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.
- Badass in Distress: During the arc where he and several others are captured by the Zentraedi.
- 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 Milia, he mused that he wished his romantic problems were so simple.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: in Episode 20 he gets hit by that Hard
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.
- Ballet: Shown to be having lessons in one episode. It's implied in one of the novelizations that she's been taking lessons even before getting started with her Idol Singer career.
- Break the Cutie: This Girl Next Door is living her life more or less normally, then she's pulled into the story. She does not come out of it unscathed.
- Chinese Girl: Her family is ethnically Chinese, though they apparently live in Japan.
- Damsel in Distress: Many times.
- Devoted to You: Hikaru is obsessed with her throughout much of the series, even when she specifically states she is interested in someone else. Ultimately, Hikaru moves on and ends up marrying Misa Hayase.
- Heroic BSoD: In The Movie, when she realizes that Hikaru has fallen for Misa.
- Idol Singer: The archetype for the Macross franchise
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: She did get her start during Space War I.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When it's fully clear that Hikaru loves Misa, Minmay steps aside willingly and stays friends with them.
- Just a Stupid Accent: She and her aunt have a supposedly Chinese accent (probably her uncle is Japanese?).
- Naïve Everygirl: In the earlier parts of the story.
- 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. She still has a few Spoiled Brat moments as the stress of her life and the aftermath of the war gets to her.
- Vocal Dissonance: Averted with the recent English dub.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: One of the few humans with a bizarre hair color, but it isn't commented on. It can often pass off as black, though.
One of the permanent bridge crew (and an air traffic controller) 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.
- Broken Bird: Her original fiance's death did not leave her in a good way mentally.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Her first love and later fiancée was her childhood friend Riber. Unfortunately, he was assigned to Mars and died there.
- Cunning Linguist: In the movie she's able to understand the Zentraedi language and, with some effort, decifer the more complex Protoculture one.
- 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 buy 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.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: When she gives Hikaru photos for his album, they're mostly pictures of her with her cat.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: 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.
- Rank Up: promoted from first lieutenant to lieutenant commander in the episode "Blue Wind".
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality and Tsundere: She's an odd mix of both types, as she looks very cold and tries to stay that way but, as a result, when her emotions do come out, either she becomes very snappy or she cries.
Captain Bruno J. Global
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.
- The Captain: Technically he is either (depending on the ambiguous Japanese term) a Brigadier General or a Commodore.
- 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.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: 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.
- Running Gag: "No smoking on the bridge!"
- "I wasn't going to smoke... I just like to hold the pipe."
One of the Macross bridge crew. She normally serves as the level-headed and down-to-earth member of the cast, and is in a relationship with Roy Focker.
- Beta Couple: With Roy. She offers quite a bit of romantic advice to Hikaru and Misa.
- Black Best Friend: to Misa.
- Bridge Bunny: One of the originals.
- Cool Big Sis: She acts like this often to Misa, commiserating with Misa over tea (or more alcoholic substances) later in the series, as the love triangle begins to close.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Depending on the lighting her hair can look either dark brown or red.
A member of Hikaru's wing after he's given his first command. He serves as the everyman character for the audience to relate to.
- The Big Guy: Pretty big guy physically, but among his wing he's actually the least effective combatant.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the movie, where he is unceremoniously killed off after Tempting Fate.
- Sacrificial Lion: Out of the ¡Three Amigos! trio he has with Hikaru and Max, he's the first one to go...
- Shipper on Deck: Ships Hikaru/Misa
- Leeroy Jenkins: This ends up getting him killed.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Movie version, where he gets all of one line.
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 Milia marks a major development in terms of human-Zentraedi relations.
- Ace Pilot: He's the best pilot in the show. Directly stated by the writers, no less.
- Amazon Chaser: He seems attracted to Milia in part because she's just about the only pilot who can come close to matching his piloting skills.
- Beta Couple: With Milia.
- 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 Milia at an arcade game? Her measurements.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: He defeated Milia (again) at an arcade.
