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Anime / Macross Delta

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Macross Delta is a Spring 2016 Anime and the fourth full series in the popular Macross franchise. The show is produced by Shoji Kawamori and Satelight.

The year is 2067 - over half a century since the first Space War left Earth decimated, forcing humanity to venture into the stars to escape extinction (and eight years since that mess with the Vajra). While mankind has found homes on many planets and mingled with several alien races, one remote part of their civilization, the Brisingr Globular Cluster, is beset by a new crisis - Var Syndrome, a disease where abnormal fold waves induce uncontrollable aggression in victims. Combatting this threat is the Idol Singer group Walkure, who uses song to neutralize the dangerous fold waves, and their escort combat unit, Delta Squadron.

The show follows three characters: Hayate Immelman, a Brilliant, but Lazy teen Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life who is scouted for Delta Squadron; Freyja Wion, a young girl who ran away from an Arranged Marriage on her home planet of Windermere to join Walkure; and Mirage Jenius, a female member of Delta Squadron who becomes Hayate's instructor and Freyja's roommate.


Before long, the three become involved in an inter-planetary war between the colonies of mankind and Freyja's homeworld of Windermere, who are exploiting Var syndrome to form their own pan-galactic "Kingdom of the Wind."

The series obtained a 2018 movie adaptation entitled Macross Delta the Movie: Passionate Walkūre which is a compilation of the TV series with Walkūre as the primary focus and some plot changes. In September 2018, there was announcement of a new movie which new content, as opposed to the previous movie. Titled Macross Delta the Movie: Absolute Live!!!!!!, it has a sixth performer and a new threat faced by Walkūre and the Delta Squadron. Originally announced for a 2020 release, it was later moved to October 8, 2021.

A tie-in game known as Macross Delta Scramble was released on the Playstation Vita in Japan by Bandai Namco Entertainment on October 20, 2016.


There's a manga prequel called Macross Delta Gaiden: Macross E where it explored the initial days where Chaos was considering the use of an underground pop group known as the Thrones to combat the Vár Syndrome in Pipré. This leads to the formation of Chaos' Tactical Sound Unit.

This series contains examples of:

  • Ace Custom: The Valkyries of Delta Squadron have their own individual livery and color schemes.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The movie, Passionate Walkūre, streamlines the TV series storyline to fit it in one hour. For example, Hayate is already a member of Delta Squadron as a rookie at the start of the movie, and he and the rest of Delta Squadron first encountered the Aeriel Knights in the Brísingr Globular Cluster instead of the planet Ragna.
  • All There in the Manual: Most of the White Knights' backstories which were never shown in the anime are in the side-story manga, Macross Delta: The Black-Winged White Knight.
    • Likewise, the origins on how Xaos established Walkure is found in the manga Macross E.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The show ends with the good guys liberating the Brisingr cluster from the Windemereans but the war is yet to be won.
  • Apparently Human Merfolk: The Ragnans, a new race of Human Aliens that look like humans with gills on their necks, webbed hands and feet, and fins on their forearms and calves. The show justifies this by explaining the Ragnans are another of the many races seeded by the Protoculture, like the humans and Zentradi.
  • Arm Cannon: Type II. Both the Delta Flight's VF-31 Siegfried and the Aerial Knights' SV-262 Draken III have railguns in their arms.
  • Artistic License – Biology: As Apparently Human Merfolk, Ragnans have shark-like gill slits on the base of their necks, but there's zero space for the gills themselves, which, to supply enough oxygen for a human-sized body, would have to be at least the size of human lungs, and would require constant flow of water through them.
    • Another far greater example overlaps with Artistic Licence – Chemistry: the polyphenols in apples and bicarbonate ions in water do not react like that and would definitely not cause a neurological illness.
    • A more vague example would be the fold receptors. Inferring from the dialogue, these seem to be a sort of receptor on the immune system cells, and innate at that note  that allow for the autoimmune recognition of fold bacteria as native to the organism, which in turn grants immunity to the Var syndrome.
  • Asteroid Thicket: A battle in the fifth episode takes place within one.
  • Attack Drone: The Windermerian SV-262 Draken III carries two "Li'l Draken" drones.
  • Award-Bait Song: Three examples so far. "Giraffe Blues", the insert song from Episode 8 and the ending theme of Episode 11. "Axia", the insert song and ending theme of Episode 10. "God Bless You", the insert song and ending theme of Episode 16.
  • Background Magic Field: Delta expands on the concept of Fold Waves from Macross Frontier, as well as human Fold Receptor Factor, as a way of unifying all the mystical elements involved in the power of song from previous installments. This plays heavily into the plot (including how Walkure operates).
