[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/macross_2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:And that's just what they look like ''before'' transforming.]]

The ''Macross'' franchise is a long running anime series created by Creator/ShojiKawamori with designs made by Kazutaka Miyatake and Haruhiko Mikimoto. The general plot of each series concerns a conflict waged with TransformingMecha (and usually involving aliens). In the middle of it all, ThePowerOfRock comes into play, as does the PowerOfLove, thus forming the three main elements of ''Macross'': HumongousMecha, superpowered music, and [[LoveTriangle Love Triangles]].

The first show, ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', first aired in 1982 under the Mainichi Broadcasting System. Since then, it has led to numerous sequels (both anime television series and [=OVAs=]), mangas, and video games.

[[index]]
[[AC:Anime]]
* ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', the original series, set in 2009. It is regarded as a classic among mecha fans, depicting a war between humanity and giant militaristic aliens known as the Zentraedi.
** ''Anime/MacrossDoYouRememberLove'', a movie adaptation of the original series, with significant plot and design changes. Despite that, it is regarded just as highly as (if not ''higher'' than) the original series itself.
** ''Macross: Flashback 2012'', an extended music video for in-universe IdolSinger Lynn Minmay, which also acts as an epilogue to the series.
* ''Anime/MacrossPlus'', a short OVA (and later movie) sequel set in 2040 (thirty years after ''SDF''), focusing on a contest between two prototype planes.
* ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'', a full series sequel taking place on a colonization fleet in 2045, which encounters the enemy the Zentraedi were fighting before they met humanity. Something of a black sheep in the series due to being less serious in tone, with plot elements that push it toward the SuperRobotGenre. Fans usually either LoveItOrHateIt.[[/index]]
** ''Macross Dynamite 7'', a short OVA sequel to ''7'', taking place in 2047 and focusing on thwarting a group of poachers trying to hunt literal {{Space Whale}}s.
[[index]]
* ''Anime/MacrossZero'', an OVA prequel to the original series set in 2008, depicting the tail end of the UN Wars mentioned in the series's backstory, and offering some more insight into the [[{{Precursors}} Protoculture]] and their contact with ancient humans.
* ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', a full series sequel set in 2059, 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.[[/index]]
** ''The False Songstress'' and ''The Wings of Goodbye'' are a pair of movie adaptations for ''Frontier''. Like ''DYRL?'', these movies follow a different plotline and resolution from the original show's.
** ''Macross [=FB7=]: Listen to My Song!'', which acts as a sort of {{Crossover}} between ''Frontier'' and ''7'', while also serving as a CompilationMovie for the latter.
[[index]]
* ''Anime/MacrossDelta'', the fourth full series, airing in the spring of 2016. It takes place in 2067 (eight years after ''Frontier'') on a remote cluster of colony planets. It covers the exploits of Walküre, a group of {{Idol Singer}}s whose songs can counteract a mysterious "disease" spreading around the colonies known as Var Syndrome, which causes extreme aggression and violent outbursts in those it affects.
* ''Anime/MacrossII'', an OVA and manga series that was made without the original creators' authorization, and has since been placed as an AlternateContinuity. The story takes place in 2090, nearly 80 years after the first series, and follows a news reporter as he gets caught up in a war against the Marduk, who use enslaved Zentraedi soldiers to fight for them.

[[AC:Related Works]]
* ''Franchise/{{Macross Expanded Universe}}''
[[/index]]

It is probably worth mentioning the ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' series is often associated with ''Macross'' by Americans due to ''Robotech'''s initial (and most famous) arc being an [[{{Macekre}} 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.
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!!The ''Macross'' franchise is the TropeNamer for:

* BridgeBunnies: The term was originally coined by fans to refer specifically to the female bridge crew of the original ''Super Dimension Fortress Macross''.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: In fact, one of the main animators of the earlier series was Ichiro Itano, the very man who pioneered the MMM's most common aesthetic look.
* {{Roboteching}}: Sort of... the TropeNamer is technically ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', but the name came from the ''Macross''-based part of the series.
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!!Tropes applying to the franchise as a whole:

