The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Macross Plus

Title: Macross Plus
Genre: Action/Romance
Company: Studio Nue/Triangle Staff/Bandai Visual
Format: 4 OVA
Dates: 25 Aug 1994 – 25 Jun 1995

Synopsis: Thirty years after war between humanity and the Zentradi, mankind is creating a wide array of prototypes in search of the generation of Valkyrie fighter planes. In a stroke of fate, two childhood friends, Isamu and Guld, are put into rival programs, and they duke it out both professionally and for an unresolved conflict from their earlier days.

The Highlights
Animation: Stunning; undoubtedly OVA quality.
Music: Beautiful collection of songs from Kanno Yoko.
Drama: An interesting rivalry with a not so interesting end.

Macross Plus is the odd kid of the giant robot family. It lacks the typical angst, fists of manliness, or bevy of giant robot fight scenes to be considered a true member of its breed. In fact, the show is so devoid of the gimmicks of the anime medium that it might as well be a live-action movie and advertise itself as Top Gun in space.

This anime follows a hot shot ace pilot who becomes a test pilot and meets up with two of his old friends, rebooting a love triangle and an old grudge. The ensuing drama is believable, and thanks to Kanno Yoko‘s music, certain events truly feel majestic. For its age, the animation is incredible; the various dog fights compete toe-to-toe with some of the better animated titles of today.

What this anime fails at is essentially what drives many, truly great anime: the characters and the story. The cast essentially consists of a jerk, an arrogant amnesiac and a soon-to-be damsel-in-distress who are hard to relate with and subsequently, hard to care about. The story is even worse when the final twenty five minutes ejects the meaningful character development and the built-up melodrama in favor of a trite, action movie end. It’s true that the short run time gives little time for both development and closure, but the show runs over so many clich├ęd plot devices in the last quarter that it becomes insufferable.

Despite its flaws, Macross Plus is a show that’s above the curve and deserves a watch for any fan of anime and is a good ice-breaker for non-fans. After hearing great things about this anime for some time, I did expect this to be some sort of revolutionary, independent film, but I’m willing to settle with a dash of some pretty good Hollywood-esque action.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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