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Every member of Walkure is known for this because of their work as a tactical sound unit essential for keeping the Var at bay. But its lead singer, Mikumo, particularly stands out for her especially powerful, deep, and lovely voice, to the point that everyone is surprised when Freyja is able to match Mikumo's intensity. Mikumo's singing prowess is later revealed to be derived from her true nature as a clone of the Star Singer, an immensely powerful being whose voice could resonate throughout the entire galaxy.
  • Beta Couple: In a first for Macross we have a Beta Love Triangle, between Arad, Messer and Kaname.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Mirage employs a variant on this when Hayate and Freyja are trying to decide which one of them allows themselves to be decommissioned from Xaos or Walkure respectively. The fact it's with the words I Love You has the desired effect.
  • BFG: Besides the usual ship suspects, the SV-262's gunpod has the ability to shift into a Macross Mode, much like those on the VF-27 Lucifer and the YF-29 Durandal before it. However, the Draken's engines are far more powerful than even the Durandal's - the Draken has the honor of the first two-engined variable fighter to even support such firepower. note 
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ragna has been liberated, and Roid's plan to take over the galaxy has been defeated...but at the cost of Keith's life. While there's mention of peace negotiations being considered, the war is far from over and millions have died as a result of the weapons of mass destruction being used. Mirage and Freyja both confess their love to Hayate, with the former taking her rejection in stride. Hayate and Freyja become an Official Couple.....but both are aware that she won't have much longer to live, as the process of burning out has already started.
  • Black Knight: The Aerial Knights start as these, initially keeping their colors and coat of arms blacked out on their SV-262s to avoid identification.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Three women serve as bridge support for Delta Squadron (and receptionists for Walkure when not on missions).
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Hayate can pull off some awesome moves while in a robot... if he feels like doing any work.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Walkure is not an "Idol Singer group" or something along the lines of that. It is a "Tactical Music Unit".
  • Call-Back:
    • As Freyja and Hayate are looking at some items recovered of his former father's, a piano rendition of "Ai, Oboete imasu ka" starts up.
    • The concept of a small ragtag group rebelling against a government who fights against the previous status quo due to a misguided belief using music, with their only battle tactics being strictly defensive and/or as non-lethal as possible is almost identical to AKB0048.note 
  • Cast from Lifespan: Windermerians have very short lifespans in exchange for their extreme physical abilities. An average lifespan is roughly 30 years.
    • Heinz's sickness has shades of this. The Song Of The Wind can shorten a Windermeran's lifespan to the degree that he's already having the age related symptoms of someone roughly twice his age.
    • Late in the series, Freyja takes to hiding her left hand. She has a mild symptom of the same sickness on that hand.
  • Cat Folk: The Voldorians are basically humans with cat ears and tails. Like the Ragnans and Windermerians, they're a Protoculture-created species native to the Brisingr Cluster.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens to Messer several times in Episode 9.
  • Cats Are Mean: The big mercat that steals food from the Ragnyannyan plays this straight.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In Episode 19, The Lynn Minmay Files are referenced, as the in-universe version of Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When studying Freyja's singing in the second episode, it's mentioned that it had a complementary reaction with Mikumo's fold reactions. In Episode 4, Mikumo and Freyja singing a duet manages to reverse the Var Syndrome on several people at the same time.
    • In Episode 8, Freyja, with only some Protoculture ruins as a antenna, manages to cut off the Var Syndrome song, cure several people and be heard all the way over in Windermere... as well as temporarily CURE Prince Heinz's unknown sickness, as he usually collapses immediately after singing the Var Syndrome song.
      • This is made even more notable by what is revealed in Episode 21. Heinz's sickness is extreme premature ageing!
    • The Protoculture ruins becomes a Chekhov's Boomerang in Episode 10 when Mikumo and Freyja singing together causes a reaction with Heinz leading to all of them getting knocked out and Mikumo and Freyja experiencing a shared vision of being engulfed in a void.
    • Episode 11 shows that Delta 2's variable fighter was retrieved in a salvageable state, which not only reveals how Messer was killed in action, but allows it in Episode 13 to serve as a spare aircraft for Hayate when his original VF is caught in the explosion from the nuke being detonated at Ragna's Protoculture ruins. Hayate then uses his borrowed plane to eventually defeat Keith in a duel.
  • Close on Title: Every episode of the show does this..
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each member of Walkure is heavily associated with a particular color.
