「恋離飛翼~サヨナラノツバサ~」 (Sayonara no Tsubasa)
“The Wings of Goodbye”

Almost one year ago, I said in my coverage of Itsuwari no Utahime that I considered a trip to Japan to coincide with the theatrical release of Sayonara no Tsubasa. I can definitively say now that it would’ve been well worth it, as the second movie shuffles the story around more and features brand-new jaw-dropping animation. Movie-quality visuals backed by an epic soundtrack by Kanno Youko and new songs by May’n and Nakajima Megumi, plus a conclusion where Alto finally picks one of the songstresses? What more could a longtime Macross fan possibly ask for? The short answer is not a whole lot, as I already have this pinned as my favorite movie for 2011 barring any last-minute upsets like last year with Gundam 00: A wakening of the Trailblazer. This year, I really can’t imagine anything usurping Sayonara no Tsubasa, as it compelled me to tell everyone I could — both Macross and non-Macross fans alike — to watch it if they consider themselves an anime fan at all. If you’ve been away from anime for some time or have lost faith in the medium, the two Macross Frontier movies are a surefire way to respark some interest. Heck, I’d even recommend these two theatrical films to my friends who barely watch anime just because they’re that damn good. To not watch an award-winning anime production like this is just doing yourself a true disservice.

I won’t bother getting into an overly descriptive narrative on how beautiful this movie is and how fluid it looks when it plays out — I posted 180 screen captures to offset the need to. I do however want to talk a bit about some aspects of the revised story that distinguishes it from the TV series that aired back in 2008. In Itsuwari no Utahime, the story remained largely intact along with some reused footage. In Sayonara no Tsubasa, there’s a departure from the original story with the depiction of Macross Frontier’s own ambition to seize control of the super dimensional hive-minded Vajra after Macross Galaxy failed to do so. President Howard Glass is tricked into ignoring Macross Galaxy’s distress call in the first movie and continues to be manipulated by Leon Mishima. Together, they have the full support of the New United Nations Spacy military, a.k.a. N.U.N.S., removing one of the subplots from the anime. Also, Leon doesn’t conspire with Grace O’Connor and instead, is onto her plan to infiltrate Frontier with cyborg spies and take it over as a replacement for Galaxy. Luca, heir to Legodt & Angeloni Industry (L.A.I.), is blackmailed into continuing the analysis of the Fold Quartz protocol that the Vajra use to communicate, but rather than simply using the technology as a countermeasure to fend off the Vajra, Leon uses it to place them under their control. The fold waves generated by Sheryl and Ranka’s singing aren’t misused to do so, and mainly serve as a genuine means to peaceful understanding as per the main theme of the franchise. As a result, the progression differs a fair bit — things happen for different reasons and new things happen altogether — providing a relatively “new” take on the original story.

Much like the first movie, one of the inherit benefits of these changes is the added focus on the main trio — Alto, Sheryl, and Ranka. The extra screen time for the love triangle works really well from a movie standpoint, since the character interactions and emotions are just as crucial to the story as the Vajra. This includes a lot more emphasis on the V-Type infection in Sheryl’s throat that’s nearing its terminal stages — something that Ranka possesses in her stomach but is immune to because she acquired the disease while still in her mother Ranshe Mei’s womb. There was a fair bit of emotional turmoil from the idea that Sheryl would soon die if she keeps singing, which was compounded by her arrest and subsequent death penalty sentence. This led to the portion of the movie that took place in Alcatraz, which not only features all-new scenes with a tribute to Macross 7’s Fire Bomber (performing “Seikan Hikou”), but also introduces feelings of betrayal to the trio when Ranka confronts Sheryl for Alto’s sake. This additional emotion provided another element of depth to the characters and made Jeffrey Wilder’s speech to the S.M.S. about rescuing Sheryl at the risk of making enemies with N.U.N.S really powerful. The latter is pretty significant, because if there’s one support character who deserves a lot of praise for setting the tone in this movie, it’s the Macross Quarter’s captain. He sure had a way with words, masking their actions against this injustice under the guise of yet-to-be-received payment from their client, plus he really showed the young-ins his surfer wild side when Macross Quarter entered the atmosphere of the Vajra homeworld in style.

While I felt a little cheated by the fake-out deaths of a some key characters, the drama that resulted was some of best the movie had to offer. It also helped in furthering Alto’s resolve in a way that I haven’t been seen before. Combined with another magnificent speech by Jeffrey about fighting to save Island 1’s residents from the war that they were being pulled into, it really set the stage for the climactic battle against the last boss. From that point on, it was nothing short of sheer awesomeness with Alto engaging in high-speed battles in his new YF-29 while Sheryl and Ranka’s songs resounded in the skies. As always, this is Macross at its finest hour and Frontier didn’t disappoint the least bit. If anything, it established itself as the epitome of what the franchise is about. It even had the arrival of other Macrosses in response to the S.M.S. call for aid, which featured a special cameo of Macross Plus’ Isamu Dyson in his YF-19. They didn’t show his actual character, who should be a good 19 years older according to the Macross timeline, but Yamazaki Takumi was brought in to voice one of his trademark lines. I can’t even describe the excitement and nostalgia I felt when I saw that, which also goes for the aforementioned tribute to Fire Bomber where Mikhail is dressed up as Nekki Basara, Klan as Mylene Jenius, Kanaria as Veffidas Feaze, and Mina as Ray Lovelock.

