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Anime: Macross Frontier
Support traditional marriage: two women, one man, and one alien insect creature.

The latest entry in the popular Super Dimension Fortress Macross franchise, which concluded Japanese airing on September 24, 2008. The series began airing during Macross' 25th anniversary and has proven immensely popular (its Blu-ray release was the single best selling HD release in the entire Japanese marketplace in 2008, and one of its soundtracks sold as many in its first week as a Neon Genesis Evangelion soundtrack - a decade-old record). (1) (2) It even spawned two movies (see below).

The story is set in 2059 aboard (and in the space surrounding) the titular Macross Frontier, one of the many colonization fleets heading from Earth towards the centre of the galaxy in search of a new home to settle. However, Frontier's mission is suddenly disrupted when it comes under attack from a bug-like alien race known as the "Vajra".

There are three main characters: Alto Saotome, an ex-kabuki actor turned sky-pilot who feels oppressed by the domed skies of Macross Frontier but also an obligation to protect them; Ranka Lee, a spunky young girl with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder and a dream of becoming an Idol Singer; and Sheryl Nome, a popular and headstrong Idol Singer from the neighbouring Macross Galaxy fleet who is known as "The Galactic Fairy".

The stories of these three intertwine amist the Vajra attacks on the Macross Frontier, slowly revealing dark conspiracies that seem destined to determine which direction mankind will move forward into the stars.

This clip features a great many visual examples of several of the tropes listed below. Note that this is merely part of one of the less intense battles of the series...

A movie version was announced at the airing of the last episode of the series. It was initially expected that it would largely be a clip show of the series with some new scenes, similar to Macross Plus, but as the project developed it eventually became more of an Alternate Continuity retelling that was split into two movies. The first, The False Songstress, was released in November 2009 and covers the range of episodes 1-7 in the series, including numerous new and altered scenes as well as several new songs. Some scenes were altered quite drastically. For instance, Sheryl Nome's fall during her first concert in episode one was caused by Alto accidentally knocking her off during a stunt, while in The Movie she jumps off the stage by her own free will. The second movie, The Wings of Goodbye, was released on February 26, 2011. It resolves the Love Triangle that has hounded the show since the first episode.

Oh, and they also made the battles even more awesome.

With the release of the TV series, several PSP and PS3 games were released consisting of Ace, Ultimate and Triangle Frontier. Trial and Last Frontier were bundled with the two movies when they released to the public, and a PS3 crossover game (done in the style of the PSP games), Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy was released in February 2013. A few mangas/light novels/drama CDs were also released, contributing to the storyline of the show.

The crossover movie, Macross FB7: Listen to My Song! premiered last October 20, 2012, set in the middle of the TV series.

Please contribute to the Character Sheet!

Note: Refrain from calling Word of God in this article unless you can provide confirmation, as a number of "interviews" were actually fakes orchestrated by a then respected person in the Macross Community. More information can be found here and here For a general overview of the fake interviews go on the Trivia page.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Brera's relatively small combat knife-sized Blade Below the Shoulder cuts a hydra roughly the size of a tiger in half. Lengthwise.
  • Ace Pilot: Nearly all the SMS crew are a cut well above the typical UN Spacy jock; Ozma, Mikhail and Klan stand out above everyone else at the start of the show.
  • A-Cup Angst: Ranka at the Miss Macross contest.
  • Adaptive Ability: The Vajra.
  • All There in the Manual: Following normal Macross procedure most of the extra information can be found in the supplemental materials, like novels, manga and Drama CDs which include extra information such as what happened to Sheryl's parents, and when Alto started to taking flying lessons, also everything about Grace.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Island 1's bridge was taken in the movies by Galaxy's cyborg agents led by Brera when they were pretending to be refugees to easily get in the fleet.
  • Alternate Continuity: Happened when the series made the jump to theatrical movies and retold the story of the series.
    • The "Sheryl - Kiss in the Galaxy" manga has some of this.
  • Animation Bump: The beginning and the end.
  • Another Century's Episode: R and Portable
  • Arc Number: 25. The series celebrates the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Therefore, there are 25 episodes, the setting is the 25th Migration Fleet, the heroes pilot the VF-25, Ranka is one-fourth alien (25 percent) and the Macross-class ship is called the Quarter (also 25 percent); it also aired at 1:25 AM (or 25:25 as it appeared on Japanese TV clocks).
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Klan Klan to Mikhail... while he's in his fighter and she's macronized.
    • Also Sheryl to Ranka, to calm her down.
    • Later on Ranka returns the favor to Sheryl.
  • At Arm's Length: Mikhail does this to Klan Klan in episode 4.
  • Attack Drone: Both Luca's Ghost fighters, the Vajra, and the unmanned fighters used by NUNS (New UN Spacy).
  • "Attack" Of The 50 Foot Whatever:
    • Played straight in episode 1 and 2, when Ranka (and a good part of Island One) is threatened by the first of the series' signature Big Creepy-Crawlies.
    • Subverted with glee in episode 5 as we find out that sections of the Frontier are designed so that the Zentradi population can live as normal people... while macronized. Highlights include Zentradi-run farms and macronized Klan hanging out with Alto and Sheryl... and in order to be at eye level with Klan, the other two have to sit on a third-story balcony.
    • It's played straight in Episode 21, when a macronized Klan dons a VF's FAST packs like an oversized EX-Gear and starts fighting Vajra.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Funnily enough Sheryl and Alto in the second movie.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: You know it. As a Macross there is plentiful battle set to J-Pop sung live by Idol Singers.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Done by Alto and Ozma, followed by Alto and Klan, and lastly Alto and Brera, all in the Grand Finale.
  • Badass Adorable: Clan Clang. Alas, she has to go through a lengthy transformation process.
  • Badass Crew: The SMS crew.
  • Badass Longcoat: Brera Sterne gets one in The Movie. Yes, he was always Bad Ass, but now he's Bad Ass with a longcoat.
  • Beach Episode: Some elements were vaguely squeezed into Episode 10 of the series, but there's a much more traditional beach part early on in the second movie with every element except the part of it being an episode. Since it's, you know, the movie. Nevertheless, several amusing scenes with Bridge Bunnies in swim suits and Captain Wilder surfing, and even Ranka gets in on the Fanservice action (though she might have been trying to impress someone, so she had an excuse).
  • Beam Spam: The Vajra in the Grand Finale.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Alto uses the one in episode 12 to escape rogue Zentradi custody.
  • Bee People: The Vajra fit this very well. However, while they do have a queen, it oversees the operation of their collective consciousness shared by each, as opposed to controlling them like mindless drones. When Grace hijacks the Queen at the climax of the story, she opts for the "control like mindless drones" option.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sheryl and Alto in an odd way, their personalities are such that they seem to swap roles from time to time, but they typically default to Alto as the Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Sheryl as the Tsundere.
  • Berserk Button: Commenting on Alto's feminine appearance, mistaking him for a girl, or calling him "Princess", played for laughs in the series.
  • Big Bad: Grace.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Everyone, at some point. Most notably and awesomely SMS' arrival at the battle over the Vajra homeworld
    • The second movie trumps this with a SQUADRON of Quarter Class Macross coming in as fire support.
    • There's also The Cameo by Isamu Dyson.
  • Big Fancy House: The Saotome mansion.
  • Bishōnen: Alto and Mikhail, but especially Alto, lampshaded by Alto's nickname "Princess".
