I'm one of what is probably the most rare breed of western anime fans, those who will defend Macross 7. While not masterpiece of the anime art form, there is a lot to like about Macross 7. Since the series is so polarizing among fans, I'll take a pros vs. cons approach.
1. Music. While obviously a matter of taste, I find most of Fire Bomber's songs quite enjoyable. They're one of the few anime soundtracks I will listen to on their own merits.
2. Fun factor. Basara is genuinely entertaining to watch.
3. Nostalgia. There are numerous ties to the original series, and it's interesting to see
how things developed. Most notably, it's great to see Max and Milia again. Also, it continues the concept of the colony fleets introduced in Macross Flashback 2012.
4. Focus on characters. While ostensibly a mecha series, the focus of the story is on the characters. Fire Bomber's road to stardom, Basara's quest to move people's hearts with his music, Mylene growing up and understanding her own feelings for Basara and Gamlin, reconciling Max and Milia's relationship, etc. If you avoid mecha shows because they have too much technobabble and focus on the robots more than characters, this is not a problem here.
1. Music. Some people hate it. If you don't like pop/rock, especially of a Japanese variety, you will be assaulted by it for the duration of the series.
2. Use of stock footage. Especially early on, there is an extreme use of stock battle footage of VF-11's and Elgarzorenes fighting.
3. Lack of focus on mecha. Fans expecting to have lots of cool animation of all the new Valkyrie models introduced here will be sorely disappointed. I recommend you pick up the VF-X games for the Playstation instead to get that fix.
Macross fans should give the series a chance, and don't give up on it too soon. This is certainly one of those anime deserving of the time honored line "it gets better later." Just be aware of what kind of show this is you're getting into. Macross 7's greatest flaw is simply that it isn't what people expected of a continuation of Macross.
Macross 7 is so far the most different installment of the Macross franchise. While it retains the three main story elements of all Macross series (Love Triangles, Music and Variable Fighters), for everything else it tries to push the envelope of strangeness while trying to keep it within the confines of the Macross universe. For that reason, it may rub viewers, especially older fans of the franchise with certain expectations, the wrong way. As a result, Macross 7 is truly an anime that you either love it or hate it, no in between, and the only way one can tell which camp you fall in
is to watch the whole thing for yourself. Make no mistake, I for one am glad I did complete the show as I found myself enjoying it greatly.
At its core, the story of Macross 7 is about a rock singer (Basara) trying to find his way in the world (or Galaxy whatever) with his singing. Sounds fairly typical fare, but the show introduces so many far-out story elements that you might wonder if the writers were on drugs. Someone once described Macross 7 as "Rock singers flying around in transforming robot planes fighting space vampires with the power of music", and I find that description is pretty dead on, so if you have trouble swallowing that it is unlikely this show is for you. Most Macross series pride themselves in not taking things too seriously, and Macross 7 not only revels in it but thrives on its weirdness, and that is really the fun of it. The key to enjoying it is to accept the silliness and go with the flow. I do understand that may not be to everyone's tastes, it reall tests the boundaries of one's suspension of belief. The show does drag at times, especially in the first 10+ or so episodes where they just seem to repeat each other. At the end it is painfully obvious that they could have done the show with a lot fewer episodes. When the story does pick up in the middle to late episodes, depending on whether you've allowed yourself to be immersed in the show's strangeness, it can turn out to be a fun ride.
Macross 7 has a rather memorable set of characters. They may not be especially deep, but everyone from the main cast to the smallest side character are each built around a unique quirk which allows them to play off each other pretty well. From Gamlin's relative squareness to Miriya's hot headedness to unnamed Flower Girl's unending quest to present flowers to Basara, each of them helps breathe life into Macross 7's environ giving it a rather organic feel. The only real problem for most is the main character, Basara, who like so many things about the show, you either like or not. A lot of people are turned off by his seemingly pig-headed and abrasive personality, he does not go out of the way to make himself likable. But for me personally, I find that is what makes him rather interesting in the way he effects change in those around him. A welcome change to the standard type of main protagonists we've been seeing in other shows in the same genre.
As expected, Music is very integral to Macross 7's story. The soundtrack mainly consists of Japanese Rock so if that's not your cup of tea, well then steel yourself for 49 episodes plus plus worth of it. Even then, early on, it does not show much diversity with Basara repeating the same two songs over and over again for the first few episodes until you are sick of them (afterwards he then repeats them so many times you end up liking them again) However this actually makes sense within the context of the show as Basara is still trying to find his voice early on and eventually as the story progresses, each time he achieves some self realization, he gets newer and better songs to play with.
As for the animation, well, you can tell that their budget was rather limited, even for an older show. There is a noticeable lack of big dogfight sequences that characterize other Macross shows, so if you are a fan who is in it for the Itano circuses, you might end up disappointed. Recycled cels means you end up seeing the same Valk being blown up every other episode even till the later end of the show so there is a certain sense of laziness in this department.
As I said, Macross 7 is a show that you need to watch in its entirety to give proper judgment on it as the early episodes do not do it justice. Even I admit that it took me 3 tries before I could move past the first few episodes, but I found myself rewarded with a rather enjoyable and surprisingly engaging ride by the end. Its 49 episode count may seem rather daunting, but I do encourage you to not give up so easily and try to endure it to the end. It is a show you either steer clear or watch all the way to the end. It is Macross at its silliest, and the show knows it. If you acknowledge this, Macross 7 might end up surprising you with a rather fun, and atypical Macross experience.
So, since I'm hell bent on watching all the macross series I thought I'd start on Macross 7. For a while I thought I'd made a big mistake.
It took a LONG time to finish this series which already indicates at first glance it's not all that exciting. It's all about Nekki Basara, guitarist and lead singer of the band Fire Bomber (what a great band name). The band starts unknown, living and practicing in a hovel on City 7, joined to Battle seven. They're the mainstay of the colony fleet Macross 7, searching for a habitable planet to live on.
First part deals with character
development (boring) then the protodeviln appear. Instead of getting exciting it's a wash-rinse-repeat of Nekki using his songs to save the day. There are a few plot twists but overall this series though keeping with the Macross themes of Love Triangle and Power of Music ... is not done very well and honestly could have been squeezed into 26 episodes. There is a LOT of filler (1 min flashback at the start of every episode) and too much "Basara is a rebel" for my taste. Wakate, wakate, we get it, Basara is a rebel. Luckily the story picks up towards the last 10 episodes but it took a really strong will to continue watching this series!