    • Freyja Wion - Red
    • Kaname Buccaneer - Yellow
    • Mikumo Guynemer - Purple note 
    • Makina Nakajima - Pink
    • Reina Prowler - Green
  • Cool Plane: As always, the Valkyries. This includes Delta Squadron's more traditional VF-31 Siegfried, and the Aerial Knights' regal SV-262 Draken III.
  • Cool Sword: SV-262 Draken Variable Figters can deploy robot-sized elegant swords from storage compartments in their Battroid mode shins. This is one more design contrast to VF-31 Sigfrieds, who use smaller assault knives hidden under their forearm armor plates.
  • Deflector Shields: The Delta Squadron's VF-31 Siegfrieds are equipped with pin-point barriers.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Hayate tried many jobs and went to many places, but he never found anything that felt "right".
  • Die or Fly: Seems to be a recurring theme in the show, where people need to metaphorically (and literally) risk their lives to bring out their true potential.
    • In episode 2, Hayate jumps off the side of the Macross Elysion's port flight deck, just in time to catch a powerful gust of wind that keeps him from falling to his death, all the while inter-cut with scenes of Freyja singing to a Var infected person who's "attacking" her.
    • The Aerial Knights of Windermere exemplify this trope by one simple fact... Due to the Windermeran accelerated ageing, they need to enter a career like being a fighter pilot at a much younger age than normal due to how fast after adulthood they drop dead!
  • Discontinuity Nod: The concept of fighting an enemy controlled by song (a la Var Syndrome) was used in the no longer canon Macross II. Heinz singing on his throne even mirrors shots of the Marduk emulators from II.
  • Disney Death: Marianne, Chuck's sister, is seemingly washed away when NUNS detonates a bomb and causes a massive tidal wave. Near the end of the series, however, she's revealed to have survived.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening and 2nd ending themes are sung by Walkure, while the 1st ending theme is sung by Freyja. In fact, both the 1st opening and 1st closing themes are sung by the cast during the events of the actual show.
    • In fact, every single song, note  is sung by a member of Walkure, both in-universe and in real life. This is illustrated by a particular version of one of the opening themes, which has a rising note on one of the verses, which, in-universe, was caused by Freyja base-jumping off the stage.
  • Do-Anything Soldier: The Delta pilots pull double duty as infantry soldiers, while the Walküre singers have other areas of expertise; Kaname is a tactical advisor, Makina is a mechanic, Reina is a hacker and Mikumo is a fighter.
  • The Dragon: Roid Brehm, the Chancellor of the Kingdom of the Wind and commander of the Aerial Knights.
  • Drone Deployer: Delta Squadron's VF-31s house and deploy the multi-drones that Walkure uses for their performances, and the Aerial Knight's SV-262s can also use their wing boosters as attack drones.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Hayate has one in Episode 7, after the heroes find out that the water and apples the Windemereans are exporting are seemingly ordinary. After a few minutes of thought, he suggests putting them together; it turns out that the combination produces the chemicals that cause the Var Syndrome.
  • Exactly Exty Years Ago: All the implied problems for the Windermere Empire happened seven years before the show, during a war for independence that ended when a dimensional weapon was fired by Hayate's father, resulting in the Windermerans declaring revenge against the New United Nations for the repercussions of the weapon's deployment.
  • Eye Beams: The forward firing lasers on Keith's SV-262Hs are mounted on what would be its "eyes" in battroid mode.
  • Failure Hero: The Xaos division. First, their defense of Al-Shahal fails and their Ace Pilot gets killed. Then, their plan to liberate Al-Shahal gets broken at the last minute when Windemere attacks Ragna. Unfortunately, the Windemere establishes a foothold on Ragna and Xaos is forced to evacuate the planet, but not without leaving civillians behind. They do succeed in liberating Voldor; but Hayate, Freyja and Mikumo end up incapacitated. And lastly, their last-ditch attack on Windemere fails in the last possible moment, with Makina getting shot and Mikumo captured behind enemy lines. All the heroes tend to get is motivation to do better next time... and they're lucky to even achieve that! It does make their victory at the end of the series a lot more cathartic, though.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Freyja HATES being poked directly in her rune, showing a reaction very similar to mild arousal every time Hayate does it. She also calls Hayate a pervert when he's staring at it.
  • Fantastic Racism: It's heavily implied that the Windermerians consider themselves to be superior to the other Protoculture races. The fact that they have inherited several artifacts that are instrumental for the Var pandemic that are credited to the Protoculture serves as a major source of the conflict.
    • Chancellor Roid, who happens to also be a scholar, argues that since the Windermerians and the other races of the Brisingr Cluster are among the LAST to be created by the Protoculture, that makes them their rightful heirs. While it appears to be groundless argument on its own, it is eventually revealed that Windermere have the inheritance that could potentially allow them to take over the galaxy, which is more than enough to convince Roid that the Windermerians are supposed to be the Master Race.
