Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (My boyfriend is a nimrod.)

I take a unique and special joy out of watching a classic and connecting with it.  It’s different now than how it was when I first watched pitifully, horrible quality fansubs (I’m talking about picture AND translation) over 10 years ago.  I was discovering those shows alone, and in general ignorance.  It’s obviously different now.  I learned that with another classic even before Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (or Macross for short, as I’ll call it that from now on).

When I watched the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya there was damn near a religion around it.  That damn dance, the in-jokes, the damn hype all served to give me the illusion of familiarity and an opinion.  But none of that really matters if you haven’t actually watched something for yourself.  A half-informed opinion is a half assed opinion; a half assed opinion is as good as an airplane with one wing, a car with two wheels or … or?  I ran out of clever quips, but you get the point.  It’s useless.  It’s one of the reasons I decided to watch this show.  That and I love mecha and I have this horrible completionist habit when it comes the anime medium.

I’ll say upfront that I was impressed by Macross.  Some have said that it didn’t age well, but it’s still immensely entertaining.  And some of Macross’s very concepts are rather ridiculous anyway (singing as a psychological attack, oh come on).  But the fact that it as able to penetrate that “suspension of disbelief” barrier is proof that it’s a success.  It has done its job as a form of entertainment.  It doesn’t have to be realistic, it has to be engrossing.

For all the hate you may have for a character (Chinese pacifist pussy not to be named), the fact that you care enough to hate said character is a sign that you care.  You at least care that the story isn’t going the way you like or executed to the level of perfection that you demand.  Tough titty.  It’s not your vision, it’s the directors and if you don’t like the tracks you travel then get off or hang on complain once you’ve finished your ride.  And for the most part, despite a bumpy ride this was a fun journey.

It took awhile to get into the story, as I said in my 2011 resolutions post on We Remember Love, this wasn’t my first time trying to watch this show so I had to retread some water and get caught back up.  But once U.N. Spacy got bitchy and the Zentradi started mutineering in droves I got interested.  I really enjoyed how Macross tackles something like culture shock.  Often shows get too engrossed in surviving “the alien menace” or in understanding different nations, races and people.  A show will talk about compassion for their fellow-man and humaneness, but how much is it really tested?

Macross tried to focus on a human story.  What made humans human, what made us different from everything else, and even gave its humans a definite goal and purpose by the end.  Humanity is willing to fight, but they don’t aimlessly do this because it’s what they do.  They do it to survive and preserve their cultures; their history.  That is something that can be said and true of any family, village, town, city, state/prefecture or nation.

I admire Macross for taking the time to show that being a man or a woman, following your dreams and forming bonds are just as important as surviving.

That said it didn’t have its problems and annoyances.  From the small things like I hated how the Valkyries most of the time would fly with out their horizontal stabilizers out.  The plane nut still in me from when I was a child doesn’t hesitate to bring that up.  I found some of the pacifism and naiveté in this show vexing.  And it wasn’t just (Chinese pacifist pussy not to be named), Hikaru too seemed to infected by it at times.  Or perhaps it was a form of sloth that got him.  Whenever he would spare murderous Zentradi or allow Kamjin and his forces to get away with little effort, I got upset because I knew it would come back to bite them in the end.  Not to mention they were supposed to be the military, not the police.  You don’t politely ask them to put their guns down, you shoot them.  It wasn’t like these guys weren’t armed and murdering to begin with.  Some stuff, especially in Hikaru’s case seemed annoying weak-willed.  It’s a minor gripe in the end, but I had to voice it.

The characters were also a collage of love and hate, with a few too many characters in or veering towards the hate column.  I’ll just focus on the love triangle to keep things somewhat concise.

