Macross Zero OVA 01

Macross Zero Episode 01 (OVA/Anime)
マクロスゼロ Ep. 01 (OAV)
Macross Zero OVA 01

SPOILER Summary:

Macross Zero 01With the crashing of the alien spaceship that would become SDF Macross, a lengthy world war has broken out between the U.N. Spacy force and the Anti-U.N. forces. When three Anti-U.N. fighters are detected, a group of fighters from the aircraft carrier Ilastria launch to intercept. In that group is a pilot named Shin and his Radar Interceptor Officer, Edgar. The U.N. Spacy fighters defeat the Anti-U.N. fighters with no losses, but soon discover their carrier and its support fleet are under attack from an unknown force. They return, only to be taken out one by one by a mysterious fighter which can transform into a giant, humanoid-like form. Thus, Shin finds himself shot down.

Macross Zero 01Shin awakens on the island of Mayan in a strange building depicting birdmen. He gets up and taking a wooden sword/spear, he leaves the building and is soon encountered by an old man. Then a young woman followed by a group of children arrive and the young woman wants him to leave the island as his arrival cannot be good for them. He demands to know what happened to Edgar, but an older girl coming out of a coconut tree lands nearby to tell him he was the only one they found. This girl, Mao, tells the young woman, her older sister Sara, that to send Shin away now would draw the unwanted attention of the Kadun. As such, Sara agrees to allow Shin to stay until his wounds heal. Edgar races to the beach where he finds the debris of his fighter but no sign of Edgar.

Macross Zero 01On the U.N. Spacy carrier Asuka II, a doctor (named Aries) is giving a briefing on some 10,000-year old alien artifacts (code-named AFOS) that have been found on the ocean floor. (These things look a lot like the idols and images that the Mayans have constructed.) After the briefing, Aries finds herself reunited with Roy Focker (who refers to her as “senpai”). She’s amazed to find him a pilot in the U.N. Spacy since he’d vowed to go to Nevada if war broke out. However, things changed for him as they did for her.

Macross Zero 01Back on Mayan, Shin is having to get used to things on the island (including taking a crap). Mao is very keen on learning more about life outside the island, as she has a postcard showing a cityscape. Shin is more interested in the birdmen idols, since to him, they look more like planes. Shin notices there is an old satellite dish and Mao reveals that they have a generator too, but it no longer works. Since all of the able-bodied men and women left the island because of the war, the children and old people who Macross Zero 01remained behind don’t have the skills to repair it. Shin decides he’ll fix the generator as thanks for his life. Witnessing a young couple on the beach with the male showing the female his sword-spear, Mao says that this is akin to giving a love letter and Shin laughs, realizing he’d threatened Sara with a love letter.

Back on the Asuka II, Roy briefs some new fliers as they are about to launch a new mission with the new U.N. Spacy fighter, the VF-0 fighter, which can transform into a mecha form. After dismissing the rookies, Roy talks with the chief mechanic about the war and how Roy treats women and fighters the same — roughly.

Macross Zero 01Meanwhile back on the island, Shin is in a hammock while Mao listens to a small boom box in a nearby large hut. Sara turns off the music, annoyed with Mao’s interest in the technology and the like, feeling it will cause them trouble. Mao points to the photo of their parents, taken by a visitor years before, as proof that technology is not evil. The following day, Shin finds Sara under one of the large huts, making the sword-spears. She’s embarrassed as he teases her about it, but is amazed to find that she’s apparently made a large number of the “love letters.” They talk and Shin starts to make his own sword-spear when Sara has a vision and is afraid that great evil is coming. Outside, Roy Focker is engaged with an Anti-U.N. fighter. In mecha-mode, Roy destroys the other fighter and not noticing those on the ground, he rockets off to help his squad mates. As the fighting is going on near were Mao had been gathering water, Shin races to go help her while Sara is going to evacuate the village.

Thoughts/Review:

After having seen episode 10 of Macross Frontier, which featured them shooting a movie recounting the events of Macross Zero, I decided that it was time I watched this prequel series to the original SDF Macross.

I recently commented on the beauty of the animation in Gunsmith Cats and lamented that too often, modern OVA’s I’d seen weren’t all that impressive to me (good, but not great). Well, the first episode of Macross Zero is very impressive for the CGI animation era. Considering how impressive Macross Frontier TV series has been, I can’t say I’m that surprised. It is more like I’m happy to see that Macross Zero was given such a great start in 2002.

While Roy Focker’s seiyuu remained the same, his character design makes him unrecognizable to his Macross version. *lol* Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want that outdated design used today, but it is amazing how much the look defines an animated character as much as the voice.

I’m not sure if this has been done in the other Macross series or not, but it was neat seeing the VF-0 do its transformation. Why? The animators give the audience an idea of how a fighter becomes a mecha unit and what happens to the pilot. I don’t need to see it again but the one time is good stuff for me.

As to the story, indeed, scenes from episode 1 I recognized from the Macross Frontier episode I mentioned earlier. So it was nice seeing these things in context.

Based on what I’ve seen in Macross and Macross Frontier, I’m going to guess that aliens (maybe even the Zentradi) visited the island of Mayan way back when. Heck, maybe the Mayan’s are somehow very distantly related.

Overall, an interesting start to things. I look forward to seeing more.

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