This renegade AI acts more like a ghost than, well, a renegade AI.
Diverted by various commitments that comes up near the end of the year, it is only now I managed to watch (and wrote this review of) the second installment in the Macross series, Macross Plus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as its predecessor. Read on to see why.
With the dawn of the age of space travelling after the first Macross (having to watch nearly all Macross titles in chorological order sucks), humans and Zentradis (is that the correct plural form?) together are spreading out across the galaxy. In one of the colonized planets, a renegade space pilot is demoted to test pilot status. At his new workplace, he meets two of his childhood friends and a triangle love story is rekindled. BTW, the ANN synopsis says something about a renegade AI, but you do not have to worry about that in this Spanish telenovela anime series because it wasn’t important.
I am this *CLOSE* at putting this anime under my romance genre tag that will ensure that this anime will be judged with a higher standard than usual. A reversal of Macross, the romance subplot becomes the main story while the juicy parts where we can see battles are relegated to the darkest corner of the room. But what really kills this OAV is the fact that the quality of both main plot and the subplot is also reversed, from the excellent storyline in the first series to the just about average storyline in this sequel.
Even with only four 40-minutes episodes, character developments are done very well, albeit with no outstanding character(s). I really miss the excellent main male protagonist in the first Macross. Additionally, the crappy story still moves reasonably well, has good presentation and the usage of flashbacks is impeccable. The ending is presented better than the one in Macross, but it was cheesy and predictable.
Much better character design than the ones we see in its predecessor.
The character designs in this anime has vastly improved, so much it is like watching two completely different anime that did not come in the same series. Lack of black hair will be ignored considering the settings of this anime. The mecha design is decent, but I have started to think that the Macross series in general, unlike its contemporary rivals like Gundam or Evangelion, did not focus much on the design aspect of the mecha but more upon the stories behind its pilots. This is definitely a positive point of this anime.
The Macross that travels from Pluto orbit in the first installment of the series. Japan sure tried hard to make it similar to the look at the first season.
Unfortunately, unlike the first Macross that was created more than a decade before this one, the voice acting in this anime is just plain average, just like the story. There are no outstanding characters either.
The OST is still excellent, and the songs performed here by the renegade AI are better than the ones performed by Lynn Minmay. But from the OP/ED themes, only the theme used at the start of the first episode and the ending of last episode (and as inserts too) is of any good.
This is how it looks like inside a fold or hyperspace. For the sake of consistency, I hope the next iterations of the series will keep this consistency.
Just like character design, the animation in this anime has improved considerably. No problem even in fast-paced scenes either. Choreography has improved a lot too; here you can actually see some excellent mecha dogfights and hand-to-hand combats when the anime get away from the cheesy love triangle main story. The directing, which is an improvement compared to the first Macross, is decent and does his works well.
7 out of 10. Not being categorized as ‘romance genre standard‘ helps this anime immensely. Gigantic Formula, downloaded by my sister will come next before I watch the next installment of the Macross series, Macross 7 that has 51 episodes.
One of the two main male protagonists, should have been up there instead.