Saturday, 16 April 2011

マクロスプラス/ Macross Plus

Let’s go back ten years – almost eleven, in fact. On May 13, 2000, I wrote in my diary that my mum had ‘bought the subbed animé Macross Plus for me (as a 2 for £10 deal!)’ and that ‘it was quite good, if a little too long and slightly boring. Still, though, pretty good.’

Obviously, back then I wasn’t so interested in qualifying and assessing, and quite unaware that I was watching something quite seminal. It was also quite possibly the first time I watched a subtitled anime rather than one dubbed for localisation, although that made little impression on me, having grown up reading the subtitles for Chinese films. Though I didn’t know it, this movie, expanded from four OVAs, was my introduction to the music of the brilliant Yoko Kanno (entirely unnoticed by me) and the direction of Watanabe Shin’ichirou, years before I heard of his 1998 smash hit Cowboy Bebop. It was also small wonder I didn’t find this easy to follow, it being a direct sequel to the original Macross series, and thus built upon exposition I’d never seen. Add to that the fact that I’ve never found mecha inspiring and it becomes quite clear why this made little impression on my young self.

The plot is simple: two show-offs put everyone in danger trying to outdo one another piloting their giant robots, but when their childhood friend gets into danger, they have to work together to rescue her. Uninspired stuff.

A nice bit of anime history because of the names involved, and after all part of one of the most important mecha series in all of anime, it nonetheless never inspired any great passion in me and ultimately, I’ve yet to feel compelled to check out the rest of the franchise.

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