© 1994-1995 Big West/Macross Plus Project
I initially watched this series with a bit of skepticism. I'm not a big fan of mecha, and this was my first initiation into the world of Macross. However, this series quickly captivated me, proving that with a solid combination of good characters, a compelling story, and breathtaking action, Macross Plus is definitely above typical mecha anime.
Macross Plus begins with a hot shot fighter pilot, Isamu, being given an assignment as a test pilot on a top secret project developing a new transforming fighter. Fate, though, lends a slight twist as Isamu discovers a former "friend", Guld, is also a test pilot on a rival project. Things heat up even more when Myung, who is part of Isamu and Guld's past, arrives as the producer for Sharon Apple, a virtual idol.
Macross Plus really focuses on developing its characters and the relationships between them. I'll admit the characters themselves aren't terribly original. After all, Isamu is just a hot shot pilot, with an attitude to match his skills. Guld, is also quite arrogant and macho, as well. And of course, Myung, acts as the independent, career-driven female who supplies the third piece of the love triangle. While the character designs weren't that creative, they do have a lot of depth them, created with a combination of flashbacks and present day conflicts.
The story is also good, touching on the concepts of friendship and love, with a good dose of mystery to keep things interesting. Everything focuses strongly on the characters, whether exploring their pasts or reflecting on their current lives. The only thing which bothered me was the ending. The tension builds and builds and builds in the final episode, and suddenly BAM! It's all over. There was no resolution to speak of, which left me feeling rather disappointed.
As far as the action goes, there's no other way to describe it. It just plain rocks. The opening scene with Isamu fighting in deep space is slick, blazingly fast, and got my adrenaline pumping. The later sequences are also bewildering to behold, as Isamu and Guld perform physics-defying maneuvers at break-neck speeds. The only sequence which I didn't enjoy was the fight in the city. Action-wise it was great, but the amount of destruction caused was a bit unbelievable. Exactly how many civvies were supposed to survive that?
The production quality of Macross Plus is outstanding. The artwork is rather good, and the animation is very fluid. The characters have a bit of a stylized appearance (everyone's nose was rather pointy). The visuals really enhance the action sequences, and the integration of computer animation is almost seamless. Sharon Apple's concerts were also quite something to behold. And while the visuals were good, the music is even better. "Idol Talk" and "Voices" are two of my favorite anime songs, and all of the music does a really good job of creating the proper moods. English voice acting was a bit mixed, however. Most of the main characters were pretty competent, but not outstanding. Lucy and Guld weren't that good (Lucy's first scene was awful, but she does get better), as were a bunch of the minor characters. Still, at least nothing was truly painful on the ears.
If haven't seen this anime yet, then make every effort to do so. It's well worth it.
The Verdict: * * * * 1/2 (very good)
|last modified: 05-26-03||The Anime Critic and associated content © 1999-2003 Pete Harcoff. All rights reserved.|