Macross (マクロス Makurosu?) is a long-running series of science fiction mecha anime, created by Shōji Kawamori of Studio Nue in 1982. The franchise features a fictional history of Earth/Humanity after the year 1999. It consists of three TV series, four movies, six OVAs, one light novel and five manga series, all sponsored by Big West Advertising.
Within the series, the term Macross is used to denote the main capital ship. This theme began in the original Macross, the SDF-1 Macross.
Overtechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship (Alien Star Ship - One later renamed Super Dimension Fortress - One Macross) that crashed on South Ataria island. With this technology, Earth was able to reverse engineer the technology to create mechas (variable fighters and destroids), a faster-than-light space fold drive for starships and other advanced technologies, featured throughout the series.
The series title comes from the name of the main human spacecraft (which is usually shortened from Super Dimension Fortress to SDF-1 Macross as it is the first). The original name for the Macross project was Battle City Megarodo (or Battle City Megaroad, as the Japanese transliteration to either "L" or "R" gives the title a double meaning in reference to the story line: Megaload, referring to the spacecraft containing an entire city of people; and Megaroad, referring to the long journey through space back to Earth); however, one of the sponsors of the project, Big West Advertising, was a fan of Shakespeare and wanted the series and the spacecraft to be named Macbeth (マクベス Makubesu?). A compromise was made with the title Macross (マクロス Makurosu?) due to its similar pronunciation to Macbeth in Japanese and because it still contained connotations to the original title. The word Macross comes from a wordplay combination of the prefix "macro" in reference to its massive size in comparison to human vehicles (though when compared with the alien ships in the series, it is a relatively small gun destroyer) and the distance they must cross.
The following are themes commonly seen and established among the various series in the Macross franchise.
The U.N. Spacy is a fictional military arm of the Earth U.N. Government (地球統合政府 Chikyū Tōgō Seifu?). It was established by the successor to the modern United Nations in order to defend Earth from a possible attack by hostile aliens, and was involved in Space War I against an extraterrestrial race called the Zentradi. Later operations of the U.N. Spacy expanded into interstellar colonization and general peacekeeping of off-world Earth settlements.
The term "Spacy" is an extrapolation of the terms Army and Navy - though some Japanese sources also use the term Space Army and some English-language sources use the term Space Navy, suggesting that the term is a contraction.
A variable fighter is one of a series of transformable aerospace fighters, primarily designed by Studio Nue's Shoji Kawamori and Kazutaka Miyatake. They are generally able to transform into jet/space fighters, a humanoid robot and a hybrid of the two modes, better known as Gerwalk. The original VF-1 Valkyrie was actually named "Valkyrie", but the craft have generically been referred to as such in the series since then.
Music plays an integral part in almost every Macross title, having significances in the way a series' antagonists behave towards it. Music idols also play a central role to various Macross stories. Often, the protagonist will be forced into a love triangle with a series' music idol; the most notable of them all is Lynn Minmay.
Faster-than-light travel in the Macross franchise is achieved via space-folding. This capability was introduced when the SDF-1 crash-landed on Earth. It has since been officially described as a type of space warp (or what is called super-light-velocity spatial displacement) navigation, allowing ultra-long distance travel nearly instantaneously. Simply put, a space-fold transports a spacecraft in a very short amount of time, by first swapping the location of the spacecraft with super dimension space or subspace, and then swapping the Super Dimension space with the space at the destination.
According to U.N. Spacy First Lieutenant Hayase Misa during Space War I (2009–2010), an hour passes in super dimension space as approximately ten days passes in normal space. The latest Macross TV series Macross Frontier further expands on that concept by introducing fold faults or dislocations which further slow down fold travel and interfere with fold communications. Also explained in Macross Frontier are the limitations of space folding, such as the geometric increase in energy requirement with the mass of the object to be folded. This prevents very large objects from being folded across vast distances because of the enormous energy requirements.
The act of entering Super Dimension space is called "fold in". When arriving at the destination, the act of leaving Super Dimension space is called a "defold" or a "fold out".
An alternative to ending a crisis
In the Macross franchise, military actions are always futile in strategic magnitudes. Aliens always invariably overrun humanity's best defenses, slaughter the armies or airforces, and destroy their cities (or planets). Humanity puts up a courageous fight but eventually fails in long run, only inflicting minor damage on its adversary. The series usually ends in a worse-than-Pyrrhic victory against the aliens but only through what resembles a miracle. In most cases, this would be a song from a human vocalist, since the aliens are shown to lack the cultural aspects of music and fear its psychological traits.
