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[ café reviews ]



Macross Plus
Part 1

Copyright: © 1995 JVC (Japan), © 1996 Manga Entertainment (North America)
Length: 40 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Isamu Dyson: hot-shot ace pilot, and forever the reckless anit-establishment loner. Seen as a menace to the remaining regular forces of the UN Spacey, Dyson is re-assigned as the new test pilot for the Shinsei YF-19 experimental veritech fighter, one of two designs being tested at the New Edwards air force base on New Eden. Dyson finds himself competing against a long-time foe, Guld Boa Bowman, the test pilot for General Galaxy's YF-21, an ultra-stealth, mind-control interface 'fly-by-wire' machine. But Dyson finds that there's more than just a new fighter contract at stake -- for New Eden is also host to Sharon Apple, the biggest virtual idol start in the galaxy, whose producer just happens to a a former love interest of both test fighter pilots...

[ capsule review ]

The first thing that comes to mind with Macross Plus is, "This is a Macross video?" The production style is vastly different from any of the Macross material I've seen to date. The animation, music and mood is nothing like the previous works. First of all, the animation is a wonderful blend of computer graphics and hand-drawn cels. The character designs are refreshingly non-Japanese (probably the result of having a Korean animation studio do the cels). The music is varied and unusual, especially the siren songs of Sharon Apple (which I'm not too crazy about), but the end theme, which starts a capella, is very haunting. Much of the score is performed by members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and is of a level not often associated with anime. And the animation? Rich, powerful and dramatic. From the opening exposition scenes to the test flight sequences, Macross Plus is destined to become an animation standard.

What's left is plot and scripting. The plot, involving a defense design competition between the Shinsei's YF-19 and General Galaxy's YF-21 is rather interesting in itself, but what I found the most facinating was the characterisations. Myung, Guld and Isamu are much more than the typical 2D players we find in your traditional anime love triangle. Myung Fan Lone, the manager of the virtuoid idol singer Sharon Apple is a woman who had been involved with both Isamu and Guld. With the exception of Isamu, these characters are believable. Lt. Isamu Dyson is a bit of the exception; he still has the typical hot-shot immature idiot we've all seen before; in a show of this calibre, his character really seemed out of place. (I highly doubt that any company would entrust a one-up test vehicle to a person that has Dyson's track record.) The personal competition between Guld and Isamu, not only for the fighter contract but also for Myung is almost childish. As with previous Macross offerrings, there's quite a bit of technology presented as well. Most intriguing is the YF-21 experimental Veritech, piloted by Guld Goa Bowman, which is controlled via direct connection with the brain. But in the end, I found that the memory of the series' weaknesses melted away as my eyes were treated to a visual feast. The animation is not just pretty; it's spell-binding. - AN

This is the first of the four part OAV series. The animation is very well detailed and the music is excellent. The story seems to be very interesting and leaves you hanging for the next episode. The primary purpose of this episode is to amass the key characters Isamu, Guld, and Myung, who apparently were childhood acquaintances of some sort. There is very clear animosity between Guld and Isamu, and they are also very different in disposition. Isamu is a hothead pilot while Guld tends to be much cooler minded. The primary story in this episode was the testing of two new fighters for the defense force; the YF-19 and the YF-21 the better of which is to replace the VF-11. While I found the story itself very interesting and the animation very nice (it's the first thing you notice when watching this OAV) I really get tired of the hotshot, hothead concept of fighter pilots. Perhaps especially in the Macross universe. Seems that can't get over that idea. However, the initial plot development is interesting enough to offset this. Shall see what happens in episode 2.... - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 5 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars N/A

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