Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills



Macross Frontier is the third series set in the popular science-fiction (SF) anime world of Macross and is currently enjoying its 10th year anniversary. While it was enormously successful in Japan and was responsible for securing a new, younger demographic for the series it has not been officially released in the West due to legal complications with international distribution. Better known in the West as Robotech it has a strong and loyal following who often travel to Japan to access merchandise and other material – such as the opportunity to watch a theatrical screening of the Macross Frontier False Songstress movie especially remediated to work in the immersive 4D movie style. Using the Macross Frontier screening as a study, I investigated the inherent affinities of 4D immersive technology, science-fiction anime, and remediation. Considering the 4D design decisions (which simulated rain, wind, smells, lights, vibrations and sudden ‘roller coaster’ type movements) and post-screening audiences accounts of their own experiences it was clear that 4D encourages a viewer to cycle between visceral immersive observation and a type of ironic or technical detachment of what is happening. By further considering the themes of creative immersive simulation and techno-cinematic engineering that occur in a 4D screening it would be possible to see how one can be part of an SF experience – not only in the film text, but in a lived SF-type experience itself. How 4D viewers of a Macross film think and behave like fans and technologists as they critique and debate the remediation of the film into 4D, collaborating or rejecting the performance of being ‘in’ the filmic world may also offer a comment on human-machine entertainment and affinities with the SF-genre fandom and simulated SF tourism.

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