  • Bishie Sparkle: Mikhail gets one of these during his introduction in Macross Frontier while flirting with some girls. Alto uses them a few minutes later when meeting Ranka.
    • Actually, what appears to be a Bishie Sparkle for Alto is just him shaking water out of his hair. The effect remains the same, however.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Possibly a subversion, as this occurs on Klan of all people, and only when she's micronized and four and a half feet tall.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Nearly everything written down in the show is written in English (despite the fact that the franchise is eternally locked in No Export for You past Macross Plus), though it's, of course, Japanese in dialog. Sheryl's mirror message to Grace in Episode 2 is written in French. One or two lines are actually in English.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Movie-verse only. Alto is dead/missing, Sheryl is in comatose, and Ranka lost the love triangle. Not exactly a happy ending here. Also not everyone lives this time around. But at least the Love Triangle ended, and this time Klan and Mikhail got to be together.
    • It's less bittersweet if you read Kawamori's latest interview in Animedia. Word of God seemed both amused and surprised that people's sadder (and inaccurate) interpretations when he assumed he was "obvious". He confirmed that Alto is alive and Sheryl awoke from the coma at the end of the movie. There was a hint of the characters outcome in the credits... We can "imagine" the rest.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Vajra don't have brains and have a Hive Mind. What's bizarre about this is that the thing that connects them to the Hive Mind are bacteria that live in their intestines.
    • Even more bizarre is the fact that the Vajra grow guided missiles inside their bodies as well as a small Wave Motion Gun.
  • BFG: Both Macross Quarter's Macross Cannon and the Koenig Monster's massive artillery cannons. See above link.
    • Battle Frontier and Battle Galaxy also sport impressive BFGs.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Brera has a relatively small deployable knife.
  • Body Backup Drive: Grace, who was killed by the dimension eater in ep. 13, and gunned down by Leon's troops in ep. 21 - she showed up alive, well, and fondling her own boobs by the end of the episode. Of course, she's transhuman, backed up all over the place, can download into multiple bodies, and is shown onscreen to be just the front consciousness for an entire conspiracy riding along in her body.
  • Body Horror: The Vajra bits infected Ranka in utero. In a gigantic fake-out, they turn out to be quite nice as they are considered antibodies. They even heal Sheryl's more traditional version.
  • Boobs of Steel: At full size, Klan is significantly better endowed than the other Zentradi members of SMS. Guess who the ace is?
    • Also played with a bit, as when Klan micronizes, she's not only unusually small in stature, but in the chest department, too, being the only girl flatter than Ranka.
  • Boom, Headshot: Inverted. Headshots don't kill Vajra, center of mass shots do.
  • Break the Cutie: Sheryl, Ranka, Klan.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Of course. Monica, Mina, and Ram fill this role for SMS.
  • Bug War: Elements of this are Deconstructed as the Vajra, too, are sentient; they're just in a different way than humans due to Hive Mind.
  • Call Back:
    • Dramatic rescuing of women by catching them as they fall through the air.
    • Sheryl tries to disguise herself in public by putting on a big pair of oversized sunglasses. Her outfit also includes a number of elements, such as a big beret, that were worn by Minmei at one point or another.
    • Ozma is a fan of Fire Bomber and thus names a formation "Totsugeki Love Heart", and the episode focused on him uses Fire Bomber music.
    • The useage of pineapple-based food to suggest death. Key word being "suggest," heh heh heh.
    • In the movie, formation MMJenius for Michel and K.K.
    • In the movie, the Macross Quarter does a pinpoint barrier punch followed by destroids filling up the enemy mothership with ordnance from the inside.
    • K.K. uses Mylene Jenius' bass while the drums are manned by the strongest woman of the team. Michel dresses up as Basara.
    • Formation Big Wednesday is similar to Isamu Dyson's plan to break through Earth's defense grid.
    • Alto folding out with the Vajra Queen is similar to the ending of Macross Zero
  • Camp Gay: Bobby
    • Macross Frontier does enjoy playing with its tropes, however, so of course it's the Camp Gay who has a tendency to go from fruity to BURNING RIGHTEOUS FURY at the drop of a hat, to the shock of anyone not familiar with him (and the terror of the object of his ire).
  • Canon Immigrant: The VB-6 König Monster first appeared in the Playstation game Macross Digital Mision VF-X. Macross Frontier is the first animated Macross series in which it has appeared - see above link for it in action. Fan theory holds that it got in due to its awesome, gigantic toy.
    • Macross VF-X2 PS1 Game protagonist Aegis Focker appears in the Macross Frontier Light Novel as a Colonel.
    • Also Macross 13 Earth defense fleet commanded by Lt. Gen. Kim Kabirov in the Macross Frontier novelization's depiction of the battle over Earth.
    • Macross 11, only mentioned in Macross Dynamite 7 and Macross English Anticipation manga, also appears.
  • Catch a Falling Star: A visual quote of a famous scene from Super Dimension Fortress Macross in episode 2.
    • Alto catches another falling star in a more traditional manner in episodes 1 and 8.
    • The Non-Serial Movie does this a lot. Sheryl even invokes the trope by intentionally jumping off the stage in this version, but she has a backup plan in case he fails.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hung aroung the walls in bunches. And still counting.
    • With Chekhov's BFG being Sheryl's earrings, a small token of The Lady's Favour that ultimately ends up saving Alto and prove crucial to saving the fleet because they're made of Fold Quartz. Doubly so given the earrings are in Macross Zero.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Grace O'Connor VERY much so.
  • Cherry Tapping: Ozma's Crowning Moment Of Awesome in Episode 17 is this, as he uses the VF-25's combat knife and head lasers to kill a Large-type Vajra. Though it wasn't entirely by choice, since the Vajra had become immune to nukes, missiles and guns.
  • Child Soldiers: Several of them in SMS. If we're taking by the under 18 thing, then they'd consist of Alto, Mikhail and Luca. Out of the three, Luca's the youngest SMS contractor as 15 with Alto and Mikhail at 17.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Michael.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Alto is blue, Sheryl is red, Ranka is green. Goes even for their hair mostly. Although Sheryl's strawberry-blond somewhat deviates, some of it still shows as pink, which is an acceptable substitute for red.
  • Clean Cut: A Hydra meets its end like this. Ew.
  • Cold Sniper: Partial, Mikhail can be pretty dispassionate while sniping.
  • Continuity Cameo: Wings of Goodbye has a 40-year-old Isamu Alva Dyson as an SMS pilot, still using his YF-19 "Alpha One".
    • Supplemental material says it's an upgraded VF-19C equipped with current generation tech, and that he managed to defeat both Ozma and Gilliam in mock combat trials while testing the VF-19EF Caliburn.
  • Continuity Nod: A lot of them, actually.
    • Maj. Ohgotwai, the Zentradi commander in ep. 12, looks nearly identical to Breetai Kridanik and stands on a bridge with the same design with a shorter, slightly deformed advisor. Tehmzin, the rebel leader, is also suspiciously similar to Kwamzin Kravshera. This might be justified by the free use of cloning among Zentradi, who could just use the same genetic pattern, though.
      • Frontier also continues the running gag of all Zentraedi being raging otaku, most notably the owner of the SMS, an otaku obsessed with model trains and lost pop star Lynn Minmei
    • Ozma is a devoted fan of the ''Fire Bomber''. Also, Sheryl likes to quote Basara's Catch Phrase "Listen to my song!" when she gets into serious Idol Singer mode. Bobby refers to Basara as "Basara-sama."