- Megane: Constantly wears glasses, which clashes a bit with his reputation as the ultimate badass pilot.
- Punny Name: Acknowledged in-series with people calling him "the genius pilot".
- Shipper on Deck: another Hikaru/Misa shipper.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: One of the few humans with abnormal hair colors.
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.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Hikaru.
- 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".
- The Mexican Spanish dub of the movie an just translates the term as calling him by his name Roy instead.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Before he met Claudia. Reasons for this are revealed in Macross Zero when his first lover, Iris, died in the conflict.
- Expy: Macross director Noburo Ishiguro stated that Roy Focker was based on Sleggar Law.
- Handsome Lech: He acts very lecherous toward his love interest. She doesn't appear to mind much.
- Secretly Dying: How did he not get blood all over Claudia's couch?
Vanessa Laird/Kim Kabirov/Shammy Milliome
Three bridge officers on board the Macross. They mainly stay in the background, gossiping on events and being friends with Claudia and Misa.
- All There in the Manual: Their fates post series, such as Vanessa marrying Rori and Kim being promoted to Lt. Gen. by the time of Macross Frontier are mentioned in supplementary materials for other Macross works.
- Bridge Bunny: The originals!
- Meganekko/Nerd Glasses: Vanessa
- Shipper on Deck: Vanessa is rather interested in Hikaru and Misa's deals, to the point of confronting Hikaru with regards to Misa's feelings for him.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kim and Shammy
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.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite the above, he raises a few good points about the war and, near the end, about how childish and selfish Minmay really can be.
- Karma Houdini: In a sense. For all his dickishness, it never really bites him in the ass too badly, and according to Macross 7 goes on to become the manager for Fire Bomber American.
- Martial Pacifist: A pacifist who knows kung-fu, but only uses defensive moves.
- Pet the Dog: commends Captain Global for his speech in Paradise Lost albeit non-verbally
- Soapbox Sadie: He claims to be a pacifist, and is against the military in all things.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's tall, witty, quite the jerk.
Zentraedi in General
- 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.
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.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He can take down Valkyries with his bare hands and a pipe.
- Batman 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.
- Cool Old Guy: Especially old by human standards.
- Eye Patch Of Power: Metal eye patch of power.
- HeelFace 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.
- Made of Iron: Monstrously tough even by Zentradi standards. A point blank explosion that blew a hole in a ship hull merely knocks him on his back with no serious injuries."I am not built quite as weakly as your are."
- 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.
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.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Original incarnation-only (would later be retconned for the below)
- 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.
- Shorter Means Smarter: One of the smaller Zentraedi characters and serves as advisor/historian.
Golg Boddole Zer/Golg Bodolza
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.
- Hollywood Cyborg: He is nothing more then a cyborg computer in the movie.
- 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.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: When he comes involved in the war personally he shows up with most if not all of his four millions and eight hundred thousands warships, and his opening move is to glass Earth, a move his ships all defolded in position to carry out as soon as he gave the order.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His decision to destroy Earth was perfectly understandable considering the limited information he had: what was happening had all the marks of a Protodeviln infestation, and indiscriminate Orbital Bombardment with tens of thousands of heavy converging beam cannons and millions of lesser guns when the enemy's still weak would have been the appropriate solution if that was actually the case.
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.
- Blood Knight: He loves combat above anything else.
- Wild Card: Cares little of who he's fighting against, as long as they give him a good fight. We don't even know on which side he fought in the battle against Bodolza, only that he joined late.
- 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.
- Shown in his first episode: ordered to drive the Macross on Mars and capture her, he launched attacks that made her alter her route until she'd pass near the red planet, to make her land in the spot he had trapped with gravity mines (that prevent a ship from taking off with the gravitational drive. The rockets that would have been a way out of it had been put out of commission by Kamjin's attacks) he had his men infiltrate the abandoned Base Sarah and use its systems to send a distress call, and, in spite of hating waiting, he had the patience to wait for the gravity mines to get to full power before attacking. Had one of his subordinates not tried to charge out on his own because he had even less patience than his commander, getting everyone discovered early, he would have won with ease.