  • Foreshadowing: The series has a few:
    • The very first scene of the anime has a Var infectee eating a Windermerian apple.
    • Episode 4 has Messer shown to have a brief headache. This indicates that he himself has been infected with Var Syndrome.
    • Hayate mentioned that he could felt the Song of the Wind in Episode 5 when only the Walkure members was theorized to be the only one capable of hearing them without succumbing to Var Syndrome. Later on it is revealed that Hayate himself has Fold receptors which resonates with Freyja's songs, as well as rendering him immune to Var Syndrome.
    • The lyrics of AXIA are considerably more melancholic than any other songs from Walkure thus far. When Kaname started singing the song in episode 10 we all knew what was going to happen to Messer. Right?
    • King Gramia has a similar problem with coughing to his son and sole known heir. Later, it's discovered that the Song of the Wind can make someone age much faster than normal.
  • Friend to All Children: Hayate's father, Wright Immelman was this. Arad stated that he would love to spend time with local children.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Mikumo does this to Freyja in Episode 22.
  • Girl Group: Walkure, a group of 4 (and later 5) female singers.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: While Hayate doesn't exactly know if his feelings for Freyja are romantic in nature, the fact he got it to snow, when they were in space, on her birthday is very romantic.
  • Hard Light: Walkure uses a combination of holograms and very accurate pin point barrier technology to do Instant Costume Changes, generate immobilizing weapons, Jet Pack around battlefields, and so on.
  • Hate Plague: The Var Syndrome, which makes people go berserk and spread as much destruction as they can. In Episode 4, a more dangerous version is seen, where the controlled pilots act in coordination with each other instead of as mindless berserkers.
    • In the seventh episode, it's revealed that "Galactic Apples", a popular brand in the area, is actually an import from Windermere which has a unique chemical reaction with the water of planets within the Cluster that makes people susceptible to Var.
  • Heart Symbol: As a Windermerian, Freyja has a Rune, an extension on her head in her hair that glows in response to fold waves. Hers in particular is shaped like a heart.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Messer in Episode 10.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Episode 7 has a pretty egregious example of this.
  • Human Aliens: Delta has the largest number of sapient alien species ever shown in a Macross show , with the Windermerians, Ragnans and Voldorians all being humanoid sub-races created by the Protoculture on entirely different planets, just like Humans, Zentradi and Zolans.
    • Windermerians look like humans with partially Prehensile Hair.
    • Ragnans look like humans with gills on their necks, webbed hands and feet, and fins on their arms and legs.
    • Zentradi, a franchise staple, look like giant humans with Pointy Ears, with many also having green skin.
    • Voldorians are basically Little Bit Beastly Cat Folk.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Macross Elysion definitely does the "Macross" name proud. It still stands proud near the capital and the sheer scale makes you realize how gigantic those things are!
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Prince Heinz almost always ends his performances by collapsing while coughing. This only doesn't happen when Freyja's song cuts him off mid-song.
  • Inertial Dampening: Most modern variable fighters have this.
  • Intercourse with You: Ikenai Borderline has one particularly eyebrow-raising set of lyrics:
    My head is full (kirikirimai)
    I'm going even further (saranaru chi e to)
    My mind is melting (ishiki ga tokeru)
    I can't control my body (karada wa seigyo funou)
    I'm coming (icchau kamone)
    We screwed around as friends (fusake atta tomodachi mo)
    We sought each other as something more (mo tome atta ano hiki to)
  • Latex Space Suit: Continuing a trend from Frontier where space suit technology has progressed to the point where they now look like skin tight bodysuits.
  • Love Triangle: Between Hayate, Freyja and Mirage. It wouldn't be Macross without one. Arad, Messer and Kaname have a minor secondary one as well.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Obviously. Both Delta Squadron's and the Aerial Knight's fighters are equipped with several dozen heat seeking missiles, and of course they can be fired all at once.
  • Magic Idol Singer: Even if Walkure operate via Sufficiently Advanced Technology, they're close enough, with the transformation sequences and curing Var Syndrome via music.
  • Magic Music: Walkure's singing can cure victims of Var Syndrome.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Walkure and Delta Squadron personally undertake the infiltration of Voldor by themselves. Hayate lampshades this, asking why they're doing it when they're supposed to be pilots.
  • Meaningful Name: Makina. She's a mechanic, and even her surname of "Nakajima" references a Japanese WW2 aircraft manufacturer.
