Series Recommendation: Macross Delta


After 5 years, the saga of the Super Dimensional Fortress franchise continues after the end of Macross Frontier. A new entry in the Macross franchise titled “Macross Delta” was aired from April 2016 to September 2016. The 26-episode series brought the franchise into a new direction: actively using music as a method to aid combat. The series also introduced the first idol group of the franchise: Walkure.

Macross Delta takes place in the Brisingr Globular Cluster in A.D 2067, where a mysterious disease called the “Var Syndrome” that can drive people insane and violent spontaneously ran rampant. The only way to counter the Var Syndrome is through the music of the Tactical Sound Unit “Walkure”. Escorting the Super Dimensional Venus is the Delta Flight – a team of pilots using the VF-31 Siegfried – the newest Variable Fighter. Our protagonist – Hayate Immelmann – is only a vagabond that move from planets to planets, jobs to jobs aimelessly. He accidentally ran into a young girl from the planet Windermere who hoped to join Walkure to sing. The two proceed to head to the same place: Hayate joining Delta Flight and Freyja joining Walkure – and fly through the same sky together.

+ Plot: The series place a different emphasis on music compared to previous Macross entries, although it is actually quite similar to 7. Walkure use their songs as a “cure” for the Var Syndrome, and brave the battlefield as combatants alongside the VF – which is actually a really nice concept since Walkure literally means “Valkyrie” – the codename of the first Variable Fighter. This also allow for the singers to express themselves and develop their relationship with each other, as well as with the Delta Flight.

By having a 5-member idol group and a corresponding 5-member Flight, even further with a 6-member rival group, Delta raised the amount of character in the cast to a very high number. That means there will be characters that serve as background chars and receive minimal development. Fortunately, the vital characters all receive their due worth. The series also feature much more planet hopping than previous series, which sometimes mess up the pacing of the plot where things happen too fast or too slow. But overall, the series is very enjoyable.

+ Animation: After Aquarion and Macross Frontier, the only way to go is up. Delta feature beautiful dogfights and amazing concert sequences for Walkure. As the “concert” are both in the middle of the combat zone as well as on stage, there are a lot of variety to the special effects. Imagine Sheryl’s Kindan no Elixir or Universal Bunny but with VF and missiles flying around. Delta also focuses more on dogfights in Fighter Mode more than Gerwalk or Battroid, and the equipment they have also geared towards Sound-related aspect. The texture on the VF is also much more mechanical with the shading similar to a real jet’s surface. Overall, the animation of Delta is very good, if not better, than Frontier tv series.

+ Mecha Design: As usual, Shoji Kawamori-sensei was also in charge of designing the Fighters for the series. The titular VF for Delta is the VF-31 Siegfriend, which is a combination of the YF-30 Chronos and YF-29 Durandal with the forward-swept wing. To this point, all 9-series VF has been forward-swept (VF-9 Cutlass, VF-19 Excalibur and YF-29 Durandal). The VF-31 has a similar utility pod like the YF-30 Missile pod that can swing up. For the Siegfried, the pod carries energy supply for remote-controlled drones (which is stored in the lower leg of the fighter) – which is a very interesting addition. The Siegfriend also feature arm-mounted beam machine guns that doesn’t require the unit to hold the gun to fight. The Beam Gun pod is a natural evolution of the Quantum Beam Pod from Frontier, which basically means unlimited ammo for the most part.

The other titular design is the rival unit of the Siegfried – the SV-262 Draken. Obviously, it is based on the Saab 35 Draken of the Swedish Air Force. The Battroid form of the Draken also bears similarity to Anubis with its dog-like head. There are two versions of the Draken: the normal version and the Hs version for the White Knight. The highlight of the White Knight Draken is its knight shield with some very cool golden emblem, which no VF has done on-screen before. It has a dark blue color with golden highlights along the unit, which gives off a sense of royalty – fitting considering the pilot. The normal version is normal green/light grey just like a military jet.

+ Music: Of course, since this is a Macross series, music is a most critical aspect, and Delta managed to be both…middle of the road yet roaring successful? The overall tone of the music is idol pop/rock. Walkure’s theme is a young idol group with a wide variety of songs that is popular with youth at the time – mostly energetic pop/battle songs, some moe songs, and some diva-ish songs by Mikumo’s singing voice.

Mikumo is basically the 2nd coming of Sheryl – with a different singing voice and speaking voice. Mikumo’s vocal – JUNNA – is a literal diamond in the rough. She was the youngest singer to ever join the series at 17 years old, but her vocals is even more powerful than May’n (Sheryl). Her voice is can go extremely low and incredibly high with the range of an opera singer. The producers made a 120% correct decision to cast her for the role.

The other significant singer is Freyja Wion – voiced by Minori Suzuki. She was encouraged by her mother to audition for the series and was chosen. Her voice is very uplifting and cute, yet can also be very emotional when needed. She create a very good contrast with Mikumo both in terms of voice and character as well (after watching the series, you will see many opposite sides to these two characters).

The other members of Walkure is Touyama Nao (Reina), Kiyono Yasuno (Kaname) and Nozomi Nishida (Makina). They are all talented seiyuus of their own and contribute some amazing character songs to the series. Overall, most songs of Delta can be said to be “following the current trend”. They don’t have many songs that are “breakthroughs” but all of their songs are enjoyable with a variety of tones and atmosphere. Furthermore, they have many non-anime songs that are extremely catchy. This makes Walkure very popular with young audience not just in Japan, but across the world as well.

+ Conclusion: Macross Delta takes a different approach to the franchise with its usage of music. Every other aspect is very similar to previous Macross entries, yet it bring some new ideas through Walkure – an idol group. For the most part, Delta can be considered a “safe” series with small shortcomings, and focus on the merchandising of the music more than other series. Even so, the characters are very diverse and likable, as well as the combination of gorgeous animation and music makes the series worth a watch.

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