These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Rick Hunter really a genuinely Nice Guy who just needed to grow up a little, or is he a completely selfish, manipulative Jerkass who strings not one but two different women along with no regard for their feelings (and possibly a gold digger, given that one was a pop star and the other was his boss)? Or is he a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with his heart in the right place but his brains somehere else?
Is Lisa Hayes really a strong authority figure with a tragic and unfulfilled love life, or an overgrown child who should have outgrown her teen level angst issues years ago?
Hell, is Minmei really the horrible brat that the fanbase makes her out to be, or was she just a goofy but essentially good hearted girl who had trouble coping with the insane situation she found herself in?
Max's wedding to Miriya - true love from across the stars, or Max taking advantage of Miriya's unfamiliarity with human culture and proper courtship?
Dana Sterling, daughter of Max and Miriya - just how the Hell did she end up so different from them? Was it simply because they had to leave her early in life, or does she act out the way she does to cope with off screen discrimination for being half-alien (as the expanded universe hints at)?
Macross Saga is guiltier of this than the other two. The Masters shows the spectacular downside of being less than polite to your love interest in Love Song where Sean Phillips finally manages to secure a date with Marie Crystal... then makes the mistake of making her wait for him after all the trouble she went through to prepare and just as he's about to make a grand entrance for her one of his old girlfriends gets in the way and kisses him in plain view of Marie and everyone else. Marie responds by giving Sean a Take That Kiss and then slaps him as hard as she can before driving off in heart broken grief, just barely avoiding a major car accident before Sean can explain. The next day Sean desperately tries to catch up to Marie just as she's about to go on a mission to explain what happened but she refuses to hear him out, and ultimately Sean is left lying on the ground in defeat (and while it is shown that she still cares for him later on their relationship is never completely reconciled). The men of New Generation generally treat their ladies with respect, or in Rand and Rook's case, equal back and forth Belligerent Sexual Tension bickering.
Broken Base: Robotech has one of the mothers of all broken bases. To count all the different ways the base is broken practically calls for a family tree-style diagram, given that there have been so many different adaptations of the Robotech story or expanded universe materials (TV show, novels, role-playing game, comics, etc.) and many of them disagree with each other. There were even breaks between several different efforts to reconcile the differences among the adaptations. And that's not even taking into account the new sequel material, which itself contradicts the original in a number of ways. The many years without new Robotech content and nothing to do on the mailing lists except hash and rehash old arguments didn't exactly help matters, either.
Crowning Moment of Funny: Rick accidentally groping Lisa (whom he does not recognize from behind - no pun intended) as he rushes out of a movie theater in A New Dawn.
Crowning Music of Awesome: The first series is arguably better scored than the Japanese original. Two good example are the fold scene in episode 3 (in SDF:Macross the music used wouldn't be out of place in an elevator, whereas in Robotech it marks the first appearance of the creepy "Robotechnology Theme", which implies to the audience that something has gone horribly wrong), and also the scene where Minmay and Kaifun/Kyle part ways (in Robotech it has atmospheric music which matches the mood of the visuals and underscores the importance of the scene (it actually makes us feel sort of sorry for Kyle, which should be impossible at this point), the matching scene in SDF:Macross has no score at all.)
Designated Hero: Rick Hunter comes dangerously close to this at times as he's prone to being quite the Jerkass (his original Japanese Macross counterpart Hikaru was an even bigger jerk), especially after regressing from some of his initial character development, and gets upstaged in the heroics department by other characters.
Dana Sterling also borders on this as well, since she seems to care more about goofing off and having a good time than doing her job.
Designated Love Interest: That darned Rick Hunter comes dangerously close to this one too in regards to Lisa Hayes during the Reconstruction Blues episodes. His behavior towards Lisa in these episodes - specifically A Rainy Night and Private Time - is so atrocious (he degraded and humiliated her in front of her subordinates for crying out loud) that after a while you have to wonder what it is exactly she sees in him. And then you start to feel that there's really no good reason for Lisa to even like Rick other than the plot says so (and the original Japanese writers were even worse).