  • Hikaru Ichijo – he started out as the typical reluctant boy/teenage pilot, except with above average/higher than expected piloting experience.  He then became an ace pilot and surprisingly fortunate love interest to two women.  In the end, I thought of him as a skilled soldier but a crappy leader, especially in a military sense and an even crappier friend to the women close to him.  While he got strung along by Minmay for around two years, he had Misa right in front of him with more than enough openings and signs for him to walk right in the house and eat the cookies (so to speak).  He was increasingly whiny and flighty.  I think in the end he made the right choice, but I honestly don’t think he deserves anybody.”You’re not alone, you have your music.”  Tch!  What a d*ck.
  • Lynn Minmay – if anyone has a bad rep, besides (Chinese pacifist pussy not to be named), it’s Minmay.  But I have to say she somewhat deserved it.  She is selfish, dumb as a turnip, flighty and spoiled.   And then there was that scene during the last episode where as the rebel Zentradi are raining death on the city they’re in, she asks why Hikaru has to fight.  That was just soooooo stupid.  It’s a good thing that she can sing then.  I can’t hate her because of that.  She was as instrumental to the survival of humanity as anyone or anything in the Macross universe and has become a legend because of it.She also took her fair share of punishment from (Chinese pacifist pussy not to be named) and was left in the dark for the most part by Hikaru and Misa’s mostly invisible, pitiful courtship.   She only holds partial fault for the incredible amount of failure this love triangle between her, Hikaru and Misa has accrued.  Maybe she’s primarily a legend for being that first idol, but that’s enough in my book to make her a decent memorable character.
  • Misa Hayase –  she was pretty stuck up and annoying in the beginning of this series, but by the end I really felt sorry for her.  You know how in some kids’ cartoons the characters will sometime say they were surrounded by idiots?  Besides Claudia and Global, she was literally surrounded by idiots.  The bridge bunnies were idiots, Minmay was an idiot, Hikaru was an idiot.  I supposed Focker liked to play the fool enough, but I don’t think he counts.  He was a competent person who liked to play the idiot sometimes.  And being the lone reasonable person in a love triangle can’t be helpful thing.The stuff she got upset over was somewhat cliché, but perfectly reasonable.  Hikaru wore a scarf with his and someone besides Misa’s initials on it to THEIR date.  He stood her up for hours to see Minmay.  He let Minmay walk right back into his life after being with someone else for around two years, in essence instantly replacing her.  I’m going a bit meta here, but I actually wanted to switch out Misa for Kirino so someone could set him straight.  Oh hell, this got back on the subject of Hikaru again.  I better correct this!She was a very competent military officer, a caring friend and an unbelievably patient woman.
  • Max – I almost forgot about him.  He’s not part of the love triangle obviously, but he ended up being an awesome guy.  He’s a bit crazy in my opinion though.  Just grabbing up an alien wifey like that after she just tried to double shank him.   He pretty much conquered her like this:

Millya = Red; Max = Blue

Meet me at the park at sexy time baby.”

“I will be there, military time.”

Where is that woman?  Perhaps I came on a bit strong.

“DIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!” *shank*  *shank-shank*   *shankFAIL*

Why?!  Why would you do this?!

“In Zentradi Russia, Milia shank you.  But you are too strong.  Kill me.”

Your green hair and homicidal tendencies turn me on.  Let’s get married.

“What?!  No we can not!” *SMOOCHY TIME♥* “Uh… oh… de-deCULTURE!”

*BAM!*  They’re married!  Culture!  Mazal tav!

Well, I went off the deep end, but I think you get the point.  For all the absurdity and failure peppered through out, I enjoyed Macross for its story and message and a bit for the camp that came along with it.  I’m a fan now.  And I’m looking forward to the rest of the Macross universe that’s sitting in my queue waiting to be explored.

How did you people  who are already Macross fans enjoy the series the first time through.  Did you appreciate the culture?

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44 Responses to Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (My boyfriend is a nimrod.)

  1. karry says:

    ” Some have said that it didn’t age well”

    It aged much better than the original Gundam did, IMO.
    Also it had the guts to actually make an awesome movie version, instead of pushing existing episodes together.

    • You’re probably right about that. Though I try to avoid any open comparisons between 0079 and this series. I think it’s a little bit different though because although there was a slight difference in years, Gundam was made in the 70′s and decidedly has that tone. Macross was made in the 80′s and feels very much like an anime of that era. It also seems that Macross learned some lessons and took some cues from 0079 so that further pushes them apart. So it’s a little unfair to compare them. Though your comment has made me very much want to go back and watch the series again. Maybe I should finally watch the Gundam movie trilogy (which at the Rick of being flogged) I have yet to watch myself.

      • karry says:

        The difference between them is just three frigging years, not the entire decade.

