Macross

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This article is about an anime franchise. For the first Macross TV series, see The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
Macross (franchise)
Macross Original Logo.jpg
The original Macross series logo.
マクロス
(Makurosu)
Genre Military science fiction, mecha anime, Real robot, Space opera
Anime and Manga portal

Macross (マクロス Makurosu?) is a 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 the mecha (variable fighters and destroids), faster-than-light space fold drive for starships and other advanced technologies that the series features. The first TV series with edited content and a revised script was released as the first part of Robotech in the U.S.

Title[edit]

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.

Themes[edit]

The following are themes commonly seen and established among the various series in the Macross franchise.

U.N. Spacy[edit]

U.N. Spacy Roundel

The U.N. Spacy is a fictional military arm of the Earth Unified 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 a portmanteau 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.

Variable fighters[edit]

A variable fighter, also known as a "varitech" fighter in the English adaptation of the series, 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[edit]

Music is integral part to almost every Macross title by having significances in a series' antagonists behavior towards it. Music idols also play a central role to various Macross stories. Often, the protagonist will be involved in a love triangle with a series' music idol; most notably, Lynn Minmay.

Space Fold[edit]

Space folding permits Faster-than-light travel in the Macross franchise. This capability was introduced when the SDF-1 crash-landed on Earth, and it has since been officially described as a type of space warp (or what is called super-light-velocity spatial displacement) navigation and allows nearly-instantaneous ultra-long distance travel: 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 (2009–2012) 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 retard 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, which prevents very large objects from being folded across vast distances.

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".

Other elements[edit]

The franchise also explores minor themes including culture shock, 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 cope with warfare. Whereas Gundam is far more political and 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.

Series chronology[edit]

Several sequel series and one prequel have followed. Most use a chronology created by the Studio Nue creators, and those that followed their own chronologies were regarded as "parallel storylines" by the studio. The main of Macross production consists of (in chronological release order):

Release Dates Episodes Work Title (original) Chronology
1982/10 to
1983/06
36 TV series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross[1]
Original work adapted by Harmony Gold to become Robotech: The Macross Saga in 1985.[2]
2009–2012
1984/07 N/A Movie Macross: Do You Remember Love?[3]
Alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, specifically episodes two through 27.
2009–2012/2031
story within a story (in Macross 7)
1987/06 1 OVA The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012[4]
Epilogue of the Movie, segments were added in the movie's definitive "Perfect Edition".
2012
1992/05 to
1992/11
6 OVA series Macross II[5]
"Macross 10th Anniversary"
TV series' sequel OVA created without Studio Nue.
2092[6]
"parallel" world alternate continuity
1994/08 to
1995/06
4 OVA series Macross Plus[7]
TV series' sequel OVA created by Studio Nue. A side-story.
2040
1995/03 to
1995/07
4 OVA series Macross Plus: International Version[7]
Alternative OVA version with English cast and songs.
2040
1994/10 to
1995/09
49 TV series Macross 7[8]
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.
2045-46
1994/10 to
2001/05
8 volumes Manga series Macross 7: Trash
Comic side-story first serialized in Shōnen Ace magazine then released as volumes.
2046
1995/09 N/A Movie Macross Plus: Movie Edition[7]
Alternative movie version with different editing and additional scenes.
2040
1995/09 N/A Movie Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me![9] 2046
1995/12 3 OVA Macross 7: Encore[8]
Three '94 TV series additional episodes.
2046
1997/12 to
1998/08
4 OVA series Macross Dynamite 7[10]
"Macross 15th Anniversary"
'94 TV series' sequel.
2047
2002/12 to
2004/10
5 OVA series Macross Zero[11]
"Macross 20th Anniversary"
Original '82 TV series' prequel.
2008
2007/12 N/A Manga series Macross Frontier Manga
'94 TV series' sequel. Comic format telling of the events in Macross Frontier first serialized in Shōnen Ace magazine.
2059
2007/12 1 TV series pilot Macross Frontier (Deculture Edition)
"Macross 25th Anniversary"
'94 TV series' sequel pilot episode.
2059
2008/04 25 TV series Macross Frontier[12]
"Macross 25th Anniversary"
'94 TV series' sequel.
2059
2009–present N/A Manga series Macross: The First[13][14]
Comic format alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross serialized in Macross Ace magazine and actually Newtype Ace.
2009–2012
2009/11/21 N/A Movie Macross Frontier The Movie: The False Songstress
2008 TV series' theatrical movie adaptation.
2059
2010/12 to
2011/11
12 Novels Macross The Ride[15]
Original '08 TV series' prequel.
2058
2011/02/26 N/A Movie Macross Frontier Movie: The Wings of Goodbye
2009 Theatrical movie sequel.
2059
2012/10/3-8 N/A Musical Macross The Musicalture
30th anniversary Tokyo Dome live music show.
2062
2012/10/20 N/A Movie Macross FB 7: Ore no Uta o Kike!
"Macross Dynamite 7 15th Anniversary"
New story with Macross Frontier characters
2059
2013/02/28 N/A Video Game Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy
"Macross 30th Anniversary"
2060
TBA TBA TV series Macross Delta 2067

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."[16] (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,[17] in a then untitled new Macross series.[18] 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 AD. 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 AD 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.[19]

The Kanto area rerun of the Macross Frontier television anime series during early 2014 in Japan ended with a teaser announcement that a new Macross TV series is in the works,[20] and later in the year was tentatively titled Macross Δ (Delta). Just like in Macross Frontier, a casting call will be held for one of the main characters of the series to begin on December 1, 2014.[21]

Macross/Super Dimension fictional chronology[edit]

Several sequel series and prequels have followed in Macross/Super Dimension. The main of Macross/Super Dimension production consists of (in fictional chronological timeline order):