The franchise also explores minor themes including culture shock, the coming of age, and nostalgia.
The New Age following the end of Space War I is part of the ongoing fictional time-line of the Macross franchise. The most recent series, Macross Frontier, is set 50 years after the start of the war with the Zentradi and depicts one of the colonization missions to the center of the galaxy.
Along with Gundam, a real robot mecha series of which Shoji Kawamori is a fan, Macross explored how individuals deal with warfare. Whereas Gundam is far more political and is direct on the horrors of war, each Macross television series is unique for never depicting the antagonists as inherently evil and proved in the end that love, culture and music can be used to defeat them.
Several sequel series and one prequel have followed. Most use a chronology created by the Studio Nue creators, and those which followed their own chronologies were regarded as "parallel storylines" by the studio. The main Macross production consists of (in chronological release order):
|Release Dates||Episodes||Work||Title (original)||Chronology|
|36||TV series||The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
Original work adapted by Harmony Gold to become Robotech: The Macross Saga in 1985.
|1984/07||NA||Movie||The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?
Alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, specifically episodes two through 27.
story within a story (in Macross 7)
|1987/06||1||OVA||The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012
Epilogue of the Movie, segments were added in the movie's definitive "Perfect Edition".
|6||OVA series||The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers, Again
"Macross 10th Anniversary"
TV series' sequel OVA created without Studio Nue.
"parallel" world alternate continuity
|4||OVA series||Macross Plus
TV series' sequel OVA created by Studio Nue. A side-story.
|4||OVA series||Macross Plus: International Version
Alternative OVA version with English cast and songs.
|49||TV series||Macross 7
TV series sequel to Macross Plus. First of the sequels to touch upon the metaplot. Features a new cast of characters, and only three returning characters from the original series.
|8 volumes||Manga series||Macross 7: Trash
Comic side-story first serialized in Shōnen Ace magazine then released as volumes.
|1995/09||NA||Movie||Macross Plus: Movie Edition
Alternative movie version with different editing and additional scenes.
|1995/09||NA||Movie||Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me!||2046|
|1995/12||3||OVA||Macross 7: Encore
Three '94 TV series additional episodes.
|4||OVA series||Macross Dynamite 7
"Macross 15th Anniversary"
'94 TV series' sequel.
|5||OVA series||Macross Zero
"Macross 20th Anniversary"
Original '82 TV series' prequel.
|2007/12||NA||Manga series||Macross Frontier Manga
'94 TV series' sequel. Comic format telling of the events in Macross Frontier first serialized in Shōnen Ace magazine.
|2007/12||1||TV series pilot||Macross Frontier (Deculture Edition)
"Macross 25th Anniversary"
'94 TV series' sequel pilot episode.
|2008/04||25||TV series||Macross Frontier
'94 TV series' sequel.
|2009||NA||Manga series||Macross: The First
Comic format alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross serialized in Shōnen Ace magazine.
|2009/11/12||NA||Movie||Macross Frontier The Movie: The False Diva
2008 TV series' theatrical movie adaptation.
|2011/02/26||NA||Movie||Macross Frontier Movie: The Wings of Goodbye
2009 Theatrical movie sequel.
A feature film, subtitled Do You Remember Love? (愛・おぼえていますか Ai Oboete Imasu ka), was released in 1984, with a condensed version of the storyline and cutting-edge animation. This movie was later described as a "historical drama" movie within the Macross universe (similar to World War II films in the real world). In Macross Plus and Macross 7, it is revealed that there was a movie produced after Space War I (the original Earth-Zentradi conflict). Kawamori described the relation between the two depictions of Space War I: "The real Macross is out there, somewhere. If I tell the story in the length of a TV series, it looks one way, and if I tell it as a movie-length story, it's organized another way." (An edited, English-dubbed version of the feature was also released to video as Clash of the Bionoids.)
Macross II, the only animated project without Studio Nue's direct involvement, was declared a parallel-world story by Studio Nue.