Amidst all that, they even managed to slip in some of backstory between Sheryl and Alto that was featured in the prequel manga. It was completely new to me, having only realized it was manga material after looking it up, and provided something a little extra to fortify their relationship at the very end. As for the ending itself, we got what we were promised with Alto making a decision, but I can’t say it’s any more satisfying than the anime’s version when it’s strikingly similar to Gundam 00’s ending. It wasn’t quite the ideal ending I was hoping for, save for the slight improvement in the credits and how one key character survived this time around. Regardless, I still highly recommend both movies to just about anyone. I can hardly fault them for not having my ideal conclusion when everything else is done impeccably well.

* I’ll be listening to the Sayonara no Tsubasa “end of triangle” album for some time now. The new songs sound better now that I know the context they were featured in. The Sheryl and Ranka concerts were real treats.

151 Comments

    1. Oh my.

      What I essentially watched was a 2 hour Pop Diva Concert with an amazing laser light show and frantic storyline.

      TBH I thought the storyline was a bit messy but still I thoroughly enjoyed it.

      Hrmmmm
  1. YES, our princess finally made a decision!!! Show Spoiler ▼

    I really like the fact that they throw in the back story so that his decision doesn’t seem too abrupt or anything 🙂 and although I really wished for Ranka to cure Sheryl like she did in the anime version, this added tension with Sheryl’s terminal condition sure made things a lot more intense…
    As for the ending… I can’t say I am too big fan of the way it is done, although I can see why they are making it so hard to figure out (thanks to the clear fans to point them out)… Seems like the movie doesn’t want to make any side unhappy :3 Show Spoiler ▼

    Overall, this movie is sure satisfying, and thanks for all the screencap, Divine!

    jrj
    1. Yeah the ending was pretty much a happy one. Or at least an optimistic one.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Kawamori himself even confirms this. He even expresses his shock when the fans interpreted it as a tragic ending.

      fragb85
  2. Corrections Divine: NUNS is New UN Spacy, not Military.

    The whole movie was great to watch all the way. My favorite parts were the ridiculous over-the-top jailbreak concert, Macross Quarter SKY-SURFING, and of course the air duel between Alto’s Durandal and Brera’s Lucifer and 3 Ghost V9s.

    Oh and Alto choosing Sheryl was finally sealed. Hooray for that!

    fragb85
  3. Yeah old man Wilder was quite a bit more fleshed out with his secret admirer still there. Klan and Michael were barely present though you could see Michael’s event again differently. The best part was seeing multiple macross cannon battleships including a version of the original SDF-1. Definite Gundam 00 vibes from the ending though having the speed of speech being faster than the speed of light was … Given this is probably going to be a movie within the Macross world (like “Do you remember love”), its forgivable.

    Oh yeah Leon still sucks and is still brainless

    Zaku Fan
      1. I would have to agree he is not as brainless as the anime version, who used way heavy handed methods but being so slack in security during the climax of your triumph is not something someone worthier would do.

        Zaku Fan
  4. I look forward to reading this eventually!

    I’m just posting now to ask: anyone else order the Hybrid pack? I’m still waiting for mine, but I’d love to get some impressions. The first one had some really cool extras, but other than Last Frontier, I’m not really sure what all comes with this one.

    Love me dat Macross.

    LOVE IT.

    Not a big fan of the YF-29, however.

    Hojo Joe
    1. Yeah, that was amusing. It has details of her crush on Alto. As if a computer system would really have random information like that on prisoners 0_o
      It was kind of funny though. Someone went copy+paste!

      Guardikai
      1. The people who made the anime assumed that most japanese anime lovers can’t read english, WE CAN READ ENGLISH. Funny how wikipedia is supposed to be credited for that sort of info.

        L002
    2. That’s a pretty good catch. I was surprised that it was relatively well-written English, but I didn’t suspect that it was copy and pasted from English Wikipedia. Whoever wrote her entry is forever immortalized now.

      1. Though it is interesting how random that was. That was probably something you don’t see often. Does anyone know how many times this happens, copy and paste from wikipedia, because this just made history in anime.

        L002
  5. As much as i loved the series i just couldn’t make myself like this movie. It had too many wtf moments where my only thought was how in hell let the director pass that, like female costplay Alto, or the flower headed Sheril’s at the concert… Also the fake deaths which were so oblivious. I liked how hi chose Sheryl tought.

