Posted 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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  • Aires
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 08:29 PM)
    I thought the madoka movie RUINED my hom-hom
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:52 PM)
    No Game No Life 3: Awesome, hilarious, and the most unsubtle (and even funnier than last ep’s) JoJo reference I’ve seen.
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:09 PM)
    I’ll answer questions after work, but let’s still try to avoid direct spoilers. I’m not sure even psgel has seen the film yet.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:53 PM)
    It’s also made more ambiguous by the state of Homura’s soul gem during the movie. She wasn’t exactly in the best condition for making decisions, and she might have acted differently than she otherwise would have.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:51 PM)
    Definitely disagree that Homura didn’t have any character. Most of her characterization in the original series was ambiguous, though, so a lot of it was up to interpretation.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:42 PM)
    Not trying to piss off Juno, but this probably will anyway, but I noticed how polarized the debate over Homura’s choice at the end of rebelion. “It’s out of character!” “No it isn’t!” I find it funny considering the girl has well…barely any character at all.
    And when someone says that this choice ruined Homura’s complex character from the series..boy…how I laugh.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:36 PM)
    @Emma, Just a guess, but the koren webcomic fomat isn’t really print friendly. Those long tower rows of panels would be hard to fit on a book format.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:10 PM)
    @Emma I guess its the same here as k web comics. They either dont care about it, or they just cant.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 01:22 PM)
    @Juno, So I might as well ask before you hinge your entire opinion on whatever the maker say. What do you believe happened and how it effected the law?
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 12:19 PM)
    It’s been a whole half year since the film came out and the BD has been released, so we’re finally getting a lot of substance-focused interviews and guides to the film now. The one thing I’m hoping they can do is finally clarify what happened at the end of the film, metaphysically, like they did for the TV series’ ending. I don’t really care about whether [spoiler] is evil. I just want to know how this affects the laws of cycles…

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