Macross Plus Review: Beyond the Super Dimension Fortress

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Well I happened to have a bit of free time so I decided to watch through Macross Plus since I had just finished Macross.  I’ve been pretty impatient about getting back to Katawa Shoujo but luckily Macross Plus was only a 4-episode OVA so I was able to finish it with ease.  Overall I enjoyed it a slight bit more than the original Macross, but it still had problems of its own.  Said problems were very different from the original’s, however.

Macross Plus follows three individuals who used to be friends in years past.  There is Isamu Dyson, a hotheaded and reckless person, Guld Goa Bowman, who contrasts significantly with Isamu as a more serious and cold character, and Myung Fang Lone, who serves as the producer for Sharon Apple, a famous virtual singer.  Though these three used to be close, a dramatic incident ultimately resulted in the three separating and their reunion leads to some more emotional clashes.  This along with the conflict between Isamu and Guld over the Supernova Project as well as conspiracies connected to the existence of Sharon add up to a number of problematic situations throughout the story.

The story doesn’t feel as if it has a particular aim, and for much of the OVA it seems as if the events just take place without a specific plot per say.  This could be considered both a good and a bad thing, as this open-ended nature allows Plus to cover different aspects of the story without being bogged down by a limiting plot, while at the same time it prevents the series from establishing a strong story or purpose for its cast.  The short time frame of this OVA limits how much it can do and the story goes by too quickly for any extreme plot twists to take place.  However, some might prefer this to the comparably dragging and overextended nature of the original Macross, as Plus never feels as if it is lagging unnecessarily but rather goes a bit too quickly.

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The characters are decent but, just as in the original Macross, far from amazing.  Isamu is a reckless yet generally likeable character, and even though his actions are questionable at times he is probably the easiest to be attached to in Plus.  Guld has his respectable moments but often seems overly aggressive and it is difficult to like him until perhaps the last episode of the OVA.  Myung primarily functions as a force to drive the plot as well as a source of tension between Isamu and Guld, though there is nothing particularly bad about her character.  With the short length of Plus, it is obvious that development won’t progress as much as a full-length series would allow for.  However, I felt that the story unnecessarily delayed the explanation about the “incident” that took place 7 years ago.  It is mentioned constantly throughout the OVA and is a clear influence on how all of the characters act, but it is never revealed what took place until the very last episode, and even then it is only briefly touched upon.

With flashier action and a much faster story, I enjoyed Macross Plus a bit more than the comparably slow Macross.  However, its short length was crippling in some areas and ultimately the story and character development were lacking because of this.  Just like the original Macross, I would rate Macross Plus a 7/10.  It was certainly enjoyable but lacked the depth to make it stand out as a great story.

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