        • They were still made in 2 different decades and it shows.

          • karry says:

            No it doesnt. How is this year fundamentally different than 2010 ? Tell me, because i dont see any difference. Yet, according to you, starting from January 1st we are flung into the far future.
            Especially when you remember that time “accelerated” quite a bit slower in the past. So no, i refuse your argument, and the difference between them is more to the credit of the creators teams than anything else.

          • No need to get your panties in a bunch. You’re the only one who cares whether you’re right or not. Thank you & good day.

  2. Otaku Surf says:

    I love the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross series, so much in fact after reading your article I feel the need to buy one of the valkyrie toy incarnations. I try to rewatch the series every year when I can.

    The series as a whole is fantastic with probably last story arc being the best for me. They could have ended the series with the defeat of Dolza’s armada, but they went through the reconstruction and dissent period which was interesting and entertaining.

    After all this time, it’s still my second favorite incarnation of Macross right behind Do You Remember Love.

    • Thanks for the comment. And though my love of the post-war arc fluctuated I did get a lot of closure, and a better understanding of the Macross universe because of it. Do You Remember Love, here I come!

  3. hayase says:

    >>How did you people who are already Macross fans enjoy the series the first time through. Did you appreciate the culture?

    I was much younger then, so my initial focus was on the mecha. It wasn’t until years later that I began to appreciate the other aspects of the show.

    • Makes sense, kids love the sexy mechs and all the robot murder. I sure did, too.that probably means you didn’t have to suffer over characterization and logic like other might have. Pure fun is the best fun.

  4. Here’s what I have for you:

    Macross, more than any other robot anime, actually presents the least ludicrous justification for giant humanoid robots as weapons.

    Let’s remove the sillier super robot shows out of this (sorry Mazinkaiser, sorry TTGL, etc).

    Then, let’s consider the most anal anime involving mechanized weapons: FLAG, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell. You’ll notice that only AS has humanoid robots, but they are far closer to human sized. They are nowhere near the trope humongous mecha. The larger mechanized weapons in these shows when they occur, are NOT humanoid.

    Why is it important to distinguish this? It’s because humanoid robots allow the anime to entertain us with robot grappling, robot sword fighting, and basically giving everything a battle anime/action show can give only even more awesome (metal!).

    So having removed those shows out of the conversation, we are left with Gundam — the most prominent representative of the “Real” robot sub-genre.

    Gundam doesn’t even really try to justify the conceit of having giant mobile suits. There’s no particular reason why aircraft or spacecraft cannot perform better as fighting units over mobile suits. There’s no particular reason why tanks cannot outperform them on the ground.

    Mobile suits are not aerodynamic, are slow everywhere within the atmosphere; and in space they present a rather large target for the kind of ordnance they bring to bear (of course, the super prototypes of the AU Gundams will “justify” this, but they suck).

    They are conceits, because watching humanoids fight is great. It really is. Now make them giant humanoid suits of armor, then we’re talking about one of the great contributions to entertainment (you’re reading the opinion of a robot fanboy, don’t even act surprised). Gundam has no strong excuse as to why giant robots exist, and are the best ways to conduct warfare, except that they look awesome.

    I am okay with this.

    Macross does better. How? It matches the conceit of giant humanoid robots with giant humanoid enemies! The Zentraedi are effing giants, so the humans designed their Variable Fighter to be able to survive close quarters combat with these giant infantry.

    This is remarkably consistent with the logic of the anal robot shows I mentioned earlier. The Zentraedi, being giants already — do not need further use of proportionally gigantic robots for themselves. They use mobile coffins in space, I mean for all intents and purposes non-humanoid mechanized weapons (Regult, Glaug). The most humanoid forms are actual suits of armor (Quaedlunn Rau) powered to move in space and mounted with weapons.

    The logic is symmetrical, or at least consistent. There is no need for giant humanoid weapons, until there existed giant humanoids. The giant humanoids did not have proportionally giant humanoid robots because there was no one that much bigger than they are.

    Beyond the idea that the Variable Fighter is the finest military-use mecha in the robot sub-genre (which is another essay altogether), Macross shows (and it’s funny how these kinds of things elude most viewers) how well thought-out it is, despite obvious inability in parts to make things perfect.

