It took a while, but the Macross franchise is ready to bear fruit for its overseas fans. Roughly 18 months after companies Bigwest, Studio Nue, and Harmony Gold USA struck a deal to permit the worldwide release of Macross properties, officially licensed and localized releases of four Macross anime series will soon go on sale. The announcements came via Bigwest’s panel at Anime Expo 2022.
The announcement covers four Macross anime series: 1992’s Macross II: Lovers Again, 1994’s Macross Plus, 2008’s Macross Frontier, and 2016’s Macross Delta. Collectively these series have been out of print in English (Macross Plus, Macross II) or simply never made it out of Japan officially (Macross Delta, Macross Frontier). Now that Bigwest controls licensing for the franchise, it has picked new localization and distribution partners. Anime Limited will release Macross Plus on Blu-ray in North America and Europe, while AnimEigo will release Macross II on Blu-ray in the same territories. Nozomi Entertainment will handle Blu-ray releases of the Macross Frontier and Macross Delta anime series.
Macross II: Lovers Again is a six-episode OVA set 80 years after the events of the original Macross series. The anime was originally produced by Bigwest independently in 1992 after Studio Nue opted not to create a sequel to the first Macross series. After Studio Nue changed its mind and produced Macross Plus, the events of Macross II were rendered “non-canonical”, although the franchise tends to treat continuity as more of a suggestion than a rule. The story focuses on a reporter, Hibiki, who rescues Ishtar, a singer from an alien race called the Marduk. The Marduk are at war with humanity, but are seemingly immune to the song-based “Minmay Attack” strategy that was so successful against the Zentradi.
Macross Plus is a four-episode OVA set 30 years after the original series. It takes place on the planet Eden, and involves the testing of a new generation of variable fighter for the U.N. Spacy military. Two test pilots, the hotshot human Isamu Dyson and the cold and calculating half-Zentradi Guld Goa Bowman pilot competing fighters in a rivalry to win the contract. They’re also competing over the affection of their mutual friend, Myung Fang Lone.
Macross Frontier takes place onboard the Frontier, a super long-range colonization fleet. There a young trainee named Alto Saotome and his friend Ranka Lee bump into the “Galactic Fairy”, superstar singer Sheryl Nome. Sheryl’s concert is attacked by a new alien race called the Vajra, and emotions run high as the trio form a complicated relationship. The Macross Frontier series was redone as a movie duo in 2009 and 2011.
Macross Delta is set in a remote region of the galaxy, where Var Syndrome, a disease that causes violent rampages, threatens the populace. Key to stopping the spread of Var Syndrome is the Tactical Sound Unit Walkure, which travels around to suppress the symptoms with idol-style performances.
Macross anime series are available on various platforms. The announced series do not have a release window set, but are expected sometime in 2022 or 2023. The original 1982 Superdimension Fortress Macross series is on some streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.