|Made By||Big West, Bandai|
|Episode Length||40 Minutes|
|# of Episodes||4|
Sum it up in a Sentence
Three former friends who had a bitter falling out are reunited during flight testing of the next Variable Fighter for the UN.
30 years after the events in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series, in which the UN Spacy was victorious over the alien Zentraedi forces, a rogue Valkyrie pilot finds himself reassigned because of his hot headed behavior. Isamu, however, relishes the opportunity: he's being inducted into the Super Nova test program to test the next generation of variable fighters. His enthusiasm falters however when he discovers that Guld, a former friend, is a test pilot for the rival company in the project. Even further complicating the matter is Myung, a mutual friend and ex-love interest of the two. An incident 7 years prior tore them apart, and now they have reunited on their home planet; Isamu and Guld as test pilots, and Myung as the Producer of the virtual idol Sharon Apple. Myung herself had loved singing more than anything, but like the friendship with Isamu and Guld, that too fell apart 7 years ago...
Tempers flare and old wounds are torn open as Isamu and Guld battle each other in the program, and Myung struggles with her own issues with the two. Behind the scenes, however, strange and dire machinations are occurring within not only the Super Nova project, but Sharon Apple herself. With their lives on the line, Isamu, Guld, and Myung must confront their past to survive a fight with the advent of dangerous Artificial Intelligence technology and a military who no longer sees a need for human pilots.
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If there was ever one anime to watch, something you had to show someone that was short and sweet and got right to the point, Macross Plus would be it. Released in 1994, it boasted unprecedented production values in its animation and musical score. Yoko Kanno, of Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, and Ghost in the Shell (among others) fame would take one of her first steps into making herself known with the brilliant and stirring music of Macross Plus. This one is a classic; an OVA that will forever stand the test of time and deliver to generation after generation.
You might be wondering that, since this is an entry into a universe with many other shows, you will not be able to watch it without viewing the rest to get the background. But fear not, because Macross Plus was specifically structured for both sides of the coin. Viewing the original TV series provides a back drop, but the characters, story, and even most of the locations are not related to the original series at all. The biggest contribution that the original series had towards this OVA was the Macross itself, which appears in the last two episodes. The viewer need not know anything about it other than "Hey, that's a pretty big human-shaped spaceship which is probably important since it has the same name as the show!" Macross Plus was the first Macross-related story that I had ever seen, and nothing was lost.
I feel that I can say, without hesitation, that Macross Plus is the best Anime OVA ever produced (Update: This was true until I saw Giant Robo and Legend of the Galactic Heroes). The story and plot are meaningful and stirring; this may be an anime involving transforming Space Jets, but they take a far placed back seat to the drama of the characters. Their issues are real and almost heart breaking; the truth of how Isamu, Guld, and Myung had their falling out is almost too much to bare. Despite having only 4 episodes, nothing more and nothing less was needed.
This is not to say that the robot fan in someone won't be enthralled, either. Macross action has largely always been portrayed as being fast paced and never static (A stark contrast, in my opinion, to Gundam), and Plus simply took it to the next level. The action sequences are used intelligently and every episode has something for the mecha enthusiast. This isn't a series you should really be watching for any one particular reason; rather, everything that it does have it does perfectly with an execution that is indicative of much love went into its production. I feel frustrated at being unable to really describe it more in detail; it's just a freaking beautiful thing to watch. By the time you've reached Episode 4, and "Information High" (one of the best pieces of music I've ever heard) is played, you'll have realized you'd been watching something special. Something epic.
There aren't many things in anime or manga that I feel fans are "obligated" to watch. I consider that line of thinking to be pretty presumptuous. But there is no doubt to me that Macross Plus is something that belongs in this category. It didn't simply do what it set out to do well: a classic love triangle with bitter and tragic rivalries on the backdrop of sci-fi marvel. It defined them.
Oh yeah, there's a Movie Version of this as well, but it's only about half as awesome. 15 minutes of new material (most of which is entirely superfluous, except for an extended conclusion to one of the dog fights at the end) can't make up almost an hour of story content being lost.
Macross Plus is one of my all-time favorites, not just from the Macross franchise but anime in general. The series takes the classic motifs of the Macross series: Love triangles, aliens, transforming jet robots, and music, but changes up the formula enough to make it fresh and new. And unlike Macross 7, it actually worked. One complaint I've heard about the series is that the characters are all unsympathetic or unlikeable. Yes, the characters are all complete assholes. Part of that kind of makes them endearing to me. They're all very, very human characters and all of them are deeply flawed. Part of the reason this series works is not just because it's an action sci-fi series with transforming jets, but because it's also part character drama where these flawed individuals come in contact and conflict with one another. There would be no story, no conflict if it weren't for who these characters are.
I really can't recommend this series enough. The visuals are stunning, the art and mechanical designs are fresh reimaginings of classic designs, and the action is phenomenal. I'd also recommend giving the movie a shot. Most people don't hold it as highly as the OVA, but I personally appreciate a couple of the added scenes and extended sequences.
Characters are depicted realistically, situations evolve dynamically, and the battles are as realistic as the Macross series get. This is a smart, smart show. Imagine a big-budget Hollywood action movie, but with a solid script, and they weren't afraid to go for a hard R rating. If you've ever liked anything that has come out of a telivision screen, you will love Macross Plus.
I have tried to watch this series before, but I never could get into it. I'm not a big fan of action movies, and I think that is why I don't enjoy it as much as other people do. The series is basically an 80s action movie with only a little bit of sci-fi. This is basically an anime version of Top Gun, so if you enjoyed that movie you will probably like this.