Macross Plus Movie Edition Reviews
Some consider this the Top Gun of anime and I think came out in 1995 on Starz, a premium channel. I won't spoil much of it but if your a fan of anime, Top Gun, Robotech, or even Super Dimensional Fortress Macross give it a watch. This is pretty good for the mid 1990's anime and you can get it on the Amazon Instant Video Store. At least that's where I found it but it's also I think on Youtube as well.
I also want to say that back then it was hard for anime fans to keep up with there hobby. It was these anime blocks like on Sci-fi and Cartoon Network did people really get into anime. Even before robotech and all that stuff in the 1980's even.
A much more small-scale and personal story, its starts out interesting enough with the deadly rivalry between two test pilots that used to be friends but are now bitter enemies (almost like a much more compelling version of "Top Gun"). Unfortunately, as the OVA goes along it starts focusing more on the test pilot's childhood friend Myung, leading to a rather uninteresting love-triangle that is not helped by the fact that Myung is such a joyless stick in the mud. After a surprisingly filler-ish third episode, the anime descends into a boring and trite rogue-AI plot containing a sloppy eleventh hour soap opera twist (creating a significant plot hole) and an ending that just cuts off anticlimactically. It's a shame because the OVA does a good job of getting into the mind-set of a test pilot, the action is cool, and it also boasts a decent supporting cast that end up being under-utilized.
On a side note: Macross Plus was one of the earlier works of Shinichiro Watanabe (co-director) and Keiko Nobumoto (screenwriter). Both would collaborate again on the anime series "Samurai Champloo" and the legendary "Cowboy Bebop". Meanwhile, the International dub features the voice-work of pre-Malcolm in the Middle fame Bryan Cranston as the arrogant test pilot Dyson. That's right, the guy who would go on to win Emmy's for his portrayal of Walter White on "Breaking Bad" was dubbing animes as a part-time job in the early nineties. That's just awesome.
Aunque no tengas nada que ver con el universo Macross ni hayas visto Robotech o no te animaste siquiera a ver algo de animacion japonesa , no puedes dejar de ver esta joya .
Macross Plus is a science fiction film with a love triangle thrown in for good measure. Isamu and Guld are test pilots fighting to be number one in a new government fighter mech project thing. they are long term enemies after something which happened in their youth with third protagonist Myung, who completes our love story element. We know from an early stage that we should be rooting for Isamu but there are hints (from Guld) that there is something dark in their past which is why they are such strong enemies (I predicted what this was very early on)
Myung is the 'producer' for a computer generated musician known as Sharon, she is the most popular musician in the galaxy. The scene where we are introduced to Sharon is actually very cool and reminded me of another great science fiction film, The Fifth Element, mainly due to the music being very similar.
So, the story progresses as one would predict with conflict between Guld and Isamu before Sharon becomes self aware and needs to be taken down. The fact the story is predictable is unimportant though as this story is told beautifully. The future has been beautifully imagined as a sprawling utopia. Technological advancements are abound, some of which are readily available today such as the trusty touchscreen devices they use (although I doubt we have mechs like this available yet).
As with every Japanese film there needs to be something the story is challenging, in this instance I feel there are a couple of things they were aiming for. The film was made in 1984, a time when technology was fastly progressing and it was a key fear for society. Sharon becoming self aware is a clear argument against the dangers of technology, but let's not forget that Sharon was also a media icon. Yes, this is something else I believe the story was trying to warn us about, the problems of fame. Seriously, see for yourself. A self aware celebrity computer brainwashes the minds of certain characters and takes over technology in an attempt to destroy our heroes. Doesn't sound anything like any musicians I know, well it doesn't until you look at it more as an idea. The idea that the draw of celebrity is toxic to future generations as we all fight to become famous. This film warned us about the dangers of shows like Big Brother, in a way...
And on that bombshell, I leave you by saying this film actually surprised me. I wasn't expecting much from it and was surprised by how beautifully crafted it is. As a relatively new anime fan I can safely say I will be looking out for more films in the future as this was something special.
For fans DONT MISS THIS GREAT ONE AND SOME EPIC LANDSCAPES!
The most amazing thing about this movie is you spend the entire thing waiting to hear this song, and when it finally plays the world around you just shatters into dust. That is true anticipation.
As a big fan of the original, I was looking forward to watching it, even though I'm not a very big anime fan.... actually now I realize that its not just that I'm not a fan, I think I actually rather dislike most anime...
Except for the stuff I grew up liking (like the original Macross or Space Battleship Yamato...) and maybe a few others like Golgo 13... I think most of the rest of it is pretty crappy and derivative... or suffer from a bad writing and bad execution...
Macross Plus is a good example... supposed to take place like 30 years after the main events of the original series, it can't just have a good story about fighting aliens... instead its a pretty convoluted tale... three childhood friends meet up later in life and have a bit of a BLT going on... which in itself is fine, it works as a good subplot amidst the giant battling robots, etc... (the kind of stuff that made the original Macross so good), but then you tack on some poorly developed, poorly explained stuff about computer AIs taking over the world and stuff... and it just kind of falls apart... I wonder if this is another of those cases where they kind of made stuff up as they went along and then realized they better finish it quick and butchered on an ending.. (kind of like Akira).
Anyway, it makes me weary to watch much more anime...
Director: Shoji Kawamori
Co-Director: Shinichiro Watanabe
Composer: Yoko Kanno
Screenplay: Keiko Nobumoto
Memo to myself: just because husband finishes project and brings friends home does not mean I must stay up all night and drink with them. Good lord, it's a miracle I'm at work and vertical today.
Anyway, the reason I stayed up so damn late is because my husband absolved himself of weekday-party-guilt by picking up a copy of MACROSS PLUS for me. And it's sooooooo good.
[i]Bebop[/i] people will recognize many elements from the [i]Bebop[/i] universe (or are they elements from the original Robotech universe and I don't remember correctly?), including the elaborate design of different types of spaceships/flight devices, and the glowboard advertisements. The art style is an interesting precursor to the [i]Bebop[/i] look of Watanabe's shop. A little more angular, reminding me quite a bit of [i]Star Blazers[/i], but still identifiable.
MACROSS PLUS charts the story of two pilots, once friends and then bitter rivals over the love of a woman, who are reuinited with each other and the source of their discontent under a high-pressure test flight situation. I'm going to skimp on plot commentary, simply because the screenplay is by Keiko Nobumoto, who I unabashedly adore, and it's tight, and you should watch it.
Being a subtitle purist, I was very pleased at the level of sophistication in the subtitles on this volume. It has a feel, in the English translation, that matches the tone of the spoken Japanese. This is hard to accomplish - almost as hard as trying to produce a good English dub. I haven't listened to the dub track, so I am afraid I can't weigh in on its quality.
This two-volume video edition was hard as hell to find, but worth the search and the cash. When I get home tonight, I'll upload some screen caps to further convince you.