7 October 2008 | rmoore23
Best I've seen out of Macross since Plus in 1994.
25 years after the original SDF Macross series, Kawamori steps back up to the plate and brings Macross back to the basics with Macross Frontier, and yields incredible results. After such lackluster sequels like Macross II and Macross 7, Frontier is a stunning epic that truly sits among the series' best.
Taking place in the year 2059 (50 Years after the events of Space War I in the original Macross) humanity is exploring and colonizing in space in order to insure its survival. Frontier is a colonization fleet headed towards the center of the Galaxy, things are going smoothly, until suddenly they are confronted with the deadly alien threat of the Vajra. Alto Saotome is a student at Mihoshi Academy (and a former Geisha actor) who suddenly gets swept into the conflict. He ends up joining SMS, a special military force formed in order to protect Frontier from the Vajra threat. What follows after wards is a string of conspiracies, love triangles, betrayals and mysteries that all culminates into one of the most epic finales in Macross history.
The first thing you'll notice is the amazing production quality. Frontier is a TV series, but the visuals can hold up even to the most beautifully animated anime film. That's due in part to the amazing CG work from Satelight and the blazingly fast and intense battle sequences. Macross fans will definitely scream with joy at the combat sequences, but within all of that Frontier never forgets the characters behind those transforming VF's.
The cast is memorable and lovable, even down to the most minor characters. From the innocent and cheerful Ranka Lee, to the surprisingly hot-blooded ship helm Bobby Margot. The good guys were very likable and the bad guys are truly detestable. The Vajra themselves are some of the most intimidating aliens you'll ever see in a Macross series. Every time they attack, you get a sense of dread that almost even dwarfs the Zentraedi from the original series. The direction is also amazing and clever as well, each event is further elevated with skill by the amazing score from Yoko Kanno, and the wonderful vocals of Megumi Nakajima and May'n. (Who both play the heroines Ranka and Sheryl)
The show also references many of the Macross series of the past, in which fans will have a ball pointing them all out. A lot of the plot seems to mirror the original Macross series, but Frontier manages to bring a lot of neat and surprising twists. The writers were smart enough NOT to completely copy the original.
The only thing I can find wrong with Frontier is that it ends too quickly. The story is told in a very tight 25 episodes, and there were a few plot points I wish the show could have elaborated on a little further. In the end, it left me wanting more. (Much of the show references the number 25, in which the show was created to celebrate Macross' 25th Anniversary) It stands as the shortest Macross TV series compared to the original and Macross 7. However, these were some of the most enjoyable 25 episodes I've seen in any anime. People new to Macross will love it, but longtime fans will get more of a treat out of this show.
Overall, Kawamori has crafted a Macross sequel worthy of the original, and stands as one of the most exciting anime shows I've seen in awhile.