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.

Suggestions:
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.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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