Time Period Title (original) Work Release Dates Episodes
1999 The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (Prologue only)
Original work adapted by Harmony Gold to become Robotech: The Macross Saga in 1985.
TV series 1982/10 to 1983/6 36
2002–2010 Misa Hayase: White Reminiscences Novels 1984/2 N/A
2008 Macross Zero
Original Macross origin story
OVA series 2002/12 to 2004/10 5
2009 Dreaming Prelude: My Fair Minmay Novels 1983/4 N/A
2009–2012 The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
Original work adapted by Harmony Gold to become Robotech: The Macross Saga in 1985.
TV series 1982/10 to 1983/6 36
2009–2012 Macross: The First
Comic format alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross serialized in Macross Ace magazine and actually Newtype Ace.
Manga 2009/2 – Ongoing N/A
2010 Macross Inside Story: Macross Classic Audio drama 1996/8 4
2012, 2031
(story within a story)
Macross: Do You Remember Love?
Alternate telling of the events in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, specifically episodes two through 27.
Movie 1984/7 N/A
2012 The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012
Epilogue of the Movie, segments were added in the movie's definitive "Perfect Edition".
OVA 1987/6 N/A
2014–2030 Macross M3 Video game 2001/2 N/A
2040 Macross Plus
Original Macross sequel OVA created by Studio Nue. A side-story.
OVA series 1994/8 to 1995/9 5
2043 Macross: True Love Song Video game 2000/3 N/A
2045 Macross 7 Docking Festival: Singing Saves the Galaxy!? Audio drama 1995/3 N/A
2045–2046 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.
TV series 1994/10 to 1995/9 49
2046 Macross 7: Trash Manga 1995/5 to 2001/7 8 volumes
2046 Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me! Movie 1995/9 N/A
2046 Macross 7: Encore
OVA series sequel to Macross 7
OVA series 1995/12 to 1996/2 3
2046 Macross Generation Audio drama 1997/4 10
2047 Macross Digital Mission VF-X Video game 1997/2 N/A
2047 Macross Dynamite 7
Macross 7 OVA sequel
OVA series 1997/12 to 1998/8 4
2050 Macross VF-X2 Video game 1999/9 N/A
2058 Macross The Ride Novels 2010/12 to 2011/11 12
2059 Macross Frontier TV series 2008/4 to 2008/9 25
2059 Super Dimension Song Maiden Ranka Manga 2008/10 1 volume
2059 Macross Frontier The Movie: The False Songstress
Macross Frontier theatrical movie adaptation.
Movie 2009/11 N/A
2059 Sheryl: Kiss in the Galaxy Manga 2010/9 to 2012/10 4 volumes
2059 Macross Frontier Movie: The Wings of Goodbye
2009 Theatrical movie sequel.
Movie 2011/2 N/A
2059 Macross Frontier: Hold Me Tightly to the Edge of the Galaxy Manga 2012/9 1 volume
2059 Macross FB 7: Ore no Uta o Kike!
Macross 7 & Macross Frontier crossover special.
Movie 2012/10 N/A
2059 Macross Fortissimo Manga 2013/3 1 volume
2060 Macross 30: Voices across the Galaxy Video game 2013/2 N/A
2062 Macross The Musicalture
Macross 30th anniversary live music show.
Musical 2012/10 N/A
2067 Macross Delta TV series TBA TBA
2092 Macross II
Original Macross sequel OVA created without Studio Nue.
OVA series 1992/5 to 1992/11 6

Video games[edit]

Macross video games are based on its universe, sometimes expanding it with original characters and sidestories; latest games often include newly created anime footage, and all of them were exclusively released in Japan;[22] except a Takatoku Toys handheld electronic game distributed by Incoming Trading, a Banpresto arcade game licensed by Fabtek, and a Bandai Visual PlayStation game whose debuted North American localization was eventually cancelled probably due to copyrights issue involving Harmony Gold.[23]

See the list of Macross video games for all the official and crossover releases from the 1980s up to the 2010s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (TV Series). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  2. ^ ADV Films Official Macross English Dub Page. Main Section. 04-09-09[dead link]
  3. ^ Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Movie). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-07-09
  4. ^ The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-07-09
  5. ^ Macross II (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  6. ^ The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 CD booklet, 1992, p. 3, Victor, VICL-365
  7. ^ a b c Macross Plus (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  8. ^ a b Macross 7 (TV). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  9. ^ Macross 7 The Movie: The Galaxy Is Calling Me!. Macross Official Website. 04-09-09
  10. ^ Macross Dynamite 7 (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  11. ^ Macross Zero (OVA). Macross Official Website. Series Section. 04-09-09
  12. ^ Macross Frontier (TV Series). Macross Frontier Official Site. 04-09-09
  13. ^ "Designer Haruhiko Mikimoto to Draw New Macross Manga (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  14. ^ "New Macross Manga Launches in Japan's Macross Ace Mag". Anime News Network. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  15. ^ Macross R Macross R Official Site.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Shoji Kawamori Interview". Animerica Vol. 3 No. 1 (Viz, LLC). 
  17. ^ "Yoko Kanno, Heroine's Voice Announced for New Macross". 
  18. ^ Follow Up: Victor Voice Actress Auditions for Macross
  19. ^ "Macross Frontier Movie Announced". Anime News Network. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  20. ^ "Macross Science-Fiction Anime Franchise Gets New TV Series". Anime News Network. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  21. ^ "New Macross TV Anime Project Announced With Singer Auditions". Anime News Network. 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  22. ^ Macross Video Games Official Release Information at the Original Macross Compendium Page
  23. ^ "Why You Haven't Seen Any New Macross in the West for Nearly 15 Years", Richard Eisenbeis, March 15th 2013

External links[edit]

Japanese[edit]