Anime: Macross

The Macross franchise is a long running television series created by Shoji Kawamori with designs made by Kazutaka Miyatake and Haruhiko Mikimoto. The first show, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, first aired in 1982 under the Manichi Broadcasting System. Since then, it has led to numerous sequels (both anime television series and OVAs), mangas and video games.

  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the original series, regarded as a classic among mecha fans, depicting a war between humanity and giant militaristic aliens known as the Zentraedi.
    • Macross: Do You Remember Love, a movie adaptation of the original series, with significant plot and design changes, yet is still very highly regarded.
  • Macross Plus, a short OVA (and later movie) sequel taking place 30 years after the first series, focusing on a contest between two prototype planes.
  • Macross 7, a full series sequel taking place on a colonization fleet a few years after Plus, which encounters the enemy the Zentraedi were fighting before humanity. Something of a black sheep in the series due to being less serious in tone, with plot elements that push it toward Super Robot Genre. Fans usually either Love It or Hate It.
    • Macross Dynamite 7 (OAV), a short sequel to 7, taking place several years later and focusing on thwarting a group of poachers trying to hunt literal Space Whales.
  • Macross Zero (OAV), a prequel to the original series, depicting the tail end of the UN Wars mentioned in the series backstory, and offering some more insight into the Protoculture and their contact with ancient humans.
  • Macross Frontier, a full series sequel set nearly 50 years after the original series. It is also set on a colonization fleet, and depicts humanity's encounter, and clash, with a new alien race known as the Vajra. Something of a "modern retread" of the original series in many of its themes.
  • Macross Delta, a new series announced for 2015. Very little is known as of this writing.
  • Macross II, an OVA and manga series that was made without the original creators' authorization, and has since been placed as an Alternate Continuity. The story follows a news reporter as he gets caught up in a war against the Marduk, who use enslaved Zentraedi soldiers to fight for them.
  • Macross: Flashback 2012, an extended music video for Minmay, which also acts as an epilogue to the series.

Related Works

It is probably worth mentioning the Robotech series is often associated with Macross by Americans due to Robotech's initial (and most famous) arc being an altered version of Super Dimension Fortress Macross. However, Robotech is a separate franchise and is not considered part of the Macross franchise by any stretch.

The Macross franchise is the Trope Namer for:

Tropes applying to the franchise as a whole:

  • Black Sheep: Either Macross 7, which was much lower-budget and more Super Robot-like than the rest of the franchise, or Macross Zero, which is far more character-focused and lacks an emphasis on J-Pop music, instead having tribal island hymns.
  • Broad Strokes: Macross tends to play fast-and-loose with canon. This started as early as the original series vs its movie adaptation Do You Remember Love?, which depict the same war but with vastly different events taking place. Macross Frontier and its movie adaptations similarly depict mutually exclusive sets of events coming to pass. Macross 7 tried to explain away Do You Remember Love? as an in-universe movie, thus rendering its progression of events fictional, but the Zentraedi keep their movie exclusive designs and ships, rather than the original series' look.
  • Cool Plane: When the series isn't showcasing Humongous Mecha, it's showing off incredible dogfights between futuristic fighter jets (which transform into the Humongous Mecha).
  • Love Triangle: One omnipresent trope in the series is the love triangle: pretty much any Macross story is guaranteed to have this in some form or another. They usually avoid becoming a Romantic Plot Tumor, as equally as much attention is paid to the characters' relationships as is paid to the overall space opera.
  • The Power of Rock: The other ubiquitous trope in the franchise is music and singers playing a major role in the central conflict. It isn't always rock music, but that gets used a lot since it tends to go very well with incredible aerospace battles.
  • Real Robot Genre: It straddles the line between Super Robot and Real Robot. There are a number of fantastic plot elements but the technology and pseudo-science is mostly internally consistent, even if it resorts to Hand Wave on occasion. Yes, this includes Macross 7, Super Robot-y as it is, the ideas it introduced to the series are picked up and used (in a more subdued manner) by later stories.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Exactly what happened to the Megaroad 01? Thirty real-life years later and nearly fifty in-universe years later, and all anyone knows is that it disappeared without a trace a few years after its launch. No Macross series has touched that plot thread since its introduction.
  • Transforming Mecha: It was among the first Real Robot series to feature transforming mecha, and the Macross itself was, at the time, the largest transforming mecha that had ever been seen (over ten times larger than the next contender).