      • She modifies it using the more appropriate "atashi" than Basara's "ore," though.
    • It doesn't end there in the manga it is explained that Alto's father knew Isamu in the past
      • When Luca unleashes his Ghost AIF-7S's against Grace's Ghost V-9's, he calls them something along the lines of "the terror of Macross City."
    • The series aired on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Let's see now... Frontier is the 25th colonization fleet Earth sent out, Ranka is one-quarter Zentradi (1/4 = 25%), we have Macross Quarter (same as before), the series has 25 episodes, it aired at 1:25 AM on Friday (25:25 Thursday, according to how the Japanese write their TV guides), the main Mecha in the series is the VF-25 Messiah... the writers really went to town with the anniversary Shout Outs.
    • The Macross Attack is the Daedalus Attack/Maneuver with less dakka.
    • Blink and you'll miss this one: when Leon is talking to an unknown informant in the Macross Zero movie shooting episode, the Hydra is said to have come from a certain planet called Eden.
    • According to Kawamori, the VF-25's reporting name, "Messiah", comes from Minmei's song "Little White Dragon".
    • In the Movie, Klan and Mikhail use the "MM Jenius" formation.
    • The hand gestures used to remote-control the VFs are based on the ones Isamu used to visualize his flight in Macross Plus.
      • Speaking of Macross Plus, in the Wings of Goodbye film, there is a brief cameo of a VF-19 joining the final battle, with its pilot heavily implied to be none other than the infamous Isamu Dyson himself.
    • Ranka works for the "Nyan-Nyan" noodle shop. The original, of course, was owned by Lynn Minmay's aunt and uncle, and was a frequent hangout of the cast of the original series..
    • In one episode, Ozma tells the others to use the formation Planet Dance. In the finale, he orders them to use formation "Totsugeki Love Heart!"
  • Cool Car: Sheryl Nome's Ferrari California in Nyan Cli. It's a stick. As well as Ozma's Lancia Delta.
  • Cool Plane: Naturally, given the nature of the series. Even the Nightmare Plus looks awesome in fighter mode, and the movie's YF-29 Durandal combines a slick design with a perfect storm of Beam Spam, More Dakka and, naturally, Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In the TV series, Sheryl is struck by inspiration while perusing a Zentraedi mall with Alto, and uses a tent-sized pair of panties as paper.
    • In Wings of Goodbye, she does it again, this time writing the lyrics to the eponymous song on a wall in her own blood.
  • Covert Pervert: Luca. When Sheryl teases that Alto is her "slave," his first thought? Alto Bound and Gagged with a Dog collar being stepped on by a Stripperiffic Sheryl Dominatrix!
  • Creator Cameo: The director of the Macross Zero movie looks a lot like Shoji Kawamori.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Ranka.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted and played straight.
    • It's painfully played straight in one of the drama CDs. Grace delves into her time with Sheryl in one, and admits that after ten years of spending time with Sheryl, she's started to care for her and feels that these feelings may get in the way of her mission. She rewrites her own personality to delete them.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ranka, Sheryl, and to some degree Michel.
    • Alto also has a bit of one with his father and his former Kabuki career. Its more apparent in the movies when he talks about it with Ranka, where it's a borderline Nightmare Fuel story of a Loss of Identity that verged on Critical Existence Failure.
  • Dark Reprise: Aimo O.C. and Ai Oboete Imasuka ~bless the little queen~. The former changes the lyrics to absolutely gut-wrenching effect. In the latter, the lyrics are hardly changed at all; the impact is all in how and where it's used.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Subverted for Ozma Lee, complete with an episode designed specifically by Shoji Kawamori to remind fans of another A Death in the Limelight episode from the first series.
  • Deconstruction: Most Macross shows contain at least one time-relevant deconstruction, and for MacF that was Klan Klan, who is, on the whole, an absolutely vicious taking-apart of the Moe Moe archetype, at times almost to the point of being mean-spirited. Episode 17 also blasts apart overly foreshadowed character deaths that especially use cooking metaphors, which ironically SDF Macross had made popular two decades prior. Of course, in episode 20 it then applies the other half of this trope with the absolutely shocking and heartbreaking death of Micheal Blanc.
    • Arguably, Ranka herself is a pretty fierce deconstruction of Moe, this may or may not come from the fact that even though Ranka was created to appeal to a certain crowd, said crowd ended up being the fans that disliked her the most. They would claim that despite her many "Moe points", she still royally screws up in the last few episodes.
  • Did They or Didn't They? After episode 22 many shippers practically ripped their hair out trying to figure out Whether or not Alto and Sheryl had sex. They did.
    • In the light novels to the AU movie that is clear. As far as the TV Series goes that was left to 'viewer interpretation'.
      • Correction: There are two versions of the light novels. The original 4 volumes were dedicated to the TV series, and it was revealed clearly to the readers that the deed was done. Then there are 2 more books for movies. There is also no such thing as Macross AU except Macross II. Per an interview with Kawamori in Chaos Anime Taizen published in 2009, he stated that any given Macross TV series do not hold a higher canon status over subsequent movies, and both consist the interpretation of events occurred within a timeline.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: VF-25 Messiah and VF-27 Lucifer. Yeah...
  • Do Not Go Gentle: The opportunity to help save the fleet comes to Sheryl, because her V-type infection has entered the terminal stage, which gives her the side effect of being able to affect the Vajra with her song.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Mikhail's training regimen in episode 4; a mild subversion in that Alto and Mikhail are friends otherwise, and it isn't so much that Alto needs training as it is that he needs a bit of a humility lesson.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Alto.
    • It's also a plot point that Alto had a famous performance as a woman on the kabuki stage shortly before quitting acting.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Luca to Nanase in episode 24.
  • Ending spoilers (Movies): almost a Dying Declaration of Love: Resolving the Love Triangle.
  • Ending spoilers: Earn Your Happy Ending: With prejudice.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Dimension Eater.
  • Ending Spoilers (Movies): Esoteric Happy Ending, Potentially: Story goes that the fandom had quite an outcry at the ending to the second movie, which left Alto apparently dead, Sheryl in a coma, and the ending bit is pretty much Ranka being ever the optimist and saying she's sure Sheryl will wake up when Alto is back, and she's sure he'll be back. Everyone cried. An interview with Kawamori not long after basically said "Dudes, Alto didn't die, and Sheryl woke up. Where did you get these crazy notions?" He also once said he thought Sad Endings stuck with people more, so YMMV.
    • This is also the same Shoji Kawamori that may have had Hikaru, Misa and Minmay sucked into a black hole in the manual to Macross M3 just so he could get fans to stop asking if they would ever appear in another Macross production, so, yeah.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ozma Lee
  • Ending Spoilers: Everybody Lives: The end of episode 24 hints strongly at Kill Them All, but then the last episode plays out and in the end none of the good guy cast ends up dying. Even the terminally Ill Girl is suddenly cured.
    • Subverted in The Wings of Goodbye.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: What's that? No women of royal blood in Macross Frontier? Like that'll stop us. Now get Alto-hime into a kimono and some kabuki makeup, stat!
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Grace again. At least partially.
  • Expressive Hair: Ranka, Word of God has it that this is a rare Zentradi trait.
