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Macross Plus

macrossplus-2
Genre: Action
Company: Bandai Visual
Format: 4 OVA
Dates: 8/25/1994 to 6/25/1995

The year is 2040, years after the first Macross war. Isamu and Guld are test pilots flying separate prototype aircraft. Their competitiveness isn’t confined to the skies, however, as a mutual childhood friend, Myung, arrives as the manager of synthetic idol Sharon Apple. A dark, mysterious past prevents the three from rejoicing in their reunion, while Sharon Apple provides a hypnotizing concert for the devoted fans of Macross City. What hidden secrets keep the three longtime friends apart, and why is Sharon Apple’s behavior becoming increasingly erratic?

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 04/25/2004 by
Grade: 92% av-Kain

Highs: Stunning visuals; entrancing soundtrack; rich character involvement

Lows: Main characters seem a bit too apathetic and cold; some moments a tad predictable

The television show that defined my childhood was Robotech, based on the original Macross. Needless to say I was expecting a lot from this anime, and I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

The blending of CGI with hand-drawn cels melds beautifully. The mecha designs are well-done, the combat scenes magnificently choreographed. The part I appreciated in particular was how this sequel stayed pretty much true to the original storyline (which was excellent, truth be told) and only made changes when it suited the plot. The song selection varies from slow, melancholic chants to heart-quickening orchestras. All very well assembled. I was seduced by the music just as much as Sharon Apple’s fans.

So much for the action scenes; the meat of this anime lies in the troubled love triangle between Isamu, Guld and Myung. While they didn’t seem as emotionally-driven as I would have expected given the circumstances, the soap opera is well-scripted and progresses at a comfortable pace.

The future of the Macross series looks bright, spearheaded by this excellent anime. The DVD is highly recommended. Note: There are two versions, the four-part OVA and the condensed movie edition. Both are almost equally excellent, the OVA possessing a slight lead due to more character background and a slightly better ending.

 

Reviewed: 04/30/2003 by
Grade: 91% av-Madoka

Highs: Stunning visuals and score; well-rounded series

Lows: Non-Macross fans miss out on background

When I am asked to recommend a series or OVA to a fledgling anime viewer, one of the first titles that immediately come to mind is Macross Plus. With stunning visuals and memorable songs to boot, this OVA series backs up the eye candy with characters and story to be one of the best examples of what makes anime worth watching.

Even though this series is part of the ever-growing Macross saga, any prior knowledge of the universe of Macross is not necessary to understand or enjoy this anime. It is, however, a lot more meaningful if the viewer is aware of the story background, giving it a sense of history a new or casual viewer would miss. Even so, Macross Plus easily stands on its own as a self-sufficient and intriguing premise.

The series begins quietly, understating its true focus: the friendship between two men and a woman. A barrage of action and noise follow, sure to have any mecha fan drooling, and the story of these characters begins in earnest. It is the relationship between Myung, Guld and Isamu that gives the story real emotion. Combining those visuals and attention to characters with a beautiful soundtrack firmly establishes Macross Plus as a well-rounded series. The soundtrack, one of Kanno Yoko’s best works in my opinion, is sure to hold your attention long after you’ve watched the series.

Whether you’re new to anime or a long-time viewer, Macross Plus is going to entertain you with some of the best that anime has to offer.

 

Macross Plus has been released as both the 4 OVA series reviewed above, and also as a single movie (the story was originally conceived as a movie*). The OVA series can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE, and the movie version can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

 

*Wikipedia entry, Macross Plus

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