Okay, so the Macross Frontier Movie turned out to be an alternative retelling, very much in the same veins as Do You Remember Love. And here’s the thing: in the most cases, the biggest flaw of these kinds of movies is their lack of time: they really try, but compared to the series they’re based on they just don’t have the time to experiment, flesh out their characters. You can really see that with Air, Clannad and Escaflowne: they really had their own ideas and visions, but severely lacked the time to really get the best out of their stories, and instead they ended up with a very stylish, but much more simplified version compared to their TV-shows. But holy crap, Macross Frontier is completely different: I liked the movie quite a bit more than the TV-series.
The thing with Macross Frontier was that its plot was pretty much flawed: it had a lot of subplots that never really went anywhere: it never really knew what it wanted to do. This movie finds this focus, it cuts out all of the pointless bits, and makes the story focus much more on Alto, Sheryl and Ranka. It updates many scenes to make them less annoying and it makes the drama that never seemed to progress in the television series much more dynamic and interesting. And even though its plot is similar to that of the TV-series, it really stands on its own, as much more than just another recap movie.
The back-story of the TV series felt unnecessarily complicated to me. Unnecessary in the way that it had a lot of bark and no bite, and was never really used. The movie simplifies things a lot. The results are that it’s a bit more cliched, but it fits much more within the rest of the series. In order to make up for the cliches, the creators here try to make up for it with the smaller things, where you can see them play around with neat ideas around the performances as well as a much snappier and flowing scenario in which the scenes flow into each other much better. Oh, and Shoji Kawamori found himself a new vehicle that he really wants to show off.
As for the graphics, this movie consists out of frames taken directly from the TV-series, along with plenty of new stuff. The recycled frames may be annoying, but it really surpasses the TV-series with its original content. The character animation is much more fluid and much less rushed, while the action scenes are just visual orgasms: they look absolutely beautiful, there’s a lot going on at the same time and have some of the most amazing choreography.
Really, I realize that I’m one of the people who had quite a few complaints about the original Macross Frontier and all, but I’d actually advise people who are interested in Macross Frontier to check out the movie instead of the TV-series, unless the second movie really ends up ruining things. The TV-series never felt like everything came together. The movie does.
|Storytelling:||9/10 – The proof that “more time” doesn’t always equal better. Grabs the plot of the TV-series, removes most of weaknesses and makes the plot flow much, much smoother.|
|Characters:||8/10 – Much more likable, and much better used.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Not getting a 10 because of the recycled frames, but otherwise it would get really close. Fantastic animation and a visual orgasm and a great soundtrack that really succeeds in making this one of the few animated musicals that really work.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Less needlessly complicated, though more cliched because of this. Still, the cliches are not enough to weigh this movie down.|