  • Expy: Bobby Margot both looks and acts eerily similar to Bob from Speed Grapher.
    • Heck, they even share the same first name.
    • The Vajra are basically Bug like versions of the Space Monsters from Gunbuster and Diebuster. The Gohma from Asura's Wrath are an expy of both creatures.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Deconstructed; here it's a bit more like a willing leap, and it's because Alto was in the area that the VF-25's pilot got killed in the first place. Also, he's hardly inexperienced; he's been training to fly for a couple of years and is second in his class after Michel, so he did have a pretty good idea of what he was doing; Ozma and Michel even note that he's pretty good for somebody who just jumped into the cockpit. Afterwards, when he was brought to the SMS base to explain what happened that led to Gilliam's death and he demanded to be given a Valkyrie when a scramble order was issued, Ozma socked him in the face and had him thrown out; it's only afterwards that Ozma offers him a chance to prove himself, and that involves Training from Hell and having to go toe-to-toe with one of SMS' best pilots before he is considered for pilot duty.
    • Utterly mocked when Sheryl tries the same thing.
  • Fanservice: Sheryl especially, though the other characters get their moments
  • Fighter Launching Sequence: Numerous scramble sequences throughout the entire series, but to be fair, it's a series that's half about cool Humongous Mecha SpaceFighters, which probably makes every one of these fighter launch sequences a form of Fanservice.
  • First Girl After All: In the movies, Ranka is introduced as a friend of Alto's from the start, and Sheryl the outsider. Turns out Sheryl met Alto years before when they were kids with Sheryl fangirling over him and bringing him flowers. Sheryl apparently remembered this all along, but Alto doesn't realize Sheryl was that fangirl until the end of the second movie.
  • First Girl Wins: Sheryl Nome. In the Movies one of the girls met Alto several years earlier while Alto was doing Kabuki. She gave him flowers.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: A mechanical example in the codename of the SMS' own Konig Monster (a mecha that whose basic ordnance is antimatter warheads, and is otherwise so powerful to be considered a weapon of mass destruction), Rabbit-1.
  • Freudian Slip: Alto makes one in Episode 22. He mistakes Sheryl for his mother. Guess what happens next...
  • Funny Afro: Averted, because nobody talks about Bobby's hair.
  • Future Slang: At the time of first contact, "Deculture" was a Zentradi expletive used to express shock and awe, but is now being used as a slang term with more positive attributes.
  • Gainaxing: Ranka's classmate Nanase, Sheryl, various Miss Macross contestants, and Klan Klan. Oh my GOD Klan Klan.
    • There is a unique version of this early in Episode 1 with a close up of Sheryl's cleavage as artificial gravity gradually changes from zero-G to 0.75-G.
  • Gambit Pileup: Grace, Leon and Bilrer all have plans to use each other for their plans, and the people on Galaxy (see The Omniscient Council of Vagueness above) seem to have their own agenda.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Sheryl to Ranka in episode 20. She gets it back from Ranka in episode 25.
  • Genre Savvy: Michel/Mikhail Blanc certainly seems to be - his comments to Cathy in Episode 17 about how tragic it would've been if Ozma had really died point to this. Perhaps that's why he avoided confessing to Klan Klan until Episode 20: it resulted in Going Down with the Ship and he invoked four or five death tropes as he expired.
    • Alto also shows some of this, telling a fellow pilot about the "Valkyrie pilot's curse" that teasing a pilot about his girlfriend will result in getting shot down, a reference to Kakizaki's death in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
    • In the movies, an attempt by Galaxy's cyborg agents to seize control of the fleet was defeated by NUNS's Frontier-based special forces when they were gunned down before they could get into Island 1's bridge. Subverted in the second time since NUNS personnel in the bridge were taken by surprise, which even included President Glass and Mishima being killed.
  • Genre Shift: In the movies, it changes midway to a technothriller from something out of Tom Clancy, Chris Ryan or Stephen Leather novels when most of the characters think that Galaxy is responsible for bringing Sheryl to Frontier as part of their plot to seize control of the fleet.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives {Deconstructed. Awesomely.)
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: Sheryl does some war recruitment advertisements/propaganda and dedicates some of her songs at concerts to the troops. Then in episode 20 she has her Music for Courage scene, and in episode 22, the aftermath of that attack, she throws a concert for charity. Sheryl goes to do this more traditionally to a Marine Regiment, but when she faints from illness, Ranka has to come in to sing instead, successfully causing Nose Bleed.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Vajra get this in the first episode to show they mean business, and other Vajra ended up getting these too in Episode 20, as the Frontier-born green Vajra go on a murderous rampage through the ship. Even Ai-kun gets them in Episode 23, and kidnaps Ranka shortly thereafter despite her asking him to tell the Vajra they mean no harm.
  • Godiva Hair: Sheryl, in her fanservice scenes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Often used when the Vajra squish/vivisect/otherwise end human lives. Mildly subverted when the Vajra run amok in Island 1, where you get the usual blood-only scene: the next is of the man's blood dripping onto an innocent bystander below, who looks up just to see the man's torso hurled over the edge, as seen here.
  • Graceful Loser: Appropriately enough, Grace O'Connor — after having thrown everything including the kitchen sink at the heroes, she gets to stare down the barrel of a VF-25's sniper pod long enough to realize what's coming next, and simply gives a resigned sigh of defeat.
  • Gratuitous English: Everywhere, usually on printed documents and signs, most of which are printed in English. Some spoken English as well.
    • A hilarious example is when Leon looks over some background papers, one of a random nobody, and one of Ranka Lee. Ranka's is brutally engrished as if someone had written it in Japanese and then used Google Translate for expediency and cost, while the other guy's is a copy and pasted perfect English Shout-Out to jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie.
  • Groupie Brigade: Sheryl has one, and she often conceals her identity in public early on.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ranka is one-quarter Zentradi, and Mikhail's ears are more than a bit suspicious; also, thinking about how humanity was almost wiped out in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross, about sixty years before the start of the series, and at how many people there are currently in the series' universe — two planets and 25+ colonization fleets — it's likely that most of Frontier's population has at least a small part of Zentradi blood.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Brera in episode 25. Justified the little device on his head that allows remote control of him breaks.
  • Hello Boys: Sheryl Nome in the first ten seconds of Deculture Edition, which was basically the test pilot episode for the series. I have two tropes for you: Barbie Doll Anatomy and Ms. Fanservice.
  • Heroic Resolve: Shown by multiple characters in the series, best exemplified by Alto, Sheryl and Ranka in the 2nd movie when faced with annihilation by a merger Battle Frontier and Vajra Queen.
    • Alto: "With the fire in my heart, I'll deliver your song."
    • Sheryl and Ranka: "Alto!"
    • Alto: "That's my dance in the sky."
    • Ranka: "Wind to your wings!"
    • Sheryl:"Song to the Galaxy."
    • Sheryl gets another one earlier in the movie where when questioned by Alto on the safety of singing while she's already weak and dying, she declares that "Don't you get it, if I die, it should be on stage!".
  • Heroic Sacrifice:Go with God in all the dark places you may walk, Michael Blanc. Klan will not forget your sacrifice.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge (Both attempted and successful, pretty much any time one of the ace pilots is present)
  • Hime Cut: Alto-hime.
