Macross Delta

Title:Macross Delta
Macross Δ
マクロスΔ [デルタ]
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Satelight
SETO Asami
In the year 2067, human colonies in space are being swept by an inexplicable illness, 'Var Syndrome', which causes seemingly normal people to loose control of themselves and violently lash out against anyone and anything nearby. Meanwhile, runaway girl Freya Wion hopes to stowaway on a cargo spaceship to the planet where the Walkure Idol group is holding auditions--but makes a slight mistake. Instead, she runs into the recently sacked cargo handler, Hayate Immelman. For a variety of reasons, chaos ensues.

26 episodes
[edit] The ↗Macross & ↗Robotech franchise:

First season (2009-2012): Second season (2040-2047): Prequel (2008): Third season (2059): Fourth season (2067)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 9 8 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:3194#1552]
For long time fans of the Macross franchise, you know it well for three things being prominent within the plots of all its titles: jets turning into mecha, the Power of Song, and a love triangle. Macross Delta continues this trend taking place eight years after the events of Macross Frontier where humanity is combating the Windermearan alien race to claim independence from the New United Government that has influence over all planets within the galaxy, with the series mainly focused on the developments of teen pilot Hayate Immelmann, Windermearan teen Freyja Wion, and half-Zentradi ace pilot Mirage Farina Jenius.

Before I get into exploring the plot and characters of Delta, I should first cover the obvious highlight of the series coming in the form of its presentation. Visually, Macross Delta is easily among the best-looking titles of 2016 with gorgeous and detailed scenic shots, CG-rendered mecha that are highly detailed and mesh well with the regular animation, and highly fluid and intense battle scenes involving both mecha and humanlike characters. There are a good deal of special effects employed for the animation with a number of the gimmicks that the series employs such as use of holograms, the clothing that Walkure can transform into when doing their musical performances, and use of interdimensional technology that help enhance the viewing experience of watching Delta. Speaking of music, Macross Delta employs an energetic J-pop soundtrack to complement its many combat and dramatic scenes that are catchy and engaging to listen to as past entries in the Macross franchise, though does gradually start to feel repetitive with some of the same songs being sung by Walkure.

When it comes to story and characters for Macross Delta, things are not as impressive. The biggest problem with this series compared to many others in the franchise is that while other titles made nods at best to past titles of Macross without it getting in the way of their storytelling, Delta gets too immersed into the franchise's lore by wanting to remind the audience about story elements to its past titles and not offering anything new to engage folks to Delta. The series had some opportunities to deeply explore new elements of Delta such as the shortened lifespan of the Windermearan and some shocking revelations about a few characters revealed later in the series. But it never takes these opportunities and as a result, the plot and characters to Delta look quite shallow and archetypal compared to many past titles of the Macross franchise. As a result, the love triangle that Delta tries to explore with Hayate, Freyja, and Mirage is not so convincing and engaging to see develop since the outcome for who gets Hayate was obvious and the chemistry between the three for the romance did not feel so genuine.

Overall while a presentation pleaser, Macross Delta felt like a superficial shell of its past installments as it got too immersed into wanting to remind fans of its lore and plot, leaving characters underdeveloped and missing out on some major opportunities at storytelling. It certainly sticks out as one of the weaker franchises of the Macross franchise I have watched.

Last updated Friday, March 23 2018. Created Friday, March 23 2018.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3194#628]
(17 episodes watched):

This was a show in which so much stuff happened in the first episode, in such a colorful, wild and rapid manner, that I'm almost surprised that I didn't experience a seizure. Perhaps because I haven't watched every incarnation of Macross, I was at a loss to explain what the F was going on--like, who were these five or so sexy, aristocratic guys who attacked planet Ashrafan (or whatever), and why? Doesn't that usually happen in Gundam incarnations? Tons of high tech fireworks were expended in the wild battle that took place in the second half of the episode. It seemed like un unabashed attempt to cram episodes of mecha, Idol and magical girls anime (and perhaps others) into one 23-minute timespace. It almost felt like a parody of the original Macross (wasn't that where music turned out to be the secret weapon which saved earth?) and classic mecha anime in general. But the one element I could get a grip on was the runaway girl meeting up with the just-fired spaceport worker, and that seemed fun and interesting. These are two underdogs who I can sympathize with, and I'm curious what will become of them.

