Macross Frontier Movie 2: Sayonara no Tsubasa – Review

Even the story’s setting backs my theory that this movie was thought up by someone who avoided using his brain.

Macross Frontier Movie 2: Happiness Is A Warm Vajra

The first movie was a condensed version of all the flaws and virtues of the series. What made it bearable was the fact that you got less of it with just a movie and you could be sure it built up to something exciting (hopefully). The second movie defies these expectations by being even more stupid than the series using even less time to convince you of that. And you may heard of it but I just wanna admit it now: This review doesn’t even come close to telling you how bad this movie is. The lack of logic in the plot for example is one of its lesser flaws. And just to give a warning: The bigger flaws are actually soul-destroying and seem like something the Wizard of Oz dreamt up.

Release-Date: 2011
Running Time: 114 minutes
Synopsis:Picking up from where the previous movie left off, Ranka’s star career flourishes while Sheryl’s health rapidly deteriorates after collapsing during a live performance. At the same time, separate factions are manoeuvring behind the scenes seeking to control the Vajra horde by utilizing the singing abilities of the two songstresses. As the entire Macross Frontier fleet begins to wage the final war on the Vajra, Alto finally makes a choice between Ranka and Sheryl.
– ANN.

Like the audience the characters don’t care that much about the story. And then when they should care they don’t have the time for it. Such is the idiotic pacing of this movie and it’s just one of many flaws plaguing it.

Sometimes when you review a certain… thing you feel like banging your head on a desk is a good metaphor. And sometimes – you actually do it. So, when I imagine someone walking up to me and asking: “Was this movie any good?” I say putting on a thoughtful Aristoteles-face: “Well…
It’s shit. Don’t ask me why, ever seen someone asking why shit is shit?” But that’s what I dream of at night and this is serious business. Some of you may not believe me when I’m that bluntly so for you I go into the details of what exactly makes this movie not a rollercoaster-ride you will enjoy.
This is the second movie of a soap-opera in space telling you that aliens are good and humans are also good besides the usual occasions of shooting each other. But ‘evil dies, good survives’ is a mantra you will hear uttered a dozen times during this overlong movie.
First, the length… Nearly two hours. You’ll probably remember the tragic experience of Transformers 2 and how you constantly searched Popcorn to throw at the screen asking the movie when finally real actors would appear on the screen. Well, it’s the same here: You have this huge budget of flashy action – but no brains to do anything useful with it. I accepted the first movie’s soapy nature because I expected it to end with it. This movie seemed to me like the good opportunity to get some decent shounen-action out of this. Obviously, they didn’t ask me when they made that movie. Because soapy romance-crap is still present but in this movie even the action-parts are bäd (it’s worse than just bad is what I’m saying).
So you sit through a dubious love-triangle that has nothing to do with the characters but actually simply depends on how half-assed Alto is until he remembers something nobody ever mentioned before. And what you get is action following the aforementioned mantra ‘good survives, evil dies’. You see good people die in an obscure way? Well, then they didn’t die. The first time I didn’t care because I didn’t care for the character but the third (!) time I didn’t care because I’ve thought ‘What, he dies in an explosion without having me see his corpse afterwards? Guys, he survived that, no way in hell am I gonna be fooled by this lousy script *a dozen minutes later* I knew it! He survived! So which idiot wrote that script actually…’. The action lacks tension and excitement because obviously they asked stupid fanboys to write the script for them. The whole movie seems to be just a pompous façade for the series.

Well, why don’t you ask a flower-psychologist since there are so many of them running about in this movie apparently?

