ByTré Roland-Martin, writer at
This is a MP blog where I state my opinions on upcoming movies and give predictions, review canceled projects, and talk about bad movies.
Tré Roland-Martin

There were two famous Japanese animes that have spawned many different shows, and those, my friends, are Macross and Mobile Suit Gundam. In 1983, South Korean filmmaker Kim Cheong-gi made an anime-style series called Space Gundam V, which was criticized as a rip-off of the two aforementioned shows.

But, as of 2010, a show in China was also inspired by Macross Frontier and Mobile Suit Gundam 00. That show, of course, would be Astro Plan, or in Chinese, Taikong Lixianji (太空历险记), which actually translates to Space Adventures. The show first aired on January 16, 2010 on the Golden Eagle channel, a division of the Chinese network Hunan TV, as "China's first sci-fi animation," as well as a tie-in from Xing Yuan, a toy firm based in Guangzhou.

Astro Plan is a sci-fi anime-style show that features both 2D animation and very high-budgeted CGI animation, but we're not talking Pixar, who did a similar animation process in their short Day & Night, which was released in 2010 alongside Toy Story 3. Anyway, the show takes place in the year 2735, a time in which Earth suffers from extreme global warming, leaving the planet to enter into a new frontier in space and space technology. An evil alien race from the planet Iccus threatens global domination because they are pirates and raiders that try to take natural resources from the Earth itself. In order to defeat these evil aliens, six teenage heroes are recruited for combat in the Sky Arrow Flight Team, piloting Type Yi fighter planes that are also transformable.

Astro Plan was very infamous because it was criticized for heavily plagiarizing the use of characters and robots taken from Macross Frontier and Mobile Suit Gundam 00. For example, Fei Yi, one of the main protagonists, looks way too similar to Lockon Stratos from Gundam 00, and a majority of the fighter planes/robots heavily resembles the VF-25 Messiah planes from Macross Frontier, whilst Fei Yi's orange fighter plane/robot resembles the GN-003 Gundam Kyrios and the GN-007 Gundam Arios from Gundam 00. One of the fighter planes/robots, piloted by female pilot Zi Jing, was not based off of anything; from what I've read of the Wikipedia article for Astro Plan, it does not say anything about what it resembles to.

A toy line made by the Xing Yuan division HyperWiz, based off of the show, were released, but, ironically enough, counterfeit/knock-off toys appeared in mainland China. What's also ironic is that the creators and copyright holders of both the Macross and Gundam franchises have not filed a lawsuit against the creators of Astro Plan.

80% of people on a poll in PCgames China voted "Not Interested" in Astro Plan.

However, despite all the criticism, I thought it was a good show, since I saw a video of a snippet of the show on YouTube. I would call it the best way for China to make their own version of Macross, or even Mobile Suit Gundam.


What do you think of Astro Plan?


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