  • Mind-Control Music: Var Syndrome is effectively spread by culturing the Fold bacteria into humans, which releases the Seiznoid that reacts with a song transmitted through a set of Protoculture ruins throughout the Starwind Sector.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The poster for Absolute Live!!!!!! shows this between Walkure and their Evil Counterparts.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Laguna has mercats, with appear to be half-cat, half-seal, and 100% adorable.
  • Moral Myopia: The Windemerean ideals of chivalry and honor in combat ring hollow when they use Var syndrome to destroy their enemies before they even get the chance to defend themselves. Even Hayate calls them out on that.
  • More Than Mind Control: Windermere considers any planet which has 'heard' the Song Of The Wind note  to be annexed into the Windermeran Kingdom.
    • The Song of the Stars put its Wind counterpart to shame by taking them over in a trance state, complete with a BGM Override throughout the galaxy that bypasses the fold jamming in its wake.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Walkure's modus operandi in fighting the Var Syndrome.
  • Mythology Gag: The series has its own page.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Most notably in Episode 14 where Hayate and Mirage strip down to their underwear to fix the cable and the entire colony watches after it's fixed.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bogue and the Aerial Knights to Hayate and Mirage while the latter two are held captive in Episode 8.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Delta Squadron does their best to only disable Var-infected pilots. Discussed in one episode, where Messer tells Hayate not to do it, simply because it takes a level of skill that he doesn't have yet and poses an unnecessary risk. This doesn't stop Hayate in the slightest.
    • Notably, compared to some previous series, this has barely any listed casualties, with the only major casualty figures being due to the Fantastic Nuke set off at the end of the unseen previous conflict. The death count in the actual series could be counted on two hands.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: You’d expect Hayate to be the one who kills Roid; instead Keith does the deed while Hayate is busy saving Mikumo from the Sigur Valens. Justified because Hayate abhors killing and Keith has a more personal reason to go after Roid.
  • Old-School Dogfight: A staple of the franchise, though mixed up with the occasional transformation.
  • Opening Narration: As with the previous entry in the franchise, the first episode begins with a brief synopsis of the setting.
  • Planetary Nation: Windermere's Kingdom of the Wind, which is using Var Syndrome to take over the other planets of the Brisingr Cluster. While planets in the NUNnote  have a fair amount of autonomy (besides their militaries being under direct NUNS authority), Windermere is relatively unique in that it's split off from the NUN completely.
  • Power of Rock: Notably, this seems the only way to cure the Var Syndrome. Seeing as this is the integral part of the 'Macross'' universe, it should be no surprise.
  • Prehensile Hair: A Windermerian's hair will include one or two "runes", brightly colored tentacles that move and glow based on their owner's emotional state.
  • Private Military Contractor: Walkure and Delta Squadron are tactical response units that work under a private corporation known as "Xaos", rather than the New UN Spacy or a planetary government.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: After the battle for Ragna, Xaos successfully manages to evacuate the majority of the planetary population, but are forced to abandon the planet. On the other hand, the Windermerans have successfully seized the planet, but lost their king in the process.
  • Rapid Aging: The short-lived people of Windermere rapidly grow older after reaching adulthood, until, by age 30, they begin to suffer some kind of skin deterioration as they reach the end of their lives.
  • Real Robot Genre: As previous Macross entries, the giant Transforming Mecha are treated as just another piece of military equipment. Even the Magic Idol Singers are a tactical response unit using established Applied Phlebotinum and Hard Light tech rather than Magic Music.
  • Redshirt Army: The NUNS note , again. In episode 1, the entire fleet stationed at the orbit of Al Shahal gets obliterated by the 6-man squadron of Aerial Knights.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Most Valkyrie pilots rely on AI assistance to control their planes. Hayate, however, finds the AI too limiting and prefers to fly with it deactivated, significantly increasing his chances of accidentally crashing.
    • The entire nature of Windermere's claim to the galactic cluster, using mass hypnosis to further their own agenda. However, up until Roid makes a mistake, they're completely successful...
    • Freyja needs to get her song to Hayate quickly, and he's several hundred feet below where she is... so, mid-song, she engages in one of the most ridiculous sky-diving stunts ever committed to animation.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Several characters and places use names inspired by Norse Mythology:
    • Walküre obviously derive their name from Valkyries.
    • Delta Squadron's very own VFs, the Siegfrieds, are named after the hero of several Norse sagas, who was often described as married to a Valkyrie.
    • Freyja is named after the queen of the Norse Gods.
    • The galactic cluster the series takes place, Brisingr, is named after the mystical ore that Brisingamen, the aforementioned Norse goddess's enchanted necklace, was forged from by dwarves.