I was worried that all the frills which I didn't understand would overwhelm me, but episode two stayed fairly well focused on Freya and Hayate, as they are recognized (not too surprisingly) as a brilliant singer and mecha pilot, respectively. I still don't completely understand what's going on here, like how music works against Var Syndrome or who the enemy is, but this is good enough. The artwork above suggests that a romantic triangle may develop between Freya, Hayate, and the gruff, elite female pilot. In episode three the thought occurred to me that Macross Delta is using tried-and-true tactics to tell a story which is fun even if it isn't entirely original. For instance, the way Hayate is a hotshot pilot who refuses to conform to the norms of pilot training, which gets him into trouble until he discovers that he has a unique talent; or the way Freya is having trouble until in a moment of crisis she likewise discovers her own special ability. We've seen it before, but it's fun nevertheless. Whatever the case may be, Macross Delta has shaped up as an enjoyable show that I don't mind watching at all.

In episode four we learn who the sexy dudes who have occasionally been attacking Spacy (or whatever) are, and the answer is embarrassing for Freya. What exactly their grievance is, whether it makes sense, what ability their prince has, and a number of other fairly important things I do not really know, but the story is fun nevertheless. I can even tolerate the absurd bit about priceless mecha pilots being expected to double as spies, since they are interesting characters and I care what becomes of them on this mission. We get a fairly reasonable and intriguing explanation of the secret behind Var Syndrome, which is another thing I hadn't understood (until episode seven). The bit about computer hacking being expressed in images and colors was kind of neat, too.

I was not entirely happy to learn that this would be a two-season series rather than just twelve episodes or so. In a really great show you know just what's going on, because the important points have been presented to you in a manner which grabs your attention. Here, I find myself somewhat confused about what is really important and what isn't. I guess my biggest problem with this show is that I little idea what this 'Song of the Wind' thing is. Was the concept introduced in a previous series? Something about music that causes Var Syndrome, apparently. But not understanding the thing, it just seems kind of absurd to me. It's hard to take the bad guys seriously as they praise this thing and expect it to save their asses. One mystical form of music was enough for me. And there are all sorts of other terms and factors which I don't understand, like the 'Globular Cluster', ruins with some strange power, etc, etc.

Episode 13, the climax of the first half of Macross Delta, was a strange mix of thrills and confusion for me. There were exciting dogfights between transforming fighters, and battles between big spaceships, but there was also bewildering stuff about how these jerks at NUNS aren't cooperating with the good guys, a 'reaction bomb'(?), Protoculture ruins doing weird things which were beyond me, etc. It was another example of a show in which I understood the general story but not the specifics. Nobody important got killed and the two sides seemed to break off the fight at just the right moment in order to make certain that nobody did. Something which is supposed to be awesome and foreboding has happened, but I'll be damned if I understand it.

Obviously the idea here is that the main conflict is between Windermere and the rest of the galaxy; but I don't really feel it. Maybe the problem is that Windermere doesn't seem like all that terrible an adversary; the galaxy wouldn't come to an end if they won. The Windermere military consists of five men, for all intents and purposes. These 'Knights' do 98% of the fighting. Only one significant character has gotten killed or seriously injured, so the war almost seems like a game. I don't feel that much of any importance is at risk here, perhaps because the story is so confusing; it bobbles between Idol performances and romance and dogfights but I don't feel any clear pathway towards a rewarding climax and conclusion. As a result I almost don't care which side wins. Perhaps the writers couldn't make up their mind which plot string should be the primary one: the war with Windermere, the duel between Hayate and The White Knight, or the romantic triangle. As a result everything seems garbled and I almost dread having to watch another episode. It's strange that the general quality of the show seems pretty good, yet somehow the long term plot is tiring and difficult to follow.

Last updated Sunday, September 11 2016. Created Thursday, April 28 2016.

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