Wildstar's Anime Review

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Macross II OVAs

I am a Macross fan. I have always been a Macross fan. I will always be a Macross fan. That being said, when I first saw Macross II on dubbed VHS a few years back, I thought it sucked, big time. I thought it was one of the worst shows I had ever seen. However, at that time, I began formulating a familiar hypothesis that goes like this: "In Anime, a show that seems really lousy dubbed, often turns out to be pretty darn good subbed." And with Macross II, I finally have concrete proof of this phenomenon.

And finally having seen Macross II subtitled with all the original music, I am surprised to report that this OVA series was excellent from beginning to end. I found myself enjoying every second, while the dub had only pained and revolted me.

Joyfully, Macross II is all Macross, all the time. The animation, mecha designs, battle scenes, music, plot structure and ending are all reminiscent of everything I love about Macross.

And it holds valiantly true to the "Macross Philosophy" that when combined, fighter pilots, pop idols and love can save the universe.
There were several great music numbers peppered through-out with the obligatory festivals and light shows. In any case, the music of Macross II has always been considered classic.

The animation quality was also surprisingly good. The last three episodes had exceptionally high quality battle sequences done in true Macross style that should satisfy most fans of the original. And the sound effects were great.

I really liked many of the mechanical designs and attention to detail in the sheen and polished finish of the mecha. However, the mechanical designers were not up to par in the Valkyrie department. The Valkyries appeared too simple in my opinion, except for an occasional cool frame here and there.

But it seems obvious really: Haruhiko Mikimoto contributed character designs and is credited with "Animation Director". So stylistically, his influence is clear. But with Shoji Kawamori missing from this production, the Valkyrie designs just don't have his special touch.

On my shelf, Macross II has joined the family of true Macross productions. The directors were obviously fans of the show themselves and fill every episode with homages to the original series and movie. Quality wise, it is no Macross Do You Remember Love and certainly no Macross Plus. But in my opinion, it is very close to the style of the original series. In any case, the story and animation and music are far superior to recent duds coming on the OVA format. If you're a Macross fan and collect the music and the art books and everything else, you may end up really enjoying Macross II just as much as I did.

Long live the bridge bunnies!

My Review at Mania.com


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