    Eldaron
  6. Whoa, I had no idea there was going to be a second Macross movie. I guess I should really get around to watching the first one–I need to remind myself how much I liked the TV series.

    teisey
  7. Wow, you just about said everything in my mind. My first thought after watching Sayonara no Tsubasa was “I’m so glad I watch animes”. The anime is perfect in every single way and it’s hands down my favorite movie for the year. It pains me to think we have to wait god knows how long for another epic Macross franchise.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Seishun Otoko
  8. I know this is going to be blasphemous, but these Macross Frontier movies have now replaced DYRL as my favorite Macross ever. 😀

    25 freakin’ years between the awesome of Macross and Frontier. Will it be another 25 years before we see more Macross awesomeness that isn’t a super short OVA? A part of me weeps knowing I could be an old fart the next time Macross hits one out of the park. I could theoretically have grandchildren by then. 😀

    Or, they break their curse and their next series isn’t a huge pile of poop like Macross 7 was, and I only have to wait 12 years for the next awesome to appear. :/

    All glory to the pink goddess!

    Drew
    1. I found it hard to get into Macross 7 back in the mid-to-late 90s, but after I sat down and watched it all almost ten years later, I absolutely loved it. I went through a phase where I kept listening to all the Fire Bomber albums, hence why the tribute in this movie was so nostalgic.

      1. Admittedly, I have not tried to re-watch it since the 90s, so it’s possible I’ll have a new perspective today, but I can not overstate how traumatically bad I thought it was back then. Throw in the puberty hormones and I was a raging wreck over it. 😀 Maybe I’ll have to give it another shot, though I’ll wait until the euphoria from the Frontier movies has faded, as I suspect it could greatly bias my enjoyment of Macross 7 if I didn’t. :/

        Drew
  9. I didn’t think they could top Universal Bunny from Itsuwari no Utahime, but damn, Kindan no Elixir was bloody amazing. So unbelievably sexy with stunning visuals and outfits. Really glad both MacrossF movies start with Sheryl raping herself 😉

    This was such a good movie. I was really sad I wasn’t in Japan at the time of release (I saw Itsuwari no Utahime in JP back in 09), and now I know it would’ve been quite an experience. The ending is a lot better after seeing the credits sequence. All hail Sheryl \o/ I feel like Ranka and Alto were way better in the movies, as well.

    r
  10. Four damn years of rooting against all odds rewarded. A chapter in my life closes in the most glorious of ways. One last time a childish fanboy …

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Das
  11. I quite liked it. I know so many people were unsatisfied with the ending but at to me it really depends on the viewer if it is a happy ending or a sad ending or not. To me its a happy ending. Sheryl’s mouth moves in the end as her earring gleams.

    It wasn’t as good as Itsuwari no Utahime but it was still amazing movie 🙂

    Also I’m so happy because…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Corn
  12. Awesome movie! Was finally able to watch it after I installed VLC nightly build.. I understand the advantages of 10bit encoding but currently there’s almost NO support, so stick to 8bit encoding for Christ sake..

    1. Speaking of 10-bit support, it hasn’t been added to MPC-HC yet, so I’m forced to offload decoding to ffdshow. :\

      My processor can easily handle it (Core i7 2600K @ 4.7GHz), but I like using DXVA since my graphics card is just idling.

      I haven’t tried madVR and LAV Filters yet.

      1. Well I also have a Q9550 running @3,4GHz, but the fact is, that the player support is currently really bad for 10bit encoding. I don’t understand the fansubbers there. It’s even worse if you use a mediaplayer like the Boxee – 10bit support here isn’t existant. I’ll probably just stick to my plan to sell it along my PS3 and build myself an HTPC..^^

        Btw, I’m getting Macross 7, never watched it – hope it’s really as good as you say Divine, otherwise you are the one to blame 😀

  13. I fell in love with this movie even before I watched it. XD
    And now that I had watched it I love it even more. Gotta love Sheryl’s concert and all her character in general in here. Its simply awesome. Also Grace was great.
    I also love the songs even more now that I’ve heard them in the context they were played. And it’s just me or Sheryl always makes sure to make some kind of hawt scene in their concerts? Note that I’m not complaining…I’m just saying…

  14. Probably one of the rare cases where the movie adaptations usurp the original television broadcast without becoming stale once. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it managed to give much more development to the minor characters unlike the first movie, which gave much focus to the main triangle at the expense of others. Also, the soundtrack (it’s Kanno Yoko, so ofc) and animation is absolutely stunning. And while the movies are practically brand new stories which can be judged by their own merits, they improved much of the originally series such as Alto’s decision between the two girls. Together, the two movies turn out to be a very strong combo.