  • Hive Mind: Each Vajra hive is effectively a single being composed of uncounted thousands or millions of drones and a Hive Queen. Grace O'Connor's eventual plan is to turn humanity into one of these, by taking them over using the Vajra as soldiers, then instituting mandatory cybernetics implantation, with herself at the top. The Galaxy conspiracy she is a member of appears to be one already.
    • Also, unlike most Hive Minds, they are more akin to true insects in that they actually do have individual minds, but are in constant communication with each other and the Queen. As a result, they don't really get individuality.
  • Hot Scientist: Grace O'Connor and Ranshe.
  • Human Aliens: The Zentradi would look almost human, if they weren't twenty meters tall. They do look human, and genetically are the same species, in their micronized state.
    • At the same time, though, it seems that the artists have increasingly decided to make the Zentradi gigantic space elves.
  • Humongous Mecha
  • I Am Who?: A recurring internal conflict between Alto, Sheryl and Ranka.
  • I Didn't Mean To Turn You On: If being stuffed in a cramped locker with Sheryl weren't already enough, Alto's cellphone has the misfortune of going off while his hip is wedged right between her thighs...and it's on vibrate.
  • Idol Singer: Sheryl and Ranka.
  • I Got You Covered: During the series's final battle.
  • Improbable Age: Alto's schoolmates Mikhail and Luca and, after episode 4, Alto himself , are Hired Guns, despite being at best 17 years old.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Naturally.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!!: Ranka does this to Ai-kun. And then Ai-kun does it to Ranka.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Sheryl has an outfit like this in the opening credits for episodes 18-24. Yay Fanservice!
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Sheryl.
  • Infinite Supplies: Averted and explained - the Frontier fleet seems to reside near substantial asteroid belts for raw building material, multiple Islands are devoted largely to agriculture, the closed biosystems of the Islands assists in air reclamation, and we are even shown that the dead are broken down and recycled for various purposes. Later on, major hull breaches on the islands that can't be patched immediately are shown to have fairly dire consequences in terms of water supply and air quality.
  • Instrumentality: The final goal of Big Bad Grace O'Connor.
  • It's All My Fault: Ozma isn't related to Ranka, but takes care of her since he blames himself for not being able to protect her family.
    • Mikhail also seems to suffer from this to some degree; he's extremely hard on himself for what happened to his sister when he was younger and may blame himself for not preventing her suicide.
  • Ending Spoilers (Movies) In the End, You Are on Your Own: Except for song support from Sheryl and Ranka, Alto and the YF-29 fly the last part of the Final Battle alone while everyone else watches.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alto and Michel/Mikhail/Michael/how-the-hell-EVER you want to spell his name both play this trope fairly straight, respectively demonstrating the Angsty Pretty Boy and Too-Cool Ladies' Man variants.
  • Killed Off for Real: Michael.
  • The Lady's Favour: Sheryl does this twice to Alto, the first when he and the SMS soldiers were sent to aid the attacked Macross Galaxy Fleet and the second before the Final Battle against the REAL Galaxy Fleet and the mind-controlled Vajra horde.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Noted above but there's a lot of shades in this show. There's Alto and his "Princess" callsign/nickname, and there's also a conversation between Klan and Mikhail in which Mikhail points out "If we ever became romantically involved, I'd probably be arrested for pedophilia.", which netted him a very literal Armor-Piercing Slap, as Klan slapped the head of his Battroid so hard he got bashed around in the cockpit. Even later on, Ozma nearly gets killed in the exact same way as Roy Focker once did, and the camera then cuts to the hospital with Michael mentioning that it'd be tragic if Ozma had actually died.
    • Later on, Alto one of Alto's wingman gives him some light-hearted grief over Sheryl being his girlfriend. His other wingman reminds him of the Valkyrie Pilots' Curse: trashtalking about your bro's girlfriend gets you killed. Sure enough, it happens.
  • Like You Were Dying: Sheryl lives out her last days as if she had won the Love Triangle. Alto either plays along out of sympathy or she really did win his heart, depending on your interpretation (or which ship you support).
  • Limited Wardrobe: Many of the characters are never seen out of their school uniforms unless they're meant to suit up for battle (or the beach/pool).
  • Living Ship: Vajra ships in general, since they're basically just bigger members of their race who can carry other, smaller members inside them.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Alto, Sheryl and Ranka in episode 3.
  • Loss of Identity: This is Alto's whole backstory. His coping with who he is is his personal plot line, and probably significantly contributed to his lack of decisiveness on a certain other matter.
  • Love Hurts: When Ranka sees Alto and Sheryl holding each other somewhat intimately, it absolutely breaks her heart (made more painful by the fact that she was about to confess her love to him). These emotions inadvertently end up calling the Vajra.
  • Love Triangle: A staple of the franchise, lampshaded by frequent triangle imagery throughout the series.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The first opening, Triangular. Sounds upbeat and happy, but in reality it's about a girl who's being tortured by her lover's indecisiveness and throws herself at him in an attempt to not feel desperately lonely.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Of course. The mecha in this series take this to the extreme. The full armored version of the VF-25 is armed with a whopping 210 micro missiles, with the option to carry Konig Monster's antimatter warheads.
  • Mad Scientist: Grace, naturally. She has at least two papers in the (Cosmo) Nature, which already sets her higher than most (if the Nature would keep its reputation in the next half century, as it does so for at least last century and half), and certainly fits other requirements, at least about proper megalomania.
  • Mauve Shirt: Alto gets a couple new wingmen in Episode 23, one a fanboy of Sheryl Nome complete with Nose Art of her on his plane. They get killed by V-9 Ghosts in the last episode.
  • Meganekko: Nanase.
  • Meaningful Name: Alto Saotome. Alto means high and the deepest female classical singing voice. Saotome is also an important name in Kabuki.
  • Megaton Punch: Macross class battleships can perform this in battle mode. For an added bonus, their 'fists' can house mecha with Reactive Missles to blow you up from the inside after they've punched you. Because nothing says "Fuck you" like punching them in the face with an aircraft carrier. Except when you use two aircraft carriers.
  • Memetic Hand Gesture:
    • The "Kira~" gesture, coupled with memetic mutation.
    • The Nyan Nyan dance goes along with the Nyan Nyan song.
    • Sheryl's pose in the Diamond Crevasse single cover is something of a lesser meme, with an Affectionate Parody on a Lucky Star album. Also popular with Sheryl cosplay.
  • Memetic Bad Ass: Machida, the only NUNS pilot that knows what "Transformation!" means. He's on screen for maybe 30 seconds in a single episode (in which he is Bad Ass), and we never see his face (though he does get a Bad Ass Boast and a Isamu Punch), but his memorable moment transcends space and time like Chuck Norris such that any Red Shirt extra piloting a vehicle who does something Bad Ass was clearly Machida.
  • Mind Control or maybe More Than Mind Control: Ranka in episode 24. She gets better. Subverted somewhat, in that her freshly regained memories about her childhood were used to manipulate her.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Subverted by Alto and Luca DOWNGRADING from the VF-25 to a VF-171 variant, the VF-171EX. It actually still ends up being a badass plane objectively, but even Alto complains that it's a jalopy.
    • But from the perspective of the NUNS pilots...played straight, as the basic VF-171 had become useless against the Vajra.
  • Mo Cap Mecha: The Quarter turns into this during The Wings of Goodbye, where it's synced to Captain Wilder's movements... as he surfs the Quarter into the atmosphere. On a piece of random debris. And it is Crazy Enough to Work and awesome.
