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The Protodeviln (プロトデビルン Purotodebirun?) are a fictional race of alien beings hailing from an adjoining sub-universe in the anime series Macross 7. Though some appear humanoid (through possessing the body of other humanoid beings), and some bear resemblance of vampire-like elves, most are gigantic creatures with few human features, resembling devils. The non-humanoid Protodeviln creatures were designed by mecha designer Kazutaka Miyatake of Studio Nue, while the humanoid types were designed by character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto.
Fictional Race History
Genesis and conquest
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the Stellar Republic of the humanoid alien race known as the Protoculture controlled much of the Milky Way galaxy. They genetically created giant humanoid warriors known as the Zentradi and manipulated Earth's native life to shape the evolution of what would become humanity. However, internal divisions and conflicts within the Stellar Republic led to a project to create a race of even more advanced Zentradi to fight the ongoing wars. These beings, dubbed the Evil (pronounced "eh-vil") series of warriors, were initially unsuccessful due to their high energy requirements; nevertheless, the project was reopened upon the discovery of a sub-universe containing abundant energy. However, experiments to develop organs capable of utilizing this energy inadvertently allowed non-corporeal beings within that sub-universe to cross into our own universe. These beings possessed the Evil entities, and used them to wreak immense havoc. The Protoculture called these beings in their new form the Protodeviln.
The Protodeviln realized they could not remain in our universe indefinitely, as they required an energy called spiritia to remain active. However, they quickly learned that Protoculture, Zentradi and other humanoids generated this energy, and began conquering large portions of the Galaxy, feeding on spiritia wherever they went, and brainwashing captured humanoids into a massive fighting force, the Supervision Army.
Imprisonment and return
The Protodeviln drained so much spiritia from the Galaxy that they almost created a Spiritia Black Hole, into which the spiritia of all forms of life would be drawn inexorably, turning the cosmos into a lifeless void. However, before this could happen they were defeated and driven back by a special group of Protoculture people, the Anima Spiritia, possessed of a form of spiritia too pure for the Protodeviln to absorb. Overwhelmed and immobilised, the alien creatures were imprisoned within massive crystals in caves beneath the surface of an ice planet. Wary of the return of their fearsome enemies, the now almost extinct Protoculture left information—for those who could find it—of the Protodeviln and how they were defeated.
500,000 years later in the year 2025 AD, the Megaroad-13 colonization fleet discovered an inhabitable planet and named its star system Varauta. Later in 2043 AD an U.N. Spacy research fleet launched an expedition to the icy fourth planet in the system and discovered a mysterious energy field and alien ruins beneath the surface. Entering a cave, the expedition encountered the source: the crystal prisons of the Protodeviln, brought back to consciousness by the arrival of fresh spiritia. High-ranking Protodeviln awakened and remotely possessed two of the expedition officers while brainwashing the rest into a new Supervision Army called The Varauta Army. After capturing the Megaroad-13 (and modifying their ships and mecha to better serve their purposes) the next target of the Protodeviln and their new Varauta army became the approaching colonization fleets, Macross 5 and Macross 7.
Evolution and exodus
The Varauta initial attacks on the Macross 7 and 5 fleets escalated into a new armed conflict known as the Protodeviln War, which caused heavy casualties on both the Varauta and the U.N. Spacy sides. These included part of the Varauta army, some of the Protodeviln, part of the Macross 7 defense fleet and the whole Macross 5 defense fleet. After nearly an entire year of battles the war between the Macross 7 fleet and the Varauta army finally concludes thanks to the efforts of musician Basara Nekki and his band Fire Bomber, who were discovered to be the new Anima Spiritia and the only force capable of effectively stopping the Protodeviln attacks.
In the end the Protodeviln evolve into a Spiritia self-regenerating race with Basara Nekki's singing as the catalyst. Eventually the surviving Protodeviln leave to travel across the universe, now fully capable of producing Spiritia by themselves and with no need to absorb it from Humans or Zentradi anymore.
The Supervision Army
The original Supervision Army were groups of Protoculture and Zentradi brainwashed by the Protodeviln to fight the Stellar Republic from around 500,000 years ago. Even after the Protodeviln were driven back, the Supervision Army remained the sworn enemies of the Zentradi, who made their extermination top priority.
In the anime The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, a Supervision Army gun destroyer (by no means the largest of their warships) crashes on Earth and, when restored by humanity, becomes the series' title ship.
