Name: Macross Plus DVD Volume 1 - EP 1&2 (85.00% in 4 votes) Type: ANIME Platform: VHS/VCD Company: Manga Video Release date: 1999 Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
In similar light of the legendary Macross saga, if you haven't seen one Macross Anime in your life before then Macross Plus is definitely one of the series you have to watch. The best way to watch it is on DVD and boy am I happy that I bought the complete series in the ultimate digital format to date. Brought to you by Manga Entertainment, they did a pretty good job of the whole package. However, I would have liked them to add more Macross Plus specific extras like interviews with Shoji Kawamori or musical composer; Yoko Kanno. Anyways, I'll start by reviewing the first 2 OAV episodes and then in another review I'll finish with the last 2; a total of 4 ingeniusly well done episodes to complete the Macross Plus saga.
The story is about a love triangle; ala Macross-style, and some very character specific relationships taking place 30 years later from Do You Remember Love. It's not your atypical "galaxy is in danger by species-threatening aliens" intergalactic warfare mellow drama. It's a very serious and psychologically stimulating story about a hot headed pilot named Isamu Dyson who is "demoted" to a test pilot on the New Edwards Test Flight Center on planet Edon. Assigned to a history-marking project which is to determine the next standard transforming fighter plane; aka Valkyrie fighter. He takes the place of test pilot for the prototype YF-19 Valkyrie, which is in direct competition with another group which houses the prototype YF-21 Valkyrie. With firey anger, Isamu discovers his lost childhood friend named Guld Goa Bowman is the opposing group's test pilot. Things are quickly evident that they don't like each other very much. The 3rd role of the triangle is a woman named Myune Lei Fung Lung who obviously happens to be a childhood love of both pilots. The first episode introduces the characters in general and explains the basic conflict between them all. The second episode simply expands upon the facts and develops them for the next two episodes which are probably seen as one big climax. There aren't much dips in terms of intensity or dullness; there is no scene which is relevant or important to the next scene in the story. And if you're thinking this is going to be as mind boggling as Evangelion, then you're going to be disappointed when you watch it. It's just a simple but powerful drama.
This is configurable to English dubbed, English dubbed with English subtitles, Japanese voices, or Japanese with English subtitles. I have seen Macross Plus in English the first time around and is my most preferred viewing experience. I feel the English dub produces a more realistic impression; I even tried to watch it in Japanese but it didn't seem to fit. Most English dubs are pretty bad because the dialogue and acting is usually pretty bad, but Macross Plus has really impressed me. It's best to watch the Anime in whatever language you can understand verbally though. The tone of voice really imprints the emotion into your viewing experience which is half of what Macross Plus is; emotion.
Technically speaking, the character artwork is very well done, but some instances, it's a bit too stylized. They sometimes bare noses too pointy or the what not. In most cases, the artwork is well done, but not well done to the point of it being motion picture quality. I would have liked them to have redone the entire series with a full motion picture budget as that would probably be a dream to watch. Aside from the character art, the mechanical art is some of the best Anime mecha ever seen. This has some of the best well drawn mecha battles in a long time since Do You Remember Love. It even includes CG effects which are used to provide more realistic effects on things which are difficult to draw. Like shockwaves, the pin point barrier system on the Valkyries, and I believe some of the missiles are CG animated.
Music is pretty much a no brainer for Macross. However, Plus doesn't carry much of the music that is expected in previous Macross series. All the pop music in Plus is now very generalized and can fit a western or Japanese market. It combines a mixture of different cultural clashes which in turn creates a very unique experience. It has European techno, strangely sounding combo of verbal sounds, some westernized Japanese pop techno, and even has french lyrics for some of the songs. Of course it still has a very classical orchestral score which is performed by none other than the Isreal Philharmonic Orchestra, but has a slightly different style compared to the original Macross. Unlike relying on a heavy strings assortment, the music is very brass and bassy giving the overall ambience a good kick in the knards. If you're into a kind of alternate reality of Japanese Anime music, then you'll like the soundtrack of Plus. Otherwise you'd just be freaked out from it because you're too used to Megumi singing her brains out.
It sets a new standard for Anime story telling which most Anime's don't do nowadays. It bares a very mature way of story telling, and isn't right for anybody who is only looking for one type of rush like action thrillers or bippy boppy Anime chick adventures. Shoji took the drama of the original Macross and instilled it into Plus which is what a lot of Macross fans wanted in the first place. Those who expect lots of life threatening action, Macross Plus might not be for you. I suggest you watch the first episode at least and if you don't like it, you probably won't like the rest of the series.