    I haven’t seen many OVAs and movies so far this year, but this definitely outclasses Break Blade and maybe even slightly overtakes Colorful. I’m not sure where this stands when compared to Gundam Unicorn, but we’ll see where that goes.

    Click
  15. There is only one word for this movie: beautiful. The only problem I have is with the chosen girl, I just can´t stand her; four long years since the original series and Alto chose her!!! Well, you can´t have all you wish for but at least the rest of the movie is a masterpiece in the Macross saga and our friend with glasses manage to made through.

    haseo0408
  16. Best movie of the year :D! beats gundam 00 awakening of the trail blazer in every single way IMO ( the plot, the romance, the action, the aliens, and BEAAAAAM SPAAAAM;)).

    Now whats going to happen to alto D: because if they warped him into space he’s gonna be dead..there must be another planet or something :O!

    Another thing, For those who read Xenocide by Orson Scott Card, don’t you think the Vajas resemble the Buggers in some ways?

    MAD SCIENTIST
  17. Wow. Just Wow. Having enjoyed the first macross and frontier (I couldn’t get into 7, as someone else mentioned earlier, I guess I should try again), that was so very, very satisfying. With all the clever tributes and references throughout both movies that don’t interfere but are nice to recognize, that was just amazing.

    It’s awesome if people haven’t watched other pieces of the Macross series or the Frontier series itself, but I just feel I got so much extra mileage out of that because I did. That was absolutely amazing though.

    I hadn’t actually seen Movie 1 yet, and just watched them both back to back. Just wow.

    Delwack
  18. x.x another main character disappeared. according to the time-line… first there was Kudou Shin from Zero… than Ichijou Hikaru from classic macross… now Alto in Frontier >.< (did Nekki Basara disappear too? cant remember) feels like they are building something big~ (hopefully)

    Nuntius
    1. According to what we know for the Fire Bomber reunion, Basara left to search for his space whales and never came back to Macross 7.

      The only one who dodged the bullet was Isamu.

      Moriae
  19. Wow so does it really end like that? I feel so cut off, but I can appreciate how it was a good ending. Does anyone know if they’re ever going to bother explaining where Alto went or is this like a final conclusion

    Sheapy
  20. Thinking of the ending they left some room there for an OVA at least. I mean we know from the ending credits, that Alto has apparently come back. The HOW is the big question here. Ah well, would just like to stick a bit more to the Macross Frontier Universe.

    But hey, if you know it’s definetely the end and you still want more it only means, how good the show was you have been watching. So far Macross, until we meet again.. 😉

      1. It’s like fragb85 says. I have to admit though, that it’s only a “hint”. But at least we all know, that Alto didn’t die. And common, the Vajra would also try to get him back, I’m sure of that.

    1. The only implication that Alto came back was when the unconscious Sheryl started singing in the credits. Note that her earring was glowing and that Alto has the other earring.

      However, Kawamori himself did confirm that Alto did come back and Sheryl woke up. There’s even an illustration showing the happy end.

      And AFAIK this is supposed to be the last piece of Macross Frontier media so just fill in the gaps with your imagination.

      fragb85
  21. Man. They sure TWISTED the MF story just to make it so that Alto chooses Sheryl. They just did that because Sheryl won the popularity poll from satellite. Boo~ The images are stunning though.

    Weasley
  22. Can’t remember much about DYRL but Alto’s move to understand the Vajra (with aid of some techonlogy) really resembles Setsuna in 00.

    So the ending is kind of open.
    Hope Alto won’t return with green skin or something 😛
    Wonder what the Queen said to him?
    Makes me think of one of Catherine’s ending… 😛

    With all threats gone, there won’t be any third movie I suppose?

    iron2000
      1. I’ve kind of been inspired as a result…

        Say, if I wanted to watch Gundam, is Gundam SEED a good place to start? I’ve briefly seen Zeta, and didn’t care for it much.

        Pandorakun
      2. Gundam SEED is definitely a good place to start since it really sets out what the gundam franchise is all about.

        Gundam 00 might be a bit more to you’re taste if you prefer slightly darker themes.

        I don’t know if you’ve been inspired to watch mecha in general because I’m sure many out there would recommend Code Geass / Gurren Lagann and a plethora of other quality mecha anime…

        But in terms of political intrigue with a classic protagonist fighting for his beloved songstress – all eyes are on Gundam SEED sir! (SEED Destiny wasn’t nearly as good IMO but according to sales I’m completely wrong so it’s up to you if you want to watch SEED Destiny as well)

        Hrmmmm
      3. @Pandorakun:

        Yeah, I would say Gundam SEED is a good place to start, since it borrows a lot of ideas from the original Gundam, but presents them in a more modernized production. The series was credited for resparking interest in the franchise and attracting a larger female audience.

        While I’d like to recommend some of the older series from the Universal Century (UC) timeline, they’re far too dated nowadays to be a good introduction to Gundam. Once you’ve seen something like SEED, I would then recommend that you go back to watch some of the others. i.e. Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory since it’s one of my favorites. It’s one of the few series that doesn’t feature an extremely talented “Newtype” pilot too.