  • Music for Courage: See the trope entry for details.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Macross Quarter does a technique followed by a big dramatic pose and a display of the name of the technique, similar to Genesis of Aquarion.
    • Ranka singing to strengthen the Vajra while her image is projected into space is similar to how the Emulators worked from Macross II.
    • The use of surfing, even with Humongous Mecha, references Eureka Seven, another series with mechanical design by Shoji Kawamori.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Two of them, in fact. Unable to fit everything into a single movie, we get The False Songstress and The Wings of Goodbye set in an Alternate Continuity where things happen very differently.
  • Nose Art: A fair bit, and if you count the extra merchandise or the VF air show clip you get a fair dose of Type 3. Notable examples:
    • The Koenig Monster gets pinup girls, namely the show's Idol Singers. Ranka in the series, and Sheryl in the movies.
    • Ozma's VF-25 has the traditional skull of Skull Squadron painted on his Valkyrie (and his car).
    • Alto's Mauve Shirt wingman he acquires in Episode 23 is a huge Sheryl Nome fanboy, and has her painted on his VF-171EX.
    • The VF Air Show has a full dose of Type 3, with two Valkyries featuring full body paint jobs, one of Ranka and one of Sheryl (merchandising does this in several other versions as well for the inevitable scale model Vakyries).
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Aboard Frontier; this makes then unique among the larger setting.
  • Nuke 'em: As the series progresses, nukes are the only thing able to hurt the Vajra.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Maybe— Ozma isn't Ranka's real brother, but it's unknown if Ranka knows this.
    • Given Ranka's past, which includes her real family being wiped out with the rest of the 117th Deep Exploration fleet, and the resulting Trauma-Induced Amnesia that has taken all memories of her childhood, this appears to be a given.
      • By Episode 23, she's getting a clue that Brera may really be her brother, as she's remembered that Ozma wasn't her 'real' big brother as she's recovering memories from her childhood.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Sheryl's Impossibly-Low Neckline outfit that she wears in the last episode.
  • The Ojou: Sheryl.
  • Old-School Dogfight: While clearly very aware of space and its properties in a lot of the technical specifications (such as Super Packs, designed for space and generally useless in an atmosphere due to all the drag it adds), visually it still looks like this as they're Doing It for the Art.
    • The only fighters that ever behave as if they're really in space are the Ghost V-9s and occasionally Brera's VF-27 Lucifer, both of which generally kicks everyone else's ass. The increased maneuvering is explained as being able to tolerate higher G-Forces. The Ghost V-9s especially, as they don't even look like they have mass let alone suffer from atmospheric friction, leading to some interesting theories as to why that is.
      • Weirdly enough, Episode 13 appears to actually invert the trope. Brera's VF-27 dodges Alto's gun burst sideways in an atmosphere.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The voices that appear during Grace's inner discussions, actually the population of Macross Galaxy.
  • One-Winged Angel: We were all thinking it when we saw Grace's Vajra Queen in the last episode.
  • Opening Narration
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Partially. Standard assault rifles and handguns look much like they do today, but the heavier rifles carried by EX-Gear-equipped troopers play this trope straight.
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame: Sheryl at the end of episode 24.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Brera and Ranka.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: While the Macross Quarter is anything but small, it is 'only' 400 meters long compared to the 1.6 kilometer long Macross Frontier and Galaxy main battleships. All this means is that the Quarter can transform to punch you in the face faster than the bigger capital ships.
  • Pistol Pose: Sheryl gives one in her war propaganda commercial after she shoots you.
  • Playing To The Fetishes: Oh God, Sheryl Nome in her Universal Bunny concert in The Movie. She french kisses HERSELF.
    • Her opening number in the second movie, "Forbidden Elixir" is loaded with enough suggestive lyrics and imagery to more than give Universal Bunny some stiff competition. Not least of which includes Sheryl practically being ravished by a gender-swapped version of herself.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: The photo of Ranka and her older brother that Alto finds inside the SDF-4.
  • Post Episode Trailer: See you next deculture!
  • Power Armor: EX-Gears. While they don't exactly completely cover the wearer in armor, it does offer some protection, as well as amenities like Super Strength, Jet Pack with wings, Space Suit, Slave Interface to your Cool Plane, and even Roller Blades! Also your fist can break concrete. Come on, you know you want one.
    • Queadlunns also count.
  • Power Fist: More like a weaponized Power Aircraft Carrier, but Battle Frontier obliterates Battle Galaxy with its fist. Don't you just love Point Barrier Systems? Especially fitting as Battle Galaxy had just nearly obliterated Battle Frontier and Macross Quarter in one shot from its Macross Cannon. Fist beats Macross Cannon apparently. Presumably the fist of an EX-Gear is no joke either, as even Sheryl can do some serious damage to a wall (and eggs) with one.
  • Power Perversion Potential: 60-foot-tall women! At least one of which looks like a child in her micronized state! You can almost hear the fan artists scribbling furiously.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Be scattered to the ends of the galaxy." Delivered by Brera just before he finally shoots down Alto.
  • Private Military Contractors: SMS, among the type that have improbable access to the latest toys, justified as the manufacturer of the VF-25 uses their "services" to perform field testing in live combat.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: Klan, sort of. She's not always a raging berserker (although she does have her moments, especially after Michael dies), but she is very proud of her Zentradi heritage and does seem to enjoy pointing out Zentradi combat superiority whenever possible.
  • Rags to Riches: Part of Sheryl's backstory and can be taken quite literally.
  • Really Dead Montage: A short one, for Michael.
  • Real Robot: The various VF-series and others.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Klan/Michael, right down to color-coded mecha.
    • These two are also a Shout-Out to Max and Milia. Human guy in a blue jet and Zentran girl in a red mech.
    • Also Brera and Alto as blue and red, respectively, in the second opening.
  • Red Shirt: Poor Gilliam... also done to a member of the Pixie Squadron in episode 14, whose shirt was so deeply red the producers never bothered to even give her a voice actress.
  • Red Shirt Army: The UN Spacy forces are invariably hilariously ineffective against the Vajra, and their ineffectiveness is even used as a plot point to explain the existence and necessity of SMS.
    • Subverted slightly in Episode 14 — The NUNS can actually be effective, once they break out the reaction weaponry. Or maybe it's the fact that this was Diamond Force, an elite squadron first mentioned in Macross 7.
      • Then played straight by Episode 17, as the NUNS becomes ineffective again. By Episode 23, as now Alto's leading a pack of them and they've got new anti-Vajra VF's and weapons, they're a bit better than they were, but...
  • Repeat Cut: Sometimes used in high-impact situations like the firing of a Wave Motion Gun; see here
  • Reprise Medley: In the final episode.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The green, long-tailed, utterly adorable Panty Thief who is actually a Vajra larva.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Klan really did love Mikhail, and those Vajra took him away from her. What's a macro-sized Meltran to do? Strap on a VF-25 Super Pack, pick up a Valkyrie's gunpod, and kill every last one of them. This is why humans needed Battroid mode.
  • Roboteching: Do we really need to explain?
  • Rule of Cool: The last episode has what boils down to a singing contest between the two female leads which determined whether the series' evil aliens up to this point are allied with the good guys or not, turning into an extended space battle set to music, and Alto sniping the Big Bad of the series who has now become a super-dimensional galactic being. Oh, and the Love Triangle omnipresent in the series is never resolved. And it's Awesome.