Dated animation and TONS of frame reuse. Like every episode there's frame reuse. I hate when it's done badly enough that I felt like fast forwarding through the same old animation of the same old battles with the same old songs. The mecha look nice but that's about it.
Shoot me now! The first 25 episodes I *hated* Nikki's singing. Oh god he's singing the SAME old song. Again! and Again! and Again! Ugh! Hate hate! Play something else dammit! I don't know if they did it to save money by reusing the same songs/frames but somewhere around episode 35 I started enjoying the songs and found myself singing along at some parts. Ack! Insidious! So ... that was their evil plan! Repeat the song until the viewer starts liking it. Well, I hate to say but it worked. I guess I now have to go download the soundtrack. Grrr!
This is a mish-mash. There are a lot of characters, all with different personalities. I really started to feel for some of them towards the last 15 episodes so I guess you can say this series "grew" on me.
The lead protagonist is Nekki Basara, the cool tough rebellious guitarist/lead singer who has a huge ego and doesn't care what other people think. He's also a pacifist who sings instead of blowing up enemies. Of course while he's singing there's plenty of innocent people getting blown up by the enemies he won't shoot. But somehow no citizens protest his peacenik ways getting others killed. I hated this character.
The secondary singer/bassist of Fire Bomber is Mylene, daughter of Maximilian Jenius and Milia Fallyna. Supposed love interest who spent most of the episodes in teenage angst. Mylene is cute, young (14 years old) and spoiled. She treated her suitor, Gamlin, not too well. I hated her too.
The other 2 members of the band are Ray, the ex military guy and 3rd guitarist, and Veffidas the zentradi drummer. Ray was ok but Veffidas was just big and must have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to drum everything in sight when she isn't at her drums - car windows, tables, chairs, other people's bodies etc. Veffidas is the strong, silent type. When she showed her strength and spoke it was with great impact. I loved Veffidas.
Then there's Max and Milia, the first human and zentradi love connection from the original Macross Series. Max is older and handsomer, Milia got all straight laced. Estranged in this series (he's the military commander and she's the civilian's Mayor) I spent the whole series waiting and hoping for them to get back together. If only Macross 7 was about Max and Milia this series would have scored much higher. I loved them both!
Lt. Gamlin is important and such a nice, honest, man. That's not good when you start falling in love with a 15 year old girl with no brains and who will likely choose the "bad boy" thus giving birth to the saying "nice guys finish last". I was 15 once and liked bad boys then but now that I'm more mature I wouldn't marry one. Gamlin is really likeable and he is the only human of 3 characters that really develop over the course of the series (other 2 are protodeviln). This was a well written character and I loved him too.
There's a whole slew of other side characters. Mylene's ecchi fan. Basara's fan who is always trying to give him flowers. Take the damn flowers Basara! Learn how to treat your fans better! I just pitied some of the side characters.
Well I wasn't enjoying this series at the start (it sucked) but it started changing around episode 33 and by episode 40 it was fun. Just takes a lot of time and patience to get to the good parts, so overall I can't say it was much more than mediocre.
The original SDF Macross and its sequel Macross Plus are two of my favorite anime of all time. I was properly warned, but it was still destiny for me to watch Macross 7 as well. Not only was it the next in a franchise that had yet to do me any wrong but it's the first and only true sequel to the original SDF Macross. I had to watch it, despite Macross 7's reputation of being a huge departure for Macross.
The first series was one of the pioneering works of the "Real Robot" genre along with Mobile Suit Gundam. It combined the aesthetic appeal of
mecha with more ambitious storytelling that focused on character drama and more plausible science. Macross 7 unabashedly goes towards the opposite "Super Robot" genre, featuring absurd plot devices, supernatural powers, and a lighter tone. Macross 7 refers to the ship fleet that's one of many Macross fleets traveling the galaxy in search of habitable planets. The fleet is comprised of several domed ships that completely replicate Earth life inside of them. Eventually the fleet comes across the Varauta army, an alien race with their own technology that survive on draining the life energy of humans, "Spirita". When traditional weapons don't cut it only the civilian Nekki Basara and his band Fire Bomber can defeat the enemy using the almighty power of... rock music.
Things won't be easy for him, though. The military refuses to believe in the power of his singing, and his irritable personality causes him to clash with his own bandmates. Regardless, he's Macross 7's only hope to defend against the Varauta as they travel aimlessly through space. Joining Basara are his bandmates Mylene Jenius, Ray Lovelock, and Veffidas Feaze. Only three SDF Macross characters return for this installment, notably Max and Milia who command the fleet and govern the city, respectively. Got it? Let's rock this series.
I once heard someone call Macross 7 the "G Gundam of the Macross Franchise". That's true for many reasons. Not only is it two real robot franchises introducing a super robot series, but they also both lighten the known serious tone considerably. Also, they're both mediocre and considered the dark horse of their respective franchises. Macross 7 isn't lacking because it's different from the other series. Take it from me, who thought the concept sounded awesome and went in incredibly optimistic. Macross 7 fails because, as anything would, it poorly executes basic story writing principles and undersells its own original ideas. With the basic plot out of the way, let's break this down starting with the main cast of characters.
Nekki Basara is our hero and a truly odd one. Almost always silent except when he sings and almost always shouting otherwise, he rarely has the most spoken lines in an episode despite his important role. Though in some ways a typically hotblooded shonen protagonist, Basara is a surprisingly abrasive character that's practically antisocial. He's completely dedicated to the power of music as a means of emotional communication and flies out into battle with his custom Valkyrie unit where he can play his songs and control the mech with the same guitar. Basara is an extreme pacifist who goes out in the middle of dogfights alone to sing at the enemy while dodging countless attacks, hoping that the enemy will be moved by his songs of love and peace and will stop fighting. Basara's catch phrase is yelling at everyone to "listen to my song!" whether it's in public or after he's shot speaker pods into the enemy mechs.
