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Macross Official Setting and the Expanded Universe

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What is Macross?

It's whatever you perceive it to be, limited by what aspects of it that you've been exposed to. So, if you think Macross has a VF-X that can transform into a funky headed battroid 'cuz the Yamato toy can, or that the Studio Nue timeline ends up in the MII one, that's entirely up to you.

However, for the sake of communicating with others who have different perceptions, I'm making this definition to help communicate ideas and make the conversation flow more easily. Feel free to use it, too.

(all content from newest to oldest)

Official Setting (irrefutable Macross)

The animations & liner notes: MF (& movies), M0, M7 (& movies/OVAs), M+ (& movie), MII, FB2012, SDFM (& movies)

articles in: Animage magazine, B-Club Magazine, Great Mechanics, Monthly Bandai Making Journal, Newtype

audio drama (superseded by animation if different): Macross Generation, Nyan Dra

games & related publications: MDM VF-X, VF-X2, Macross Plus - Game Edition, Macross M3, SDFM 2036, SDFM: Eternal Love Song.

manga: Macross II: Lovers Again, Macross 7 Trash, Macross Dynamite 7: Mylene Beat

novels (superseded by animation if different): Macross II

publications: Entertainment Bible, Macross Chronicle, Movic Books, The "Gold" Book, This is Animation (Special, the Select)

serializations: Macross the Ride (tentative)

Expanded Universe (plausible Macross, material doesn't explicitly contradict the Official Setting)

animations: DYRL (in any use other than as part of MII or as a movie within a movie), Macross XX

articles in:

audio drama:

games & related publications: Macross Ace/Triangle/Ultimate Frontier, SDFM, SDFM-DYRL, SDFM Macross VOXP

manga: Macross the First

publications: Design Works, Macross Hobby Handbook, Tenjin Hidetaka Valkyries (1 & 2), Variable Fighter Master File

serializations:

Other (implausible Macross, material contradicts the Official Setting)

animations & liner notes: All that VF (M0 & M25 ver.), Macross 3DVFX

articles in: Character Model Magazine

audio drama:

games & related publications:

manga: Macross II: the Micron Conspiracy

Publications: Doujinshi (fanfics), Macross: The RPG, Macross II: the RPG, various model/hobby publications featuring kit-bashes

serializations:


Question to you, MW members

- what materials need to be added and what category should they fall under? (in short, I'm thinking if there's any doubt on other members that it's not part of the Official Setting, it should be part of the Expanded Universe)

I'm sure I'm missing a lot of content from this short list (novels and manga readily come to mind), so please post any that you'd like to have added, and which category you feel it falls under.

Edited by sketchley

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Question to you, MW members which of these are part of the official setting, expanded universe, or other? (in short, I'm thinking if there's any doubt on other members that it's not part of the Official Setting, it should be part of the Expanded Universe)

Design Works (Kazutaka Miyatake, Shoji Kawamori)

Macross the Ride

Macross Hobby Handbook

Macross 3DVFX

SDFM-DYRL

Macross Ace Frontier

Macross Triangle Frontier

Macross Ultimate Frontier

Design Works? IIRC, that's more of a production thing so it doesn't fall into "canon". It is more of a behind-the-scenes so if you want to know the designer's thoughts on the material, this would be what you want to look at.

Ride? Not sure yet.

3D VFX? Since it never made it to production, I can't comment.

Ace Frontier/Triangle Frontier/Ultimate Frontier? Other. You replay certain points from the entire series so that would rule out any "official setting".

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How can Macross the First and SDFM both be in the official setting?

Does this mean that you consider SDFM to be the official story? DYRL was basically a dramatic retelling of the series, if someone had come along some decades later and made a movie about Space War I?

I could see Macross the Ride as being able to nestle itself nicely within the official setting. I'm sure that its story will have little to do with the outcome of Macross Frontier, even though we may see some characters intersect with MF characters.

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Official Setting (stuff that's irrefutably Macross)

I'd agree with most of what's in here... though really, Tenjin's Valkyries books aren't narrative material, so I'd be disinclined to put them in with official setting materials like the shows, the canon games, the manga side stories, etc. that actually contain narratives or official material relevant to them (art books). Japanese sources appear to be treating Macross the Ride as canon, so I'd tentatively put that under official setting too. Canon titles from officially-recognized alternate universes (Macross II: Lovers Again and its prequels) belong under "Official Setting" as well.

Expanded Universe (stuff that's plausible, with Shoji Kawamori and/or the other Macross creators' involvement)

I'd put the manga retellings of certain portions of Macross in here... while the ones that don't mess with their parent title's setting and story go under Official Setting. So, I'd place Macross Dynamite 7: Mylene Beat here, and probably Macross the First as well. Stuff that's just blatant contradiction, like Macross VOXP, belongs with non-canon stuff like fan-fiction, kitbashes, etc. Japanese fans consistently list the Master File books and their unique variants as non-canon, and the books themselves explicitly rule themselves out of the Macross setting, and thus I'd lump them in with "other". I'd put novelizations under "Expanded Universe" with the caveat that they're quasi-recognized alternate universes of the shows and relevant only to themselves for the most part.

Macross Hobby Handbook and such are clear instances of kitbashing, so I'd lump them with "other", same with Design Works (barring the noted exceptions in Chronicle), Macross 3D, and the Ace/Ultimate/Triangle games. I would also lump unofficial side stories and sequels (esp. those produced outside of Japan) like Macross II: the Micron Conspiracy and Macross II: the Role-Playing Game as "other" and non-canon, for the obvious reasons.

How can Macross the First and SDFM both be in the official setting?

Well, Kawamori once said something to the effect of neither DYRL nor the series was an 100% authentic representation of Space War 1, and that the differences depended on the format in which the story was told... Macross Chronicle used the TV series as the basis for its timeline, so I'd be biased towards that, but figure that Macross the First might enjoy the same "Schrodinger's canon" status as DYRL and the TV series.

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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Well, Kawamori once said something to the effect of neither DYRL nor the series was an 100% authentic representation of Space War 1, and that the differences depended on the format in which the story was told... Macross Chronicle used the TV series as the basis for its timeline, so I'd be biased towards that, but figure that Macross the First might enjoy the same "Schrodinger's canon" status as DYRL and the TV series.

By this logic, then nothing SDFM-related should be considered full canon. They'd belong in the XU category, IMO.

Edited by frothymug

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By this logic, then nothing SDFM-related should be considered full canon. They'd belong in the XU category, IMO.

Dunno about that... at the very least, Macross Chronicle uses the SDF Macross series as the "correct" version of Space War 1 for continuity (timeline sheet) purposes, which is why I'd be inclined to place it in the "Official Setting" category.

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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How can Macross the First and SDFM both be in the official setting?

Does this mean that you consider SDFM to be the official story? DYRL was basically a dramatic retelling of the series, if someone had come along some decades later and made a movie about Space War I?

By this logic, then nothing SDFM-related should be considered full canon. They'd belong in the XU category, IMO.

I'll just chime in for a moment here and do a full response to the OP later.

SDF:M is the official canon. It's the original animation and hasn't been contradicted or updated by another. Macross the First is a manga retelling, but it doesn't refute the original show. If they animated it and said "This is the new original series", then it would be.

Just look at Mobile Suit Gundam. There is a massive amount of expanded universe materials. Mecha designs that weren't used, manga, video games, etc. The only ones that are considered canon are the animated series. Even Tomino Yoshiyuki's own Mobile Suit Gundam novel trilogy is non-canon, despite the creator writing it himself. Some elements get incorporated into the canon animation later, but that doesn't mean the rest of it is.

Unless Macross the First gets animated and/or Kawamori says specifically "This is what everything will be based on in the future", it's not the official setting. It's just a non-canon side story/alternate retelling. No more canon then Lost War Chronicles, Ecole du Ciel, or For the Barrel are for Gundam.

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Unless Macross the First gets animated and/or Kawamori says specifically "This is what everything will be based on in the future", it's not the official setting. It's just a non-canon side story/alternate retelling. No more canon then Lost War Chronicles, Ecole du Ciel, or For the Barrel are for Gundam.

I don't know a lot about Ride, but is there anything in there so far that would contradict existing, established canon?

I always took the approach if the material was created with official creators involvement and wasn't explicitly stated as non-canon or contradicts current canon it is a part of the official story.

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Revised the category descriptors. In short, the three sections are intended to be simple.

Items with (tentative) may be moved if new information regarding status (or lack thereof) becomes available.

3D VFX? Since it never made it to production, I can't comment.

Ace Frontier/Triangle Frontier/Ultimate Frontier? Other. You replay certain points from the entire series so that would rule out any "official setting".

I'm referring to the opening animation produced for 3DVFX. Nevertheless, moving it to EU.

I like your description for the games. It answers the question about the placement of the PS2 Macross game.

though really, Tenjin's Valkyries books aren't narrative material, so I'd be disinclined to put them in with official setting materials (...)

Re: art books

This is where it gets tricky, as there have been a couple of cases where information (usually names, sometimes capabilities) are mentioned in the art books, and are later confirmed in other official setting materials. Nevertheless, moving them all to EU.

Re: Hobby Handbook

Again, a tricky one. Putting it in EU - because it was penned by the official creators AND a lot of it has been superseded by later productions (ie the ETs), therefore precluding the more dubious material.

What about the radio show production, I forget what it was called, where does that fall?

Which shows? Any assistance on creating this "master list" would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by sketchley

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Which shows? Any assistance on creating this "master list" would be greatly appreciated.

Personally, I would guess that he means Macross Generation, the radio show/audio drama from 1997. It's set on Macross-9, and events from it are mentioned in the timeline posted over on the Macross Compendium... possibly the Macross Frontier drama CDs as well, tho I've heard nothing about the canonicity of those either way.

Incidentally, in terms of the "articles in:" part under Official Setting, you might want to include B-Club Magazine, Animage magazine, and possibly also the Monthly Bandai Making Journal, since all three were used to publish official setting materials (production art, concept art, creator interviews, stats, setting descriptions, continuity information, etc.) for Macross II: Lovers Again. You should probably also add the "Entertainment Bible" series under Official Setting publications too for much the same reason. The official manga adaptation of Macross II: Lovers Again could probably go under Official Setting, if that's where you're lumping Macross 7 Trash and Mylene Beat too.

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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I'm referring to the opening animation produced for 3DVFX. Nevertheless, moving it to EU.

How about "Other". IIRC, the 3D VFX footage was just a concept promo for the 2000 Tokyo Character Show by GONZO. It never made it out of pre-production. When you say it is "expanded universe", it would mean it would have to expand on some topic from that universe. It doesn't do that because it was never made into an actual show.

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Personally, I would guess that he means Macross Generation,(...)

Thanks. Added.

How about "Other". IIRC, the 3D VFX footage was just a concept promo for the 2000 Tokyo Character Show by GONZO. It never made it out of pre-production. When you say it is "expanded universe", it would mean it would have to expand on some topic from that universe. It doesn't do that because it was never made into an actual show.

I'm using the more broad definition "plausible".

Nevertheless, as it's main additions are supplied elsewhere (the VF-5000, Zentraadi dissenters, integrated micron-macron city, giant-boobed Zentraadi), there's no real point in arguing for it.

Questions:

what's the official name of those special "all that VF", and where would they fit?

What are the SDFM/M7 related novels?

And are there any dojinshi worth mentioning?

Edited by sketchley

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Thanks. Added.

One other title comes to mind that we should consider... Kawamori's "VF-Experiment" stuff printed in Character Model magazine back in '02. I'd be inclined to classify them as "Other" even though they're Macross mechanical designs by Kawamori himself and have in-universe design histories, because Kawamori-sensei has said they're not part of the official Macross continuity for the time being.

What are the SDFM/M7 related novels?

Let's not forget the Macross II novels, of which there are five... they're somewhere between official setting and expanded universe, since they retell the OVA and go beyond it as well.

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Character Model magazine

Added. I'm agreeing that it's neither OS nor EU, as the designs haven't seen the light of day outside of those magazines (ie Design Works, Macross Chronicle). Which, IMHO, speaks volumes about the designs (either Kawamori hasn't decided where they fit in, or he's forgotten about them!)

Let's not forget the Macross II novels, of which there are five... they're somewhere between official setting and expanded universe, since they retell the OVA and go beyond it as well.

Now this is another tricky part, as I believe the MF etc novels do the same. I'm inclined to put these in OS, but with the caveat that animated events supersedes the novelized events.

Do the novels have any particular names, or would the generic "MII novels" suffice?

Edited by sketchley

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Unless Macross the First gets animated and/or Kawamori says specifically "This is what everything will be based on in the future", it's not the official setting. It's just a non-canon side story/alternate retelling.

I've mulled over this throughout the day, and decided that I agree with it. MtF is bumped to EU (if one needs additional reasons: we're starting to see equipment do heretofore unknown things (blow up an asteroid with PPB energy, tentacles on a Zentraadi capital ship). Cool stuff, but contradictory to the OS.)

DYRL is also the first material to be in two categories - both OS and EU. Hopefully the italicized description in EU makes sense.

oh... and before I forget - I'm deliberately ignoring the 2 MF movies for the time being. Mainly because any discussions about them will inevitably result in spoilers. And I feel it's in everyone's best interest to keep any spoilers to the one thread dedicated to the 2nd movie for the time being.

Edited by sketchley

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I've mulled over this throughout the day, and decided that I agree with it. MtF is bumped to EU (if one needs additional reasons: we're starting to see equipment do heretofore unknown things (blow up an asteroid with PPB energy, tentacles on a Zentraadi capital ship). Cool stuff, but contradictory to the OS.)

That wasn't an asteroid, it was Saturn's moon Hyperion. ;)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperion_%28moon%29 (the spongy texture is the giveaway)

There's also the host of minor changes like the new VF-1D head, Hikaru's new paintscheme, VF-1 single-seater canopy changes, etc.

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what's the official name of those special "all that VF", and where would they fit?

Other. It's simply just a bunch of VFs doing formation flying around on the screen.

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Do the novels have any particular names, or would the generic "MII novels" suffice?

Generic would suffice... their titles are just Macross II: Lovers Again and then a volume number, five volumes in all. I haven't had a chance to go through them all, since I'm not that fast a translator and that's well over a thousand pages, so I can't speak to how far they go past the events of the OVA, but they definitely do go past it, so they kinda straddle the line between Official Setting and Expanded Universe.

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Personally, I would guess that he means Macross Generation

That's the one I was thinking of!

I take it there is no English script available? MW could to a PODcast were they voice act out the show in English (minus the songs of course which could be retained in their original form). How cheesy.....Yet I would probably listen.

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That's the one I was thinking of!

Figured it was...

I take it there is no English script available? MW could to a PODcast were they voice act out the show in English (minus the songs of course which could be retained in their original form). How cheesy.....Yet I would probably listen.

To be honest, I couldn't tell ya. Audio dramas aren't really my thing, so I've never really bothered to go looking for a copy or a translation thereof. What little I know about the show is gleaned from print sources.

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Other. It's simply just a bunch of VFs doing formation flying around on the screen.

Generic would suffice... their titles are just Macross II: Lovers Again and then a volume number, five volumes in all. I haven't had a chance to go through them all, since I'm not that fast a translator and that's well over a thousand pages, so I can't speak to how far they go past the events of the OVA, but they definitely do go past it, so they kinda straddle the line between Official Setting and Expanded Universe.

Added.

Added the novelization media with disclaimer (as it's a lot easier on the eyes to add the disclaimer just the one time.)

Is there any other material that MW feel should be added?

Edited by sketchley

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Wow this is so Trekkie!:p

Kawamori is on record as stating that all productions and media are "dramatic interpretations" of the events in the Macross universe.

At best all we can take from Chronicle are the mechanical and historical references of the universe as facts, the details can be considered "interpretations" according to Kawamori.

Similar how "The Longest Day" and "Saving Private Ryan" depict the D-Day invasion dramatically different, the historical facts remain constant, the dramatic details are different.

The same can be said about "Midway" and "Tora Tora Tora".

This is the position the creator has taken and we should keep that in mind before reaching for our gunpods...B))

IMHO, the real questions are how do we explain things like Spiritia and the impossible ablility to stop a PD Buster Cannon blast with the power of song?:blink:

Did Minmay actually sing an ancient PC song during the final battle of SW1 or not?

These "soft" details are much more interesting.

Edited by Zinjo

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Kawamori is on record as stating that all productions and media are "dramatic interpretations" of the events in the Macross universe.

[...]

This is the position the creator has taken and we should keep that in mind before reaching for our gunpods...

But taking this as an absolute directive runs into a fairly glaring problem... specifically, that what Kawamori says about continuity and what he does with it don't line up. The idea that all Macross productions and media are just dramatic interpretations of history fails to hold water when Kawamori-san starts defining certain titles as belonging to "parallel world" continuities, helps pen an official series chronology that links many Macross titles together into a single timeline, or attaches his name to a publication that explicitly states its level of canonicity, etc.

The soft details are interesting too, but they don't mean much if you don't have at least a reasonably clear idea of their context, and regardless of his statements about "dramatic interpretations", Kawamori hasn't exactly been a slouch about offering details of continuity. ;)

Edited by Seto Kaiba

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But taking this as an absolute directive runs into a fairly glaring problem... specifically, that what Kawamori says about continuity and what he does with it don't line up. The idea that all Macross productions and media are just dramatic interpretations of history fails to hold water when Kawamori-san starts defining certain titles as belonging to "parallel world" continuities, helps pen an official series chronology that links many Macross titles together into a single timeline, or attaches his name to a publication that explicitly states its level of canonicity, etc.

you know, it could just be that he gets involved in such publications because he's being paid a bunch of money. ;)

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Not making any changes to the master list from the latest addition to this discussion (good point anime52k8).

Just would like to tender the idea that posters should attempt to use the official terminology. Ie "The Official Setting".

(no, this is not me being thick headed. This is what the material says in Japanese. And to be clear, "Extended Universe", "Other", are not official terminology.)

Edited by sketchley

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