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The main protagonist of the series. Originally he was only visiting Macross to watch its launch ceremony at the invitation of Roy, but he ends up joining the military after getting caught in the space fold and realizing he could put his piloting talents to good use protecting people. He has an on-going relationship with Lynn Minmay throughout the story.
Ace Pilot: Though, surprisingly, he is not the best pilot in the show.
Actual Pacifist: Subverted: In the episode Boobytrap, Hikaru calls Roy a murderer after Roy boasts of his kill tally, but a few moments later it's implied that this is him venting his anger over Roy breaking his promise to return to the air circus. Hikaru soon joins the UN Spacy with what appears to be few moral qualms, mostly to impress Lynn Minmay.
Always Someone Better: What Hikaru learns to accept when Maximillian Jenius comes under his command and proves a far better pilot than himself, and obviously a Wing Man anyone would beg to have.
Anime Hair: Crossed with '80s Hair, the series being released in 1983. Though most of the cast is guilty.
Captain Crash: Has a tendency to trash his machines. This is even lampshaded in the episode Phantasm where even his own coma delirium mocks him for his repeated pancaking of vehicles.
Love Triangle: To the point that when Max asked him for an advice about Millia, he mused that he wished his romantic problems were so simple.
Mari Iijima (both Japanese and English)
The secondary protagonist of the series, Minmay finds herself becoming a pop star and celebrity on the Macross after winning the "Miss Macross" beauty pageant. Her singing serves as a great morale booster for the citizenry, as well as having a profound effect on the Zentraedi, who are captivated by her performances. Minmay is widely credited with a major role in stopping the war against the Zentraedi.
Chinese Girl: Her family is ethnically Chinese, though they apparently live in Japan.
Ojou Ringlets: Some of her hairstyles, though prior to her stardom she was just a normal girl.
Otaku - While not one herself, her use of the over-polite honorific version of "you" in the series (said to be an in-joke from the production staff that took on a life of its own) is thought now to be the origin of the term.
Self Made Girl: In the TV series, she starts as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's restaurant, then becomes the most famous singer in the universe.
Spoiled Sweet: She remains pretty grounded even after her fame, and is known for giving charity concert tours to boost morale.
XO of the Macross, and a longtime acquaintance of Captain Global. Though she and Hikaru get off on the wrong foot in their first few meetings, she slowly develops into a second love interest for him, forming the series' central love triangle.
Bridge Bunny: She's often seen on the bridge with the Bunnies, but she's actually second-in-command to Global.
Broken Bird: Her original fiance's death did not leave her in a good way mentally.
Deadpan Snarker: When the unproperly secured gravity generators ripped through the bulkheads and flew away on their own instead of lifting the Macross, she and Global managed to joke that's what happens when you buys used starships. She continued snarking for the entire series, even if not often...
First Girl Wins: In an unexpected way. Misa Hayase is the first woman Hikaru Ichijo sees while piloting the SDF-Fighter in the beginning of the series, before he crashes near the Chinese restaurant where he first meets Lynn Minmey.
Never a Self-Made Woman: Even though she's the second-in-command on the bridge to Captain Global, Misa reveals to Hikaru that she comes from a military family that goes back generations, and her father demanded she followed in his footsteps. And if that wasn't enough, the back story about her military childhood friend and crush encouraged her even more to join the military. She become temporarily depressed, to suicide levels, after she discovered he died on Mars.
KuudereandTsundere: She fits both archetypes during her relationship with Hikaru.
The Captain of the Macross. After accidentally folding the entire island out past Pluto, his primary concern is getting the civilians on board home in one piece. While technically the Macross is under martial law, the civilians respect him greatly as a leader, and civil unrest is remarkably low throughout the show.
A Father to His Men: He is shown to care deeply about the people under his command. The civilians are so grateful for his compassion for their safety that it alone has prevented them from causing riots and protest.
Bruno J. Global, Destroyer of Cities: Global is responsible for the destruction of the original Macross City and Ontario, Canada both times through ordering the crew to do something with the Macross in proximity to the Earths Surface that spelled catastrophe.