Fair for Its Day: Yeah, they changed the names. Yeah the voice acting is sub-par by 21st century standards. Yeah, they took three unrelated series and spliced them together for the sake of a TV deal. But they left many of the more mature story elements (such as character death) intact along with an arc-driven story line, and as stated before, the only real changes to the Macross story come at the very end when they are fitting it together with the other shows. Considering this was The Eighties this was groundbreaking.
Fan Myopia: A large number of fans are still hung up on the misconception that the Macross Saga characters (Rick, Lisa, Max, ect) are the central main characters of the entire saga. Many want The Sentinels to be finally animated in its entirety. Because the original series ended with the unknown fate of Admiral Rick Hunter, they also demand closure for those characters. There is heavy debate over whether Admiral Hunter should return to lead one last great battle and die heroically, or lead one last great battle and retire to live with Lisa and his new family happily ever after. Harmony Gold on the other hand, is expressing more interest in distancing Robotech (wisely) from Macross. Also, other fans simply feel that, regardless of their final fate, Rick Hunter and the rest of the Macross characters have already told their story and would prefer Robotech to move forward.
To play devil's advocate, seeing as how the Macross Saga characters were the original cast that fans fell in love with, it's not entirely unreasonable for fans to want to see some closure for them. After all, what's the point of investing in a character just to toss them away?
It seems to have worked out well enough in the base Macross franchise, where the original characters were last used in 1987 and disappeared on an even more ambiguous note than their Robotech counterparts.
Like You Would Really Do It: Part of what make the series stand out so much in the 1980s. For instance, you see Roy Fokker seriously wounded and you'd think they pull some crude last minute save, they kill him off for real. In the very next episode, you'd think that they would never do that again, they suddenly kill off Ben Dixon too. Finally, when the Zentraedi fleet are charging up their main guns to bombard Earth, you'll have been still convinced that the producers would never show them actually destroying the planet, they do!, reducing the planetary human population from billions to 50,000 in seconds. For a 1980s kid accustomed to the indigenous content limits watching this, this series was as shocking as it was unpredictable!
Narm: Rick Hunter's long awaited hook up with Lisa Hayes in the final Macross Saga episode To The Stars is supposed to be one big Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for both the regular fans and the shippers, but after all the angst Rick put Lisa through it comes off looking more unintentionally funny than anything else. Remember this is a guy who jerked his love interest around while he pined for someone else, verbally degraded her in front of her subordinates, stood her up on a date, and in general was just very unpleasant to her, so even with an entire city blowing up around them (due to the Zentradie invasion) as Rick finally tells Lisa he loves her the scene just doesn't resonate the way it should. The scene where they're finally together at the end just before the credits fade out is also hard to take seriously.
Rick and Lisa's wedding in The Sentinels may also have some of this going for it when one remembers all the crap he pulled on her.
Narm Charm: A lot of the voice acting is pretty hammy and some of the dialogue is clunky and overwritten, but hey, that's all part of the cheesy awesome charm.
Newer Than They Think (with regards to the Broken Base: When the show first debuted, it was actually quite popular with the Science Fiction crowd as well as the fledgling American Anime community at the time.
Periphery Demographic: While the franchise was ostensibly a "boy's show" Robotech proved to be very popular with girls, who were either drawn to the romantic subplots or the presence of women as authority figures and soldiers - probably both.
The Scrappy: Minmei (childish attitude, adored by everybody in the series, somewhat ditzy, complaints about her dub actress and the quality of the songs written for her). Honorable mention goes to Lynn Kyle (arrogant Jerk Ass who complains about everything anyone even slightly associated with the military) and Dana Sterling (childish attitude, thoughtless, spoiled, etc. The latter two don't fare too well in the originals either, where Kaifun is seen as a hypocritical, narcissistic Soapbox Sadie, and Jeanne Francoise is pretty much Dana Sterling in the original Japanese).
Minmei is hated so much that any of the episodes focused on her are often skipped by fans of the series.
Vindicated by History / Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: This arguably has happened to Minmei as time passed. It seems that according to many fourm replies and opinions posted in the recent years, the Minmei hate has died down to an extent, with many people who formerly hated her have grown to understand or sympathize with her, with many making well-thought arguments on why they don't hate her anymore. Making this a possible case of Vindicated by History or nostalgia. It helps that she received Character Development and acturally matured following the destruction of Earth in "Force of Arms".