    • Jack says:

      It’s certainly true that most robot anime have no explanation for the creation of these strange machines beyond “Someone invented giant robots, so now everyone has to have them!”, which isn’t even a particularly compelling argument.

      I suppose Patlabor if one of the few which has it’s own logic. A gigantic mega-structure is being built in Tokyo, so they end inventing a new tool to help speed up the construction process. The show also remains consistent in showing that, as tools, Labors aren’t very manoeuvrable or graceful as fighting machines. Instead, they’re incredibly awkward.

      • Oh yeah, perhaps Patlabor is — by staying very well within itself, is even more plausible. The industrial labors are not that far of a stretch, and so some people may use them as tools for crime, etc. It is then merited that labors be used against such threats…

        Or is it? I actually have a post scheduled regarding this specifically.

        • I have to concede that point to you. “Fight fire with fire” if you will. Humans aren’t the kind of creatures to openly embrace the ant/bee mentality of swarm and destroy. Adaptation and creation is what we do best. So if we think giant soldiers are coming back to pick up their ditched goods we try our dam nest to make sure we can arm wrestle them for good negotiation rights. Too bad the Zentraedi don’t arm wrestle, I think they would’ve liked it.

    • Kaioshin Sama says:

      My Macross lore is a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure U.N Spacy designed the VF’s before they ever made contact with the Zentraedi and knew they were giants. It just so happened that it ended up being a good weapon for fighting them in their armored pods. In other words they were lucky. A lot of luck goes into the way the human side of the equation plays out in Macross.

      Now of course giants in space might have something to do with why they continued the design…..

      • When the “visitor” crashed on Earth, a Zentraedi soldier was found by the exploratory team. This was their first contact.

        The SDF-1 was a Supervision Army gunship, the SA is comprised of miclone AND Zentran slaves of the Protodevlin.

        Robotech made an even bigger meal of this, especially in the novelization.

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  7. Bonesy! says:

    Looking back on it, I can definitively say that like VOTOMS, Macross is a franchise that hasn’t disappointed me so far. Unlike Gundam, I find that I hardly have push myself to want to watch every show, the desire is there and it’s strong. Sure, CHINESE ELECTRIC DUMBASS and the Turnip Idol were frustrating (i learned to live with NINJA SOY BOK CHOY PEACEFAG MORON moreso than THE AMAZING SINGING POTATO), but it was still a cool show and I really liked it.

    Sadly, Macross Frontier is on the backburner right now due to the fact I’m crazy in love with Gintama, GoGo Sentai Boukenger, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Akagi, and Kaiji right now, but it was one of the first shows I picked back up when all my anime left me last weekend. I love Sheryl, I love Alto, I love Ozma, I love Ranka, I really like the show.

    On a side-note regarding Gundam, the flowchart right now seems to be finish 00S2 -> finish Gundam Wing -> watch X. I decided to stay away from SEED and SEED Destiny to avoid ever liking them.

    • I suggest people watch all of Gundam including SEED (which I don’t think is nearly as terrible as the general consensus says it is), and SEED Destiny (which after the first 18 episodes is an embarrassing SH*t stain on the Gundam metaverse only outdone by ZZ (FUCK ZZ GUNDAM!). It’s like how I like to watch one terrible show when I when I’m keeping up with an currently airing anime season (example: Infinite Stratos for Winter 2011). It gives you contrast. You don’t know what’s great unless you know what’s truly terrible.

      That said this is not a Gundam post so I’ll move on. I think when it comes Macross Frontier, it will be one my most involved re-watches in years for me. That’s because I had no prior Macross experience watching it. I do really enjoy that series, but I’m sure I will have a much better experience once I can understand all the history and tropes. I do love me some Sheryl though! That won’t change.

  8. Drmchsr0 says:

    You need to understand the prevailing culture back then to understand some of Hikaru’s idiocy.

    Postwar Japan abhors war. They’d rather settle things peacefully where possible. It was the prevailing thought back then.

    Though in Macross, this was shown to be a silly notion.

    Postwise, yeah, I agree fully. Though you forgot that Minmay was stupid enough to stick to (anonymous Chinese pacifist hypocrite pussy) who treated her like crappy post-war. I was literally cheering when she dumped him, then facepalmed when she reverted to being her whiny self.

