In 2059, five decades after the Space War I conflict seen in the first Macross story. Macross Frontier, the 25th New Macross Class super-long-distance colonization fleet, is journeying through the galaxy to a new paradise to call home. However, it is locked in a state of war with a strange enemy called Vajra.
Macross FB7 is the 30th anniversary work of the Macross franchise.
This movie would have been much better as a short OVA released on Youtube to tease the Blu-ray remastering of Macross 7. Instead, for some inexplicable reason the production staff decided to make what amounts to a 90-minute clip show with some original Macross Frontier scenes mixed in.
What we have here is an object lesson in how not to produce any motion picture, let alone anime. First and biggest mistake is the idea that remastered clips and nostalgia would ensure an epic production at minimal cost. Visually, there are several places where you could see that they did little more than convert the original footage
to widescreen and scaled up to Blu-ray resolution. Sometimes it worked, owing to the quality of the original material, but when it didn't work it was about as distracting as the dated sound effects.
Additionally, the editing of the footage for the movie is all over the place-- there is only so much Macross 7 one can show in less than 90 minutes (Kawamori's original idea was apparently 2 hours), so a lot of cohesion is sacrificed in telling the story. For example, in one clip Mylene is thrashed around in her VF, in the next she's at Basara's side yelling at him to wake up, and the viewer is left wondering how that happened (a seasoned editor would've cut the first clip). Even if it's meant to be an introduction to Macross 7 for those who never saw the series, I found the story difficult to track.
Second mistake is keeping Alto out of the production altogether. Of course, he isn't exactly a particularly compelling Macross lead, and he wouldn't have contributed anything to this scenario, but since he is a central character to Frontier it would've been nice to at least explain why he isn't shown anywhere (he might be in there as an Easter egg, but I'm not about to play Where's Waldo?).
Third mistake is doing a cover of Dynamite Explosion from Macross 7 Dynamite in the final medley, but never working in the other epic song from the OVA, Angel Voice. Since two generations of Macross have done Angel Voice (Minmay and Basara's singing voices), omitting this song is a missed opportunity that is most tragic.
It's not all bad-- the cover/medley by Megumi Nakajima and May'n is easily the best part of the movie, but you need to slog through about 9 minutes of a paper-thin Frontier story and 80 minutes of Macross 7 clip show to get there... or just skip to that spot, defeating the purpose of the movie.
In the interview extra for The Wings of Goodbye, Kawamori said that "Getting a show like Frontier going is really hard." in response to "Will there be another Macross?" Connecting Frontier and 7 is a brilliant idea, but the way it was executed here left much to be desired.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS (which I marked to avoid ruining Macross 7 for anyone)
So the first thing you need to know is that this is an hour and a half long advertisement for the Macross 7 blu rays. Kawamori thought that it would be too daunting of a task for a new fan to watch 49 episodes, so the goal of this movie was to get new fans interested in 7 so they would want to watch 49 episodes. Well this does a horrible job at that.
Firstly, I'm going to look at this as if it wasn't an advertisement. The premise of this movie
is that the Macross F characters are trying to figure out what happened to Fire Bomber. I'm guessing this takes place between the 2 Frontier movies, as there's not a point in the series the events make sense in, although you think this would have gotten brought up.
All of a sudden, a bird brings them a fucking VHS tape. Spoilers that nobody should care about because this movie has zero substance: the bird is actually Gavil.
[MACROSS 7 SPOILERS]
This is... very odd as it implies that the Protodeviln can easily travel between dimensions at will, which is weird when you consider that Sivil's final words to Basara make it seem like there's no chance she'll ever see him again.
Now back to the VHS tape. Why is this on a VHS tape? Macross 7 takes place in 2045, so VHS tapes were long obsolete. This also begs another question: Who the fuck recorded all of this? There are several scenes where there was clearly no one else nearby to record these scenes. The VHS tapes also include the to be continued screens from Macross 7, implying the Macross 7 was a series that exist in universe to account what happened, implying this is some sort of reenactment, only other information given in this movie clearly contradicts this and there is no way this could be the case. So why are the to be continued parts there?
At the end, Ranka and Sheryl perform a cover of several Fire Bomber songs and a new Fire Bomber song Virgin Story is played over the credits. This is the only part of the movie worth watching, and you would get the exact same experience by just listening to the CD single that was released for the movie, and also save yourself an hour and a half.
With around 30 minutes of Frontier content, this only leaves around an hour for the Macross 7 recap. And in case you couldn't guess, an hour isn't long enough to recap a 49 episode series, even when you consider that around a 1/3 of Macross 7's episodes are episodic and have little effect on the overall plot. The recap skips over lots of plot and will leave newcomers confused as to what's happening. It doesn't even work as a "best of" movie, as many of the best scenes are either removed or ruined by poor directing choices. The final fight with Gepelnitch is luckily intact, although it will lose it's effect for any newcomers.
I still did find some enjoyment in this movie, although this was primarily due to Fire Bomber's music and already being a fan of Macross 7. I would have had a better time just rewatching my favorite scenes.
But the biggest sin is that this movie even fails as an advertisement. The footage is cropped which can look rather odd at times, and to make it even worse, the Footage is intentionally distorted in order to imitate being footage from a VHS tape (because VHS tapes can totally output 1080p). If you're making an advertisement for your HD remaster of a series WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU DISTORT THE FOOTAGE??? Are they insane??? An advertisement for a remaster should show the quality of said remaster, not intentionally make it look bad.
Not only this, the movie also does a horrible job of getting any new fans invested into Macross 7 to want to watch it, and basically only acts as a spoiler fest to make them want to watch it less. Nice job Kawamori
If you haven't seen Macross 7, go watch it. It's not for everyone, but it's a fun series with some great music. Just don't watch this. This is complete garbage. This doesn't even cover enough basis to be considered Macross 7 cliff notes. Just go listen to the Nyan Nyan FIRE!! Totsugeki Planet Explosion / Virgin Soul single instead. You'll have a much better time