Yet, we get the least backstory of Basara out of any major character. He's the leader of a rock band, believes music can influence people, and never lets anyone stop him from singing at the expense of his own life. Why he does this, why he thinks like this, where he came from, what influences him, why he's a good pilot, etc., none of these things are ever explained throughout the entire series. Though this would normally be a major slight against characterization this may actually be perhaps what I find so charming about him. Basara is a main character who's a genuine eccentric and not at all like anyone else, but over time he succeeds in reaching out to others despite his attitude and normal communication problems. For all talk of Tomino's Gundam protagonists possibly being "autistic", I'm surprised I never hear that lodged at Basara who fits the bill much more realistically. Despite the total lack of depth to Basara's personality due to little insight into his head and not really developing as a character ever, I have to say I'm pretty fond of him and still think he's the best Macross 7 character simply because he has a strong distinctive personality that's entertaining to watch and stands out among anime protagonists. When Basara does anything at all you're interested in him because you want to understand anything more about the weirdo, but in the end the only context you have is his songs. Though he probably wouldn't have it any other way.
To fill the shoes of generic lead chatterbox is Fire Bomber's female vocalist, Mylene. Vain, whiney, and dull, Mylene is a typical 14 year-old and it makes perfect sense that she's the only person stubborn enough to stay in the band after putting up with Basara's self-centered spontaneity and rudeness. Mylene apparently has no life or personality prior to the events of Macross 7, and her character arc revolves around her being lectured on the true heart and soul of music by Basara acting as her borderline mentor, as well as learning about the dangers and seriousness of war when she eventually joins Basara on the front lines. I don't really hate Mylene, but she's a very annoying and typical character who's given far, far more lines than anyone else in the series despite having little interesting things to say. Her character progression is incredibly obvious, so to see her continuously resist and repeat it as she argues with Basara and acts like she isn't attracted to him is very tiring and boring. Whenever something bad happens she cries and whines despite the fact she's got shit to do.
Mylene is a weak character because she's essentially a complement to everyone else. She's a link between her parents, Max and Milia, she's the token confounded reaction towards Basara's strange actions which also prompt the majority of Ray's dialogue, and she's the object of affection and source of motivation for Gamlin. Her fight for autonomy ends with her being a generic hero without the eccentricity of Basara. Mylene is what we call a "resource character", and it's an easy one for the necessary female lead to fall into. But it should never be such a major character, and she's focused on far too much in storyline plots at the expense of developing pretty much anyone else.
The keyboardist Ray is the odd duck of Fire Bomber: he has to be at least 30 making him the oldest member by far, and he's black. In fact, he's the only black character I remember seeing in Macross 7. There are more aliens in Macross 7 than black people. Anyway, Ray is the voice of reason in Fire Bomber. He's inspired by Basara's passion and believes in him to the very end, often defending him when Mylene complains about him doing something on his own accord. Ray has acceptable backstory detail but it's all delivered in very unsatisfying short asides. There are one or two episodes tops that are devoted to him, and I find this a shame. He's perhaps the most all-around likable, sane person on Macross 7. He never denies the obvious fact that Basara's singing has an effect on the enemy but is reasonable in his negotiations with the military and others. Ray is super cool, but unfortunately he's so busy trying to make up for everyone's insanity that he never gets enough time to talk about himself.
Veffidas is the full-blooded Meltrandi drummer. Veffidas drums. That's it. Veffidas's gimmick is that she is almost entirely mute, and although she's in every single episode she probably speaks less than twenty words the entire series. At first this is very cute, but there's several issues. One, it's disappointing that the only identifiably Zentradi character in the series does practically nothing. Yes Milia is Meltrandi also but looks and behaves like any other human in Macross 7. Veffidas has the distinctive pale skin look and super strength but her role is so minor. It's like anime whitewashing. A much bigger problem though is that she further unbalances the team dynamic. She's a member of Fire Bomber, and it's a waste of such a large role to keep her silent when she's such a constant in the series and could offer a greater range of dialogue and personality. Ray is already overshadowed by Basara and Mylene, and Veffidas's insignificance drags him down further since they're paired together in battle but neither are ever the center of attention. If this strong silent gimmick had to be used on someone it shouldn't have been on a character with a natural relation with the main characters that could've been exploited.
Next to Basara and Mylene, the most important character is the military pilot Gamlin Kizaki. An ace pilot and member of the special Diamond Force, Gamlin is extremely strict about duty and protocol. Naturally he's very irritated by Basara's presence on the battlefield and even finds his songs annoying. This makes him the only character in the series who doesn't think Fire Bomber's music is the best thing ever. Gamlin is not only a sour sport but also pines for Mylene's jailbait ass even though he's certainly in his 20s. This is very strange, but what's stranger is that it's Mylene's parents that hook them up. Anyway, Gamlin is a good character by Macross 7 standards. His progression is also incredibly obvious but it's done with a gradual subtlety that makes it surprising when you realize he actually has changed. Eventually I began to appreciate him for being one of the characters who has sense, and his relationship with Mylene can be slightly entertaining and offer some of the more decent downtime between the main plot due to the fact their meetings always end up with him reflecting on himself for the entire duration. Macross 7 fails the Bechdel test hard.
The beloved SDF Macross characters Max and Milia make their return as adults here. Their relationship has becomed strained and the two frequently clash when it comes to authority over Macross 7. It should come as no surprise from the above that Milia is always the instigator of their conflicts, but I know I can't be one of the only fans very happy to see them come back. Though they're both very popular characters they weren't that important in the original series. This gives them proper time to shine. Max behaves just how you'd expect an adult version of him to, and although Milia's hotshot personality has been compromised in her old age her elitist nature has remained. I'm glad that though Macross 7 changed so many things the franchise established it didn't lose sight of what it kept. I appreciated this moderate connection to the original series and I rooted for their character development because I already had an attachment to them.
Side characters include Mylene's squeaking pet hairball Guvava that mimics all her emotions; an unnamed silent flower girl who's used as a running gag in every episode as she attempts to give Basara flowers but is interrupted every time; and lastly.... You know what, screw it. Those are the only side characters in Macross 7 who consistently appear, let alone have some kind of role. The rest are almost never seen except for when the writing explicitely uses them for the sake of another character, like the female biker Rex to make Mylene jealous of her and Basara. Because she is never used in any other context it's impossible to care when she does show up because she's just a plot device. Macross 7's side characters suck and barely exist, but what can you expect from a series that didn't even make its four main band members important in 49 episodes?
