The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Macross 7

Title: Macross 7
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Ashi Productions/Studio 4°C
Format: 49 episodes
Dates: 16 Oct 1994 – 24 Sep 1995

Synopsis: After surviving a devastating war against alien invaders, humanity has started to travel the stars in massive space colonies order to spread its culture and ensure the survival of its own race. Years into expedition, the 37th colonial fleet, the Macross 7, encounters a hostile alien race that has the technology to steal people’s will to live. Outclassed by these alien’s superior firepower, the fleet must rely on the mysterious powers of a Nekki Basara, a charismatic singer, and his rock and roll band, the Fire Bombers.

The Highlights
Music: Not bad, not great; expect an episodic rerun of certain songs.
Characters: One-dimensional.
Story: Nekki Basara proves that singing is a viable way to stop war.

Macross(1,2) has always been about love, war and the power of song. In the original series, a pop idol named Lynn Minmay manages to stop an intergalactic war with her music. While there were underlying circumstances that makes the power not as unintelligent as it sounds, Macross 7 seems to have forgotten that its predecessor was walking on thin ice with the concept and has a sumo wrestler have a go at it. The protagonist of Macross 7, Nekki Basara, takes to the whole “stopping war with music” thing a bit too seriously, and goes out to real battle fields in his exceptionally powerful robot just to blast his music away in hopes that the combatants would magically throw away their arms. Though I wish there were a better way to say it, this concept is pretty much as stupid as it sounds.

Macross 7 is inspired by the super robot era where justice, courage and self-confidence is all a character needs to win. The show probably wouldn’t have been quite as bad if it had stuck to one end of the giant robot spectrum, but it goes out and juxtaposes the absurdity of the super robot genre to the real robot components the Macross franchise is normally attributed to. To keep explanations short, this concoction is a hard kick to the face. It’s jarring to see a bunch of grunt soldiers being gingerly blasted to kingdom come while Basara is strumming his guitar in a custom VF-19 “Fire” Valkyrie that’s protected by a force field made of sound with serious expectations that his singing will stop the carnage.

Outside the premise, the anime is a relatively mediocre show about the adventures of Nekki Basara and his band, the Fire Bombers. The show dabbles in the daily lives of the Fire Bombers as they travel around, promoting their music and performing live concerts. A usual episode consists of some inane conflict in the band’s public imaging campaign or a trivial conflict among the characters usually thanks to Nekki Basara followed by an episodic alien attack that somehow resolves said conflict, and concluded by a Fire Bombers concert to show that everything is alright. This type of a storytelling quickly becomes redundant, and it doesn’t get all that much better when the main story kicks in.

Macross 7 is an anime that requires the viewer to relocate a pickax between the higher brain functions and the lower peripheries before the notion of “fun” kicks in. After successfully satisfying this first condition, I honestly did enjoy parts of the anime; however, 49 episodes of the same formula pretty much bled out any goodwill I had.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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