Series Recommendation: Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa

The end of the triangle
And the wings of the Valkyrie
After the first movie that take us in a different direction than the tv series, Macross Frontier busted out the 2nd one that leave a massive impact to Frontier’s fans with a crazy conclusion. To commemorate Macross 40th anniversary – which is this year – we’re going to take a look at one of the most acclaimed Macross movies of all time: The Wings of Goodbye.

The Wings of Goodbye takes place directly after the first movie and continues the Frontier Fleet struggle to find a new home as well as combating the Vajra. The movie also dwells much deeper into the triangle relationship, although it is clear that the person’s who going all-out is Sheryl. Of course, insidious schemes and complicated situation lead to a very crazy conflict – which may or may not involve Alto crossdressing…again.

+ Plot: The overall story has been changed completely. The only thing similar to the tv series is Mishima is still an ass, otherwise, there are a lot of condensed character growth for Sheryl and Alto. Some major side-chars got the limelight this time like Michael and Luca, but that’s understandable since screentime is limited. We also see a definite conclusion to the triangle which is what fans really, really yearn for. The ending may not satisfy everyone (at least half the fans) but it is no doubt one of the most impactful one.

+ Animation: Sayonara no Tsubasa take it to the next level with even more amazing concerts, even better dogfights and beautiful character animation. The expressions the characters made – especially Sheryl and Ranka, is quite beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. The VF fights are still amazing as always, but this much grander with much more stuff. There’s also a massive homage to Macross 7 and Plus which is nice.

+ Mecha Design: We got some new stuff in this movie – technically 3 to be exact. The new Variable Fighter – the YF-29 Durandal – continues Kawamori’s desire to make all 9s VF forward-swept wing (VF-9 Cutlass, YF-19 Excalibur,…). The Durandal is am ambitious design – where previous VFs rely on support packs to carry missiles and additional artillery, the YF-29 condenses all that into one package – completed with a pair of shoulder cannon and missile pods all over its body without extra pack – but they give it one anyway (because toys lol). Next up is the YF-27 Lucifer with Ghosts (basically just strap Ghost on the thing).

The last one is the unexpected return of the reckless Alpha One – Isamu Dyson – in his “new” VF-19 Advance – a retooled Excalibur with slimmer proportions and new pack. On non-VF side, we get to see a few Macross-classes showing up too, which is always nice to get absurdly carriers that turn into giant robots.

+ Music: Can’t say anything aside from PERFECTION. The movie includes new songs all around and all of them are pretty fantastic. However, you can see some definite Sheryl favouritism here. I guess Ranka is portrayed more as a cute idol and the movie is going for a more mature theme, and Sheryl’s diva demeanour is much more popular with the fans. “Wings of Goodbye” is by far one of the most iconic songs in the whole of Macross – up there with “Do you remember Love?”

+ Conclusion: Overall, the 2nd Frontier movie is a perfect continuation and conclusion to the new storyline. The story focus much stronger on the “winner” of the triangle, and make for a nice and concise drama-filled story. Full of intense moments and a massive climactic final battle – Sayonara no Tsubasa turn the two movies into not just simple compilation/retelling of the tv series – but another standalone media capable of holding its own. Although some fans may not be 100% satisfied with how the movie ended, you can check out the manga Sheryl – Kiss in the Galaxy, which contains a sequel episode to the movie and go much further into Sheryl’s backstory, which will definitely add another flavor to the viewing experience.