Macross Zero (マクロス ゼロ Makurosu Zero?) is an OVA series which was produced from 2002 to 2004 by Satelight. It was created to celebrate the Macross series' 20th anniversary and serves as a prequel to Super Dimension Fortress Macross that depicts the Unification Wars that took place after the ASS-1 first crashed. The miniseries received the "Outstanding Work Award" for the OVA category at the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2004.
Macross Zero is set in 2008, one year before the events of the original Macross series, depicting the final battles of the Unification Wars between the United Nations Military and the Anti-U.N. Forces, and is also set in the South Pacific, where a gigantic alien spaceship crash, designated ASS-1, landed nine years earlier. Amidst the violence, a U.N. Military F-14A+Kai Super Tomcat pilot named Shin Kudō is attacked by a strange enemy aircraft that can transform itself into a robot. Crash landing on a Mayan Island, he meets two sisters, the stern priestess Sara Nome and the free-spirited Mao Nome. Shin soon learns that this remote island and its peaceful native inhabitants hold a great secret linking them to the mysterious Protoculture alien space ship and would become the focus of the war, whether they like it or not.
Meanwhile, Aries Turner, a researcher working for the United Nations Military, is obsessed with proving her mentor, Dr. Hasford's "Human Protoculture Intervention" hypothesis, hoping to answer mankind's accelerated evolution as a species. Shin eventually returns to his carrier fleet and joins the Skull Squadron, headed by Roy Focker, who also operate brand new transforming fighters, the VF-0 Phoenix. He trains and engages the elite Anti-U.N. SV-51 fighter unit led by D.D. Ivanov and Nora Polyansky, and operating from the Auerstädt, a converted ballistic missile submarine, as both sides fight to locate and control alien "Bird Human" relic, with the peaceful and agrarian Mayan caught in the middle of the war.
Macross Zero was produced to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Macross series. The story is set in 2008, seven months before the war with the alien Zentradi, in the Mayan Island somewhere in the South Pacific. The conflict centers between technologically superior world and traditional civilization, along with the secret of humanity's creation.
Considering that the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross is set in the near future of 2009, this work traces back to the series' past in an attempt to depict the fictional Macross setting during a transition period of global conflict. Director Shōji Kawamori wanted to mix real world aircraft such as the US Navy's F-14 Tomcat and MiG-29 with the series' fantastical variable fighters (VF), despite the fact that the F-14 was officially retired on September 22, 2006 (it was however still in active duty with the Iranian Air Force in 2018).
Kawamori originally envisaged Macross Zero to be a series of short stories involving development of the variable fighter, set in an island in the South Pacific. However, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States occurred during location hunting, and and it was decided to refrain from fully depicting a military style scenario, so Kawamori it change to a more "mythical style" with a focus on ancient folklore. In addition, Kawamori at the time became interested with humanity's connection to nature after he had worked on the 2001 anime Earth Girl Arjuna, in fact there are three references to that anime throughout Macross Zero, even a cameo of Arjuna on a TV the islanders are watching in episode 3.
The original annoucement of the project said it would depict "a story that has been redacted from the chronology of Macross". Kawamori's inspiration came from classified incidents in United States' history that were "deleted" from historical record and would not be revealed to the public for at least fifty years. The story would slowly be forgotten and remembered only as rumors or legend.
Macross Frontier, set in A.D. 2059, retconned this information by describing that the events depicted in Macross Zero actually did occur in July 2008. The in-universe explanation is that the New United Nations Government finally released confidential records regarding the existence of Mayan Island Incident and the development of the VF-0 Pheonix. This is done by having an in-universe film adaptation of the life of Shin Kudo. Frontier's tenth episode, "Legend of Zero" has the cast producing the movie "The Bird Human", with the hopes that it would become a widely known to the public. The film ironically casted Ranka Lee for the role of Mao Nome.
This particular Macross Frontier shares the motif with other Macross works in that the events depicted in each Macross series are all produced within the "fictional world of Macross".
Kawamori's studio Satelight handled the OVA's CG sequences, having proven themselves with Earth Girl Arjuna. In order to distinguish itself from the CG style of 2002's Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, they decided to apply a detailed texture map on their CG models that would make look similar to Hasegawa's model kits. Illustrator Hidetaka Tenjin was involved in the process of adjusting the color tone and lighting to achieve an authentic look.
