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The Itano Circus refers to an animation technique where volleys of missiles are fired simultaneously. It has become a signature of the Macross franchise and seen throughout the Macross Timeline. The idea had originated from Ichirō Itano who originally implemented the idea while he worked in Mobile Suit Gundam, and inspired countless scenes in animated series and features, including the infamous Daicon video shorts.


Why fire one missile when you launch a whole circus?

—Ichirō Itano

The Itano Circus refers to when variable fighters or other large-scale mechanical units fire excessive amounts of missiles that seek and destroy a target, particularly when the target manages to avoid a majority of or even all of them, looping and spinning their craft like an acrobat through the cloud of missiles. The animation technique was created by Ichirō Itano, who had originally created while animating certain scenes for the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Itano recounted how the idea had been inspired by his childhood in Yokohama when he imitated Kikaider/Kikaida's rocket-equipped motorcycle by strapping fifty or so toy rockets and a Zippo lighter on his bicycle.

After production for that Gundam winded down, Itano fell back to working as a truck driver. When Studio Nue was founded, they remembered his brilliant choreography and sought to hire him for their new production Super Dimension Fortress Macross. The rest is history.[1]


  1. Egan Loo’s Macross Memories, 21 November 2004.

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