- The Cameo: Going from one of the pivotal antagonists in the original series, to a One-Scene Wonder in Do You Remember Love. He's the Zentraedi who fights Roy and gets killed during Roy's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Any guesses as to why he's known as "Kamjin the Ally Killer"?
- Hot-Blooded: His tone when rallying Zentraedi troops. Works pretty well.
- Jerk Ass: His own allies consider him barely less of a threat than their enemies. He knows this, and doesn't do much to dissuade such an image.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When he tries to sabotage the peace talks it's because he expects Bodolza to come and kill them all if he finds out. That's exactly what Bodolza does when Laplamis naively informs him.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Smart commander he may be, but he does tend to underestimate his opponents' ability to improvise, making him easy to trick.
- In a rather interesting twist, one of his subordinates is worse than him: during the ambush on Mars, Kamjin was showing increasing annoyance at having to wait for the gravity mines to block the Macross' ability to take off, but he managed to wait-until that subordinate tried to charge out on his own, forcing Kamjin to shoot him down in the (failed) attempt to keep avoiding detection).
- The Masochism Tango: with Lap Lamiz
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Really, why would you trust (outside of yeah, he IS a Bunny-Ears Lawyer...) anyone whose nickname is "The Ally Killer" or "the Backstabber?" That's kinda looking for trouble...
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: When Miria taunts him, Kamjin fires back saying there is an Ace Pilot aboard the Macross, referring to Hikaru. Intrigued, Miria launches an attack on the Macross, which was the first time she met Max, leading to the massive push towards human/zentradi relations. Since Roy died in this attack, Kamjin inadvertently triggered Hikaru's ensuing Character Development.
- Noodle Incident: Right before Kamjin first appears, Britai mentions having already fought at his side before meeting Exedore, with Kamjin and his men having such a good performance that Britai openly calls them the best soldier he ever fought with.
- Smug Snake: He's a competent commander, but he's not quite as good as he thinks he is.
- Together in Death: with Lap Lamiz, too
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He's indirectly responsible for Roy's death in the TV series, as his taunt to Miria led to the raid in which he died.
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.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Warera, Konda, and Rori, respectively
- Bishōnen: Konda, somewhat Depending on the Artist
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Their plotline can be likened to puberty and/or fanboyism
- Fish out of Water: Their original attempts to spy on / blend in with humanity, though eventually they take to the human life quite well.
- Hooked Up Afterwards: According to the Macross 7 Docking Festival liner notes, Rori eventually married Vanessa. Their granddaughter is a character in Macross the Musicalture.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Konda
- Unplanned Crossdressing: Warera accidentally disguises himself as a woman, having no idea what gender-specific clothing is like. All three of them unknowingly grabbed women's clothing from a locker room for their disguises, but Konda and Rori got away with rather unisex jeans and shirts, while Warera had the misfortune of picking out a dress.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Konda has purple hair
Meltrandi in General
- Amazon Brigade: While they aren't supposed to be this, male and female soldiers simply fight separately in the Zentraedi forces, they do tend to be portrayed as this in the franchise as a whole. Additionally, their preferred Powered Armor, the Quadluun Rau has better performance than its Zentraedi counterpart.
- Some materials also state that Protoculture created the Meltrandi simply because their female bodies were better fit to handle the Quadluun.
Moruk Lap Lamiz
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.
- The Masochism Tango: with Kamjin
- Together in Death: this, too.
- Tsundere: again, with Kamjin
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.
- Battle Couple: with Max.
- Best Her to Bed Her: There is no explicit rule about this for Milia (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.
- Beta Couple: With Max.
- High-HeelFace Turn: After she ends up falling in love with a human
- I Know Mortal Kombat: She was defeated by Max at an arcade...after winning three CASES of coins from the machine.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: She can operate planes and mecha just fine. Cooking? Not so much.
- Justified in her case since for her species said basic skill probably didn't exist.