Macross The Ride (マクロス・ザ・ライド Makurosu Za Raido), also known as Macross R, is a light novel written by Ukyō Kodachi and commissioned by Dengeki Hobby Magazine by ASCII Media Works. The plot is set in an air race competition performed by Valkyries. A total of twelve issues were serialized from the January to the December 2011 on Dengeki Hobby Magazine. Dengeki published the first volume of the novel's collected edition on February 6, 2011, and the second on December 2011. Two Macross The Ride Visual Guides were also released in 2011.
Macross The Ride was spinoff project based on the Macross series that featured a high-stakes Valkyrie racing competition called "Vanquish". The Japanese hobby magazine, Dengeki Hobby Magazine, published photographs of finished Hasegawa plastic model kits and excerpts from the novel, with the text of the novel later serialized on the official Dengeki Hobby website. However, only the first and the last three episodes could be viewed on the web. These web novels were updated on the 25th each month, featuring revisions from the original printed text found on the magazine.
Several tie-in merchandise were produced, including several plastic model kits made in collaboration between Dengeki Hobby Magazine and Hasegawa. Limited 1/72 production models for the VF-11D Thunder Focus and VF-11B Notion II were released in late 2011. In addition, a contest "Macross The Ride Competition" was also held to recruit hobby model makers to produce custom airframes based on The Ride Valkyrie designs that were modified from original Hasegawa plastic models.
|“||... and yet, the girl believed she wanted to fly. The VF-19EF that S.M.S. First Lieutenant Chelsea Scarlett spurs on, dances about the battlefield. Forget that there are songstresses. What are the new trials visited upon the girl who exists as a pilot?||”|
While the six chapters focus on the Vanquish races, the second half of the story, the racing stage moves to the Macross Galaxy, on the resort ship Evena, where top racers participate in Vanquish's most prestigious event, the "Star of Heaven Cup" or "Seiten Cup". However, the race is interrupted by an attack by a mysterious paramilitary force known as the Fasces, (who turn out to be a surviving splinter group of Latence). Soon, many Vanquish racers volunteer to fend off these would-be invaders. Chelsea is captured by Naresuan, the leader of Fasces who hopes to use her singing voice to reactivate a long dormant Protodeviln weapons factory satellite that was discovered during the Protodeviln War.
A combined force of S.M.S. and Vanquish racers form an air corps to rescue Chelsea and stop Naresuan and his forces. The battle rages as they face fierce resistance against Fasces and the infinite production capacity of the possessed factory satellite. Chelsea manages to free herself, and transfer her AI companion "Brünnhilde" to a refurbished YF-25 Prophecy and sings a prayer song in Zentradi to calm the soul of the Protodeviln. Fasces forces eventually surrender and with the battle over, Chelsea finally realizes she wishes pursue singing to connect to her Zentradi heritage.
For the first time in Macross series' history, the main protagonist is a female singer and a pilot.
- Vanquish Race
- A Valkyrie air race operated by the Vanquish Variable Fighter Federation (VVFM). Private or sponsored Valkyries can enter the competition.
|“||I... I'm Meltrandi, so why can't I kill people!?||”|
- Chelsea Scarlett
- Chelsea is the main character of Macross The Ride. She is a Meltran woman with silver hair. A rock vocalist who used to be active in the mid 2040s, she originally became a singer when she met Basara Nekki during the "Galactic Gold Disc Platinum Awards" ceremony. However, she was unable to shed her identity as being merely a "Zentradi singer" and eventually abandons her singing career. She turns to piloting the experimental VF-11B Nothung II for the S.M.S. under Apollo Squadron, but has difficulty shooting enemies down. At the tender age of nineteen, she turned to becoming a top Vanquish racer.
