In the next century, a reconfiguring ship (think "Transformer" with a pilot) called Macross carries fifty thousand refugees within its hold as it returns to Earth pursued by giant humanoid ... See full summary »
Taking place in 2059 A.D., Macross Frontier chronicles the events of the 25th Frontier fleet, located near the center of the Galaxy. The Frontier comes under attack by a mysterious and ... See full summary »
Taking place one year before the Zentraedi arrive on Earth, Macross Zero chronicles the final days of the war between the U.N. Spacy and anti-U.N. factions. After being shot down by the ... See full summary »
In the war between the Earth Federation and Zeon, a young and inexperienced crew find themselves on a new spaceship. Their best hope of making it through the conflict is the Gundam, a giant humanoid robot, and its gifted teenage pilot.
In the middle of World War III in 1999, an alien spaceship crashes on deserted Macross Island. In response to this event, a cease fire is declared as the ship reveals evidence of a potential extraterrestrial threat that could come to retrieve her. In response, the nations of the world unite to create the United Nations Space Navy (UN Spacy). In ten years, the ship is rebuilt as Super Dimensional Fortress One (SDF-1) and her technology is adopted for use. On the day of her formal launch, the Zentradi arrive determined to retrieve the ship intact. As Earth defends itself, we also see the personal lives of the ship's crew and residents as the war profoundly changes them. Meanwhile, the Zentradi learn that their enemy bears an uncomfortable resemble to their creators, the Protoculture, a fact which threatens to take this war down paths that no one can anticipate.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
There is a scene in the first episode that contains an animator's inside joke. Hikaru crashes his Valkyrie into a building marked "Studio Nue". This was the name of the animation studio that produced Macross. Studio Nue's mascot, a grinning imp creature, was also on the building. If you watch closely, you can see the imp react in horror as Hikaru careens toward the building. See more »
Due to the fact that at least three studios of wildly varying quality worked on each episode simultaneously, many minor continuity errors and animation inconsistencies (for instance in Ep. 3 "Spacefold" where the escape pod under Roy's Valk every so often switches to a gunpod) crop up in each episode. See more »
The original showing of the pilot episode had a different beginning, not revealing the transforming capabilities of the Valkyries in order to give the audience a suprise. The opening was changed to the regular one for all further showings. See more »
The first two episodes were originally edited in to one hour-long episode for the show's premiere on 5 October 1982 in the Osaka region. The opening of the show was changed to avoid any shots of Hikaru in a Valkyrie or the Valkyrie's "Battroid" (full robot) mode. See more »
In the year 1999 a city-sized extraterrestrial battle cruiser crash lands on Earth, and over the next decade scientists and engineers repair its damage and refit it into a hybrid of human and alien technologies. What the Earth-folks don't realize is that the ship has been tailed by an entire armada of heavily armed space battle cruisers who seek to claim the ship and its secrets for themselves. The aliens, called Zentraedi, are a formidable race of giants who have been bred for warfare, but as they approach their presence triggers a booby trap on the downed space-fortress called the Macross that plows through them with a devastating energy weapon. Thinking the Earth fired upon them intentionally, the Zentraedi retaliate, thereby launching Space War I. Realizing that it would probably be a good idea to move the conflict off of the Earth (which has just gotten over a long on-planet war), the captain of the Macross orders the use of the ship's untested "fold" system to warp the ship to the dark side of the moon; the warp is initiated, but it brings the small city that had grown around the Macross with it, plus, to the horror of all involved, they find themselves just outside orbit near Pluto (that's what you get for messing around with technology that you don't know how to operate!). And as if that isn't bad enough, the fold system has completely vanished, leaving the ship's crew and the now-rescued inhabitants of the city no alternative but to make their way back home using only conventional engines. And as the Macross crawls back to the Earth, the enemy fleet is not far behind...
That's the basic setup, but what makes Macross stand out from the plethora of alien invasion space operas that came before it most notably the classic Space Battleship Yamato (1974) is its focus on the human element of its story, becoming in essence a soap opera in sci-fi drag. Nearly every character is in some way flawed, and despite the military experience held by many of them, that experience frequently proves moot in the face of deep space combat and technologies that they simply do not comprehend. The ostensible hero, sixteen-year-old stunt pilot Hikaru Ichijo, comes of age during the course of the narrative and we follow him through every awkward step, tracing his evolution from prodigy civilian airman to ace space-fighter, as well as seeing him swallow his reluctance to kill once he joins the United Nations Space Navy (annoyingly dubbed the "UN Spacy" for short). Hikaru's also at the center of a love triangle that sees his emotions split between a cute Chinese girl who ends up going from waitress to pop idol overnight, and his by-the-book career military commanding officer; this triangle is milked for all it's worth and is the primary reason that the series proved so popular with female viewers, along with the romantic trials and tribulations of the rest of the voluminous cast.
Another thing that sets the series apart from the cliché template is the pan-cultural scope of the cast. The hero may be Japanese, but the rest of the characters run the ethnic gamut, the bridge crew alone being comprised of a couple of Russians, an American or two, an Italian, and a black chick. This was very refreshing at the time, with the then-most-contemporary multi-cultural cast of characters being found in the various incarnations of Cyborg 009, but each member of that international team was drawn in the most broad of ethnic stereotypes. Not so with Macross, which didn't make a big deal ou t of the characters' ethnicities and saw only the Chinese character standing out because of her frequently-worn Hong Kong-style dresses and hairstyles.
And while the show certainly has a contingent of fans who revere it for its space battles and transforming mecha, I have to say that I love it most for starting things off on a footing that allows the viewer to think they know exactly where the story's going to go and then consistently pulling the rug out from under them. The love triangle plays out in a way that sees all three participants change and grow, the B-characters go through some serious drama involving the tragic casualties of war and the possibilities that can blossom between even the most bitter of enemy rivalries (let's hear it for Max and Millia!!!), and even the enemy aliens prove to be far more than just stock evil world-conquerers when their strange and ancient history proves that there really is something to the universal nature of basic "humanity."
Super Dimension Fortress Macross is easily the most well-crafted and intelligent of the space operas from the 1980's, both in terms of narrative and visual impact, and totally raised the bar on how such material can and should be handled. In fact, the only serialized alien invasion show to come along since that even comes close is Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), a series that wears its Macross influence on its sleeve but somehow comes up a lot less satisfying. If you can get your hands on the Animeigo boxed sets of the original uncut and subtitled Macross series avoid the sequels and the not bad Americanized version, Robotech do yourself the favor and check them out, starting with episode number one because the whole thing's one long story told in thirty-six chapters. Even if you're not an anime fan I urge you to give this stuff a chance. Space operas seldom get any better than this, and Super Dimension Fortress Macross sure as hell beats the three recent Star Wars atrocities.
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