* AcePilot: While the protagonists do all end up becoming highly skilled pilots in their own right, the franchise has an interesting tradition of having the best pilot in any given series ''not'' be the main character.
* AllThereInTheManual: A good amount of background material covering the science and technology in each series as well as the events that take place in between them is revealed in the various editions of the official ''Macross Chronicle'' data books.
* ArtificialGravity: It's how massive cities that look like normal cities on Earth can exist inside spaceships.
* BackgroundMagicField: Fold Waves, a naturally existing energy wave in super dimension space that travels effectively Faster-Than-Light. This serves as the basis for the series's main form of FasterThanLightTravel (folding into super dimension space). Additionally, the ability of certain people to generate this through song ([[InsistentTerminology Human Space-Time Resonance]], also known as [[InsistentTerminology Fold Receptor Factor]]) is used to explain the more [[ClarksThirdLaw mystical]] things added to the franchise such as Anima Spiritia from ''Anime/Macross7'' and the Mayan priestesses' powers in ''Anime/MacrossZero''.
* BlackSheep: 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.
* BroadStrokes: ''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.
* ConspicuousCG: While the original series, ''Plus'', and ''7'' are almost 100% hand-drawn, the entries from ''Zero'' onward instead use CGI to render the mecha, with ''Frontier'' in particular making liberal use of CelShading.
* CoolPlane: When the series isn't showcasing HumongousMecha, it's showing off incredible dogfights between futuristic SpaceFighter jets (which transform into HumongousMecha) referred to as "Variable Fighters".
* CoolStarship: The franchise's eponymous ''Macross'' and ''New Macross''-class ships. Which also transform into HumongousMecha.
* {{Deconstruction}}: The TV series tend to take the popular anime and IdolSinger tropes on their day and deconstruct them.
** DeconReconSwitch: After deconstructing those tropes, the series will happily reconstruct them as the finale nears.
* EnhancedPunch: The ''SDF-1'' can focus its forcefield on its fist to give it a powerful punch into an enemy's hull, where it then [[MacrossMissileMassacre unloads its missiles into the enemy]]. Later ''Macross'' and ''New Macross''-class ships, as well as smaller mecha like the ''Macross Quarter'' and even later models of Variable Fighters, can also perform the same maneuver (except the [=VFs=] generally skip the missile part).
* HalfHumanHybrid[=/=]UnevenHybrid: Due to the prevalence of InterspeciesRomance and HumanAliens, human-alien hybrids become increasingly common in the shows taking place after the original, to the point where it's barely noteworthy by the time of ''Frontier'' and ''Delta''.
* HumanAliens: Almost all intelligent species in the galaxy, humans included, look similar to the Protoculture. {{Justified}} as the Protoculture messing with everyone's evolution to make them look that way.
** By later series, humans and Zentraedi have integrated so much culturally and genetically that it's hard to see the latter as "alien" anymore, especially once other Protoculture derived races appear that show even more physical differences.
** The only known exceptions are [[StarfishAliens the Vajra]] and possibly the Gyararashi (it isn't clear whether the latter have animal or human-level intelligence).
* FasterThanLightTravel: Done by "folding" into "superdimensional space", with long jumps eating up ''a lot'' of power (which is part of why humanity's FTL-capable colony ships still often take ''generations'' to find a habitable world).
* GenerationShips: Form a major part of the setting, with several series being set on them. Unusually for the trope, they're FTL-capable; it's just that long jumps still take ''a lot'' of time to complete and recover from.
* InertialDampening: Starting from ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', most variable fighters now have something called the "Inertia Store Converter" that not only functions as this, but converts inertia into extra power.
** Averted in earlier shows. The lack of this actually plays into the plot of ''Anime/MacrossPlus''.
* LoveTriangle: 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 RomanticPlotTumor, as equally as much attention is paid to the characters' relationships as is paid to the overall space opera.
* MagicMusic: With the possible exception of the original series, music tends to do things which border on this, though it's usually explained as being a product of [[AppliedPhlebotinum Fold Waves and Fold Receptor Factors]].
* MetaCasting: The up-and-coming IdolSinger character in any given series is usually voiced by a real life up-and-coming singer/voice actress; examples include Mari Iijima voicing Lynn Minmay in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', Creator/MegumiNakajima voicing Ranka Lee in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', and Minori Suzuki voicing Freyja Wion in ''Anime/MacrossDelta''.
* MiniMecha: The ubiquitous Zentraedi battle pods/suits may be HumongousMecha from a human perspective, but for their giant-sized pilots, they straddle the line between this trope and PoweredArmor.
* NuclearWeaponsTaboo:
** Due to this trope, the series uses the term "Reaction Weapons" instead. WordOfGod is that these are actually anti-matter pair annihilation weapons that are, ironically, more destructive than nuclear weapons. When this was pointed out to Shoji Kawamori, he simply stated that "[[ShrugOfGod Nobody's protesting about anti-matter weapons]]".
** ''[[Anime/Macross7 Dynamite 7]]'' actually shows the use of an honest to goodness nuclear weapon, but it's okay since it's the bad guys using it. ''Anime/MacrossZero'' also features missiles that are explicitly identified as nuclear, and while they are used by the good guys their use is ''not'' treated as a good thing.
** Later series seem to have traded out Reaction Weapons in favor of Fold Weapons as the fictional WMD of choice. Fold Weapons are even more destructive than antimatter bombs, given that they operate by distorting space-time and are capable of planetary-level destruction.
* OldSchoolDogfight: A franchise staple is the clever combination of this trope with TransformingMecha, which leads to some very creative maneuvers involving ''partial'' transformations.
* OurGiantsAreBigger: The Zentraedi, a race of thirty-foot-tall {{Proud Warrior|RaceGuy}} HumanAliens who have appeared in every series (with the exception of ''Anime/MacrossZero'') and come to make up a significant portion of the (New) United Nations' population.
* {{Precursors}}: The Protoculture, who play a key role in the franchise's main MythArc; they were responsible for the evolution/creation of what seems to be every single sentient humanoid species in the galaxy, including humanity, and their powerful relics and ruins can still be found all throughout the Milky Way.
* ThePowerOfRock: 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.
* RealRobotGenre: It straddles the line between this and the SuperRobotGenre. There are a number of fantastic plot elements but the technology and pseudo-science is mostly [[MinovskyPhysics internally consistent]], even if it resorts to HandWave 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. That said, what truly keeps the franchise primarily in the Real Robot category is that even its most advanced mecha are never treated as anything more than advanced prototypes or custom-modified mass production models.
* RiddleForTheAges: Exactly what happened to the ''Megaroad 01'', and with it, the original series cast? 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.
* RubberForeheadAliens: While all humanoid species in ''Macross'' closely resemble humans, some still have a few clearly non-human features, like fins, tails, tentacles, etc.
* SettlingTheFrontier: The series set after the original primarily take place on {{Colony Ship}}s and/or distant planets far away from Earth.
* ShownTheirWork: Creator/ShojiKawamori was an engineering student and, according to some sources, graduated with a degree in aircraft engineering. The result is that most of ''Macross''[='s=] variable fighter designs have very plausible looking fighter modes compared to most TransformingMecha.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Though the franchise engages in a fair amount of {{Deconstruction}}, it is ultimately very much on the idealistic end of the scale, with its themes of how understanding, love, and music can overcome all odds and convert the most alien of foes into friends.
* SourceMusic: There's plenty of moments throughout the franchise where the music the audience hears is also being performed in-universe, since each series has at least one main character who's a singer of some kind.
* SpaceNavy: The (New) United Nations Spacy[[labelnote:*]]'''Spac'''e Nav'''y'''[[/labelnote]], or (N.)U.N.S.
* SpiritualAntithesis: Oddly, its American adaptation, ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', became this as their timelines progressed. In ''Macross'', the Zentraedi become more like humanity, while in ''Robotech'', thanks to repeated invasions, humanity is becoming a warrior race like the Zentraedi.
* SuperPrototype: Averted; while we do see plenty of fancy prototypes, that's because they're usually test units for future mass-production models, which themselves often end up being ''superior'' to their prototypes.
* TransformingMecha: It was among the first RealRobot 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).
** The popularity of the original's toyline (helped by the fact that Creator/ShojiKawamori helped Takatoku make an actual transforming Valkyrie toy) may have helped popularize this trope, seeing as Takara made their Diaclone line in response to this, that later became the basis for the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''.
* TranslationConvention: It is strongly implied (and sometimes outright shown) that all the human characters are actually mostly speaking in English, as evidenced by most of the in-universe text that's shown onscreen.
** Additionally, it's implied that the aliens are using their own native languages whenever they're speaking among themselves, as evidenced by the fact that each species has been shown to have its own writing system, with several favoring them over, say, the Roman alphabet or Japanese characters.
* UnitedNationsIsASuperpower: Humanity is united under the rule of the (New) U.N., which grows to incorporate a number of other species.
* WaveMotionTuningFork: The incredibly powerful signature weapon of the franchise's eponymous CoolStarship is a defining example of this in anime.