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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  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 03:31 AM)
    Out of interest, where do you feel the first manga went wrong? I may have missed its flaws since I marathoned it in ~8 hours.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 03:28 AM)
    @Emma: I’ll throw in the “now you match” line to Juuzo, the Clowns reveal, and Akira drunk. The supporting cast was really well developed IMO.
    Oh, and Kanekipede. He better go full-kakuja at some point.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 01:32 AM)
    I think the most standout points for me in tokyo ghoul are when Rize is first revealed to be a ghoul, when that gourmet ghoul guy appeared, the reveal around Kanou but most of all seeing a guy like Ken just go completely batshit.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 01:25 AM)
    I think re, if all goes well may allow me to forgive where the first manga went wrong.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 01:18 AM)
    And that was scoring it ignoring the manga. It was hovering around 55-60 before the Anteiku Raid arc was so royally fucked up.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 01:15 AM)
    @Emma: and if the post-credits scene is anything to go by, they may even attempt Re: too. I hope to god they don’t.
    For reference: I gave Tokyo Ghoul 78.4/100. Root A got 46.3/100, which shows just how bad it was.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:32 AM)
    Looks like the Arima spinoffs getting an ova.
  • Raggers
    (Thursday, Mar 26. 2015 11:29 PM)
    And in light of what I said below… fuck Root A. I don’t understand how the writer/studio was incompetent enough to turn something so good into something so shit. And the last episode especially was crap.
    Why oh why could Madhouse not have made this?!
  • Raggers
    (Thursday, Mar 26. 2015 10:04 PM)
    So yeah, I’m really hoping there’ll be another manga after Re: and it’ll have an amazing climax between everyone – because then this would be an absolutely great read, up there with some of the best fantasy I’ve read.
  • Raggers
    (Thursday, Mar 26. 2015 09:56 PM)
    @Aidan: maybe a bit… but on it’s own the story has a whole multitude of characters and factions that are changing allegiances.. So far there hasn’t been a single slip up on that front, and there’s a lot of evidence of planning which means I’m reasonably hopeful there won’t be one.

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