The characters are unbelievably thin and one-note which is made even worse due to the fact of how the script jumps around like a stoned monkey. Seeing people interact in this movie is a good effort to convince you not to like this movie. Brera for example walks up to Ranka at night and reveals to her the whole plan of the evil guys and ends with the sudden remark that he’s her brother and then tells her what happened in her past. This whole thing happens within a few minutes and Ranka’s has just a slightly surprised “Oh, I didn’t know that…”-reaction to all that. Also, the love-triangle is resolved because Alto just suddenly remembers how he met Sheryl as a child and how their love already started at that point (why this scene really matters to both of them is questionable…). And Sheryl’s like “Stupid, you remember that now?” and I’m like “So they actually needed a deus-ex-machina to resolve a love-triangle? Good work, folks, good work…”. And in accordance with the deus-ex-machina-prinicple Ranka naturally took it like a man that she lost to Sheryl. But all this love-crap doesn’t mean anything anyway because Alto – disappears.
Now that was a stupid ending if I’ve ever seen one. The half-assed transvestite main-character disappears with the Vajra because… shit happens: he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes you question what the movie was all about then, does it? Well, it’s about that everything has a soul: even your liver, your guts, your lungs, your kidneys, your ears, your tongue, the slime in your nose, your salvia and so on… Everything is sacred. When someone in this movie says ‘It takes guts to do this.’ – he means it literally. Your guts have a soul and this movie teaches you a bloody important lesson here (or that’s what it thinks it’s doing anyway) so think about your guts for a while and your kidneys and your liver and so on. Remember to thank them for all the soul-work they do for you. But this great revelation leads to another very troubling discovery: Vajra aren’t evil. They’re just very – sentimental. And they get easily excited and frightened – like chicken. Therefore they deserve to live – at least as much as cockroaches do. As long as humans live in co-existence with them, everything’s fine. If you’d just not step on this one cockroach in your kitchen a flower might bloom in your garden and the sun might smile upon you for another day (go figure how that exactly is supposed to work…).
That’s what the movie wants to tell you and the conflict of the movie is… I don’t know. A lot of bad humans jump around in this movie, do some shit here and there, kill each other but don’t kill any good guys. So they’re also good, I think, in a naïve way. I mean for all the evilness present in this movie the villains pretty much are all losers. ‘Evil’ isn’t a branch that makes you think of success in this movie. But I guess with the good guys being able to survive nearly everything (the ‘nearly’ was a joke of course) they just have to be losers. It was simply impossible for me to care about anything in this movie besides noticing its big budget. You know that the good guys can’t die, the love-triangle is so obvious and blatant that flipping a coin seems like a solution as good as the next one and the evil guys just run around like headless chickens that never do anything but abusing Vajra. And the most confusing of all: Without any transition the movie’s slogan became ‘Happiness is a warm Vajra’. Deadly aliens are just the kind of thing you will find plenty of pity for, right? You know how I like deadly aliens: When they are dead because Darwin sort-of said something about evolution not being a hippie-fest in the spirit of peace. But this is the movie telling you that as long as you live in peace and harmony with cosmic nature – everything’s fine. The only thing that isn’t fine here then is naturally your head in case you believe that crap.

Good things about the movie: It doesn’t make you wanna vomit. Bad things: Everything else. There are times when even a big budget and pretty animation can’t save a sinking ship. This isn’t one of these times – since following my metaphor the movie didn’t build a ship in the first place. Wooden dialogues, a stupid plot and one-note characters. Besides its animation and acceptable J-Pop this movie did everything wrong you could do wrong. You might not think it’s a comedy (it’s not that bad) but it’s hard to imagine that anyone can take this awful bore seriously.

Rating: 5/10


About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on November 1, 2011, in Anime, Macross Frontier Movie 2: Sayonara no Tsubasa, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I actually had 3/5 parts of the movie sitting on my latop (don’t ask me why it was no the whole movie, I got it from a crap site that cheated my feelings T^T). As such, I hadn’t actually gotten down to watching.

    After reading your review I doubt I will see it. I actually liked the series but felt like the First Movie destroyed it for me. Like you said, the movie showed all the flaws of the series but it had also magnified the “cringe level” by a whole lot. Then again, the movie was really pretty terrible and I can’t believe it could get worse until you reviewed it.

    Oh well, perhaps I might just watch it for the pretty animation. =D

    Anyway, welcome back to the world of internet. =P


  2. I fully agree with this review. What a piece of junk. The series was great, i was used to some of the robotech/macross franchises like robotech itself, SDF, MSCC, Macross 7, and a few more.

    Frontier the series was nice, i enjoyed it allot. It was like Eureka seven, it had its characters that were good, but could be extremely annoying, like renton’s constant “oh crap did i do something wrong?” acting. This must of been the fifth time i’ve seen Ranka walk into a situation where Alto and Sheryl are together, and just ends up in a “Sheryl………………………………………………….” situation, eventually running off crying. I was happy they that they didn’t recycle as many scenes again, but this story was just disastrous, even for a spin off, it felt way too rushed, despite being 2 hours long. The characters were silly, you could read the plot about 30 minutes ahead, it was way too obvious, and ended way too silly. This felt more like a fan service rather than a conclusion to a fine series. I wish i never watched it, because i’l never look at Frontier the same way.