But the real characters Macross 7 drops the ball on are the villains. The Varauta army aliens are awful. Every one of them has an obnoxious speaking trait that's drove into the ground endlessly because they never die and show up in every episode to provide the token action segment. The leader, Gepelnitch, speaks only in obtuse metaphors to convey the simplest of thoughts which makes him look like an idiot instead of condescending. Gavil is a hairy bird-man-thing whose every sentence contains the word "beauty". I HATED this character. His manner of speech is incredibly repetitive to the point he speaks the same sentences constantly even though he's the most common villain in the series. He's an irritating bastard who is constantly a wedge between the series and any plot progression, as well as my patience. Sivil is some flying pixie girl who multiple characters are inexplicably obsessed with and most of her spoken lines are just her making high-pitched screams or yelling "Spiritia!". Goram and Zomd are telepathically connected for some reason and finish each others sentences while sporadically teleporting around and laughing annoying modulated laughs for no reason. God, my fucking ears. I hate these villains and they're as completely shallow as their goal to drain Spiritia from humans for food. Very compelling.
Even by mecha standards, Macross 7's pacing is so poor that it's practically devolved into a Saturday morning kids show. The majority of the series has every episode structured as such: Basara does something to annoy Mylene, Mylene complains at him, Basara says Mylene doesn't know what he's talking about and storms off, Mylene complains again, Ray defends Basara, Gamlin is shy around Mylene, the enemy is shown as Gepelnitch says some shit that means nothing, the writers realize the arguing between Basara and Mylene has gone too far and calls the enemy in, Basara deploys and sings until the enemy decides to leave after doing what they want, Gamlin complains about Basara, and then everything is back to normal. You might think you saw a hint of character development or plot progression, but rest assured any of that will be pushed into the background and ignored as long as that's possible. Even when the plot does move it's in no way that's impressive because it ultimately comes down to a plan to seriously hinder the enemy failing or succeeding but not actually in a significant way, and either the army or enemy gets a power up that doesn't change their relationship or the circumstances. Characters will rarely show growth, but it will be in the most predictable ways.
Possibly the biggest letdown of Macross 7 is its focus on the culture of music. This is the biggest role music has ever played in a Macross series and the step from pop idol to a full band is a good and natural idea. Yet Fire Bomber are apparently handled by writers that have no idea what it's like to be musicians. There are several anime focused on music, and these look into the thoughts and ideas people have about music and how they create it. We see Fire Bomber practice in a studio constantly but we never see them actually discuss writing songs, lyrics, talking about other bands, even mentioning other bands, or what music means to them beyond an extremely simple pleasurable nature. This is the biggest waste of potential in Macross 7. Making a story that's seemingly about a band, but not their relation to music. This would've created far more interesting subplots and character development than what's currently in the series while establishing its theme on a deeper level. But something like that would probably require too much intimacy, something that's not really demonstrated in the series as is.
Though there's nothing much behind the music, Macross 7's songs are pretty good. And they sure as hell better be for how much you hear Fire Bomber's songs. The entire soundtrack is composed by the actual fictional band and everything has vocals. If I had a particular complaint here is that there aren't enough songs and you end up hearing the same ones over and over. I got sick of Planet Dance extremely fast but I had to wait for Basara to write more songs. What sense does it even make that he's performing live at the start of the series but has only written one song? I would've liked a more even spread. Some songs are barely played, and some are played way too much. The opening and ending theme songs, "Seventh Moon" and "My Friends", are among my favorite combinations of opening/ending themes ever in anime. I never got tired of hearing those ones, even though both ending animations creepily sexualize Mylene.
There are some odd inconsistencies with the sound design, however. In some cases I'm impressed, like how if Basara happens to speak in the middle of a song the vocals actually will stop while the other instruments continue. At other times there are too many instruments playing for what's going on onscreen, which makes the music dangerously impersonal from a series that's supposed to be stressing the opposite. I don't know how Mylene can just start singing by herself and all of a sudden a bunch of instruments start backing her up. And who the hell does their backing vocals? Ray and Veffidas don't sing at all. Do they use pre-recorded backing tapes? Where are they? I at least want to see them in the act of making them.
Because only one major character isn't a pacifist, action scenes in Macross 7 tend to have extremely little weight to them as it's just grunts fighting in generic mechs. Badly choreographed fights and stock footage galore. Macross 7 definitely skimps the budget frequently. Reused stills are everywhere as well and pretty noticeable. Though cheaply drawn and animated, I still like the way Macross 7 looks more than anything else about it. It's full of extremely bright colors and you can often get a full rainbow in every still. Macross 7's visuals could put me in a good mood and engage me in the show when I very well might not have been otherwise. I just love to look at those colors.
For 49 episodes I have very little to say about Macross 7, but that's because it has very little to say about itself. The show would have benefitted greatly by having its length cut in half, but the show's main problems aren't just in its incredibly poor pacing and lack of pay off. Macross 7 isn't a show ruined by bad ideas, it's a show full of good ideas that apparently isn't conscious of any of the reasons why they might be good. Crossing the music/band genre with super robot mecha was a fantastic idea full of fun and the potential to combine rock music and action to create some truly memorable moments, but instead its just endless frustration as it focuses on weak characters, generic relationships, and a simple yet overextended plot. Macross 7 could've been a classic if it just had more conviction.
If you have watched Macross Super Dimensional Fortress you will understand beter Macross 7 and will give it more value cause this is realy a sequel of 1st Macross unlike that Macross II Lovers Again wich are just some fast made 6 ovas, anyone who starts watching this serie without having seen Macross SDF and Macross Plus, it sure will have less value to them, i recommend watching this series before starting this if you realy want to fully apreciate this anime:
Macross Super Dimensional Fortress (36.ep)
Macross II Lovers Again (6.ova) (its a bit optional to watch this one tough)
Macross Plus (4.ovas)
Overall: Macross 7 has to be the most polarizing macross series of all time. I defiantly give this show a 10 out of 10, but I understand that this is highly subjective. I will explain what the show has to offer and point out parts that you will love or hate.
Story: Macross 7 takes place some time after the origonal super dimensional fortress macross. For those of you that watched the original there is a fun surprise character wise in this for you. Macross 7 takes the spirit of the show, as in "Music can stop war" and makes it a
literal effect. Nekki Basara is a singer/songwriter/martial artist/ace macross pilot. He wants to push his music as far as it will go. As the show moves on the enemy this time wants to suck out human spirita. Basara possess the strongest spirita and can fend off attackers with his singing. Right hear if this concept annoys you, it stays thoughout the whole series. Personally I find it rather amusing that his singing can hurt his attackers, and even revive some of the men who have there spirita sucked out.
