I write this post with lots of happiness and yet, lots of sadness. Both for the same reason. By watching Macross 7, I have officially watched all the Macross series. There is still many tidbits of Macross 7 with Encore and Dynamite still out there, but I still have finished all the mainline series. Macross really is an underrated franchise that has been blocked from the west for years and yet I have watched all of them regardless through the only means possible. I now know the power of music, mecha, and supposedly love triangles to save human kind from beings from space. Despite Macross 7 being one of the strangest and out there parts of the Macross franchise, I have that very unique opinion of me saying that I really, really like it because this is a controversial show. It’s a bit of a complex reason as to why, but that’s why I am writing about it, correct? Oh hey, I finally discovered how blogs work.
Macross 7 takes place 35 years after the end of the original Macross series in 2045. The Macross 7 fleet, made out of Battle 7, Macross 7 city, and all sorts of other ships was sent out to find a safe place for humans to live on during the year of 2038 and in series, it has now been seven years. Oh hey, numbers. They work. Battle 7 is commanded by the ace pilot from SDF Macross, Maximillian Jenius, and the City’s Mayor is Miria Jenius, an ace zentradi pilot and Max’s wife. So supposedly, there is a married couple here except they have their own marriage issues from over work. Also, one of their children by the name of Mylene Jenius at age 15 has joined the currently indie rock band, FIRE BOMBER, as a guitarist and singer as the back up to the lead Nekki Basara (and he’s also the protagonist), Ray on Keyboard Guitar, and the Zentradi Drummer Veffidas. A very fun group that creates fun times. One day, the fleet meets the Protodevilin who absorb spiritia, or human energy, and all hell breaks loose.
In 49 episodes, Macross 7 is split into very distinctive parts as the Protodevilin threat becomes bigger and more troublesome for the life of the fleet. The first set of episodes do a good job of setting up Macross 7 itself through a lot of episodic adventures centered on the city and its characters while their encounters with the protodevilin are just there for now. We also see the raising music career of the the FIRE BOMBER rock group from nobodies to their fame being across all of space as they make a name for themselves. There are more combinations of plot elements, but there is a very clear delineation of where the real plot kicks in to the highest degree possible. That portion will be covered later. For now, lets start where everything is safe and sound until it isn’t.
The first portion of Macross 7 is deceptively not moving when it actually is. For an extended amount of time, the format of the show involves something with the Fire Bomber’s career where they record an album or having a small performance somewhere, Mylene and Basara have a fight, flower girl fails to give Basara any flowers, the city becomes under attack inside or outside by the protodevilin absorbing spiritia or life force out of humans/Valkyrie pilots, and then Basara flies in his own Valkyrie to save the day through rock music. So how is that deceptively simple? Well, that is the movement I mentioned. Out of nowhere, Battle 7 is completely gone and Macross city has to fend for itself. What now? Who is going to defend the city (It’s Basara, this is really where the Fire Bomber’s fame seriously starts. What about that star the ship gets close to? Well, Macross 7 City is able to jump out of it somehow.
So yes, there is a formula as I’ve said above. But we also get to meet our characters through their different situations. Mylene’s naivety of wanting to be a famous rock star and saying she can do everything without understanding the world around her versus Basara who is the most hippy person possible and doesn’t want to do anything unless its on his own terms. He just wants people to feel his music and its Mylene’s arc to understand why because this is how she grows up. Ray is just Mylene’s connection into the city and a former Valkeryie pilot and we don’t know enough about Veffidas, but she is very tall and very good. There is also the broken marriage between Max and Miria that carries a lot of weight considering they are both busy bodies. Plus, Miria sets up Mylene on dates with one of her pilot’s Gamlin who is stiff for now and becomes a bit more relaxed as the series goes here. It’s a creepy age gap situation, but at least he is a good guy that actually knows his boundaries. Gamlin is best boy, ok?
The show is so good with all of these elements because this is a solid cast. Excellent stories, wonderful casts that slowly move. I can see why people have difficult watching this show at this point. I have noticed that people cannot stand Basara at all, but I really like him. I feel like I understand his love and passion for music and wanting to connect people. He goes against the grain with his rock music and his life the way he wants to. No one can hold him down and it his feelings in this manner that guide people down the path of saving the Macross 7 fleet and humanity itself in the end. There is some weird love thing with Mylene having a crush on him, but he never reciprocates and he goes after a sexy space vampire instead. I always felt like Basara and Mylene had a teacher, student relationship.
