75. Macross II

Staff and Background

18xi4RBMacross II has a controversial background. Essentially the main sponsor, Big West, for the original Macross wanted a sequel because Macross printed money. However, the studio behind Macross, Studio Nue, and the original creator, Shoji Kawamori had no interest in doing a sequel. So Big West went off and hired AIC to make it for them instead with almost none of the original creators coming along for the ride, the most notable that did come work on Macross II was character designer Mikimoto. Macross II was directed by Kenichi Yatagai who directed the first 2 Bubblegum Crisis episodes and the infamous Megazone 23 Part III. So a very mixed bag there.

Story and Characters

The general story is quite familiar: aliens4ltmpex attack earth and humans fight them off. The difference here is that our MC is not a pilot, instead he is a reporter. He gets mixed up in the war and eventually meets an enemy called Ishtar, she is the idol stand-in for this one. He also meets the pilot Sylvie and from there the three go about ending the war. If you’ve seen Macross before you will know what is coming as it sticks to the formula fairly well. However, I do like the little twist on everything they gave the story; the fact that the MC is a reporter and the idol isn’t really an idol and belongs to the enemy. The little twists like that on various things kept the show and characters fairly fresh and interesting. The big problem is that they clearly needed more episodes. There is just too much crammed in and nobody really gets enough screen time. If it were a full 26-50 episode series then it could really b something great but as it is you just never get attached to any of the characters and nothing really sinks in enough to have weight. It is a problem many of these OAVs I’ve looked at have and it is always sad to see.

Audio and Visuals

x92ltvZThe audio side of things was really good. I watched the sub and all the VAs did a great job there, no complaints at all. The music is fantastic and is really worth listening to on its own merit. There is also one really good piece of music which is used by the enemy and it is used really effectively at the end of episode 5 to demonstrate how desperate the situation is. The visuals start off great and then deteriorate over time. For the most part it does look pretty darn great but that final episode is awful. Sure, it has some really nice action scenes but outside of that is a shit show. It is a shame episode 6 is so bad because episode 5 wasn’t all that bad and if it had maintained that level the visuals would have been a real strength. At least the character designs were amazing!

Conclusion

Macross II gets more hate than it deserves. Were it not to have the Macross name it would be remembered as a decent attempt at a Macross clone that had some serious issues. Its main problem is that it simply doesn’t have enough time for the scale of the story it is trying to tell and so you end up not caring. In addition, the final episode goes to poop in terms of visuals. But hey, if you liked how Do You Remember Love looked then this is your only real option and, to be honest, the show really isn’t all that bad.

Final score: 5D

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