Note: The following article contains original research and writing by a Guest Contributor.
At the request of fans in the comments to Crime Without Punishment, we analyzed all the scenes with Romelle after Clear Day episode. There are few of them, so it wasn’t difficult to do.
Oddly enough, in Clear Day itself (and in two episodes after it – but it doesn’t matter anymore) there’s no Romelle. She didn’t go to the fair? It’s strange. However, it’s not so strange if you recall that the episode was severely cut.
Romelle appears again only in Uncharted Regions (S8Ep11).
The scene with the military council had previously been analyzed by TPL, and in their analysis they drew attention to the strange lines of the characters. But rewriting the lines isn’t so difficult (it’s repeatedly found in S8 – for example, Alfor who suddenly considered that the main achievement of Lance as a paladin wasn’t his feats on the battlefield, but love affairs). We’re primarily interested in the animation, because changes in the animation made up a significant part of the work during S8 editing.
There’s only one animation with Romelle in this scene – when she turns her head towards Lance. All the remaining moments are static pictures in which only the mouth moves.
This could be considered normal, since in this scene only talking characters move a lot, and the rest make up static backdrops. But what immediately catches your eye is how the characters sit.
We have a military council. In such cases, participants sit either by rank or by interest – scientists with scientists, engineers with engineers. And it’s unlikely that the animators didn’t know such a simple truth. Everything is completely wrong here.
To begin with, we have two constants that are exactly in their places: Shiro – at the head of the table – and Lance. Lance has a lot of lines and animations, so he definitely sits where he should – behind the second chair from the edge.
But the rest of the characters …
Romelle always sat next to Coran, she had civilian status and therefore quietly followed him, trying not to attract attention. But here, for some reason, she sits next to Lance, on the edge. And I can even guess why – in such a place, it’s the easiest way to redraw a character.
But if it was only Romelle…
Hunk, why aren’t you sitting with the paladins?
Pidge, why are you standing? You didn’t say a word and stood near Keith like furniture. Did Keith suddenly need moral support?
Curtis, why are you sitting next to the commander in chief, closer than the general? Why are you sitting, and the rest of the officers – equal in rank to you – are standing? Have you been sharply promoted and given general epaulettes? Kolivan could take this place. But, apparently, the status of the head of BoM isn’t enough to sit at this table.
Very strange, isn’t it? And as I said, during the dialogs there were static backdrops that could be redrawn with minimal loss.
Initially, neither Curtis nor Romelle was there. It’s already been noted more than once in the series, that in order to artificially introduce the line of Shiro’s relationship with Curtis, the latter was added into all possible places. Otherwise, it turns out that Shiro «got married» to a person with whom he talked only on the bridge when he gave orders.
How did people initially sit? This is easy to guess.
Coran is next to Shiro, since he actually became his first assistant.
Pidge instead of Romelle. Hunk instead of Coran.
Kolivan is next to Krolia.
And it looks much more logical than what we were shown.
The scene of Romelle with the Alteans is also strange.
In this scene, there is also only one Romelle’s animation – when she turns her head. In other cases, only the mouth moves, plus she blinked a couple of times.
But is it just that?
You know, the fact that the Alteans were disappointed in Honerva didn’t change their attitude towards Lotor and Romelle. The first was still considered a savior, the second – a traitor. Why on earth did they abruptly flare up with sympathy for her, although before that they didn’t want to see her? Moreover, the topic of conversation is atonement (!). And we get a situation where the official traitor of the Altean people tells them about the atonement. I’m sorry, what?
And I can say why. Because Romelle wasn’t supposed to be here at all. We have another heroine: who made many mistakes on her life path and therefore let words of redemption pass through her own heart. Who, by her acts, gained the respect of the Altean people and even saved Tavo’s life.
Yes, Allura should be here. I think that she was here – taking into account the fact that in S8 Romelle had a sharp change in her hairstyle which made her look like Allura, although several days have passed since the final of S7. Did Romelle in a fit of patriotism decide to imitate Allura? Or did the animators do it in order to make it easier to replace two characters?
Next we see the scene of a conversation with Hunk.
A new phenomenon – the figures of Romelle and Tavo looking into nowhere. Static pictures. Romelle, what did you see there? Tavo, is there a bird flying? Why is everyone looking at Hunk except you? And by the way, remember the character of Romelle. She would say hi, as Hunk requested.
This is the end of the episode.
The Zenith (S8Ep12). Tavo and Romelle, second appearance.
Romelle grew up, and her head became larger than the head of Tavo, a large muscular man. Moreover, in the first frame her figure is larger than in the second one. And she just has a filthy animation, consisting of several frames.
The next scene is still in the Yellow Lion. Romelle’s animation got worse. Except for blinking eyes and a change in lighting – literally two frames.
By the way, here it became clearly visible what I noticed even in the frames above: except for the chest, this Romelle has a male figure, shoulders are wider than hips.
And again, Tavo and Romelle. A static picture, both are looking somewhere past Coran, completely not interested in his conversation with Keith. Zero lines.
The picture didn’t change even when the Yellow Lion flew out of the hangar. Animators have a great love for hair animation, but here it’s completely absent.
The next scene is a continuation of the previous one. Coran swims in zero gravity, Tavo and Romelle follow him.
Here, too, everything is sad: Romelle is a static moving picture of 2 pieces. And hair is a simple looping animation. I caught the same hair position 4 times, even the shadow doesn’t change.
There are many questions to Tavo too: Tavo is in the foreground, closer to the viewer, but just look how terrible his figure is drawn comparing to Coran who’s floating farther from us.
I have only one conclusion: in both scenes, Tavo and Romelle were added by the editors of the season.
The next scene.
Romelle isn’t just a static picture, she also completely copies the pose of the Altean on the left. If you really find fault, you can recall that more recently – in the first episodes – her hair was noticeably shorter.
A new scene, and also a static picture. Moreover, Romelle’s looking up somewhere, when everyone is looking sideways.
And again a new scene, and again a static picture.
Let’s play a drinking game: drink every time after Clear Day episode when you see Romelle without animation and voice acting. Moreover, in this case the lack of remarks even looks strange: Coran expressed his amazement while Romelle – such an emotional one – was limited to a surprised face.
The last time Romelle appears in the last episode, in the scene with Hunk. And… yes, again, as a static picture. And here she’s half a head shorter than her Galra colleague…
While here she’s a cut below him.
That’s all. If I missed something – tell me in the comments, I’ll add it.
P.S. A small sketch of «cardboard Romelle» from Nadezhda, the idea belongs to Anna.