If my previous reviews haven’t made it clear I do enjoy the Macross series a lot. Jets transforming into robots and pop songs helping to unite the universe, what’s not to love? Today though we look at a TV series with a lot of new material which takes us far into the future of the Macross universe.
The Macross class ship, the Frontier, has come under attack by the Vajira, a race of alien insects. As the young pilot cadet Alto Saotome works to join the private military group, S.M.S. (Strategic Military Services) he attracts the attention of seasoned idol singer Sheryl Nome and the up and coming talent Ranka Lee. The trio find themselves frequently attacked by the Vajira and discover they are much more than simple killing machines. As the truth comes out, it will tie directly into one of their pasts.
The series has a lot of good points to it. It succeeds in making sure to advance the universe building aspect of the franchise while making references back to the older shows. References include the Nyan-Nyan restaurant become a franchise, the previous idol songs being played in the background, and even an episode where the characters are cast in a movie based on the events from Macross Zero. This attention to detail really helped to make it feel like it was a proper continuation of the Macross franchise.
The characters are very entertaining, each with their own deep background about them. Alto comes from a family of Kabuki dancers but became a pilot to fight this upbringing. Sheryl is an idol who is on top of the charts but finds its very lonely up there. Ranka wants nothing more than to sing but has a steep hill in front of her. These three by themselves make the show worth watching but there is still supporting characters like Michel, Klan, and Captain Lee to mention.
This show isn’t without its problems. One of the most glaring ones is the episode entitled “Legend of Zero” with the previously mentioned movie filming episode. In it there is a particular action scene which goes so under budget with its animation and it looks absolutely absurd. We are talking Naruto vs. Pain bad but at least its only for like a five minute sequence. Still, you are better than this Macross! Don’t cut the corners, especially when this franchise only gets like two entries every decade.
The mecha in this series are the best part. Taking into account what needed to be upgraded, the Valkyries look fantastic especially in CG. Also, they included a close weapon feature which I think all Mecha should have as a back up just in case the enemy gets close. The VJ-25s have some very impressive technology, each with there own special function to combat against the Vajira menace. If you can’t tell they did a great job over all.
This is another show which sadly hasn’t made its way to American shores. Again, much like Macross: Do You Remember Love, I strongly plead with anyone who has the power to make it possible for these shows to someday be made available here to do something about it. I’m looking forward to the release of Macross Delta this year but know there is a good chance it won’t stateside anytime soon. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong though and someone will pick it up to stream.