  • Sheryl Nome Is About To Shoot You: The Galactic Fairy takes up arms for her homeland!
  • Sensor Suspense: When unmanned probes are first launched to examine the Vajra threat, all that is visible is a 3D display of their progress, followed by their symbols suddenly stopping and changing to say "LOST."
  • Separated at Birth: Brera Sterne is Ranka's real brother.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Sheryl and Ranka both singing love song for Alto... at the same time. Provides the Love Triangle pic.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Episode 22. Sheryl gets deeply kissed by Alto, and she asks "Give me courage, please". Camera pans up as they begin their courage-sharing session.
    • The light novelization of the TV series is noticeably less "discreet" about Alto and Sheryl's time together. Your mileage won't vary.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Possibly the most extreme example ever. Alto saves the Vajra Queen by blowing her head clean off. Her Bizarre Alien Biology means she didn't need it, anyway.
  • Short Anime Movie: Mercilessly subverted. The movie became so long they split it into two movies, and they are at least two hours long a piece.
  • Shout-Out: Several, to every series from the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross to MacrossZero; some of these also fall under the Mythology Gag banner.
    • Done hilariously as a movie of the adventures of Shin Kudo during the events shown in Macross Zero, with Ranka playing Mao Nome and scenes basically ripped straight out of Macross Zero.
      • Done doubly so, by episode 24 and the Blu-Ray re-release of Macross Zero as it's revealed that Sheryl is Mao Nome's grand-daughter, somehow abandoned on Macross Galaxy... and the earrings in Macross Frontier were edited into a shot of Mao Nome's mementoes of her family in the Blu-Ray release of Macross Zero.
    • The final episode contains several shout-outs to the climactic battle scene of Do You Remember Love? It also has a shoutout (or three) to episode 27 of the original series, Love Drifts Away, whose events were chronicled in said movie, when Alto has to cut a human-size entrance through a bulkhead to rescue the girl, just as Hikaru had to.
    • The whole concept of the villain being an immortal transhuman with a robotic body is lifted directly from Macross Plus.
    • Meta Shout-Out: to Ranma 1/2s Ranma Saotome (too numerous and specific to ignore,) as well as real-life kabuki actor Taichi Saotome, whom Alto might very well be an Expy of.
    • Two references to Aquarion here too: first is a cargo vessel which Alto and Brera fight over, it resembles the segments of Aquarion Sol's Mugen Punch folded straight. The second is the 'Dimension Eater', which resembles shielding units for the cities. Not surprising seeing as how Kawamori designed the mechs for both series (which in turn has a Macross references, as one Aquarion combination resembles a Valkyrie Gerwalk).
      • The ring that appeared over the bride and groom in Sheryl's concert in the second movie is the same ring that appear whenever the Shadow Angel attack the humans.
      • Yoko Kano did the music for both series too.
    • There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion towards the end of the first episode. One shot of tanks firing on a Vajra is an almost exact replica of a shot of tanks firing on Asuka in The End of Evangelion.
    • And there's a little matter of Giant Ranka during the finale too, a shoutout to Sharon Apple manifesting as a gigantic hologram in place of the SDF-1 Macross itself.
    • Episode 17, amusingly enough, contains a Shout Out to Robotech: The episode is a Whole Plot Reference to the episode of the original Macross where Roy dies. The equivalent episode in Robotech was named "Farewell, Big Brother", while the Frontier episode is titled "Goodbye Sister".
    • One of the SMS fighters in the Alto and Ozma scene near the middle of Songs of Goodbye bears the (slightly modified) Mirage Knights' Blood Cross.
    • Brera's "official" NUNS callsign Antares 1 is way too familiar since it's also the callsign of a certain Ace Combat protagonist. Although it can be a coincidence since Joint Assault was released mostly worldwide in 2010 while the TV series was first released in Japan in 2008.
    • Black Jack can be seen in the background during the second movie.
    • There's also Call Back to Macross 7 in the second movie. Ranka and Alto are the only members of the group not dressed up in slightly modernized versions of Fire Bomber's outfits. (Fire Bomber is the band most of the main characters of 7 are in.) Mikhail's hair is even styled like Bassara's.
    • In the Beach Episode, Ranka and Alto wind up in an in-universe film adaptation of the events of Macross Zero.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The source of headaches for fans. Both the movie and series needed explaining.
  • Show Some Leg: Sheryl sneaks onto the bridge of the Macross Quarter. When asked how she got past security, cut to a shot of a very happy security guard with a Lipstick Mark on his cheek.
  • Movie Within A Show: "Bird Human" is an in-universe film about the events of Macross Zero. It's also the name of the last episode of the Macross Zero series.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Dammit, Sheryl, Alto was about to spill his heart out and now we'll never know.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Alto and Ozma do this in their space plane-robots. Ozma wins.
  • Sinister Surveillance
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Michael and Klan do this in episode 20.
  • Sleep Mode Size: Klan Klan, an... extremely mature woman as a thirty-foot-tall Zentradi, becomes a physical and (slightly) mental preteen when she's micronized. She isn't completely immature when micronized, though, and some of her finest scenes are while "human-size".
  • Smug Snake: Leon Mishima is this, especially as of episode 20. Also kind of played for comedy in that episode as it shows that Leon does not react to sudden changes very well and isn't nearly the Chessmaster he thinks he is. this makes his receiving of his comeuppance in the last episode even more delicious.
  • Snow Means Love: Snow starts to fall on Alto, Sheryl, and Ranka at the end of the first movie.
  • Soap Opera Disease V-Type Infection: Sheryl has this disease. Later it is revealed that Ranka also has the disease but since the disease was present when she was born it isn't fatal.
  • So Happy Together: Sheryl with Alto in Episode 24.
  • Space Marine: Giant Zentraedi space marines at that.
  • Space Opera: Epic space battles? Check. Oversized heroes and villains? Check. Awe-inspiring places? Check. Insanely gorgeous women? Definitely check. Big love stories? BIG CHECK.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Klan Klein? Klein Klan? Klan Klan, Klein Klein? Kuran Kuran, DURAN DURAN? While official sources do help some now (coming down with Klan Klan), it remains a spot of contention with quite a few fans.
    • As does Mikhail, whose name has been spelled (and pronounced in-series) at least three different ways on this page alone: Mikhail (Russian), Michel (French), Michael (English spelling in-universe).
    • A magazine scan rendered it Clan Clang.
    • Sheryl Nome suffers a different version of this. While the fandom knows what her name is, official sources are known for misspelling it. The Lion opening title erroneously writes her name as "Sheryl Noam". Some early artwork also had a habit of writing her first name as Cheryl, taking the trope to its direct equivalent. Her last name in the Lion opening title was eventually fixed in the Blu-Ray release, although the album art shown very briefly in episode 18 is still misspelled.
  • Spotlight Stealing Star: Sheryl accidentally does this in episode 8. Ranka has just changed school, Mikhail has just called her the star of the school and declared he, Luca, Alto and Nanase would show her the school... And Sheryl appears to take a look around and make poor Luca have less than pure dreams about her relationship with Alto.
    • She does it again at the end of the episode. After all, Sheryl was there just for a day, right? Wrong: she was looking around because she was about to enroll the school.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Hive Mind known as the Vajra, though they turn out to be quite nice and understandable after two-way communication is established.
