In a futuristic universe, humanity waged war against a race of giants known as Zentradi. Facing extinction at hands of their foes, humanity escaped to the stars. In 2059 A.D., the 25th Giant Immigration fleet, also known as the Macross Frontier, undergoes its journey towards the center of the galaxy.
For the most part, life on the Macross Frontier proceeds as normal. But when famous singer Sheryl Nome visits, things go awry. Mysterious biomechanical aliens known as Vajra appear and attack, just as the citizens are busy clamoring over Sheryl.
17-year-old student mech pilot Alto Saotome joins the fray against the alien threat. While battling against a Varja, Alto rescues a young girl named Ranka Lee. Major Ozma Lee notes Alto's skill during his battle, and recruits him into the Strategic Military Services program. But his recruitment does not go smoothly, as the ghosts of Alto's past come up to haunt him.
"Simple, easy to comprehend plot. Skillfully developed love triangle. Masterpiece level animation and music."
To those who are new to the Macross franchise, you can find some info on it here. Now first to clarify a thing for those who are confused with the "Macross Frontier Deculture Edition". The difference is simply that the Deculture Edition is the "pilot episode" of the TV series. Another way of putting it is an OVA version of episode 1 of the TV series which was aired ~3 months later.
Taking place 47 years (story-wise) after the original series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross. We are now in the year 2059 AD. The Space War with the Zentradi was long since over and the new migration fleet, Macross Frontier, is now under attack by a new alien race. The story revolves around a love triangle and how the three cope with each other while dealing with the threats from the aliens.
The battle animations are absolutely STUNNING. Fluid CG battle animations to very detailed character outlook are very much the highly for the show. One can even tell that the background for most scenery were well thought out and well designed. Oh, and very consistent quality of animation.
"1st Anime Album in 11 Years to Rank in Japan's Top 3"
"Two Macross Frontier Singles in Japan's Weekly Top 10"
"All four of the Macross Frontier singles that have been released have debuted at #5 or higher."
How does that sound for starter? The Macross series were largely famous for its music as they all played an integral part in every single Macross title. However, one can say Macross Frontier have taken the anime song industry to a whole new golden era! Both the singer and seiyu responsible for singing the second OP won awards for their fabulous works.
A lot of characters developments happened in the latter half of the series making it a bit boring to watching in the beginning (as far as characters are concerned). However this is balanced by Sheryl Nome's character development which was extremely well done especially toward to the end of the series.We also be Alto and Ranka mature over time (albeit very late in the series).
The series as a whole was very well made with amazing sound effects and graphic. The love triangle between the 3 protagonists was interesting to watch as well. It was painful to see the show end, but at least it was announced that a movie is underway.
*Update on February 10, 2009*
If you liked Macross Frontier, you may be happy to know that it was voted by anime fans a week ago as THE anime of 2008. In addtion, May'n (Sheryl's singing VA) also got voted as one of the top anime singer.read more
Macross Frontier isn’t merely another sci-fi space opera. Despite incorporating just about every anime cliché in the book—from school drama to mecha to moe to the love triangles that are the Macross franchise’s signature—Macross Frontier manages to create something that is simultaneously the maximum fulfillment of its genre’s capacity and also the complete and utter subversion of its viewer’s expectations. It’s been hailed as the SDF-Macross of the 21st Century, and there’s no doubt about that; even for viewers unfamiliar with the original Macross series, Macross Frontier bridges nearly every gap imaginable to create something that will undoubtedly stand the test of time as its original predecessor has.
The directing is superb, though I cannot say with much conviction that it’s entirely noteworthy. The signature tracking shots of dog-fighters have been given extraordinary retrofits with wonderful CGI integration, and immediately call to any Macross fan’s mind the meticulously drawn epic battles of the original series and its companion film, yet they still manage to remain largely unique. This lies in the masterful art direction and consistently top-notch quality found throughout the whole series, giving the impression of absolute relevancy yet remaining “Macross” enough to justify just enough nostalgia to appeal to any fan.
The soundtrack is easily one of the series’ highlights (though it shouldn’t be said that it is its best feature, considering how utterly well-done the series as a whole is). Yoko Kanno provides the perfect musical accompaniment to the lovely vocals of Megumi Nakajima and May Nakabayashi. The climax of the whole show provides one of the most interesting medley collages of music I’ve ever encountered, and pretty much reestablishes (or at least adds credence to) Yoko Kanno’s position as one of the greatest soundtrack composers of all time.
And then there’s the narrative. This is a show that takes everything the last decade’s anime had to offer, rolls it up into a single coherent narrative, and manages to not only pull off a great story, but actually USE these tropes, clichés, and techniques as something more than they’re usually intended. Its surface-level plot is utterly brilliant in its simplicity, as it allows the deeper aspects of its meta-themes to shine through—particularly its rather odd-yet-genius juxtaposition of moe, school drama, and slice-of-life with mecha, space opera, sci-fi, and action of apocalyptic scope. While this may not be entirely new to the genre—nor even to the Macross franchise, seeing as how SDF-Macross did something along these lines on its own—it should be noted that Macross Frontier raises the bar with its ability to pull these ideas (and more) into a cohesive narrative structure.
