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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Towards the franchise's infamous legal issues. While Delta will likely never get an official western release, the Japanese Blu-rays come with English subtitles.
    • The movie, to many audiences addressed some problems with the original TV series. There's a lot less clutter, the Love Triangle is toned down while Mirage is reduced to a well accepted support character, the Windemere drama is shortened, and it focuses mainly on Walkure, which drew the most attention from Delta fans during the broadcasting. Whether or not these fixes worked is up to opinion.
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  • Awesome Music: As expected of a Macross series.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Heinz is a polarizing character as many detractors considered him to be a very weak and incompetent leader who is willing to allow his army to conquer and enslave civilians while defenders justified that he’s just a kid who lacks an understanding of the outside world and is a victim of manipulative schemers such as Roid.
  • Broken Base:
    • Reactions on the premise alone tend to vary. Some dislike the Magical Girl-like aspect of Walkure while others find it cool and different from the previous idol singers.
    • Walkure/their songs induce this for the feeling that they're getting pushed more than other elements which was proven with the movie) and fears of future entries will be little more than vehicles to sell cds.
    • The heated debate regarding the motives of the Windermerian characters (with the exception of Freya and possibly Heinz). Just walk into every anime forum and see the discussions and arguments whether the Windermerians are merely misguided or outright evil.
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  • Ending Aversion: The finale has the… unenviable position of having to tie up so many loose ends at once, making it clear the production crew was on a deadline. Delta, especially in its second half, suffered from weak pacing, underdeveloped characters and excessive subplots and the finale has to ignore for the sake of the main plot.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Messer, if reactions to his Dying Moment of Awesome are any indication.
    • Qasim is well-liked by fans as he’s one of the few Windermerian characters who dislikes that his kingdom is planning a galactic conquest and questions Roid's methods.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Hooray! Delta Squadron has saved Ragna and Hayate and Freyja get their happy ending, but the Windemereans make it clear the war is not over and the death toll numbers in the millions. Also, poor Mirage got her Love Confession rejected…
    • For the Windemerians’ case, their future doesn’t look bright for them. Though Heinz is willing to establish peace talks and at the same time, wants the UN Government to pay for their sins, it might not go very well and his kingdom will suffer a lot of backlash from the intergalactic community for their actions. Likewise, Heinz is slowly dying after his singing affected his health and his brother who is the strongest pilot in the air force died which not only left the Aerial Knights in a vulnerable position but also leave no successors to take the Windemerian leadership once Heinz kicks the bucket.
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  • Epileptic Trees: Regarding who the hell Lady M is, one of the major plot threads left unresolved due to Executive Meddling.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Freyja/Bogue appears a lot on Japanese sites like Pixiv, despite the two having no meaningful interaction outside of Bogue trying to kill Freyja. Though as the second half of the series rolled around, it picked up less steam in the West in favor of Bogue/Reina after he blushes during Walkure's EP 17 performance.
    • Kaname/Messer slowly grew during the first few episodes and then had a huge increase in episode 10 when Messer died in battle as Kaname sang "Axia" for him. The first movie even changes Messer's death scene so that he dies in Kaname's arms.
  • Foe Yay: Keith and Messer have this as the aces of their groups and fighting each other every time they can. Keith's runes glow in excitement when he has a chance to face him. The wind even lets Keith know who Messer is during their first fight outside their mechs.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The one-handed version of Walkure's hand gesture that Mikumo uses is basically the LA West Side Crips gang sign. This hasn't gone unnoticed (see Memetic Mutation below).
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: In contrast to DYRL and the two Macross Frontier films, which had drastic differences in comparison to their source shows, the Macross Delta movie is essentially the exact same plot as its show; the differences mainly come in the shifted focus to Walkure's perspective and a trimming down of the Love Triangle and villains' screen time.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Either fans stuck with it for the plot, or more than likely for Walkure. Given that the group itself was the most successful element of the series, it's no wonder that the movie decided to shift focus to them.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: In Pixiv alone, a given image of Freya will often be with Hayate, but just as easily you can find a picture of her with Bogue, Mikumo, the other Knights, and even sometimes Mirage. If one was only paying attention to those, they'd be under the impression that she was involved in more romantic entanglements than she ever actually is in canon.