    • Alfheim, the planet where Messer came from and contracted Var Syndrome on, is the home of fairies.
    • There are also a few names based on Classical Mythology: the Macross Elysion derives its name from the Elysian Fields, and its detachable spaceship arms are named Aether and Hemera, respectively the Greek god of the upper air and the Greek goddess of the daytime.
  • Retcon: Episode 19 outright confirms Macross: Do You Remember Love? is considered at least partially canon in the current Macross timeline, referencing directly the 'ancient song' Minmay sings as part of the mythology of Macross Delta. In general, the Whole Episode Flashback in question seems to blend the two storylines together, using the DYRL-inspired imagery to illustrate the mainly SDF-derived storyline, with the performance of both iconic songs from the differing timelinesnote  are presented as equally canonical.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Querule, the mercat that stays at the girls dorm, who looks like something that Keita Takahashi would have designed. While mercats in generally are Ridiculously Cute Critter by default note , Querule adds Everything's Cuter with Kittens.
  • Ship Sinking: The Kaname and Messer ship sank when Messer died.
  • Sex Sells: How do they get the galaxy to watch a Walkure concert, so Reina can infect their systems and get some money, show photos of Makina in her underwear for those watching!
  • Shout-Out: The series has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Most of the dogfights involve actual air combat manuevers.
      • Messer and Keith tend to engage each other in "vertical scissors", crisscrossing each others' flight paths while climbing.
      • In episode 3, Mirage performs a "high yo-yo" to draw a bead on Hayate; the latter counters with a "Pugachev's Cobra" (though combined with some transformation hijinks).
      • In the same episode, Mirage notes that fighters sacrifice stability for greater maneuverability, and need computer assist to remain in stable flight, which is why fly by wire fighters like the Teen Fighters are so agile.
      • Messer warns Chuck of the loss of energy when performing the scissors maneuver in a dogfight.
    • Dogfights in space actually tend to avert the Space Is Air trope, with the variable fighters using much more of their Battroid and Gerwalk forms during the asteroid belt battle in Episode 5; this is the only instance where Keith and Messer fight each other in their Battroid form, as their other battles took place in atmosphere with their VFs in fighter form. Captain Arad even warns Hayate that he needs to be more economical with his variable fighter's propellant in space combat.
    • Hayate is given the rank of Warrant Officer. This is the rank given to highly skilled single track specialists, most of whom did not come from a regular officer track and did not receive a commission (but rather a warrant), which applies to Hayate. More importantly it reflects the fact that in most services, enlisted personnel do not fly combat aircraft.
    • Similar to AKB0048, the audition segments for Walkure are heavily truncated and summarized versions of how a real idol audition takes place, with only Freyja's entry having minor cases of Refuge in Audacity due to her being privately scouted by the group.
    • When Hayate and Mirage have to repair a power cable in zero gravity, they begin to strip off their clothes and throw them, using Newton's Third Law of Motion (of an action causing a opposite and equal reaction) to propel themselves where they need to go.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The planets of the Brisingr Cluster seem to follow this trope. Ragna is a water planet, Al-Shahal is mostly desert (with a strong Middle Eastern flavor; Al-Shahal City is a big modern ostentatious city not unlike Dubai) and what we see of Windermere seems to be mostly snowy mountains.
  • Sniping the Cockpit:
    • In episode 10, the anime leaves no doubt of Messer's demise. He dies when his VF-31 takes a direct hit to the cockpit from Keith's nose cannon, splattering the entire inside of the cockpit glass with blood. His plane crashes on Al-Shahal shortly after.
    • In episode 15, a poor NUNS pilot also falls victim to this courtesy of Keith, but this time, we get to see his death from inside the cockpit.
  • Soldier Versus Warrior: The UN and Xaos fighters are the Soldiers and the Windemereans are the Warriors. The Xaos pilots use strategy, military discipline and pragmatism to counter the Knights' ideals of chivalry and honor in combat. Ernest Johnson, the commander of Xaos, served as an instructor for the Windemerean military, working alongside King Gramia. They both discussed this trope, with Gramia expressing the importance of principles and ideals in battle, while Johnson said that as a mercenary, he couldn't afford to believe in such things because his job was to win, no questions asked.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • It's either planet Ragna or Laguna. The former is the official spelling, but considering that the native species are Apparently Human Merfolk, it may count as a Punny Name.
    • Fans are confused as to whether the Windermerean chancellor is really named "Roid" or if his name is meant to be "Lloyd".
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To AKB0048note , as it follows the same premise of an idol group entering hostile environments to use the Power of Rock to save people from apathy brought on by a anti-culture adversary.
