Everything Under The Sun... And Then Some!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Right Into The Danger Zone!

Originally in my SDF Macross review I said the macros was Top Gun meets Battlestar: Galactica meets Transformers with a dash of Star Wars thrown in. Well no where does the Top Gun analogy become more apparent than with the 4-episode mini-series(or OVA) Macross Plus, released in 1994. The story features two rival jet fighter test pilots in a setting that is highly reminiscent of the classic Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer flick. There’s planes, space, dogfights, pretty girls, but unlike Top Gun, Macross Plus features a psychotic AI pop star, a kinda-sorta love triangle and a futuristic setting.

Macross Plus marked the return of Shoji Kawamori to the Macross franchise. Initially he hadn’t wanted to do anymore work on Macross after DYRL and Flashback 2012 were finished, which is why Big West went ahead and made Macross II without him and the others. In making Macross Plus, Kawamori had originally wanted to do a show that was just about test pilots, probably in a more modern setting. It sounds like the studio then made the stipulation that it had to be a Macross project and so, Macross Plus was born. I guess Kawamori must have been feeling very creative that year because 1994 was also the year that the full-length series Macross 7 premiered.
In order to properly capture the art of fighter combat for the animators, Kawamori, choreographer Ichiro Itano (famous for the Itano Circus missile animations) and other staff members travelled to Edwards Air Force Base in California to take lessons from dogfighting school Air Combat USA. This is reflected in the absolutely awesome fight sequences in the anime. Even just the animation of the Valkyrie variable fighters flying around is superb.
Famous director Shinichiro Watanabe was also hired as a co-director for the production. He’s probably most famous here in America for the series Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo and, of course, Macross Plus. Watanabe always makes good stuff and this is reflected in the quality of the animation. Watanabe also believes very heavily in the ties between the film and its score and the power of music (one of the central themes of Macross). So, it’s not so surprising that the composer of Macross Plus is the prolific Yoko Kanno. Kanno is pretty much the Japanese equivalent to John Williams. She’s worked on some of the most famous and successful animes in Japan as well as live-action movies and television. Some of the most famous projects she’s worked on include Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop, The Vision of Escaflowne, Wolf’s Rain, Turn-A Gundam, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Macross Frontier. She would probably most famous here in America for the jazz, blues and funk-inspired themes of Cowboy Bebop. As for her work in Plus, her talent shines through especially in the songs for Plus’s idol singer Sharon Apple. Three of Sharon’s songs are in English, one in French and four are in the fictional Zentradi language. There’s only one Japanese song in the whole soundtrack and that’s Myung Lon Fang’s “Voices.” (which actually got dubbed into English but is still very good; sounds a lot like an Enya song.)
 "Voices"-Japanese Version
"Voices"-English Version

