November 22, 2007


Macross, or The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, is one of the most famous anime series of all time. There are several television seasons and movies produced in this universe, and it is the inspiration for Robotech. It is one of the first examples of anime mecha shows, and a fan favorite for many reasons.

I'd never watched it before, but as one of the anime classics I thought I should. After watching the series, I can see why it resonated so strongly with children and fans of anime at the time, but in truth I found it to be disappointing in more than a few ways. Macross certainly has a very interesting story revolving around war and love, in a very complicated and all too human manner. That part I think was very well written. Unfortunately a combination of insufficient funding, poorly done or rushed animation, and dated character designs marred the production. There were two whole episodes that consisted of flashback material, which is usually an indication of funding or time problems, and certainly unwelcome distractions when watching the series. A number of times the animation was actually quite bad, with unnatural character movement or inconsistent drawing. And it's quite clear exactly what time period the characters come from, despite the science-fiction setting, because of their clothing and hair styles. This was also reflected in the opening theme song.

A lot of people do like the art style of Macross, which you can find in many other animes. I've never been a particular fan of this style myself, but at least usually it doesn't come across as a negative. This time it did though, because of all the problems with how it was drawn and how I kept thinking the people look like they're from the 70's or early 80's.

The idea of the Zentradi and how the human must combat this threat is quite interesting. The contrast between these two races provided a lot of fertile ground for the plot and philosophical ideas about men and women, social mores, and attitudes about war and the enemy. This story arc, and that of the love interests during the course of the series, are easily the most enjoyable aspects of the series.

Overall, I found some parts of the series enjoyable but at times the poor quality made me feel pretty disappointed in it. So there was sort of a roller coaster ride between disappointment and enjoyment throughout. In the end, I'm not particularly wanting to watch more in the series, although I sort of wonder exactly what will happen to the characters.

Posted by josuah at November 22, 2007 11:01 PM UTC+00:00

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