Posted by psgels on 28 October 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Macross Frontier




Um… yeah. This movie…. I think I’ve just been trolled.

The first Macross Frontier Movie stayed very close to the TV-series, only in a much more streamlined version. It cut all of the unnecessary stuff that dragged out, and instead focused on the core of the series, which worked really well and I ended up really liking it (and this is coming from someone who was really annoyed by parts of the TV-series). The second movie is… different…

One of my problems with Macross Frontier was that some subplots took forever to get anywhere, and a lot of them were resorted rather half-heartedly, if at all. This movie isn’t like that. This movie wants to be exciting. This movie wants plot twists, and it delivers them no matter what.

It’s difficult to do this review without spoilers, but let’s just say that this movie wants to deliver plot twists a little too badly. Especially the second half shows this. The result is a story that has lots of twists and turns… that just don’t make any sense whatsoever. You are going to have to turn off your common sense if you want to be able to enjoy this. I did not, and was raging throughout half of them. This was in no way good storytelling! The creators just pulled whatever twist looked the coolest out of their ass, and completely disregarded narrative logic. And I’m not the strictest when it comes to not making sense, but what the creators pulled here was just deus ex machina after deus ex machina that only add to the style of this series, not the substance. Oh, and Shoji Kawamori shows his environmentalist side again. You know, the kind where the environmentalist messages are just shoved down your throat without any sense of subtlety.

*Ahem* when you do turn off logic, you’ll be rewarded by an utterly gorgeous movie. In particular the musical segments shine as ever. This is one part at which Macross Frontier has never disappointed, and this is o exception. The use of colours and camera angles shows how much budget and animation talent went into this. Both for the 2d animation as the CG as the backgrounds.

It IS a fun movie. Just don’t go into it expecting good drama, because the drama here is of soap opera quality.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Well, it’s fun and engaging. It’s at least a great action movie.
Characters: 7/10 – This movie does add things here and there to the characters, but I’m not sure whether they were good ones. The three leads do have extra charms compared to the TV-series… but there still are enough annoyances about them.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Not among THE best animated movies, but it has stunning visuals nonetheless. Gorgeous for movie standards, but loses points for reuse of soundtrack.
Setting: 7/10 – Makey no sensey. Also Kawamori’s environmentalist traits got old years ago.

Suggestions:
Redline
Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22: You Can Not Advance
Tailenders

16 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    Does anyone else feel trolled?

  2. Anonomyous says:

    The movie was fine for me. Was expecting it to follow the series but it became obvious it was not going to do that with the spy business (which episode 1 already laid foundations for).

    Few headscratchers that might have reasons for it

    i) Why SMS was not arrested immediately (acceptable because SMS political power should be pretty high and at that time the Vajra was still not under control)

    ii) Why that rock could sustain hits that could take down captial ships (really no idea unless Wilder is such a incredibly skilled surfer to reduce the damage to minimum by sacrificing the edges)

    iii) Why the prisoners were so well behaved in Sheryl’s breakout (ok maybe they were fans)

    iv) Why the prison warden allowed the performance (looked like it was already on Ranka’s schedule or the warden is a big fan)

    v) Why was no one really bothered a prisoner accused of treason was allowed on stage (looked like the concert was open to the general audience or the audience simply assumed the warden okayed it)

    vi) How did Alto manage to speak so long with Ranka nd Sheryl when energy beams were already travelling towards him (maybe the effects of the queen)

    vii) Why did Ai-kun rescue Sheryl (acceptable because Sheryl’s fold wave power level was much closer to Ranka’s in the movie hence Ai-kun gettiing affected)

    viii) Why did Ai-kun have that bubble power (bit stretching here but the adult Vajra do have their shielding system and the ability to maintain life support during Ranka’s capture)

    ix) Why did Michel not die? Given that this will be like DYRL in Macross canon, the best answer for this and all others, is that its a movie about Macross Frontier (hence the NUNS and SMS backup arriving when it would not make sense at all but serves to make the 2 look good)

  3. Alael says:

    For anyone who has watched the TV series, you know exactly what you were getting with these movies – non-stop action and superb visuals. I know they won’t get any prizes for their scripts, but watching them is an experience on its own. The graphics are perfect, just as the audio. Really, this is demo disc material.

  4. Akari Mizunashi says:

    what Alael said; feel like people are barking up the wrong tree a lot of the time.

    this was just visual and auditory bliss. if you want something with a little bit more substance -> then watch the TV series; if you want something with a lot more substance -> then watch a different show; if you want something masterfully written -> there exists media beyond anime…people seem to forget this.

  5. cody says:

    eh I think you just need to take it as it comes. Think of Drive. That film is pretty good. IMO a bit “douchey”, but the style, setting, and music all come together to make a dream-like ultra-violent surreal experience.

    Anime can do the same things. It’s not always about story!

  6. Kim says:

    Hmm I actually found this movie to be an improvement in many ways from the TV series; especially in the development & characterization of Alto’s character.

    In the TV series I never could understand what Ranka & Sheryl saw in him. I didn’t have that problem here as he became a much more admirable character to me.

    And while I kind of liked the OT3 ending of the TV series I was fine with Alto’s decision in the movie because I felt there was enough development for it (I wasn’t heavily rooting for either girl).

    Overall one of the rare cases for me where the movie improves upon the TV series (except in the case of Brera’s character which is a shame).

    The first movie was fine but I didn’t see that it was any better or worse than the TV series so I rated them the same. The second movie I rated slightly higher than the TV series.