With all this star talent in place, it was time to make the series. Macross Plus takes place in the year 2040, 30 years after First Macross. It starts off on the colony planet Eden where childhood friends Isamu Dyson, Guld Goa Bowman and Myung Lon Fang are introduced. Isamu and Guld are trying to fly a self-propelled glider that they’ve built. Fast forward to 2040 and Isamu finds himself back on Eden to be a test pilot for Project: Supernova, a competition being held between two rival companies, Shinsei Industries and General Galaxy, to field a new variable fighter for the UN Spacy (United Nations Space Navy). The two competing designs are the YF-19 and the YF-21. Project: Supernova is based on the real-life Advanced Tactical Fighter competition that the US Air Force held between the Lockheed YF-22 (which became the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor) and Northrop’s YF-23.
In any case, Isamu is assigned to be the test pilot of Shinsei’s YF-19 and finds out that his childhood friend now-rival Guld Bowman has been assigned to be the YF-21’s pilot. Here’s where a lot of the similarities where Top Gun come into play as you could very easily say that Isamu, with his recklessness and cocky attitude, is Tom Cruise’s Maverick and Guld is Val Kilmer’s Iceman. It’s clear right from the get-go that these former friends have a clear dislike of each other for some reason and this is magnified even more when they find out that their other friend, Myung, is on Eden also and is now the producer for Sharon Apple, the known galaxy’s hottest entertainer… and supposed fully-functional AI. 
Both Isamu and Guld are somewhat confused by this as Myung was a fantastic singer in youth. Concerns over Myung fade somewhat as the two engage in multiple aerial duels with each other as the testing of the two prototypes heats up. Also, we learn that Sharon isn’t as advanced as we claim. When Isamu and some friends attend her concert on Eden, we find out that Myung actually provides the emotions for Sharon as an emotions program is the one thing that Sharon still lacks. Things begin to get a little suspicious when the holographic Sharon shows an inordinate amount of attention to Isamu. Sometime later both Isamu and Guld get a strange electronic phone call saying that fire will break out in the concert hall. Isamu chooses to ignore it but Guld races to the concert hall and rescues Myung from certain death in a fire… exactly as predicted. From the way that the cameras were moving and how the fire just started up, it’s pretty clear that the Sharon AI started the fire. Things get even more tense as the rivalry between Guld and Isamu results in an accident. Even though it’s a fairly serious matter, the General in charge of Eden’s New Edwards Base sweeps the whole thing under the rug. As Myung and her team depart for Earth so that Sharon can participate in the UN Spacy 30th Anniversary celebration of the end of the Human-Zentradi war, we learn that the reason the General swept the accident under the rug is that UN Spacy has been secretly testing the unmanned Ghost X-9 fighter, which seems to be superior to both the YF-19 and YF-21. A furious Isamu decides to go to Earth and screw up the ceremony where the X-9 will be unveiled. The YF-19’s designer Yan Newman goes with him and Guld is ordered to go after both of them in the YF-21. This turns out to be a good thing as Myung discovers at the eleventh hour that Sharon has indeed become self-aware and like all advanced AI’s that gain self-awareness
 Hint, hint.
she restrains Myung and tells her that she is doing what she is doing because Myung’s thoughts have given her life. She loves Guld and Isamu even more so and wants to give him the ultimate emotion that he is seeking. This is sort of going to involve killing him. Isamu and Guld at this point are doing their level best to blast each other to smithereens in one of the most kick-arse dogfights in the whole series. Guld has a slight advantage due to the YF-21 having the Brain Direct Interface, which allows Guld to control the YF-21 with his thoughts. But just as Guld closes in on Isamu and fires the killing shot, the BDI breaks through the mental barriers Guld had in his mind. He finally remembers what the incident was that drove him, Isamu and Myung apart. As a half-Zentradi, Guld had lived with those fighting instincts his whole life but then things began to change in their little circle of friends. Myung and Isamu became more than friends and when Guld burst in on them during a tender moment, he lost control. Guld attacked Isamu and pretty much sexually assaulted Myung before he regained control. After that incident, Myung and Isamu left Eden and Guld blocked the memories out as he regained control of those instincts. Thing is as part of that he blamed Isamu for supposedly hurting Myung but Isamu let him go on thinking that, not wanting to let his friend, who truly loved Myung, to remember what he had almost done to her.
Guld thinks this realization has come too late but Isamu managed to survive the missile barrage. As the two friends are about to reconcile, the Sharon Apple-controlled Ghost X-9 comes screaming out of the sun, guns blazing. Guld, who can more easily manage the X-9 with his YF-21 tells Isamu to go rescue Myung. Guld then heroically sacrifices himself to destroy the X-9. Isamu arrives in Macross City and realizes that the holographic projection of Sharon has hypnotized the whole city and the AI itself has infected every computer. This is no more evident as the good old SDF-1 Macross has been launched from Lake Global to intercept him, even though it’s been lying there for thirty years. Dodging anti-air laser fire at every turn, Isamu tries to destroy the central core that Sharon has infected while trying to rebuff her holographic hypnosis. Kind of a hard task considering that Sharon can take the forms of various hauntingly (literally) beautiful women! At one point he looks like he’s about to give in when Myung starts singing her song “Voices.” Isamu snaps out of it and in true Luke Skywalker-fashion, pulls off a hundred to one shot and destroys the central core. Sharon’s AI unit explodes and the day is saved as Myung watches Isamu soar over the city.

Now first of all, I have to say that after the disappointment that was Macross II, Plus was about 10x, no, 100x better. I seriously wanted to have Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone or Cheap Trick’s Mighty Wings come blaring out of the speakers as the YF-19 and -21 danced across the sky. I mean, I enjoyed this so much I think there was only two things I really want to have them improve. They could have explained Sharon’s self-awareness a bit more and also why she seemed so intent on hypnotizing people and why she wanted to kill Isamu.
I also didn’t care much for Myung as well. I don’t dislike her but I think to myself “Gooooossshhh! Get off the pity wagon and stop being so damn depressing, especially when you’ve got guys like Isamu and Guld around." I don’t really blame Isamu for being more interested in Lucy when he got back to Eden than Myung.
Other than that this was solid, first-rate, no holds-barred, thrill-riding fun. I would not be embarrassed to say that I enjoyed Macross Plus more than Transformers 3, and that’s saying something. The characters, planes, visuals (none of that damn moe crap), music and sounds all come together beautifully. The fact that this was a good dub as well is an extra plus. With the talents of VA’s like Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad), Richard Epcar and Beau Billingslea, it’s actually a joy to listen to as the actors actually emote. What a concept! All in all, on the MAHQ scale of stars, this gets five gold stars! Now if only it had Danger Zone…