In order to reproduce the iconic "Itano Circus" in CG, Ichiro Itano served as a special supervisor and guided production of the mecha action. Meanwhile, the fighter aircraft's 3DCG tried to imitate the traditional animation by not interpolating between key frames automatically for a seamless feel with the traditional animation. Many CG cuts also took the mechanical specifications of VF-0 into consideration to allow for a convincing transformation sequence. They even included a tracking control system that locks on targets by following the pilot's eye movement, something that would be adopted by every modern Macross' series following this.
Sequences that could not be convincingly depicted in 3DCG used regular hand-drawn animation.
- Macross Zero Chapter 1 "The Ocean, The Wind, And..." - Released on December 21, 2002 (BCBA - 1332)
- Macross Zero Chapter 2 "The Star Of The Surface" - Released on May 23, 2003 (BCBA - 1333)
- Macross Zero Chapter 3 "Blue And Desperate Battle" - Released on November 28, 2003 (BCBA - 1334)
- Macross Zero Chapter 4 "Jungle" - Released on May 28, 2004 (BCBA - 1335)
- Macross Zero final chapter "Bird-Human" Release on October 22, 2004 (BCBA-1336)
- Macross Zero Blu-ray Disc BOX - ReleaseD on August 22, 2008 (BCXA - 0062)
- Original · Director · Mechanic Design - Shōji Kawamori
- Screenplay - Hiroshi Ōnogi
- Character design - Takuya Saito
- Roy Focker Original Design - Miki Himoto
- Special Feature Director - Ichiro Ishino
- Mechanic design - Junya Ishigaki
- Bird Human Design - Miyatake Kazuki , Okama (last chapter only)
- Mechanic Art - Hidetaka Tenjin
- Main Title Design - Makoto Kamada
- Art Director - Ota Odori
- Art Setting - Akihiro Hirasawa
- Color Design - Shigenobu Haiko
- Photography - Yuji Maeda
- Editing - Yasuaki Takeuchi
- Music - Kunimi Kagejima
- Acoustic Director - Masanobe Minami
- Produce - Onishi Crest, Takanashi Takanashi
- Production Producer - Shinichi Hirai, Hisashi Kunisaki, Michiaki Sato
- Animation Production - Satelight
- Production - Big West, Bandai Visual
|"Arkan~part1~" (Arkan?)||Holy Raz||Holy Raz||Kuniaki Haishima||Main Theme||Holy Raz|
|"Life Song" (第二章?)||Kuniaki Haishima||Kuniaki Haishima||Kuniaki Haishima||Chapter 2||Yutaka Fukuoka, Holy Raz|
|"Yanyan" (第三章エンディングテーマ・挿入歌?)||Kuniaki Haishima||Kuniaki Haishima||Shōji Kawamori||Chapter 3, Ending Theme||Yuka Minasato|
|"Forest Song" (第四章?)||Kousaki Kagejima||Kousaki Kagejima||Kousaki Kagejima||Chapter 4|
|"Horobi No Uta" (最終章?)||Shōji Kawamori, Kousaki Kagejima||Kousaki Kagejima||Sachiko Miyano||Chapter 5||Holy Raz, Shirou Onuki|
All That VF - Macross 25th Anniversary Air Show (Zero Edition)Edit
Coinciding with both the 25th Anniversary of Macross and the Blu-ray releases of volume one of both Macross Zero and Macross Frontier, the official website of Macross Frontier posted two newly animated short films featuring Air Show style demonstrations for both series. People who purchased the first pressings of either Macross Zero or Macross Frontier received a unique code to enter into the website and therefore able to watch the short film of the respective anime.
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Game)
- Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy
- Uta Macross Sma-Pho De-Culture
Notes & TriviaEdit
- In Macross Frontier, the events of Macross Zero were produced into an in-universe movie called "The Bird Human".
- The Bird Human design shares many similarities with the Star Singer, as seen in Macross Δ and its theatrical adaptation, Macross Δ Movie: Passionate Walküre.
- ↑ Macross Zero Wiki
- ↑ Great Mechanic 15" Futabasha, 2004, pp. 84 - 86
- ↑ "Great Mechanic 6" Futabasha, 2002, p.62.
- ↑ Great Mechanic 15" Futabasha, 2004, page 84.
- ↑ Specifically, the sequence involving the VF-0 Reactive Armor, Destroids, and the Prototype Destroid Monster during the final episode.
- ↑ Anime News Network - Promo for Macross All That VF Anime Short Streamed