  7. ender650 says:

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the series, but I still went to see it simply to see really good animation, action, and music. It didn’t disappoint with any of those, but that’s really all the movie has going for it. The plot is paper thin and has numerous holes, I still don’t really think the macross plot is interesting, and the pacing is really off. Overall, it was fun to watch but probably the worst anime film I’ve seen this year.

  8. tk007 says:

    Overall, the animation and action are gorgeous. I’m also happy that the love triangle is finally being resolved. However, all the new songs are pretty forgettable IMO.

  9. Unentschieden says:

    Despite every flaw the movie has it has the best answer to the “who is he gonna end up with?” question: The mature star or the innocent upstart? neither, he performs a kabuki show for the titanic alien queen and the elopes with her.

  10. Middi says:

    Ugh, Alto confessed his love to Sheryl, which sucks. In the end, they switched Ranka and Sheryl’s role, Ranka who was suppose to be special and the main character of the series ended up being compared to less than Sheryl with no specialness.

    But who cares, i’m a fan of Ranka so i’ll just have to say that Alto was such a girl, Sheryl was such a guy, and it’s why they paired those two up. Hopefully Ranka will find someone cooler if they ever make a continuation :]

  11. Jeff says:

    Movie is gorgeous, but what’s up with the faces? It’s even worse than the show, which was worse than most ‘endless’ shows like naruto…

  12. AidanAK47 says:

    “this was just visual and auditory bliss. if you want something with a little bit more substance -> then watch the TV series; if you want something with a lot more substance -> then watch a different show; if you want something masterfully written -> there exists media beyond anime…people seem to forget this.”

    If you want something with visual and auditory bliss then make a music video. Not an anime. You know it helps if something is well written. I mean it’s not exactly a compliment to say that this show is all just flashy lights and nothing else. And there do exist anime that are masterfully written.

    As for this Movie it was going good for the first 40 minutes or so. I for one thought the twist regarding the Macross Galaxy takeover was excellent. Anyone who seen the series knew they were going to become the main villains so having them be taken out and replaced with macross fronter as villain was an excellent twist. But then that other crap happened.

  13. c160 says:

    The prison scene is just so awkward..What did those Ranka fans did to earn a place in there? Burning Sheryl posters? lol. The whole scene was just too silly.

    But the new music is really good though. Even Ranka’s songs.

  14. Watcherzero says:

    Visually impressive however an inferior retelling much like the Eureka 7 movie. It substituted plot for emotion, in a way it was like watching opera.

    The only ‘cool’ addition was the fleet at the end, anyone who knows Macross knows how rare and powerful the Macross class ships are and while this film removes the coolness of Macross Frontier and Macross Galaxy fighting from the series seeing a fleet arrive which contained at least five Macross class ships was telling of how serious the wider galaxy considered what was going on. Though again that partly removes some of the impact of the original, the Frontier fleet was supposed to be out beyond civilsation with only nearby Galaxy fleet and the research fleet. Their only contact with home was by communication, and mostly technical updates of newly created technology.

    There was also a lot of plot changes and different outcomes (noone dies in this version) which I felt were just there so that they were different and it wasnt the same ending.

  15. gandalf8 says:

    I finished this movie with quite the opposite feelings that you had, Psgels. I’m usually very critical of even the slightest plot hole. I like scrutinize every action or event that happens in an anime, and would frequently pause an episode to analyze any sudden plot twists or event. If it didn’t make much sense, you would then find me cursing and swearing at the producers or writers on how the heck they could make such an incomprehensible mistake. But with this movie, even with all the idiotic plot progression, deus ex machinas, fake out deaths and whatnot, I found myself just totally enjoying the movie so much. I’m not sure why I had such reaction, but I suspect it was because of how much better Alto was portrayed in this movie. His character is much more prominent in these movies, especially evident through how Alto confronts his past. I was also satisfied with how they portrayed the love triangle this time around. I can now see why Ranka and Sheryl love Alto so much, while Alto is much more aware of the girls feelings compared to the idiot he was in the TV series. Even with that troll ending, I’m glad they showed Alto choosing one of them (Yay Sheryl) instead of leaving it hanging like the TV series. Although why the heck he would do a mating dance and elope with the Vajra queen after confessing to THE Galactic Fairy just beats me. :)

    • Atonal says:

      I totally agree with those that said that the movie was better than the tv series. In my opinion, the tv series failed for me. It was a lot of dialogue and very little action. It’s like they got the story line portion just the right amount, but lacked in the action part. It got pretty boring and I finished it only for the sake of finishing it since I love the Macross series.

      The movie really brought back the reasons why I loved this series so much though. It had the right amount story and action combined. Plus, they brought back one of the best things about Macross had in the very beginning action-wise for a very brief moment. I’M GONNA FIRE A SHIT LOAD OF MISSILES AND WATCH YOU EITHER DODGE OR DIE! The past few Macross additions lacked a lot in terms of this type of action so I really enjoyed seeing all those missiles being released all at one go :)

      I’m also glad that that it was Sheryl and Alto that “got together.” Ranka always appeared like a little kid to me…

      And about the prison scene. It’s a concert at a prison. It doesn’t matter if they were Ranka fans or not. How much entertainment do you think prisoners get at a prison? Of course they would be happy about it! Although the warden was obviously a huge fan if you managed to somehow skip the scene where he’s holding the little signs with his guards with Ranka’s signature, etc. Also, Sheryl wasn’t on that stage for very long either. And you had to kind of pay attention, but there weren’t that many escapees and there was a small scene where you could see a guard shooting something at the few escapees.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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