Macross Zero (マクロス ゼロ Makurosu Zero?) is an anime prequel OVA to The Super Dimension Fortress Macross released for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Macross franchise during 2002 in Japan. It was created and directed by Shoji Kawamori and produced by Satelight.
Macross Zero is set in 2008 A.D., one year before the events of the original Macross series, depicting the final battles of the U.N. Wars between the U.N. Spacy and the Anti-UN forces, and is also set in the South Pacific, where a gigantic alien spaceship crash landed 9 years earlier. Amidst the violence, a U.N. Spacy F-14KAI pilot named Shin Kudo is attacked by a strange enemy aircraft that can transform itself into a robot. Crash landing on Mayan Island he learns that this remote island and its peaceful native inhabitants hold a great secret linking them to the alien space ship and would become the focus of the war, whether they like it or not. Shin eventually returns to his carrier fleet and joins the Skull Squadron, who also operate brand new transforming fighters, the VF-0 Phoenix. He trains and engages Anti-UN forces operating from a converted ballistic missile submarine as both sides fight to locate and control alien artifacts, with the peaceful and agrarian Mayan caught in the middle of the war.
- Shin Kudo (工藤 シン Kudō Shin?): Japanese-American fighter pilot flying for the UN. Lost his parents early in the U.N. Wars. Voiced by Kenichi Suzumura.
- Sara Nome: Priestess of Mayan Island. Highly skeptical of outsiders and the violence they bring with them. Voiced by Sanae Kobayashi.
- Mao Nome: Sara's younger sister. Cheerful and outgoing, and longing to see the outside world. Also has a very obvious crush on Shin. Voiced by Yuuka Nanri.
- Roy Focker: Famed UN ace and test pilot for the new and experimental variable fighter, the VF-0. Voiced by Akira Kamiya.
- Edgar LaSalle: Shin's Radar Intercept Officer and best friend. Voiced by Sousuke Komori.
- D.D.Ivanov: Ace pilot flying for the Anti-UN forces. Roy Focker's former instructor turned rival. Flies the SV-51 Anti-U.N. variable fighter. Voiced by Ryûzaburô Ôtomo.
- Nora Polyansky: Ivanov's wingmate. A ruthless and highly skilled warrior dedicated to the Anti-UN cause. Voiced by Minami Takayama.
- Aries Turner: A 26-year-old government researcher known for her genius-level intelligence. She studies and gives top secret seminars about the Protoculture research being undertaken by the U.N. She has known Roy Focker in the past, before the events that will take place in the South Pacific Ocean one year before Space War I. Voiced by Naomi Shindou.
- Nutouk: The Mayan Island tribal chief. Voiced by Tamio Ōki.
- Dr. Hasford:The Anti-UN scientist who theories that intelligent life on Earth might have originated off world from the Protoculture, a race of ancient aliens. Voiced by Nachi Nozawa.
Composed by Kuniaki Haishima, the OVA's soundtrack is orchestral with some tribal influences. One track, titled "VF-Zero", borrows a section of "Klendathu Drop" by Basil Poledouris, from the Starship Troopers soundtrack. The ending theme for episodes 1 and 5 is "Arkan" (which means "star" in the fictional Mayan language), performed by Holy Raz. "Life Song", the ending theme for episode 2, is by Yen Chang and Holy Raz. Yuuka Nanri performs the episode 3 ending theme "Yanyan".
Two volumes of the soundtrack were released in Japan by Victor Entertainment.
English release possibilities
As of 2007, there are no plans to officially release the series in English due to legal concerns with the Macross copyright, including but not limited to the original series. According to Tommy Yune of Harmony Gold USA (sub-licensor of the original Macross series and merchandising rights of The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? outside of Japan), the company would have been "willing to let the deal go through" for a possible release by A.D. Vision.
According to the Japanese company Big West, it (along with Studio Nue, the creators of Macross) is the "copyright owner of all character" designs of the original Macross series, and through that, other Macross products.
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OVA Series notes
Mao Nome's reminiscences have become part of the pre-Space War legendarium of the expanding Human and Zentradi exploration of the Galaxy. The events of the movie paint the story in the style of Tales of the South Pacific, romantic and beautiful in the time before the Zentradi nearly annihilated all life on Earth during one of the most cataclysmic battles of the War. The people of the galaxy know this story as 'Bird-Human'.
