Cho Jiku Yosai Macross

Title:Cho Jiku Yosai Macross
Robotech - The Macross Saga
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: DOI Mika
HASE Arihiro
Original Concept - KAWAMORI Shouji
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
The year is 1999 and a giant, unmanned, alien spaceship crashes on South Atalia Island. Humanity attempts to come together under a U.N. banner in order to learn the secrets of this alien ship and to rebuild it. After ten years of wars and construction, the ship is completed and called SDF-1 Macross. The celebration to launch this massive space ship includes showing off the latest fighter/mecha units in Earth's forces, created thanks to the technology of the crashed ship.

During the celebrations to launch the ship into space, a massive alien fleet arrives. This race, known as the Zentraedi, have been looking for this crashed ship to take it for themselves. However, the ships original automated defences kick in and destroy several alien ships. Thus begins a war between Earth and the Zentraedi in which humans, both military and civilian, must overcome great odds and fight or die.

[36 TV episodes. Most of the animation was used to create the first part of the Robotech (wiki) series, which is an English dub of the Macross with new character names and a modified story.]

Note: AnimEigo had to stop distribution of this series at the end of 2004 as their sub-license ran out.
R1 By ADV Films. Note: ADV will be using seiyuu IIJIMA Mari to play Minmay in English. If you follow the credits she is the original Japanese Minmay. This is the first time that a Japanese seiyuu has done the English role for the same character!
[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
Buy 6 5 6 6 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:924#1552]
Being just as successful in bringing about the "real robot" genre of mecha titles for anime like Mobile Suit Gundam, Macross offered up its own unique spin on the genre with pop idols, an intergalactic war with an alien race and a love triangle. Focusing on the clash of humans and Zentradi, Macross offers a good mix of plot developments and character depth to keep you hooked on the conflict. Characters among both factions are fleshed out as not all the Zentradi are portrayed to be shallowly evil and have their own justifications in understanding human culture considering their culture's upbringing. The series also takes its time with slowly unveiling connections that the Zentradi and humans have with one another as their conflict commences. Because of this fleshing out, I found the characterization of the series to be of a better quality than what I seen from Gundam.

The various romantic developments within the series, for the most part, do get a good amount of focus and development, in particular the love triangle with Minmay, Hikaru and Misa. The series takes its time exploring the developments between the three as Hikaru eventually finds himself having to choose between the two girls when they eventually become attracted to him. Some focus is also given to Roy and Claudia's relationship with much of a later episode focused on how the two eventually became a couple.

The pop idol element to the series, while seeming silly, has its relevance to the plotting of the show in making a number of the Zentradi come to accept human culture and being an effective weapon of psychological warfare against them towards later in the series. It also serves to further flesh out Minmay's character as she finds herself becoming distant from others as she becomes more popular, particularly with Hikaru and her jerk of a cousin, Kaifun.

The show is not without its faults. Other than the outdated animation that tends to get quite rough and ugly at points, I couldn't find myself drawn to Minmay's music as it eventually got repetitious hearing the same songs from her and they failed to hook me into the show's subpar soundtrack. My issues with the music are especially apparent during tense scenes between characters as a number of the show's musical tracks seemed like they were better suited for a soap opera. In addition, I couldn't find myself buying Max and Milia's marriage towards the later half of the series due to how rushed and poorly developed it came along.

While definitely showing its age in a number of areas, Macross still makes for a worthwhile anime to look into if you wish to familiarize yourself with older anime titles. With fleshed-out characters and an unusual twist for a space opera/ mecha title that works well in the form of its focus on pop idols, I can see why this is widely recognized one of the successful mecha anime franchises.

Last updated Tuesday, May 10 2011. Created Tuesday, May 10 2011.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:924#1573]
First Look :

English Review

It must be the fan boy in me, but I did NOT like the original Macross, it was sorta boring , and I missed the overproduced music of Robotech. Also Minmay was sorta flat (even though it's the same VA), I guess her English wasn't all that good.

Last updated Monday, October 13 2008. Created Monday, October 13 2008.
Buy 5 5 5 6 8 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:924#436]

In order to appreciate modern anime better, I felt that I should continue to expand my classic anime knowledge. Thus when AnimEigo was forced to stop selling the original Macross series, I went ahead and purchased it on sale. Fortunately, I didn't waste my money.

For starters, one doesn't watch Macross for its art or animation. Both have aged poorly and are at times VERY ugly. Yet in a weird way, this ugliness adds to the charm of the series. It is just amazing how far art and animation in anime has come since this title was release.

As to the story, it was obvious to me that the writers had some fun with this title. They basically introduce elements that they think will be fun and run with them. Those that work they stick with and those that don't get quickly resolved.

At the center of everything is Hikaru, a young talented stunt pilot who is anti-war in his beliefs, even though his great friend and senpai, Major Focker, is an ace pilot assigned to the SDF-1 Macross. The sudden war between Earth and the alien race Zentraedi finds Hikaru forced to fight in the cockpit of a fighter which can transform to a mecha. I give great credit to the writers for not giving him combat skills nor some magical ability to control the fighter in mecha form. Instead, he has to be rescued. His flying skills are explained by his being a stunt pilot, and when flying a fighter into space for the first time, he is unable to fight because he doesn't have the skills. So that was very believable as was Hikaru's shift to join the military.

Every hero needs a romantic counterpart, to we are given Minmay, the 15-year old girl whom Hikaru rescues. Their relationship is one that many guys will identify with and that gets the writers more kudos. The two experience things which brings them together and causes Hikaru to fall in love with her. Yet when the crisis is over, she only refers to him as a friend, confusing the heck out of Hikaru, but never killing his love for her.

The writers also include Misa, a bridge officer, as a romantic interest for Hikaru. I never did understand her interest in him beyond the fact that they could push each others buttons in a negative way. The writers also introduced a dashing male cousin for Minmay to be with, causing yet another love triangle. Fortunately, the writers do resolve all of these items properly in the end.

Another plus is the constant explaination for why the Zentraedi don't just blow away the Macross and Earth. And the writers weren't afraid to kill characters either. So the writers do their job for the most part.

On the other hand, there are some writing flaws. The romantic scenes are written (dialog) in such a way to come off more like a soap opera than not. Add the music to those scenes and the soap opera feel is complete. Because of the "lets try this" method of writing, some things done don't quite ring true when introduced or don't have the impact they should (like Max's wedding or Claudia's love). Also, the writers left some things unanswered like why it took the Zentraedi 10 years to locate the Supervision Army ship that Earth turned into the Macross.

I got a bit tired of Minmay's music, especially since it was often the same songs over and over. To force me to listen to the music, the songs were often played as characters said important things over the top of the music. The music isn't bad, just not my thing.

Bottom line: this bit of classic mecha anime is certainly worth seeing for serious anime fans and worth a buy for those who like a good story.

Last updated Tuesday, January 25 2005. Created Thursday, December 30 2004.

Other Sites
Official Macross Site
The official Japanese site for Macross.

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