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Anime on DVD: Macross Plus Essential Collection
Macross Plus is known as the "Top Gun" ofanime and it displays this characteristic in many ways. In a similar vein to theAmerican Top Gun, hotheaded top Navy pilots are involved in a competitionthat involves more than meets the eye. Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman are theexpert pilots that fly two new prototype fighters, the YF-19 and the YF-21. Theyare locked in a competition to see which fighter becomes the standard of theUnited Nations Air Force. The two of them once lived on Eden, the planet wherethis competition is being held. On the same planet, Myung Lone acts as managerbehind the newest fad in the universe. Sharon Apple is a virtual pop idol whouses artificial intelligence to display emotions in her music. While Myung seemsto only be a manager, Sharon's emotions come from more than just a computer.
Isamuand Guld aren't exactly best of friends and it shows in their surprising firstencounter at the airbase. Harsh insults are exchanged in the airbase.Afterwards, during a break from the rigors of competition, they happen to bumpinto Myung. Myung is a mutual childhood friend that both had loved 7 years ago.The two pilots end up shouting unfriendly words about their past indiscretions,and come to fists against each other over Myung. While Myung prevents the fightfrom continuing, the need for vengeance is not so easily quenched. The questionsremain about the reasons for the breakup of this once happy triangle for closefriends.Macross Plus is set in the same universe as Macross,however it is 40 years in the future from the original series. The series isself-contained and prior knowledge of the Macross universe is not required.Everything about this series is brand new, with a fresh and energetic feel toit. It has the mix of mecha, music, and emotional characters that Macross isfamous for. While the world does not seem at risk of alien invasions, themystery behind the characters keeps tension flowing. This series keeps thetradition of the Macross alive while straying into new and interesting territoryas well.
Thequality of animation on this title is superb in all aspects. CG is perfectlyunited with cel work for a seamless showing of how animation can come to life.The futuristic style of the show is never short on realism and the world ofMacross Plus is very immersive. The battle scenes involve some high tensiondogfights. These fights are beautifully animated and keep the watcherenthralled. The backgrounds and characters show great attention to detail andSharon Apple is especially provocative.The voice acting for Macross Plus is top notch as well.With talents such as Rica Fukami (voice of Myung and best known as voice ofSailor Venus), and Yamazaki Takumi (voice of Isamu), there is no doubt that theJapanese dubbing is superb. The emotions just flow out from the voices and givethe characters another dimension. While the American dub isn't nearly as solid,it is a passable job that also adds a new surround mix to the audio.Yoko Kanno puts her own exemplary touch upon the music.Her creativity and vision inspire something original and fulfilling. The musicfits the show perfectly with simple beauty and futuristic elements. SharonApple's songs are especially enchanting, with a very exotic and artificial feelthat somehow flows with human emotion. The score of Macross is done with a fullorchestra that provides a powerful lift behind the events as they unfold. Noneof the tracks will disappoint and the variety of different styles involved willkeep you interested throughout.
The characters of Macross have both a past and a futureas they explore their differences throughout the show. While Isamu may seem tojust be a brash and insubordinate pilot, he has other qualities that shinethrough as the series progresses. Myung and Guld have their own complicationsthat make none of the characters one-sided. Sharon Apple gives a special twistas her own character during the latter parts of the story. Her AI is not just amere instrument of musical entertainment.The storyline runs through a number of differentbranches that all lead to an epic and satisfying climax. While the story doesfeel slightly cliché, there are a number of fresh and interesting twists thatkeep the plot unpredictable. Unlike Macross, while mecha have an important role;the main focus seems to be the situations between the characters. There are nosimple answers to the relationships between the three former friends, and theintrigue within the prototype fighter battlefield. The balance of action anddrama makes this show watchable for almost any audience. Macross Plus has themystery of both past and future issues that will take the full will of everycharacter to resolve.Manga Entertainment released the two DVD's of this OAVseries in 1999. While not up to the efforts of Pioneer, they are well donetechnically. There are only a few minor complaints about video quality that arelittle cause for concern. The only warning is that buyers should make sure thatthey are getting the second printing of the DVD's, since the first ones had someminor errors in audio and subtitle timing.This masterpiece of anime is a classic that tops thegenre of action and drama. All aspects of this series clue into the extremelyhigh production values behind it. There is nothing to hold back purchasing thisbrilliant show of mecha, friendship, and past intrigue. Macross Plus Original Vol.01 (U.S.) CD Macross Plus Original Vol.02 CD (Import) Macross Plus: Sharon Apple The Cream P.U.F. (CD Soundtrack) (Import) Macross Plus Macross Plus Original - For Fans Only (CD Soundtrack) (Import)