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Countdown (カウント·ダウン Kaunto Daun) is the second episode of Super Dimension Fortress Macross. It first aired in Japan on October 3, 1982.[1][2]


Fan Racer pilot Hikaru Ichijyo is about to get a joy ride in a Valkyrie fighter from his Senpai, Major Roy Focker, when an air raid alert is called - Aliens are attacking. Left alone by Focker, and having nothing better to do, he falls asleep in the cockpit, only to be awoken by an order to launch into combat. Hikaru gets his first taste of combat, and also meets 15-year-old Lynn Minmay, the young woman who will have the greatest impact on the rest of his life. The Macross begins its launch and its crew finds themselves facing an unknown enemy and an uncertain future.[3]


Act One

  • ...the calm before the battle...
  • Sir! I'm picking up 24 additional UFOs on a descent vector!
  • 24? Weren't you able to detect them before now?
  • These guys are good...
  • Hayase, can Focker's squadron come back to guard the Macross?
  • No sir, he's still fighting off the first wave, he can't break away yet.
  • "Good work!"
  • "What is that thing?"
    "I think it's an alien robot!"
  • Hey! Minmay! Minmay!
  • Debut of the Sea Sergeant Helicopters.
  • This is helicopter PHP-202, we're currently patrolling the bay harbor.
  • Debut of the Regult Battle Pods.
It is the calm before the battle and on the bridge of the SDF-1 MacrossMacross Operator First Lieutenant Vanessa Laird reports to Captain Global that she's detected 24 UFOs on a descent vector. She couldn't detect them before because the Reaction Weaponry used to intercept the first attack wave rendered their radar ineffective. Captain Global realizes that the first wave was just a decoy, complementing the enemy's ingenuity. Captain Global asks First Lieutenant Hayase if Focker's squadron can come back to guard the Macross but he cannot as he is still fighting off the first wave and can't break away yet. First Lieutenant Laird reports that the 24 targets have splashed down in the sea 30 clicks ahead of them, so Global gives orders to call the Prometheus to send some patrol helicopters. Luckily, First Lieutenant Hayase had already done that. Five minutes later, Sea Sergeant Helicopters fly over South Ataria Island while, Hikaru is sitting in VT-102 in Battroid mode and it walks towards the Nyan-Nyan. Hiding between neighboring buildings, the Mayor, his colleague and another civilian see VT-102 and think it's an alien robot. Lynn Minmay, her aunt, and her uncle hide behind the entrance to the Nyan-Nyan. Yoshio runs over from across the street, past VT-102. He had no regard that the thing could've stepped on him according to Minmay. Yoshio is excited and runs up to Minmay's room on the third floor to get a better look at the robot. Meanwhile, Helicopter PHP-202 and another helicopter patrol the bay harbor, and First Lieutenant Hayase tells the pilot of PHP-202 to be careful. Several Regult Battle Pods, arise from the waters. and begin firing on the helicopters with their electron beam guns. The pilot of the second helicopter tries to turn back but he's killed, the pilot of PHP-202 fires the two outermost Self-Propelled Torpedoes on the wings of PHP-202 at the Regult Battle Pods but he too is unfortunately killed. On the bridge of the SDF-1, First Lieutenant Hayase informs Captain Global that their recon group has been shot down. Captain Global deduces that the enemy are forming a containment perimeter around the island and tells his crew to stay sharp.

  • Vanessa and Kim, listening to the Politician.
  • "Hey Kim, are we launching?"
  • "It sure looks like it."
  • Shammy has second thoughts about space travel.
  • The Politician questions Global's decision to not launch yet.
The Politician enters the bridge and proceeds to persuade Captain Global to launch the SDF-1 despite the fact that ship isn't fully supplied. While the Politician complains that the Macross has just been on the ground the whole time, First Lieutenant Milliome asks First Lieutenant Kabirov if they are launching. From her observation of the Politician's conversation with Global, she believes so, First Lieutenant Milliome appears to be upset despite the fact she was pumped to go into space the day before, she now appears to have second thoughts. Captain Global finally agrees and the Politician leaves the bridge. The head of VT-102 opens, the back set rises first so Yoshio assumed no-one was inside but Hikaru then arises sitting in the front (or rather, bottom) seat. Hikaru is surprised that his plane became a robot, Minmay and Yoshio are just as surprised and ask Hikaru how it happened but Hikaru has no answer, he also denies he is part of the military so Yoshio accuses him of stealing it. Suddenly, a man driving a Refrigerator Fish Truck honks his horn and tells Hikaru to get out of the way because he's trying to get to the shelter. Hikaru returns inside VT-102 and says goodbye to Minmay. He attempts to make VT-102 walk but nearly falls on the opposite building, so he activates the thrusters but the torque was great enough that VT-102 falls the other way, crashing into the Nyan-Nyan with the upper torso embedded in Minmay's room, luckily she and Yoshio are fine. The SDF-1 attempts to rise from the surface but the gravity control systems which enable it to fly break through the bow of the ship, as First Lieutenant Hayase points out. Captain Global complains about the ship's quality before she interrupts his use of profanity by reminding him it is mainly salvaged parts. Two Refrigerator Fish Trucks try to pull VT-102 leaning on the Nyan-Nyan but it falls the other way, onto one of the houses of the truck drivers. Major Focker leads the Skull Squadron back to the SDF-1 in his VF-1S, telling First Lieutenant Hayase that he's sent the enemy back to where they came from. He's pleased to learn from her that Hikaru managed to make an emergency landing and then tells the rest of his squadron to head back to the Prometheus. He flies around the city, spotting VT-102 and hails Hikaru.

