The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again

Title: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again aka Choujiku Yosai Macross II: Lovers Again
Genre: Action/Romance
Companies: Big West/Bandai Visual/Victor Entertainment
Format: 6 OVA
Dates: 21 May 1992 – 21 Dec 1992

Synopsis: It has been over 80 years since the great war between mankind and the Zentradi, with peace and culture now flourishing. However with the only threat being rogue Zentran, UN Spacey military has grown complacent and unable to perceive any unexpected threats. This is when the Marduk show up, an alien race who utilize their own form of music to control Zentradi to their bidding. The possibility of an invasion is knowledge held only by the military, but do no expect this cover up to be exposed by journalist Hibiki Kanzaki, who has found the key to end the impending war. A key, which resides within the old SDF-1 Macross.

The Highlights
Super Dimension style: They don’t make Macross like this anymore.
Mecha action: Much like the original series, with better animation.
Story elements: Unoriginal and underdeveloped.
Music: This is a Macross show after all.

Ah Macross II, the Macross that doesn’t exist. Between lacking the majority of the original staff and the simple fact that sequels rarely ever live up to the original, this anime has become the victim of retroactive continuity, wiping it from the canon entirely. Even the compilation movie Do You Remember Love is official without affecting the original series. Left as nothing more than alternate universe is not quite fair, as Macross II is not bad at all. Perhaps it draws strength from having “Super Dimension” in its name, but this is the only sequel which shares the same aesthetic principle as SDF Macross and SDC Orguss.

While the other subsequent sequels of Macross have indeed featured talents such a Mikimoto Haruhiko and Kawamori Shoji, none of them have managed to capture the essence of the original. With very little of the original Studio Nue staff working on this project, it’s surprising how close it is, especially to Do You Remember Love. Simply put, Macross, but better looking. Character design is given considering the Mikimoto artwork, but it’s surprising how true the action is to the famous “Itano Circus” that the Valkyries were known for. If they can get a barrage of missiles and fighter planes to fly with such grace, they can get anything.

Granted things get to a point where the story of Macross II doesn’t just capture the essence of SDF Macross, but is SDF Macross. The unknown alien invasion, the cocky UN Spacy, the culture exchange, the power of song, even the love triangle plays out in a very predictable fashion. With so many similarities, it’s amazing how Macross II finds the time diverge from the formula. The characters are unique enough, and the perspective of a journalist is always a welcome change. Given enough time, these elements could have developed it own face. But that’s exactly what this OVA is missing, time.

Over the course of six episodes, this series covers what amount to 28 episodes. In terms of plot, it is not so hard to compress things. The fault comes into place when considering all of the character development and study of human relationships which is lost; both of which, cannot be condensed so easily. While nothing feels jarring or out of nowhere, there is not enough to get a genuine feel for anyone or anything, preventing a strong deviation from Macross. The Marduk suffer the most from this and end up coming off as nothing more than second rate Zentradi. A surprising exception to the rule though is protagonist Hibiki, whose perspective as a reporter gives him a rather unique track for development as he starts out as a ratings obsessed paparazzi to a journalist who is determined to seek the truth.

Despite these qualms, by no means is Macross II bad. What matters is that Lovers Again is simply two and a half hours of entertainment. At the very least, when all is said and done, there is still the battles and obviously excellent soundtrack to fall back on. So, it may leave viewers feeling as if something is missing, but never that they wasted any time. In the purest sense, Macross II is a shining example of a rental title. It’s worth your time, but is nothing that has any urgency to watch. Remember, it’s non-canon.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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