While the infamous Budwiser missile hidden amongst the Itano Circus in the explosive finale of Do You Remember Love is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about gags planted by the staff the original TV series features a number of overlooked gems. One that flew over the heads of the Robotech generation were the names of the three Zentradi stooges that snuck onto the SDF-1 as spies. While Warera, Loli, and Conda's names appear harmless at first, in Japanese they actually spell out the not-so-subtle message, warere rorikon da: "We are pedophiles." Don't worry guys, we promise not to rat you out to governor Ishihara!
Gross misuse of culture
The Zentradi were slowly sliding towards assured extinction long before they disobeyed the teachings of their ancestors and confronted the Microns. Their conflict-based society knew how to command and pilot their war machines, but lacked the mechanical ability to repair, much less build them. It was only a matter of time before the factory gears went awry and the dreadnoughts stalled into silence.
Good thing the Earthlings brought them the gift of culture! After learning how to fix their broken weapon facilities through the power of pop music, they mastered the mysteries of mutton and cutlery. Like monkeys that turn objects in their environment into simple tools, the Zentradi display a high level of innovation by fashioning forks into makeshift cages. You’d expect more secure means of confinement from a race with planet crushing technology, but to the Zentradi building a better mousetrap means perfecting a black hole generator, so perhaps it worked out in favor of Minmay and her alcoholic cousin.
The army of the future with the organization of yesterday
Macross was an industry forerunner in many ways. It set the gold standard for all proceeding sci-fi anime with its (at the time) unorthodox mixing of high drama, transforming robots, and young idols. Unfortunately, for all the technological wonders promised by the titular dimension-leaping, mighty morphing flying fortress, its vision of future infrastructure was so near-sighted as it to keep it grounded.
Pilots report for duty using payphones and rush to the sortie point in civilian taxis. Officers are summoned over a city-wide loudspeaker system like a child lost in the supermarket. Sure they have arcade games with scaling vector graphics and 3D displays, but lack everyday technology rudimentary by today’s standards. Forget about wireless communication. Or IC chip personnel tracking. Or a reliable way to deploy troops. Earth never stood a fighting chance against the Zentradi until they discovered the Minmay attack, but even abject despair is no excuse for lazy planning.
Sailors get scurvy; inhabitants of the SDF-1 get googly eyes. Is it from the constant exposure to fluorescent lights? The stress from living inside a war zone manifested? Mass hysteria? We’ll never know if the cause was lazy animators or purposefully lazy eyes.
Happy cosmic wedding
Max and Milia answer the age-old otaku conundrum: Can love bloom, even on a battlefield? Their courtship stands as a historic first for nerd marriages. Not only was their first face-to-face meeting across the romantic glow of a game monitor, they even sprung to have a giant robot-shaped cake at their wedding. People today are able to exchange their vows in Klingon (or even in Zentradi), free from shame and ridicule, thanks to the precedence set by their brave love.
Space age comfort
Serving as the mechanical brain of the Macross, its command center represents the pinnacle of technology that looms tall against the unknown blackness of space. The future of the human race hangs in the balance of the decisions made here by Captain Global and his crew.
When series director Ishiguro Noburo and character designer Makimoto Haruhiko gave birth to Lynn Minmay, I doubt they had any indication of the damage their daughter would wreck on the psyche of young boys across the country. The teen idol was an accepted proxy girlfriend for the kids too busy cramming for entrance exams to chase skirts, and Miss Macross was the next eventual step down the slippery slope of virtual relationships.
Minmay set a precedence of beautiful girls further and further removed from reality. Her DNA provided the blueprints for anime's first virtual heroine, an amazingly mind bending feat, given that anime is virtual by its very nature. Eve, the computerized idol that served as the benevolent protector of the 1985 OVA Megazone 23, had the same parents as Minmay, Ishiguro and Makimoto. Megazone 23 inherited a number of hand-me-down themes from Macross, including transforming robots, a contemporary Tokyo setting, and pop music to appease the masses. The OVA moved over half a million units, making it the best selling VHS film of the year, anime or otherwise. Paired with the success of its contemporary and similarly bishojo-powered Fantastic Adventure of Yohko Leda, 1985 marked the start of the countdown to extinction for 3D girls.
If Minmay and Eve are sisters, then Macross Plus' Sharon Apple is their younger cousin, and Hatsune Miku their niece. Before you damn the vocaloid, remember that it all began with one girl, whose boyfriend was a pilot.
Speaking of cute girls, Macross pioneered the marketing ploy of featuring an abnormal number of women in its crew. All of the command room members are female—Captain Global could have been the star of the first harem show if the focus wasn’t on the Space War.
Bumbling at best, dangerous to his passengers at worst, Captain Global stumbles through the series, stopping only to bang his head on low hanging archways and be chided by Shammy for forgetting—again—that the deck is non-smoking. His grand character arc of pleading for peace with the UN concludes with him making a halfhearted pass at Misa, one that she gracefully laughs off because a woman her age is legally bound by Japanese law to serve as someone’s surrogate mother, not their stand-in daughter.
That's it from these guys. Do you have any Macross trivia or memories to add? Have you ever made pineapple salad for your significant other? Or dressed your dog up like a VF-1 dressed up like a Zentradi soldier to re-enact Rick/Hikaru's daring escape? Or played the Robotech pen and paper RPG? If so, TSB wants to know!