A lot of us who grew up in the 80's are familiar with the original Macross series, released here in the states as the first segment of Robotech. A lot of newer anime fans have been exposed to the series through the excellent Macross Plus OVA's as well. As its title implies, Macross Zero takes place before the original Macross series, exploring the origins of the Valkyrie fighter and the conflict between man and alien.
The series begins with flashback: a narrator describes how, as a boy, he was awakened one night by the shaking of the Earth. That morning, he saw not one but two suns in the sky- one to the east, where it belonged, and another one which was the huge mushroom cloud caused by an alien ship crashing to Earth. Fast forward... years later, our narrator is a F-16 fighter pilot, engaged in a thrilling CGI dogfight. Attacked by mysterious alien forces, he vainly attempts to engage the vastly-superior craft in his outdated fighter plane. His amazing piloting skills allow him to survive, but just barely...
I'll stop my blow-by-blow description there and leave the rest for you to discover. My take on the series? I can't remember the last time I was this pumped-up after watching a piece of anime. The episode was gorgeous, with rich colors and great character design. The CGI dogfights are the best aerial combat I've ever seen. The rush I got when Roy Fokker showed up for a particularly cool combat sequence was amazing. Part of my enjoyment stemmed from the fact that I've watched Macross since childhood and it was interesting to see the backstory to that conflict and to see Roy in his heyday as a pilot- but this is a high-quality series that could be enojoyed by anyone.
Macross Zero is a really new OVA, having been released in Japan this winter. Currently, in my file-sharing searches, it seems that only the first episode has been released and fansubbed. With the big budget, excellent quality, and recognizable Macross n
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