    Don’t mind me though. I love Macross 7 more than SDF Macross because it pushes the singing as a psychological attack to its extreme silly. And Basara is a much better pussy than said anonymous Chinese pacifist hypocrite pussy. He actually lives the damn principle. Said pussy doesn’t.

    • That sounds promising, because if anything annoyed me it was the short sightedness and hypocrisy of (Chinese pacifist pussy not to be named. I’d like to see more examples of pacifism in a mecha series that aren’t so f*cking clumsy and illogical.

      • drmchsr0 says:

        Macross 7 then. But be warned: The show is pretty silly from the first episode. But Basara is the most badass pacifist ever. If I say anymore, I will spoil.

        But again, a warning: Macross 7 is very, very silly. And Basara might make you rage at times.

        Basara is so fucking jawsome man. I think he could sing down Code Kirin.

  9. Jack says:

    I’ve actually just finished watching the series, for the first time, this week.

    During the introductory arc I found the show to be rather inconsistent and only above average.

    After a few of these episodes, however, the quality of the work starts to pick up and by the time we get to the Zentradi desertions the show really starts to hit it’s stride and becomes very entertaining. Not so much in terms of the characters, but the wider story. Where other shows would end, Macross shows what would happen after.

    However, near the end we get treated to some painful character interactions. The worst of which centre around episode 35, or what I like to call “Hikaru becomes a gigantic asshole for no reason at all”.

    Still, the overall experience of watching the original Macross is definitely one that everyone should have. It’s a hugely entertaining show with a unique charm and you can definitely feel that the show (or at least many parts of it) was made with a lot of love. And there’s nothing more awesome than a Valkyrie with a skull logo.

    I’ve also watched Macross Plus beforehand, which I feel is a far tighter show (being short, that isn’t too tricky) with far more believable character work. But it’s certainly a different flavour of Macross, and I enjoy having multiple flavours.

    • I can’t disagree with anything you said there. In fact, I share very much your same opinion on the progression of the show. It seemed to really hit it’s stride when the Macross itself started to understand what made it special.

  10. megaroad1 says:

    Nice post ghostlightning. Anytime you come back to the Macross franchise you’ll make a happy man out of me.

    Regarding Minmay; while she no doubt deserves her bad rep, I think it’s somewhat compounded by the fact that many people, particularly in America, watched the show that shall not be named (starts with “Robo” and ends with “tech”) first. In said show, she is made to be even more selfish, spoiled and generally annoying. As a result, by the time SDFM became widely available in its original form, the damage was done and Minmay is generally reviled as a result; perhaps even more than she deserves.

    On the issue of mecha, I think the “logical” justification of humanoid giant mecha is a direct strength of the Macross series vis a vis other mecha anime. It just feels more credible like when Hikaru has to fight Vrlitwhai Kridanik ‘mano a mano’, (barely avoiding defeat), to have built craft that could move in that way.

    • Uh, sorry megaroad1 this is donkangoljones’ post and obviously I have seen Macross a long time ago and haven’t just finished SDFM as he has. Also, I haven’t met a bigger Minmay fan than me here on the internets (but I haven’t been looking too hard, I admit).

      Yes, that fight with Britai was awesome, and one of Britai’s moments of utter mad awesomeness as well.

      I just want to make it clear that I’m not absolving Macross from silliness with regards to mecha. It’s one thing for Max’s VF to wear a Zentran uniform (incredible badassery), but it’s another thing for Michel Blanc’s battloid to affect his gestures while conversing with a macronized Klan Klan (as if the VF was his real-time emotive avatar), whose callousness earned his battloid a humoungous slap.

      • I don’t think I ever will fully understand your love of , but at least I don’t hate her, which is something I can say about many a female anime character with somewhat similar traits. Macross didn’t make anymore important a person or less of a human being than she was.

        That scene in Frontier with Michel and the oh so sexy Klan Klan can probably be attributed to tired anime traditions more than anything else.

        And yes, megaroad1, I am the Macross n00b.

