Anime Quick Information

Title: Macross Plus
UK publisher: Manga Ent.
Genre: Sci-Fi
Studio: Bandai Visual
Type: OVA
Director: Shoji Kawamori
Year: 1995
Running Time: 1hr 40mins
Rate this anime:
Average Rating: 8.15

Martin's review

Martin scored this with 9/10. Disagree?

When hot-headed fighter pilot Isamu Dyson is posted to his home planet of Eden as a test pilot in a test programme for the latest combat aircraft, he finds himself working alongside old acquaintance Guld Bowman, rekindling a long-standing rivalry between them. Both pilots then enter a bitter competition to get their respective aircraft through the test programme and win the heart of childhood friend Myung. This edition of the Macross Plus story includes all four parts of the OVA with the film version on a separate DVD, and the disc mis-labelling that blighted earlier pressings appears to have been resolved.

The Series

Unlike the original Macross TV series the alien invasion themes are left out entirely, allowing the story to focus solely on the lives of a small cast of characters. The feud between Dyson and Bowman is one of the most interesting aspects considering they had been the best of friends in years gone by. A series of flashbacks hints at how two grown men could show such all-consuming and blind hatred for one another but it is not until the final episode that the truth is finally revealed. Dyson in particular is the stereotypical jet fighter pilot: cocky, wisecracking and something of a loose cannon, his arrogance is only matched by his skill in the air and the obvious fact that he simply loves to fly. Bowman is the gruffer and more thoughtful individual, probably never having come to terms with the fact that he has Zentoradian blood in his veins. Even Myung has her own regrets, conflicts and emotional issues and is a more well-developed character than viewers might expect from a series like this.

The jet planes that Dyson and Bowman fly are nothing short of superb: capable of astonishing aerial manoeuvres and transforming into combat mecha in mid-air, the attention to detail is outstanding. During the battle scenes Shinichiro Watanabe’s involvement as co-director is especially evident: the animation is smooth, exhilarating and makes great use of the CGI available at the time. It’s real edge-of-your-seat stuff; fans of Cowboy Bebop’s excellent use of a sharp script, well choreographed combat and convincing futuristic settings will be right at home.

The icing on the cake is without a doubt the series’ soundtrack. Another Yoko Kanno masterpiece, it is an eclectic selection of haunting vocal work, hypnotic synthesised beats and dramatic classical style pieces that are reminiscent of the classic Hollywood war films. When Dyson and Bowman are in the air the rousing orchestral melodies appear to pay homage to the twentieth Century glory days of the fighter aces, while the live performances of the A.I. pop superstar Sharon Apple are a magical experience for both the eyes and ears.

The Movie

The feature film is essentially a retelling of the series with some inevitable editing to reduce the running time. Somehow it was still possible to include a few scenes of new footage, making the ending in particular a little clearer. The result is a shorter Macross Plus that is a viable alterative to the original OVA instead of a mere summary. As a stand alone release the movie might have seemed like a cash-in, but to have both versions in one box the movie actually complements the series. The DVD extras are a little thin on the ground however, and there is strangely no option of an English language dub (the series discs give a choice of both).

In Summary

The premise might sound like an animated Top Gun with higher-tech weaponry but there is much more to Macross Plus than that. Thanks to some superb animation, characterisation and a breathtaking soundtrack it is one of the true anime sci-fi classics. With the addition of new footage that explains some of the plot points the movie version is a full hour shorter but doesn’t suffer much for it and neatly completes the package.

Review Information

Score: 9 out of 10
Review By: Martin
Date Published: Fri, 8 Jul 2005
7 responses to our review of "Macross Plus"

1. Comment by botmaster2005

The Macross/Robotech Universe gets a touch of class in this excellent piece. Yoko Kanno's music is superb! A must for any mech-nut! :D SUGOI!!

Posted on Sat, 9 Jul 2005. botmaster2005 rated "Macross Plus": 9 out of 10.

2. Comment by Paul

I can't help but agree with this beaming review. It's probably the greatest mecha series I've seen; the actual combat looks amazing even today, but the romance at the heart of Macross Plus is what makes this one a real keeper. Well, that and Yoko Kanno's "best ever" soundtrack. The Sharon Apple concert is a culmination of everything I love about anime.

Honestly, if you haven't seen this yet; get it now, it's a landmark show.

Posted on Sat, 9 Jul 2005. Paul rated "Macross Plus": 9 out of 10.

3. Comment by hajime

hello i want to ask why escaflowne disappear from screen hitomi van we miss them.macross is good .i hope escaflowne will be the next and van come on the earth in visit have new adventures and many friends and hitomi getting jalous!!!! i hope kawamori visit site and read that.

Posted on Fri, 12 May 2006. hajime rated "Macross Plus": 2 out of 10.

4. Comment by hassna

hello .i want to tell fans and kawamori that fans in morocco of escaflowne hate kawamori very much after the end of escaflowne serie.they were love him very much because he separe hitomi and van.i think if it is finished inclued the story in other projects.

Posted on Mon, 22 May 2006. hassna rated "Macross Plus": 1 out of 10.

5. Comment by CitizenGeek

I really, really enjoyed this series! The music is a high point, but the action and human drama are very effective too! I didn't care too much for the Sharon Apple aspect of the story, to be honest. Regardless, this series is a must-see - highly reccomended!

Posted on Fri, 27 Jul 2007. CitizenGeek rated "Macross Plus": 9 out of 10.

6. Comment by takuhii

Personally I didn't find this very good, the "twists" were pretty easy to anticipate and I felt it was just cashing in on the Macross "franchise"...

Posted on Thu, 4 Dec 2008. takuhii rated "Macross Plus": 3 out of 10.

7. Comment by Funkgun

Nothing like a solid title under your belt, before you go on to direct Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Probably the best Macross even if my personal fave is Super Dimensional Fortress Macross.

Posted on Fri, 6 Dec 2013. Funkgun rated "Macross Plus": 1 out of 10.

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