The Protodeviln seen in Macross 7 share certain characteristics: they are at least vaguely humanoid, and they can travel faster-than-light through space without external means and even teleport (possibly the same space-fold technique used by Human and Zentradi ships). In addition, many generate pentagram-shaped energy fields when attacking. The Protodeviln are also noted to be able to possess the body of humans and make miclone Zentradi go berserk (with the exception of Mayor Milia Fallyna Jenius).
- Iwarno Gepelnitch (ゲペルニッチ Geperunitchi?, Gepelnitch): The leader of the Protodeviln, Geperunitch spends most of Macross 7—from his initial appearance in episode 1—acting through the human body of U.N. Spacy fleet advisor Ivano Günter.
- Geperunitch's human form is somewhat feminine, with a slim figure, long blonde hair, a high-pitched voice, and lips which appear as though they have dark lipstick applied. Consequently, he has been mistaken for a woman by fans in North America and Europe. However, as clearly evidenced at several points in the series, Geperunitch's human form, Ivano Günter, is male. A version of Macross 7 that has appeared in North America with English subtitles stresses the fact that Geperunitch is male in episode 3 to avoid confusion.
- Geperunitch aims to implement the Spiritia Farm Project of which he has dreamed: Humans and Zentradi will be kept as cattle and harvested for their spiritia, making hunting unnecessary and, more importantly, preventing another Spiritia Black Hole from forming. This plan comes to the fore when he learns that the singing of Anima Spiritia, and in particular the band Fire Bomber, causes humans to regenerate their spiritia: he lures first the Macross 5 and then the Macross 7 fleets to an Earth-like planet (dubbed Lux by the crew of the former fleet), intending to trap and corral them there. Although the planet is ultimately destroyed, he has by this time transported the citizens of Macross 5 back to Varauta IV, intending to capture and use the band to create an endless supply of spiritia. His real Protodeviln form reemerges at the end of the series, but having fed on Anima Spiritia it begins to grow out of control into the very thing Geperunitch feared: another Spiritia Black Hole.
- Voice artist: Yō Inoue
- Gigile (ギギル Gigiru?): commander of the Varauta Army, Gigile appears from the first episode and spends most of the series acting through the human body of Captain Autremauer of the Blue Rhinoceros ground force. Uncouth and rebellious, he frequently vexes Geperunitch by violating orders and launching all-out spiritia raids on the Macross 7 fleet. Indeed, it emerges that his real aim—other than to preserve the joy of the hunt over the Spiritia Farm Project—is to gather enough spiritia to reawaken not himself or Geperunitch, but another Protodeviln named Sivil, with whom he is in love. This earns the anger of the other Protodeviln, who attempt to destroy him, but when he discovers the power of singing from Fire Bomber's lead singer Basara Nekki, he begins to generate his own spiritia and reawakens in his earlier form in episode 38, a giant humanoid creature with no human facial features. Such is the intensity of his desire to protect Sivil that he generates an enormously powerful energy field which destroys the planet Lux and, to the horror of everyone, himself.
- Voice artist: Tomohiro Nishimura
- Sivil (シビル Shibiru?): a female Protodeviln who resembles a vampire, Sivil is awakened in episode 17 by Gigile, but being an undisciplined, free spirit, she ignores the other Protodeviln in order to seek her own supply of spiritia. She becomes fascinated by Basara Nekki, whom she terms Anima Spiritia, and possesses human women in an attempt to get close to him. However, his singing appears to cause her pain (or overwhelming pleasure), driving her away many times, and when she finally manages to kiss him, the energy released sends her into a coma. She is later reawakened by Basara and Gigile's combined singing, but Geperunitch considers her a danger to his plan and seeks to destroy her. Though she never returns Gigile's feelings, she is shocked by his sacrifice in her name, and because of this seeks to protect Basara from the other Protodeviln, and indeed, from her own desire to feed on his spiritia.
- Glavil (グラビル Gurabiru?): awakening in episode 27, Glavil is an enormous, muscular humanoid creature with tentacles on its back and is usually perched on all fours like an animal. He represents pure, untamed fury, crushing everything in his path, and generating enormous energy fields which rip apart all around him. He can also fire intense energy beams that surpass by far the Macross Cannon in power. His face can also redirect laser fire. He increases in size when he absorbs spiritia—which he can drain from lower life forms such as humans and Zentradi and even cause massive dehydration, but the energy of Anima Spiritia causes him to shrink, and after several encounters he flees instinctively from it. Lacking any discernible intelligence of his own, he is frequently given instructions by Gavil (see below), the other half of an even more powerful being.