  11. Xard says:

    One pretty important thing to remember, I think, is that it was never ment to be serious war story. It never took itself completely seriously and was openly goofy when it wanted to be (see for example the retarded pinpoint barrier scene in Daedalus Attack ep with innuendo ridden dialogue and all :D ). Another important thing to remember is that Macross is hippie as fuck so all the pacifism…well, yeah. “lolMacross” or “lolKawamori” depending on your thinking. I find it interesting how original Macross reflects feelings of era so well among younger generations at least: Cold War was warming up again etc. and fitting sense of apocalyptic dread hangs all over it which is striking contrast to its general, open sillyness.

    The thing is wars are never ever won through actual warfare and the efforts of great generals and all is pretty useless in the end. Having war end through anything but Deculture would propably go against themes and very being of Macross. It is 60s hippies utopia transported to space where songs about love and peace conquer over shadows of militarism

    • Xard says:

      Kaifun on the other hand was there to showcase that Macross’s worldview isn’t all that black and white, even if the hippie ideals will always emerge victorious in the end.

      • I see your point. I was always looking at this show through the prism of someone who has seen a lot of mecha shows, especially the “real robot” variety. And the hippie aspect does make sense, it also makes it a little funnier, too. I remember the scenes where Misa was arguing with her super important general father about negotiating with the aliens, and all he could think about was his giant gun. For awhile I did side with the hippies on this one. A military win never seemed viable to me (then again I already knew before I started the show how things were supposed to end).

        The only problem I had was the complete dismissal of the military by a certain character. I don’t have a a problem with someone saying they hate war, or even the military as an institution. But you shouldn’t blame and dismiss the very people who are dying to allow you to b*tch while you shoot movies, eat good food and bang a hot idol. I’ll recognize that character as a necessary evil, but he still gets the crown for king douche.

        • Xard says:

          Oh hell yes. Now, I know he is the one not to be named but whatever, I fucking hate Kaifun. I hate no other character in history of anime more than I hate Kaifun. He’s the biggest, worst douchebag whose exploitations I’ve had the “joy” to follow.

          I think it’s clear the anime doesn’t approve of him either. While Macross is all “All You Need Is Love” in spirit it’s not black and white or derp retarded with it. Obviously efforts of military pilots etc. are given respect they deserve.

          Kaifun is nearly a straw man of annoying hippy IMO

    • Xard check the email account you use for this login. I sent you a message.

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  13. Pterobat says:

    Having just discovered it about three years ago, and without any reservation to watching “old” anime, I still was blown away by how intense my connection to SDFM became.

    I’m a bit of an odd duck, though, in that the characters who most resonated with me were the eventually human-allied male Zentradi characters–Exsedol, Britai, Warera, Rori, and Konda. Especially Exsedol, who quickly became an A-list character of mine with his balance of quirkiness, intelligence, and the occasional poignant moment.

    These characters resonated with me on a deeply personal level, so that it often seems I exclude the main characters. I don’t, really, only needing some prodding to discuss them. Misa is undeniably my favourite of the main cast, and I don’t find her as cold and standoffish as many seem. Anything she gave Hikaru in the beginning, Hikaru had coming to him, and all through the story there is a grandeur to Misa that no one else has.

    Hikaru I was fairly apathetic towards, until he became a total cad in the post-apocalypse episodes, and then I hated him. What an ass! :P I can’t hate Minmay, the girl who helped give the Zentradi their hearts back, but as a character I’m not that excited about her either, shamefully.

    In the beginning I had a bit of a girl-crush on Max (being a girl, after all), but the whole situation with Milia creeped me out quite a bit, even though I know it wasn’t meant to at all.

    There is nothing in Macross, even DYRL (for me, *especially* DYRL) that comes close to the beauty of this series. The animation may be a little shoddy and dated sometimes, but the story and characterizations more than make up for it. Even after knowing it for such a short time, I declared SDFM one of my all-time favourite anime.

    • I can’t argue at all with what you said about Misa. I’ve seen much more abrasive military minded females in anime. She was very reasonable. What I didn’t see coming was my reaction to Hikaru. I’m used to the reckless, insensitive, immature, whiny teenage pilot types. Eventually they all grow out of it (or die, see Katz Kobayashi). And he did but then he became a rather crappy adult. I don’t really know what to take from that situation except that he was at least a realistic person, completely unidealized.

