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 "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review

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danna45
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PostSubject: "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review   Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:38 am



I will try to keep this spoiler-free, but I won't hesitate to mention something spoiler-ish as an example to get my point across. Proceed with caution

Before we start, the above is the 2012 remake of the opening of the anime. The actual opening looks much older than this. Anyways, moving on.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the first in the mecha mega-series that is the other pillar of the Real Robots genre(The first pillar being Mobile Suit Gundam). Made in 1982, I did have some concerns, mainly about how painful the visuals may be. While I finished the series around 3 weeks ago, my impressions of the anime are still somewhat fresh. SDF Macross is grand, it's rather...unique, I dare say, at least for its time. It had great music, overall good writing, slightly subpar animation at times, but most of all, it was memorable.

Not exactly sure where to start, so I might as well start with the overall story. SDF Macross's concept is well-thought out, yet simple enough. There are aliens involved, and wars going on, so the action side is as filled in as an anime from that era could be without being excessive. There's also a real sense of danger and tragedy, with the main ship SDF-1 Macross being stuck near Pluto with 50,000 refugees trying to get back to Earth with the Zentradi forces still trying to destroy them. After that, the story is essentially about the various troubles that come up as the Macross gets closer and closer to Earth. This is rather fine, except due to some executive problems. Originally the show was meant to be around 50 or so episodes, but then it got reduced to 27 episodes(Hence the slow pacing near the beginning). However, later on the episode count got bumped up to 36, so the story continues even after 27 episodes, which is where I feel it should have ended. Without spoiling too much, Zentradi declares a full-on annihilation on Earth, the Macross along with its allies tries to fight them back, and succeeds, the love triangle is resolved, and we have an end...Except the next episode takes place more or less around the year later and needlessly expands the story where it should have ended. Peace has already been achieved, so the writers had to force in some new conflicts, that ruins the characterization of some of the characters. And then, most of these later episodes are less mecha-based and much more like a soap opera with nothing else ongoing in the background, until the very end where some more evil is squeezed out of some of the characters to have a final fight before things end for real. If we ignore everything after episode 27, I dare say SDF Macross is a downright masterpiece that every mecha fan should watch at least once for the experience, and is a rare anime that appears once once a century or so. However, the other 9 episodes brought the enjoyment level down slightly and I'm going to nitpick on that, because it's important. Looking at all 36 episodes, SDF Macross is still a rare classic that every mecha fan should watch at least once for the experience, and that's already great. I mean, me nitpicking aside, those 9 episodes weren't that bad and I still enjoyed it in the end, but the writing quality feels lower than the first 27 episodes It's not just the writing, but that the story has already effectively ended, they should've left it at that. A slight shame, but nevertheless, enjoyable.

However, despite the premise, SDF Macross is a character-driven story, with focus placed on the characters, their relationships and interactions instead. I nitpicked on how the later episodes has way more focus on the soap opera drama without the mecha, but that's because by then there's no real plot ongoing anymore, and it really was just a soap opera. The first 27 episodes of SDF Macross has a great mix of both character relationships and sci-fi plot. As I've said there's a sense of danger and urgency, with 50,000 people stuck in a giant mechanical fortress that is not that stable. The plot, while slow, still moves along, with the characters reacting to the events as they happen. Later on, characters reacting to each other forms the plot, and that is when I say that's too much for SDF Macross. Anyways, that aside, the cast of SDF Macross is, in a short word, cool. They're not exactly a quirky or fun bunch, seeing as most of them are in the military. They're overall competent, and well-developed enough to feel real.

The only character who is an exception to that, would be Lynn Kaifun. Generally speaking, yes war is wrong, and someone who is vocal and brave enough to express it usually earns my respect. However, Kaifun does nothing but slander the military, view it in the worst light possible, and give it no credit even when the only reason they've survived so far was because they were willing to fight. The people fighting for the survival of the Macross genuinely worked hard, to protect those who they love, and Kaifun just shits on all that because 'the military is bad'. He's ignorant, annoying, and even worse is that he's a rival to Hikaru in regards of Lynn Minmay. The last 9 episodes only make him even less likable, and by then he has no good points to like about anymore. One of the rare few characters in anime that I would be very, very happy if he just died already.

