The “Macross” series, a milestone in science fiction and robot animation, has undergone a surprising evolution. The editorial department of TV Magazine, which produced the “Macross Super Encyclopedia,” explains the background of the popularity of the series along with beautiful, treasured shots of the series.
In 1982, “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross” became a hot topic because it contained all the “dreams of youth,” including superb mechanical action using the variable fighter Valkyrie and a love triangle involving a beautiful idol girl and a beautiful superior officer. 40 years have passed since the birth of “Macross” as of 2022, but evolution has continued during that time. In 2022, 40 years have passed since the birth of “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
The movie version of “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Ai Oboete, Desu ka” was released in 1984, two years after the broadcast of the TV series, and was finished to an overwhelming quality that was impossible for various reasons in the TV series, and the production team’s ideal “Macross” was achieved. The film version of “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Ai o Mochi ga Mochi desu ka” was released in 1984. The film succeeded in creating the ideal “Macross” that the production team had in mind. This film defined the image of “Macross” as high-quality animation.
Looking back at the subsequent history of the “Macross” series, two successor works, “Macross Plus” and “Macross 7,” appeared in the 1990s. Macross Plus” was especially determined to be the last hand-drawn “Macross” and achieved superb animation. The overwhelming quality of “Macross Plus” is still talked about today.
In 2002, “Macross Zero” was created to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the series. As announced, the company said goodbye to hand-drawn animation of mecha scenes and introduced CG animation, which was in its infancy at the time. Even at that time, the shortage of hand-drawn mecha animators was a serious problem, and CG was the best option to achieve the high quality depiction of “Macross”.
This foresight blossomed in 2008 with the broadcast of “Macross Frontier,” a TV series that became a hit in the 2000s for its high-quality CG mecha action, as well as for the live scenes and music of the two heroines. It became one of the most popular hits of the 2000s.
CG was initially introduced mainly for mechanical scenes, but the popularity of “Macross F” songs encouraged the use of detailed CG for live scenes as well. In particular, the theatrical versions of “Macross F the Movie: Itsuwari no Utahime” and “Macross F the Movie: Sayonara no Tsubasa” achieved a high-level fusion of mechanical action and live scenes, and helped to solidify the popularity of “Macross F.” Macross F” has become an undeniably popular series.
The latest in the series, “Macross Delta,” continues this trend. The acrobatic mechanical action of the five variable fighters and the quintet of Valkyries will break new ground in the “Macross” live performance scene.
In “Macross Delta the Movie: Gekijo no Valkyrie” and “Macross Delta the Movie: Absolute LIVE!!!!!!”, the movie version of “Macross Delta the Movie”, the live scenes are also fully CG. The live scenes in “Macross Delta the Movie” have evolved to full CG, and live scenes with elaborate ideas that would be impossible in real life are realized in “Macross Delta the Movie: The Movie”.
The “Macross” series has continued to pursue high quality animation from its birth to the present day. Even though the method of expression has changed from hand-drawn animation to CG animation, the concept has remained unchanged from its origin, “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross”. The “MACROSS” series has never changed its stance of producing high quality images regardless of the paintbrush, and it can be said that the essence of the “MACROSS” series is to continue to evolve with the times.
In October 2022, the 40th anniversary of the “Macross” series, the “Macross Super Encyclopedia” was published, covering the entire series. Why was the “Macross” series created and how did it become a series that has continued for 40 years? In this 40th anniversary year, this book is the perfect introduction to the “Macross” series. How about it?
Text by： Hiroyuki Kawai