Historical Note: The Ghost X-9 was deemed too dangerous if its controls were ver hacked, so the YF-19 won Project: Supernova. The -19 was mass-produced as the VF-19 Excalibur Main Variable Fighter and was the plane of choice for Macross 7’s Basara Nekki. The YF-21’s dangerous Brain Direct Interface was removed and it was produced in limited numbers as the VF-22 Sturmvogel II. The BDI would show up again in the VF-27 Lucifer from Macross Frontier.

The first word in my
Dreams I could clearly
See, Planet Eden right
Beyond the skies.
Beautiful and sad is
This story I tell of the
Winged travelers eager.

'Twas one day the wind
Guided him where to go,
like an eagle high above
He flew.
Waving from down below
He flew out of sight
Into the mystical darkness.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flashback 'Em All

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.

What Is The Meaning of Culture?

Let me check something here. Okay, so my last Macross review ran up to 6,013 words. Yeah....... not gonna do that again for ANYTHING.

So, I was maxing and relaxing in my new apartment and wanted to watch something with robots and explosions that wasn't Transformers. And since I am now a Macross junkie, I decided to watch the 1992 mini-series (or OVA) Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again. Unfortunately, after having seen First Macross, Macross Frontier and Do You Remember Love?, I had high expectations, even though I was told this series doesn’t quite measure up. And yes, I was let down a bit.

So, quick plot summary: It’s the year 2092, eighty some odd years after the events of DYRL. The Earth is at peace as the UN Spacy (United Nations Space Navy) has repelled any and all attacks against it using the Minmay Defense. The story focuses on the character of Hibiki Kanzaki a reporter with the SNN agency. He’s presented at first as something of a jerk who only cares about ratings. But when a group of renegade Zentradi aliens attacks, he goes out in his civilian Valkyrie fighter and gets an eye-full of what war really is. After rescuing/capturing what he thinks is a Zentradi princess of some sort. He starts learning that the news needs to be the cold, unvarnished truth. Said Zentradi princess actually turns out to be a member of a new alien race called the Marduk (mar-duke). She is an Emulator for them, a songstress who uses her singing to motivate the Marduk’s Zentradi soldiers to fight (it actually sounds more like Gregorian chanting than anything else). Hibiki shows her Earth’s culture and it inspires her to take the songs of Earth back to her people. On the other hand, you have UN Spacy ace pilot Sylvie Gena who finds out about this and almost has Hibiki arrested. This is where things start to get kind of flat. You can tell right away that they’re setting up one of Macross’ famous love triangles but this one is pretty transparent. Hibiki is Hikaru, Sylvie is Misa Hayase and Ishtar is Minmay. And yes, it resolves in the exact same way too, even though Hibiki spent the majority of this mini-series with Ishtar and he and Sylvie didn’t like each other too much. A note on Sylvie: Macross II is the first series, and so far only, to feature human female pilots in prominent roles (even though Sylvie is revealed to be 1/4 Zentradi). For whatever odd reason, in the other Macross series, female pilots only ever seem to be Zentradi or half-human, half-Zentradi.

Anywho, long story short, the SDF-1 Macross is some legendary ship that’s supposed to bring peace to the galaxy, the Marduk invade Earth and the lazy, overconfident UN Spacy commanders can’t do jack-diddly-squat about it, Hibiki, Ishtar and Sylvie climb onboard the Macross and try to use it against the Marduk flagship, Macross gets blown up, Ishtar sings, peace is restored and for some odd reason Hibiki ends up with Sylvie, as I said. If you think I’m shortening this up, well I am because there’s not a whole lot to talk about here. It’s only six episodes long and that’s part of the problem. It probably should have been more like 12 episodes. Because of this, you don’t really care about any of the characters beyond the lovebirds. Part of this though is because of the way I watched it: on Netflix. You see, Netflix has a problem. They only have the English version, which was made in 1993. And this version… wait for it… SUCKS!!! Ess-you-see-kay-ess SUCKS with three exclamation points!!! Seriously I have heard some bad acting but this takes the taco. You can’t get more flat and unemotional than the dub of Macross II. It was almost physically painful to watch because of this. One example is near the end of the show. Ishtar starts singing in Japanese (which was a good move on U.S. Renditions’ part) but then bursts into the chorus in English! Gah!
It got a bit better in the last two episodes but was still damn awful. So watch it in Japanese with subtitles. Still, there is ONE good line in the whole affair and that is from one of the Marduk characters, Lord Feff (his name beats me, how about Khyron instead?): “No one will know of my failure; that I dared to love above my station.” He’s saying this in relation to Ishtar. Thing is, it would have more impact if you understood more of why Feff is in love with Ishtar, beyond, you know, the fact that she has a penchant for wearing a partly transparent swimsuit-like getup. Like so.
Oh and the bits were they’re talking in Zentran language. Phst, you know there’s a problem with your dialogue when an alien language sounds better than the English!

