Having watched Macross Frontier and hearing so much about the original series, I am now pleased to begin blogging the original Super Dimensional Fortress Macross. For some of you this will also be your first experience with the 1982-1983 series, for others a return to an old classic. Please no spoilers if you’ve already seen it. Also don’t burn me at the stake if I, in my newness to the series, blaspheme any of the Sacred Work. In the series timeline these events take place in 2009, so it’s kind of appropriate to begin watching and blogging the series now. Join me as we go back to the present.
I wish the UN was this badass in our timeline. They’d be at the top of my list of potential future employers instead of a ‘well, maybe.’
“The year is 2009, and the galaxy teeters on the brink of war…”
Ten years ago a huge alien space warship crash landed on a remote island on Earth. With the knowledge that humanity was not alone in the universe, as well as far behind technologically, the Earth United Nations government is formed to take precedence over the petty interests of individual nations. A series of conflicts known as the Unification Wars end with UN victory and the unification of mankind. All the while the UN begins restoring the warship named Macross and reverse-engineering its technology to be prepared in case of contact with hostile aliens. In 2009 the Macross prepares to launch and begin trials at a ceremony displaying the UN’s newest fighter craft.
Two of the bridge operators Mise Hayase (foreground) and Claudia LaSalle (judging by her uniform she’s on loan from the League of Free Worlds.)
Earth’s finest fighter craft, the VF-1 Valkyrie.
The demonstration was going well until this little punk had to interrupt it in his crappy homebuilt prop plane. Hikaru Ichijyo, our (currently annoying) protagonist.
Roy Focker, ace pilot of the Unification Wars and ladykiller, narrating the aerial acrobatics. He and Hikaru know each other from their days at some sort of acrobatics team.
After Hikaru ruins the demonstration he lands and meets up with Roy. It seems the Roy left the acrobatics team to, oh, you know FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY while Hikaru seems to resent him for being a soldier in a just cause. They do recover from this little bit of history and have a drink out on the flightline while they share a lecherous moment before Roy shows Hikaru one of the new Valkyries. But as Hikaru climbs into the Valkyrie an alarm sounds and Roy tells him to stay put. Captain Global, the captain assigned to the Macross, receives word that several objects have been detected warping into space near the Earth’s moon and proceeds to the bridge before he can be introduced at the ceremony.
Hikaru is rather annoying at this point with his whole ‘I could never be a fighter pilot’ bit, but this is a mecha series and sadly most protagonists go through this phase. He just better shape up quickly or he will forever remain in Roy’s shadow.
Perhaps this was considered fanservice in the ancient 1980’s?
Captain Global: Man of Destiny.
The alien fleet arrives in system searching for a crashed ship from something called the Supervision Army. As they do the Macross automatically powers up and the bow folds apart, a charge builds, and a huge energy beam fires and destroys the alien scout ships sent to investigate. This display of power piques the interests of the alien commander who orders the main fleet closer to Earth. In not the greatest display of first contact diplomacy two UN warships, ARMD I and ARMD II, open fire on the alien fleet with drones and missiles, causing significant damage to several ships before they fire back and disable one UN warship. Back at the Macross orders are given for all fighters to scramble, including Hikaru’s as Mise does not realize that he is not a UN pilot.
They look like either Tyrannid Hiveships or a fleet from LoGH that got coated with some sort of mold.
Chargin’ it’s lazer.
It’s nice to see a series where human weaponry isn’t somehow completely ineffective.
Yes our PS3s and iPods are impressive aren’t they?
After forcing the ARMD ships to retreat the main fleet launches fighters and a dogfight above the Macross and South Ataria Island ensues. Roy makes a good showing for himself downing a couple alien fighters and Hikaru tries not to get his plane too shot up. Eventually hit and in a spin he is advised by operator Mise to put his Valkyrie in ‘configuration B’ which transforms it first into a half fighter-half mecha form and then into a pure humanoid mecha. Despite this aid Hikaru still crashes through several buildings and damages his Valkyrie in the process.
To (heat) seek(ing missle) out new life and new civilizations.
Referred to as Ghosts, these look like some sort of strike fighter.
Welcome to Earth.
Halfway to mecha form…and crashing.
“Hikaru, you just did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land your plane! You don’t own that plane, the tax payers do! Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”
Back aboard the Macross the unnamed politician from the ceremony pushes a reluctant Capt. Global into action, making the obvious point that the Macross is no good to anyone on the ground. However there are issues with the anti-gravity drives. As the ship begins to rise they break through the deck and float off on their own, dropping the Macross back to Earth. Meanwhile Roy goes back to the city to look for Hikaru and his crashed Valkyrie. Before he arrives Hikaru notices a girl name Minmay and her younger brother as they take a look at the downed VF-1. Trying to right the Valkyrie on his own Hikaru trips and falls again before Roy arrives.
I didn’t understand Global’s reluctance to launch. While the politician is obviously being presented as the stereotypical slimly politician who gets in the military’s way, he makes nothing but good points during his screen time.
I’ve heard many things about this Minmay girl. As the series progresses I suppose I will find out which are true.
You’d think he’d be more careful after what happened when that Zaku II in 08th MS Team tried using his thrusters in a populated area.
Even the aliens who made this ship gave the contract to the lowest bidder.
Roy arrives to save the day, not for the last time.
But he always has time to combine business with pleasure.
After determining that they want the Macross relatively intact, the alien fleet conducts an orbit bombardment of the now evacuated city to cover the insertion of a unit of Regult bipedal mecha. The ground team attempts to enter the city and seize the Macross, but is repulsed by the UN forces in the city. Roy, always the gentleman, decides to check on Minmay along with Hikaru, saving her and telling Hikaru to take her to one of the shelters since a rookie such as him is of little help in a fight. Roy departs to fly CAP for the Macross and Hikaru and Minmay attempt to return to the ship but get caught up in the fighting. Crashing into a Regult, Hikaru shoots the battlepod full of holes, but panics and uses his whole magazine in the process. Emerging from the Regult is a humanoid figure the size of a Valkyrie in mecha form. Luckily for the dazed Hikaru, Roy shows up in time to shoot the alien in the back (it’s the safest way, isn’t it?) and escort the further damaged VF-1 back to base. The episode ends with the Macross using it’s auxiliary rocket engines to lift off from Earth, heading into space.
These Regults seem to incorporate modular design to fit a variety of weapons systems. Identified thus far are a communication or EW version, missile support type, standard attack type, and one heavy assault type featuring two arms.
Uh…it uh…kind of looks like…are dick jokes too low brow for this blog?
The Regult team seems to have underestimated the competence of their opponents.
Coach class in the world of Macross.
Close encounters of the mecha kind.
He must have been awfully cramped in that thing.
Ere we go, ere we go throo da cos-mos!
Final Thoughts: – It’s pretty fun watching something older than I am. It feels like I’m doing archaeological work or something.
- Speaking of the 1980’s, it really was the golden age of the F-14 Tomcat. Those VF-1’s look a lot like them and Roy Fokker’s tail insignia is just like VF-84’s unit markings.
- I liked how the Macross didn’t just work as its crew wished. The booby trapped cannon and the way that the gravity drives broke loose seemed more likely than an alien ship just working after a crash landing and rebuild by a technologically inferior species.
- As mentioned, Hikaru is kind of annoying to me at this point though I’m hoping he improves with time. Minmay had little screentime, but I take it she’s important to the story and will develop later.