Romance, something that people would not expect to have its own paragraph for a mecha series, is something that deserves its own paragraph here, and more. As mentioned, character interaction forms the basis for most of Macross. Specifically, romance forms the core of Macross, as well as being a recurring plot element. A love triangle between pilot Hikaru Ichijou(whose name screams generic protagonist, admittingly), the rising star idol Lynn Minmay, and Lieutenant Misa Hayase, along with several romantic subplots along the way, makes Macross what it is. The dynamic between Hikaru with Minmay, and Hikaru with Hayase, is interesting to witness, and is never too bland or boring. The series took a slight suffering when the focus on this love triangle was too much in the last 9 episodes, but judging Macross as a soap opera, it probably wasn't that bad. I myself was a Lynn Minmay shipper, just saying(I would be very much fine with Hayase winning as well, even if I shipped Minmay. Something that is very, very much a huge plus in love triangles/harem stories). Not going to spoil who wins, as that's half the entire point of Macross. Overall, it was well-written, and I was very much engaged in finding out who won.

Finally, before ending the review, the music. Just like with romance, Macross has both very well composed music, and has integrated music into its story as an important element. Music can influence people in a way no work of literature or piece of painting can. Before a baby can see, it could hear while still being a fetus, and so I believe the sense of sound is something very significant, and music is the best way to influence that. Also, some of Lynn Minmay's songs are a very nice listen, from the classic 'My Boyfriend is a Pilot'/Watashi no Kareshi Pilot, to my personal favorite 'Zero G Love'. Macross may occasionally be a pain on the eyes, but it won't be a pain to the ears, that's for sure.

There are still points I haven't touched on(Mainly the visuals, or action), but for one, this is definitely well over 1,000 words already, and two, I honestly prefer to focus on the positive points. We watch anime to enjoy it, so if nothing else, I'd rather focus on the smallest positive points in the series instead of the biggest negative points in the series if I can...unless I really hate it. Anyways, point is, I want more people to watch this, so naturally I'm going to focus more on the good points. Enough self-justification, SDF Macross is genuinely good, enjoyable, and with an entertaining love triangle, a soundtrack that is iconic and memorable, and with occasionally fun writing, it's something that most people would enjoy once they get past the visuals. For those curious on what to watch next, either the movie Macross ~Do you Remember Love?~ alternate events movie, or you can go ahead to Macross Zero. I myself will see both of those, and more when I have the time.

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danna45
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PostSubject: Re: "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review   Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:11 am

Can I....self-approve this?



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PostSubject: Re: "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review   Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:44 am

dat ichijou.......heh

eh i still think you should've pointed out exactly what was generally wrong with the show more obviously than you kinda did.

seems worth a shot...eventually -to the list of animes to maybe some time watch-



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PostSubject: Re: "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review   Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:37 am

Probably not a good idea to ever self-approve something that isn't as black and white... since it doesn't exactly fall under landmarks that are easy to interpret. I approved it though, sorry I missed it.

I think it could've used a little more focusing on what was wrong. I totally get it's a good series, but I do wonder what I might not like about it personally if I decide to watch it.

Question though... I personally dislike mecha anime. Like, a lot. I do however like shows that are either fun or have extremely strong character development. This is why I really enjoy Guran Lagan as well as Eureka Seven. Would you say it falls under those type of shows, or is a little closer to a traditional Gundam?



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PostSubject: Re: "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?~" Super Dimension Fortress Macross Review   Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:59 am

Kitouski wrote:
Probably not a good idea to ever self-approve something that isn't as black and white... since it doesn't exactly fall under landmarks that are easy to interpret. I approved it though, sorry I missed it.

I think it could've used a little more focusing on what was wrong. I totally get it's a good series, but I do wonder what I might not like about it personally if I decide to watch it.

Question though... I personally dislike mecha anime. Like, a lot. I do however like shows that are either fun or have extremely strong character development. This is why I really enjoy Guran Lagan as well as Eureka Seven. Would you say it falls under those type of shows, or is a little closer to a traditional Gundam?
Well I'm not the best judge to say if someone would definitely like an anime, but...

You liked Gurren Lagann, you liked Eureka Seven, you'll like Macross. Gurren Lagann's more action-y than Macross is, and Eureka Seven is about the same.

If you can get past the pretty slow beginning(Which I forgot to mention in the review), the sometimes-really-shit animation, and the very 'old' feel it has, then yep, Macross should be entertaining.



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