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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.

SynopsisEdit

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.[1]

EpisodesEdit

Number

Episode Title

Japanese

1.

The Ocean, the Wind, and...

(海と風と)

2.

The Ground's Star

(地上の星)

3.

The Blue Fight to the Death

(蒼き死闘)

4.

Jungle

(密林)

5.

Bird Human

(鳥の人)

CharactersEdit

U.N. SpacyEdit

Anti-U.N. ForcesEdit

Maya IslandEdit

MechanicEdit

United Nations MilitaryEdit

U.N. NavyEdit

Anti-U.N. ForcesEdit

DevelopmentEdit

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.[2] 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.

The original annoucement of the project said it would depict "a story that has been redacted from the chronology of Macross".[3] 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.[4]

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".

3DCGEdit

Macross Zero is the first in the series to fully utilize 3DCG, although Macross Plus did use CG in certain sequences, along with Macross VF-X2.

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.[5]

ReleaseEdit

  • 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)

StaffEdit

  • 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

SongsEdit

Songs Composer Lyrics Arrangement Debut Vocals
"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.[6]

The music track for this clip was an excerpt from an orchestral track of Macross Frontier titled "Vital Force" composed by Yoko Kanno.

See AlsoEdit

SeriesEdit

MoviesEdit

OVAEdit

GamesEdit

Notes & TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Macross Zero Wiki
  2. Great Mechanic 15" Futabasha, 2004, pp. 84 - 86
  3. "Great Mechanic 6" Futabasha, 2002, p.62.
  4. Great Mechanic 15" Futabasha, 2004, page 84.
  5. Specifically, the sequence involving the VF-0 Reactive Armor, Destroids, and the Prototype Destroid Monster during the final episode.
  6. Anime News Network - Promo for Macross All That VF Anime Short Streamed

External LinksEdit

TV Series Super Dimension Fortress Macross | Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again | Macross 7 | Macross Frontier | Macross Δ
Events Unification Wars | Space War I | Sharon Apple Incident | Protodeviln War | Vajra War
Movies The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? | Macross Plus Movie Edition | Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II: The Movie | Macross Frontier Movie: The False Songstress | Macross Frontier Movie: The Wings of Goodbye | Macross FB7 Galaxy Flow Soul: Listen to My Song! | Macross Δ Movie: Passionate Walküre | Macross Δ Movie: Absolute Live
OVA The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012 | Macross Plus | Macross 7: Encore | Macross 7 the Movie: The Galaxy's Calling Me! | Macross Dynamite 7 | Macross Zero
Books Misa Hayase: White Reminiscences | My Fair Minmay | Macross Ace | Macross Dynamite 7: Mylene Beat | Shōji Kawamori Macross Design Works | Macross Chronicle | Macross 7: Trash | Macross Plus: TAC Name | Macross The Ride | Macross 7th Chord | Super Dimension Fortress Macross The First | Macross F ~Secret Visions~ | Macross Δ Manga | Macross Δ Gaiden: Macross E | Macross Δ: Kuroki Tsubasa no Shiro Kishi | Macross Δ: Ginga wo Michibiku Utahime | Variable Master File | Macross Δ: Girl of Al Shahal
Video Games Super Dimension Fortress Macross (Famicom) | Super Spacefortress Macross | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2036 | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Eternal Love Song | Super Dimensional Fortress Macross II (Arcade) | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Remember Me | Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Skull Leader | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Love Stories | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Skull Leader Complete Pack | Macross Plus (Arcade) | Macross Digital Mission VF-X | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Game) | Macross VF-X2 | Macross 7 -Shake the Heart of the Galaxy- | Macross Plus Game Edition | Macross M3 | The Super Dimension Macross: Aiuchi Typing Valkyrie | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross | Macross Ace Frontier | Macross Triangle Frontier | Macross Ultimate Frontier | CR Fever Super Dimension Fortress Macross | My Boyfriend is a Pilot 2012 | Macross 30: The Voice that Connects the Galaxy | Macross Card Fighter | Pachislot Macross Frontier | Macross Δ Scramble | Uta Macross Sma-Pho De-Culture | P Fever Macross Δ
ONA / Short Film All That VF - Macross 25th Anniversary Air Show | Macross 7 Plus | Macross Fufonfia | Delta Mini-Theater
Concerts Macross One Night Stand | Mylene Night | Macross 25th Anniversary Live: Minmay meets Fire Bomber | Macross Crossover Live A.D. 2009x45x49 | Macross Crossover Live 30 | Fire Bomber 2014 Basara Explosion | ANIME SYMPHONY JAPAN PREMIUM CONCERT MACROSS 35th × Macross F 10th Anniversary | Macross Crossover Live 2019
Drama / Character Album The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Vol. III MISS D.J. | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Vol. IV Distantly Fading Memories | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Vol. V Rhapsody In Love | Macross 7 Docking Festival | Macross 7 CD Cinema 1: Mellow Heart Beat | Macross 7 CD Cinema 2: Melodious Illusion | Macross 7 CD Cinema 3: Galaxy Song Battle | Macross Generation | The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Inside Story~Macross Classic | Macross Frontier Drama CD◎Nyan Dra Dra1 | Macross Frontier Drama CD◎Nyan Dra Dra2 | Macross Frontier Drama CD◎Nyan Dra Dra3 | Macross Frontier Drama CD◎Nyan Dra Dra4
Others Macross 15th Anniversary | Macross 30th Anniversary Project | Macross: The Museum | Macross The Musicalture | Macross: The Museum ver.2.Δ | Macross Modelers | Macross Blue Moon Show Case in Tokyo SkyTree | Macross: The Art 1982-2018 | Macross Bakuon Film Festival | Macross Boys | All Macross Big Voting | Macross Won’t Stop | Shoji Kawamori Expo
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