  • Stock Footage: Some. Specifically, a few of the NUNS fight scenes and a group of shots where a Vajra blast tears through Island-1 see quite a bit of use.
  • Stripperific: Sheryl, when performing on stage, alto calls her out on it after she slaps him for unexpectedly seeing her topless.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Nyan-nyan nyan-nyan ni hao nyan...
  • Subspace Ansible: Instantaneous galaxy-wide communication is made possible by fold quartz.
  • Sucking-In Lines: An integral part of the Wave Motion Gun spam.
  • Super Prototype: The YF-29 from the second movie.
  • Super Robot Wars: Makes its debut in Super Robot Wars L. It also appears in Super Robot Wars Z2, with the first movie making its debut (albeit only for the mecha) in Hakai-hen which is then replaced by the second movie's debut (again, only for the mecha) in Saisei-hen. On that note, Saisei-hen also has Macross 7, meaning we get to see Ozma actually meeting Basara. He freaks out and screams "BOMBAAAAAA!!"
    • The Movies make another appearance in Super Robot Wars UX, presumably with their story intact this time.
      • And it's going to be in SRW OE. In fact if you include ACE R and Portable, its been in every single Banpresto robot cross over game from 2010-2013. It must be REALLY popular.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Sheryl announces to Alto she doesn't want to sing anymore, though she doesn't tell him the exact reasons in episode 19. By episode 20 (chronologically later that same day) she finds a new reason to sing, and does so.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Triangular. There's a reason Macross Frontier has the trope pic for Love Triangle.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Omnipresent. Whenever someone starts singing, expect Awesomeness. Works for both sides by the end, thanks to Ranka's link to the Vajra hive network. Then she joins up with Sheryl to power Alto by singing a medly of pretty much every major song sung by either Rankan or Sheryl in the series called, amusingly enough, Nyan-Nyan Service Medley. Deculture indeed!
    • Mercilessly subverted in episode 14: Sheryl tries to fight the Vajra in a Variable Fighter, and her theme music (Sagittarius 9 PM) kicks in... only to fade out as Sheryl is hit and forced to eject literally five seconds later.
    • Basically this is a sort of expected Deconstruction: since here music really can power up your side, a an off-show power-up just won't cut it.
  • The Power of Friendship: Alto seems to power-up his piloting skills when a friend's in danger. This also helps Sheryl get better at the end of the series.
  • The Show Must Go On: Alto's hotdogging during Sheryl's show causes Sheryl to fall into his arms. Sheryl promptly orders him to get flying, and works it into the show.
  • The Tease: Sheryl, especially with Alto.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: In the courtyard of Alto's Big Fancy House.
  • The War Sequence: See above link.
  • The Worf Effect: Unsurprisingly, Klan tends to get kicked around a bit by both the Vajra and by Brera when he's more a Dragon to Grace's Big Bad than a hero.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Michael. And in the Movies Ozma and Sheryl, but they turn out Not Quite Dead.
  • Transforming Mecha: It's Macross. This is a given.
  • Translation Convention: Given all the English documents and text in the series, it's assumed that despite being produced in Japanese, English is the official language for the setting of the show.
  • Translator Microbes: the V-type infection.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Ranka.
  • Triang Relations: Starts out as a Type 9, with Alto in A, Ranka in B, and Sheryl in C; Ranka and Sheryl deeply care for each other, and both of course chase after Alto.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Nyan-Nyan Service Medly during the Grand Finale. Tragic songs become much less tragic in this version and upbeat songs become basically pure awesome.
  • Trojan Horse: the concert that Ranka and the SMS stages in Alcatraz as a cover to get in and break Sheryl out.
  • Tsundere: Both Alto Saotome (Type A) and Sheryl Nome (Type B). Leads to interesting situations.
    • Klan counts as well.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Sheryl has this prior to episode 18, after which it becomes a bit more limited, wearing the same outfit she wore in episode 18 most of the rest of the series.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Ozma in episode 17, and especially Klan in episode 21.
  • Vapor Trail: Both inside the air-filled domes, and IN SPACE!.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Sheryl drops Alto's talisman down her shirt in the 5th episode as "insurance" that he'll keep his word to find a missing earring of hers.
    • Also used to carry her cell phone in the movies, which possesses the ability to simply SWIM OUT when it goes off.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In the movie, Sharon Apple is still considered to be in the same class as Minmei and Fire Bomber.
  • Voice of the Legion: Ranka in Episode 25.
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: The visual of the rounded air shields of the Islands making the idea nearly literal.
    • In episode 16, The Owner's ( President Richard Bilrer) room, has a half-human-sized train tracks with toy trains running around. Then he activates the hologram depicting the galaxy, with the trains still running about.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Superdimensonal Converging Beam Weapons, aka Macross Cannons, used by both the Macross Quarter and Vajra motherships. Some are in the style of a...
  • Wave-Motion Tuning Fork: Classic versions on the VF-27 and later the battle cannons on Macross Quarter in the movies, and finally the YF-29 in the second movie. Macross Quarter's BFG is something of a triple-pronged version.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 13 is perhaps the first major wham of the series, being mostly notable because it definitively reveals the Big Bad. In addition, the episode ends with Grace (aforementioned Big Bad, though we had some inklings before) destroying a planet with a bomb branded by LAI, which she stays behind to detonate, letting herself be consumed in the blast (this was before we realized that she could download into a new body). Furthermore, Ranka has been kidnapped by the Vajra, who turn out to have a huge fleet including several of the type of carrier that gave them huge trouble in episode 7, and Alto is about to be swallowed up by the death blast of the previously mentioned planet.
    • Episode 18 represents a more personal wham episode for Sheryl. All at once her career is forgotten, Grace (who for all intents and purposes raised her) gleefully betrays her, rips into her, and then tells her she's going to die (because Grace intentionally infected her with the V-type virus years ago). Sheryl later in the episode has it confirmed: Grace wasn't making it up, she really is going to die. The character is never quite the same afterward, but she was made a better person for it in later episodes, after she recovers from the wham.
    • Episode 20 broke the needle because the HSQ hasn't invented numbers for that kind of episode yet. Sweet loving Jesus Christ. Episode 20 could also count as Mood Whiplash given how incredibly grim the situation is now. Practically everyone is bereaved of a loved one at this point and it seems impossible for the show to have any of its old lighthearted, optimistic tone anymore.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Ranka (twice,inadventedly), Grace (deliberately).
  • X Meets Y: It's Ender’s Game meets... Macross (duh!).
  • You Are Not Alone: This is practically the mantra of The False Songstress, especially concerning Sheryl.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Sheryl.
  • Artistic License - Biology: Sheryl is infected by an alien desease caused by bacteria, but what is shown is clearly a microscope shot portraying muscle tissue and viruses.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Attempted several times... and ''always failing''
  • Zettai Ryouiki:
    • Nanase with her school uniform, Ranka with one of her stage costumes. Sheryl wears the traditional and hotpants versions.
    • Klan, with pigtails and Tsundere, is Grade S.


Macross 7Creator/Tokyo Broadcasting SystemTaishou Yakyuu Musume
Macross ZeroAnime/Super Dimension Fortress MacrossMacross II
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerSSeiun AwardCode Geass
They Look Like Us NowImageSource/Anime & MangaGiant Waist Ribbon
Macross ZeroAnimeSuper Dimension Century Orguss

alternative title(s): Macross Frontier
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