As for the mecha designs, stuff like the Valkyrie II’s and the Metal Siren looked cool enough and UN Spacy actually had some very nice warship designs including the four-barrel Macross Cannon cruisers. The Marduk powered armors were nicely menacing and there actually some nice battle sequences with plenty of ‘splosions. The good ole SDF-1 flies again and goes out in a blaze of glory a la the Enterprise in Star Trek III. Too bad Shatner wasn’t there to say, “My god Bones… what have I done?”  


Now when Macross II was made back in 1992, it was all Big West’s idea. For those that don’t know, Big West is the Japanese advertising agency that funds almost all the Macross animation studios (Studio Nue). Well, as is the way with these corporate types, they wanted a sequel to the enormously successful SDF Macross and DYRL (1982 and 1984). Macross creator Shoji Kawamori wasn’t interested in sequels at the time so Big West hired someone else and got to work (although character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto did come back to work on Macross II). This is probably why the story is less than stellar and has way too many parallels to the original Macross. But here’s the kicker: When Kawamori brought in Studio Nue to work on 1994’s Macross Plus and Macross 7, they decided that Macross II didn’t fit in with where they wanted the story to go, so they retconned it into an alternate timeline and to this day it is, so far, the only Alternate Universe Macross series.

So what’s the final verdict? Using the MAHQ scale of X stars out of five, I would give it a two. Not horrible (excluding the voice acting) but not as enjoyable as it should have been. I’d watch it for the mecha and ship battles but that’s about it. To quote Chris Guanche from Mecha and Anime HQ: This series could have benefited from a higher episode count and more variation from the original Macross storyline, but at the very least it captures the classic Macross aesthetic that is missing from some of the later productions.

Whew! Only a little over a thousand words! Now on to Macross Plus and, hopefully by the end of the week, the Summer Movie Roundup!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Macross Odyssey 1

Chapter 1
Lightning III

            September 2, 2012
            Macross City, Alaska

            The VF-4 Lightning III variable fighter burst through the low, heavy clouds, rolling out into a level flight path. Inside the cockpit, pilot Hikaru Ichijyo glanced at his tactical screen, trying to discern at what angle his opponent would attack him. At the last second, his radar picked up his opponent and he rolled right as a VF-1J Valkyrie came screaming out from the low cloud cover as well, laser guns blazing. Hikaru pulled back on the stick and threw a lever marked with a large letter G. His plane shifted into the hybrid mode known as GERWALK Mode, allowing the thrust of his engines to be directed in a path that took him out of the line of fire. He brought up the Gatling gun pod and fired a line of 55mm slugs back at the Valkyrie. The Valkyrie pilot, no slouch either, also transformed into gerwalk mode and ducked under the line of fire and fired a pair of missiles.
If Hikaru knew his opponent, which he did, he figured that the missiles were really to distract him so that the Valkyrie pilot could line up the kill shot. He would have to deny him that possibility. He yanked a lever marked F and the Lightning III transformed back into fighter mode and shot forward with a burst of speed. He fired the Gatling pod at the missiles but in reality he was lining up a shot on the Valkyrie with his beam cannons. The Valkyrie, also transforming back into Fighter mode was a half second too late and Hikaru managed to nail it with a pair of beam blasts to the right engine.
“Dammit, I could have sworn I had you boss,” called the pilot of the Valkyrie, one Maximillian Jenius whose Valkyrie showed absolutely no sign of damage except some scorched paint from Hikaru’s direct hit.
“Lightning 3, we show a confirmed hit on Valkyrie 1. He’s going down, over,” crackled a high-pitched female voice over the two pilots’ radios.
“Roger that Control. We’re coming back in over,” replied Hikaru, casting a bemused glance at Max’s Valkyrie which was most certainly not going down. “Let’s close it up for today Max.”
“Damn and I almost had you too. They just had to give you the new model didn’t they?” It may have sounded like complaining but Hikaru knew that Max was likely grinning in his cockpit.
“Well don’t sound too disappointed Max,” said Hikaru, chuckling a bit, “If I got paid for every time that you’ve shot me down in sim, I could retire with Misa as a rich man.”