Act Two

Civilians run away as Major Focker lands his VF-1S in GERWALK mode. Approaching, it smoothly transforms into Battroid mode, amazing Hikaru, Yoshio and Minmay. Major Focker jokingly asks Hikaru if he liked his first time getting shot down, but Hikaru is not amused and has questions of his own regarding the fighter planes that turn into robots, Major Focker has no time to explain and Hikaru accuses the military of holding secrets but Major Focker is willing to let Hikaru in on the secret if Hikaru enlists, Hikaru refuses and just asks his Senpai to help him up. Five minutes later, Major Focker finishes repairs on VT-102 and tells Hikaru to put both feet on the pedals and press slowly, after doing so, VT-102 can stand on its two feet again. Minmay says goodbye to Hikaru and runs back with Yoshio to her aunt and uncle, they are apparently the last civilians who haven't evacuated. Major Focker smiles as he stares at Minmay's Skirt through his VF-1S Valkyrie's camera, he jokes that Hikaru is a "dog" and is taking after himself more everyday. Regult Battle Pods, Regult Light Missile Carriers, Regult Heavy Missile Carriers, Regult Tactical Scouts and Glaug Battle Pods emerge from the rocky shores of South Ataria Island, flying towards the city. Up in orbit, a soldier messages Vrlitwhai's Nupetiet-Vergnitzs-class Fleet Command Battleship to inform him that the Regult platoons have made landfall. Vrlitwhai orders all ships to prepare for barrage and to provide support for the ground units, they obey and deploy their guided beam cannons. Back in Macross City, Major Focker suggests to Hikaru that they should get going too but he cannot pilot as well as Major Focker so Major Focker assists him, telling him to change to GERWALK mode by pulling the lever marked "G" because the controls in that mode are fairly close to those on a Fighter. Minmay's with Lynn Shaochin, Lynn Feichun, Yoshio, Yoshio's Father and Yoshio's Mother near the shelter but Minmay forgot something at the house so she has to go back for it despite the danger. As she leaves, her aunt tells her to be careful. A soldier informs Vrlitwhai that all ships are ready for barrage, Vrlithwai tells him to fire as the Regult platoons advance but reminds him that their primary objective is to capture the enemy battleship.

Beams rain down on South Ataria Island, destroying many buildings and killing many humans. Major Focker and Hikaru see the damage done to the city. Major Focker suggests they check up on Minmay and her family, Hikaru agrees. At the Macross, Captain Global asks First Lieutenant Laird where the last barrage came from, she tells him that last attack was launched from orbit. First Lieutenant Hayase then says that multiple enemy units are closing in; it's a ground assault. The battle pods jump from the cliffs down to Macross City, the Heavy Missile Carrier variants fire their many Heavy Multi-Warhead Missile (Type Two) at the Macross. In response, Gunsight One orders all Valkyries to assume Battroid Mode (or "B-mode", as First Lieutenant Hayase calls it) and destroy enemy units, the Brown Squadron and Cerulean Squadron roger. In the city, a VF-1A Valkyries and Armored Personal Carriers face off against the Battle Pods. Minmay, who has returned to the city, gets chased by a Regult, it is about to step on her but Major Focker destroys it and shields her from the blast with his VF-1S in GERWALK mode. He tells Hikaru to protect her while he drives off the enemy. Hikaru uses the arms of VT-102 to grab onto Minmay. Hikaru takes off in GERWALK mode, flying through Heavy Multi-Warhead Missiles (Type Two) with Minmay in the left hand. Hikaru apologizes to Minmay for the rough ride, Major Focker asks him if everything is all right, Hikaru says he is ok but Major Focker meant the girl, and calls Hikaru a pudnucker and does not care if Hikaru gets killed as long as the girl is safe. Hikaru suddenly remembers VT-102 has two seats. Caught up in a swarm of missiles, the left arm of VT-102 breaks off and Minmay falls out, luckily, Hikaru opens the cockpit and pulls Minmay into the back seat. He flies low in the ruins of Macross City. While crying, Minmay notices that her hair is ruined. Hikaru asks her what's more important, her hair or her life? Minmay jokingly replies that it's her hair and they both laugh. They both scream VT-102 is about to crash into a Regult. Hikaru activates the thrusters to brake and passes through the legs of the Regult before tumbling over, as VT-102 gets up, Hikaru notices that Minmay is unconscious and panics, deciding to fire his GU-11 55 mm Three-barrel Gatling Gun Pod at the Regult, he screams and fires until he runs out of ammo. The Regult falls over and out comes a giant humanoid, who removes its helmet to reveal a human-like face. Seeing the giant step on a car, Hikaru screams in fear. Luckily, Major Focker shoots down the giant in his VF-1S. Hikaru is in disbelief as Major Focker explains to him the secret behind the Battroids. First Lieutenant Hayase tells Captain Global that engineering reports that the standard rockets are ready for lift off. He asks for the status on the evacuation, to which First Lieutenant Milliome replies that all of the island's civilians have evacuated to the shelter. Captain Global now orders the second launch attempt, he is sure that it will work despite First Lieutenant Hayase's doubts. The Macross now takes off successfully using conventional rockets. Dust and exhaust from the launch gathers around the body of the alien giant and First Lieutenant Hayase asks Major Focker to provide escort for the Macross, he takes off with his VF-1S in GERWALK mode, telling Hikaru to go too but Hikaru does not reply and cuts communications off in the cockpit of VT-102. The sudden appearance of the giant alien and its violent death taught Hikaru the true meaning of terror. Major Focker's calls went unheard as Hikaru sat, immobilized, unable to comprehend what he hand seen.





