|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Macross 7 was one of the first sequels to the Macross franchise made around the same time that Macross Plus came about. This chapter of the franchise focuses on the human and Zentradi members aboard the spacecraft Macross 7 dealing with a new enemy alien threat called the Protodevlin and a guitarist named Basara Nekki cutting in during heated fights in a Valkyrie unit between the forces to try singing to the enemy for seemingly unknown reasons. Continuity wise, the series takes place 35 years after the events of the original Macross series, clearly evident with the appearances of Maximillian and Milia, the first human-Zentradi coupling to come about from the original series.|
This particular entry in the Macross franchise has a good deal of infamy among its fans as such where many consider it the franchise's black sheep. In part, I can kind of see where these thoughts would come from. The first dozen or so episodes to the series are a bit on the repetitive side as Fire Bomber are doing a performance, Mylene and Basara get in some sort of argument, a Protodevlin attack occurs, Basara flies in on the scene in his Valkyrie to sing to the enemy, the enemy retreats after getting what they need and the cycle repeats. Basara is a bit of a shallow and difficult character to connect with as we have no clue why he is behaving as he does and he doesn't seem to have much dimension to his character either as he mostly comes off as a free-spirited and impulsive pacifist. Even throughout the entirety of the series, Macross 7 offers little exploration to Basara's character and the viewer has no clue what drives him to do what he wants. The majority of the Protodevlin are also rather shallow as villains and the quirks with some of them can border on obnoxious. Plus unlike the original series that had a "real robot" approach to the mecha genre with plenty of drama to milk, Macross 7 crosses into "super robot" territory with its more light-hearted mood and absurd "power of song" plot devices milked to combat alien threats capable of wiping out planets.
In spite of the mentioned issues though, I would not necessarily consider this the worst offering in the Macross franchise in the same vain as forgettable entries in the franchise like Macross II or compressed film adaptations like Macross: Do You Remember Love? and the two Macross Frontier movies. The supporting cast in the series do rather well for the most part to carry along things in spite of how subpar things are with the series lead and the main conflict of the series. The series offers some nice exploration of Milia and Max's relationship as it has clearly been shown to degrade over the years in spite of the two gaining influential positions on the Macross 7 spacecraft and trying to raise their young teenage daughter, Mylene. Mylene's character also gets a good deal of development in the series as she tries handling the strain in her parents' relationship, comes to grips with the hostilities of war when events in the series escalate and get in an implied love triangle with Basara and Gamlin. The majority of the side characters in the series involve those connected to Fire Bomber's performances or involved with the military yet relevant characters still get enough focus to show there are more to them than a simple archetype.
The series also subverts some of the typical plot formulas you would expect from a Macross title. Outside of the "super robot" approach being milked, the love triangle dynamic that most titles in the franchise implement has a minimal presence despite the implications played up involving Mylene, Basara and Gamlin. The series is instead more focused on expressing its main themes of understanding and acceptance of others, the implied reasoning behind Basara's refusal to attack enemy forces when he rocks out in front of enemy forces. This message does lead to gradual developments with a number of the characters in the series as they come to understand why Basara had been behaving as he was during early episodes in the series and even leading some among the Protodevlin to switch sides when they come to understand Basara's intentions. As simple as the message may seem, Macross 7 still does well for the most part in expressing it through developments taking place throughout its run.
Presentation wise, Macross 7 is a mixed bag. The visuals were obviously done with a cheap budget in mind as scenery shots and character designs are on the plain side and plenty of corners get cut with animation as shortcuts like reused frames and still shots are a regular occurrence here. The soundtrack milked by Fire Bomber is a nice change for the series as unlike the original Macross' use of pop music, this series makes use of rock music. The energetic rock beats are fitting for the light-hearted mood given off by the series and the lyrics accompanying them fit in with the title's theme of understanding and acceptance. Only low point with the soundtrack is that there are points in the series where it gets repetitive as some of the same songs get recycled until new ones are composed for later episodes in the title's run.
Overall, I guess I could say my thoughts of Macross 7 as a whole are somewhat mixed and I think it's infamy among Macross fans may be overblown. While rather generic and repetitive in aspects of its premise and characters, the series still offered up some fresh aspects to the typical Macross plot formula, an engaging supporting cast, an energetic rock soundtrack and a simple yet well executed exploration of its main themes. Your mileage may vary on how you perceive the series with how different it is from other installments in the Macross franchise. But I would advise that one should check out the full series to properly judge it instead of ditching it in early episodes due to their repetitive setup for plot.
Last updated Monday, January 26 2015. Created Friday, December 30 2011.
Through 1 episode...This is going to be another show that's going to be hard to watch methinks. A rock band in concert and battles in space. Basara annoys the heck out of me. More later (maybe)...
Last updated Thursday, August 03 2006. Created Thursday, August 03 2006.
|English Language Series Web Site||http://www.macross.co.jp/macross/english/title5_e.html|