Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: The Movie is the North American release of the six-volume OVA series. Manga Entertainment, the company that distributes Macross II, edited the six episodes into a compilation movie by removing the opening and ending credits. Since the creators of the original Macross series had no involvement with Macross II, this sequel series tends to be considered an "alternate timeline" story.
Macross II begins 80 years after the events that take place in the original Macross series. The original Macross ship still exists, as does the Minmay Defense (using music to distract the Zentradi). However, in this story, a new Micronian race called the Marduk have enslaved Zentradi and Meltlandi warriors that are unaffected by the Minmay Defense. These new Zentradi have Emulators, who are female singers who perform in battle to inspire and condition the warriors in a way that counteracts the Minmay Defense.
Hibiki Kanzaki, a reporter for SNN, manages to capture an Emulator named Ishtar while covering a battle. He tries to teach her about human culture, while she tries to teach him about her culture. However, the Marduk view culture as a contamination of their souls, and they dedicate themselves to genocidal military conquest. Meanwhile, Ishtar also believes the SDF-1 is the legendary Alus ship (a ship that is believed to bring balance to the universe).
The DVD has a special features section titled, "In-Flight Entertainment." It includes a music video for one of the songs in the film; the video is basically just a "textless" version of the ending credits. The "Crew" section includes biographies for four of the characters: Hibiki Kanzaki, Ishtar, Silvia Gena, and Commander Feff. The "Mechnanical Designs" section features drawings and still frames from the film of the mecha.
The Manga DVD previews is five minutes long, and has to be watched in full; there is no menu to pick and choose which trailers you want to see. The Manga Fan Club is a four minute long slideshow that advertises all the DVDs and merchandise the company had available at the time Macross II was released. There is also a "Weblinks" section, which contains links for manga.com, sputnik7.com, and palmpictures.com. Overall, I was rather disappointed by the special features, especially by how much of the section was devoted to trailers and advertisements for Manga Entertainment releases.
After viewing this DVD, I have to agree with the creators of the original Macross. By the time I was done watching the movie, I had a hard time believing it was an actual sequel to Macross. There's just something about the feel of this movie that makes it hard to believe it has much in common with the original. While I know this is supposed to be set 80 years into the future, there were only a few things that I saw or heard that tied back in with the original.
If youíre a Macross fan that wants everything that's Macross-related, then I would recommend owning this DVD. However, if you are a Macross fan that would much rather not see an "alternate timeline" story, then perhaps this DVD isnít for you.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband purchased as a gift.