After being out of town for a while, I returned home with some time left before classes start to continue watching old anime that I missed. I had heard good things about Macross Frontier so I decided to watch that. At first I was afraid that I wouldn’t understand what was going on since I haven’t seen the previous Macross series, but this one stands on its own so you can still enjoy it without having to watch its predecessors.
Macross Frontier takes place in the future where humans along with an alien race called the Zentradi (who are basically giant people) are populating the galaxy in numerous immigration fleets that look for and colonize habitable planets. The story revolves around three main characters: Alto Saotome, Ranka Lee, and Sheryl Nome. Alto is a regular high school student who one day gets enlisted in this private military group and pilots a fighter plane to fight off a hostile alien race called the Vajra. Ranka is a teenage girl who works in a chinese restaurant called Nyan Nyan (one of my favourite scenes was when Ranka was imitating the Nyan Nyan commercial, seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wieStI7kN-I) and aims to be a singer one day. Personally, I think Ranka is the cutest character in the show, especially since her hair makes her look like one of those dogs with big floppy ears (it even moves by itself a few times in the show).
It’s later revealed that Ranka’s singing is able to pacify attacking Vajra forces, allowing the military to blow them to smitherines. Sheryl Nome is a famous singer known throughout the galaxy and does concerts at various fleets. She is originally from the Macross Galaxy fleet, but was at Macross Frontier when she learns that her home had been attacked by the Vajra. In the first part of the series, Sheryl acts as a role model for Ranka and even encourages Ranka to become a star, but later on they become rivals as Ranka’s popularity eclipses Sheryl’s and they both fight over Alto (lucky guy).
Although Macross Frontier is classified as a science fiction mecha anime, I thought it was more of a love story since so much emphasis was placed on the relationships between Alto, Ranka, and Sheryl. You have two friends, Ranka and Sheryl, who eventually become rivals due to their feelings towards Alto who can’t decide which of the two girls he likes better. This type of situation is pretty common in anime, but what made this one a bit better is the personalities of the characters. Usually, the guy would be some useless kid who can’t do anything (if you’ve seen any harem anime, you’ll know what I mean), but Alto actually acts like a man. In the first episode he saves Sheryl when she fell off the stage and saves Ranka when the Vajra attack. The girls are also different, instead of just clinging to Alto all the time, they also have goals that they reach for and obstacles that they have to overcome.
The best part of the anime was probably the music. Since both Ranka and Sheryl are singers, there are a lot of songs sung throughout the series, almost every episode had one. My two favourite songs would have to be “Aimo” which is what Ranka sings to the Vajra, and “What ’bout My Star” which is one of the songs that Sheryl sings in her concert. All of the songs in the series appear several times in ther series under different conditions so there are actually quite a few versions of each song. My favourite version of Aimo would be the one by Megumi Nakajima, and my favourite version of What ’bout My Star would be the one by May’n. If you want to listen to them, you can do a search in google or try to find it on youtube.
Overall, I thought Macross Frontier was just slightly above average in terms of enjoyability. What made it worthwhile for me was the music, otherwise it was just your average sci-fi/romance combination. It’s not meant for everyone, but if you like sci-fi, romance, and catchy songs, then you should give it a look.