  • Les Yay: Makina and Reina start to look more than just Those Two Girls the further along the show gets. At the very least, they are definitely Heterosexual Life-Partners with no personal space issues. Highlights include ReiRei feeding MakiMaki in episode 5 as well as the former practically feeling the latter up in episode 6. They also live together "off campus" from the rest of the crew.
    • Even Uta Macross, the official 35th anniversary game gets in on it, with Reina and Makina shown consistently together on various images, including the promotional group picture.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Bogue is the most racist and most bloodthirsty Windermerian who wants to destroy Walkure and condemns Frejya as a traitor. And yet the viewers really enjoy loathing this guy more than wanting to smash his head with a tire iron.
    • Roid is a Manipulative Bastard and the Big Bad who smugly declared that his species are worthy heirs of the Protoculture. Granted, he’s the one driving the main plot of the show which made him very entertaining.
  • Memetic Molester: Roid made himself quite a pervert when he abducted Mikumo, tied her up in some bondage gear and invaded her personal space.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • "Mirage is gonna stab Hayate!"/"Mirage hasn't stabbed Hayate yet?!" note 
    • "Mikumo is a 2Pac fan/cloned from 2Pac's DNA/is 2pac!" note .
    • Roid bullying three year olds.Explanation (Spoilers) 
  • Moral Event Horizon: It’s easy to dislike Heinz in the later episodes when he becomes more and more of a warhawk, embracing Roid’s ideal of Windemerean superiority. Under his command, a brainwashed Mikumo mind-rapes an entire NUNS fleet and forces them to turn their own dimensional weapons on themselves. Even in the end, he still wants the UN government destroyed.
  • Narm:
    • The Var-cured Zentradi in the first episode.
  • Rooting for the Empire: There are a number of fans who support the Windermerians despite the fact that they brainwash local populaces and have declared themselves as the true heirs of the Protoculture while setting up an empire similar to the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and yet, they have very understandable reasons for rebelling against the N.U.N.S. (which are more clearly explicated in the tie-in manga). It doesn't help that starting in Episode 12, several N.U.N.S. officials are portrayed to be corrupt (which is not new to the franchise), demolishing the Protoculture ruins in Ragna with nukes for their own purposes, which gave some viewers another reason to support the Windermerian side.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Once again, Kawamori got a lot of blame from fans for the direction of the show’s second half. However, several interviews revealed that many of his ideas were rejected by producers such as the traditional love triangle which he wanted to discard from the show.
  • Sequelitis: Though the BD sales are good and the albums sell well, majority of the Macross fandom agreed that this is one of the weaker entries of the franchise due to the bland characters, uneven plot, lackluster battles and weak soundtrack which is brought by Executive Meddling.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Hayate/Mirage comes off as this, and it’s supposed to be one half of this show’s love triangle. Their interactions are limited and insufficient so far compared to Hayate/Freyja, and if they do interact, it’s easy to dismiss them as just instructor and student.
    • Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you look above, and find that, very likely, Shoji Kawamori himself didn't even WANT there to be any argument about the ship, which is why Mirage is not even properly shipped with Hayate. Executive Meddling required the Macross standard of a young girl, an older woman and a pilot in a love triangle.
  • So Okay, It's Average: By the end of the TV series, many who stayed until the end had this opinion due to the impressive first half of the series and the lackluster second half. The finale also left a lot of questions and plot threads unanswered.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The ending theme performed by Walkure, "Rune ga Pikatto Hikattara", sounds similar to "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire. Which leads to this mashup. The song "Giraffe Blues" sounds similar to "Un-break My Heart" by Toni Braxton and leads to this.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • As the series has progressed, a lot of fans have grown frustrated with Mirage's lack of character development.
    • Hayate, Mirage, and the Windermeres have greatly reduced roles in the movie compared to the TV series, due to the increased focus on Walkure. Many fans were also expecting Messer to have a more expanded role in the movie due to the movies usually rewriting certain plot elements, but the most that happens to him is not getting shot by Keith and dying of something else in Kaname's arms.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Delta was filled to the brim with interesting subplots (Mikumo’s origins, Lady M’s identity, Hayate’s father, etc.) but the show didn’t give them the proper attention. Blame the unforgiving hand of Executive Meddling on this one, forcing Kawamori to change the plans he had for the show.
