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Title (English) Macross II - Lovers Again
Title (Japanese) Chojiku yosai Macross II - Lovers Again
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Fantasy Novel

Notes Jap. title translates as: "Super Dimension Fortress Macross II Lovers Again".
6 OVAs, Big West/Macross II Project, 1992. 28 mins each.
US: L.A. Hero
Classification -
Synopsis
Review MACROSS II Episodes 1 to 6 (KISEKI FILMS) 50 mins
ea.,
cert 15, 10.99
Briefly, this is a 6-part sequel to the MACROSS series,
perhaps better known through the American adaption,
ROBOTECH. It's a SF adventure, with space battles and
robot action as the youthful characters
strive to repel or pacify the latest wave of alien invaders.
It's best described as a juvenile, but has some engaging
features; for instance the aliens talk gibberish (subtitled)
and the songs (also subtitled) are nice. And it looks great
on screen. Verdict: better than most TV SF.
At time of writing it was available exclusively from
Virgin and Our Price Video outlets but this may change.
MACROSS II Episodes 1 and 2 (dir Kenichi Yatagi)
(KISEKI FILMS), 50 mins, cert 15.
MACROSS II Episodes 3 and 4 (dir Kenichi Yatagi)
(KISEKI FILMS), 50 mins, cert 15.
The complete title of the six-episode series is "Superdi-
mensional Fortress Macross II - Lovers Again."
Some explanation about MACROSS will doubtless be in
order, as while both MACROSS II and the original
MACROSS have been very popular in the USA (and
Japan), neither is well known in the UK. There were
three Japanese animated space SF series,
SUPERDIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS,
SOUTHERN CROSS and MOSPEADA, whose footage
was re- edited and dubbed with fresh English dialogue by
American animation producer Carl Macek to form a
single American TV serial, ROBOTECH, with 85
episodes aimed at American youngsters. There were piles
of spinoff merchandise including toys and various video
compilations, such as the attractive MACROSS - DO
YOU REMEMBER LOVE, and ROBOTECH - THE
SENTINELS (75mins, now out on PAL).
The original series were a landmark in their day, as they
virtually invented the giant transforming robot - now an
anime staple. Macek's mid - Pacific creation was
execrated by purist fans, but it did give the popularity of
Japanese animation a big boost. Recently the Japanese
source episodes have been released in the USA along
with the new MACROSS II.
The original story? Basically, it's about successive
waves of spaceborne alien invasion by giant-sized aliens.
Earth is defended by the reconstructed alien
Superdimensional Fortress Macross. Some of the
invaders bring normal-sized humanoids with them, and
some of the latter settle on earth and mingle their cultures
with ours. Japanese-style 'idol singers' feature in the story
line, and the original soundtracks.
MACROSS II opens about 80 years after the end of
MACROSS I. The descendants of the Zentradi/Metradi
conflict have established a new society with the people of
Earth. The UN Spacy force has integrated Zentradi
warships into its fleet, and Zentradi and humanity
peacefully co-exist. Ten years previously, a wave of alien
invaders has been repelled by the so-called 'Minmay
Defence', which consists of projecting audible inages of
idol singer Lynn Minmay into space, and thus giving the
aliens culture shock and causing them to flee. This idea is
put forward quite seriously in the videos. At least, it
makes a charming change from large guns.
In MACROSS II the main characters are: annoying 17
year old brat TVreporter Hibiki Kanzaki, 17 year old
space pilot ace Silvie Gena, and the alien 'micron' Ishtar,
who looks like a young human female.
The latest wave of invaders, the Marduk, have enslaved
the Zentradi, using them as soldiers. The slave soldiers
are controlled through song by an 'emulator', Ishtar.
MACROSS II is rather different in 'feel' from most of
the animation offered by rival label MANGA VIDEO;
though produced in 1992 it's very typical of a Japanese
1980's SF space series and the relative lack of sex and
violence makes it suitable for 'family' viewing. It has the
usual ingredients of space anime: spaceships, giant
transforming robots, futuristic settings, fast action, space
battles - and pretty girls.
The appeal of the series, again like many of the older
shows, seems focused on younger and less picky viewers
of an age with the implausibly young principal characters.
Apart from that, there is a very stylish opening animation
sequence and the backgrounds generally look quite good.
While hardly an anime classic, MACROSS II is an
engaging series that delivers good family entertainment.
At time of writing it was available exclusively from
Virgin outlets but this may change.
MACROSS II Vol.3 (Parts 5&6), Kiseki Films, #10.99,
50 mins, cert 15, 10.99
Concluding volume of the likeable SF space battle ser-
ies. The invading Marduk spacefleets have the upper
hand, Ishtar is back with the Marduk fleet, and Hibiki and
Sylvie are in hot water with UN Spacy. Hibiki is
imprisoned for making an unauthorized broadcast in
which he reveals the truth about the aliens and the war to
the public. Meanwhile, an epic space battle is in progress
and the UN Spacy forces are losing. As the mad Marduk
emperor Ingues moves in on Earth for the final
confrontation, he orders the "song of death" to be sung
by the 'emulators', the normal-sized females who control
the Zentradi slave-warriors. Some dissent is felt by Lord
Feff, and Ishtar returns to Earth.
In the concluding episode 6, Sylvie Jena persuades
Commander Exxegran to let her use the old alien
battleship MACROSS in a desperate assault against the
Marduk flagship. It takes off with Sylvie, Hibiki and
Ishtar aboard, and they fire the main energy weapon, but
the Marduk flagship remains in one piece. Observing the
strange effect the MACROSS has had on Sylvie and
Hibiki, Ishtar resolves to sing a peaceful song of Earth.
As in all the best cliffhangers, will it work?
The designs in MACROSS generally look good, and
bits of it are very pretty indeed. There is more action in
the concluding episodes than in much of the earlier four
and the storyline is fairly well plotted. Also noteworthy
are the repeated reference to 'culture' and the idea that
learning from other races, interbreeding and making
peace with them is generally a good thing. The use of the
songs in the plot is certainly rather odd but it makes a
pleasant change from large guns and excessive violence.
Indeed although we see various spacecraft destroyed we
don't see anybody killed on screen.
The hifi stereo soundtrack sounds good, and the songs,
mostly in Japanese and subtitled, are quite pleasant.
Though the script is a little juvenile, MACROSS seems
no more silly than a certain very well- known and long-
running TV SF series now in its 2nd generation. I have
found that a liking for MACROSS has grown on me as I
have watched the preview tapes in succession. Verdict: a
charming series and recommended for family viewing.
Credits Dir: Kenichi Yatagi
Character design: Haruhiko Mikimoto
Episodes 6
Release US:DVD, US:VHS, UK:VHS
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1992-05-21 to 1992-11-21
Production
Broadcaster
Animation
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.

 

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