Invasion of the Marduk and Struggles for Peace

Macross II

Eighty years after the end of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the long-term peace of humanity’s homeworld is shattered when an alien race called the Marduk invade.

The RPG book provides a good system with some great mecha designs, but is skimpy on useful background and source material. Experienced Palladium gamers will probably get along well with this one, but newcomers should look elsewhere.

Characters

ESFPs are confident and sociable, and have a tendency to seek out new experiences. They’re able to see the positives in any situation, and are not easily intimidated. The cast of Macross II has a large number of these characters, from the brash and ambitious Mirage Farina Jenius to the free-spirited Ishtar.

Eighty years after the events of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, humans and Zentradi have made peace and rebuilt society on Earth. Occasionally, rogue Zentradi fleets invade the solar system, but they’re quickly defeated by a combination of Valkryie-type transformable fighter jets and idol singer music.

Several original Macross staff members returned to work on this sequel, including character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, screenwriter Sukehiro Tomita and sound director Yoshinori Honda. However, co-creator Shoji Kawamori did not participate, and production was overseen by studio AIC. The result was a less connected universe than the main Macross timeline, which led to a number of fan protests.

Locations

The main story in Macross II takes place 80 years after the events of the original Macross. Hibiki Kanzaki is a reporter whose journalistic paradigm is radically altered when he witnesses a battle between the UN forces and a fleet of mysterious Zentradi soldiers who are unaffected by music. Hibiki spies onboard one of the enemy ships a mysterious non-Zentradi woman named Ishtar who he rescues from her ship.

The story is heavily inspired by the 1950s film Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn. There are many homages to this film throughout the series including in the characters names, storyline and even the name of the Minmay attack plane.

There was a lot of speculation that Big West and Kawamori did not approve of Macross II or its video-game tie-ins but this is largely baseless. Both Big West and Kawamori have officially declared Macross II and its tie-ins as part of the Macross universe (though they are considered a parallel world timeline). Macross 2 is referenced in some of the later Macross movies and TV shows like Macross 7 and the music from it can be heard on the Galaxy Network, City-7 and even in the Jamming Birds of Macross 2045.

Music

Macross II is a six episode OVA that is set eighty years after the original series Super Dimension Fortress Macross. It was produced by Big West with animation by AIC and Onrio. It was the first sequel in the Macross franchise without the participation of original series creator and co-creator Shoji Kawamori or Studio Nue. However, several members of the original series staff including character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, screenwriter Tomita Yuhiro and sound director Yoshinori Honda did return.

While the story itself doesn’t necessarily rely on music (except for the title track) it does suggest that shared cultural experiences can have power. Even if they’re just pop songs devoid of meaning in a vacuum, they can convey a sense of hope.

It seems that the original Macross is still on display on Earth as a museum piece and has the same ability to discharge its Wave-Motion Gun. In Macross II this is used by General Ishtar to track down the Alus, a ship that can bring peace to the Marduk.

Story

Eighty years have passed since the end of Space War I, and the United Federation of Planets (UFP) has been in a period of peace. However, a mysterious Marduk alien fleet suddenly launches an attack. The Zentradi are infuriated, and they have no choice but to engage in a brutal war.

Scramble News Network (SNN) entertainment reporter Hibiki Kanzaki uncovers the secret meeting between Sylvie Gena and Exxegran Giri at a hotel, and his breaking story earns huge ratings for the station. The military leadership orders him to apologize to the two, or else he will lose his job.

Unlike most other Macross series, this one didn’t have a female lead who became an Ace pilot. This is probably because the male lead, Hibiki Kanzaki, was a journalist instead of an ace combat pilot. The show was also the first to feature a Humongous Mecha in its plot. It also features a scene in which Hibiki puts his hand into the mouth of a statue that is said to bite if someone lies, which is then tricked into believing that it bit his hand off.

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