When a movie or TV show has a sequel that’s separated from it by a number of years, you still like to think that not much is going to change. Take Ghostbusters for example. The first movie came out in 1984 but Ghostbusters II didn’t come out until 1989.
Where Macross is concerned however, there really is no true sequel to the original series. The 1984 movie Do You Remember Love? was a cinematic retelling of the series and Macross II was set eighty years later. When Mac2 was retconned, the next production in chronological order was Macross Plus, which is still set 30 years later. Now, that all doesn’t mean there isn’t actually a sequel of sorts to First Macross, it’s just not quite what you think it would be. Released in 1987, Macross: Flashback 2012 is a 30 minute music video that is largely made up of clips taken from First Macross and DYRL, hence the title Flashback. There is a story there but it is very short. This is primarily due to the fact that most of the new footage that was used in Flashback was intended to be the final scenes of DYRL but weren’t ready in time for the movie’s release date.
Disregarding all the flashback footage, the story is thus: It is September 2012, nine months after the end of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and Quamzin’s failed attack on New Macross City. The city has expanded and the SDF-1 has nearly been repaired, looking much like it does in DYRL. Lynn Minmay has arrived in Macross City to perform the final show of her Sayonara World Tour. The OVA then goes into all the flashback materiel before switching back to the ‘present.’ Minmay walks around the deserted concert hall where she gave her last show. We see Hikaru Ichijyo, one of the heroes of the last series, test flying the new VF-4 Lightning III variable fighter. He’s now married to Misa, who is about to take command of humanity’s first super long range colonization ship, the SDF-2 Megaroad-01. Minmay recalls the days of her youth, about how she wanted to be a singer and left her home in Yokohama to go live with her aunt and uncle in Macross City because her parents were not in favor of it. She remembers arriving in the city and seeing a poster about the SDF-1 Macross, which shifts to a scene of her in New Macross City looking at a poster for the Megaroad.
The Megaroad-01 is launched and thousands cheer her on as she soars up into the sky. Minmay waves to the people below from one of the observation decks as Misa directs her crew from the ship’s bridge, stealing glances outside at Hikaru in his Lightning III. The ship reaches orbit and joins with an escort fleet of Zentradi warships and sails off into a bright new future with our hero and heroines.
At least that’s what you would like to think. The one thing I don’t like about Flashback is that it doesn’t reveal the characters’ ultimate fates, which in this case is pretty important. The video also focuses pretty exclusively on Hikaru, Misa and Minmay (except for the flashback clips), but we do know some of what happened. A year later Hikaru and Misa have their first child, a little girl named Miku Ichijyo. We know that Max and Milia have eight children (seven natural, one adopted), all girls, and are seen again in the 49 episode series Macross 7 with their youngest daughter Mylene, but that’s about it. We don’t really know what happens to Claudia or Admiral Global or the bridge bunnies, although I suppose it’s not terribly important. Ah, I almost forgot Breetai and Exedol. The Zentradi tactician Exedol goes with Max and Milia to the Macross 7 fleet and I believe Breetai becomes UN Spacy Commander-in-Chief at some point. What I’m saying is, that it would have been nice to have had the whole cast get a send off.
There is one other thing that bugs me a little bit about this particular snippet of Macross lore. You see in Flashback we get Hikaru, Misa and Minmay riding off into the space sunset, but what you find out if you look it up is that the Megaroad-01 disappears without a trace near the galactic core in 2016. I’m a bit annoyed about that if only for the implication that Hikaru, Misa, their daughter Miku and Minmay all die a cold, lonely death in the forsaken depths of deep space. Me, I like my characters to have a happy ending, like the end of Return of the Jedi.
All in all, Even though Flashback really is just a long music video set to a bunch of Minmay songs (although I’m not sure why they didn’t include My Boyfriend is a Pilot), it’s worth watching for that new footage and as a chance to see these particular Macross characters one last time. Besides, maybe it’s not all bad as that. Maybe the Megaroad-01 is next to the second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning.