I agree with everything you guys are saying. But if you don’t watch or read the supplemental material, or if you haven’t seen any of the other Macross media (which is certainly possible, considering it came out long enough after Frontier that it could easily be someone’s introduction to the series) it just looks a lot like “magical girl pop group plus mecha combat”.
if you go back and watch all of the earlier shows, then yes, all of the elements that made their way into Delta were pre-established in-universe. That doesn’t change the appearance of “magical girl pop group” though. It just means if you’re a longtime fan or you read a lot of the supplemental material you know it’s not “magic”, it is in fact song energy, spiritia, etc etc. which is basically magic.
i don’t see how it’s a bad thing though. My biggest issue with Delta was its incoherence, especially in the second half. I think it suffered from having too many main characters too. They want to make a fun mecha anime with a magic singing pop group? I’d watch that. Someone doesn’t want music in their Macross? That’s probably going to be difficult.
anyways, looking at the plots of the shows:
Macross / DYRL: humanity finds a spaceship and meets a race of giant spacefaring warriors. It goes poorly, but they manage to turn some to their cause and people survive.
Plus: estranged friends and rival test pilots compete for the affections of a woman and also to see who is the better pilot.
Seven: demons from another dimension possess ancient biological war machines created by a dead race and are defeated by the power of Rock and Roll.
Zero: at the end of a worldwide war, a pilot crashes on a small island in the South Pacific that has an ancient bio weapon.
Frontier: humans meet giant alien bugs and sing to them to calm them down; it works. Cyborgs want the aliens to do mind control.
Delta: pop group sings to people infected with a rage virus to calm them down; it works. Generic bad guys want ancient technology to do mind control.
next series: ???
they could go literally anywhere, but personally I’d like to see something unrelated to “the big picture.” A shorter series with a smaller setting than a colony fleet.
a while back I joked that the next show would be about pilots in a flying circus flying old mecha. I still think that could be a fun setting.