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The Top 10 Series – Mecha (Part II)

September 7, 2009

You’ll be pleased to hear that this entry will be considerably shorter than the previous one, because I’ve reviewed both number 8 and number 7 before!  I don’t particularly want to repeat myself so I’ll just be highlighting a few genre specific points in this post.  So without much further space filling – onto number 8 & 7! 😀

8. Macross Frontier:

(For my review of this see Short Reviews: Part 8)

What mecha orientated list would be complete without an entry from the Macross franchise!?  And since Frontier is the only Macross series I’ve actually seen to date of any length (I’ve see Do You Remember Love and Macross Plus)  its the obvious choice for me! 😛

I loved Frontier when I was watching it, and I still have a high opinion of the series as a piece of entertainment.  Macross Frontier isn’t the most original series – as an anniversary piece its more of an homage to the older Macross series and other mecha series.  However as a result the series basically has everything I love about the mecha genre!  Great characters, exciting plot line, a ton of action, excellent soundtrack and wonderful animation – Frontier has it all tied up in a pretty and massively entertaining package!

Filled with cliches, stereotypical characters and plot twists you can see coming a mile off, Frontier is by no means perfect – however as I’ve said in my review, its a series that has entertainment as is sole goal – and I was entertained and remain entertained still!  Of course my opinion may change once I start into the classic Macross series that I plan to watch in the near future, but for now Frontier is my poster child for Macross.

The animation in this series was stunning and the mecha designs were no exception.  I loved the detail and design of the Valkyrie’s, the Macross Quarter and Macross Frontier itself…….the Valkyrie dogfights were jaw-dropping and varied.  The transformable nature of the mecha in this series made for some really stunning transition scenes and massive beam-spamming once the Macross vessels got in on the action!  Frontier really was a visual feast for action scenes.

Of course the other important aspect of a Macross series is its music – and Frontier does not disappoint.  I still regularly listen to the soundtracks and songs like Northern Cross, Diamond Crevasse and Aimo (as well as the awesome Nyan Nyan Service Medley) are fairly high up on my most played list.  Of couse the Kanno Yokou score was also very impressive and worked flawlessly with the animation.

So yeah for pure entertainment value you can’t really go wrong with a bit of Macross Frontier!

7. Bokurano:

(For my review of this see Short Reviews: Part 5)

And now for something completely different!  Bokurano is just about as far from Macross Frontier as you can go within the same genre.  A dark, emotional and often depressing series, Bokurano is more of a deconstruction of the standard mecha series than anything else.

It has the recognisable elements – giant mecha, teenaged pilots, plot where the fate of the world is at risk and a mascot character (although Dungbeetle isnt exactly ‘cute’), but – adds in some decidedly non-standard twists to its plot.  For one we see the actual fall-out of having giant robots battle in urban areas – people die, the damage does not disapear by the next episode, lives are ruined.  The young teen pilots are also not your usual mecha pilots – they are frightenly normal and oh so very scared by what they’re going through; the excitement of being Zearth’s pilots only lasted a single episode.  I can’t really discuss much more about the plot of Bokurano as that takes away from the shock value which was one of the reasons I highly rate this show – whereas with Macross Frontier my genre savy-ness ruined the plot twists, in Bokurano this was made moot as this show goes out of its way to be different so the twists have a lot of impact.

In terms of mecha – its extremely ungainly and odd looking with its ridiculously tall spindly legs – once again adding a unique spin to the typical trappings of the mecha genre.  The conspicuous CGI just adds to the weirdness of the mecha designs and rather vicious battles.

Bokurano is on this list because it made a lasting impression on me – its mecha, but original and really quite dark – very welcome in a genre that is quite saturated in samey shows.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2009 6:36 pm

    im glad these were shorter because the last one suffered from tl;dr :p

    • September 17, 2009 1:25 pm

      Its only shorter because I’ve reviewed these two shows before. Once I start writing about something I enjoy its hard for me to rein myself in ¬_¬
      I can only think I’ll get worse as move up towards the #1 spot!

  2. DTU permalink
    September 20, 2009 7:49 am

    Frontier was great for me until the last episode. Music has never been used as a weapon or had magical properties in any previous series until this one… It was weird.

    • September 21, 2009 1:04 pm

      Yeah, that seems to be trend recently – adding that extra element of the mystical to mecha…… if giant robots weren’t super enough on their own!

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