During the third Macross TV series, Macross Frontier, the 10th episode ("Legend of Zero") retells the events of the OVA series, as Bird Human a movie made in on one of the colony's city ships for the entertainment of the populace. The Four Romances: one completely doomed (Captain Nora and Captain Ivanov), one tragic (Dr. Aries and Captain Roy Focker - which led to his depression and incipient alcoholism only later broken by Claudia LaSalle), one impossible but real (Mao Nome's love of Shin Kudo), and one transcendental (Sara Nome and Lt. Shin Kudo) make for a story of mysticism, love, music and courage. The adaptation stars Miranda Merin (the reigning Miss Macross Frontier) as Sara Nome and Ranka Lee as Mao Nome (after the original actress is injured in a car accident on the way to the filming location). Alto Saotome, the main protagonist of Frontier, is the stunt double for the actor playing Shin Kudo (as the actor does not do underwater scenes, as stated in his contract). Incidentally, the film's director bears a striking resemblance to series creator Shoji Kawamori.
Later episodes explicitly state that Macross Frontier singer Sheryl Nome is the granddaughter of Dr. Mao Nome, and showed a photograph of a much older but still recognizable Mao with glasses, clearly now a venerable survivor of Space War I.
All That VF - Macross 25th Anniversary Air Show (Zero Edition)
Coinciding with both the 25th Anniversary of Macross and the Blu-ray releases of volume one of both Macross Zero and Macross Frontier, the official website of Macross Frontier posted two newly animated short films featuring Air Show style demonstrations for both series. People who purchased the first pressings of either Macross Zero or Macross Frontier received a unique code to enter into the website and therefore able to watch the short film of the respective anime.
The VF-0 features a grey frame with a blue nose-cone and wing tips, as well as a stripe along the legs which form the jet engines, with a black strip siting below the length of the cockpit. The tail fins are blue and black. The words "25th Anniversary" are in gold lettering and feature under the cockpit, on either side of the legs and on the wings. The emblem of Macross 25th Anniversary is printed on either side of the tail fins.
The SV-51 features a similar pattern scheme like Nora Polyansky's Valkyrie in the OVA with yellow stripes, except that the main body colour is a dark, almost greyish blue. The words "25th Anniversary" are also seen on the wings in the same lettering, but due to the angles shown in the clip no other details of the colour scheme are known.
Three Valkyries that weren't featured in the Macross Zero OVA also make a cameo appearance. These include both the YF-19 and YF-21 from Macross Plus in their original colour schemes and the VF-25 Messiah from Macross Frontier featuring the "25th Anniversary" colour scheme from the Macross Frontier version of All That VF.
Whilst the area in which the maneuvers in the Macross Frontier version of this clip was a generic desert and mountain location, in this version the Air Show takes place around Mayan Island.
The most notable maneuver in the clip features the squadron of the VF-0s skimming across the water surface in GERWALK mode, the wake created in the water forming the zero symbol in the Macross Zero title.
The music track for this clip was an excerpt from an orchestral track of Macross Frontier titled "Vital Force" composed by Yoko Kanno.
- U.N. Wars Official Information
- Meadows, Chris (2007-01-30). "Melanie MacQueen Interview, Part Four" (mp3). Space Station Liberty. Retrieved 2007-01-31. External link in
- "Big West letter on Macross copyrights". 2002-02-25. Archived from the original on 2004-08-06. Retrieved 2004-08-06.
- Macross Frontier Episode 10
- "'Promo for Macross All That VF Anime Short Streamed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- "マクロス』25周年記念キャペーン スペシャル映像「ALL THAT VF」制作決定＆PV配信開始". Saishin Anime Jōhō. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
- Macross Official Web Site (Japanese)
- Macross Zero Official Site (Japanese)
- Bandai Visual's Macross Zero web site (Japanese)
- Macross Compendium Macross Zero section
- Macross Zero (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Macross Zero at the Internet Movie Database
- Macross Mecha Manual A website profiling the fictional vehicles of the Macross series
- Mecha Anime Headquarters Another site with information about the mecha of the Macross series