Posted by psgels on 8 October 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Macross Frontier

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.

Macross – Do You Remember Love?
The Wings of the Honneamise
The Adolescence of Utena

10 Responses

  1. Alael says:

    I agree with everything in your review psgels, except for one thing: production values. The recycled scenes make for less than 20% of the scenes; this anime deserves a 11 out of 10 in this area ^^

    Also, the music here is awesome, it just took the place of Macross Plus in my own top ten list. Yup, it’s that good.

  2. zz says:

    Keep up the good work, I take your reviews quit seriously. I read many other blogs but their opinion, reviews and comments don’t click with me. But yours are different almost everything you write is like you reading my mind. I can now use this site to decide whether to pick up a series or not with out having to watch 3 or 4 eps before being disappointed.

  3. Ransom says:

    So… Did they solve the love triangle? Or they just left it hanging like in the anime? -.-

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Ransom: there are going to be two movies. The answer to that will have to wait until the second one.

  5. Ransom says:

    Thank you psgels!

    Time to wait for the subs…

  6. Psycho says:

    Wait, I’ve just read “two movie.” Aww damn, must waiting another years to watch Macross F ending?

  7. signorRossi says:

    Did they leave out the Loli thing? I mean the Meltrandi warrior woman with her gigantic OO that became a child in her human form. I couldn’t stand that at all and when her love interest bit the dust it was a ‘YESSS’ moment for me, with the proper gesture, of course. :)

  8. psgels psgels says:

    signorRossi: well, she’s still there, but she has been reduced to a completely minor character. You won’t be annoyed at her because she hardly has any airtime.

  9. signorRossi says:

    Thanks psgels, might give the movie a try then.
    BTW, I didn’t really dislike her Meltrandi form. :)

  10. Mizst says:

    Same sentiments exactly. I guess that’s why I keep reading your reviews. :-)

    I was lucky that I couldn’t really remember the series frame-for-frame, so I had no idea how much of the material was recycled. I find the later continuous combat scenes to be much better than the series.

Leave a Reply


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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

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