The Captain: Technically he is either (depending on the ambiguous Japanese term) a Brigadier General or a Rear Admiral.
Deadpan Snarker: When the unproperly secured gravity generators ripped through the bulkheads and flew away on their own instead of lifting the Macross, he and Misa managed to joke that's what happens when you buys used starships.
Dirty Old Man: The bridge crew gets a few good snarks in as Global seems to be enjoying himself a little too much while judging the Miss Macross contest.
Minmay's cousin, who joins the Macross to look after her after the ship successfully makes it back to Earth. He has a real chip on his shoulder regarding the military, and is usually seen trying to get people to protest the military rule on the Macross.
Jerk Ass: Nobody really likes him, but everyone trying to be the better man prevents them from really calling him out.
A young rookie pilot assigned to Hikaru's wing. He proves himself to be an amazingly talented pilot, surpassing even his Commanding Officer soon after joining up. His eventual relationship with Zentraedi ace Millia marks a major development in terms of human-Zentraedi relations.
Ace Pilot: He's the best pilot in the show. This is acknowledged in games that have pilot stats; Max typically has high stats and occasionally special bonuses on top of it. In Macross Ace/Ultimate Frontier, Max (both younger and older version of him) has the highest (initial) stats out of any pilot in any Macross era except his "Vitality" stat.
Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden uses a different way to put this trope. Overall, Max stats is worse than Fokker, however he and Millia are the only Macross pilots that posses the Awakening seishin, signifying their ace pilot status.
Amazon Chaser: He seems attracted to Millia in part because she's just about the only pilot who can come close to matching his piloting skills.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A mild case considering that under normal circumstances, anyone who needs to wear corrective glasses like Max would never be recruited as a military pilot. However, the isolated ship needed all the recruits it could get and after Max showed what he can do, the glasses are obviously not a big deal.
Covert Pervert: What was he focusing on while fighting Millia at an arcade game? Her measurements.
The leader of Skull Squadron and one of the better pilots assigned to the Macross. He has known Hikaru for a long time and serves as a mentor figure to the younger pilot. He is in a relationship with Claudia.
Ace Pilot: Proved himself in the UN Wars and continues to do so as squadron commander of the fighter corps.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Actually a toned-down Truth in Television version of this trope, particularly in the movie, where he actually shows up to rescue Hikaru and Minmay blind drunk and still proceeds to kick Zentraedi backside. In the TV show, Claudia mentions how once Roy shot down five enemy fighters with a raging hangover.
Dark-Skinned Blond: Strange, considering he's supposed to be American. On the other hand, he may just be heavily tanned.
Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the Robotech dub, listeners might reasonably assume that he was Hikaru's actual older brother, due to the fact that they translated sempai (a term that has no direct English equivalent) as "big brother".
Applying to all: Spell My Name with an "S": The writers deliberately gave the Zentraedi names that are extremely ambiguous when written in katakana, to emphasize their strangeness. As a result, there are a very large number of spellings for Zentraedi names, and none have ever been confirmed as the "correct" or "official" spelling.
Eiji Kanie (Japanese)
John Gremillion (English)
The commander of the attack force sent to Earth to recover the Macross. He is continually confused by the bizarre antics of the Macross as he chases them across the solar system, preventing him from launching an all-out attack as he's unsure if they have something really incredible up their sleeves. He is also one of the first Zentraedi officers to side with humanity against the main fleet.
Bad Ass: In the smackdown mentioned below, He destroyed a Valkyrie with his bare hands. Better yet, he also survived having said Transforming Mechablow-up in his face.
Britai Can Breathe In Space - after being sucked out of his flagship into hard vacuum, Britai seems able to walk on the ship's exterior with no problems and re-enters the ship in time to lay a smackdown to Hikaru and the rest of the pilots.
Heel-Face Turn: No small thanks to having the longest exposure to Protoculture/the heroes.