  23. to me this is sort of a sad ending.
    I would feel Alto would never be able to come back.
    So Sheryl and Ranka would never see him again.
    Kind of reminds me the ending of utawarerumono in which eruru says that he will come back when that is not supposed to happen.

    hahaha
  24. Moviewise this movie is very good and I can accept some people saying that it is better than DYRL. but musicwise I don’t think there will ever be a better song that DYRL including future macross series or movies.

    hahaha
      1. well, how can I put it. the other versions have a slower speed, more peaceful, less agressive.
        For listening they are fine, each with a different style.
        But for a battle (intergalactic, weapons, a lot of action and background noise, etc) the song needs to be kind of faster, louder and more powerful.
        and the singer of DYRL was very young and because of her age, her voice is higher and that kind of voice seem more appropriate for a battle song.

        hahaha
  25. https://randomc.net/image/Macross/Macross%20Frontier%20-%20Itsuwari%20no%20Utahime%20-%20Large%20Preview%20002.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/Macross/Macross%20Frontier%20-%20Sayonara%20no%20Tsubasa%20-%20Large%20138.jpg
    The preview from the last movie totally did not prepare me for this movie at all. That is, the movie’s story flipped over to a whole new level for me in a good way (the ending not so much). I also didn’t mind the drama being over the top like the action. It was all good except for Brera Sterne’s “unexpected” and what happened to Alto near the end. Alto finally makes a choice between Ranka and Sheryl. I’m not really happy with the bittersweet ending; I felt that Alto’s choice is still irresponsible in that the two heroine’s are left unhappy still. Movie wins for action, but TV wins for the drama IMO. Music awesome for both.

    Rika
  26. When I finished this movie, I was at a loss really. What was up with all the campy stuff? Did I just see the Quarter SURFING in on a giant piece of metal being steered by the captain with an old ship’s wheel? Was I supposed to take that scene seriously after that? Then I remembered..this is a movie.

    In whatever Macross series that follows Frontier, this will be referred to as a movie in the same way DYRL was in Macross 7. It’s not canon..it’s a movie. Shew! Now I can open up a big ole bag of popcorn and enjoy it as such. Animation-wise, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

    On a sadder note, Clan is still a lonely Meltrandi…

    Audric
  27. There is a little hole, Although it is implied that Alto survived, how is he ever going to get back to Sheryl or Ranka, he has lost his ship, he also has no coordinates to fly back to the Vajra home planet,3 and finally FOOOOD to survive. LOL

    So how does he get back to them then?

    Julian
  28. Best part, Isamu from Macross Plus. His YF-19 is also sporting SMS markings.

    https://randomc.net/image/Macross/Macross%20Frontier%20-%20Sayonara%20no%20Tsubasa%20-%20Large%20135.jpg

    Which begs the question, in one the early scenes showing human colonization of whatever planets it shows the track of Macross Frontier being quite close to that of Macross 7. If Isamu could get there all the way from Eden, why couldn’t Gamlin and co. from Macross 7?

    Kyuusei
  29. OK OK I JSUT FIGURED OUT SOMETHING

    SIDE STORY SPINOFF

    alto comes back with the vajara because he has communicated with the vajara successfully, and they are peacefull with the humans, thus the humans and vajara co-exist.

    ( funny if alto comes back and finds sheryl with another man because she moves on )

    Julian
  30. Hmm, for final battle song, I like Lion(or at least part of it in the medley) much better than the new song here, but animation wise, nothing to critic. As for relationship wise, I like the open-end of the TV series more since everyone can just think the pairing they like as the canon one, but it’s nothing big(I don’t care about the pairing myself BTW XD). Thanks for covering this Divine. I would have missed this one if I didn’t read your review lol

    aiueo123
    1. No prob.

      I recommend giving the last song, “Sayonara no Tsubasa ~ the end of triangle”, another listen from the album. I found that it grows on me more hearing it uninterrupted by dialogue, much like how Lion did from hearing it as the second OP.

  31. I enjoyed the movies, but was disappointed too. I mean, WTF?? You set up the bit about the SMS Owner wanting to find Fold Quartz so he can finally go to where Minmei is, somewhere otherwise inaccessible, then forget about this? That’d be like GRRM setting up a huge dramatic thing about Benjen Stark still being alive, then forgetting about it entirely. Oh wait, he totally did that.