    • The Love Triangle between Hayate, Freyja and Mirage in the show which is a tradition in the Macross franchise. Kawamori admitted in an interview that he wanted to do away with the love triangle aspect until Executive Meddling forced him to include it for selling points. This eventually became the problem when the show gave more interaction and Character Development on Hayate and Freyja while Mirage is put on the sidelines and her relationship with Hayate became more of Just Friends rather than Belligerent Sexual Tension. Many fans regarded it as a wasted opportunity on Mirage's part, particularly her background as a Jenius and forcing her in the love triangle became a case of Strangled by the Red String.
    • From the juxtaposition of Walkure and the Aerial Knights on some of the promotional posters for Delta, many had assumed that the Knights were going to be Walkure's rivals or more important to the plot. Due to many of the Knights not getting much characterization in the show outside of Keith and Roid, some left the series somewhat disappointed. That said, the prequel manga focusing on Keith and Windermere had more positive reception, as it expanded on some of their personalities and made some of the Windermerians look sympathetic, which unfortunately wasn't executed well in the show.
      • As a side note, some of the Knights' voice actors have major singing experience, which made some viewers call missed opportunities for them to also crank out some tunes. This is especially true in Bogue's case, as his seiyuu KENN is rather well known for his singing.
    • As much stuff as the movie fixes about Delta, it still doesn't address the "Lady M" plot point and greatly reduced the Windermere conflict. They also diluted Hayate and Frejya's relationship into just Hayate chasing after her, which didn't settle well.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: The effects of Executive Meddling really show on the second half of Delta, but that doesn’t stop the cast from giving it their all. Special mention goes to Asami Seto, whose interrupted Love Confession in episode 20 was filled with genuine emotion and sincerity.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The second opening. The song is regarded as So Okay, It's Average and not as powerful as "Ichido dake no Koi nara", and the visuals used a lot of recycled footage from the first half of the anime. Granted, Kawamori tends to not care much for properly animating a second OP and often ends up using stills/stock footage or cheaply animated shots for several of his openings.
    • The main soundtrack itself. Though the actual Walkure songs such as "Ikenai Borderline" are ear worms with a good chance at becoming classics, the non-vocal tracks don't quite match up to the music Yoko Kanno wrote for previous Macross shows like Frontier.
    • As a whole, the show qualifies. Replicating the massive success of Frontier was hard enough, but the amounts of Executive Meddling Kawamori had to endure really damaged the final product.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Initially, the Windermerians had understandable reasons to fight against the NUNS which earned them several fans. But as the series progresses, the Windermere Kingdom’s motive went from “for independence” to “galactic conquest” which go as far as brainwashing civilians to a coma and draining the lifeline of its own people. Episode 24 threw all the sympathy of the characters down the drain which made many people compared them to Nazis IN SPACE.
    • Bogue’s backstory revealed that his sisters died in the independence war which gave an understandable reason to hate humans. But the show portrayed him as an angry, bloodthirsty, hotheaded boy whose mindset is “DEATH TO WALKURE! KILL ALL HUMANS!”, particularly his attitude in Episode 24. Many viewers find him very annoying to the point of wanting him to die in a brutal way.
    • Heinz became less sympathetic despite that he's a nine-year-old kid who had no idea on what he's doing. While the show wants you to feel sorry that he's a hapless pawn of Roid, his characterization is static which made him look like an ineffectual leader who is easily manipulated. It gets worse in Episode 25 where he's willing to use Mikumo despite that she's a person who can feel pain.
  • The Un-Twist: Hayate choosing Freyja in the end. While it is surprising that a Macross series ends with the younger girl in the triangle winning as opposed to the older option, or the hero choosing neither, no one really doubted that she and Hayate were going to get together since the series focused so much on their relationship and the supposed other third of the triangle not getting much development. In addition to that, no one expected Freyja to live long after that confession either.
  • The Woobie: Mirage. She gets relatively little focus compared to the other two leads, and after the events of episode 16, a lot of people were left feeling sorry for her. Even the Freyja fans felt bad. And she doesn't win the love triangle in the end. Poor girl, somebody give her a hug.
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