Art: For its day macross 7 looked pretty sexy. Now a days it might seem a bit dated, and the fact that it is almost 50 episodes with lots of space combat means that some animation is going to get reused. This should not affect your enjoyment as since one attack is the same as another attack, do you really need to see the same thing a slightly different way? If you do then this will annoy you.
Sound: Most macross shows are known for there music, but macross 7 is a bit more special in that regard. The show uses actual music from a Japanese band. Because of this (and because the music was already licensed at the time of the creation of the show), there are only a few songs sung and resung thoughout the show. New songs are added over time, but if you do not like the first song sung stop watching the show now, because you will hear that song over....and over....and over....and over... and did i mention you will hear it over....and over.... -ahem- Yes the music is repetitive in the sense that they sing alot, but its good rock music and I enjoyed it. Also the music is used as narration for the space battles like it is in other macross shows which is also very well done.
Characters: This show shines because of its characters and there complex interactions between not only each other but the whole network of relationships as a whole. Basara and his band have quite a back story for each one of them, not to mention back stories of some characters once they paired up. (this will make sense if you watch it). None of the characters are one dimensional, and they always make logical decisions based on what is happening around them. In other words no one does anything stupid just so that they can make a filler episode of cleaning up the mess. Nothing from this area should turn anyone off.
Enjoyment: Outstanding, when you combine good visuals with great sound and some awesome characters on a well throughout plot you get one hell of a ride. I actually like this Macross a lot better than the original. Id say its about tied in interest with frontier. If you like the music and dont mind repetitive space battle animation you are in for a treat.
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.
After seeing almost all of the Macross series, I’m here to say that Macross 7 is maybe the best one? I’m being completely serious, and I’ll try to explain some of why I found it so special.
BOMBER!! Let’s start with the music. SDF Macross was made to sell toys, and Macross 7 was made to sell CDs. To accomplish this, the show focuses on the band Fire Bomber, who have about a dozen insert songs in the show. At first these songs may seem tacky or repetitive, and it doesn’t help that the early episodes keep using the same two songs, but the soundtrack seriously
grows on you to the point where it’s hard not to sing along. The song lyrics can feel nonsensical at times, but by a certain point in the show, everything clicks and suddenly all the song themes directly correlate with what’s happening on the screen. The opening and first ending are also totally kickass.
I can’t go any further without talking about the elephant in the room: Basara. He’s our main character this time around, and boy is he different. Unlike the military recruits of every other show, Basara is a guitarist and vocalist who is completely opposed to war and fighting, believing that everything can be solved with music and love. But he’s not a totally stoned-out hippie about it! He’s impulsive, feisty, and extremely faithful to his beliefs. in other words, he’s an asshole. Most people who don’t like 7 can’t stand Basara, but I think he’s so fresh and interesting. His flaws are very pronounced but understandable, since his morals are so straightforward and idealistic. He’s a beatnik through and through and I’m glad we have him instead of a by-the-books military man as the main character.
We actually do get that exact military man in the form of Gamlin, who’s painted in such a poor light through his pathetic social interactions. Even if he can save the day he can’t save a failing dinner date for his life. It’s also a messed up that he spends the whole show trying to marry a fourteen-year-old.
Mylene, the band’s bassist and backing vocalist, is our fourteen-year-old in question. She’s bratty and irrational most of the time, which gives her a very bad rap amongst many watchers. But c’mon, that’s how fourteen-year olds really are, especially if you spoil them with rich parents and giant music robots! Mylene is a great foil to Basara, two jerks for different reasons trying their best to be a part of something much greater than their own egos. This doesn’t make them bad characters at all, it makes them really stand out compared to most anime characters.
This is a show about a band, which makes it a different beast than the other Macrosses! Like its shift in genre from idol to rock, the show is rowdy, more rough around the edges, and not afraid to try some new stuff. This more experimental approach is interesting because it’s at complete odds with the low budget – cels and audio samples are constantly reused, but in some rather interesting ways the more the show goes on.
With bands come fans, and there is no better fan in any anime than Flower Girl. She’s a cameo figure, showing up in every episode. She dreams of meeting Basara and giving him flowers but the plot intervenes every single time to prevent her from doing so. Her struggle goes from being a gag to being really depressing to being emblematic of the show as a whole, with some episodes jump-cutting to her to represent loss or determination or unrequited love. In a show bursting at the seams with annoying yet lovable jerks, she stands out as a beacon of light.
Macross 7 totally could have done more with its unique concepts though. Imagine a rival punk band appearing halfway through the show to challenge Fire Bomber’s monopoly on the music scene. Imagine everyone needing to switch instruments for an episode. Imagine them getting washed up and trying to radically reinvent their image and sound. Imagine the songs themselves eventually getting really experimental, as if Basara had suddenly joined Throbbing Gristle. Imagine the production studio really going all out on the vocals recording and imbuing the fight scenes with way more auditory inflection and power. If Macross 7 cut some of the alien stuff and focused more on the trials and tribulations of being a band, it truly could have been a 10.
One last thing, for all you art fans out there. The colors are really good?? Like, stupidly good??? The animation cels are nothing to write home about, but the backgrounds are beautifully painted with bright pinks, oranges, purples, blues, and pretty much any pretty combination you can think of. So many good panned-out sunset shots. Also, this is a show where outer space is blue, and I think that's wonderful.
Macross 7 is great because it is able to so effectively walk the lines between campiness and seriousness, it can really defy your expectations. Those 49 episodes will feel like a breeze. It’s the most experimental of the Macrosses by far, and in the wake of safe boring shows like Delta, that carefree nature and willingness to explore new thematic territory really pays off. I don’t feel like I sold the show quite well enough in this review, so let me just say I felt a certain magic that I don’t normally feel when watching anime. A feeling of flow, of really connecting with and grooving along with the show. Maybe this is what Spiritia really is.
I'm going to try to remain as objective as possible in this review, but it's fair to mention beforehand that this IS my favourite show, however I am well aware of it's flaws. This review contains no spoilers.
Macross 7 is absolutely nothing like it's predecessors, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross or Macross Plus. That is most likely why it gets such a bad rep - people went in expecting what is basically the opposite of what they got. Macross 7 is a heavily character-driven show and it takes it's time away from the plot to really develop it's characters, which is something I personally thought SDF
and Plus criminally lacked.
