You can probably glean my overall opinion of Macross 7 by two facts. First, it has been eight months since I reviewed the first twelve episodes. Second, you will find not one screen shot in this entire review. Rather than whip up a review of episode thirteen and on, I will instead review the series as a whole and outline why this entry in the Macross universe fell flat with me.
As a sequel of sorts, the series is naturally going to be compared to its predecessor. The original Macross series still holds up as one of my all time favorite shows. Sure, it featured cool, transforming mechas and giant space battles, but at its core, the series was focused on the characters. These were people forced into a situation and trying to make the best of it. Along the way, we learn the most important lesson; all sentient life, even those specifically bred for battle, have deep emotions that can be triggered, the most important one being love.
For Max and Miria, it was the passion of competition that kindled their love; for most others, it was the songs of Lynn Minmei. Where Macross 7 goes off the rails is focusing solely on music. Music will change the universe! Yeah, that was the message of the original right? Let’s turn it into a mystical energy!
Yes, we are introduced to "Song Energy", a measurable thing that can be boosted, enhanced, and used as a defense against the Protodevlin. The sole focus of the series is having Basara’s song energy save everyone. Beams of song shooting everywhere between endless stock footage. The message of the original series was that music was just one key that could unlock someone’s emotions. This series just took it to ludicrous extremes.
With the series off the rails, it plunges off the cliff by not providing decent characters either. Minmei, Hikaru, Fokker, Misa, etc. – you genuinely cared about or detested these characters and enjoyed seeing their relationships play out. Other than the strained marriage of Max and Miria, the series did little to develop the characters and their relationships. Basara and Mylene bickered like little children almost to the last minute; it was tiring to see the same conversations and actions repeated in each episode.
Bland story, flat characters, and an ending that felt rushed… The only reason I can think of to sit through Macross 7 are the Max and Miria scenes. We never learn what went wrong with their relationship, but watching it slowly come back around was the only fun I had. I’ll likely watch the OVAs and film, but I doubt I’ll find anything new to comment on. My recommendation… Skip this series and go straight to Macross Frontier.