The year is 2009, the alien battleship that fell to Earth ten years ago has been rebuilt by human hands and named "The Macross". However, on the day of the ship's launch, an automatic defense system in the giant vessel suddenly activates, firing the main cannon and plunging humanity into conflict with an alien race. Meanwhile, Hikaru Ichijyo, a pilot invited to the launch ceremony by his friend, Roy Focker, was accidentally ordered to fly a Valkyrie fighter into combat by First Lieutenant Misa Hayase. Overwhelmed by his first taste of combat, Hikaru was shot down by beams fired from an enemy battle pod. Now as the alien forces land on Earth and prepare to initiate a major ground assault, the fighting enters a brief and continuous low, the calm before the battle...

—Recap Narration00:01:33:05 to 00:02:27:15

Politician: Well, well well. I must say it's always a pleasure to come and see this fine bridge. So anyway Global, just when do you plan on launching the Macross?

Captain Global: When will we launch, Sir? It's not even fully supplied!

Politician: That's your answer to everything, isn't it, Global? Now we've sunk a lot of capital under repairing this ship, Global. We'd hate to see it destroyed sitting on the ground.

Captain Global: Yes, I understand that, Sir, but without a full...

Politician: ...ARMD-02 is still combat ready, launch and dock with it immediately! Personally, I can't understand why you've just been standing here this whole time...are you waiting for them to pass over?

Captain Global: Sir, you must understand we have reports that the enemy forces have warships even bigger than the Macross.

Politician: This has nothing to do with size, Global, it's about having the ambition to get the job done!

Captain Global: But, Sir!

Politician: Or are you telling me that the Macross will be defeated here without even putting up a fight?

Captain Global: Well, I.

Politician: Then begin the launch.

Captain Global: At once, Sir.

Politician: Excellent! Huh, you just leave the negotiations with these aliens to us politicians.

Politician (to Shammy and Kim): You girls do your best too, okay?

*Politician leaves the bridge*

Captain Global: In other words, we're simply buying time.

—Politician to Captain Global, 00:04:41:14 to 00:06:08:18

Shammy: Gravity control systems 1 through 48, are you in the clear?

Unnamed Crew: Number 4 is clear!

Shammy: Understood!

Unnamed Crew: Number 16, preparations complete!

Shammy: Roger, Number 31, are you clear?

Kim: GH block 24, prepare for launch.

Shammy: Number 34, are you clear?

Unnamed Crew: 34, clear!

Kim: AF 74 through 140, please complete preparations ASAP. Docking crews, secure all...for liftoff...crew...

Shammy: Block 25, prepare for launch ASAP.

Vanessa: Incoming transmission from UN Forces HQ. Fighter retrieval is complete. Space carriers ARMD-01 and ARMD-02, now proceeding to rendezvous point

Captain Global: Alright then. Claudia, what is out current reactor status?

Claudia: We can launch at any time, Captain.

Captain Global: Very well then. All hands, commence liftoff!

Misa, Kim, Vanessa, Shammy: All hands, commence liftoff!

Claudia: Transferring main reactor output to gravity control systems. T-minus 10 seconds to liftoff. Nine...Eight...Seven...Six...Five...Four...Three...Two...One...Zero!