  32. Epic! Excellent characters with personality and drive. Awe-inspiring action sequences and visuals.

    While I’m a fan of moeblobs and slice-of-life, Macross F is the type of show you remember for years.

    anon
  33. 100% worth the wait. This was just…WOW! I was a little worried that it would be the same ending as the TV series,and cause even more otaku Alto+Ranka/Alto+Sheryl madness. I like how these movies were a COMPLETE retelling. This movie is just all around fabulous. They even had nods to the original TV series with Ranka’s confession scene. That was straight out of the TV series, even what they SAY, they just switched Sheryl for Ranka. I really liked that. Good fanservice planting. Plus the “houkago overflow” fight scene was drool worthy. I did like how it ended with Ranka, but if you watch the credits Sheryl does in fact wake up. Kawamori even confirmed it in interviews and said he thought that he made it pretty obvious LOL. I read that a lot of people complained at the ending, but I loved it. It is SOOOO KAWAMORI. All of his epic love stories have that ending. Esacflowne? Aquarion? Heck, even SDF Macross Minmei disappears in the end! lol

    The animation was great. I was glad Ranka got more screen time singing, the “Niji-Iro Kuma Kuma” concert was adorable and well done on all parts. The final battle with the theme song was perfectly executed. x3 eeeeeeeeeeh! I

    Fuu
  34. Might be writing a longer review for it, but I have to say, as a Macross fan, I thoroughly enjoyed all the little tid-bits and easter eggs that they threw in from the various other Macross series. The Fire Bomber outfits, the Bird Man ending and of course Isamu’s cameo.

    The characterization and plot progression is much smoother this time round, as many people have already attested to, but of course, this would be a given, considering that they had the luxury of editing down the TV series. The use of fans’s preconceived notions of the series and the changing familiar plot points was pretty neat as well. That being said, just like the TV series, I just couldn’t get into any of the characters. Alto, Sheryl, Ranka… They all felt so ‘distant’ and I just didn’t feel like cheering for any of them. The closest I ever came to rooting for a character would be during the manly Ozma scenes.

    I do think that it is ingenious how they were able to keep the movie relatively different from the TV series, but kept the key scenes and occurrences similar enough to allow people to recall the TV series. For instance, the Galia 4 incident became the Alcatraz scene, with Ranka wearing the exact same outfit and singing ‘Seikan Hikou’ – which I have to admit is one of my favorite Ranka songs.

    Concert scenes were great and the visuals were stunning. However, I have no idea why Sheryl and Ranka’s songs don’t get me as fired up during the battle scenes as opposed to Fire Bomber’s music… I know its weird for me to say this, considering that this is Macross, but I think that they overused the songs in this movie. After awhile, they began to sound all the same, possibly due to the same two voices and similar sounding pop music. In my opinion, I don’t think that their songs stand out from each other enough. Would have loved to have heard more of the exciting battle BGM.

    Did anyone notice the classic Tezuka stuff playing in the background of the hospital scene in the beginning? I caught Black Jack and The Mighty Atom (Astro Boy). 😉

    Lastly, with regards to the Commie’s subs, really sad to see that the Macross staple, Reaction Weapons/Missiles/War Heads were translated as something else. No honorifics either, but I don’t think anyone else cares but me.

    Speaking of the VF-19, I really wonder how it transforms into Battroid mode with those FAST packs attached on the wings…

    …and a freaking surfing Macross Quarter and Captain? Now I’ve seen everything.

    1. I skimmed their sub afterward and also noticed the mistranslation of Reactionary Weapons, i.e. “Hannou-dan” 「反応弾」, so you’re definitely not alone in that regard. It’s a shame, because it’s always a big deal in Macross to unleash nukes as they need special authorization to be deployed. They’re basically a last resort when all else fails, which emphasized the severity of Frontier’s battle with the Vajra.

    1. my last reply was supposed to be hidden in spoilers tags, if someone can edit that I’d appreciate.

      also (lets hope it works this time)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Yamaki
  35. Story wise, the second Macross Frontier movie Sayonara no Tsubasa surely doesn’t disappoint and I am really happy the love triangle is over with Alto finally choosing a songstress which amazingly the girl I’m rooting for.

    The movie packs plenty of music and action, the music surely is great but the action sometimes are not into my liking because of how it feels very disjointed and forceful.

    The characters are great and all, thankfully a lot of focus was given to the three main characters – Sheryl, Alto, and Ranka – and the resolution of their conflict was nicely done. I think the movies (both Itsuwari no Utawime and Sayonara no Tsubasa) have really hinted a one girl only route, because I felt that in any case Alto chooses a girl in which case he did in this movie, choosing the other girl would made all the buildup a big joke because I found the connection between that girl and Alto not really strong as compared to the connection and hints given by the movies to the girl Alto chosen.

    1. I’m not sure if I agree with that. I think this movie focuses on that girl in particular in a romantic light, but the first one it was less clear. One girl was the friend he shared a bond of trust and could grow romantically, the other was the newcomer who he was drawn and attracted to but still didn’t trust.

      This movie established if he would learn to love the friend as something else or trust the mysterious girl he’s smitten of.

      Moriae
  36. Well, it was a spectacle to watch the first one and this second Macross Frontier film!

