I started watching Macross Frontier a few weeks ago and finally got around to finishing it. I thought I was going to be able to complete the series in just a few days but as the series progressed my interest in it dwindled. It’s unfortunate because after watching Super Dimensional Fortress Macross a few months ago (which I enjoyed), I was looking forward to Macross Frontier. Read on for my impressions (and some spoilers).
Sure the first 10 or so episodes were decent, maybe even somewhat interesting, as they set up the premise and introduced the characters but there wasn’t any real meat to the story. As the series went on, the fluff only became more obvious and more unbearable. By the time the series was halfway over, I was dreading the rest.
So, what did I not like so much? Well, first of all, the Vajra aren’t weren’t nearly as interesting a foe as the Zentradi from the original series. Plus, we didn’t really learn anything about them until more than half way through the series and even then it was light info. Most of the time, they were just regarded as mindless drones, not very exciting…
Also, I didn’t like the way much of the series focused more on a love triangle than a real political struggle, war, and fighting for survival. The original series provided much more food for thought, I think. Sure, there was a love triangle there too, but it was part of a more epic story overall.
And the whole singing to defeat the enemy thing seemed a bit of a stretch. It made more sense in the original Macross against the Zentradi, but the Vajra again don’t seem to be right type of enemy for this to work on. Just feels a bit tacked in in order to keep the musical trait of the series.
There were also numerous plot holes and shortcuts in the storytelling. What was with the characters going all tsuntsun between emo/depressed and suddenly determined to fight and “protect” (Yes, the oh-so-original “I fight to protect” reasoning). Oh, and then there was Michel’s ridiculously predictable death just seconds after he realizes he loves Klan. Yeah, that’s never been done before…
And the antagonists, Leon and Grace? Some actual character development would have been nice to at least understand their motivation for trying to destroy/dominate the universe.
The fact that the truth behind Ranka, Vajra, Brera, etc was really only revealed in the last 3-4 episodes seems to indicate that the writers really didn’t have any good plan for the entirety of the show and just decided to string the series all the way along with very little real substance. Really, at least half of the episodes could have been cut and it could have ended the same way.
Overall, I found Macross Frontier quite disappointing. I don’t see how so many people thought this series was good >_< It’s a shame because I wanted to like Macross F. I liked the original Macross quite a bit and was expecting a lot from this series…
I have made a lot of comparisons to the original series but since Macross Frontier seems to want to copy it so much it only made sense to do so. Some of the characters seemed to be almost carbon copied from characters in the first Macross :-/
While the bad parts of the series really stuck out, I suppose there was some good to the series. It did have high production value with good animation throughout the series. Also, the songs which are prevelant through the series are catchy and popular (Albeit with some bad, bad engrish). Ranka and Klan were my favorite characters and made watching a bit more entertaining. I didn’t like Sheryl much from the start but she turned out pretty decent.
Well, I suppose my advice is… if you liked this series and haven’t seen the original, do yourself a favor and give it a try. If you can get past the ancient animation, you might just be able to forget about having watched Macross Frontier ;)