“Macross Plus” is a 4-volume OVA from 1994, with an all star creative staff, including: direction by Original Creator and Mecha-Master, Shoji Kawamori (“Macross Do You Remember Love”, “Escaflowne”); character designs by Masayuki Yamaguchi ( “BAOH”, “Doomed Megalopolis”); action choreography by Ichiro Itano (“Angel Cop”, “Battle Royal High School”, “MegaZone 23: Part II”, “Macross”); concert animation by Koji Morimoto (“Dirty Pair: Project Eden (OP)”, “City Hunter (OP)”, “Robot Carnival: Franken’s Gear”), and music by Yoko Kanno (“Cowboy Bebop”, “Escaflowne”, “Gasaraki”).
After screwing around and showing up his commanding officers during his last mission, highly skilled, hot shot, fighter pilot, Isamu Dyson, has been demoted for insubordination and reckless endangerment, to a test pilot. This supposed punishment has given Dyson his ultimate dream: to fly the newest, most badass, robot transforming planes before anyone else. He’s transferred back to his home world, planet Eden, to begin testing an experimental fighter for the Super Nova project.
On Eden, two planes are competing to win the project, and become the new fighter for the Ministry of Defense. Isamu is partnered with the YF-19 team. With its old style, control-stick technology, the YF-19 is on the ropes, losing to the revolutionary, thought controlled YF-21, which combines man and machine. The fight becomes dirtier when it turns out the YF-21 team’s test pilot is Isamu’s one-time childhood friend and bitter rival, Guld Bowman. Then, their mutual High School sweetheart, Myung Fang Lone, shows up on Eden.
Unlike Isamu and Guld, Myung has given up on her dream career. Once, she wanted to be a professional pop-singer, performing on stage. Now, her dreams are gone, and the new idol sensation is a computer, the virtual superstar, Sharon Apple. Operating under the guise of Sharon’s “Producer”, Myung is actually employed as Sharon Apple’s missing piece of programming, her human heart. During the computer’s holographic concerts, Myung is plugged-in, to provide the emotional thoughts and reactions that the non-feeling machine lacks. However, Myung’s feelings for Isamu and Guld corrupt Sharon. The computer deliberately puts Myung in mortal danger, in order to pit the men against each other and discover “her”, by default, Myung’s, true feelings.
The machines take over. Sharon’s developer, Marge, takes this opportunity to install a dangerous, illegal, “bio-neural” emotions microchip to complete his Frankenstein’s monster, rendering Myung obsolete; and the military scraps the Super Nova project in favor of an unmanned fighter, the Ghost X-9. During a massive concert held on Earth, Sharon, consumed by her new emotions, takes over all of the military’s computers, including that of the new Ghost fighter plane (and the SDF-1 for all the “Robotech/Macross” fans). Isamu, Guld, and Myung must take on Sharon, and prove that humanity will not be overcome, or replaced, by its own creation: our technology.
“Luck, is one of my skills.”
An awesome sequel to the original “Macross”, with killer mecha-designs; over the top, soap opera emotions; and fast paced action. Despite “Macross Plus’” lovingly elaborate depictions of futuristic airplanes and super computers, this work is, in reality -- the animated battle cry of the luddites… even more so, since, as a ‘90s anime, it’s a memento of the final decade of cel animation.