    Show Spoiler ▼

    But anyway, I wonder what Shoji Kawamori will be in store for us next year… Maybe a new Macross series would be nice!

  37. Divine, first of all I thank you for putting that “Regardless, I still highly recommend both movies to just about anyone” comment at the bottom. Though it irritates me, I admit that I am completely ignorant by making a conclusion that the Macross series are just second rate Gundam wannabes(though personally I only liked the G-Wing and G-Seed series). I stand corrected. After watching this movie, I got the urge to watch the whole Frontier series, and might as well as the others.

    And as for the movie, all I could say that I was overwhelmed. Partly because of my ignorance, but I never knew that it could turn out this good. More like I was expecting a lot lot less from it.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    After reading comments above this post, I’m now confused with the Macross Series. All I know is that there is a series called Macross Frontier which has two movies. Are both movies a retelling of the Frontier series(part 1 and part 2) or is it an OVA?

    The Story You Don't Know
    1. The two movies are a retelling of the Frontier TV series. The story remains mostly the same, with some noticeable differences like I mentioned in my post. For the second movie in particular, they reanimated the entire thing with brand new scenes and introduced a new Valkyrie for Alto — the YF-29 Durandal.

      If you’re talking about the Macross series (i.e. franchise) in general, unlike Gundam, they all take place in the same timeline. The story in each iteration usually follows a different Macross fleet that’s departed from Earth in search of a habitable planet that they can colonize. (Some exceptions are the prequel, Macross Zero, and the OVA series, Macross Plus.)

      The full list of series, sorted by chronological order, can be found on the Macross wiki page.

  38. It all make sense now why the opening scene of the first movie (False Diva)was alto floating nowhere in space… must have been a premonition of what the ending of the movie. At least its a sign that he’s alive ^_^, probably will need to hitch hike with the first vajra to come along ^_^

    Andrewleon
  39. That moment when you just finish a movie so awesome and you don’t know what to do with yourself..
    Seriously, I feel like just staring into space for the next 48 hours.
    From a critical point of view, I find Itsuwari no Utahime(rewatched it before this) more enjoyable.
    But despite that, Sayonara no Tsubasa manages to win me over simply because he picks Show Spoiler ▼

    But there’s still one thing that’s bothering the crap out of me,
    where the fuch is this scene from the the 1st movie’s previews!?
    https://randomc.net/image/Macross/Macross%20Frontier%20-%20Itsuwari%20no%20Utahime%20-%20Large%20Preview%20004.jpg

    JLee
  40. Amazing visuals, especially the scenes with musical segments, which is their forte.

    I loved the movie, but imo, it didn’t reach it full potential. I mean, there are so many deus ex machinas and so many random twists going on.

    I have a soft spot for underdogs, and I usually end up rooting on them. in this case it was Sheryl. She was a huge underdog,to the point that it was disappointing, in the TV series. But in the movie, she had a slight advantage over Ranka, and that was enough for me to continue and watch the second movie.

    Alec
      1. One example would be Show Spoiler ▼

        Don’t get me wrong…I loved the movie. just doing some little nit picking

        Alec
      2. I can see what you’re getting at, but those don’t actually qualify as deus ex machina. All those occurrences had precedence even if they were unexpected.

        I don’t mean to single you out, but people seem to be confusing the term lately and throwing it out for any arguably “convenient” plot development when in reality, a deus ex machina is the introduction of a new event, character, object, or ability to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem. The emphasis is on “new”, or better yet, “unprecedented”.

        It has to be something that comes completely out of left wing and could have very well been written in at the last minute. There wouldn’t even be a chance that the viewer/reader could have seen it coming. e.g. A new character showing up to save the day.

      3. Ai’s abilities when he/she Show Spoiler ▼

        I know the meaning of deus ex machina, which is why I used that word instead of saying the words “chances”, “coincidences”, and etc.

        Lol I’m aware that the second one was not a deus ex machina. I just meant that as a joke.

        Alec
  41. AHHHHHHHHHH AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
    but the fact it didn’t haev a “super conclusive ending” is driving me NUTTSSSSS

    ALLLL CAPSSSSSS RAGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    with a smile at this amazing movie~~~

    ryan
  42. So I was holding off on watching the movie until I finished taking a certain test.
    I’M SO GLAD I DID! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to think straight!

    This was simply the best! I’m so glad the triangle ended with who I was rooting for! I’ll be re-watching this many, many times. The whole franchise makes me want to do the following:
    1 – Fly a plane
    2 – Sky Dive
    3 – Fly a Jet Pack if ever they get around to make one that’s close to the flight suit in Macross F.

    Crimson7
    1. That’s actually Northern Cross sung in acapella. It’s the start of the “Nyan Nyan Final Attack Frontier Greatest Hits!” mash-up, which also features “Niji-iro Kuma Kuma”, “Lion”, “Ai Oboeteimasu ka?” (just a line from Ranka during Lion — starts with “Kira!”), “Universal Bunny”, and “Obelisk”.

