I am going to attempt to watch (and write about) all of the Macross anime that I have not seen yet over the next few weeks. Well, “attempt” is probably the wrong word since I’ve made a lot of progress thus far. Anyway, first Macross II.
Macross II is a bit weird when it comes to giving it some kind of rating. It’s got pretty good production values, and is competently-made enough to not really draw attention to itself either way. Thus, it never blows you away like something like Macross Plus or DYRL, but also never made me headdesk like some of the “animation” in Macross 7. The music ends up being forgettable, which is one of the bigger sins that a Macross anime can commit. But again, “forgettable” isn’t necessarily as badly made as “terrible”. I wasn’t stabbing myself in the ears after hearing the same song for the gazillionth time either.
It’s biggest problem is really that it’s just well, so dull and boring and soulless. Those are some of the last words that come to my mind when thinking about a Macross anime. While writing this, I honestly keep having trouble remembering the plot, the names of the characters (other than Ishtar because I mean seriously, lolololololol “Ishtar”), what the songs sounded like, and so on. It’s the most extreme result on the “Reign Kawamori in” side of the continuum, and while I think that staying on that side generally gives better results compared to the “Give Kawamori free reign” side, Macross II gives ample evidence for making sure not to go too far when it comes to reigning him in to the point of making a Macross anime without his input at all.
I think the best example of this dull, forgettable feeling actually came after I finished the anime. While watching Macross II, I didn’t bat an eye at the “Minmay Defense” concept that it describes at the beginning. It was only when I then started Macross 7, which engaged me enough to think “Wait, how is Basara supposed to rock out in space?” did I realize that the Minmay Defense is almost as nonsensical. The entire series felt like it only would’ve needed a few tweaks and omissions (like said Minmay Defense) and it could’ve been marketable as a non-Macross anime.