Large And In Charge: Even compared to other Zentraedi, Britai is big. The Valkyries were built to match the average Zentran height, and he stands head and shoulders above them.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Rather surprisingly for a Zentran; he's careful with his forces and doesn't attack recklessly, preferring to observe, probe, and study when faced with something he doesn't understand.
Ryuusuke Oobayashi (Japanese)
Andy McAvin (English)
Britai's "Archivist" and advisor, Exsedol is the Zentraedi equivalent of a historian, studying past battles to better advise strategy on current ones. He is highly valued among the Zentraedi and eventually serves as their ambassador to the human race.
The Comically Serious: Even after becoming integrated into human culture, humor seems to be one thing that he just doesn't get.
Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Averted. Despite being a non-action strategist, he is held in very high regard among the Zentraedi, and Britai clearly values his strategic advice.
My Brain Is Big: His DYRL incarnation (which became the basis for his subsequent appearences). Some material hints at an in-story reason for this change, but nothing has ever been made clear, and a Zentraedi looking like him also appeared in Macross Frontier, suggesting this is simply what Zentraedi advisors now look like in Macross.
Supreme Commander of the Zentraedi armada. He gets involved in the series after Britai and Exsedol alert him to the situation on Earth. He views the "culture" of humanity as a corruption of his forces, and the situation on Earth has him greatly worried.
Big Bad: His defeat signals the end of the war, though the series has another plot arc before it ends.
Final Solution: His decision on dealing with the "miclones". Macross 7 retroactively sheds some light on exactly why he resorted to such extremes: he began to fear that the Protodeviln had made a return on Earth, and wanted to nip that in the bud ASAP.
Large And In Charge: Easily the largest Zentraedi seen on the show. Goes double for the movie version, where he is gigantic even compared to other Zentraedi, with his head being about the same size as an average Zentraedi.
Load-Bearing Boss: In the movie, his death triggers a catastrophic malfunction in his ship's Fold system, causing roughly half of it to warp away to parts unknown. Needless to say, the half left behind was thoroughly wrecked by this.
A Zentraedi commander sent to reinforce Britai after his initial assaults on the Macross end in failure. He is far more aggressive and is almost as big a danger to his allies as his enemies, and acts as something of a Wild Card throughout the series.
Bad Boss: He isn't known as "Ally Killer" for nothing.
The Brute: He favors all-out assaults that emphasize superior power, but he does have a capacity for subterfuge and tactics if he needs to.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be called Ally Killer, he may be the Brute, his very first appearance on the show reveals he had bet on how many ships of Breetai's fleet he'd ram by folding out too near, but he's a very competent commander and a very good pilot.
A group of three soldiers sent to infiltrate the Macross and spy on their population. They become the first Zentraedi to become "cultured", and their bringing back examples of human entertainment is what sparks the eventual mass-defection of the Zentraedi to the human race.
Punny Name: Warera-Rori-Konda = Warera lolicon da! = "We are pedophiles!", though in this case it seems to refer to their attraction to Minmay and the Bridge Bunnies.
Unplanned Crossdressing: Warera accidentally disguises himself as a woman, having no idea what gender-specific clothing is like (and all of them may have gotten their clothes from the women's locker room anyway).
A Meltrandi commander sent to further reinforce Britai and assume command while he and Exsedol leave to advise Bodolza. She too becomes "cultured" through her contact with the human race, but doesn't turn to their side as fully as Britai does.
Lady of War: She has a highly refined persona while acting as a fleet commander
Large And In Charge: In the movie version, she is as gigantic as Boddole Zer, serving as his opposite among the Meltrandi.
A Meltrandi ace, and one of the best pilots in the entire Zentraedi race. She is surprised when, in her initial sortie, Max Jenius proves capable of matching her skills, and she becomes obsessed with learning more about him, leading her to become an infiltrator aboard the Macross.
Ace Pilot: Her piloting skills are second only to Max: prior to meeting him, she had never been shot down.
Best Her to Bed Her: There is no explicit rule about this for Millia (in Zentraedi society, men and women do not meet in person, ever), she does fall in love with Max after he proves conclusively to be a better pilot than she is.