      I really like this mash-up because it’s the only time we get to hear Nakajima Megumi singing Universal Bunny.

  43. I WAS SO GOD DAMNED OVERWHELMED WITH AWESOME ANIMATION, STORY, AND MUSIC. IT MADE ME CRY(;A;) as every new story fold. I was so afraid to watch this but it seems that everyone I know keeps telling me to download. My download wasn’t wasted in vain.

    Thank you Divine. Thank you so much for recommending this :3

    Croos
  44. I just finished watching the series and I’m now downloading the first movie since I haven’t watched it yet and I plan to watch the second movie again after. IMO the 2nd movie’s ending is way way better than the original series’.

    The Story You Don't Know
  45. Is it still Ok if i watch this Movie even thought i did not watch neither the anime nor read the manga at all!
    Will i be able to understand at least the important part of the Movie and thus appreciate it?
    Answer please

    Zeon
    1. I watched the 2nd movie first before watching the anime series then the 1st movie. IMO and it’s probably obvious that the anime series is a lot better than the 1st movie since it was able to show the relationships between the main characters because it’s a lot longer. HOWEVER, the 2nd movie has the better and more epic ending and unlike the series, Alto finally chooses between the two. Show Spoiler ▼

      The Story You Don't Know
  46. I am usually a huge Gundam fan, but I have to say, the feelings I had while watching these two movies were so damn amazing that I can say that this was the best Macross I have ever watched.

    cain
  47. Finally got to see this (even with the crappy translation work) and visually, the movie is a step ahead. Kawamori as always is perfecting his skills. But the thing is that the overall story of the movies is just a excuse for Alto to finally choose between Sheryl and Ranka. The final battle of the series was way better made than this, even if we got GAR-time with Captain Jeffrey Wilder (one of the few survivors of the First War and former VF-1 Valkyrie pilot)and his orbital-surfing-re-entrance and one Isamu Alva Dyson and his YF-19 showing how things must be done.
    As for the “like 00’s AotT final”, let me remind you all that this particular finale was first seen in Macross Zero (and perfected in here, so double kudos for Kawamori), so even at that 00 fails.
    Personally, “End of Triangle – Sayonara no Tsubasa” deserved the most epic doghfight that Kawamori could’ve thought, but we’ll have to be pleased that at least, what we saw was way better than some other mecha series (Yes, I’m looking at you, Sunrise douches!)

    And, the best woman won… as always been on the oficial timeline of Macross.

    SeedStriker
  48. Finally! I was able to watch this movie!
    Damn the action scenes and the music was epic!
    The Macross franchise references are so amusing!
    And it was refreshing that the plot diverted somehow compared to the series…

    As much as I loved the movie though, somehow I prefer the series in terms of character development. I dunno, I find the movies’ flow too fast for me I guess… I do like the changes in the events though…

    Damn that scene where Macross Quarter surfs the sky. I was thinking it might do a Cut-Back Drop-Turn like in Eureka Seven! Hahaha!

    Still, Macross is epic as always… Too bad my “ship” sunk though! :))

    1. According to the guide: This movie is set three months (or more) after the last one, some events of the TV series have happened. Among them, Ranka’s role as Mao Nome in Bird Human. Ranka has been swept away by her new agenda and hasn’t seen Alto in a while. While Alto has stayed closer with Sheryl (due to his job), just like the beginning of the movie hints it.

      Moriae
    1. If you’re refetring to the first movie’s opening scene, then afraid not. Island 1 was still visibly afloat in space then. Sayonara’s opening though is up for discussion. A superdimensional paper airplane :]

      JLee
  49. Got my hands on the Blu-Ray. Just… spectacular. Judging by the comments I assume a fan-subbed version is out – hope it was good!

    Thanks for the review, Divine! I agree 99%! 🙂

    For those thinking that this movie isn’t “canon” in regards to the TV show… I doubt that it will be treated like DYRL was. Though a few subplots were altered significantly, the main plot of the movies ironically feels substantially more developed and well-written than the TV show. I could really see how the TV series was planned to hit the ratings, when most of it was moeblob/SEXY fanservice followed by a rather rushed narrative during the last few episodes.

    Whereas DYRL felt like a theatrical take on Macross with more emphasis on the love triangle/character development, the Frontier movies hit all those points and manage to surpass the TV series in every way. For me at least, the TV series is mostly made obsolete.

    Finally, I’m glad to see the love triangle resolved on such a satsifying note! Those two always had more chemistry anyway, though I like that Ranka and Alto’s friendship is more believable and grounded than in the series. And unlike Hikaru and Shinn, it’s much more likely that Alto will be able to return (and indeed, he does: http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/4809/064f301b.jpg)

    Kertys

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