      • It even borrows heavily from research done during that series to better show both the stage performances and backstage lifestyles of the members, complete with showing a previous, less successful version of Walkure prior to Mikumo arriving.
    • Within its own franchise, many see it as this to Macross 7, with a Girl Group in place of a rock band using the power of song to free brainwashed opponents.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Often courtesy of Messer trying to kick Hayate down a peg.
    • After Hayate's duel with Mirage, Messer takes the time to shoot him, stating that one on one duels are a fancy.
    • When Hayate takes Freyja up for a spur-of-the-moment flight during a time when they're supposed to be on standby, he forces Hayate to land because he's violating orders, even locking his aim on him as an encouragement.
    • Windermere pilots fight in a mostly chivalrous way, relying on superior VFs made specifically to take on other VFs and the Var Syndrome to neutralize the opposition. When they're confronted by a numerically inferior NUNS flotilla whose crew has grown immune to Var, military discipline and training quickly overcome the Windermere superior fighters.
    • Walkure and the Delta platoon belong to Xaos, not a government military. Thus Windermere has the excuse to not consider them lawful combatants, and when Hayate, Mirage and Freyja are captured the treaties on POW treatment are ignored in favor of a Kangaroo Court (that for Freyja, born on Windermere, also include treason charges).
    • The only reason Windemere, a small Planetary Nation that just gained its independence from the local intergalactic government, is able to be a verifiable threat to the good guys is because the Song of the Wind, amplified by the Sigur Valens, infects them with Var syndrome. Delta Squadron is able to destroy the Sigur Valens, removing Windemere’s capability to wage war in the final episode. Upon realizing this, Heinz is forced to cut his losses and calls for a tactical withdrawal from the Brisingr cluster.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: Even for a mercenary group, Xaos's Ragna branch is absolutely tiny, especially compared to the more advanced and sophisticated SMS branch we saw in Frontier. They operate out of a single warship, on a single planet, with a few squads of new-model fighters. Their pilots have to pull double duty for ground combat and infiltration when the need arises, and the singers also provide tactical support and maintenance. Thanks to the current war, they are low on funds and support from the UN and make do with what they have.
  • Taking the Bullet: Makina shields herself from Freyja from a Windermerian sniper in Episode 24.
  • Title Drop: Not the title of the anime itself, but Episode 7's title is dropped by Freyja. "I've been trained on how to operate behind enemy lines between dance classes!"
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • In Episode 13, Ichido Dake no Koi Nara, the first opening theme, plays as the situation gets worse. The situation gets better with the song.
    • In Episode 24, an orchestral version of the same song plays as the unmanned VF-31s does a Gunship Rescue.
  • The Stinger:
    • Episode 3 ends with Roid talking to Prince Heinz, the one singing the Var Syndrome's song.
    • Episode 6 ends with Ernest Johnson giving Walkure and Delta Squadron a mission to infiltrate planets occupied by Windermere.
    • Episode 8 ends with Hayate and Mirage discovering Messer suffering from the effects of Var Syndrome.
    • Episode 11 ends with Windermere launching an attack on Al-Shahal.
    • Episode 12 ends with the Windermere flagship foiling the Macross Elysion's attempt to intercept it at Al-Shahal by folding straight to Ragna immediately after the Elysion's arrival.
    • Episode 13 ends with Gramia dying in Roid's arms, then Roid taking command of Windermere's forces.
    • Episode 14 ends with Windermere's forces taking off from Ragna and Heinz vowing to inherit his father's will, only for Roid to tell him that he has Gramia's will.
    • Episode 15 ends with Delta Squadron rescuing the sole survivor of a NUNS fleet, who expresses both shock and apparent dismay at the fact that Arad is working with the son of Wright Immelman.
    • Episode 17 ends with Hayate and the rest of Delta Squadron taking off for Voldor, with Hayate vowing to figure out the truth.
    • Episode 21 ends with Roid visiting the Protoculture ruins where Heinz sings the song of the wind, and receives a call from Berger about what the song did with the inhabitants of Al-Shahal. Suddenly, Roid's runes activate the ruins, and he discovers the Star Singer.
    • Episode 23 ends with Roid coming across Mikumo, who he has tied to a chair, and vowing to devote his wings to her voice.
    • Episode 24 ends with Roid bowing to Mikumo as the Star Singer.
    • Episode 25 ends with Heinz himself giving the order for Mikumo to sing, which annihilates the NUNS fleet.
  • Transformation Sequence:
    • Walkure do Magical Girl transformations complete with colorful backgrounds, catchphrases and facial portraits. The effect is achieved with holographically projected clothing similar to the kind Sheryl Nome used for concerts back in Frontier.