    • you could read the plot about 30 minutes ahead

      Wait, you expected every time a good character seemed to die to survive in the end? You expected to see Alto leave in the end finishing the love-triangle-sub-plot in this abrupt anti-climatic manner? I certainly didn’t, I mean, even if it was possible this option was just too bloody stupid to be seriously considered by me. After the first movie which made some changes to the story I expected the whole thing to end on a much smoother note than this jarring idiocy. I expected the people behind these movies to use this chance when they are brave enough to change the story of the series.


  3. I briefly read this review before watching the movie. I was waiting for something better than the movie 1.
    I thought, maybe the review was a little bit harsh… But in fact… I DO AGREE !!!

    I yawned during the movie, I even skiped some parts to accelerate.

    The end … nothing bad nothing good. It was really boring… I’m very disappointed since I loved the serie a lot !


    • The series wasn’t great but it was solid enough to give me “some” entertainment at least. The first movie… I actually liked it but more because I’ve thought it to be the calm before the storm that should’ve been the second movie. But overall the second movie was similar to the first movie in terms of Slice-of-Life, romance, action and so on. What made it worse that it was just plain stupid at times and typical tropes like that no anime-character is dead until his death is confirmed were simply used too often. And the ending was a bad way of bringing the love-triangle to a rather sudden conclusion without any build-up.


      • Yeah as you said, the serie wasn’t amazing if you compare to other animes. But was still pleasant to watch.

        For me in the second movie the fighting scenes were bad and made me sea sick lol and actually I did like them in the anime (in the first movie too, it was ok).
        Everything was sooo fan service… eurk… But I liked Ranka’s concert. It was cute.
        As for the triangle, I expected also much better. Everything went too fast in the end of the movie.

        Since I watched both of the movies, sometimes I wonder if I should forget about it and keep in mind the end of the serie. lol

        Anyway, thank you 🙂 It’s thanks to you that I found out that the Macross movie was out ! lol


  4. I more or less agree with all the comments here. I wonder if all the money and trouble in making these movies was to satisfy and sell to fanboys of Sheryl (May’n) and Ranka (Megumi). Possibly fangirls of Alto too. I did like Sheryl but I like the tunes composed by Yoko Kanno more than all else. Perhaps the movie was made for the music fans too. For me, it would have been enough to have just the concert animations and singing. Whatever decent plot and character development contained in the series was effectively destroyed by shortening it to the two movies. If one hadn’t seen the series already, It would have been watching singing and the rest of the time wondering WTF is this? Yes, there also was the half-assed relationship closures so often seen in these sorts of anime. I barely paid attention to the story, wanting to hear new tunes, so I got something for my time. Now to find the OST and sort through it.


  5. Yea, the movie didn’t touch me as much as the first one did or the TV series. I still liked it, but not as much. Action and music was pretty good, but story wise I felt it either moving too fast, or not explaining enough (in the 2 hours they had!!!). I guess they assumed you’ve already read the manga and watched the entire series so character development wasn’t needed as much. So when that flash back between Alto and Sheryl came out of nowhere they expected you to be like, Oh yea, just like in the Manga I’ve never read before.

    I totally agree with you about the fake deaths, LOL. The first time, I’m like OMG he died??? Minutes later, I’m like oh he lived… good. But after the 2nd, 3rd, and so on fake deaths, I’m like screw this I’m not falling for this. So……. *SPOILER??? NOT REALLY….

    When I saw Grace comment about the Galaxy, that made me assume she’s not going to die, she’s android and will probably get fixed up later. I didn’t see Brera’s body, so I’m assuming he folded with Alto. All he did was punch the last villain and fire exploded, I’m pretty sure his machine can withstand a little explosion. Also, in the ending of the Manga they came back together, well I think they did.

    Overall, if you’re a Macross fan, you should still check it out. Everyone will have a different interpretation on it. The ending reminded me of Deception. Hate the movie or love it, everyone’s opinion is welcomed.


    • I totally agree with you about the fake deaths, LOL. The first time, I’m like OMG he died??? Minutes later, I’m like oh he lived… good. But after the 2nd, 3rd, and so on fake deaths, I’m like screw this I’m not falling for this. So……. *SPOILER??? NOT REALLY….

