Once upon a time, there was an anime series called “Macross.” This was pretty much the best thing humans have done since we climbed down out of the trees. Yeah, granted, the last six episodes were kinda’ weak, but the thirty prior to that were varying degrees of amazing. “Macross” was exposed to American audiences in a somewhat adumbrated fashion as the first third of “Robotech” in 1985, but it was still pretty amazing.
How amazing? Imagine a painting so wonderful that it still looks pretty good even if a three year old scribbles all over it, and then pukes malt-o-meal on it. Picture a sculpture that’s so great that it’s still great even if someone covers it over with neon lights and adds fiberglass grilled cheese sandwiches for some reason. Macross is good enough that it survived its Robotechization.
In the thirty years since then it’s spawned two full-length TV series, several miniseries, several straight-to-video episodes, and a couple theatrical movies. Hopefully it’s not done yet. It’s great stuff, and eventually I hope to plow through all of it on Republibot. Thus far, alas, the only thing I’ve managed to do is the “Macross Zero” prequel series ( http://republibot.com/content/tv-review-macross-zero-%E2%80%9C-ocean-win... ) and about a third of the actual original “Macross” itself. Ah well. Someday.
Anyway, eventually they decided to do a “Macross” sequel. This was problematic, as the original creator/producer was basically done with the franchise, and had no intention of coming back to it. The project was given to another studio, who created their own story out of whole cloth with no particular input from the previous series, and using it only in broad strokes for style. It was not amazingly successful, and eventually the original creator decided he wanted to revisit the universe, which he did in his “Macross 7” series. Of course he refused to be tied down by some crap other people had grafted on to his masterpiece, so he simply ignored it. “Macross II” was retroactively removed from continuity, and its official status is that it’s now a ‘Parallel World’ story.
To be honest, though, I don’t see why it should be. Yeah, granted, some of the things it says about earth don’t quite truck with what we hear and see in Macross 7 and Macross Frontier, *but* Macross II is set so far in the future (After both those other series) that the conflict isn’t major. There’s a few physical differences, mostly in the way the capital of the world is depicted, but there’s nothing there that couldn’t be explained away by some radical urban renewal projects. So I count it, even if no one else does, though I admit one has to squint and maybe be a little blind in one eye in order to make it fit.
But, hey, even if it isn’t canon anymore, it still needs to be reviewed, right?
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s 2092, about three generations after the events of the original Macross series. About the years in between, we know little apart from that there are still small groups of renegade Zentradi roaming around, and occasionally they attack earth. They have always been soundly defeated, owing mostly to “The Minmei Defense,” which leaves the UN Spacey (United Nations Space Force) little to do apart from pick ‘em off fish-in-a-barrel style. The last such conflict was ten years before. This was obviously a big news story, but the best reporter, and the one who kind of ended up as the ‘face’ of the conflict (Like, say, Wolf Blitzer did in the first gulf war) was Dennis Lone.
In the years since the war, Dennis has grown soft, and become a drunk. He still has high standards, he still believes in his job, but his job doesn’t really believe in him. There’s no hardboiled stories to cover, instead his network mostly goes after sex scandals and tabloid crap. Also, the military exhibits a large degree of editorial power over stories they consider ‘sensitive.’
Sylvie Gena is a 17-year-old flying ace who’s never seen actual combat, but she’s won every competition there is to win. She’s in Spacey, and has her own squadron, “Fairy Squadron,” consisting entirely of similarly gifted girls. She’s concerned about how soft the military has gotten in the last 80 years, relying entirely on one weapon, and she fears that it’ll eventually lose its effectiveness, or else some enemy will come up with a counter defense rendering it impotent. For absolutely no logical reason I can ascertain, she decides to discuss this with