Later, Max and Hikaru had walked out to the base parking lot. Hikaru waved at Max as the blue-haired man jogged off to his car and was just about to start walking in the direction of where he parked, when his car came around the corner and pulled up next to him. A beautiful brown-haired woman leaned out the window and pulled the sunglasses she was wearing down enough to reveal her vivid green eyes and said, with a smirk, “Hey there fly-boy. Need a lift?”
Hikaru grinned himself and replied, “Gunsight One, I think you have things a little mixed up. I’m supposed to do the driving.” Captain Misa Hayase frowned at him.
“Just get in the car Ichijyo, or you’re walking back to the Megaroad.”
With a smile and a shrug, Hikaru tossed his bag into the backseat and climbed into the passenger seat.

A short while later, Hikaru and Misa walked into the quarters they had been temporarily sharing in a barracks building. The rooms were very sparse, likely due to the many packing boxes that were stacked around the room.
“Hey I thought the dockworkers were supposed to have all this stuff transferred to the ship by now.
“We’ve got most of them working extra time trying to make last minute additions to the ship. Admiral Global wants the ship launched on the 8th and we will have the ship launched if we have to get outside and push.” Hikaru put his hands on Misa’s shoulders so they could look at each other squarely in the eye.
“So who is going to move our boxes from here to our quarters on the Megaroad?” Misa just smiled sweetly.
“I have a couple of guys coming tomorrow to do it. We’ll have to help them though, if we want to get the stuff moved before the staff meeting I have to go to with the Admiral,” she said as she broke free from Hikaru and headed into the bedroom. Hikaru was about to make a short retort but cut himself off. He’d learned both from experience and from Claudia LaSalle that trying to argue with Misa when she had her mind made up about something like this was a recipe to be sleeping on the couch. Instead he settled on a different tactic.
“I’ll call Millia and Max and see if they can lend a hand.”
“Oh no you don’t!” retorted Misa, poking her head around the frame of the bedroom door. A bare shoulder indicated that she was changing from her uniform to normal clothes. “Max and Millia have a kid to raise and besides Max is busy with his own duties tomorrow. The only reason you get time off is to get set up on the ship.” She retreated back into the bedroom and Hikaru sighed. After thinking about it for a moment, he slinked into the kitchen and picked up the phone. He knew a couple of Skull Squadron grunts that would be just thrilled to help out their commander with moving.

Across town a beautiful, dark-haired woman stepped through the doors of the Lake Global Plaza, one of the few fancy hotels in Macross City. She wore a long coat, a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses that seemed somewhat out of place now that the sun had gone down. She walked up to the desk and the rotund, balding clerk glanced up from the computer he was typing at.
“Can I help you?” he asked somewhat snootily.
“I have a reservation,” replied the woman. She had an accent that the clerk didn’t recognize.
“Name please.” The woman smiled a dazzling smile and pulled the glasses down to reveal her eyes and the rest of her face. The clerk’s eyes widened in recognition.
“Lynn Minmei-desu.”

Macross Odyssey Prologue



            In the year 1999, an alien spaceship crash-landed on South Ataria Island in the Pacific ocean. The discovery electrified the human race, especially due to the fact that, after careful examination, it was discovered that whatever race had built the mysterious ship had built it as a warship. The discovery initiated a series of events that led to the new united earth government and a technological boom the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Industrial Revolution. These discoveries didn’t come without a price. Many nations didn’t wish to give up their autonomy and this led to the Unification Wars.
Ten years passed and the repaired alien ship, rechristened the SDF-1 Macross, was ready for launch. Unfortunately an ancient program hidden in the still-misunderstood systems of the ship opened fire when ships from the alien Zentradi began to approach the Earth searching for the crashed Macross. This incident ignited what would become known as Space War I, a war that would become the worst conflict in the history of humanity. The Macross leapt to humanity’s defense, doing all they could to keep the Zentradi away from earth. Along the way, they learned that the Zentradi were actually semi-human and had been specifically bred for war by the ancient Protoculture. The Zentradi warriors began to be affected by the humans’ own culture to the point where some actually defected. Unfortunately this was not enough and the Zentradi Main Fleet laid siege to Earth, wiping out most of the surface and population before the Macross and Zentradi defectors could stop them. That was in December 2009.
Three years later, humanity is slowly rebuilding. The leaders of the new Earth government have also determined that the only way to make sure that humanity never faces extinction again is to launch colony ships out into space to spread humanity among the stars. The first of these ships is the SDF-2 Megaroad-01. Captained by war veteran Misa Hayase Ichijyo, the ship is nearing completion at the dry-dock in Macross City…