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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  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 09:02 AM)
    @Bam: Thats becoming increasingly true, over the years I’ve found it also makes it very difficult to follow them all.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:54 AM)
    @Emma: I’ve found out that keeping too many shows, manga, games or books could lead to a sharp reduction of interest in all of them. That’s why I focus on a few “projects” at a time
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:40 AM)
    Even Tetsugaku letra too =<
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:39 AM)
    Jesus I’ve being dropping too much stuff lately, the makai ouji manga, sankarea, pandora hearts, put chihayafuru on hold, dropped the shigatsu no kimi manga too.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:37 AM)
    @Bam: True I suppose, still good tho =D
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:36 AM)
    @Emma: familiar tropes can still be entertaining if executed correctly. And regarding the twist I think it was heavily foreshadowed throughout the episode.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:29 AM)
    The biggest surprise for me with bahamut is that at first, before I watched it I had no expectations and despite it being so shounen heavy its still enjoyable to me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:25 AM)
    @K-off: for sure.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:24 AM)
    I mainly say spoilers because it was quite the twist.
    Any case thanks for changing it.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:24 AM)
    @Emma: I’m not sure how many episodes this is going to be but I’m getting a 11-13 episode cour feel from the production here, in which case I don’t think they have that much time to get sidetracked.

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