“My grandfather was an Earthling, and my grandmother a Zentradi. They were the first such interspecies couple in history. Even worse, their species were at war with each other at the time. Nonetheless, they married each other, and showed everyone how Earthlings and Zentradi can live together in peace.”
-Mirage Farina Jenius, Macross Delta, Episode 5
If one follows Shoji Kawamori’s somewhat dodgy, albeit interesting, excuse for an overall Macross timeline, his answer is this: much like history that is studied in classrooms and recreated in period dramas, Macross is the retelling of a historical event. The characters themselves may change, but every iteration will have the Macross staples of fighter pilots in transforming Valkyrie robots, idol singers, and a love triangle.
The first episode of Macross Delta breezes through this checklist with obvious ease. Plucky stowaway Freyja Wion, disillusioned grunt worker Hayate Immelman, and hapless Delta Platoon Lieutenant Mirage Farina Jenius – whose last name should immediately ring a bell with the seasoned Macross fan. Presumably, these three will compose the expected love triangle that will develop against the backdrop of a virus that is both spawned from song and quelled by song. Other checkmarks include the alien race Zentradi, a fighter pilot squadron, and an established group of idol singers that said squadron protects: Walkure.
“You know This is something I have trouble getting people to understand in magazine interviews. For example, you’ve got World War II, and then you have lots of movies based on that event, right? They are all fictional. They’re all based on a war that actually took place, but they are all different. For example, in period dramas you have Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, but there are so many Oda Nobunagas and Tokugawa Ieyasus. The producers look at the real event and adapt the character according to their wishes. The actors and lines also change, so the character changes.”
-Shoji Kawamori in a 1998 interview
What makes Macross, Macross?
“Star-crossed souls slow dancing, retreating and advancing, across the sky until the end of time.”
-DeVotchKa, “Till the End of Time.”
Future human technology in anime (additionally in other media fiction) is often better aligned with the whimsy of the imaginary than current technology. We desperately to believe that such things as flying cars in skyways, traveling by plastic tubes, or food materializers could exist and thanks to the wonderful world of animation, they can. Thanks to the wonderful world of imagination, along with intelligent-sounding faux-scientific terms, they can also appear to be legitimate road for humanity to travel.