Space Opera is the name of the game here, and Macross Frontier is no stranger to it. The movie is a reboot of the Macross Frontier anime series, telling the story of budding songstress Ranka Lee and her struggle to stardom, whist bumping shoulders with the established icon Sheryl Nome and the pair’s relationship with rookie pilot Saotome Alto.
I’m blown away. The anime series set a pretty high standard for the movie to match, and match it well the movie did, even going above and beyond that bar. There’s quite a noticeable bit of recycled material from the original series though, but even given that it doesn’t subtract from the overall experience.
Again, the movie manages to make its magic happen with the soundtrack of Macross Frontier. True to its ‘Opera’ genre, there are a myriad of songs found in this movie, some of which (like the animation) is recycled from the original anime series (due in part to being tied closely with the plot). However, the music swells and softens appropriately to the scenes in the show and the accompaniment greatly adds to the viewing pleasure.
While largely remaining similar to it’s anime predecessor, certain plot points have been altered to allow this movie to flow more freely, and therefore less disjointed from part to part. It does veer off at a certain point to conclude in an entirely different fashion from the anime series. But little worry, seeing there isn’t a cliffhanger and the ending can actually be considered a canon to the original (if a little cheesy – but that’s what Opera is about!).
This is one series that might garner mixed reviews when comparing with its anime series. Both are worth the watch, and I wouldn’t weigh one over the other. So my recommendation is to sit down with both and decide on your own, because unlike certain other series the cast of Macross Frontier is equally likable and there are several scenes that are omitted from the original that gave the series more depth (and perhaps even an emotional moment or two).
Series newcomers and veterans alike will definitely enjoy this graphically sound and aurally pleasing experience that is Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime.