Despite our rather infrequent coverage of it, Macross really is one of my favorite things in the world. The Big Three franchises for Science Fiction are (In descending order of greatness): Doctor Who, Stargate, and Star Trek. Yeah, I know Trek is more ubiquitous, but it had a long slow fade out, whereas ’Gate just got better and better, and passed Trek in terms of quality somewhere in during SGA. If we eliminate the “Live action” requirement from the big four series, however, then Macross would handily beat Trek for the number three spot. In fact, I’d even put it above my beloved Babylon 5. I don’t expect you to agree with me, it’s just the way my tastes run.
Despite that, however, there are still several substantial bits of the Macross franchise that I haven’t seen for various reasons. Much of it remains unreleased in the US, it can be difficult to find fan subs, you know the drill, and - as is the case with Star Trek: TAS and Stargate: Infinity - there’s some aspects of the franchise that remain rather low-priority. Such is the case here.
The original Macross came out in 1982, and ran 36 episodes, followed by a theatrical movie in 1985. As the ten-year anniversary of the series rolled around, there was increasing interest in doing a sequel miniseries, as was the popular format of the time. The creator of the original series was uninterested in doing a sequel, as was the studio, thus another studio jumped at the chance to pick up the story and rake in the clams (Clams being a valid medium of financial exchange in Japan), though for contractual reasons they weren’t allowed to use any of the characters from the original show. No matter. It’s a big fake universe to play in, right?
Macross II quickly became the most anticipated Anime series in history, and then…
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s 80 years after the events of Macross. Hibiki is a 17-year old trash reporter working for an exploitive news service specializing in celebrity scandals. As the movie begins, he exposes Silvie, a hot (In both senses of the word) 17-year-old fighter pilot, and a general sneaking into a hotel, apparently for a tryst. Meanwhile, somewhere out in space a 17-year-old alien girl (Yeah, I don’t get the obsession with “Seventeen” either, but there it is) walks into a room wearing an elaborate body stocking that could most charitably be described as serving no function whatsoever. She gets into a big machine, and a whole bunch of Zentradi ships appear in our solar system.
Meanwhile, the Military has cracked down on Hibiki’s story, and is demanding a written apology. The Space Force maintains close censorship on the media, which (It’s implied, but never said) is the reason the news tends to focus on celebrity gossip and infotainment. Hibiki and Sylvie get into an argument that *almost* feels like they’re gonna’ start making out, and then the Zentradi attack. Sylvie runs off to join the defense, and Hibiki gets the job of ferrying a drunken old war correspondent around in an unarmed civilian spacecraft so they can get footage of the battle.
For the last 80 years, the UN has relied upon the “Minmei Defense,” wherein they broadcast a singer’s love songs into battle, which causes the Zentradi to have uncomfortable emotional and physical reactions (Understandable if you’ve ever heard the Robotech version of Minmei sing), which makes them easy pickins’ for earth’s defenders. Alas: this time it doesn’t work. While the Space Force wins, it’s only because of far superior numbers. They take a lot of losses. Hibiki and his reporter friend fly *into* one of the Zentradi ships, where they find the might-as-well-be-naked alien chick, and as they’re loading her into their spacecraft, the war correspondent dies.
Hibiki heads back to earth, but decides to keep the girl secret, allegedly to get a scoop later on, but, hey, come on: look at her! Obviously….well, anyway, so he files his report on the battle, but when it airs the next morning it’s been chopped to ribbons and the network is reporting only light losses and an unqualified victory. The girl, named Ishtar, is an “Emulator” for a new alien race, the Marduk. Wheras the Minmei defense incapacitates Zentradi, the Marduk use the same methods in reverse: To control the Zentradi. Ishtar essentially sings them into battle, and this keeps them immune from other songs. This is a pretty clever idea, since Zentradi in the wild