Series Recommendation: Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime

You can’t save the galaxy with a song.
As is tradition, after a Macross tv series conclude, there will be a movie of that series with different concepts and events to present a different direction that may or may not satisfy fans that isn’t too sold on the tv series. And Macross Frontier is no exception. 1 year after the anime series ended, the Itsuwari no Utahime (The False Songstress) was released in 2009, featuring a retelling of the series with a very different plot.

The start of the movie is basically identical to the tv series, where Sheryl – a diva/singer whose fame span across galaxies visit the Frontier fleet for her shows. There, she meet beautiful boy – Alto Saotome – a pilot of the SMS private military organization. Alto quickly catches the interest of the beautiful diva and also another aspiring idol – Ranka Lee. Amidst all that, the Frontier fleet was threatened by the aliens known as Vajra. And Alto and his SMS pilot friends will have to fight.

+ Plot: If you’ve seen Macross Frontier, then you will find that the characters don’t change that much from the tv series. Sheryl is still quite a stubborn and tsundere girl while Ranka Lee is your usual sweet little sister type. Ozma is still the strict leader, Michael is still the dandy sniper, and so on. The plot for the movie takes a different turn after the first few events, which brought the Vajra threat harder and faster this time. Some new interaction between Sheryl and Alto is also worth the watching as it expand on the relationship of these two.

+ Animation: Basically the same as Frontier, the VF CGI are super smooth and fast-paced, which really gives the dogfight their adrenaline rushes. As always, the transformations are almost instantaneous and snappy (which might be a bit unrealistic, but who cares if it’s cool). The Itano circuses are awesome and actually feel more “intense” in the movie. Sheryl’s concerts are also much more polished, as the screen time is limited, so they gotta give the music part the best treatment possible. Universal Bunny is one of the best concert in the franchise.

+ Mecha Design: The VF-25 Messiah – the mainstay Valkyrie of the series – heavily resemble the VF-1 with a more streamlined and sleeker contour and nosecone, they even have similar arm storage in Fighter mode. The Messiah is definitely a beautiful machine, both in Battroid and Fighter. The movie includes a new Pack for the Messiah (obviously to sell toys lol) which is the Tornado Pack – one of my favorite. The Super Pack is for general enhancement, Armored Pack is for defensive armor with a lot of missiles, where as the Tornado is focused on artillery. It’s similar to the Super Pack in terms of payload but the two shoulder cannons are beyond badass.

+ Music: Of course, there are new songs in the movie. Universal Bunny by Sheryl will most likely give the boys a run for their milkshake. Ranka also has a few more commercials song which is very cute as well. The music during battle sequences is also very nice. May’n, Megumi Nakajima and Yoko Kanno is a magnificent trio.

+ Conclusion: Overall, the movie is a fantastic retelling, even better than DYRL imo. Since it is not a compilation movie but rather a retelling with a self-contained and standalone storyline, it doesn’t require viewing of the original tv series to understand. The production quality is also through the roof, and everything look AND sound perfect. New songs (which is always goods) and new VF to please both the fans that crave the music or the mecha.