Also worth noting is that while Minmei may have been reset a bit during the Reconstruction Blues episodes so were Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes.
The Narrator... not because of his voice or even what he is saying. He has quite a pleasant speaking voice and the voice actor is fairly well-known. It's the fact that when the show was originally released, it was intended for children ages 7 to 14, and many things needed explaining. Now that most of the audience is primarily adults, the voice comes in and explains everything to the point that at times it can actually kill the emotion of a scene. Fans have commonly complained and many wonder how the series would be without a narrator.
Annie in New Generation can have this effect on people.
Rick and Lisa are an interesting reverse example - their problem was that their subplot got dragged out so long that after a while audiences might have no choice but to feel apathetic towards them if not outrightly turned off to them.
Tear Jerker: Minmei having to deal with a drunken Kyle in Reconstruction Blues - it's actually one of her more sympathetic moments.
The death of General Rolf Emerson at the end of The Masters, leaving his godson Bowie Grant devastated. When you remember that in the original Japanese version Rolf was actually Bowie's TRUE FATHER his death and Bowie's grief becomes even more heart breaking.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The Shadow Chronicles comes in for a special dose of fan hatred due to the changes it made to its retelling of the original segments of the TV series with which it overlapped. Most notably, several major characters present in the TV series version were cut from the movie's reenactment of an important scene so as not to confuse new viewers with these other characters they didn't know and wouldn't have the chance to meet in the rest of the movie. (Harmony Gold representatives somewhat disingenuously claimed those other characters were still there, just outside of camera view. Yeah, as if that makes the scene any more coherent.)
A number of other problems with Shadow Chronicles can be laid at the feet of not wanting to confuse a new audience who had not seen the original series. No mention is made of the Zentraedi or Robotech Masters (even the half-Zentraedi character is referred to as "half-alien"; I suppose which half is "alien" depends on which planet she's currently on) or a number of other elements that are important to the backstory but don't play any role in the current movie. The result is that dialogue often seems stilted and omissions make little sense.
In their defense, they did not want to spend too much time getting new viewers up to speed. Marcus's monologue near the beginning actually summed up the three sagas to that point in just a few lines.
Unfortunate Implications: The Romantic Plot Tumor that Rick and Lisa's romance eventually degenerated into showcased Rick often going way too far in his, ahem, "lover's quarrel" with Lisa during the seemingly endless chase that made up the bulk of the subplot, to the point that after a while he basically looks like an emotionally abusive (even manipulative) Jerkass. Hell, A Rainy Night shows Lisa allowing herself to be degraded, devalued and humiliated by Rick in front of her subordinates as he goes on a misogynistic and chauvinistic rant against her... and later on when she learns that he's apparently rekindling things with Minmei Lisa goes and gets drunk and just sinks deeper and deeper into depression, even going so far as to consider quitting her hard earned high paying military job just to get away from Rick and the angst he brings out in her. It's not until the last episode of Macross Saga that the two finally hook up... and all it took was Lisa pouring her heart out and nearly getting blown up to finally make Rick choose her over Minmei. The very Broken Aesop here for girls seems to be that you can't have your one true love until he's turned you into an emotional wreck, caused you to have a nervous breakdown and destroyed your self-esteem, yet despite all his belligerent misogynistic chauvinism he really is the One for you. For the boys the very Broken Aesop appears to be that you can mistreat a woman all you want and she'll still hook up with you despite what a jerk you are. Makes Max and Miriya's hook up look sane by comparison...
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Rick can be quite the pain in the ass at times, which makes it hard to feel bad for him when things don't go his way. In addition to all his other Jerkass actions already listed above, it's hard to sympathize with him in To The Stars when he finally realizes that he can't relate to Minmei any more and then runs through the city freaking out because he thinks Lisa might be dead - which of course she isn't.
And don't get started on Minmei...
What an Idiot: Rick Hunter for thinking he could manage a date with both Minmei and Lisa in Private Time (after initially making a date with Lisa only to have Minmei guilt trip him into coming to see her first). At least he's smart enough not to be surprised when it blows up in his face.
Sean Philips for thinking it was a good idea to keep Marie Crystal waiting for him in Love Song. It didn't work out so well for either of them.