Anime Meta-Review


Macross Plus


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • genre: mecha
  • people: Kanno
  • source: unknown
  • form: both
  • made: 1994
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

While the heritage is macross (known as robotech to many degenerate gaijin) this mature story stands independant from (and above) its roots. The story is composed of roughly equal parts of character and high tech action. The story starting when three old `friends' end up on planet eden at the same times, seven years after they left it. One is a daredevil pilot, talented but constantly at odds with the military, another a half-zentraedi pilot. These two are rivals in the competition between two next generation fighter planes, but in truth they are bitter enemies. And much of this stems from the fact that once they were friends, and competed for the affection of one woman, until a brutal assault on her by one of them turned their rivalry to outright hatred. And, indeed, that woman has also come to the planet as the producer of Sharon Apple, the universes most popular idol despite being virtual. She's abandoned her own career for this role although at times she wonders if she's betrayed her dream. And, when the three meet again, the interaction becomes quite intense. At the same time technology has a rather suprising role to play in the story, affecting all the characters, and forcing them to question their present, their past and their dreams.

What this means is that there's a small, tight cast of dramatic characters who strike sparks off one another. One might not have expected a macross anime to have a mature storyline and atmosphere, as well as events, but this one suprises by both attempting and succeeding. The reasoning of a daredevil, the control of a zentraedi and the heart of an artist are all strongly represented and lead to dramatic interaction. At times they are perhaps a bit strong and too focused to be truly believable, but this does increase the intensity of the interaction. It also reduces the time required to get the drama rolling. There's also quite a few important, but minor, characters whose roles are somewhat limited by the time available in 120 minutes of animation. The backdrop, including many meaningful objects to macross fans, is of a well realised high tech world. Both the impressive potential, and possible dehumanising influence, of such a world are well represented. The conclusion has some unexpected suprises which I won't spoil but is impressive in scale as well as neatly concluding many of the elements raised during the anime. This is skilled writing, well paced and realised.

Mind you, there's enough action to keep the macross faithful happy. While the character animation is clean, and the mecha detailed, some of the action animation is too complex to handle. This is especially true in the early episodes, and leads to some choppy action which is both far superior, but reminiscent of, the classical macross style. In other words it aims a bit over what it can acheive, but this shouldn't be seen as a weakness. And, once the problems are ironed out, the imaginative staging, wealth of technical detail and impressive action will impress. The old standby's of zooming jets and tracking missiles is back, but it's never looked quite this impressive before. And, like all macross series, these transforming plane/mecha emphasise speed and maneuverability leading to almost acrobatic battles. There's a fair bit of computer animation, which makes sense for sharon's concerts, which while it doesn't always merge cleanly does add to the experience. And, by the time the conclusion rolls around, the action is impressive in scale and technique. The voices are good (even okay in the dub) although dubbed sharon can be hard to hear. Turn up the volume to hear her bass whispers and then get blown across the room when we switch to the action. The music, largely involving sharon, is a little bit weak and fairly electronic (sorta makes sense though) but quite good to listen too.

There's an extremely positive review from the fine folks at THEM. They love it, laud the animation and consider the music to be first class. There's positive re-inforcement from a long review at Akemi's AnimeWorld but before you go there let me warn you that the first section is a spoilerfull synopsis. I recommend jumping it and getting to the excellent review. There's a solid review from the Anime Critic who didn't expect to enjoy this one, but found it quite to his liking. He does mention that the characters are fairly `focused' rather than deep but loves (most of) the action. I must admit I could guess Lord Carnage's thoughts on the matter. And indeed I guessed right, with his review giving it the status of `instant classic'.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009