- She lived aboard the Megaroad-13 when she was a child, but was captured by the Protodeviln during the Battle of Barota. She was imprisoned in a capsule and kept deep within an ice planet and used for human experimentation before being rescued by Spacy Forces. Chelsea never fully recovered as she experienced recurring nightmares of "sleeping whilst trapped in ice". Unbeknownst to her, she began developing a singing power called "Sophia Spiritia" that allowed her to possibly awaken and manipulate the Protodeviln, something that would become integral to Naresuan's plan.
- Chelsea could never fully integrate within human or Zentradi society, and instead found her place during the Vanquish races. After the final battle with the Fasces, she realized she could express herself and her Zentradi identity through song.
- In the Macross Δ novel, after the Frontier fleet settles down on the Vajra homeworld in 2059, Chelsea runs for office and is elected senator for the New United Nations Government.
|“||Above the sky, there ain't man or woman, purebred, Zentraadi or mixed.||”|
- Hakuna Aoba
- A Vanquish air racer living on Island 15 of the Frontier fleet. Hakuna pilots the VF-1X++ (Hakuna SP), an old-fashioned tuned-up VF-1 Valkyrie whose performance could easily keep up with the latest variable fighter. He has been close to winning many times in the past, but lost due to his VF-1 failing every time, earning him the nickname, the "Crownless Emperor". He is friends with Chelsea Scarlett. He enjoys rattling off proverbs related to birds to his peers.
|“||I don't borrow the influence of my relatives! It's possible for me to have a great existence while being afraid of the influence of my relatives!||”|
- Magdalena Zielonaska
- A ferocious Vanquish racer with a red hair nicknamed "The Crimson Rose". She is a descendant of Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat and the daughter of the Frontier Fleet's investment bank "Vistula & Oder". As of 2058, she is 19 years old prodigy who skipped a grade in university. Friends call her Lena, and she is proud of her Polish heritage. She pilots the oldest airframe in the entire match, a custom SV-52y Oryol marked with a rose, signifying her family crest. Lena doesn't mind getting her hands dirty as she favors close-quarters combat, making her a fan favorite. She not only challenges Chelsea to a match, but makes her intentions known to bring Hakuna to her racing team.
|“||Dedicate everything to the god of the wing. Only by doing such things will you win.||”|
—Nicolas Francoise Berthier
- Nicolas Francoise Berthier
- Berthier is known as the galaxy's fastest racer. He is the undefeated defending "Grand Champion of Vanquish" for the past ten years. He was born on an affluent pioneering farm on the planet Eden and is currently 34 years old. He is a born Valkyrie fighter pilot, and rumored to have been in the back seat of Valkyrie since he was three years old. At the age of 8, he could already pilot a VT-1. He refused to join the military, instead opting to participate in the Vanquish races. He boasts his undefeated motto, "Every race appearance, always to win". He has multiple cyborg implants, including cranial nerves that replaces human nerves with optical fiber. Despite his physiological advantages, he is committed to using an unmodified VF-9E Cutlass, as AVFs do not interest him.
|“||There isn't enough respect for the machine in the young these days.||”|
—Katori Brown Robbins
- Katori Brown Robbins
- President and field manager of Robbins Maintenance Company. A woman with a brown skin. She maintains vintage Valkyrie by salvaging parts from later Valkyrie models. She believes no aircraft that cannot be fixed.
|“||Even thou you guys says I'm half Zentran, ya don't say I'm half human. Yeah, it's like that. Except for the purebreds, everyone's a space person.||”|
- Takeru Goldenlaub
- A half Zentran from the Kashuebu system. He lost his family during a civil war. He has been tinkering with mecha ever since he was a child, and now possesses a genius-level of understanding of technology. He was recruited by Hakuna to be his team's full-time mechanic.
- Maris Stella
- A young female test pilot of the YF-27-5 Shaher Femail who was under the command of Colonel Grace Godunwa of the Macross Galaxy. Maris was part of "Project Stella", a "cyber-grunt" prototype used for illegal combat data collection on behalf of the Galaxy. The name "Maris Stella" is merely a code name, as she was originally an orphan who lived in the slum of the Macross Galaxy. Colonel Godunwa was in charge the mass production cybernetic soldier plan, "Project Stella". Maria's consciousness is directly linked to Colonel Godunuwa's implant network, which drives her to be ruthless during battle.
