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Macross Plus (OVA) Anime Review

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Macross Plus OAV

Genre: Sci-fi Mecha
Director: Shoji Kawamori
Distributor: Manga Entertainment UK
Duration: 45 minutes each approx with 4 episodes total
Production Creation: 1994

Plot Synopsis

The year is 2040 A.D. On the planet Eden, the Ministry of Defense has began the testing of two next generation transformable mecha from rival military weaponry contractors. The individuals chosen to be the test pilots for the respective contractors are Isamu Dyson and the Zentradi/human half-caste, Guld Goa Bowman. Both men share a mysterious childhood past with one another, as well as a strong fondness for mutual childhood friend, Myung Fang Lone.

While her friends from years gone by are reunited in the skies, battling each other with renewed vigor to win the contracts for their respective mecha, Myung has made considerable success as the producer for the newest singing sensation – the virtuoid idol Sharon Apple. As the personal battle for the skies as well as Myung’s affections rages on between Guld and Isamu, Myung finds herself not only torn between her childhood friends but is also strangely discontented with her role as producer for Sharon Apple. All the while this is happening, Sharon Apple will give the biggest performance ever seen to the millions on Planet Eden….

The Review

Macross Plus is the most recent movie quality Macross work (behind the forthcoming Macross Zero), directed by Shoji Kawamori, one of the creators of the original Macross Japanese T.V series. It is in this sense then, that when I say ‘movie quality’ even though it is an OAV, I mean to tell you that Macross Plus is by far the most lavish and stunning Macross production to date.

The production values of this production are nothing short astounding. The dub that I watched was well done with Ismau’s voice actor doing an especially good job. Both Myung and Guld’s voices were done well too with this being one of the few instances in which I feel the English language track was superior to the Japanese track The artwork contained therein is very good indeed, equaled only by the top-notch animation, the quality of which is only compounded by perhaps the most ingenious use of CG in an anime production to date.

Swarms of missiles soar send from the sender to the recipient. Aircraft dive into complex, painstakingly detailed cities, performing tremendous aerial maneuvers and then transforming to continue combat amongst their surroundings. These tremendous mecha combat sequences, which would make even the most jaded mecha fan look twice, just go to show what a mecha show can look like when a big budget is used right.

Thankfully, the characters are also well detailed too. With Macross Plus’ character’s chiseled features, far away from the ‘dreamy’ Mikimoto styled designs of the original Macross TV series, the characters in Macross Plus nevertheless appear detailed and are animated consistently well. While some may find that comparison unfair, it must be said that I like both visual styles, with each being suitable for what they needed to portray. The only thing that kinda bugged me was that everyone in Macross Plus had a distinctly pointed nose, but then again, you can’t have everything right?

Macross has been known for great mecha, but beyond that in Macross Plus we see other typical Macross hallmarks brought to bear, such as the traditional love triangle, great music and of course, superb character development. Things get hot, intense and angsty between Isamu and Guld real fast as they each strive to win the test fighter project and the heart of childhood friend Myung.

The conflict that rages on between the two is also certainly not one-dimensional, with their intense personal confrontations mirrored by their furious aerial encounters. Intense encounters such as their ‘no-holds barred’ fight during a test exercise and a vicious fist-fight outside a hospital only go to show how deep the conflict between them are. Whilst those encounters might give you the impression that they are dumb brutes, the opposite could not be more true as these are two men forced together, with a complex past, who will resolve their differences and show their supremacy over the other by any way they can.

Myung too is well developed as the discontented woman who wants to forget about her childhood past. She is caught off guard by the appearance of Isamu and Guld and now being forced to choose between the two men, begins to takes its toll on her as she becomes more and more unsure in regard to not only herself, but to her role as the producer for the most popular virtual singing idol in the galaxy, Sharon Apple.

Speaking of Sharon Apple, it is through her that some of the finest music ever heard in anime is brought to the viewers attention. The music, composed by the incomparable Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Earth Girl Arjuna) is the perfect mix of techno, J-pop and a myriad of other musical styles. The music only serves to compound your enjoyment of the anime as the musical score is always well suited to the scene at hand. Whether it is in an intense dogfight with music by members of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, or a Sharon Apple concert with some entrancing J-pop, the music is always the perfect accompaniment to what’s on screen. In short, this is one soundtrack to pick up.

With such engaging and compelling characters, the plot has no trouble satisfying the viewer in equal quantities too. There are many twists and turns in the plot that will surprise and enthrall you in equal measure as both the complex love triangle and the competition for the supremacy of the skies unfold.

Needless to say, things happen that will change everything that fans recognise about Macross, namely love, mecha and music in a triple strike that will leave you breathless. I shouldn’t continue at the risk of spoiling this fine anime, but regardless, you need to see Macross Plus for yourself.

It is simply an anime you cannot do without.

Ratings Summary

Animation: A
Art: A-
Music: A
Content: A+

Overall: A (Dub/Sub)

Review by: John-Paul Jones

Suitability for children

There is some mild violence in this anime along with some occasional profanity, namely the odd for letter word here and there. This combined with the mature themes, complex storyline and characters would in my opinion make for a production suitable only for ages 15 and up.