The show really kicks into high gear when songs can be turned into energy waves and the formation of the Fire Bomber music band into Sound Force. Basara always had his unit, but Mylene is given her own Valkyrie, and Veffidas and Ray get their own unit as a support. Through their combined music power, the Protodevilin either get frightened away faster or develop these things called ear plugs to stop them. Plus, there is a horrible incident with the Macross 7 is caught on Planet Lux after the Macross 5 fleet is messed up by the Protodevilin, the suicide attack against the Protodevilin planet, and then the final encounter. There is a lot of skirmishes through out in a very episodic way because there is a lot of tension. Same with the appearance of the space vampire Sivil who has a relationship with Basara, and such. So much crazy times here and I love all of it.
Some people have called Macross 7 the G Gundam of the Macross Franchise and the development of the Sound Force is where it truly happens. The Protodevilin become giant green monsters and the Sound Force fights against them using their spirit energy through beam struggles. There is a lot of scenes where Basara and Mylene, through the power of rock and roll, send the green monsters packing and the enemy fighters unmotivated to continue. I love this show. Awesome singing, powerful moments, and other things. The best part is that the show completely told you everything that the viewer needs to know up to this point for it to make sense somehow.
Plus, the second half has a lot more banging rock songs with their own good lyrics and things. Considering that Basara is voiced by one person who will become Jam Project, do I need to say more? Mylene has her own fantastic songs too because she isn’t left behind at all. Mylene shows a lot of her own song power and ingenuity, how much she has grown over the course of the show, and she really has matured. Somehow, she was able to do so many things and reunite her parents too. The protodevilin have also discovered they don’t need to absorb human spiritia to survive, they can create it themselves through the power of song. The conclusion of Macross 7 was excellent and everything built up to a great end point.
What are some weaknesses to the show over all? Well, it is a bit slow starting. It takes a few episodes for the viewer to get into the rhythm of what of the show trying to say and do. I also think the show is completely un-bingable as well. There are tons and tons of episodes where zero progress is made and it is almost like you are seeing the same show again and again. This was made in the time where people watched a show through cable and it was designed for when human beings can miss an episode or more and completely know what was going on. Like I said, completely un-bingable. Just take your time with it if you check it out. Unless you are one that is very into episodic things, then have fun. There is also the age gap forced romance by Miria on her daughter Mylene, but I am so glad it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have. There was some actual sensitivity there.
The visuals of Macross 7 are very good for its age. There is a lot of stock footage of transformation scenes, all sorts of mecha transforming like the military mecha and protodevilin mecha in their boring colors and shapes, the Sound Force mecha in their unique designs transforming and then their sound boosters, energy waves, and such. But each of them is used very effectively in moments that make sense for those transformations to happen. Also, the mechanical design in this show from so many valkyrie designs with all sorts of units all over the place, great ship designs, great ways for the sound boosters to fly it for Sound Force, and so many other things. Its wonderful.
Everything else is just good. I love the character designs in this show. I love Basara in his green tank top and jeans, Mylene’s many outfits, Gamlin and his kindness, Miria and her older and much more mature form from years ago, same with Max, the bridge bunnies, the cast in general. It’s a very wonderful cast that I wish all of them could have been developed more somehow. The inside city scapes, concert halls, and so many other things were incredible here. It’s so possible to live in Macross 7 because it’s a living and breathing city and society as it moves through out space and fights aliens. Everything just feels natural in this show.
So yes, Macross 7 feels good. I really loved it and I’ve missed it ever since I completed it. It took me such a long time to write about this show because it took so much time for me to accept that I finished it and then figure out a way to write about it. I already mentioned the flaws in the show with it being more episodic in nature then what makes it not as user friendly as it could be and the visual stuff considering the stock footage, but it’s an older series and those things are going to happen. In the end, that’s all I have to say about it honestly. Absolutely solid experience. Just listen to what I have written before you want to check it out yourself because I am not joking about these things.
Very fascinating review. I never saw Macross 7 and I remember seeing some very negative reviews from one site that I used to check out a ton a while ago, but it’s cool how there are positive things about it. I didn’t know the guy from JAM Project did voice acting work, but it oddly makes sense with an anime like this.
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Yeah, Basara’s Seiyuu is just one of the many guys but his voice is just that awesome that it makes it special. He is also the guy that causes the show to be unwatchable for some people because he does go up against the grain a lot and can be irritating but I enjoy him. Plus that Macross 7 is like the G Gundam of Macross thing. Bleh. Some criticisms I get, others I don’t.
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Gotcha. He does have a powerful singing voice and I do like some Jam Project songs. Okay, I can see that making sense with why people wouldn’t like Macross 7 with that being a factor.
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