Special Features Presents: Macross

When I was a young boy (and wow this makes me sound really old), my favorite cartoon and toy was Transformers. I just loved it. Robots that could transform into cars, planes, weapons: it was just a seriously awesome concept. But then I was introduced to a series called Robotech. And that series took the concept of transformable robots to a whole new level. I did not know at the time that Robotech was made up of three totally unrelated animeseries. These three shows were completely rewritten into a new storyline that tied it all together. Robotech will always be holding a special place in my heart, as it introduced me to the wonderful world of anime.

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Yes this ship is seriously awesome.

One of the most popular segments of Robotech was the Macross saga. Macross has always been regarded as one of the anime series that laid the groundwork for the Mecha anime genre. In this special features post I intend to give a bit of an overview of the entire saga so far, although I will only be focussing on the tv series and OVA’s. There have also been a few movies, but as this post will already be pretty long, I decided not to include those. Before I start I will begin by talking about a few things that have always been common to pretty much every new series of the franchise.

Macross: common themes

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A love triangle can be very hard indeed.

One of the coolest things in Macross are the transformable fighter planes known as the Valkyries. All of these planes can transform into a robot, but also a hybrid version of the robot/fighter, known as the Gerwalk. With every series released there were new versions of these planes that were introduced. Another common theme in every show was the love triangle. Yes, romance is definitely a factor in Macross, but luckily it is usually not romance of the sappy kind. Lastly music is also very important to the Macross franchise, and in every series to date there has been some kind of singer or band, that takes the fight to the enemy. So now that I have adressed the common themes let’s start for real with the overview.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982)

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Just in case you are wondering, that is planet Earth these ships are firing at.

The show that started it all, tells the story of a gigantic spaceship crashlanding on Earth. Ten years after the crash, humanity has rebuild the enormous ship, now known as the SDF-1. But then the original owners of the ship return, the gigantic beings known as the Zentradi. Their mission is to retrieve the ship at all cost, and thus begins the first intergalactic war. With a cast of great characters, truly amazing fight sequences, a terrific story, and some heroic deaths, this series is still very much worth the watch. This 36 episode series is definitely your starting point. Even though it is a very old anime, don’t let yourself be held off by that, as it is has withstood the test of time very well.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers again (1992)

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Sometimes you just get bored by it all and fall asleep.

Ten years after the original series, this six episode show takes place 80 years after the events of the original anime. We are introduced to a new enemy called the Mardook, who seem to be invulnerable to mankinds most powerful attacks. A young reporter is thrust right in the middle of the new war that is about to begin, and may eventually hold the key to stopping the conflict. This series was highly anticipated, but eventually was not well received by the original Macross saga fans. I quite liked it myself, but it definitely is not as good as the show that started it all. In the end this series is now not considered to be part of the Macross timeline anymore.

Macross Plus (1994)

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Who put that helmet on my back….seriously…..

With Macross II being dismissed as a sequel, Macross Plus was henceforth recognised as the first official sequel to the original series. This 4 part anime tells the story of two testpilots that have a deep rivalry between them, and also happen to like the same girl. Meanwhile a powerful A.I. has some very bad intentions when it plans to take over the battlefortress Macross itself. This series was pretty cool. It featured some truly terrific fightsequences, and great animation. The opening tune composed by legend Yoko Kanno, I still consider to be one of the most beautiful scores for an anime series.

Macross 7 (1994)

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I get annoyed just by looking at that guy….

To date this is the only Macross series that I have not completely finished. With 49 episodes it is also the longest. It takes place on the colonyship Macross 7, that is exploring the galaxy, when it encounters the hostile alien force called Protodeviln. I have seen the first few episodes of this series many years ago when I was attending an Animecon. All I remember from it, is that I got seriously annoyed by the rockband Firebomber, that played a major role in this series. I can’t really say much about this series, but from what I have read about it, it is regarded by most fans of Macross as not one of the best installments.

Macross Zero (2002)

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If you only knew what this guy was looking at….

This series is a prequel to the original Macross saga. As I have recently done a review for this anime, I won’t say too much about this one, but instead I will provide a link to my review, which you can find here.

Macross Frontier (2008)

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This picture was just to cool not to include. 

This new 25 part anime series was made for the 25th anniversary of Macross, and it is truly awesome. The best way to describe this one is as a kind of reboot for the entire series, and you can pretty much watch it, without ever having seen any of the previous shows. A Frontier fleet comes under attack by a strange new enemy, and a group of young fighter pilots get caught up in the middle. It featured some of the best characters and music from the franchise, and it has truly become one my favorite Macross anime series to date.