Its seemingly simplistic plot allows for character development in leaps and bounds, to the point that just about every character in the series is fleshed out enough to be a well-rounded and three-dimensional device. Despite this, Macross Frontier remains a heavily plot-driven show, as much of the conflict created between the characters—masterfully handled as it is—remains largely unresolved through interactions and relies on plot-driven consequences in order to keep the whole narrative flowing. At times this peeks through as a detriment, but for the most part the show manages to balance itself out. To its credit, it never fully lapses into ungrounded melodrama and angst in order to illustrate character interaction, and seems to be acutely aware of the fine line between well-executed drama and baseless moaning. In compensation for its shortcomings with overall character drive, the plot takes advantage of allegory and an abundant use of vague foreshadowing to create an ever-shifting storyline that never really has a chance to congeal into a set routine.
This is a series that will have you grinning madly with anticipation, overwhelmed with the intensity of the action, and feeling the impact of rejection, doubt, and loss. It’s a fantastic introduction to the Macross franchise, and it’s the perfect successor to the Macross name. Recommended to any fan of anime.read more
Being the most anticipated anime of the spring season 08, I am NOT a bit surprised that MF turned out to be the most disappointing one. Except the incredible CG-implemented starwar-like battle scenes, there is nothing else to it, absolutely nothing. Even the music is average. The plot and the characterization are terrible too...Wait a minute, what am I talking about? There is no plot and characterization in this show. I can summarize the plot of the first eight episodes I watched into one sentence: two girls whoring around one guy plus some random battles against aliens. I'm sorry if I offended the fans but that's how it seems to me.
Then there is the horrible characterization. None of the characters serve any purposes nor add anything to the show. Alto is OK but he doesn't have any strong points that can make the audiences remember him. He is just a very normal very boring very bland character. The other ones are even worse. I don't know what the writers were thinking when they created Sheryl. She was first introduced as a bi...a very mean lady (ep1). Then the writer suddently decided to drop this side of her and switched her into someone who looks out for Ranka. In recent episodes she changed her personality again and apparently became jealous of Ranka for no reasons(ep6). There is not even transitions between these changes. What a messed-up character development this is. Lastly Ranka, well, I think she is only there to attract fanboys. I absolute don't see any personality in her.
I'm starting to get a little disappointed about these new animes. None of them is even close to the ones like Eureka Seven or Ayakashi. As a matter of fact, this Macross Frontier makes Gundam Seed look like a masterpiece, and I think Seed only deserves a 7/10 at most. And may I remind you that MF is the most anticipated series of the season? I think you get my point.read more
Macross Frontier, the latest installment to the 25-year-old mecha franchise, is so promising in every aspect early on that once the flaws become more apparent and begin to hinder to the series, it still remains watchable. But despite the rough patches the series hits, it is ultimately a very worthwhile watch.
One of Frontier's most endearing aspects is that it carries the Macross mythos while never alienating new audiences. Bringing with it all the cliches and plot devices that relegate the Macross universe, Frontier tells an solid stand-alone story that still connects well with the previous series before it. Frontier also succeeds in carrying as many twists as red herrings. This is bound to keep the audience on their feet and doubting any obvious plot twist. Viewers may be disappointed later on though, when some plot twists turn out just like they predicted.
The cast of Frontier is one of those red herrings. From the start, the characters are fresh, lively and interesting, but it's all a lie because about a quarter of the way through, they all turn into relegated one-dimensional personas and some, like the sad case of main character Alto, stay that way the entire series. Frontier also suffers character-wise from a large starting cast. Many members of the cast will often be unseen for several episodes because so much time is rightfully demanded of Ranka and Sheryl. Because of this, the series does not properly develop anyone's character, outside an episode dedicated to a single character.
Comparing Frontier to it's primary ancestor is a dramatic change in animation. Frontier makes full use of CG for concert scenes and battle scenes, and does so without giving the series a tacky feel. Everything looks fluid and detailed, but the series has a penchant for being too detailed in which so much goes on in a single frame that it's hard to follow, though its arguable if that's a flaw or not given the psychedelic feel of the concert scenes.
Though Yoko Kanno's OST is not one of her better works, the sound spotlight falls heavily on newcomers Megumi Nakajima and May'n, who lend their singing talents to Ranka and Sheryl respectively, giving us a jukebox's worth of catchy tunes each with their own distinctive style. From the viral Deculture jingle to the solemn "Diamond Crevasse" to the surrealistic bubblegum pop of "What 'Bout My Star", there's more than enough here to keep your ears happy the whole series length.
Macross Frontier was a series whose characters irritated the bejeezus out of me, but with a solid story, beautiful animation, and steller music, I could tolerate them enough to end this series with a smile on my face. If you're unfamiliar with the lengthly Macross franchise, this latest installment to the mythos has enough great elements to sell you on checking out the rest for sure. I know it has for me.
Overall, I give Macross Frontier an 8 out of 10.read more
Got an anime tune stuck in your head that no matter how hard you try, you just can't get out? Have a favorite show opening that you just can't resist singing along to? Admit it, we all do. Here's a countdown list of the top 10 karaoke anime songs in Japan!