The premise of Macross 7 is that an unknown alien species tries to take what's essentially life energy from people, and while the military tries to find a way to destroy these eldritch abominations, Basara, our hero, only wants them to listen to his songs, which carry a message he wants everyone to hear and heed. The plot goes into some bizarre directions and makes some choices you could only see in anime.
I found it very unique and while the pacing suffers in some places, the story that this show is telling is still very entertaining and definitely makes me excited (and worried) to see what happens next.
In a story like this, you will most likely be able to predict how it will end, but it's the journey there that takes many interesting turns.
Kawamori, the creator of Macross, has stated that he wasn't happy with how he ended the first show, as despite the power of music, it was still the weapons that ended up saving the day. He decided to fix that problem in Macross 7, having music be the sole saviour in the end.
The series does have a lot of what most would consider filler episodes, but I firmly stand my ground when I say that it's those episodes that really make you care for the cast. The shows starts off mostly focusing on the band and their band-related shenanigans, and it slowly develops as things start getting more and more dire.
For me, it's Basara's character and his actions that really make the story, as he's such an unusual protagonist. It's often hard to guess what he'll do next, but one thing is for certain; he will definitely jump right into the fray and yell his signature "LISTEN TO MY SONG!!!" before he drops some of the sickest riffs in the entire Macross franchise.
Since most of the budget in this show went into music, the animation suffers for it, but I'd say it was a worthy exchange.
There's a lot of reused footage, and I mean a LOT of it, and some animations definitely look off. For a music-focused show, the animations the characters have on stage are quite sub-par.
However, the art style itself is perfect for the show, as it allows for some very subtle yet strong expressions, which suits the often inexpressive main character a lot. Occasionally the animators decided to drop some really fun and cartoony expressions as well, which made the characters even more lovable.
Colour-wise, the show also delivers REALLY well, as it's very bright and colourful, which is another thing I appreciated from an artistic standpoint.
Lastly, Haruhiko Mikimoto's character designs are absolutely beautiful.
This show definitely has some of my favourite anime character designs, especially with Sivil and of course Basara, who's look is absolutely iconic and I don't think anything about it could be done better than it is - absolute retro perfection. I think this show by far has the best character designs in the Macross franchise when it comes to colour, recognition and just the right amount of detail.
Fire Bomber has became my favourite band before I even watched the anime, and they were the reason I got interested in the first place. As if the songs themselves don't already sound fantastic, having a very 80s-90s rock feel to them, Yoshiki Fukuyama as Basara's singing voice really sets the songs on fire.
In the show, Fire Bomber's music has the ability to restore people's life energy.
I would believe it if someone told me it can do that in real life too.
Lyrically, most of Basara's songs carry a message of togetherness, determination and better future. There isn't a single negative or sad song in their entire discography and even the most melancholic ballad of his carries a powerfully positive message.
I can't really speak for Mylene's songs however, I found her voice to be a little bit weak and not the best match for Fukuyama's incredibly powerful vocals, but that might just be my personal preference as I tend to heavily swing towards upbeat and loud music.
Another downside to the music might be that the same songs are used over and over and I can see that annoying some people. New songs are added to the show as it progresses, but the shows starts off with only about 3-4 songs at first.
What makes the protagonist Basara Nekki so interesting and unique is, that character-wise he's pretty much everything your standard protagonist isn't. He's not a fighter, at least not in the traditional sense. He's a pacifist that sticks to his ideals through hell and back. He's not very charismatic and is actually pretty bad with people, and not in a comedic 'misunderstanding' way; he's genuinely NOT a people person.
He's extremely flawed, but his flaws are extremely important, as they reflect into his strengths. He's stubborn, but that's why he's determined. He's focused, but that's why he's dismissive. One couldn't work without the other, making him a really well rounded and realistic character.
He's also an artist and an introvert, and that's what struck me the most. Being an artist and an introvert as well, I found myself understanding exactly where Basara comes from in most cases, and I think this is where most of the issues people have with Basara come from; it might be hard to like him if you can't understand his VERY realistic artistic perspective.
It's not just Basara who's an impeccably written character; the supporting cast is equally interesting and lovable. By the time the show comes to an end, I loved nearly every character.
A complaint this show often gets is the amount of filler, however it's that filler that ends up making you love the cast so much. Especially the main three characters (Basara, Gamlin and Mylene) get some really good character development and three entirely different and very well handled character arcs; A flat character arc, a growing up character arc, and a finding oneself character arc. All three types of arcs are equally valid and interesting and keep the character's stories diverse.
I found Macross 7 extremely enjoyable, fun and emotional, as it has a good balance of everything that makes a show great. It has comedy, character development, intense action, unique and creative ideas, great character designs, emotional moments executed so well that i get goosebumps just thinking about them, a cathartic ending, it made me care about what happens next, and it made me eager to rewatch the show as soon as possible - three times within the year of discovering it.
The core message of the show is to stick to your ideals and never give up (classy!), and I think that it's length, as much as people tend to criticise it, plays into that a lot. Basara suddenly becomes a much stronger character when you realize that pretty much every episode up until later in the series is considered a failure in his eyes. The guy literally fails and fails and fails continuously and hardly ever wavers because he's just that stubborn and 100% convinced that he'll succeed eventually. Giving up is not even remotely an option. There's a reason why 'Try Again' is the title of the song that saves the galaxy.
The show also carries a strong message for all the artists, which is to let loose and create from your soul and from your raw feelings. Be true to yourself and put yourself into your art. People will notice when your art is genuine. This I can most certainly say is true, from my own experience.
All in all, this is one of those shows that I am incredibly grateful to have found as it resonated with me on a very personal level. I found Basara to be one of the best characters I've ever seen, his music is exactly what I need in my life, and his story makes me want to keep going no matter what life throws at me.
I truly hope that other people can find such joy in this show, because I want people to feel as good and as happy as I felt when I watched it.
I'm not fond of writing, but there is a great chance of me commenting/reviewing when there's alot of bs.
I've bit the bullet and started watching Macross from the very beginning and completely... almost completely love it.
The art is really cool and lovable but art reuse could have been toned down but other than that, the music is awesome and great to listen to, the characters are all lovable (almost) and developed well, the story is captivating and continuing in expanding in space. Everything* is really good, honestly, you should watch it, even if you're not into
old anime or old art styles (Like me). Some experiences are worth the compromise of your comfort.
(Wow wth, how did I come up with that, I'm convincing myself x'D)
Ok, enough review of all that stuff. Here's the punch.