- Gavil (ガビル Gabiru?): awakened by Gepelnitch in episode 28, Gavil is a human-sized being covered in white fur, with wings like those of an angel. He disdains the innate abilities of his kind in favor of technology, piloting his own Saubergeran and using anti-noise and remote-controlled fighters to combat the effects of Basara's singing. Extremely vain and arrogant, he delights in the "beauty" of destruction, particularly that created by Glavil, whom he regards as his own "flesh"—yet he remains loyal to the plans of Lord Geperunitch, though he occasionally questions his leader's methods. He develops an intense hatred of ace pilot Gamlin Kizaki, who humiliates him time and again in battle, most notably on many occasions destroying his vehicle and forcing him to retreat under his own power.
- Gavigula (ガビグラ Gabigura?): the "true form" of Gavil and Glavil, Gavigula is a mighty Protodeviln which combines the intelligence of one with the might and power of the other. He can produce energy waves which radiate outwards, destroying all in their path, as well as attacking in more conventional ways, crushing anything in his paws. He can easily survive a blast from the Macross Cannon, and the energy of Anima Spiritia has no apparent effect on him. Gavigula is first formed in episode 42.
- Valgo (バルゴ Barugo?): first appearing in episode 31, Valgo, a gigantic armored humanoid with batwings, is one of Geperuniti's most devoted followers, but a bitter rival of Gavil. He is capable of teleporting across space to his desired destination and attacking suddenly; he generates a large number of hideous pink monsters from a cavity in his chest; these creatures swarm over their prey, draining spiritia and growing larger. He is also capable of generating force fields which prevent spacecraft from space-folding, and uses this power to prevent the Macross 7 fleet from escaping the planet Lux, but he is destroyed (along with the planet) by Gigile.
- Natter-Valgo (ナッターバルゴ Natta barugo?): a mechanical replacement for Valgo after he was destroyed, the Natter-Valgo unit appears in Macross 7: The Galaxy's Calling Me! as backup to Gavil and Gravil. It combines with them (in what Gavil calls the "forbidden technique") to form a creature even bigger and more invulnerable than Gavigula, though the time for which they can remain merged is limited.
- Goram (ゴラム Goramu?) and Zomd (ゾムド Zomudo?): multi-armed Protodeviln in some ways reminiscent of Vishnu, the male and female twins Goram and Zomd are released by Gepelnitch in episode 47. They operate as two halves of a single entity: working in concert they can fire enormously powerful blasts and teleportation beams, and they complete each other's sentences to boot. As with Glavil, absorbing spiritia causes them to grow, and they can regenerate their bodies even after the destruction wrought by reaction weaponry. However, they are ultimately absorbed by Gepelnitch as he grows out of control, and cease to exist.
- Miyatake, Kazutaka (2005-06-01). Macross and Orguss Design Works (in Japanese). Japan: Mobic. pp. 79–80. ISBN 4-89601-629-7.
- Official Macross Chronology. Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
- ADV Films Official Macross English Dub Page.The Protoculture. 04-09-09
- "Translation & Cultural Notes". The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Liner Notes. AnimEigo. 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- Official Macross Chronology: The Zentradi. Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
- Macross Chronicle Issue 08. World Guide Sheet: 04a: The Zentradi. Part Two. Page 14. We've Inc. 2008.10.30
- ADV Films Official Macross English Dub Page.The Zentradi. 04-09-09
- Macross Chronicle Issue 13. Mechanic Sheet: FB: Protoculture - 01A City Space Ship Altira. We've Inc. 2009.01.08
- ADV Films Official Macross English Dub Page.The Supervision Army. 04-09-09
- Origins of The Varauta Army as shown in "Macross 7 Plus: Spiritia Dreaming"
- The Protodeviln War: Initial Stages
- The Protodeviln War: Final Stages
- Official Macross Chronology: Alien Star Ship 1 (ASS-1). Page 54. Macross Perfect Memory. Reference Book. 260 A4 pages. Minori Library, Japan. Y2800. 1983, October 10.
- Sony PlayStation 2 Compatible DVD-ROM Video Game. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Instruction Booklet. SLPM-65405. Sega-AM2/Bandai. Japan. Y6800. 2003, October 23
- Notable Protodeviln at Macross Compendium.