A.D. 2040—Thirty years have passed since the battle between the Earth and Zentraedi forces changed the lives of both races. On planet Eden, a top-secret project known as "Supernova" is being held to determine U.N. Spacy's next-generation variable fighter. Competing to win the funding are Shinsei Industries' YF-19 and General Galaxy's YF-21. Piloting the YF-21 is Guld Goa Bowman, a half-human, half-Zentraedi. Shinsei receives its new test pilot in the form of the unruly fighter pilot Isamu Dyson, who was once a friend of Guld. Meanwhile, as Isamu and Guld furiously battle to see which of their fighters is superior, a Virturoid Idol named Sharon Apple is to perform her debut concert on Eden. In charge of Sharon is producer Myung Fang Lone, another former friend of Isamu and Guld. When the three meet each other, old disputes spark from a troubled past. Little do they know that their past incidents—along with the Supernova Project and Sharon Apple—will somehow bring them together.
Let's talk about 3 things: Dreams, friendships, and adult regrets. This is not a kid's film, nor is it kid friendly in the slightest. If you can't grasp the heaviness of adult situations, then you mustn't watch the movie. It is somber. It is brutal. Most of all, it is captivating, and dare I say, breathtaking...
Why, you may ask, hasn't this classic received the attention that it's other 1995 sci-fi contemporaries such as AKIRA and Ghost in the Shell have? And should it really deserve such cult fame? Well, let's find out, shall we?
The story goes as such. It is the year 2040 A.D.
Two test pilots are testing out their machines for this big project. They, unfortunately, were once friends until an incident involving a girl they both love, tears them apart. One adventurous and brazen Isamu and one jaded and violent Guld reunite in competition, not just for this project, but for the girl they both love named Myung. She arrives in Eden, a manager of a robotic singing idol device named Sharon. All three end up meeting up, only to realize, things have changed since 7 years ago, since the time when they used to be friends. Myung has given up her dream, while the boys still latch on to theirs. The movie leaves dramatic bits and pieces which seem odd at first, until you get cleverly and masterfully fed exactly why that is. Sure, the antagonist is crazy about Ismaul for disturbingly odd reasons, and the characters' emotions guide their extreme actions, but they're presented in such a way that you can keep the suspense and drama going, and not just root for one person. This is very much an adult film, and despite a few minor missteps in the end which chances are, you will notice, this movie is directed so brilliantly, that such a plot can be used to its fullest potential. Sure, not everyone gets closure, and it feels like some characters were just shoved out of the story, but it's a beautiful story none the less. Plus, while the movie ends a bit tragically, the final moments of the movie are just wonderful.
Isamu, Guld, and Myung are fascinating characters, written in a way that makes them come off as real people. They are presented realistically, and tragically, and that is one of the movie's strong points. These people are not just characters, stereotypes, or archetypes. These are people. They are full with regret, realistic emotions, and dialogue. You root for all three of them to reconcile, but this is real life. Something has to happen. They actively put themselves and each other in danger due to their own emotional trauma and goals. The description for these characters is in the story section, but it only describes a general portion of their character, rather than them as a whole. If I were to accurately describe them, there'd be no point to you watching these characters the way you're supposed to. By the end, you're supposed to feel as if you know these people personally, as if you were there with them, filming their dillemmas. The directing makes them more relatable than they'd normally be.
For the side characters, they are all rather pleasant, but nothing notably spectacular as it's the main trio that take precedence here. That only leaves Sharon, but to spoil her character, would deny you the full experience this movie offers, even what kind of character she is.
To be perfectly clear, this came out in 1995, and was done by Studio Triangle Staff. This movie has such beautiful concert effects, such realistic yet beautiful character models that represent the best of the film side of this anime era, such fluid and breathtaking battles that hold up majestically. The CGI is actually not intrusive or distracting, well most of the time. Sometimes, it gets a bit awkward, and not all of the effects blend perfectly with the CGI. However, some scenes, like the space fold scene look majestic. Seeing this futuristic 2040 and the effects and innovative features of these new Valkyries, just shows the beauty of this futuristic world. The wings can mold their shape. The vehicles look like futuristic versions of the vehicles presented in the time of the movie's release. It even retains a few of the city quirks of our modern times like spray cans being used as graffiti. The concert visuals look very impressive, and captivating. Once again, the fights look expertly crafted, and perfectly shot, leading to some of the best mech fights I've seen in quite some time. The sequence near the beginning with Isamu horsing around with the YT-19 really hooks you in as you feel the adventurous adrenaline that Ismau's feeling, due to the amazing directing by Shoji Kawamori, Shinichiro Watanabe, and Yuji Moriyama. It impresses 21 years later (at the time of this review) as it did back then along with contemporaries such as Ghost in the Shell, and that's a testament to it's beauty.
The actual OST done by Yoko Kanno is impressive. The guitar bit when Isamu does the airplane gesture with his hand conveys the tone of that quirk perfectly, and is honestly a bit catchy. Myung's song: Voices. It's a great and kinda beautiful song, in both English and Japanese. You should give it a listen. Sharon's songs are melodically creepy, except for that one cheerier and merrier one, which was also catchy. Unfortunately, the rest of the OST isn't as memorable. The original OVAs had dubs, and from what I've listened, they are both rather mediocre. Sure the song is nice, but the acting performances on both the Manga Entertainment dub and the Bandai dub were lukewarm at best, and wince-worthy at worst. Luckily, the movie is spared from any English dub.
Needless to say, I loved this movie. It had some epic action, some brilliantly done characters, and an ability to really mesmerize me for the 1 hour and 55 minutes that it had to show, making it feel like so much less time has passed. It is one of the most captivating, emotionally resonant films and anime I've seen to date, and of the Macross installments thus far, this is the one I arguably love the most.
OVERALL: 9/10 RAW SCORE: 90/100
Overal, this is truly an amazing film, and any true fan of Macross or future based sci-fi, should give this classic a much needed watch. Its music is as good as to be expected given the Macross standard, and the characters and the narrative they drive are wonderful, if depressing. The fact that it also deals with repressed memories, which is a rare subject in anime, is proof enough of this film's ambitions. Please, it you are at least 15 years old, and can find a copy of this film somewhere, watch it; but it. It needs to be experienced for yourself as an installment of animated science fiction, and especially as a part of the Macross franchise. And with all of that said, I bid you adieu.
No crappy Minmay system is here , just an upgrade system called Sharon! wich sings in French, English and Japanese . MP; movie a simple complilation of the 4 ova´s put together, with some scene´s put out from the serie´s, but new scenes put in, and overall the ova´s were better, it still somewhat works out well. not too special
The animation is just the same, mature more lifelike charac. unlike other macros serie´s , and some scene´s reveals more about the isamu, guld and myung chara. childhood wich i liked, but it was just slitsecond scenes too bad. For me its all about
the last 50 min. of the film thats shows the full potential of the 3-d uncut scene´s and when Sharon flys through the city is just soo well done for its time, together with some nice jetfight scene's between isamu and guld. And the jet design,s remain still some of the best i,ve seen in the whole macross universe!