The Macross universe began in 1982 with The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
This season (from April 2016) marks the debut of Macross Delta, after eight years without a new Macross series. Japan has been eagerly awaiting the return of Macross to the silver screen.
Are you interested in this new series? Feel like you want to watch it but you’re afraid of diving in without knowing the background?
Well, you’re in luck! You’re still in time to catch up on everything you need to know with a crash course on Macross.
We will be splitting this course up into three segments.
Prof. MJA Ojisan:
Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. I am professor MJA Ojisan, and I know everything there is to know about anime.
So you say you’re interested in Macross, huh? I hear you want to watch the latest series but haven’t seen any of the previous ones. Well then…
You could, of course, watch any of the series on their own. They are fully independent, after all. However, knowing the background of the Macross universe is known to statistically improve enjoyment of the Macross series by 1000%!
We’re about to get underway on the crash course to Macross! So make sure your ears are nice and clean and listen up!
What is Macross?
Macross is an anime franchise that began in 1982 with the series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
Following that, Macross Plus, Macross 7, Macross Zero, and Macross Frontier appeared on the anime front, as well as OVAs, movies, novels, and various other works.
During the 70s and 80s, the Real Robot anime genre was all the rage. Macross set itself apart from its contemporaries by not only having battling robots, but also including love triangles and music elements.
In terms of love triangles, the one that started it all, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, is probably the most shocking and impactful of all.
It revolved around the main character, a young pilot named Hikaru Ichijo, and included a popular singer Lynn Minmay and an elite military officer named Misa Hayase.
Throughout the series, we see how the romantic relationships between individuals can be just as intense as wars that threaten the future of humanity.
Macross Frontier also has some of that “super idol” vs. “girl next door” flavor to it.
On the other hand, Macross 7 has two guys, a rock singer named Basara Nekki and an ace pilot named Gamlin Kizaki, both vying for the affections of one Mylene Flare Jenius, who happens to be in Basara’s band.
I also said that this series also places a huge importance on music.
In the Macross universe, humans are usually at odds with an alien race called the Zentradi. Even though these two warring factions cannot see eye to eye via logic and reasoning, and have different values, music still has the power to move hearts.
In The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Minmay sings a song which triggers the resolution of a conflict with some of the Zentradi. In later iterations of the franchise, this has made her a historical figure.
This precedes the “virtual idols” which have only recently begun to appear in real life. In those days, everyone thought there was something special about Minmay. Of course, I was but a young lad meself then, too.
The other fascinating thing about Macross is, of course, the battles. The Macross mecha are form-changing fighters called Valkyries. They have three different modes: Fighter mode, Gerwalk mode, and Battroid mode.
In particular, the Gerwalk mode, which is a cross between the Fighter mode and the Battroid mode, is unique to the Macross universe, and one of its distinguishing features.
The following is a listing of the various Macross series.
This traces the development of the Macross story through all its iterations. The initial date indicates the year as it appears in the Macross timeline, and the date in brackets represents the release date of the series/OVA/movie.
2008 – Macross Zero (OVA 2002-2004)
2009-2010 – The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (TV Anime 1982-1983) and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross “Do You Remember Love?” (movie 1984)
2012 – The Super Dimension Fortress Macross “Flash Back 2012” (OVA 1987)
2040 – Macross Plus (OVA 1994-1995)
2045-2046 Macross 7 (TV Anime 1994-1995)
2047 – Macross Dynamite 7 (OVA 1997)
2059 – Macross Frontier (TV Anime 2008)
2067 – Macross Delta (TV Anime 2016)
2090 – The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2 “Lovers Again” (OVA 1992)
Alright folks, that’s all for today. We’ll pick it up in the next installment.
Next time, we’ll be covering the basic plot outlines of the key series in the Macross franchise.
See y’all later.
Click HERE to the next installment.