    • When Kingdom of Windermere declares open war on the U.N.-aligned planets, the Aerial Knights deactivate their SV-262 Draken III's "unknown enemy" camouflage and transform them into Battroid mode for the first time, with a tracking shot following the conversion of Keith's custom unit from thrusters / legs, through the arms, and the nose / head, finishing the process with all units doing a cool pose in front of Windermere's holographic emblem. This is the only time this model's transformation is depicted this way, most likely to emphasize the reveal of Draken's robot mode and how different it is from the protagonists' VF-31 Sigfrieds.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Valkyries/Variable Fighters, as usual: futuristic fighter jets that can transform into two different forms of Humongous Mecha.
  • Villain Episode: Episode 15, which focuses on Windermere, particularly the Aerial Knights.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The members of the main Love Triangle start out antagonistic to each other before eventually bonding and growing close.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Happens to Hayate after the first time Mirage takes him up on her VF-31 and shows off some extreme maneuvering in an effort to scare him from flying.
  • Walk the Plank: In episode 24, Hayate, Freyja, and Mirage are sentenced to be executed by way of walking off a few narrow beams over a high cliff. A soldier demands Freyja go first, but Hayate offers to go first as a last request. Thankfully, Arad uses a remote controlled Valkyrie to give the three a chance to escape.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The Windermere Kingdom declares war against NUNS-controlled space in Episode 4. In Episode 5, it's revealed that they already fought one against the NUNS forces occupying their homeworld seven years earlier, which resulted in their independence.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Episode 6 shows that many military companies are now doing brisk business in Ragna. The Bridge Bunnies also lampshade the fact that, as a civilian military contractor, Xaos also plays this trope straight.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Inverted; the Windermerians gain their abilities at the cost of having shorter lives (their average life expectancy is about 30 years), and Roid later states that humanity actually have the longest lives out of the Protoculture-manipulated species.
    • Roid obviously never met or interacted with a natural, space-borne Zentradi before. He is not going to like them very much.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Episode 7, it's discovered that Windermere's main export, apples, has some chemical compounds that react with the water from the Protoculture ruinsnote , creating the chemical that, in connection with the specific fold wave pattern of the Wind Song, causes Var Syndrome.
    • In Episode 9, the reason Walkure, Freya inclusive, are immune to the fold bacteria that cause Var Syndrome is revealed to be because of their bodies being natural fold receptors. Hayate ALSO has the same genetic quirk, which may explain why he dances more than he flies... Also, Messer is revealed to be a long-term carrier of Var Syndrome; he's using a song of Kaname's as a stopgap measure to
    • Episode 10, which culminates in Messer's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Episode 12, which has the Macross Elysion launch... only to leave Ragna almost completely undefended...
    • Episode 13. Windermere has taken Ragna, Gramia is dead, and Roid declares complete military dominance over the cluster.
    • Episode 21. The reason Roid has been accelerating the takeover plan is that he's effectively killing Prince Heinz doing it...
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 1, when Hayate and Freyja are stuck in the middle of a Var outbreak. A perfectly ordinary young woman they met a few moments earlier walks out, then declares four words, beginning what is one of the few curb stomp battles in the good guy's favor...
    Mikumo: "Welcome to WALKURE WORLD!"
    • Episode 15: "Arad, why are you with the son of that man?"
  • Wham Shot:
    • On Windermere, it's revealed that there is a space-time rift, which was caused by a dimensional weapon fired by 'someone' seven years before.
    • It is later revealed that the dimensional weapon was dropped from a NUNS Special Forces VF-22, which is revealed to have been piloted by Hayate's father under the order to destroy the ruins.
    • At the end of Episode 24, we see that even Freyja has become affected on her hand.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Windermeran Kingdom's plan in Episode 10. By striking at a much less defended planet before the NUNS' main colony in the Brisingr Cluster with their fleet, attracting whatever capital ships NUNS has in-system, they guarantee, whatever the NUNS do, they'll leave their colony almost defenceless, meaning their plan to 'annex' the entire cluster is virtually infallible.
    • The whole plan, overall, has a particularly cruel twist to it. Windermere has a dimensional rift covering the planet, meaning that the only side who CAN make such a decisive attack plan IS Windermere itself!
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The official English subtitles make it clear Xaos, rather than the more common Chaos, is the name of the Private Military Contractors.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Roid's plans are seemingly working to a vastly accelerated schedule, to the point of fatalism, as if there is some cosmic time limit to what he needs to do. The fact he's already 20 might have something to do with it...
    • It turns out not to be Roid's lifespan which is the problem, but Prince Heinz's.