The general public was stunned at how crappy Nekki Basara singing is.
This review is late because I have plenty to do during the Lunar New Year holidays, then I moved this blog off wordpress to a self-hosted version (I did not finish customizing it yet, probably I will switch the theme in the future), but here it is, the third Macross title reviewed in this blog, Macross 7. I don't want to pull any punches, so I will make it clear that this anime is the worst anime I have ever reviewed in this blog. In fact, the score I give to this anime is 3 out of 10, the same as Hani-Hani Operation Sanctuary. But even Hani-Hani Operation Sanctuary is better than this pile of steaming crap, at least it has a better story (hahahahahahahaha) and I can feast my eyes at its unrealistic female character designs, which you won't get with this anime.
One of the nicknames for Nekki Basara….
Macross 7 is a huge space-faring fleet that is looking for a new planet to colonize (want to know why? Watch the excellent first installment of Macross), and it houses many civilians (human and Zentradi) aboard many flying spaceships. While going towards the center of the Milky Way, the fleet was stalked by some mysterious aliens who prefer to suck spiritual energy off the fleet's inhabitants rather than killing them. Our Lynn Minmay-wannabe Nekki 'Karaoke Ninja' Basara then flies out with his mecha and play crappy rock songs to fight against these aliens that even the Zentradi are afraid of.
…and another one that is more apt, considering Basaras singing skill level.
This anime is the second title that uses 'songs as weapons against alien invaders' plot device that I have watched, after Kachou Ouji which I have watched in AXN a few years ago. Both of them also have their stories to revolve around this particular plot device. But while Kachou Ouji has a decent (although unspectacular) seinen-type story behind it, Macross 7 story is truly fucked up. By itself, the story isn't really that bad, but there is one huge factor that sinks this anime to oblivion: the excessive amount of music this anime has.
Recalling the original Macross and Macross Plus, during the course of both anime, I have seen (or hear) a lot of songs been sung by Lynn Minmay (Macross) or the renegade AI (Macross Plus), but mainly the songs/music are performed because of the said characters' job description. That in turn ensures that the musical elements did not infest the storyline like a plague, but acts as a complement of the main story. In Macross 7, the musical element overwhelms the story entirely. This does not happen with Kachou Ouji that did not let the music disrupt the sexual tensions between its two main protagonists.
A facepalm moment that I consider as one of the most stupid scenes in mecha anime history.
There are so many music in this anime, it resembles a musical or a Bollywood movie than a typical Japanese anime. Another factor that impacted the story negatively is that it (the story) has a very slow pacing, even slower than Powerpuff Girls Z. The slow pacing caused the early episodes to become very similar in structure (battle broke out, hero went out with his mecha and started singing, the Diamond Squad becomes angry, the enemy is puzzled at the Spiritia abnormal reading, enemy commander ordered a retreat and the episode ends), which do not advance the storyline or do character development. I think this anime can be slashed by 20 episodes and still be somewhat coherent. And this hold really true in light of the filler episodes in the second half of the anime.
Another complaint that I have for this anime's story is the plots in this anime are easily predictable, I can easily anticipate events that will happen in the future. This is actually not this anime fault, but more likely that I have watched so many shounen anime, it allows me to superimpose their plot flow over the ones in this anime and it makes the story appear ordinary by the bias of my mind. Yet another complaint is that the story become worse as the episodes went by. Song Energy hahahaha! That's one of the worst concepts in mecha anime history. Chasing aliens away by using bad singing that has been weaponized IS MADE OF FAIL! At least with Kachou Ouji, I can enjoy heavy metal music performed by experienced musicians compared to the clearly manufactured j-rock/j-pop tracks in Macross 7.
A problem inherited from the original Macross is the scene transition problems; a good example is when the two main protagonists are chased by the vampires during episode 4. The chain of events in that scene is so convulted with characters that appears out of nowhere, you need to rewatch the scene to understand what really happened. This is a regression because Macross Plus does not have it. Another inherited flaw from the original Macross is the ending. Despite a lot of episodes, the ending for Macross 7 is compressed into the last two episodes only, and it can do better with more. But at least the ending for Macross is decent, while the one for this anime is a predictable cliché-laden POS.
And thats why he is the best character in this anime.
The other good character in this anime.
The only saving grace of this anime is the decent character development, with Gigil and Miria (she appears in original Macross too, which is why you need to watch all of them) being the best amongst them all. These two characters are the reason why I managed to watch this anime to the end, because they are interesting and entertaining enough to not making me drop this anime. The first of the 3 points that this anime has is because of this.
Basically what is happening in this anime as a whole.
The same comments that I have in Macross Plus also applies here, because there are no improvements, positively or negatively. The second of the three points this anime has was contributed by this section.
The pointless flower girl that appears fequently in this anime, and has decent character design too.
The voice acting in this anime is just average, with Mylene being the outstanding character in this anime. Actually I think she is a better singer than Basara too. See more in the next section.
Mylene is a better singer than Basara, thats for sure.
The OST sucks, and so are the OP theme (only 1 of them for the whole series) and the 2nd ED theme. Only the first ED theme titled 'My Friend', sung by Mylene is excellent. For the insert songs (in concerts or battle), only My Friend and another j-rock song (the one where Basara screams first before singing) is any good, and only if the Mylene sings the song. If Basara sings it, not so much. Mylene' songs alone is worth 1 point.
The antagonist wonder why he has to listen to bad j-rock…
…and the reason is outlined above.
While the animation is not that smooth (I have no expectation really due to the age of the anime), at least it doesn't suffer in fast-paced scenes. Choreography regressed from what you can see in Macross Plus, with no adrenalin-pumping dogfights etc. While there are plenty of actions in this anime compared to the romantic Macross Plus, almost all of them are pretty generic, mainly caused by design by the musically-infested storyline.
The directing is average at best, and I do not want to spew more hate about this anime.
"Our best character trying his hands on performing evil j-rock songs.
3 out of 10. I'm skipping Macross Dynamite, do not want to see Nekki Basara again. Nodame Cantabile second season is coming next!
Why Hani-Hani Operation Sancutary is better than Macross 7"