Set in the year 2067, Walküre, a team of talented idols and the Delta Squadron, a team of experienced Valkyrie battle against the Var Syndrome, a mysterious phenomena that is consuming the galaxy and there is also the mysterious Aerial Knights Valkyrie fighter team of the Kingdom of Wind.
Amending a review for a show you originally thought was a mediocre mess only to be surprised by a solid second act, is very rare. In fact, I am not sure it has happened to me yet. Ah Macross... You big beautiful mix of warfare and dancy pop numbers. Shredded mecha roar by with explosions everywhere all the while a songstress (or plural) belt out love ballads. meanwhile a love triangle (mostly 2 girls and 1 guy, with a couple exceptions) forms and causes for great soapy drama. Originally I noted the fact that in the first 10-12 episodes it felt like the creators threw in everything but the kitchen sink. They Jam it with not only 1 or 2 pop stars, they up the ante and give us a whole pop group, while even the opposing antagonists have their own boy singer! Protoculture talk gets more screen time, we add in a virus, and some more political intrigue. I felt like the title did not know where to stop with the layers. And there was the ultimate issue. It never seemed to have the time in 26 episodes to fully fill out any one aspect of the show. Build up of the love triangle falls apart, and so does any possibility of a true goal. Example right from the begining: (Slightly spoilerish for only episode 1-2) Apparently, a pop group called Walkure can defeat this infection/syndrome with trans-dimensional music and have a mecha wing called Delta to help combat shit. Meanwhile a capable forklift-mecha driving boy (who knows how to keep a beat) helps out a stowaway named Freyja who hopped an apple container heading to where Walkure are based out of, to become one of the group. Bad guys show up in the way of a massive infestation in the brains of some old-school Zentradi/Meltrandi as they decide to go ballistic in some Regult Pods. Magical girl pop band are sent in to save the day. (the magic is more technology, as their outfits sparkle and shimmer into pop-idol sherbet outfits.) Now, in the course of Episode 0-1 to 2 there is so much coming at you, it is hard to take it all in. The direction seems to not know how to slowly build a moment what-so-ever and just toss you into a lake of story and hope you can swim. I know it is because I am a cranky old cuss, but it does not “feel” Macross-y. In fact it feels like Shoji Kawamori, Macross creator, wanted to get as much in during the first episodes as possible. Sure it is cheesy as hell, having all this glorious singing while the Walkre change outfits and glam out during combat. The reasoning takes a bit of just going with it, type of mentality. But here is where the title rights the ship a bit. About episode 10 I found myself starting to like the cast and the show started to gain traction. By episode 12/13 it hits the end of what could be a great half point The buildup of the Windermerians back story adds weight to their plight. Also, the overall threat builds to a more believable level. But when you get to the end of episode 26, so much shit is coming at you, and everysong is belted out, that by the end you are left not really caring what happens. it was either too many things happening, or everything was happening too quickly. Now all that said, the action is fast and furious. Maybe too fast and furious, for the only battle you will end up caring about is the occasional fight between the White Knight and Hayete. The pop-songs are fun, and could make for a heck of a soundtrack. But god, the cheese is even worse than Macross 7 with the Sound force. The Animation for the most part was solid and sharp. But it does not feel special. In fact it feels like the progress since Macross Frontier was non-existant, and not that impressive. The only “better” part would be the CG rendered Mecha. Let’s face it, Kawamori, knows how to design mecha. The character designs are super glossy and not very original in my book. Now , it might be good to have some familiarity with the franchise before jumping in. You will not understand the giant Zentradi much, or the fact that “culture” has a lot to do with the title. I might put up a watching order of shows someday, but you will probably want to see the original macross, Macross Love Do You Remember, Macross 7 and Macross Frontier and it's two movies to get the full effect of the title. .
Spoiler free and a non-negative review for all shows :) The story is a bit different form the conventional Macross shows. It's got the same ideas-- fighter jet mechas, singing and love triangles. It might confuse some at first, but it's easily understandable through the episodes. The animation sorta reminds me of Kiznaiver (of which I watched first). It's not a TRIGGER made anime, I know, but it really does reminds me of that for some reason. However, the fight scenes between Delta/Walküre and the Windermere's are sensational, well, at least recently. The soundtrack, like Macross Frontier, seems to talk a lot about sex. It's really weird listening to it and understanding that they're talking about intimate things. However weird the lyrics are, I personally like the new songs better than the ones of other Macross shows (From Lynn Minmay, to Fire Bombed, to Frontier's singing, Walküre is personally better). The characters are a bit bland. Freyja is the girl that's getting beat up in the triangle, Mirage is getting the Hayate D, and Hayate is being a sorta shit character. However much the characters may be bland, they somehow make up for it and become non-bland characters. Yeah, I have no way of saying that better.
Since Macross Delta is currently ongoing as of the time of writing, this is more of a first impression of the first few episodes rather than a review. Story: Because it mainly revolves on combating "Var syndrome", it contains more of person vs. person battles instead of people vs. monster-like interstellar lifeforms. In this Macross we see the blur between the lines of races (with the exception of one, I think) and a whole girl group whose songs have the ability to supress the mentioned syndrome. It's getting weirder and weirder, I know, but we have yet to see the end of the series. One big thing that I noticed is that it is very, very similar to AKB0048 (with the feel, the characters, the settings) which was directed and written by Shoji Kawamori (who also directed Macross Delta). Animation: As usual, the animation for Macross Delta is breathtaking as always, just like its predecessors. The variable fighters, the sky, everything. The only thing that bothers me is the transformation that each Walkure member has in every show. It feels kind of wrong because it is not of the "magical girl" genre. They have a science-y explanation to the effect of their songs, and it's definitely not "magic" in Macross language. Sound: I like it everytime that Walkure is singing while there are fights ongoing. The songs make me feel the action more and more. Some songs are not memorable, though, but the very, very good songs make up for them. This is what makes me love Walkure despite their shortcomings. Characters: There are two types of characters in Macross Delta in my opinion: similar to other characters from other anime (one big example is AKB0048) or similar to other characters from Macross predecessors. I don't really know, but it feels like there is a big lack of originality when it comes to the characters. Mikumo feels a lot like Sheryl Nome, Freyja is a mixture of Sonata and Nagisa (AKB0048) and Ranka Lee, Mirage is totally like her grandma Milia Fallyna Jenius! But I think it's kind of okay.
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