Saturday, January 29, 2005

Macross 7 Dynamite OAV

Genre: Mecha / Space Adventure
Parental Guidance Recommended
1997 Shoji Kawamori, Tetsuro Amino, Gonzo, Studio Nue, Big West, Bandai Visual, Big West, Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd., Music by Yoko Kanno.

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MarkPoa's Description:
After the affair with the Protodevlins, Nekki Basara, Fire Bomber singer, finds himself on the planet Zola. Planet Zola is a verdant planet in a quiet corner of the galaxy and the site of the magnificent galactic whale migration. However, things are not as quiet this time. Whale poachers seek to capture the whales for profit. A macronized Zentraedi, Graham Hoilie, also seeks to hunt down and kill the great white whale. The Zolan Space Police Force is gearing to prevent the poachers and Graham from getting what they want. In all this, can Basara's song reach anyone's heart?

Listen to his song! >>> by MarkPoa (written ??.??.2004 posted 01.29.2005)
Like the Macross 7 movie, Basara finds himself on another planet again. This time, the planet is the site of the annual galactic whale migration. Basara finds himself excited by the majestic whales and feels that he can reach them with his song. He also finds himself in the middle of a brewing conflict between whale poachers and the local space force.

While Basara is the main character, as always, Dynamite also gives due attention to the Hoilie family. Graham Hoilie is fearsome and stoic, totally obsessed with his Captain Ahab-like quest for the white galactic whale. Elma Hoilie was cute and all, but I found Liza Hoilie, the Zolan Space Force pilot, to be a more interesting character, mainly for her angsting. Of course, with her attitude and past, Macross 7 viewers would realize it'll take her a while to warm up to Basara's attitude.

The rest of Fire Bomber are only given snippets of appearances. Notable among them is Mylene Jenius, who is shown here as having a solo tour. The interplay between Mylene and Lt. Gamlin is interesting and shows how these characters have grown after the TV series ended. Unfortunately for those fans waiting for a resolution on the love triangle between Basara (ignorant male though he may be), Mylene, and Gamlin should not expect to find one here.

The story is pretty straightforward, and the OAV does not really take time to explain the background of the TV characters that much. If you're a new watcher, you'll probably find yourself wondering about the backgrounds of Basara and company. Too bad; you won't find much background here. However, the OAV gives sufficient attention to the background of the new characters, though, so even new viewers wouldn't have trouble catching up or treating the story as a stand-alone story.

Allusions to Moby Dick are largely superficial. The story does not really try to parallel the novel. Still, you can't help but snicker at Graham's obsession with the "white whale" and call him "Captain Ahab."

Humorous instances are peppered within this OAV as well. Take special note of the way Ray and Veffidas cover for Basara and Mylene's absence and watch the crowd's reactions. At least, it was entertaining for me.

Visually, Macross 7 Dynamite packs a punch compared to its TV incarnation. You have only to look at the rendition of the galactic whales to get your "whoa!" fix. The whale migration was a well-animated sequence worth the entire series itself. Equally impressive was the image of Graham as a full-sized Zentraedi battling the white whale. The sequence makes you wonder how fearsome these galactic giants are.

And in terms of Basara, check out the sequence where he uses a regular Valkyrie. Because he didn't have his custom fire-red Valkyrie, he has to use a regular one to sing to the whales. Where else would you see a pilot that can fly magnificently while strumming an acoustic guitar and singing? Very impressive. Now, that's skilled flying!

Music is still top-notch. Snippets of the Fire Bomber's old songs are there, but the series also gives us new songs for Basara. The opening song, "Dynamite Explosion, in particular, is as fast and frenetic as other Fire Bomber rock tunes. "Angel Voice", the OAV's prime song, is a haunting ballad-tune that Basara sings to the whales. With his wailing voice, Basara makes you believe that the whales felt his heart through his song.

Definitely watch it if you're already a fan of the series. If you're a casual anime fan, give it a try, but I think you're better off watching the TV series first.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 9

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