Macross Delta (2015)

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Spice girls: the reboot. 

This is the final series that has been made so far. It was unfortunately not as good as Frontier, and this was mainly because the plot was at times hard to follow and it featured way too many characters. I have also done a review for this series, which you can find here.

Final thoughts.

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Can’t we all be friends? 

Macross is still one of my favorite anime franchises to date. While not every installment is good, there is always something included that makes it worth watching. One of the best things about it will always be the music, and the incredible fightsequences. Those are pretty much the trademarks of the entire franchise. If you like science fiction space opera, than I highly recommend these shows. I hope this post will serve as a handy reference for you, whenever you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the enormous amount of shows that are out there. Currently work has begun on a new series to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Macross. There has so far been very little news about it, except for the fact that it will be released in 2018.

So over to you! Have you ever watched Macross? If so did you enjoy it? Do you have any favorite series or characters? Let me know in the comments section below. As always thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

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14 thoughts on “Special Features Presents: Macross”

  1. I did not realise there were that many entries in this franchise. I still need to get around to checking out some of this at some point though I honestly have no idea when that would be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these.

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  2. Fantastic post! I’ve been looking forward to this feature since your last post on Macross. 🙂 This sounds like loads of fun for a sci-fi fan. I’ll likely start with the reboot Macross Frontier. 25 episodes seems doable. Would you recommend watching the series first, or the movies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would recommend watching the series first. The movies are mostly recaps of the series themselves, and the anime series are just much more enjoyable. Hope you will have fun watching these. Glad that you enjoyed the post, and thank you very much 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Robotech was, and still is, the bomb! I loved it growing up and still do. Although there were many spin-offs from the franchise, Macross remains the best. Thanks for giving credit to an amazing series!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you very much for these kind words and your comment. Truly appreciate it 😊 Robotech is absolutely amazing, and after all these years still very much alive. There is a lot of new material coming out for it this year, which really is amazing 😊

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  4. You don’t have to feel old because Transformers are still hot today. My little 5 year old son is into Transformers as well haha.. I haven’t heard of Macross before.. The Delta one with all the girls somehow reminds me of Sailor Moon haha.. I like the sound of love triangles and good music. Your post is awesome!! How do you know all these series? You must have seen them all through the years?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, well I really don’t feel that old. (Well at least most of the time lol). Yes I have seen all these series throughout the years, except for Macross 7 (but from what I have read and seen about it, that is not a really great loss lol 😂). But yes Macross is a lot of fun, and has some very nice moments in general. It is truly well worth watching 😊

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  5. There, there I’m sure you’re still young in heart and mind 😛

    Thanks for this great post. I’ll have to revisit it when I actually start Macross because wow that’s a lot of series to keep track of. Still, this seems like a worthwhile way to sacrifice hours and hours…and hours. I need longer days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, well….I think I still am young in heart and mind I guess lol 😂😂 Yes, I feel exactly the same. Inhave actually considered trying to stop sleeping: but guess what? That really isn’t the solution. Maybe just spending a year on a deserted island might help? If you find another better solution, please let me know? 😀
      Glad this post is helpful, and trust me Macross is definitely worth spending time on 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah skipping sleep is just asking for trouble. Maybe one day technology will evolve enough to get rid of sleep. Wouldn’t be too odd. Then again, sleep does feel so good…

        Dilemma!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was never a robots fan… Mecha is not something I’m super into, and so I’ve watched very few anime/cartoons about it. I don’t even remember their names…
    Recently I’ve watched a bit of Gurren Lagann and, despite being fun, it didn’t pull me in. I never heard of the ones you mentioned but darn if I wasn’t impressed by how long this saga is!
    Nevertheless, this was a thorough and dedicated review, as always, and will appeal to both fans and non-fans of the genre 😉 Great job, Michel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words as always 😊 The fun thing about Macross is that even though it is a Mecha series, at the heart of it all are the characters. And that is why this series is such a good watch in the end 😊 I have never heard of Gurren Lagann, so I am going to check that one out 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I figured as much from your review but I’m still not sure it’s for me 😛 Maybe one day I’ll give it a go.
        And really? It’s so famous! Well, I hope you enjoy it, since apparently it’s one of the best in the genre 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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