Look, I don't think there's any way for me to be objective here. This was not just the first anime I got into, but one of the my first television programs. When you're 5 and there are mecha firing Macross Missile Massacre
in space, you don't need anything else. I drew the Combining Mecha
from The New Generation every art class even though no one knew what it was. It's a good thing I wasn't old enough to drive, because I would bought a motorcycle to play Cyclone and probably broken my neck in a thunderstorm. I didn't understand the drama, the romance, the plotlines, or the significance of the deaths. I was too busy watching big robots duke it out.
Later, I read the Robotech novels and watched the original Macross. In Macross, protoculture is just that, a proto culture: music, love, and everything that makes life worth living and worth fighting for. In Robotech... it's a power source. Read what you will into their respective societies.