In March 2007, Studio Victor placed a casting call for a voice actress to play the heroine, Ranka Lee, in a then untitled new Macross series. 18 year old Nakajima Megumi was selected in the nationwide singing and acting audition for the role of Ranka Lee in Japan. The project was given the tentative title of Macross 25. Later, as part of the 25th anniversary concert, a trailer was shown that revealed the new tentative title of Macross F (Frontier). During the concert, Kawamori Shoji mentioned that the timeframe of Macross Frontier was about 2070 A.D. Kawamori also announced that Yoko Kanno would be the music co-composer of the new Macross series. According to Newtype Magazine, this new series were supposed to take place in a school. The pilot episode aired on December 23, 2007. The new series were finally set in the year 2059 A.D. and took place in a new Macross Colony Fleet called "Macross Frontier". The new show was produced by Satelight and its episodes began their regular broadcast on April 4, 2008, in MBS channel of Japan. The final episode aired on September 25, 2008, what brought the series to a total of 25 episodes. A Macross Frontier Movie Edition was announced just after the ending of the new TV animated series.
Macross video games are based on its universe, sometimes expanding it with original characters and sidestories, latest games often include newly created anime footage. All of them were exclusively released in Japan. These include:
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: A 2D sidescrolling shooter game released in 1985 for the Nintendo Famicom by Namco and Bandai. The main objectives of the lone Valkyrie are to battle Zentradi forces, penetrate the Zentradi's Nupetiet Vergnitzs flagship, and destroy it. A simplified midi rendition of the song "Shao Pai Long" is the game's only background music.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2036 - A 2D sidescrolling shooter released in April 1992 for the PC Engine Super CD-ROM² that occurs in the universe of The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers, Again OVA. The game takes place 26 years after the end of Space War I, with Komilia Maria Fallyna Jenius as one of the protagonists.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Eternal Love Song - A turn-based 2D strategy videogame released in December 1992 for the PC Engine Super CD-ROM² that follows the continuity of Macross II and is a sequel to Macross 2036.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie - A 2D sidescrolling shooter released in 1993 for the Nintendo Super Famicom and based on Do You Remember Love?. The story takes place after the movie, but before the launch of the SDF-2 Megaroad-01.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? - A 2D shooter created for the Sega Saturn in 1997 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Macross franchise, it was co-programmed by Sega and was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999. It is closely based on the movie, with a mix of 2D and 3D action and special effects. The game's two CDs contained footage and soundtrack from both the Macross movie and Flashback 2012 as well as brand new cutscenes. The intro cutscene, in particular, shows Hikaru and his fellow pilots just taking off the carrier Prometheus when a sudden Zentradi attack destroys the warship.
- Macross Digital Mission VF-X - The first ever 3D graphics and polygonal game of the franchise made by Bandai Visual for the PlayStation in 1997. Set in 2047, the game focuses on a UN Spacy squadron assigned to rescue a girl band called the Milky Dolls. The game was re-released with a lower price as a PlayStation The Best Collection Series title in 1998.
- Macross VF-X2 - Released for the PlayStation in 1999. The game is set three years after the events of VF-X. This was the only Macross game planned for an American release, but was canceled due to unknown reasons.
- Macross Plus: Game Edition - Released for the PlayStation in 2000. It is based on Macross Plus, with cutscenes from the movie version included.
- Macross M3 - A 3D shooter released for the Dreamcast on February 22, 2001. M3 takes place around 2014, and covers the story of Maximilian Jenius, Milia Fallyna Jenius, and their adopted Meltlandi daughter Moaramia Fallyna Jenius (whose original name was Moaramia Jifon) as they continue to serve as Valkyrie pilots.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross VO (Valkyrie Overdrive) - A space combat simulator released in 2001 for the PC. It was compatible with Windows 95, 98 and ME. A Windows XP version was released (The Super Dimension Fortress Macross VOXP) in 2002. The game was unique in the fact that it enabled players to sortie online using the vehicles used by the different factions (Zentradi, Meltlandi and U.N. Spacy) featured in Macross DYRL.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross ("超時空要塞マクロス") - A full 3D shooter released by Sega-AM2 for the PlayStation 2 in 2003. The game features many familiar characters as well as new characters and all Valkyrie fighters featured in the TV series, the Macross DYRL movie and Macross Flashback 2012.
- Macross 7 Ginga no Heart wo Furuwasero!! (Let's Reveal the Galaxy's Heart!!) - A 2D side scrolling shooter released on the Game Boy Color in 2000. It features Macross 7's Fire Bomber band and their special Valkyries, plus some from the UN Spacy.
- There were three arcade games released by Banpresto during the 90s, all of which were scrolling shooters: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1992), The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II (1993) and Macross Plus (1996). The first game follows the events of the Do You Remember Love? movie.