Everything is great
the drive of Basara is driving me insane.
When I encounter a character who believes fighting is not the answer, will get in the way and will sacrifice thousands of innocents for their way of "peace" to me is like the insane person who becomes the accessory to mass murderer. I'm not going to butter it. That is Basara.
Peace is only possible because someone has defended that peace. Fighting is always going to be inevitable because there's so many different kinds of people that no one is going to completely understand each other - not that completely understanding each other brings peace either, so saying peace purely without fighting (Basara) types of characters drive me insane.
Review/rant done. Will pick this up this anime at a later date, still love it except 1 character.
Some time ago, circa 2012 I decided I wanted to watch the original Japaneses Macross series, as all I had watched before was the heavily edited Robotech, some friends advised me that Macross was a good watch, so I decided to give it a try, what I found out was a masterful crafted tale of romance, drama, comedy and self discovery that I have seen just a couple of times before with shows like code geass, eureka seven and full metal alchemist, Macross blew me away with excitement so, of course a wanted to see what the franchise had to offer, I was
super exited to dive in on this amazing universe and experience new adventures after the final credits rolled for SDF Macross, so I watched the next one, Macross plus and OH BOY was it good !!!! at that point my excitement for the series was beyond comprehension, first series was GREAT and its follow up Macross Plus was UBER GREAT , what can possible go wrong with the series ?? Macross 7 that is ...
Ok so Macross 7 takes place decades after the original series as mankind is expanding to next horizons in space in order to preserve the human race in case another attack like the one that happened on the first series exterminates humanity. We are aboard a giant ship crossing the universe looking for a suitable new home in command of captain Maximilian Jenius (yes, the awesome pilot from the first series who looks inexplicable young after all the decades between the first series and Macross 7 )
Then we have the music band that is a staple on the Macross franchise, which, is composed of a rude black guy, an almost non existing drums guy...or girl I don't know, with little to no personality, a beautiful girl a la Mimmei, who is also captain Jenius's daughter ( but not the one Jenius and Milla had on the original series, that one is not even in the show ) and then we have .... Basara... our main protagonist who is an spoiled brad who thinks he is super special and that he can solve every problem by singing his pop/rock songs ... IN THE MIDDLE OF A BATTLE!!! ... clearly inspired by Lin Mimmey from the first series, however, while Mimmey warmed the hearts of humans and zentradi unknowingly, Basara is constantly trying to make people listen to his songs and to like them by force, he goes in the middle of an space battle with his guitar controlled mech ( yes it is as stupid as it sounds ) only to get frustrated at people not listening to his songs. it takes little time before you start hating on this guy, however, I'll have to admit some of his songs are actually catchy.
Then we have the animation... oh boy oh boy.. while the first Macross was very inconsistent with the animation ( some times it looked great for the time, some other times it looked horrible complete with badly draw faces ) it has the excused of being an 1982 anime and for the time, it accomplishes some very impressing animation sometimes. then we have Macross plus, while obviously a high budget OVA series with fantastic animation it came out on 1994 with animation that was very ahead for its time ( even for a high budget ova series standard ) then we have Macross 7, of course it didn't had a great budget and it was proposed as a long series with more than 40 chapters but its unexcusable at how bad the animation can get . Let me tell you something that happened to me by chapter 5 or 6 of the series. On the second battle against the aliens on space the anime started to used the same exact animations they used during the first battle, whole scenes were literally re used from that first battle to the point I didn't know if I was watching a flash back or new events, that was lazy and very mediocre and it wasn't only that time, reused scenes were used during almost all the chapters I endure while watching this abomination.
Overall this series killed the franchise for me as I did some research Macross 7's story is very important to the Macross universe expanding over movies, manga and Ovas, so if I wanted to continue watching the next series on the Macross franchise I needed to finish this garbage and that is something I can't see myself doing unfortunately ( although some have told me the newer series are not all that great )
It is a real shame I really wanted to like this show but that was nearly impossible and my love for the series will remain split between the original, Macross plus and Macross 0 ( prequel to the original )
A direct sequel to the original 1982 Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, comes twelve years later in the form of Marcross 7. Studio Nue (Macross, Macross Plus, Dirty Pair) with the help of director Tetsuro Amino (Iria Zeiram the Animation) and music by Yoko Kanno (Macross Plus) set the tone perfectly for the anime. Yoko Kanno must be given so much credit because music is so key to Macross 7, without it, this anime would downright fail.
Taking place about 35 years after the events of the original, in 2045 a colony spacecraft and its’ fleet sets off into space for colonization. During said journey, the fleet
encounters an alien race that sucks the spirit out of life, but the anime tends to focus more on a rock band called Fire Bomber. In the band are the main characters of Nekki Basara, Mylene Jenius, Ray Lovelock, and Veffidas Feaze. Why focus on the band and not the military? Well, Macross 7 is all about Nekki Basara and his journey to get everyone to listen to his music and in turn, music will stop war.
For characters, Nekki Basara is Macross 7. He is short temptered, knows what he wants, and singing for others is what he lives for, a good character overall. Mylene Jenius (daughter of Max and Millia; captain and mayor of Macross 7) is also a good character with decent development for a 14 year old, while the rest of the characters in the show are in their 20s to 50s (technically). The portrayal of age is pretty hard to judge and other needed character developments are left alone for the sake of more music.
Issues with Macross 7 begin and end with re-hashing animation. Very quickly Macross 7 continues re-hashing fight scenes, lines between characters, and even the good music becomes repetitive. There are two scenes (notable) where the music hit perfectly setting the stage and really gets the heart pumping, but overall, the good music of Fire Bomber was there as background. Where there could have been a deeper plot, or even on the same level as the original Macross, Macross 7 falls just short of a fantastic show making it only a good anime.
As a sequel to Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, this one's an odd duck, with a wildly different tone which is likely to put most oldschool fans off. It's shamelessly and unapologetically absurd. But how does Macross 7 stack up taken on its own terms?
It's almost like a Magical Girl series with a male lead instead; Basara attempts to bring his message of peace to the universe through song and his skills as a guitarist in the band Fire Bomber. Like in all Macross music is used to move the masses. He's selfish, stubborn, single-minded, and usually takes his bandmates for granted. Yet
it's this very nature which makes it plausible he'll succeed by sheer force of will, due to the show's larger-than-life logic.
