Macross II: Lovers Again
, a 1992 OVA
, was the first animated sequel to Super Dimension Fortress Macross
to feature an all-new storyline and cast of characters. It was also the only entry in the Macross franchise which didn't have any input from original creator Shoji Kawamori or the original production studio, Studio Nue. (It did contain work from Haruhiko Mikimoto, the original character designer, and was produced by Big West, which produced or co-produced everything else in the Macross franchise.) Either because it wasn't as well-received as expected, or because Kawamori and Studio Nue weren't involved (probably both), other entries in the Macross franchise have ignored the events of Macross II
. Studio Nue has declared it a "Parallel World"
The story takes place in 2092, eighty years after the end of the original Macross series. Humans and Zentradi have made peace and rebuilt Earth's society. Earth's prosperity is interrupted only by the occasional rogue Zentradi fleet, which is easily defeated through a combination of Valkryie-type transformable fighter jets
and idol singer music
. When the solar system is invaded by the fleet of a new alien civilization, the Marduk, Earth's usual strategies are ineffective, since the Mardook have singers of their own — Emulators, whose songs are used to control the Mardook's enslaved Zentradi warriors.
During the first battle, Intrepid Reporter
Hibiki Kanzaki rescues one of these Emulators, a beautiful woman named Ishtar. He takes her back to Earth, and introduces her to culture. Feff, one of the Mardook commanders, heads to Earth to try and retrieve Ishtar. Meanwhile, Ace Pilot
Sylvie Gena and the rest of Earth's military try to fight off the invaders.
This show provides examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Sylvie Gena and her commanding officer, Nexx Gilbert. Unlike almost every other Macross series, the male lead (Hibiki Kanzaki) isn't an ace combat pilot, and never becomes one, though he is fairly skilled flying an unarmed civilian Valkyrie.
- Alphabet News Network: Hibiki works for SNN (Scramble News Network.)
- Alternate Continuity: Studio Nue has placed Macross II in a "parallel world." All other Macross storylines, starting with Macross Plus, have ignored Macross II — except Macross 7, which reused some of the songs (in a Dis Continuity Nod).
- Amazon Brigade: Faerie Squadron
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Hibiki and Sylvie.
- Body Horror: The Marduk on the bridge of Ingues' ship. Just...look at those poor guys.
- Bridge Bunnies: Saori, Amy, and Nastasha make up the rest of Sylvie's flight team, Faerie Squadron. Though they're usually fighting in Valkyries as opposed to running the bridge on a capital ship, their personalities and their positions in the storyline are similar to those of Kim, Shammie, and Vanessa in the original Macross.
- Cool Plane: The Valkyrie variable fighters, especially the all-new prototype Metal Siren.
- Exty Years from Now: Produced in 1992, takes place in 2092.
- Flanderization: Of the defeat of the Zentradi — actually a plot point. The UN Spacy has turned their discovery of culture into the "Minmei Attack", or just broadcasting a no-name Idol Singer at the enemy until they collapse in disarray. The Mardook counteract that with their own singing, but Hibiki introducing Ishtar to human culture the old-fashioned way is what saves the day.
- Half-Human Hybrids: Sylvie is one quarter Meltran (female Zentradi.) She attributes her reckless streak to her grandmother.
- Hand in the Hole: Hibiki sticks his hand in the mouth of a face carving claimed to bite if someone tells a lie with their hand in its mouth, and tricks Ishtar into thinking it bit his hand off. Possibly a Shout Out to a similar scene in the film Roman Holiday.
- Heel-Face Turn: Ishtar wants to make peace with the humans almost immediately. Feff takes a bit longer.
- Human Aliens: Both the Zentradi (when micronized) and the Mardook are basically indistinguishable from humans.
- Humongous Mecha: The SDF-1 makes a reappearance, staying in humanoid mode throughout. Earth's fleet (the UN Spacy) also includes several Macross Cannon ships, which transform into a similar humanoid form.
- Idol Singer: Wendy Ryder is the only one who appears in person, but Earth uses music like hers in the "Minmay Attack" to confuse invading Zentradi fleets.
- Intrepid Reporter: Hibiki is one (though when introduced, he and his camera operator seem to be merely Paparazzi.)
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ishtar steps out of the way so Hibiki and Sylvie can be together at the end.
- Love Triangle: Hibiki, Sylvie and Ishtar form the main one. Adding Nexx (who goes on a date with Sylvie) makes a second, and Feff (who has feelings for Ishtar) makes three.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Obviously.
- Needs More Love: Being done without the original creators' involvements has turned it into a black sheep of sorts within all of the Macross universe, even going so far as to declare it outside canon. While YMMV on its overall story, on its own merits, it stands as a great piece of anime, and its mecha (especially the GORGEOUS VF-2S), music and battles stand right there with some of the best in Macross. Luckily, it has gotten a nod or two within canon (though some Take That's as well), and even got its own campaign in the last PSP Macross game.
- The Obi-Wan: Dennis Lone, a veteran reporter, is briefly a mentor to Hibiki. He even dies in the first episode helping him rescue a space princess!
- Omnicidal Maniac: Marduk Emperor Ingues wants to destroy every non-Mardook in existence no matter how many Marduk he has to kill along the way.
- The Power of Rock: Unfortunately for Earth, countered by the Mardook's Power of Creepy War Hymns. Ishtar has to add The Power of Love before it kicks in.
- Scary Black Man: The Zentradi.
- Shout Out: Several plot parallels to Super Dimension Fortress Macross, including references to Minmay and the appearance of the SDF-1.
- Stripperiffic: The standard costume of the Marduk (Mardook) Emulators is a skin-tight outfit with a golden Chainmail Bikini and black fishnet for the rest of the body.
- This Is Reality: Dennis tells Hibiki off for only wanting the "good parts" of the battle reported on, stating that "they're not making some series to get ratings." Which is all well and good, since Macross II had disappointing sales.
- Transforming Mecha : Ubiquitous, since it's a Macross story. Earth has several types of Valkryie variable fighters, including the unarmed civilian model Hibiki pilots, plus the original Macross and the Macross Cannon ships. The Mardook's Zentradi also have a type of transformable power armor.
- Wave Motion Gun: The original Macross, which has been left on Earth as a museum ship, discharges its main gun into the air at random intervals. Its successors, the Macross Cannon ships, and several Mardook vessels, have main weapons of similar power.
- The Macross Cannon ships brought the trope to the logical extreme: ships with FOUR WMG. Ouch...
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Mash comments on Ishtar's unusual hair color.
- Zeerust: It's 2092, and Sylvie still uses what seem to be 5 1/4" floppy discs to start up the SDF-1 Macross — which would be anachronistic even for the last time it flew in 2012.