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Weekly Poll Winner: Macross

October 19, 2009

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This Week’s Poll was: What is the Best Mecha Anime?

The Winner: Macross!

Macross (マクロス, Makurosu?) is a long-running series of science fiction Mecha anime, created by Shōji Kawamori of Studio Nue in 1982. The franchise features a fictional History of Earth/Humanity after the year 1999. The franchise title features three TV series, three movies, six OVAs, and two manga series, all sponsored by Big West Advertising. Within the series, the term Macross is used to denote the main capital ship. This theme began in the original Macross, the SDF-1 Macross.


The series title comes from the name of the main human spacecraft (which is usually shortened from Super Dimension Fortress). The original name for the Macross project was Battle City Megaload (or Battle City Megaroad, as the Japanese transliteration to either “L” or “R” gives the title a double meaning in reference to the story line: Megaload, referring to the spacecraft containing an entire city of people; and Megaroad, referring to the long journey through space back to Earth); however, one of the sponsors of the project, Big West Advertising, was a fan of Shakespeare and wanted the series and the spacecraft to be named Macbeth (マクベス, Makubesu?). A compromise was made with the title Macross (マクロス, Makurosu?) due to its similar pronunciation to Macbeth in Japanese and because it still contained connotations to the original title. The word Macross comes from a wordplay combination of the prefix “macro” in reference to its massive size (though when compared with the alien ships in the series, it is only a relatively small gun destroyer) and the distance they must cross.


The following are themes commonly seen and established among the various series in the Macross franchise.

U.N. Spacy

The U.N. Spacy is a fictional military arm of the Earth U.N. Government (地球統合政府, Chikyū Tōgō Seifu?). It was established by the successor to the modern United Nations in order to defend Earth from a possible attack by hostile aliens, and was involved in Space War I against an extraterrestrial race called the Zentradi. Later operations of the U.N. Spacy expanded into interstellar colonization and general peacekeeping of off-world Earth settlements. The term “Spacy” is an extrapolation of the terms Army and Navy – though some Japanese sources also use the term Space Army and some English-language sources use the term Space Navy, suggesting that the term is a contraction.

Variable Fighters

A variable fighter is one of a series of transformable aerospace fighters, primarily designed by Studio Nue’s Shoji Kawamori and Kazutaka Miyatake. They are generally able to transform into jet/space fighters, a humanoid robot and a hybrid of the two mode, better known as Gerwalk. These crafts are referred to in the original series by the model name “Valkyrie”.

Music

Music plays an integral part in almost every Macross title, having significances in the way a series’ antagonists behave towards it. Music idols also play a central role to various Macross stories. Often, the protagonist will be forced into a love triangle with a series’ music idol; the most notable of them all is Lynn Minmay.

Space Fold

further expands on that concept by introducing fold faults or dislocations which further slow down fold travel and interfere with fold communications. Also explained in Macross Frontier are the limitations of space folding, such as the geometric increase in energy requirement with the mass of the object to be folded. This prevents very large objects to be folded across vast distances because of the enormous energy requirements.Faster-than-light travel in the Macross franchise is achieved via space-folding. This capability was introduced when the SDF-1 crash-landed on Earth. It has since been officially described as a type of space warp (or what is called super-light-velocity spatial displacement) navigation, allowing ultra-long distance travel nearly instantaneously. Simply put, a space-fold transports a spacecraft in a very short amount of time, by first swapping the location of the spacecraft with super dimension space or subspace, and then swapping the Super Dimension space with the space at the destination. According to U.N. Spacy First Lieutenant Hayase Misa during Space War I (2009-2010), an hour passes in super dimension space as approximately ten days passes in normal space. The latest Macross T.V. series Macross Frontier. The act of entering Super Dimension space is called “fold in”. When arriving at the destination, the act of leaving Super Dimension space is called a “defold” or a “fold out”.

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