1/1 LowViz Lurker Posted September 11, 2011 Share Posted September 11, 2011 (edited) Full version is here. Originally in my SDF Macross review I said the macros was Top Gun meets Battlestar: Galactica meets Transformers with a dash of Star Wars thrown in. Well no where does the Top Gun analogy become more apparent than with the 4-episode mini-series(or OVA) Macross Plus, released in 1994. The story features two rival jet fighter test pilots in a setting that is highly reminiscent of the classic Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer flick. There’s planes, space, dogfights, pretty girls, but unlike Top Gun, Macross Plus features a psychotic AI pop star, a kinda-sorta love triangle and a futuristic setting. Now first of all, I have to say that after the disappointment that was Macross II, Plus was about 10x, no, 100x better. I seriously wanted to have Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone or Cheap Trick’s Mighty Wings come blaring out of the speakers as the YF-19 and -21 danced across the sky. I mean, I enjoyed this so much I think there was only two things I really want to have them improve. They could have explained Sharon’s self-awareness a bit more and also why she seemed so intent on hypnotizing people and why she wanted to kill Isamu. I also didn’t care much for Myung as well. I don’t dislike her but I think to myself “Gooooossshhh! Get off the pity wagon and stop being so damn depressing, especially when you’ve got guys like Isamu and Guld around." I don’t really blame Isamu for being more interested in Lucy when he got back to Eden than Myung. Other than that this was solid, first-rate, no holds-barred, thrill-riding fun. I would not be embarrassed to say that I enjoyed Macross Plus more than Transformers 3, and that’s saying something. The characters, planes, visuals (none of that damn moe crap), music and sounds all come together beautifully. The fact that this was a good dub as well is an extra plus. With the talents of VA’s like Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad), Richard Epcar and Beau Billingslea, it’s actually a joy to listen to as the actors actually emote. What a concept! All in all, on the MAHQ scale of stars, this gets five gold stars! Now if only it had Danger Zone… I like this a lot for three main reasons: -dogfighting was done really well. It has a sense of speed in the fighting that you can't get from fights only set in space. -the main character is not the typical young kid who is obsessed about his reasons for doing things. He does things for a personal reason. Perhaps people don't like that but it works for a show about test pilots. It works because you have to be crazy to try the yf-19 and similar to the crew of sdf-1 your lack of knowledge about something and willingness to still try it out and give it a go resonates well with creative people (mainly struggling artists who want to experiment with new things and business people who want to innovate and try new ideas that are risky etc) -cyperpunk theme - it has more paranoia than other shows. Just because technology provide convenience doesn't mean we should stop trying hard or we should become lazy. It reminds me of the theme in rocky movies: stallones character may not win against a better person with more skill but he can still "go the distance" to show that he will make the most out of what he has. This is a positive message. Myung is not obsolete just because an AI pop idol can entertain people better than a human. It's just that she gives up and doesn't want to be herself. Money and fame is not a measure of talent. She could be herself and become better than Sharon Apple but thinks dreams and ambition is "childish". I found this character to be a victim of her own demons. The AI is like her personal demon that lives inside her (it's like the devil part of her conscience) and she excorcises this when she realises she is better than a fake computer which happens to be popular. Real emotion can't be replaced by the counterfeit. This is similar to the theme in macross 7 where basara must use his energy to bring power to his music and you can see the monsters react to that energy. That's what I got out of it. I know people will say things like "the action was what drew them", "the mechas were what they liked" and other stuff like that but to me I liked the characters and story just as much. It was a simple story and paced nicely. And the twist at the end made a lot of sense within the macross universe. (zentradi are the warlike aliens so I can believe guld would go psycho for a minute and then deny he "lost control" later; which is what he alwways accuses dyson of doing when he wrecks planes.) And then of course there is the music. I don't have to mention that as a "plus". Many love it and I think it adds a lot to the overall ova. I think brainwaves are one way of spying on humans and judging whether they like or hate something, but it is not "our soul". So all this technology (which you see in the ova) is just a tool it's not the truth about people. I can experience hate and feel emotion and love, but that might just be me creating emotions through manipulation of my brain using drugs or whatever. It's not the same thing as those emotions being a result of what I truly feel in my heart. It's not easy to make that distinction. In the show you see peoples reactions being measured in the concert, but how much of that reaction is through mind manipulation and how much of it is their free will? The music might manipulate a person's emotions and put them into a trance-like state, but it's not the same as music you like because you actualy like it. There is a difference between this and having brainwaves manipulated to control you into thinking it's good. This is what the brainwaves thing does for guld. He controls a plane through his mind, the machine interprets the brainwaves. But does his heart really wish for dyson to crash in that scene? Maybe for a second. But the machine interpreted that intent and made a fatal mistake. Thinking that his mind and his heart are the same. People can turn it around at any time and merely thinking about something and having brainwaves monitored doesn't tell the whole truth about a person. It's like judging people when they are drunk. In the future I think people will try to judge others based on what they can see about their brains not on a person's soul or their total character and then filter in information about another which they want to hear while throwing away the rest. This results in people becoming more shallow and artificial, as they rely on formulas to create things rather than be themselves. Hollywood is an example: so many remakes of movies get made without considering if there is a need to do the remakes. It's done for commercial reason more than art. And this is a shame because stuff is created without the same level of heart as before as a result of people being lazy, falling back on emulating or copying what had already been done before. You can tell when a work lacks soul (an identity of its own) when you can predict what will happen ahead of time and it feels scripted/fake to go along a beaten path instead of being different enough to maintain your interest because the people wanted to make it unique. In mac plus: it may not feel "like it belongs to macross" (some reckon the new art style looks weird) but that's partly why I like it more. It could have just been lazy and retold things like macross II but it gave us something more. The characters were not the same as the characters in SDFM with different names, in order to make more money from the popular cash cow, and it's better for it. The macross universe is more complete for having this different thing. You don't really have to have watched SDFM to appreciate it, and you could just see it as a cyberpunk movie about test pilots without transforming mecha. Macross 7 on the other hand, it really helps to know who max and milia are before you care for these character. They don't really do much in the show apart from be fan service for older macross fans. Edited September 11, 2011 by 1/1 LowViz Lurker Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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