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Macross 7 back to reviews
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Good music, good message, weak narrative
I've often heard Macross 7 compared to G Gundam, but actually I would say that this series is closer to part 1 of Gundam ZZ (another red-headed stepchild of its home franchise). After the serious, action-heavy storyline in Macross Plus released 2 mos. earlier, like Gundam ZZ we get a sequel series that's lighter in tone and is largely a self-parody but lacks a major genre shift.

Unfortunately, Macross 7 also shares Gundam ZZ's narrative weakness compared to its predecessor. The battles in the series are highly predictable and rely heavily on Stock Footage; The UN Spacy fighters take off, are ineffectual vs. the vampire Mooks' fighters, Mooks capture UN Red Shirts and suck the life force from their brains, Diamond Force is scrambled and are just as ineffectual. Then Basara comes out just 'cuz, shoots speaker pods at the vampires, plays some kickass J-rock, and the bewildered vampires retreat. Rinse and repeat for a whole series (plus or minus a few tweaks, many of which also repeat). This series would've worked better in 26 eps; we get treated to a bunch of filler and Monster Of The Week stuff that really wasn't necessary.

Basara himself is a Flat Character from episode 1 to the end of Macross D7; then again, since music is the ultimate force in the universe/weapon against the vampires, whoever objects to his approach is inherently wrong, so he doesn't need to change. Kawamori and Amino really went crazy with the music-as-weapon thing post-Minmei, which shows in all of the later series as well.

There are good points, though. We get some nice continuity in the form of Max & Milia Jenius and their fractious marriage and their daughter Mylène. Exsedol Folmo is also back, but he's been Demoted To Extra and is mainly there for exposition. We also get some backstory about the Zentradi-Supervision Army conflict. Fire Bomber's 80s hair-metal style will grow on you, too, even if it seems repetitive at first.

Macross 7 shares its predecessor's idealistic message: that through cultural exchange, you can come to appreciate peoples' differences no matter how pronounced—even though here that exchange is decidedly weaponized. If you're looking for a non-sensical musical romp, this is the series for you; if you want epic battles, pick another.
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