Posted by psgels on 25 January 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

Yeah, this is it. Macross Plus has without a doubt turned into my favourite installment of the Macross Franchise. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, it turned into an amazing character-study of its three lead characters. It’s much less chaotic and whimsical than your average Macross series, and instead it is a very focused story about fully grown adults and the relationship between them.

These three lead characters are the ones who make this series, but what also supports them is a rock-solid sense of storytelling, who knows exactly how to use its airtime to the fullest, giving a great balance between action, drama and build-up. Especially the final episode, in which everything comes together, is an amazing episode that allows the best of these characters to rise.

If I had to mention a flaw, then it’s that some of the side characters just seem… shallow. And I mean that in the way that they only seem to exist or do stuff, for the sake of advancing the plot. Sharon’s executive, for example. His actions had great result, but the guy himself was just a stereotypical evil villain who was evil for the sake of being evil. And while the ending itself is amazing, I’m a bit disappointed by the lack of an actual epilogue to wrap everything up.

For a Macross Series, the animation is perhaps not the most impressive out there, but still very good and fluid, especially considering the year in which this was produced. The animation is very smooth and the artistic direction is also very powerful. The soundtrack is an awesome one as well.

So yeah, now I finally understand why the Macross Franchise is held with such a high regard. The other Macross series I’ve seen had their charms here and there, but for me they mostly stood out through their eye-candy, not their substance. I’d probably rank them in the following way, from least favourite to most:
5). Do You Remember Love? (Lacks the charms of the series it recapped)
4). Macross Zero (Great visual direction but a chaotic story)
3). Macross Frontier (Great middle part but disappointing beginning and finale)
2). Original Macross (Great insight on the Zentradi)
1). Macross Plus (Great character-study and storytelling all around)

Storytelling: 9/10 – Focused and powerful.
Characters: 9/10 – Very well detailed and fleshed out lead characters with an excellent chemistry.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Very smooth animation, great soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Some things exist just to forward the plot, but otherwise a good addition to the Macross Universe.

10 Responses

  1. Loz says:

    I’d have to agree with your review here, wholeheartedly.

    Macross Plus holds a special rank in my mind. I first saw it at a time when I would say I had not seen that much anime, and although I thought anime was cool, probably was not an anime fan just yet.

    Along with the likes of ‘Castle of Cagliostro’ and ‘Cowboy Bebop’, which I watched roughly around the same time, it opened my eyes to just how amazing anime can be.

  2. Camario says:

    Unlike your Macross Zero review, I can easily agree with the one here. Macross Plus was certainly a great show.

    Assuming this is a review of the OVA, I think you should try to watch the Macross Plus movie, if you want, because in some ways the changes made improved upon the original material and the narrative seems to flow a little bit better.

    With the exception of a couple of scenes, which I won’t spoil here, the movie’s cuts were useful and the added footage wasn’t too problematic. Perhaps you might disagree.

  3. Macross Plus is certainly in my top ten; I utterly adore it. Personally, I prefer the OVA series as the film sacrificed some of the characterization and (hey it’s Macross) the action. This is also one of the rare cases where the English dub actually surpasses that of the Japanese. Bryan Cranston, of Malcolm in the Middle fame, was one of the greatest voice actors working at the time.

  4. Westlo says:

    Macross Plus was top of the line in animation when it came out… heck to this day there still isn’t many mecha battles that can top the dogfight between Isamu and Guld in the city.

    Also you really should watch the movie version a few months later, personally think it flowed better as well as removing a few dumb things, + it had some good additions.

  5. chii says:

    Macross Plus is one of the first shows i watched and i have it to thank for getting me more into anime. in my top 5 anime as well. I haven’t seen the rest of the macross franchise but I will be soon. I hope they are as entertaining but judging by your scores they just might fall short for me.

  6. signorRossi says:

    You did mention that the soundtrack is great, but not enough IMHO. ;-) ‘Myung’s Theme’ is in my top ten of songs and will stay there.
    Not having seen the original series I also agree with you that this is the best show of the Macross franchise, followed by ‘Macross Zero’. ‘Macross Frontier’ and DYRL are just ‘bleh’.

  7. Alael says:

    I said you wouldn’t regret it! This show every bit of the appreciation you’ve shown.
    I agree with the guys that said the movie version is better – just watch it after a while.
    And the soundtrack? “Great” certainly isn’t enough to describe it!
    These OVAs were created 15 years ago and they still hold up. I can’t name a better mecha anime to this date.

  8. Chris says:

    I can’t believe you’re only watching this show now. You must be a young pup. Aren’t the anime from the ’90s awesome? Glad you are finally getting to see some of the best of them.

  9. Chris says:

    Oh. Also wanted to comment on the OVA vs. the movie… I found that the most enjoyable Macross Plus viewing experience is to watch parts 1-3 of the OVA then switch to the point in the movie where part 4 of the OVA begins.

  10. azer89 says:

    just watching episode 1 now… great story :D

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:26 PM)
    I enjoyed this chapter of berserk and it made me immediately think “Finally now we’re getting somewhere”. I have been flicking through older chapters of the manga and wow, this really has turned into something fairly different. Bam is right about Gut’s reason to go to elfland. I think its impossible now to get a satisfactory ending out of berserk though we’ve been waiting too long.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:14 PM)
    The alternative is that Miura wants to bank on this till he dies; can’t blame him cuz you can always bet on black (swordsman).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: I think the point was originally to heal Caska (hence Farnese showing hesitation in fear of losing Guts when Caska is back) but then so many people tagged along that I don’t think the party knows anymore why they’re going there, just that they were supposed to. I have said before but I’m sure that either Miura doesn’t know what to do or has serious doubts about the ending.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:52 PM)
    Fairy dust, stargate, riding dragons, ruby slippers…anything to get Gut’s back on track to taking revenge. Miura needs to end this. He’s sick of making it and we are sick of waiting yet he drags the thing to high heaven.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:48 PM)
    It’s been so long I can’t even remember why they were going to elfhelm in the first place. Also was that a one piece joke?
    I like his art but yes, going simpler for moving the story along would be a better idea. Even if he needs to downgrade to the level of one punch man webcomic standards to bring weekly releases.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:14 PM)
    I just hope they teleport back to Midland or something, or ride faeries or whatever, I don’t Gove a damn, just anything but the boat. #NoMoreBoat
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:13 PM)
    The artistry remains incredible, with every frame filled to the brim with details, almost to the point of tiring the eye. It looks great and all, but I wouldn’t mind some simplicity for the sake of more frequent Berserk. I swear Guts’ entourage has grown so numerous and colorful that they’re almost like a traveling circus. I didn’t even remember that Roderick and a whole bunch of other people are also on the boat.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:06 PM)
    I enjoy Rickert but this chapter made me remember how better the story gets when Guts is back in the picture. This was a primer chapter and spent most of its time touching bases and getting the story back on track, and it did that wonderfully and humorously.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:01 PM)
    I was tryna stay spoiler free, but you’re goddamn right they got there! Few months back when Miura got it running again I said I believed that if Guts didn’t get to Elfhelm before the next hiatus then the series will probably never end. I really did feel that way and had little hope, but alas, rejoice indeed.

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