- Angers 672
- A green haired Meltran woman who pilots the Queadluun-Alma. She was former New United Nations Spacy pilot of a VF-19EF Caliburn who was recruited by S.M.S. after being discharged from service. While working for S.M.S., she considered herself Chelsea's "older sister" and watched over her career. She is a pilot with formidable skill, have mastered Battroid combat. She was a test pilot for the YF-25 Prophecy, but retired in 2057 to become a journalist.
- Oscar Brauchitsch
- Oscar belongs to the Frontier Branch of Nova Industrie, and ranks third in the Vanquish races on the Frontier fleet. He pilots a VF-19A Excalibur (Brauhitsu sp), which was used in his home country on Earth. He has a cybernetic arm which resulted from an accident five years ago.
- Anthony Clemens
- A man who acts as a partner of the Overlord Bertier. He has many adoring female fans. He pilots a VF-11C Thunderbolt Interceptor.
- Ricardo Bloomberg
- A Chelsea fan club member. He rides a white VF-11C Thunderbolt during the Vanquish race.
- The charismatic leader of Fasces. A Zentradi formerly known as Ogol 7312. He pilots a Neo-Graj Bis and YF-27-5 Shaher Femail.
- During Space War I, he was the commander of the Golg Boddole Zer diversionary fleet that attacked Earth, but had a change of heart when they were moved by Minmay's song and Vrlitwhai Kridanik's speech. After the war, he changed his name to "Naresuan" after the king of Thailand and helped during the reconstruction of the United Nations Government. He became disenfranchised and began believing in an extreme form of centralism, refusing to integrate with "cultures" of Protoculture origin.
On Dengeki Hobby Magazine's issue for January 2011, Macross The Ride author Ukyō Kodachi is quoted during an interview saying:
"I was one of the great many fans from the generation around the time of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, Macross Plus and Macross 7. With the excitement savored at that time and the thrilling feeling of these novelizations planned to work together with the model making in model magazines that were read in the same period, I am now astonished that I am on the side that's telling the stories.
This time's Macross the Ride, even though air races are used as the setting, an ethnic-identity (racial self) theme is also a part of the basis of the story. While layering on the generations, Earthlings and Zentradi cooperate together in a voyage in the vast universe in a large-scale city fleet... In order to depict that, I considered the extreme air race "Vanquish" which used Valkyries.
Even though air races that use Valkyries is a setting that also received support from Supervisor Kawamori, there is also pressure just from his support (laugh). Of course, "song", which cannot be removed from Macross, has also been incorporated. Well, similarly to a space emigrant fleet, even though this may be a lengthy journey from here, receiving your fellowship in this serialization would be greatly appreciated."
The collected editions were published by ASCII Media Works (Dengeki Hobby Books). Author: Ukyō Kodachi, Illustration: Tommy Otsuka. Novels included revisions from the original serialized work that were published on the Dengeki Hobby Website.
- Macross the Ride Volume 1
- First Edition published on June 25, 2011. Includes Episode 1 - Episode 6. ISBN 9784048706544
- Macross the Ride Volume 2
- Published December 24, 2011. Includes episode 7 - Episode 12. ISBN 9784048861229
Published by ASCII Media Works (Dengeki Hobby Books). A4 version. Features samples of model works and scenario / settings originally published in Dengeki Hobby Magazine, along with illustrations, interviews with staff, etc.
- Macross the Ride Visual Book Vol. 1
- Macross the Ride Visual Book Vol. 2
Notes & TriviaEdit
- In Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy, players can complete "Vanquish" air races.
- Vanquish air races share similarities with real life competition, "Red Bull Air Race World Championship".