My first experience with the Macross universe was with the series Robotech. I was quite young, and every Saturday morning I would wake up early to get my giant transforming-mecha fix. A number of years later, I have matured and my tastes have become more refined, but I still get a hankering for some mecha-on-mecha action. It is thus with some trepidation that I enter the world of Macross Plus; a more recent production set in the same universe as that of my beloved Robotech.
Having, watched Macross Plus, I’m unsure as to what I really think of it. I guess that this can be attributed to my expectation of the series. I wanted it to take me back to the childhood memory of near-epileptic-fit-inducing amounts of action, but that didn’t happen. I think that I was too young at the time of Robotech to fully appreciate the strength of its story, and this hampered my viewing of Macross Plus. You see, Macross Plus is foremost a well-written story, and secondarily a film full of transforming mechs fighting each other.
The basic story revolves around a love triangle between the three main characters Isamu, Guld and Myung, and in this respect Macross Plus is very well written, although it does feel as though we’ve seen this plot elsewhere. Adding to the strength of the plot is the fact that the series is rather compact in nature. It consists of just four episodes, and the benefit of this is that there is far less padding required than in many other series (cough…Neon Genesis Evangelion…cough).
On the other hand, Macross Plus is let down by the mecha action. Don’t get me wrong, there is action, and when it’s there it’s good, it’s just that there isn’t that much of it. I feel that the problem stems from the fact that the action revolves around the testing of a new series of mech and so there isn’t that much of the whole vanquishing evil alien races that we all know and love. If anything it resembles an anime version of the Hollywood hit Top Gun, albeit without the hilarious sexual innuendos and thankfully without Tom Cruise.
So to sum up I would have to say that Macross Plus is a well-crafted anime series. Whilst it may lack the action of some other anime series and films, it does make up for it with a strong plot and interesting characters. With a length of just two DVDs it also makes it an ideal entry into anime series.