- Macross Ace Frontier - A PlayStation Portable release from Namco Bandai and developed by Artdink, released in October 2008 in Japan.
- Macross Ultimate Frontier - The PlayStation Portable sequel to Macross Ace Frontier that includes new mecha and levels based on the alternate continuity of Macross II as well as previous Macross videogames. It was developed by Artdink and released by Namco Bandai in October 2009.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (TV Series). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- ADV Films Official Macross English Dub Page. Main Section. 04-09-09
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Movie). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-07-09
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-07-09
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers, Again (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 CD booklet, 1992, p. 3, Victor, VICL-365
- Macross Plus (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- Macross 7 (TV). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me!. Macross Official Website. 04-09-09
- Macross Dynamite 7 (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- Macross Zero (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
- Macross Frontier (TV Series). Macross Frontier Official Site. 04-09-09
- "Designer Haruhiko Mikimoto to Draw New Macross Manga (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "New Macross Manga Launches in Japan's Macross Ace Mag". Anime News Network. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
- "Shoji Kawamori Interview". Animerica Vol. 3 No. 1 (Viz, LLC).
- Template:Cie web
- Follow Up: Victor Voice Actress Auditions for Macross
- "Macross Frontier Movie Announced". Anime News Network. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Macross Video Games Official Release Information at the Original Macross Compendium Page
- Nintendo Family Computer System Compatible Cartridge Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross. NMR-4500. Namco/Bandai. Japan. Y4800. 1985, December 10
- NEC PC-Engine Compatible CD-ROM2/Super CD-ROM2 Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2036. NSCD-2007. Nihon Computer System (Masaya). Japan. Y7400. 1992, April 3
- Macross 2036
- NEC PC-Engine Compatible CD-ROM2/Super CD-ROM2 Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Eternal Love Song. NSCD-2014. Nihon Computer System (Masaya). Japan. Y7400. 1992, December 4
- Macross: Eternal Love Song
- Nintendo Super Family Computer System Compatible Cartridge Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie. SHVC-M9. Zamuse. Japan. Y8800. 1993, October 29
- Sega Saturn Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross:Do You Remember Love?. T-23403G. Sega/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1997, June 6
- Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross:Do You Remember Love?. SLPS-02005~7. Sega/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1999, May 27
- Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. Macross Digital Mission VF-X. SLPS-00386. UNiT Inc/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1997, February 28
- Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. PlayStation The Best Collection Series: Macross Digital Mission VF-X. SLPS-91058. UNiT Inc/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y2800. 1998, May 28
- Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. Macross Digital Mission VF-X2. SLPS-02237. Studio GONZO/UNiT Inc/Bandai Visual. Japan. Y6800. 1999, September 2
- Sony PlayStation Compatible CD-ROM Video Game. Macross Plus: Game Edition. SLPS-02791. Shoeisha/Takara. Japan. Y6800. 2000, June 29
- Sega Dreamcast GD-ROM Videogame Macross M3. Instruction Booklet. Shoeisha Inc., Japan. T-21502M. Y6800. 02-22-2001
- Microsoft Windows 98/Me Japanese Compatible CD-ROM game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross VO (Valkyrie Overdrive). Bothtec, Japan. Y7800. 2001 June 22
- Microsoft Windows 98/Me/XP Japanese Compatible CD-ROM game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross VOXP (Valkyrie Overdrive XP). Bothtec, Japan. Y7800. 2002 July 4
- Sony PlayStation 2 Compatible DVD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross. SLPM-65405. Sega-AM2/Bandai. Japan. Y6800. 2003, October 23
- Nintendo GameBoy Color Compatible Cartridge Video Game. Macross 7 Ginga no Heart wo Furuwasero!! - Let's Reveal the Galaxy's Heart!!. Shooting game. Epoch, Japan. Y3980. 2000, March 17
- Chou-Jikuu Yousai Macross
- Arcade game. Chou-Jikuu Yousai Macross. Vertical Scrolling Shooting Game. Banpresto. Japan. 1992
- Chou-Jikuu Yousai Macross II
- Arcade game. Chou-Jikuu Yousai Macross II. Horizontal Scrolling Shooting Game. Banpresto. Japan. 1993
- Macross Plus
- Arcade game. Macross Plus. Vertical Scrolling Shooting Game. Banpresto. Japan. December, 1996
- "Bandai Namco To Announce Macross Ultimate Frontier". PSP Hyper. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
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