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  16. Luke says:

    I first learned of SDF: Macross by watching Robotech and was upset at the direction Robotech took after episode 36. I did not know until years later when the internet rolled out that Robotech was 3 different animes merged into one. I began to do research and discovered Macross 7, Macross Plus and was quickly glued to IRC trying to download real media episodes over 56k connection! I remember waiting praying for the connection not to cut so I can see Macross 7 with fan subtitles. Watching Macross was a mission but it made it all that more special during my childhood and early teens.

    I love Macross and share same views that most of the people here are posting about characters. I give credit to Kaifun who is somewhere in Macross 11 being a jerk to people. He added more drama and excitement to the series and I forgave him after he left Minmay.

    I sympathize with Hikaru because I know how it is to be torn between two women and how he went from careless kid to a more mature man in a short time relates to me a lot. I also had a senpai that was a lot like Roy. Popular with the ladies, cool person, gave advice, and was the brother I never had. Well….he also passed away like Roy. The animation is a bit outdated but still the story of love and war still amazes me. I still get shivers at the end when the SDF-1 Macross nearly gets destroyed…

  17. Ο Αιρετικός says:

    Being a bit of a military brat for the first years of my life and having served (obligatorily, as Greece has a thing named conscriptions) in the military (the air force, no less), I couldn’t help compare what I saw in SDFM with what was actually going on in a real military. I’ll give you my own conclusions:

    Hikaru:
    He started out as an obviously talented teenage aerobatic pilot; a bit of a showoff, underestimating the hardship and horror of actually fighting a war. Perhaps he was somehow affected by the Global Civil War, I don’t know (although we all know that he had no family behind him). Basically, he was a kid making his own living flying planes. And he got kicked into a humongous war. He had to become a damned good pilot to survive the many battles against the Zentradi (or even luckier than Gladstone Gander, which I don’t think he was), he had to become a good leader (to keep his squadron members alive) and he also had to become a man. Now, he got shot down or had his plane damaged quite a few times.
    * Once when he got into a Quel-Quallie set to self-destruct, crippling his plane (I don’t know if his plane was damaged BER).
    * Once when he received some damage while fighting Kravshera.
    * Once (OK, this one was a complete hull loss) when his squadron and Misa were captured by the Zentradi.
    * Another complete hull loss was when he got shot down by friendly fire when Misa was affected by Kaifun’s words.
    * And he also suffered damage to his plane in episode 27.
    For someone fighting day in and day out in a real war against a ridiculously powerful enemy, that sounds somewhat normal to me. Don’t forget we have hull losses all the time in all air forces and many pilots have had their planes damaged, or even written off, by much less heroic-sounding incidents (birds striking the canopy or getting into the engine – ouch – , etc). Also, he did have a knack for staying alive; or he just didn’t know how to die. We’ll never know.
    In his personal relationships, the guy was absolutely clueless. Hey, I was the same way when I was 26 (that was ten years ago), what would you expect from a 17-year-old who was probably still a virgin? Chances are, Minmay was his first crush. In my opinion, Hikaru became a decent “keep my troops and civilians safe” military officer, who manages to keep his feelings out of the battlefield and he became an efficient (i.e. not about doing fancy maneuvers, but about getting the job done and getting the hell out of there ASAP) pilot too.

    Minmay:
    Absolutely clueless. She actually reminds me of a girl I know, who has quite a few admirers, yet she only sees them as “friends”. Guess what? Younger than Hikaru, she definitely didn’t seem to care much about intimate relationships back in the first episodes of the show, which explains why she friendzoned Hikaru. I don’t think it had anything to do with her not seeing Hikaru romantically; it most likely had to do with her not giving a damn about having a boyfriend back then. Then she got absorbed in her career; Hikaru was there, yearning for her, but she didn’t even know it, not least because he didn’t tell her.
    I’ll give you another perspective regarding why she wanted Hikaru to quit the military; I think she was genuinely scared to death of losing him in battle. Having seen what happened to the Earth during Boddole Zer’s attack and having seen what Kravshera’s terrorist attacks did, the episode titled “Romanesque” showed me that she actually was worried about Hikaru and his safety. Is she an idiot? No. She was just a teenager who was torn between her childhood, her career, and growing up in a horrible mess of a war.