*Gravity control systems activate*

Captain Global: Takeoff!

*The Macross rises, separating itself from the supports.*

Captain Global: Good. That's it...

*The gravity control systems breakthrough the bow and the crew experience turbulence.*

Captain Global: What's happening, LaSalle?

Claudia: I have no idea, sir!

Misa: Ah, Captain, look! The bow!

Captain Global: Huh?!

*Captain Global sees the gravity control systems rising*

Captain Global: What in the hell are those?

Claudia: They appear to be our gravity control systems!

Captain Global: What, the gravity systems? It can't be!

*The Macross violently drops to the ground, crushing the supports.*

Captain Global: Is everyone alright?

Bridge Bunnies: Yes, sir.

Captain Global: Kim, Shammy, I want a full damage report!

Shammy & Kim: Right!

Captain Global: This ship is a piece of shi.

Misa: It is mostly salvaged parts, sir.

*Captain Global sits on his chair and sighs*

Captain Global: Don't I know it.

—Attempting to launch00:08:49:00 to 00:10:59:15

Roy: Skull Leader to Gunsight One, Skull Leader to Gunsight One, we've sent the enemy air forces back to where they've came from and we're heading back to the ship.

Misa: Roger Major, we copy.

*Claudia nudges Misa*

Claudia: So how many did you get?

Roy: Only 10, babe.

Claudia: That's pretty lame!

Roy: Hey, 2 years of peace, you get rusty! Say, you got a locale for VT-102?

Misa: VT-102 made an emergency landing in the city.

Roy: He did? Alright!

Misa: Wait, is there something wrong with VT-102?

Roy: I'll explain later. That's it, over and out. Skull Leader to all units, you guys head back to the Prometheus, I gotta make a quick layover first.

Rest of Skull Squadron: Roger!

—Skull Squadron returns from battle.00:11:22:10 to 00:12:05:00

Roy: Hikaru, take care of the girl.

Hikaru: And just how do I do that?

Roy: Oh, quit your bitching! I'll drive off the enemy fire, come on, move it!

*Hikaru prepares to grab Minmay using the hands of VT-102*

Hikaru: Grab on, hurry!

Minmay: Huh, You again?

Hikaru: Just do it, ok?

Minmay: But I...

Roy: Move, kid, get outta here!

—Roy to Hikaru00:18:09:02 to

Hikaru: No way! It can't be!

Roy: Ah, but it is. And now you know the secret, we built the Battroid the fight these giants.

Hikaru: This can't be real!

Roy: It's real, kid. Still, I had no idea that they'd look like us!

—Roy explains the secret behind the Battroids00:21:55 to 00:22:10

Captain Global: In that case, fire the main rockets and take us up at once!

Misa: Do you think it'll work this time, sir?

Captain Global: Don't worry, this system was built on Earth. Light 'em up!

Bridge Crew: Sir!

—Captain Global orders the second launch attempt00:22:26 to 00:22:37


  • Macross (OP)00:00:00:00 to 00:01:30:18
  • Runner (ED)00:20:00:07 to 00:25:16:06

Notes & TriviaEdit

  • When Roy returns from battle, he says Skull Leader to Gunsight One (スカルリーダよりガンサイト1へ Sukarurīda yori Gansaito 1 e). Gunsight is the tactical call-sign for the bridge of the SDF-1 Macross, and it is the fanzine title of the Gundam fan club that creator Shoji Kawamori, character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, and writer Hiroshi Oonogi (Members #1, #2, and #3) founded while at Keio University.[4]


  1. "Chôjikû Yôsai Macross" Countdown (TV Episode 1982) - IMDb
  2. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (TV) [Episode Titles] - Anime News Network
  4. Macross TV Series Liner Notes | AnimEigo


For the Robotech equivalent, visit Countdown.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross Episodes
"Boobytrap"  • "Countdown"  • "Space Fold"  • "Lynn Minmay"  • "Transformation"  • "Daedalus Attack"  • "Bye-Bye Mars"  • "Longest Birthday"  • "Miss Macross"  • "Blind Game"  • "First Contact"  • "Big Escape"  • "Blue Wind"  • "Global Report"  • "Chinatown"  • "Kung Fu Dandy"  • "Phantasm"  • "Pineapple Salad"  • "Burst Point"  • "Paradise Lost"  • "Micro Cosmos"  • "Love Concert"  • "Drop Out"  • "Good-bye Girl"  • "Virgin Road"  • "Messenger"  • "Love Drifts Away"  • "My Album"  • "Lonely Song"  • "Viva Maria"  • "Satan's Dolls"  • "Broken Heart"  • "Rainy Night"  • "Private Time"  • "Romanesque"  • "Goodbye, Tenderness"
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