harm Protodevlin, but at least those effects had a plausible super science explanation. Sharon’s singing didn’t. On topic, the earliest other instance of a virtual idol I could find was William Gibson’s Cyberpunk novel “Idoru”, published in 1997. So yes, Kawamori was ahead of the curve.

    • I really don’t mind Sharon Apple’s singing effect pseudo-scientifically unexplained. Macross Plus was a good watch, anyway.

      Shoji Kawamori is a true visionary.

  2. Pingback: Variable Fighters – The plausible next step in mecha mega-develepoment | Kuro's anime ramble blog~

  3. If they gave Hatsune Miku artificial intelligence, seriously……i can’t imagine it
    “an artificial sentient life form, complete with emotions”
    Sharon was given “emotions” with some bio-neural chip inserted, that same bio-neural chip gave her a self-preservation base psychology, that nearly……
    If they managed to give Hatsune Miku an artificial intelligence, and gave her that similar bio-neural chip, we’re all screwed.
    Whats this, that picture of Hatsune Miku is messing with my brain….gotta post this comment quick…

    • Information High, man.

      But seriously, if Miku Hatsune was given the same artificial intelligence that Sharon Apple has, it might become truly “Love is War”.

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