Why Cowboy Bebop Fans Will Love Macross Plus Movie Edition

People who watch Cowboy Bebop often find themselves wanting more after finishing the series. A Live-action Netflix adaptation is on the way, but here's one more place they can go to get what they're looking for.  Any fans of Cowboy Bebop will have an eerily familiar wave of nostalgia wash over them should they check out the upcoming Macross Plus Movie Edition.

Macross Plus shares many similarities with Cowboy Bebop -- and it's no coincidence that they have similar aesthetics and animation styles. Both works even feature a number of the same creative minds behind the scenes. These two products of their time have a certain vibe to them that can make fans of either happy to experience them both.

Main Cast from Cowboy Bebop

Macross Plus and Cowboy Bebop's similarities are thanks in no small part to their creative teams. The chief director of Macross Plus is Shoji Kawamori, who was also a collaborator on Cowboy Bebop, while director Shinichiro Watanabe and composer Yoko Kanno of Cowboy Bebop fill the same roles in the production of Macross Plus. With the two works helmed by so many of the same lead staff members, it's only natural for them to end up alike.

Both Macross Plus and Cowboy Bebop also come from the same time period, and the culture of that time is a clear influence on their aesthetics. Macross Plus comes from a series of OVAs released between 1994 and 1995, while the film edition comes from mid-1995. Cowboy Bebop, for its part, is from 1998. However, there's also another time period that the two works have in common, as both are set in interpretations of the not-too-distant future. Macross Plus takes place in the year 2040 and Cowboy Bebop in 2071. These two series end up alike by virtue of blending contemporary and futuristic elements in their settings.

There are also some notable similarities in how Macross Plus and Cowboy Bebop are animated, especially during their action sequences. In particular, both works feature aerial combat scenes with maneuvers, shots and angles that look familiar to anyone who has seen either of them. There are even similarities in smaller parts of the fights like how missiles fly in the air. Anyone who has seen an action scene from either of these works will be quick to note their similarities.

For anyone interested in seeing Macross, there's plenty of material to get warmed up for the movie. As a long-running franchise, Macross has several movies, TV series and OVAs widely available. Fortunately, Macross Plus comes from a relatively early point in the franchise's history, so there's not that much preparation necessary to watch it. The film is meant to be a direct sequel to the original 1982 anime series Super Dimension Fortress Macross, which can be streamed now on Prime Video.

Macross Plus

For anyone who just wants to see a good anime movie, Macross Plus works well enough as a standalone project. Since the movie is set decades after the original series, most of the story centers around completely new characters and storylines. There is also a movie retelling of the original series and a non-canon anime sequel, but neither of them is necessary to understand Macross Plus or the upcoming Macross Plus Movie Edition.

Macross Plus is a worthwhile viewing experience, particularly for fans of its stylistic cousin, Cowboy Bebop. Its similarities to the latter series give it an air of familiarity that'll make for an experience unique to fans who have seen both. Even for casual anime fans, Macross Plus' cultural significance and groundbreaking effects make it a must-watch. The upcoming theatrical rerelease of the movie and its Macross Plus Movie Edition retooling should make for an ideal opportunity to see the film in its best light. Macross Plus Movie Edition will release in American theaters on Dec. 14 with English subtitles.

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