The False Songstress is the first of two Macross Frontier movies. This one is a retelling of the original tv series, while the second movie will be a sequel, but with a different ending. I’m not going to bore you with what the movie or the Macross Frontier series is about, you can read about it here. If you’re not familiar with the Macross universe, don’t worry, the movie can stand on its own.
This movie had some really good things going for it, but it was lacking in a few areas, which made parts of it a bore to watch. Fans of the galactic pop star, Sheryl Nome, from the original series will be happy to know that she overshadows Ranka in the movie. Unfortunately, the development of her relationship with Alto isn’t very deep or original. We go from two characters that simply annoy each other, to random flirting as they search for a lost earring, then some hot dates and a chance for Alto to show off his manly side.
In a romance movie, this would all end in a kiss. While a kiss on the cheek isn’t what I had in mind, it was close, and it was only halfway through the movie, so there was potential for a better scene. Of course, Alto later loses all faith in Sheryl when someone tells him she was a spy. Really now, you spend 1/3 of a movie showing two characters all in lovey-dovey mode and end it all with a single statement. Even some B-movies do it better with at least some more build-up to the fall from grace.
Predictably, their relationship gets better later in the movie, but once again, the way they get back together was so simple that it was hard to feel anything for the characters. The sequence of events went something like this:
Alto sees Sheryl’s past.
Thinks to himself, “aww, poor girl.”
Discovers that Sheryl isn’t a spy.
Apologizes to Sheryl, then does his hero thing.
I guess all you have to do to get a girl back after accusing her of being a spy and knocking her to the ground is say that you’re sorry and shoot some aliens. It’s hard to relate to characters with so little depth, and more thought should’ve been put into this area.
While the writers disappointed me, I was blown away by the animation (both CG and regular). After watching anime for so long, I can safely say that on average the animation in movies > OVAs > TV. I especially enjoyed the backgrounds drawn up for the San Francisco district of the city where you can see famous landmarks. Some of the backgrounds are so detailed that they almost look like real pictures.
The special effects, like the movement of smoke, ripples in the water, and reflection of objects also helped to enhance the visual appeal of the movie.
What really takes the take in this movie is the combination of cool space combat scenes with good music, something the Macross series are known for. If you have a surround sound speaker system, you should put it to good use, because listening to The False Songstress in surround sound makes for a much better experience. Not only are all of the songs from the TV series included at some point in the movie, I also noticed some new songs like “Pink Monsoon” by May’n. Personally, I liked all of the songs from the series so I was glad to see that they managed to include them all here.
So while the story isn’t anything to look forward to, especially if you already know what happens, at least the rest of the movie was enjoyable. I’d suggest for anyone not interested in Alto/Sheryl/Ranka’s relationship to just watch the beginning and the end because that’s where all of the fighting and singing are. Though if you are a Ranka fan, you might be interested in some of her cosplay in the middle of the movie.