*VERY MILD SPOILERS AHEAD*
Huh.This is the first positive review I`ve given on MAL... and this is review #3... OK then... I apologize for the comparisons to the parent anime known as Frontier, but this is essential to reviewing this movie in particular.
Anecdotes are fun.
Have you ever heard of Evangelion? If so, you may have heard of the rebuild films: films that are an alternate setting to the original. The beginning ones retell the original story with some tweaks, while the later ones branch out to tell a whole new story, like with movie three, and the upcoming movie four. Why am I telling you this seemingly irrelevant trivia? Because Macross Frontier had a similar deal. This movie, Macross F Movie 1: Itsuwari no Utahime, retells the first 10 episodes of the show, with many tweaks, for the first half. The second half of the film tells a new story. As for how well the film handled all of it, I`m sure you have some semblance of how I felt it did, given the score at the top right, but for those of you who want to know my full thoughts, let`s find out, shall we?
This movie decided to retell the first 10-ish episodes of Macross Frontier, and it feels rather choppy, not helped by the numerous yet harmless changes made. Retellings in general dock points since they simply recap material fans of the parent story already know, just in a choppy and (depending on the quality) sloppy manner. Luckily, the film doesn't feel too sloppy, just choppy... for the first half. The second half is a bit more interesting. Sheryl Nome and Grace O`Connor have been labeled as spies from Macross Galaxy. Why the people at Frontier would assume that Galaxy has ill will towards them is beyond me. After Sheryl`s date with main lead Alto, and that whole suspicion debacle, he starts doubting her, and that trust is compounded when he sees her seemingly attacking his friend Ranka only for her to scold his and the Frontier military for their seemingly false accusations. I say seemingly because well, we`ll get to that in Movie 2. The alien race known as the Vajra continue their attack against humans that started shortly before the events of the first movie, and in the climax, are eliminated by frontier... for now...
As for the main trio, not a whole lot was changed aside from Sheryl`s whole spy thing that gets resolved in the next film. Alto is still a seemingly rough guy with a heart of gold, Ranka is still the naïve upcoming songstress, albeit now, she`s childhood friends with Alto, and Sheryl is still the songstress with an ego problem yet still having a heart of gold. Everyone else from the original Macross Frontier is still kept in tact, even if we get less time for everyone to really develop and stand out. Overall, the are still the same people from Frontier, just with less development or time to get to know them.
One of the major problems in the art department as far as the Frontier anime goes is that while many scenes look good for `08 standards and other scenes look freakin` amazing, some scenes had to be sacrificed to look like something you`d normally see in some of Gonzo`s worst, even though this was done by studio Satelight. Luckily, this movie doesn't suffer from those problems. Now, it loos like a well done episode of Macross Frontier. The CG looks as brilliant as it did back in the original, and the actual hand drawn animation looks on par with that of `08-`09 standards. The performances done by Sheryl Nome look as great as ever, only with more emphasis on a style performance, however, there are no truly WOW moments in the movie aside from the astounding water effects, like say, Macross Frontier, or MF Movie 2: Sayonara no Tsubasa. Well, for what it is, the animation is still great.
Let`s get this out of the way. I only noticed THREE new songs in this movie. All of the songs were ripped straight out of the show, with exception to Universal Bunny (which is just ok; a bit weak by Sheryl Nome standards), the final song at the end, and the credits theme. However, the songs are still great, and that`s what counts. All of the songs are as great as I remember them, and the final song, while not quite as good as previous songs, is still a good track. Then again, a Macross installment without at least a decent soundtrack is nothing short of BLASPHIMA!!!
The first part of the movie was mostly entertaining, albeit a bit boring in places. The second half was pretty good, especially the climax. Even with how choppy and dull the first half was at times and how absolutely strange and somewhat irritating the mid-section's plot twist was, overall, this was still a decent movie, even if it's one of the weakest installments of the franchise, especially from an entertainment standpoint.
OVERALL: 7/10 RAW SCORE 74/100
Honestly, there`s not much left to say. I enjoyed this film, and it offered an interesting spin. If you enjoyed the show, give it a ride. Anything else I say will just be repeating things a third or forth time, so with that, I bid you adieu.