If you liked this why not try…

Macross Plus: The Movie – Manga Entertainment
Macross TV Series – AnimEigo
Macross II – Manga Entertainment
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080-0083 – Bandai Entertainment
Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team – Bandai Entertainment
Chars Counterattack – Bandai Entertainment
Vandread – Pioneer Animation

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Written by bitsnark

March 31, 2009 at 7:53 am

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Macross Plus (OVA) Anime Review

leave a comment »

Macross Plus OAV

Genre: Sci-fi Mecha
Director: Shoji Kawamori
Distributor: Manga Entertainment UK
Duration: 45 minutes each approx with 4 episodes total
Production Creation: 1994

Plot Synopsis

The year is 2040 A.D. On the planet Eden, the Ministry of Defense has began the testing of two next generation transformable mecha from rival military weaponry contractors. The individuals chosen to be the test pilots for the respective contractors are Isamu Dyson and the Zentradi/human half-caste, Guld Goa Bowman. Both men share a mysterious childhood past with one another, as well as a strong fondness for mutual childhood friend, Myung Fang Lone.

While her friends from years gone by are reunited in the skies, battling each other with renewed vigor to win the contracts for their respective mecha, Myung has made considerable success as the producer for the newest singing sensation – the virtuoid idol Sharon Apple. As the personal battle for the skies as well as Myung’s affections rages on between Guld and Isamu, Myung finds herself not only torn between her childhood friends but is also strangely discontented with her role as producer for Sharon Apple. All the while this is happening, Sharon Apple will give the biggest performance ever seen to the millions on Planet Eden….

The Review

Macross Plus is the most recent movie quality Macross work (behind the forthcoming Macross Zero), directed by Shoji Kawamori, one of the creators of the original Macross Japanese T.V series. It is in this sense then, that when I say ‘movie quality’ even though it is an OAV, I mean to tell you that Macross Plus is by far the most lavish and stunning Macross production to date.

The production values of this production are nothing short astounding. The dub that I watched was well done with Ismau’s voice actor doing an especially good job. Both Myung and Guld’s voices were done well too with this being one of the few instances in which I feel the English language track was superior to the Japanese track The artwork contained therein is very good indeed, equaled only by the top-notch animation, the quality of which is only compounded by perhaps the most ingenious use of CG in an anime production to date.

Swarms of missiles soar send from the sender to the recipient. Aircraft dive into complex, painstakingly detailed cities, performing tremendous aerial maneuvers and then transforming to continue combat amongst their surroundings. These tremendous mecha combat sequences, which would make even the most jaded mecha fan look twice, just go to show what a mecha show can look like when a big budget is used right.

Thankfully, the characters are also well detailed too. With Macross Plus’ character’s chiseled features, far away from the ‘dreamy’ Mikimoto styled designs of the original Macross TV series, the characters in Macross Plus nevertheless appear detailed and are animated consistently well. While some may find that comparison unfair, it must be said that I like both visual styles, with each being suitable for what they needed to portray. The only thing that kinda bugged me was that everyone in Macross Plus had a distinctly pointed nose, but then again, you can’t have everything right?

Macross has been known for great mecha, but beyond that in Macross Plus we see other typical Macross hallmarks brought to bear, such as the traditional love triangle, great music and of course, superb character development. Things get hot, intense and angsty between Isamu and Guld real fast as they each strive to win the test fighter project and the heart of childhood friend Myung.

The conflict that rages on between the two is also certainly not one-dimensional, with their intense personal confrontations mirrored by their furious aerial encounters. Intense encounters such as their ‘no-holds barred’ fight during a test exercise and a vicious fist-fight outside a hospital only go to show how deep the conflict between them are. Whilst those encounters might give you the impression that they are dumb brutes, the opposite could not be more true as these are two men forced together, with a complex past, who will resolve their differences and show their supremacy over the other by any way they can.

Myung too is well developed as the discontented woman who wants to forget about her childhood past. She is caught off guard by the appearance of Isamu and Guld and now being forced to choose between the two men, begins to takes its toll on her as she becomes more and more unsure in regard to not only herself, but to her role as the producer for the most popular virtual singing idol in the galaxy, Sharon Apple.

Speaking of Sharon Apple, it is through her that some of the finest music ever heard in anime is brought to the viewers attention. The music, composed by the incomparable Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Earth Girl Arjuna) is the perfect mix of techno, J-pop and a myriad of other musical styles. The music only serves to compound your enjoyment of the anime as the musical score is always well suited to the scene at hand. Whether it is in an intense dogfight with music by members of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, or a Sharon Apple concert with some entrancing J-pop, the music is always the perfect accompaniment to what’s on screen. In short, this is one soundtrack to pick up.

With such engaging and compelling characters, the plot has no trouble satisfying the viewer in equal quantities too. There are many twists and turns in the plot that will surprise and enthrall you in equal measure as both the complex love triangle and the competition for the supremacy of the skies unfold.

Needless to say, things happen that will change everything that fans recognise about Macross, namely love, mecha and music in a triple strike that will leave you breathless. I shouldn’t continue at the risk of spoiling this fine anime, but regardless, you need to see Macross Plus for yourself.

It is simply an anime you cannot do without.

Ratings Summary

Animation: A
Art: A-
Music: A
Content: A+

Overall: A (Dub/Sub)

Review by: John-Paul Jones

Suitability for children

There is some mild violence in this anime along with some occasional profanity, namely the odd for letter word here and there. This combined with the mature themes, complex storyline and characters would in my opinion make for a production suitable only for ages 15 and up.

If you liked this why not try…

Macross Plus: The Movie – Manga Entertainment
Macross TV Series – AnimEigo
Macross II – Manga Entertainment
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080-0083 – Bandai Entertainment
Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team – Bandai Entertainment
Chars Counterattack – Bandai Entertainment
Vandread – Pioneer Animation

Written by bitsnark

March 31, 2009 at 7:53 am

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