      A friend of mine said something interesting about that: He compared it to the original series and said that one expects it to be like the original series meaning that when someone dies who died in the original series we expect him to stay dead. But if he ‘died’ in this movie but survived in the original series we expect this to be different from the original series – although in the end it isn’t. Of course this doesn’t quite negate the point of it being predictable because of how everyone of the good guys miraculously survived in each case.
      Like that I would say now that you’re right in saying that this movie is made for Macross-fans. I wouldn’t say it’s objectively good so as to be enjoyed by everyone (because I still don’t enjoy it) but I think for Macross-fans it will be entertaining. It’s over-the-top and silly but in the end it’s fun for those who enjoy the Macross-franchise.


      • Oops, I meant “The ending reminded me of Inception”, LOL.

        Yea, this was pretty new for me, in the original Macross, since Roy Fokker and Ben died in the series, I kinda accepted the fact they died in the Movie. I hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone mentioning that here, I mean the Anime is from the early 80’s, I was 5 when I watched that.

        But here in Wings of Goodbye, the ending was like… I dunno, I can’t comment on it. I guess because I watched the TV series so I’m confused on what’s cannon now, then to top it off the Manga. In the end I had no idea anymore on who I was cheering for. I wanted to cheer for Alto choosing Brera, because at that point I lost my mind and felt like those 2 would be a good couple. I felt so neutral just like the ending of the TV series, I mean he did pick one of them right?

        Then it hit me, this was an over-the-top movie just for Macross fans, so let’s not piss off anybody or either side. Who cares about the story LOL. Lets put in all this expensive pretty animation and music so the fans could just wow at. And, then lets make sure we have the TV series, Manga, video games, radio shows, and movie stories kinda intertwined with each other so you the fans could choose and insert or interpret whatever that suits you. I read some blogs and reviews, and good gawd, they go into so much detail, I guess Kawamori did his job, and I’m pretty sure they made lots of $$$.

        Overall Morgoth, I enjoyed your review, my friends and I finished watching the movie and each did our interpretation on it just like the ending to Inception. We read your review and laughed hard on it. I look forward on your other reviews to come.

        By the way did you review Clannad the movie yet, or are you gonna do it? That’s another anime with a different ending that the TV series. If not that’s cool too.


  6. Our lovable pilot from the Macross Plus series makes a cameo appearance. That was awesome. I guess we can assume that he survived LOL!!!!

    It’s funny, I can’t say I really hate this movie or love it, I feel so numb about it, almost neutral. I wonder if this is the last Macross story ever told.

    I think the review was a little harsh, but I do agree with some points. Good review overall.


    • Yeah, perhaps a bit harsh because it wanted to be silly so perhaps the criticism feels like complaining about trees not running fast enough. But personally I really don’t like this kind of silliness and the way the second movie developed the story and its characters in this movie. Especially since the first movie was quite a surprise for me as to how good it was compared to the original series.


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  8. I truly enjoyed the series, the animation was beautiful and the music was lovely. In the movie though(and sorta in the anime on Altos part)I do NOT like how fickle Alto is–it really pisses me off when he just stands there with an expression that’s a cross between surprise and stupidity and either says “Sheryl(?)(!)….” or “Ranka(?)(!)…”–also Ranka isn’t a very good heroin, she just kinda of let’s things happen without ever really fighting for what she wants, and Sheryl doesn’t really bother me I just don’t like how they made her fight harder than Ranka


  9. This review honestly is horrible. how can you judge this movie so badly? i suggest all shippers to watch this and honestly , i just think you posted this because you didn’t ship any characters. the movie was obviously fan service for all the shippers, especially because of that stupid love triangle.


    • Well, I appreciate your honesty, derp… but I’m not quite sure if you’re defending this movie or making fun of the fans of this movie. Besides, I’m happy for you if you happen to like this movie. It’s not SO bad that it’s unimaginable for me that someone could seriously enjoy it.

      But then again… as you pointed out yourself… the love-triangle, as it’s presented in this movie, is stupid.
      And that the solution for a rampaging, violent alien-race is trying to befriend them in some way is… let’s just say, not really down-to-earth story material. Even with all this environment-idealism-nonsense in this movie, I would say that a shark that’s trying to kill you… is actually trying to kill you. I don’t think he would sink his teeths into you only because he needs a friend. Animes always play this co-existence card as if it’s some sort of revelation that nobody (besides the main character) has ever thought of before. Or they try to explain that it has failed in the past and then for some bullshit-reason it’s explained that “this time will be SO much better for… reasons, I guess.”.

      I still stand by this review, no matter what the, uhm, “shippers” (Really? Shippers, is that what Macross fans call themselves…?) might think about this movie.


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