Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Manga Entertainment
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Macross Plus
Macross Plus Vol. #1 (1st Pressing)
By Roman Martel
February 16, 2002
Release Date: October 12, 1999
Overall rating: 4
Macross Plus takes place in the Macross Universe many years after the original series. The plot focuses on two test pilots, the hot head Isamu Dyson, and slightly less of a hot head Guld Bowman. The two become rivals in a project designed to create the ultimate air/space fighter. They also become rivals for the affection of their childhood friend Myung. She has become the manager for the virtual superstar Sharon Apple. But beneath all their raging emotions lies a buried secret that threatens to destroy them all.
Acting: Japanese: 4
Acting: English: 3
Sound - 5
Picture - 4
Menu - 5
Presentation - 5
Goodies - 3
Overall - 4.4
Well I've been waiting for this series to come to DVD for a while now. When I first saw it almost a year ago I knew it would be a perfect candidate for DVD. Let's see how Manga has handled this series (their first and only anime title for the year I believe).
The show itself is very well done. The animation is amazing. There are scenes of such beauty and realism that you are held aback by them. One of the best scenes is the one in which Isamu and Lucy are on his motorcycle racing down the highway. While I was watching it, I had several non anime fans stop dead in their tracks and ask, "What are you watching? That looks awesome!". Most of the design for the mecha and production design is also top notch. I'm not too crazy about the pointy nose and chin character design in this show and in Vision of Escaflowne, but I got used to it ("They look like Bob Hope caricatures!" I was told by a certain Cat, and I have to agree).
The sound is well done but not to exceptional. It fits the story and adds to it in most cases (the remastering in 5.1 is simply stunning but I'll get to that).
The plot is fairly standard. Two men, once friends are now bitter rivals and are fighting over the same woman, and they have mecha. Nothing to original but the way the story is told makes it better than average (since I've seen the series before I know it gets much better!) If you have never seen Macross in any form before, don't worry you can still follow the story, all you need to know that isn't in the story is that earth encountered an alien race called the Zentradi (SP?). These aliens were born and bred to be warriors. You should also know that the ruins of a giant transforming space fortress are part of the city of Macross now. That's about it.
The Japanese acting is also above average. It's well done on most counts. The English acting is just average. You've got some actors who seem to be into the characters (Isamu), some that are trying but can't figure out how to play the character (Myung) and some that are just plain bland or bored sounding (Miller). Mix them together and you've got an average dub job.
The music is simply awesome. It fits most of the scenes (it get a little overpowering here and there, but I felt the same about Escaflowne. They were both done by Yoko Kanno.) The actual songs are also top of the line and beautiful. I am eagerly awaiting my soundtrack CDs. I'd have to say overall the show is well done on almost all counts.
The disc is very strong in the department of sound. The 5.1 mix is one of the best I've heard on any DVD. This is a great showpiece for sound and for that alone this disc is worth it. The songs, score, dialogue, and sound effects are all well placed and sharp and clear. Great job on this!
The picture is better than average, but not as good as some of Pioneer's stuff. I've never seen Macross Plus other than on tape and so this is light years better than that but I wonder if it's on par with the LD...
The menu is fun and very functional. It works fluidly and I don't have a problem figuring out what I'm picking.
The disc comes in a keep case with an insert containing chapter stops and other DVD's available from Palm Pictures and Manga. Most of the info you want is on the keep case except I don't see any mention of region coding...
The goodies on this disc are just O.K. You get a trailer for the series and the teaser that was at the end of each episode for the next episode. The musical photo gallery is O.K. It could have been handled a bit better. It would have been nice to see some art other than production stills (much like the gallery on the Bubblegum Crisis set), and a option that lets you view the stills at your own pace without music. Then you get a bunch of trailers for other Manga and Palm Pictures releases. Now I don't mind trailers (I loved all the trailers on Tekken, thought they were better than the movie) but some of these are just plain silly: the Kiss "Say no to drugs ad" and the coming in 2000 among them (Dan I appreciate what you do more and more, keep up the good work). I would have loved to see some storyboards or concept drawings for the characters or the mecha, or even a text only Macross primer.
Overall I recommend this title. It's good entertainment and it's shown in a very exciting way. DVD is probably the only way to see Macross Plus.