Macross Plus (1994)


Macross Plus (1994)

Director: Shoji Kawamori
Studio: Studio Nue, Triangle Staff
Starring: Takumi Yamazaki, Unshou Ishizuka, Rika Fukami
Episodes: 4

Estranged childhood friends are reunited, two of them as rival test pilots in a competition for the next generation of variable fighter and the other as the producer of a virtual idol.

The Macross series is my mecha franchise of choice dating all the way back to when I was a little kid watching Robotech. I've seen pretty much all the iterations of the franchise and this is hands-down my favorite. As much as I owe to the original series, I give this the top spot because I love the character dynamics. Not only the core triad of Isamu, Guld and Myung but also a lot of the supporting cast interact in interesting ways. Let's not forget about some quality action, to include one of the best sequences of aerial combat ever put to the screen in the finale. We've also got amazing music from Yoko Kanno in the work that really kicked off her career, from sweeping orchestral themes to the hypnotic and creepy songs of Sharon Apple. Fun bits of trivia include the fact that Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop fame was a co-director and in the original English dub, Bryan Cranston voiced Isamu. There's also a movie version of this (which is what the original plan was), but I prefer it as an OAV miniseries. There are a few changes in the movie version I don't like and even though I always watch the series straight through every time, I think the episode breaks work well for pacing purposes. This one belongs in your collection without a doubt. Given the distribution woes the franchise faces, the fact that this is one of the few pieces you can easily get your hands on outside of Japan is all the more reason.

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