    Misa:
    Ah, Misa… You know, I was infatuated with her character when I was an adolescent. I wanted to land one like her. Especially the DYRL version: long brown hair, green eyes, slender body, tender character behind a stern exterior… Yummy. Misa is the quintessential military brat. She never thought that there are ways of thinking and behaving outside the military ones. Everyone around her was a career officer. How tragic; she had never learnt that she could actually question what she was told; she had never learnt that it was OK to second-guess her superiors, even herself. She wasn’t really surrounded by idiots; Vanessa Laird was no idiot: she was the one who broke the news to Hikaru that Misa was in love with him (even though she almost jumped at the chance of a date with him; looks like he was already a bit of a celebrity). Kim was a bit of an idiot, while Shammy was a complete dimwit. And, of course, Focker, Global and LaSalle were anything but idiots. What about Hikaru then? Was he an idiot? No. Not at all. In fact, he often was the voice of reason – when he pulled her ass out of that suicidal trip on Mars, when he gave her a much-deserved lecture about how dangerous even the slightest damage can be in space, when he – even with a sexist rant thrown in – chewed her out (when they were captured by the Zentradi) for that hare-brained idea of hers to volunteer to get into the rear seat of the mini-AWACS Cat’s Eye just to show Hikaru that she actually would get out there and not stay in the relative safety of her post. And then, we saw her let her feelings (and even her curiosity) get in the way of executing her duties far too many times. As an officer, I’d give her a 6 out of 10, just for the fact that she let her personal feuds with Hikaru and her personal feelings get in the way as often as she did. Does that make her a bad person? No. In fact, she’s one of the best characters out there, perhaps the best you can think of. She’s dependable, caring, and she’s shown to actually have a heart. But as an officer? She’s way overrated – and I’m talking based on what I’ve seen in the show, judging it from my personal experience.

    Best regards,

    The Heretic

    • That’s a fair assessment there of the love triangle. I’m an Army brat, so these standards and ways of thinking aren’t foreign to me, but I like the unique Air Force viewpoint you put on the characters, especially Hikaru. Militarily he did more than his fair share, and mostly was an excellent officer.

      I suppose I could be harsh on these characters sometimes. Most shows wouldn’t be very interesting without some raw emotion and stupidity. All three of these characters provided those things and more in spades.

      • Ο Αιρετικός says:

        I just wanted to point out that Misa was not the excellent officer people make her out to be. We all like her, that’s true. I’d choose her over Minmay any day of the week and any hour of the day. But I don’t think she’s a better officer than Hikaru. You see, while she did focus a lot on procedures and red tape, her stubbornness, her personal feelings and her antagonism with Hikaru often put everything at risk.

        As a matter of fact, there’s one decision of hers that’d prompt me to postpone her promotion to the next rank by at least a year: her decision to lie about Hikaru being sick in “Romanesque” just because she was too much of a wuss to step in and prevent Minmay from temporarily taking Hikaru from her. You know, the “don’t leave your door open” thing? That was a sign of epic stupidity on her part. At that time, Minmay was in an even worse condition than the European economy is at the moment: her career was in shatters, her relationship with Kaifun was ancient history and she didn’t feel like she had any reason to go on. Misa was right there, at the door, while Minmay was pleading to Hikaru to let her stay for the night, because she had nowhere to go: basically, Minmay was begging Hikaru to pity her. Wow, where did her stardom go? And Misa was at the door. If Misa was as clever as she’s made out to look, she’d have stepped in. She would have greeted Hikaru as a lover. That would give Minmay the message that she no longer can lay claim to Hikaru’s heart. Then, she would treat Minmay graciously (in the same polite and noble way she did in episode 36, but this time from a point advantageous for Misa); she would listen to her. And both Misa and Hikaru would agree to help Minmay out, help her get back on her feet. They would appear to Minmay as a couple; as two lovers – two lovers that she could not separate, but who would stand by her, giving her someone to count on. Because that’s what she needed at that time. And Hikaru would get that message, too.

        But, alas, Misa was not savvy in romance. She could guide lots of guys in cool planes to fight against lots of guys in badass alien mecha, but, in these issues, she was entirely clueless. To me, it looks like she should have been hanging out with Claudia a lot more, because, of all the mid-ranking military staff, Claudia was the one that really had her act together.

        The Heretic

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