Macross Plus is the first real sequel to the original TV series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Macross II: Lovers Again (1992) was released before this one but was deemed non-canon in the official timeline by series creator Shoji Kawamori. If you’re coming to the franchise for the first time then you’ll lack some basic world setting info but can still enjoy this particular short OVA on its own merits.
It's set on the planet Eden in the year 2040. It’s been thirty years since the Human/Alien War ended, but weapons development is still ongoing. Test pilots Isamu Alva Dyson and Guld Goa Bowman, old friends and rivals, are selected to test different kinds of aircraft, only one of which will be put into full production.
Initially it seems as if Plus is a simple tale of fighter pilot rivalry with big-ass guns that'll please kids, but as the story unfolds it becomes something much deeper. It reveals itself to be a poignant study of adult concerns. It’s not light viewing. It gets heavy handed with themes of loss and regret, divided loyalties, the duality of love and jealousy, and much more. Throw a woman with her own emotional problems into the mix and things get even more chaotic.
Each episode builds upon and further complicates the relationships, culminating in a climax that could've been better paced but doesn't disappoint emotionally.
The animation is a combination of traditional cel and CGI that, despite being almost twenty years-old at time of writing, has held up surprisingly well.
4 episodes, approx 40 minutes each.
3 barriers broken out of 5