Over the course of the series he makes groupies swoon, a flower girl with no dialogue constantly stalks him, and a space vampire is driven to euphoria simply by his love of rocking out; yet he remains oblivious to it all, focused on his ideals to the point of single-minded obsession. Unfortunately, we learn almost nothing about what led him to become this way, and most of what we do learn comes quite late, which leaves him rather hollow yet simultaneously provides a certain mystique. Granted, this is also likely to leave the audience distanced from him. Still, I'm certain he's the type some will happily project themselves onto.
Next we have our bassist Mylene, who's actually easier to relate to since her history's at least better fleshed out, being the daughter of Max and Miria from the original series, and she also maintains a more approachable demeanor. What also helps is that she forms a stronger bond with many of the cast members than our protagonist. In many ways I'd consider her the real main character. However, she rarely moves the plot directly, serving more as a catalyst for other cast members, who tend to either pine after her or try to direct her life.
Then we have Ray, an older, wiser, level-headed musician who often acts as the voice of reason. Sadly other than a small bit of exploration about his military history he's never focused on much, despite having one of the more endearing personalities. I feel his more down-to-earth demeanor could have helped anchor a show rife with overt silliness.
Lastly we have Veffidas, the sole fresh representative of the Ventradi race of any note. Sadly she only has a few lines and most of her 'characterization' consists of randomly drumming on whatever's currently available. Like so many things in this show she's wasted potential.
Another notable character is Gamlin, who represents the military, and serves as a foil to our protagonist. The straight-edged soldier who broadens his mind is a common archetype, but it's executed pretty well here, as he shifts from a straight-laced mindset to one that's less rigid. Sadly one of his most climatic scenes is quickly undone for the sake of a happy ending. Granted, I do feel the series means to leave its audience feeling upbeat by the end.
As for the antagonists, most of them are quite one-note. Our main villain Geperuniti is mostly a standard evil overlord type who only stands out due to his androgynous nature. Goram and Zomb never rise above the level of a gimmick, although their designs are suitably creepy. Grabil amounts to little more than a typical monster with a special ability.
Gavil is probably the henchman with the most recurring presence yet is simultaneously the most annoying one; he constantly draws comparisons to how beautiful destruction and the like is until he completely wears out his welcome, but refuses to die.
Sivil is an improvement as she at least forms a stronger connection with our protagonist, and is far less grating overall, despite her rather shrill voice and obsessive nature. However to my surprise, my favorite of the bunch was Gigile, who I believed would be a throwaway stock henchman; yet he has a rather dynamic arc despite his smaller amount of screentime.
It's also nice to see characters like Max, Miria, and Exsedol return, but at the same time they feel somewhat underused. There are also some cute nods to Minmay's continual impact on the Macross universe and the fans she inspired. Still, I'd rather a show concentrated on building fresh ideas rather than simply rehashing what proved popular the first time, so overall I feel confining them to the supporting cast was the right move. The slow start ultimately pays off, as it allows us to see how the world has changed, down to colonies trapped within bubbles which float across space. It's quite a striking image which leaves one with a sense of wonder, that helps to further define the mood this show wishes to create.
At 49 episodes the show overstays its welcome and could have easily condensed its ideas into less than half the runtime. Couple this with repeated stock animation and it can really test your patience, so I wouldn't recommend marathoning this show. However it has the charm of a flashy music video which exudes coolness, due to its colorful designs, archetypal characters, and earworm soundtrack, so once you learn to roll with it you may actually come to find it inspirational. Simply learn to roll with all the blatant silliness and it may leave you satisfied. I know after I finished my watch it felt like I could take on the entire world!
Addendum: What about the spin-offs/side stories?
Macross 7 Encore: Almost mandatory viewing. Three unbroadcasted episodes of the series which fill in vital background on Basara and Ray's relationship. There's also some notable development for Miria and to a lesser extent Veffidas. Easily the best of the extensions.
Macross 7 The Galaxy is Calling Me: Listed as a movie, but it may as well be an episodic side plot. It's a stock story of our protagonist befriending a youth that idolizes them, and a chance meeting with an enemy soldier who turns out to have more in common with our protagonist than either would think. The rock out scene at the end is cute. Watchable but disposable.
Macross Dynamite 7: A sequel to the main series which is pretty much a Moby Dick/Ahab story. You know, lone vengeful guy, only here he happens to be an alien, and his prey is a group of space whales. There's also what seems to be an environmental message where Basara runs afoul of poachers. It's harmless but adds very little to the series.
Macross 7 specials: Tiny vignettes that are mostly used for comic relief. The highlight is getting to see Veffidas before she was Micronized (Shrunken to human-size) street fighting. Otherwise it's completely skippable, but at least it won't waste much of your time.
I don't want to sound like a troll but Macross 7 is nothing like it's predecessor "Super dimensional fortress Macross" or the western edition "Robotech". In fact it cannot even be called a sequel, it practically runs parallel (non-canon) to the timeline of events in the original series (after the zentraedi arc but before the protoculture masters arc).
To me macross is is both nostalgia and a standard for space anime stories because it was the first space anime I ever watched. Macross 7 is an insult to whatever reputation the original macross series built. Macross 7 completely misinterpreted the relationship of music to the
macross universe taking the idea that music is literally a weapon humans can use to an absurd level. I consider the movie "Robotech: Shadow Chronicles" to be the last known canon sequel to macross (Robotech series). After that every sequel to date is just a parallel story to the original, a spin-off so to speak. This knowledge is the only consolation for me when it comes to the horrible mistake that is "Macross 7".
Following "Macross 7", another spin-off was made in 2007 "Macross Frontier" that resembled "Macross 7" in background story but the plot was completely revised to make it more consistant with the original "macross" universe (including getting rid of the human faced abomination in Macross 7 and the gothic fantasy-ish storyline). The human colony ship can be recognized from Macross 7 but the background story of "Macross Frontier" completely denied any connection with "Macross 7" (unless colony ships are renamed during their journey). It is also a spin-off running parallel to the original series timeline in approximately the same time period as "Macross 7". In my opinion "Macross Frontier" was a revised "Macross 7" to reconcile the sequel to the original series in theme and core storyline. I believe "Macross frontier" redeemed the series from the horrible blunder of "Macross 7" and saved macross series from becoming a joke due to "Macross 7".
Incase anyone wants to watch macross series in chronological order here is what I consider the best timeline arrangement: